News from September 24, 2018 Board of Education meeting

News from September 24, 2018 Board of Education meeting

Don't miss meeting photos below!

On site at Field School

Continuing its long-standing tradition of meeting on site at each school annually, the Board met at Field School this month. The meeting allowed Board and community members to view the areas that a new secure vestibule and office renovation proposed for summer 2019 would impact.

Other highlights from the meeting include:

  • Student enrollment falls slightly at start of 2018-19 - Grades K-8 enrollment for August is 4,526 students, which is a decrease of 13 students from the end of the 2017-18 school year. Overall, the number of sections decreased by two from the previous school year, while still maintaining class size guidelines: Kindergarten - 22 students; Grades 1 & 2 - 24 students; Grades 3 & 4 - 26 students; and Grades 5-8 - 28 students. Staffing increased, however, to include 402.44 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff members, due to new staffing added for the special education program (one school psychologist, an English Learner teacher, and a District-level behavior interventionist), along with three teachers at Jefferson to expand the fee-based Extended Day Kindergarten program. Looking ahead, the District will use a consultant to update demographic trends and enrollment projections; the last study was completed in 2013. The new study is similarly intended to look at enrollment trends across the District and the capacity of the buildings in preparation for future facility planning.
  • Balanced budget passed - Concluding a process initiated in early 2018, the Board adopted a final budget for the current school year. The budget is a reflection of the work that the District will continue this year guided by the fourth year of the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan in terms of curriculum, technology, special education, staffing and facilities. Updated financial projections also show that based on current assumptions, the Board will extend its promise to taxpayers as part of the 2007 referendum to not request additional referendum funding to at least the 2021-22 fiscalyear. The complete budget and informative accompanying reports may be viewed on the Financial Data - Current webpage.
  • Impact of new Village of Niles Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district discussed - Board members heard from legal counsel about the proposed formation of the new Milwaukee-Oakton Redevelopment Project within D64's boundaries and its potential impact on D64 finances now and in the future.
  • Proposed 2019 summer construction projects at Lincoln reviewed - The Board received updates on HVAC projects for the Learning Resource Center and lunchroom from the District's architect and engineering consultant. The District also reported that planning meetings will begin on the parking lot replacement.
  • Fire safety sprinkler project approved for Emerson - The Board approved a contract to replace all sprinkler heads throughout the school due to a product recall.
  • Special Education improvement activities noted for August/September - Student Services Director Lea Anne Frost reported on the steps undertaken since the last Board meeting in the four key areas of staffing, professional development, consistency across the District, and creating a message of inclusion. Dr. Frost also reported that the 38-member Parents and Teachers Talking Together (PT3) group had held its first meeting for 2018-19 and will be working with facilitator Stanley Leone on team-building activities before addressing the five priorities outlined by the group last year. She also noted a Special Education Board Committee was being convened (see below).
  • Special Education Board Committee underway; School Resource Officer Committee in formation - Board members reached consensus on a checklist of logistical questions and operating procedures for their two new committees. Board members Larry Ryles and Fred Sanchez, co-chairs of the new Special Education Board Committee, reviewed the agenda for its first meeting on Tuesday, September 25. Board members Rick Biagi and Tom Sotos, who have been designated as co-chairs for the new SRO Committee, reported on progress of selecting members and plans to convene the group for the first time. Both committees will operate under the Open Meetings Act, and agendas and minutes for both are included on the official Board meetings webpage; regular reports also will be provided at each subsequent Board of Education meeting.

Board members had an opportunity to greet new staff for 2018-19 at a welcome reception in advance of the meeting.

Roosevelt School's fourth and fifth grade choir under the direction of Mrs. Alaina Knapp led off the meeting with a spirited rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner and God Bless America, which they had performed at the Park Ridge Patriot Day remembrance ceremony on September 11.

Field School presented a video highlighting how literacy is supported by reading buddies who hold each other "accountable" for reaching their goals. VIEW VIDEO HERE