Highlights of the meeting include:
- Board committees being formed for School Resource Officer (SRO) pilot program, Special Education - The Board is creating two new Board committees to focus on specific topics, as provided by Board Policy 2:150. On June 25, the Board approved the creation of a new Board committee to focus on the proposed SRO pilot program for the middle schools, and named Board Vice President Rick Biagi and Secretary Tom Sotos as representatives. The Board also confirmed its intention to create at the July 9 meeting a similar committee for special education, and designated Board members Larry Ryles and Fred Sanchez as representatives. The Board will further discuss the goals, membership and operation of the two committees on July 9 (see details below). The committees will operate under the Illinois Open Meetings Act; agendas will be posted in advance, the meetings will be public, and minutes will be prepared.
- New Student Services Assistant Director appointed - The Board approved the appointment of Susan Waughon as the new assistant director effective July 1. With almost 20 years of experience in special education, she joins D64 most recently from Hinsdale District 181. “We believe Ms. Waughon’s rich experiences in special education perfectly align with the key areas of focus identified by Interim Student Services Director Mike Padavic during his recently concluded 100-day assignment that will become our priorities for the next several years,” according to District 64 Superintendent Laurie Heinz. “Ms. Waughon will be a great partner for new Director, Dr. Lea Anne Frost, as they work together to support our staff, students and families in improving all aspects of our special education program and services,” Dr. Heinz added. Read more about her appointment here.
- Tentative budget adopted for 2018-19 - The Board adopted a tentative budget for the new fiscal year, which may be viewed on the D64 webpage: Financial Data - Current. The Board previously reviewed the tentative budget in detail at the June 11 Committee-of-the-Whole: Budget meeting. Since that draft, the revenue has been updated to reflect the Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV) information received for the 2017 Tax Levy. Slight adjustments also were made to federal revenue based on actual grant awards. Expenditures have been reduced to reflect the removal of seven teacher positions, leaving four positions for potential sections to split based on enrollment. No other changes in salary budgets occurred from the June 11 first draft. Other minor expenditure adjustments were made as information was received. The budget will continue to be refined and revised as new information becomes available through the summer and as actual enrollment is known when the new school year opens in August. In other financial action, the Board conducted a public hearing before approving a permanent transfer of $1 million from the Transportation Fund to the Education Fund.
- Public hearing on budget set for August 27 - A public hearing on the 2018-19 budget will be held at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, August 27 (see meeting details below). The budget in its final form will be officially adopted on September 24, 2018. The budget may be viewed on the D64 website.
- Key observations on Illinois Youth Survey 2018 - The survey is administered every other year, most recently in January to 8th grade students at both Emerson and Lincoln to better understand youth attitudes and behaviors that can impact student success. Our community and D64 uses this information to determine what actions may be needed to keep students safe and healthy. At both middle schools, District 64 students report use rates that are lower than the state average for cigarettes, marijuana, and prescription drugs and the same as the state average for illicit drugs. Use of alcohol and inhalants is higher than the state average at Emerson, and lower than the state average at Lincoln. In general, District 64 student perceptions of school climate (i.e., caring adults, high expectations, meaningful participation, school connectedness) track with state averages with slightly higher rates of school connectedness in District 64. Going forward, each middle school has an established Behavior Team that will review the data. District 64’s Health program comprehensively addresses the risks and consequences of substance use. Last year, we collaborated with the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MCYAF) to revise our Health curriculum to include more comprehensive information about vaping/e-cigarette use; the survey data suggests this will be a continued area for student education. D64 also expects to intensify instruction related to alcohol use and to support parents with having conversations with middle schoolers about substance use. In addition to these health-related topics, school leadership teams will continue to address strategies for bullying prevention and opportunities for increased meaningful student participation. These topics directly link to District 64 Strategic Plan initiatives. As we enter the second year of our social emotional learning implementation efforts in 2018-19, we will include a focus on restorative practices, which are key strategies for addressing bullying and bullying prevention. Read more about the survey results here.
- Discussion of Child Care with Confidence lease - The Board discussed a proposed one-year renewal for rental of space at Jefferson School to the private child care provider in light of potential alternate uses for the space in the future. The Board is expected to approve the renewal at the next Board meeting; an update on future options for Jefferson also is expected.
- Future use of D64 offices discussed - The Board reviewed an unsolicited proposal for the purchase/leaseback of the District's Educational Service Center. In accordance with legal requirements, the Board could not accept the proposal, and will continue its discussion of the future use of the existing central office at an upcoming meeting.
- Exempt salaries approved for 2018-19; administrative salaries discussed - The Board approved an annual, merit-based salary increase schedule effective July 1, 2018 for administrative and exempt staff. These employees were assigned to three categories according to their job classifications and key tasks, with average raises for each category linked to those for teachers, teaching assistants, or a hybrid of the two. The Board also discussed a similar proposal for increases for central office and building administrators that would be aligned with raises at the same level as teachers.
- Community use of school facilities and expectations for conduct reviewed; concussion policy updated - The Board discussed proposed changes to two policies (Policy 8:20 Community Use of School Facilities, Policy 8:30 Visitors To and Conduct on School Property) to clarify for all parties the expectations for conduct while on school premises and the consequences for violations of these expectations. The updated policies will return for Board review and adoption. In other policy action, the Board approved an update to Student Athlete Concussions and Head Injuries Policy 7:305. The entire D64 Board policy manual is available online.