News from August 27, 2018 Board of Education meeting

News from August 27, 2018 Board of Education meeting


On-site at Roosevelt School

The Board kicked off its long-standing tradition of convening once every year at each neighborhood school when it met at Roosevelt. The meeting allowed Board and community members to view the extensive work completed over the summer, including the reconfigured office with secure vestibule, the newly created primary wing, and Learning Resource Center (LRC) enhancements.

Don't miss meeting photos below!

Highlights from the meeting include:

  • New school year is off to a smooth start - Superintendent Laurie Heinz reported on the robust orientation program for the more than 30 new teachers who joined D64 this year, and reviewed the professional development opportunities for staff at back-to-back Institute Days prior to the opening of school. She reported that the arrival of more than 4,500 students beginning on August 20 at D64's eight buildings had gone smoothly, and credited the hard work and dedication of teachers and staff at all levels who prepared diligently to ensure schools were ready to open. Dr. Heinz said all D64 employees look forward to a positive year of learning and growth for every child!
  • Clear priorities set for improvements in special education program - New Director of Student Services Lea Anne Frost introduced her new administrative team and reviewed the immediate changes in staffing, professional development, consistency across the District, and creating a message of inclusion for 2018-19 and beyond. The staff Institute Day presentation by Jack Gallagher (see photo below) along with his Parent University event helped kick off a renewed focus on communication. Dr. Frost's presentation is available here. Dr. Frost will provide regular updates to the Board through the year.
  • 2017-18 fiscal year closes with positive balance - The Board reviewed the unaudited financial reports for the fiscal year that ended June 30, which showed a positive Operating Funds balance of revenues exceeding expenditures by almost $5.7 million. The total Operating Funds balance is now 69.98%. The outside auditing firm will begin its work in September; the Board will receive a final report and findings at a Board meeting later in the fall.
  • 2018-19 budget moves closer to completion - The Board conducted a public hearing on the 2018-19 tentative budget, and heard an update on refinements to spending plans and anticipated revenues made over the summer as enrollment and staffing needs became known. The budget in its final form will be adopted on September 24.
  • Policy revisions adopted - The Board approved a set of recommended revisions to the District's Policy Manual as part of its ongoing refresh cycle, and adopted new policy 6:135 and made changes to 8:20 regarding community use of school facilities.
  • FOIA request log to be added to website - The District reported on the volume of records requests received under the Freedom of Information Act, and the staff time and legal support needed to prepare responses. Going forward, the District will create a public log on the website of all requests received, responses and estimated cost to fulfill the requests, which have been increasing over the past several years.
  • Other financial items approved - The Board approved a required resolution to adopt the prevailing wage, and also authorized payment of certain invoices prior to Board approval at the September 24 meeting during a busy period for purchasing at the start of the new school year.
  • Community outreach planned for 2019 School Board election - District 64 shared plans to provide information about Board service with prospective candidates at the "ABCs of School Board Service" informal coffee and conversation on Wednesday, September 26. (See news item here.)  
BOE Members In Roosevelt new LRC Students performing at Board meeting

Roosevelt Principal Kevin Dwyer (center) highlighted LRC updates for Board members during his tour.


A choral performance by Emerson's 7/8 singers under the direction of Mrs.Terry Broeker started the meeting off on the right "note!"

Emerson Staff Teacher Thielen Dr. Heinz and Jack Gallagher

Members of Emerson's Physical Education Department were congratulated on garnering the prestigious Blue Ribbon Award for the school's comprehensive program.Read more about this accomplishment.

Lincoln teacher Christine Thielen was recognized for being named Board chair of the leading national middle school education assocation.Read more here.

Dr. Heinz reported on staff Institute Days and the inspiring keynote talk by Jack Gallagher ("A Different Kind of Cool" ), who shared his perspectives as a parent of a child with a disability.