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News from the November 16th Board of Education Meeting

News from the November 16th Board of Education Meeting

The District 64 Board of Education held a regular meeting on Thursday, November 16th, in the Hendee Rooms at the Jefferson Early Childhood Center. 

The meeting video has been re-uploaded on our YouTube page. Unfortunately, due to a network issue last night, the live stream had intermittent audio. This re-uploaded video has fixed audio for everyone who was looking for it last night. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

School Board Member Appreciation Day

National School Board Member Appreciation Day was on November 15th, but we took some time to thank our seven Board members for all they do. A big thank you to Matt Doubleday, Rachel Georgakis, Gareth Kennedy, Phyllis Lubinski, Monica Milligan, Denise Pearl and Demetri Touzios.

In a video tribute to the Board, Superintendent Dr. Ben Collins said, “To our school board members, thank you so much for all of your efforts to make sure that our students have what they need and that all of our families are honored and cherished in our District. We could not do this work without you. And we're so so lucky to have you”

Additionally, in the Thank You video, you’ll find some awesome interviews with students from Washington Elementary School! They shared what they thought the School Board does, what rules they would change, and their favorite parts of school. 

Spotlight on Music

We got to honor and celebrate some of our extremely talented middle school musicians! What a treat to send us into Fall Break. The Lincoln Chamber Orchestra, led by Max Hellerman, played “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” 

The music celebrations didn’t stop there. The Board also had a chance to recognize our 10 students who were selected to participate in the ILMEA Festival. Thank you to everyone who performed and to those who came to support our musical All-Stars! 

Approval of Maintenance Grant FY24

Motion Approved

This is a 50-50 matching grant with the State of Illinois. We use $50,000 and the state will match with $50,000. Chief School Business Official Dr. Adam Parisi and Director of Facility Management Noel Mendoza have identified a use for these funds at Field Elementary School. 

Approve Resolution #1324 Directing the Engagement of a Licensed Real Estate Broker to Sell Real Property

Motion Approved

Approve Summer 2024 Construction Bids

Motion Approved

35 exterior doors would be replaced throughout the District.  47 pullout lunch table units would be replaced, and the drop-down curtain wall and Franklin would be replaced. The total construction costs for these items would be $1,249,000. Additional mercury tests will be done on the gym floors at each elementary school to better inform a decision on whether or not to abate or not.

Presentation of the 2022-2023 Illinois School Report Card

Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Dr. Smanatha Alaimo gave an in-depth breakdown in her presentation on how D64 did in the recently published 2022-2023 Illinois School Report Cards. The report reflects our significant growth toward closing learning gaps that resulted from school disruptions in recent years.

The report card components are the following: Performance on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR), Performance on the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA), Progress to Proficiency (PtP) for our English Learner (EL) population, Chronic Absenteeism, Performance on the new ISBE Equity Journey Continuum, and Performance on the Illinois 5Essentials Survey.

Dr. Alaimo explained that since Franklin demonstrated exceptional IAR growth percentiles, they ranked in the top 10% of schools and earned an exemplary rating. Lincoln, Emerson, Carpenter, Field, Washington, and Roosevelt all earned a commendable rating. Field and Lincoln were within 3-4 points of earning that exemplary rating. 

  • Exemplary schools have no underperforming subgroups and perform in the top 10% of schools statewide.
  • Commendable schools have no underperforming subgroups but are not in the top 10% of schools statewide.

When looking at the differences between growth and proficiency in the IAR, Dr. Alaimo gave a great example of how to frame thinking around the two data points. “When you have high proficiency, it’s harder to continue that. Ben and I always talk about it as running. If he and I ran a marathon and we did it in two hours, it’d be hard to keep beating that two-hour time.” 

Dr. Alaimo’s written memo can further explain the summative designations and other impactful data factors. 

Presentation of Draft Calendar for the 2024-2025 School Year

The calendar for 2024-2025 was presented to the Board for an initial review before adoption at the December 21st regular meeting. 

Some takeaways from this draft of the calendar include:

  • School begins for students on Wednesday, August 14, 2024. The start date is moved up one week to align with Maine Township High School District D207’s start date.
  • The number of Institute Days is increased by one for a total of four Institute Days.
  • Winter and Spring Recess dates are in alignment with Maine Township High School District 207 as in past practice.
  • November 5, 2024, is an election day and has been designated as a Not In Attendance day to ensure students are not in school that day.
  • The last day of student attendance is scheduled for May 30, 2025.

Approval of Recommended Personnel Report
Motion Approved

5-Year Facility Plan Update and Potential Construction at Lincoln

The administration identified the need to explore the expansion of the Structured Learning Community (SLC), which is a program where students with Autism are served in our district. The program is currently at Washington, and there’s a need to provide middle school space for these students. After exploring options and taking the school board through a tour of Lincoln, there is no way possible to add the square feet necessary for these spaces in our existing buildings. Therefore, the administration has tasked our architects, Wight, to come up with a plan for an addition to Lincoln Middle School for these students and to include space for a program for students who we currently outplace (Emotional Support). 

After reviewing some options, the board asked for another plan proposal that would include what it would cost to build infrastructure on top of the potential expansion by one or two stories to help with the larger issues of space problems at Lincoln.

The board tasked Dr. Collins to start working on a master facilities study for all schools across the district. The middle school findings will be brought back to the board first so a final decision can be made about the more immediate need for SLC and Emotional Support classrooms at Lincoln.

  • “I know there’s a lot of things that we don’t have yet because of the timeline of our conversations with the middle school review,” said Dr. Collins, referencing the space studies needed for the master facilities study. “However, we need to have, we need to have schools that meet our kids' needs for their future.”

Dr. Parisi’s 5-year Facility Plan Update and Lincoln Construction Presentation can be viewed here. 


Update on Financial Projections

Dr. Adam Parisi gave updates to the financial projections he had provided at the September board meeting. His projections included issuing 10 million dollars in school bonds for potential construction, the addition of an ELA curriculum, and estimated staffing for an SLC and Emotional Support classroom at Lincoln Middle School (which are considered cost savings).

Dr. Parisi’s Presentation on the Financial Projections can be viewed here

Update on Financing

Liz Hennessy from Raymond James updated the board on the district's short and long-term debt obligations and the potential sale of bonds for any future projects.

Approval of 2023 IASB Resolutions
Motion Approved

Consent Agenda
Motion Approved

Approval of Minutes
Motion Approved




Together We Discover, Learn, Grow & Care

At D64, our mission is to foster opportunities for discovery, engagement, and growth for all students. We accomplish this by nurturing interdependence, appreciation of differences, and care for self and others.

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