The District 64 Board of Education held a regular meeting on August 18th, 2022, at Lincoln Middle School. The meeting highlights included:
CSBO Dr. Adam Parisi and Director of Facility Management Anthony Bersani gave another construction update as we prepare for next week's first day of school.
- ”The great news is that the buildings are ready and will be ready to welcome the students on the first day of class, which is Wednesday,” said Dr. Parisi.
- “It has really been fun. It’s been quite challenging. It’s something that I think Adam, I, and Noel [Mendoza, Assistant Director of Facility Management] take very seriously. I think that will show when you all start to see the inside."
With no action item on the agenda, the board discussed putting School Resource Officers (SROs) into district middle schools and what is next in the evaluation process of the issue. Different board members brought up having committees, like the Strategic Planning Committee or Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee, further discuss this topic instead of only having conversations at board meetings.
- Board President Dr. Denise Pearl mentioned that she thinks Strategic Planning should guide what the Board and the administration do because that committee was a group of individuals representing all different constituents. "The other big umbrella area in the Strategic Plan is to explore program expansion, and one of the specific areas out of there is looking at the District's Crisis Plan. So that committee overlooking that could discuss this," said Dr. Pearl. "Whatever is decided, I think it has to be a process.”
- Dr. Pearl added the importance of hearing different perspectives.
- Board Member Larry Ryles brought the SRO agenda item up at last month’s board meeting and clarified what he wanted in schools on Thursday night. “I would vote no for an SRO. I would vote yes for a security officer,” said Ryles. “The intent of a security officer is pretty clear, in the intent of adding to the policy, and checking doors and being a deterrent in the school, checking people in and out of the school building. I think that's pretty clear. SRO gets very, very foggy. And you know, I decided that the public out there is right. We don't need a police officer out there interfacing with special needs children.”
- “I think one of my takeaways from tonight is that if we set it up in a way that we all know what we're talking about, we all know what we're reviewing, we all know what the goal is, I think that will only help this go better,” said Superintendent Dr. Eric Olson.
The Board approved a two-year contract extension for Superintendent Dr. Olson. The contract now ends in 2025. Dr. Olson began at District 64 in 2019.
- “I just wanted to say thank you to the board. I very much appreciate it,” said Dr. Olson. I really like it here in District 64, and I'm happy to be here for a few more years. So thank you."
Dr. Joel Martin, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, gave a very positive update on personnel. The district will have all certified-staff openings filled once school starts.
- “I just want to note that for comparison, a lot of other districts right now are facing extreme staffing shortages,” said Board Member Dr. Nicole Woitowich. “So to hear that we are almost nearly completely fully staffed is phenomenal because other districts are not as lucky right now. So thank you.”
- “It really is a team effort,” said Dr. Martin. “A lot of credit goes out to our building administrators. Whenever there's an opening, they jump on that very quickly. They don’t wait around…so the credit really does go to our entire administrative team.”
The board approved the District’s COVID-19 guidelines for the 2022-2023 school year. You can find those guidelines here on our website. Once again, these only include a few mandatory items centered around when a person tests positive for COVID-19. The rest of the guidelines are recommendations from the CDC.