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  • January 14, 2019

    Posted by Administrator on 1/16/2019



    Committee of the Whole

    RFP - Surplus Maintenance Vehicle:

    Mr. Hansen stated that one of the maintenance department's fleet trucks is too difficult to maintain in-house, so they are putting out a request for proposal to sell it.  It will be more cost effective for the District to sell it than to try to continue to maintain it.

    Proposed Disposal - Surplus HVAC Controllers:

    Mr. Hansen also noted that the HVAC components from Meadow Ridge and Century Junior High have been replaced, and they need Board approval to dispose of the items since the District will not be able to collect any money by selling them.

    State of the District:

    Each District department presented a brief overview of their mid-year state of affairs.

    • Communications: Mrs. Obright presented on the cost savings to the District by eliminating all print newsletters and school handbooks, noting that these have been replaced with digital sources of information.  She also touched on the growth of BoardBlog and the District's social media accounts as a source of reliable information for the public. Mrs. Obright also noted that continued website accessibility training will occur for all staff members.
    • Curriculum: Dr. Snyder presented that according to the "All Students" group, all of the ten D135 schools were "Commendable". He also noted that, while the District did not go to Standards-Based Grading due to the State Assessment, that test is entirely standards-based, and students are expected to have a better understanding of those standards now.  Dr. Snyder additionally discussed several resources and processes that are being implemented in the District.
    • Teaching & Learning: Dr. Zeder noted that as of January 2019, 16% of certified staff have their ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement, compared with the targeted goal of 10%.  She noted that a third of incoming students require ELL (English Language Learner) services, particularly at the primary level. Dr. Zeder also presented on the ongoing school improvement meetings happening at each building.  In addition to the required plan for OJH, the Administration will work with each building to develop an improvement plan.
    • Special Education & Student Services: Mrs. Janettas noted that two special education coordinators have been added to the staff to assist with student and staff needs.  She presented data showing that D135 special education students are exceeding state proficiency in language arts and math, and she mentioned that a new dyslexia resource is being piloted in D135.  Mrs. Janettas said that the District continues to see diversity among its student body. She also noted that vision screening will be available on site for students.
    • Instructional Technology: Mr. Bohula presented on his department targets, including increasing efficiency of staffing and resources, cutting costs by removing classroom PCs, and increasing the balance of teacher versus technology time.  He also noted that his team is working to improve network security across the District. Mr. Bohula stated that beginning this summer, students in grades 3-7 will be able to take their devices home with them. This initiative would eliminate the need for summer interns and allow students access to instructional tools while on break.  Parents may opt-out of having the device go home for the summer.
    • Human Resources: Mrs. Owens stated that she continues to work on updating administrative procedures and exhibits, as well as implementing state-mandated training requirements.  She discussed the summer substitute training program, which will include classroom management, as well as managing the substitute shortage. She noted that D135 currently fills 94.7% of sub requests, which is good in comparison to surrounding districts.  Mrs. Owens also noted that the implementation of the Employee Assistance Program, Wellness Program, and additional professional development opportunities are going quite well.
    • Finance: Mr. Bryk noted that all registration payments will now be processed online, and that seems to be going well.  He also stated that his department is working on cross-training so that responsibility can be shared among several people if a need arises.  Mr. Bryk mentioned that he will continue to evaluate the current food service program and work with Quest to make improvements based on a recent survey.  He noted that the department would like to eliminate cash handling in FY20.
    • Risk Management & Safety: Mr. Hughes stated that transportation services are running efficiently.  He noted that a review of surveillance at each building is underway, and updates will be made as necessary to address blind spots.  Mr. Hughes noted that an Emergency Action Plan has been put in place for the Administration Center, and drills have taken place. He additionally noted that the WAVE PLUS safety system will be installed in the remaining buildings, and administrators will continue working on Threat Assessment Protocol training.
    • Buildings & Grounds: Mr. Hansen stated that, during inspection, minor violations were discovered and corrected immediately.  Mr. Hansen said that due to the replacement HVAC controllers, a $48,000 ComEd rebate was received. He noted that remodeling at Park will continue both inside and outside, the carpet will be replaced at Meadow Ridge, and roof work is pending at Orland Junior High and High Point.  Mr. Hansen also noted that the District can save nearly $9,000 annually by replacing the alarm monitoring system, which they plan to do.

    Financial Planning:

    Dr. SKogsberg noted that a comprehensive cost-savings plan had been provided to the Board, noting that the plan included a savings approximately $1.7M from Teaching & Learning, $1.5M from Operations, and $400,000 from District Office.  He noted that some recommendations are straightforward, while others will require additional consideration. Dr. Berry noted that there would be some discomfort and 'belt-tightening' as we move forward, but it is necessary.

    Regular Board of Education Meeting


    The Board approved all agenda items for the regular meeting on January 14, 2019.

    Student Presentation:

    The Meadow Ridge TV crew presented on their unique way of combining writing and technology to produce video morning announcements, entirely run by students.  MRTV was a key component of Meadow Ridge's journey to becoming an Apple Distinguished School.

    Students presenting at the Board Meeting

    Two students presenting at the Board Meeting

    Students posing with staff at the Board Meeting

    Staff Recognitions:

    ABCDE Awards

    Lisa FInk

    Lisa Fink was nominated by Julie Rein, Meg Carr, Bridget Jordan, and Lori Mathias for the value of COMPASSION.

    Megan Esposito

    Megan Esposito was nominated by Marilyn Bucci and Dana Karczewski for the value of COMPASSION.

    Comments (-1)
  • December 10, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 12/21/2018

    Committee of the Whole:


    Public comment:

    Citizen Julian Liotine addressed the Board with the current status of market, explaining its effects on the economy and possible impact to education funding. The Board thanked Mr. Liotine for sharing his input.

    Parent/teacher conference survey:

    Dr. Zeder explained that the completion rate of the parent/teacher conference survey doubled from last year with the help of a mass text notification that went out to parents during conferences.  The survey was made available in English, Arabic, Polish, and Spanish. Dr. Zeder noted that the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and that the administration will continue to work on providing opportunities for parents to learn about standards-based grading, internet safety, and other important topics.  Discussion included an issue with the timing of the junior high conference schedule and providing maps for parents prior to conferences, as well as ensuring teachers stick to the scheduled time slots so parents don't miss conferences. Dr. Zeder noted that the administration is considering the proposing the implementation of parent-teacher conferences in the spring. Conversations with the Union would be required, followed by further discussion to be held at a future meeting as plans develop.

    Proposed amended 2018-19 school calendar:

    Dr. Zeder presented two amendments to the 2018-19 calendar:

    • The first change would be to shift the last Professional Learning Day of the year from May 24th to May 31st.  The State Board of Education no longer requires a full day of attendance on the last day of school, so the administrations believes this would better serve both students and staff.
    • The second change is in regards to the snow day that was held on Monday, November 26.  Per a holiday waiver that was approved by the Board in May of 2018, the Board may elect to waive certain holidays to make up for emergency closures.  The proposal would make January 21, 2019, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, an attendance day for students to make up for that November closure.

    Brief discussion included whether or not to move the make-up day to a later holiday, however, due to the fact that the snow day occurred so early in the year, the Board decided to continue with the proposed plan.

    Proposed 2019-2020 school calendar:

    Dr. Zeder presented a proposal for the 2019-20 school calendar, keeping in mind that several state requirements had recently changed.  Those changes include no longer requiring a 5-hour instructional day, while adding two additional days of attendance for students, bringing the total to 176 days.  Dr. Zeder proposed a calendar that includes an Institute Day in August, followed by a Professional Learning Day, which would make the first day of student attendance a half-day of school.  This, in addition to a Professional Learning Day just before Thanksgiving break, would provide the two additional days of student attendance (note that each of these days are replacing a full Institute Day that had previously been on the calendar).  The calendar would be brought forth at a later meeting for the Board’s approval.

    Fall housing report:

    Dr. Zeder and Ms. Janettas presented the fall housing report, stating that there are currently 5,235 students enrolled in the District.  They mentioned that this includes 45 new students that enrolled since the beginning of the school year. It was also noted that this school year, District 135 saw:

    • an increase of 165 students in the English Language Learners (ELL) program;
    • a decrease of 15 students on Individualized Education Programs (IEP);
    • an increase of three McKinney-Vento students; and
    • an increase of 80 students eligible for the free and reduced lunch program

    The Board clarified that there would also be an increase of students enrolling after winter break, and the administration confirmed that they have several families who have already begun the process.

    Specific rates of pay:

    Discussion regarding rates of pay for substitutes continued from the October 9 meeting.  Ms. Owens stated that a thorough examination of surrounding districts showed that District 135 was on the lower end of substitute pay rates, and that she was proposing a $4 increase per day (from $96 to $100).  Ms. Owens stated that it is increasingly difficult to fill substitute teacher and nurse positions, and the competitive pay would help with the shortage. The proposed plan would cost the District $26,260. The Board noted that, due to the current budget deficit, it was not in the District's best interest to approve the increase.

    Tax Relief:

    Dr. Skogsberg discussed the Property Tax Relief Grant provided through the Illinois State Board of Education, noting that the District is eligible for approximately $2.5 million.  Dr. Skogsberg mentioned that it would be difficult for District 135 to receive the funding, however, the Board agreed it would be beneficial to still apply for it. Dr. Skogsberg also noted that the money would not be additional income for the District, but rather that the money would go back to the taxpayers from the Levy.



    Board policy updates:

    See BoardDocs.


    Regular Board of Education Meeting:

    The Board approved all agenda items for the regular meeting unanimously except for the following:

    • Specific rates of pay for substitutes was unanimously voted against
    • The Resolution Authorizing and Directing Tax Levy was approved by a 6-1 vote, with Mr. Maratea voting against.


    To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs. 


    Community Spirit Award:


    Dorlene Poe

    Dorlene Poe, bus driver for Sunrise, was nominated for the Community Spirit Award by Laura Bingham, Early Childhood teacher at Centennial School.  


    ABCDE Awards:

    Carita Hall

    Carita Hall was nominated by Noel Cary-Enriquez for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.


    Jackie Valentine

    Jackie Valentine was nominated by Laura Bingham for the value of COMPASSION.


    Patti Loichinger

    Patti Loichinger was nominated by Laura Bingham for the value of INSPIRATION.


    NOT PICTURED: Roxanne Thompson was nominated by Carla Reilly for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.


    Brenda Lee

    Brenda Lee was nominated by Peter Reilly for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.


    NOT PICTURED: Jackie Kitchen was nominated by Michele Goshko for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.


    Carolyn White

    Carolyn White was nominated by Lauren Hedenschoug for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.


    Jennifer Madsen

    Jennifer Madsen was nominated by Michele Goshko for the value of COMPASSION.


    Sandy Sotzen

    Sandy Sotzen was nominated anonymously for the value of COMPASSION.


    Mary Fox

    Mary Fox was nominated by Dan Prorok for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.



    Comments (-1)
  • December 3, 2018 (SPECIAL C.O.W.)

    Posted by Administrator on 12/7/2018

    BoardBlog: December 3, 2018

    Committee of the Whole:  

    Board member reports & requests:

    Linda Peckham-Dodge inquired about the possible adjustment to the school calendar to accommodate for the snow day on November 26th.  Dr. Skogsberg noted that the Board will be asked to approve an amended calendar at the December 10 meeting, where the recommendation will be to hold an attendance day on January 21st (MLK Day).  This option is made possible by the holiday waiver that was approved by the District 135 Board in May of 2018. Dr. Skogsberg also mentioned that, if students are in school on MLK Day, Illinois law requires schools to teach about Dr. King’s accomplishments.  The Board discussed looking into what other area districts are doing in regards to making up the snow day, and agreed to discuss it at the December 10 meeting.

    Budget overview and long-term financial planning:

    Mr. Bryk began the presentation by showing a chart of the current budget and explained that, if the Board continues to conduct business as it has been, by 2024, District 135 may be on the State’s financial watch list.


    The Administration continued with several options for reducing District spending, including:

    • Participation fees:  There are 1,200 students who currently participate in athletics, and 1,300 students who participate in music programs.  By implementing a fee for these students, the District could bring in additional revenue.
    • Transportation - Paid Riders: Several options were discussed to reduce the cost of this program, including an increase to the $220 fee, eliminating the program completely, or only offering it based on available space on current bus routes.  The Board expressed a desire to break even on this program if it were to continue.
    • Building usage:  Currently, many organizations use District buildings at little to no cost.  Implementing a building usage or renters’ fee would provide for additional revenue.
    • Food service:   The intent of the contract with District 146 is to be profitable, however, that is not currently occurring, so District 135 recoups that cost from Quest Food Management.  Mr. Bryk noted that a decision must be made by February 1st if the Board does not want to continue the contract with District 146. The contract would be automatically renewed if action is not taken by the Board.
    • Technology:  The Board discussed the option of looking at different instructional technology tools, however, the current program is comparable to surrounding districts.  The Board noted that it would not make sense to pull back in this area because of its instructional nature.
    • Staffing:  An increase in class size could lead to a potential reduction of up to 10-12 full time certified staff.  There are increasing concerns with class sizes across the District, but the Board requested that the Administration look at ways to reduce staff that would make the least impact on the classroom.


    After the above options were presented as cost reduction efforts, Board President Laura Berry opened the floor for discussing additional ideas for cutting costs.  She noted that those watching and listening should accept the discussion as a brainstorming session, and not assume action is being taken on any of the presented options.  The additional ideas discussed included closing or selling District buildings, cutting staff at District Office, and rearranging the ELL program. The Board requested that the Administration provide a proposal with concrete numbers, keeping cuts furthest away from the classroom.

    Comments (-1)
  • November 12, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 11/30/2018


    Committee of the Whole:


    Standards-Based Grading Update:   

    The curriculum department shared a video of students expressing their perspectives on SBG so far this school year.  In the video, students explained how they are better able to sense their understanding of each subject area and to recognize where they may need more assistance.  Discussion included the consistency of feedback to parents and students regarding growth. A concern was brought up regarding the transition to high school, and it was noted that District 230 has recognized the benefits of SBG, and that they may consider utilizing it in the future.  District 135 will continue to monitor the new grading system as the year progresses.


    State Report Card Update:

    The Illinois State Report Card was released in October by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).  It was explained that nine schools received a commendable rating, while one school, Orland Junior High, was designated as underperforming.  The designations are given based on a rating system outlined by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A $15,000 grant is available from ISBE to fund a school improvement plan for the underperforming school.  The Board discussed their concerns with the newly reformed rating system, and District administration noted that they will have the opportunity to meet with ISBE to receive clarification.


    Workers’ Compensation Renewal:

    John Bryk, Assistant Superintendent, provided an explanation of the District’s workers’ compensation insurance, which is due for renewal.  The District submitted a Request for Proposal (RFP) to eight insurance carriers, and received one bid from the District’s current insurance carrier,  Alliant/Meisrow Insurance Services. The bid contains a slight increase of $383 for the yearly premium from the previous year. The proposal for workers’ compensation from Alliant/Meisrow Insurance Services in an amount not to exceed $94,903 effective December 1, 2018 through December 1, 2019 was brought forth for approval at the regular Board of Education meeting and was approved.


    2018 Estimated Levy:

    Mr. Bryk explained that the Board would be voting to approve an estimated levy increase of 2.1% based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  The Board approved the resolution, and a final approval will be brought forth at the December 10th regular meeting. The estimated levy would bring in additional money to cover operation costs.  As the District is currently running a deficit, Mr. Bryk explained that the levy increase is essential to continue maintaining current facilities and programs.


    IASB Delegate Assembly:

    Dr. Skogsberg and the Board reviewed the Illinois Association of School Board’s (IASB) 2018 Resolution Committee Report in preparation for the IASB Delegate Assembly during the Joint Annual Conference on November 17th in Chicago.  The report included four resolutions for consideration.


    Regular Board of Education Meeting:


    The Board approved all agenda items for the regular meeting.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.


    Dr. Skogsberg recognized November 21st as Illinois Paraprofessional & School Related Personnel Day, and November 15th as Illinois School Board Member Day, and thanked each of these groups for their dedication to the students of Orland School District 135.


    Students from Centennial School presented several songs in honor of Veterans Day


    Student Recognitions:


    Spelling Bee Winners

    The following students were recognized for their participation in the 40th Annual Orland Open Spelling Bee that took place on October 14, 2018:  Yasmeen Abughazaleh, Alexander Ghannam, Eli Herrera, Jack Hovey, Emma Kanagy, Katherine Kanagy, Rebecca Philip, and Ava Zielke.


    Staff Recognitions:

    I-Innovate Conference Presenters

    The following staff members were recognized for a job well done on their presentations at this summer’s I-Innovate mini technology conference.  The conference was held in August and provided staff an internal opportunity to learn about innovative ways to utilize technology in the classroom. Thank you to the following day two presenters:  Jenny McKendrick, Becky Heidegger, Dan Prorok, Courtney Milligan, Ellen Broad, Katlin Davis, Kristin Beeler, Hala Al-Daker, Jackie Bartolotta, Leanne Brown, Michelle Thorne, Kara McFarlin, Lindsay Zilly, Mary Simms, Laura Prisby, and Joanne Kapsaskis.

    Denise Hazen

    Denise Hazen received a “Those Who Excel” Award from the Illinois State Board of Education last month.  This award is meant to honor those who have made significant contributions to their schools.  Congratulations, Denise!

    Comments (-1)
  • October 15, 2018 (SPECIAL MEETING)

    Posted by Administrator on 10/22/2018

    Special Meeting - October 15, 2018


    Bilingual Staffing - Instructional Recommendations for 2018-19:  Dr. Zeder presented on the District’s current English Language Learner (ELL) population, and specifically noted that Early Childhood has 36% ELL, Primary has 19%; and Intermediate has 16%.  Prairie as a school has an ELL population of 25%, and its Kindergarten is at 30%. Dr. Zeder also noted an increase in junior high-aged students needing ELL services. Projections show that the ELL population will surpass the Special Education population in the near future.  Dr. Zeder explained that at the junior high level, staffing will be reviewed as needed, and at the other levels, the District will remain cost-neutral by swapping bilingual certified staff with staff who are certified with the English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement.


    Debt Options - Continued Discussion:  The Board recommended that they review the budget and options associated with deficit reduction and discuss it further at a special meeting that will take place after the November regular Board of Education meeting.


    Review of New and Revised Board Policies and Board Policies Scheduled for 5-Year Review:  A list of the policies reviewed can be viewed on BoardDocs.


    Intergovernmental Agreement - Economic Development Plan Proposal:  The Board voted unanimously to approve the agreement between the Village of Orland Park and the other non-village taxing bodies to provide a tax incentive to Von Maur as they take up occupancy in the Carson’s property inside Orland Square Mall.

    Comments (-1)
  • October 9, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 10/22/2018

    Committee of the Whole - October 9, 2018


    Visit to China Update - Dr. Skogsberg thanked Dr. Zeder for coordinating the details of the trip, and acknowledged that there were 32 proposals submitted to fill the 20 slots available for the proposed trip.  Proposals were shared with the selection committee. The Board requested to have the trip placed on the Committee of the Whole agenda for discussion. Devin Hodge and Laura Berry led the discussion, stating that, while they firmly believe it would be a great opportunity for our District, due to budget concerns and the geopolitical climate in China, they determined it would be best to table the trip until further notice.  The Board noted that they would like to improve the application process when the trip is revisited in the future.


    Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village of Orland Park -  Dr. Skogsberg noted that the Orland Square Mall is an economic engine of Orland Park, stating that it maintains commercial property value and results in property development.  He explained that Mayor Pekau has worked diligently to attract high-end retailers to the area, and with the departure of Carson’s and Sears, only 50% of the mall anchor stores are in place.   Should the mall not be sustained, it would have a negative impact on the area. Dr. Skogsberg mentioned that the District has partnered with District 230, the Orland Park Public Library, the Orland Park Fire Department, and the VIllage of Orland Park to agree on an incentive for a specific high-end retailer who is looking to fill the Carson’s location.  If the store is not filled, the District would lose 90% of the property tax income from that location. In the proposed agreement, all non-village taxing bodies would abate back 50% of property taxes for 10 years or until the retailer hits the agreed-upon cap. Dr. Skogsberg requested that the Board review the documents provided and then take a vote on the IGA on Monday, October 15th.


    Debt Options - Mr. Bryk explained that debt accumulated in 2005 to assist with additions and improvements at Jerling, Liberty, and Prairie is currently being paid from general funds.  He noted that the issue could be fixed by issuing bonds, which would then allow the District to use the levy to pay operating expenses instead of paying debt out of it. Mr. Bryk discussed two options:  Option one would place an average increase of $39 on taxpayers over the next seven years; and option two would place an average increase of $120 on taxpayers over the next three years. After the two options were proposed, the Board expressed that they do not feel the District is doing enough to close the gap ourselves before enlisting the assistance of the taxpayers, and they would like to have more information on debt reduction options before making a decision.  Dr. Skogsberg noted that the previous Board left money on the table when they decided to not raise the levy, and that is the primary cause of the deficit spending. The Board added that additional programming and unfunded mandates added to the deficit. The Board agreed to discuss this in more detail at a future meeting.


    Sub Pay Rates - Last year, an audit of surrounding school district sub pay rates was conducted and led to the decision to not raise daily rates of pay for substitute teachers.  This year, that same analysis revealed that District 135 is now at the low end of substitute pay rates. Mrs. Owens explained that District 135 is struggling to fill substitutes, and a raise in pay would make the District more competitive in attracting new substitutes.  Mrs. Owens recommended an increase to $100 a day for substitute teachers and nurses.


    Impact of Projected Village Growth - Dr. Skogsberg provided an overview of the potential residential village growth, which could reach approximately 4200 additional homes.  He noted that there have been 289 residential permits pulled since 2015, and that the Village is currently predicting a cap of 75,000 residents. Dr. Skogsberg explained that District 135 services about 10% of the Orland population in our schools, and that currently there are 5200 students in the District.  Should Orland Park expand to 75,000 residents, the District may reach near 6,900 students.


    Attendance centers:  Dr. Zeder noted that at this time, the administration does not recommend a move to K-5 buildings for the 2019-20 school year.  She explained that the early childhood program could create some space in overcrowded buildings by moving all EC students to Centennial School, while the diagnostic team would remain at Park.  Dr. Zeder mentioned that there are currently 146 students in the program, but it typically rises to over 200 students. Dr. Zeder also noted that this would require an update to the playground at Centennial for it to be compliant with 2-5 year olds.  Additionally, Dr. Zeder provided a recommendation to the Board that all 3rd grade students at Centennial move to High Point School. This would result in all primary buildings housing kindergarten through second grade, and all intermediate buildings would house 3rd through 5th grade, which has long been a goal of the administration.  It was noted that these changes would not require boundary changes.


    Board of Education Meeting - October 9, 2018


    The Board approved all agenda items for the regular meeting.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.


    Student Recognitions:


    Reagann Chausse


    Reagann Chausse (former Meadow Ridge student, current Century student) had her Metal Embossed Illuminated Manuscript artwork selected to be in the Illinois Art Education State Student Show! Her artwork was selected out of hundreds of art pieces that were submitted by art educators throughout the state. Reagann will be recognized at the Illinois Art Education Association Conference with 45 other student artists in grades K-12 grade on Saturday, November 10th at a Student Artists Reception in Normal, IL. Her artwork will then travel throughout the state for a whole year to several different schools, libraries, hospitals, and other public venues until next August.  Her piece was also one of 20 chosen to be displayed at the Advocacy Show at the State Capitol on November 28th.


    Staff Recognitions:


    I-Innovate Presenters


    The Board recognized the following staff members on a job well done on their presentations at this summer’s I-Innovate mini technology conference.  The conference was held in August and provided staff an internal opportunity to learn about innovative ways to utilize technology in the classroom.  Today, we recognize the first half of this wonderful group of dedicated staff members. Thank you to the following presenters:

    Kelly Donlevey
    Lauren Musielewicz
    Daniel McNicholas
    Christy Bertrand
    Kris Conway
    Lori Napoli
    Lauren Billo
    Jackie King
    Kaitlin Davis
    Shelley Jenkins
    Emily Day
    Ashley Maro
    Gina Butzow
    Meredith Doyle
    Claire Ligon
    Helen Apostolopoulos
    Carrie Arroyo
    Melissa Bessler
    Morgan Bianchi
    Katherine Hannigan
    Jihan Zughayyer
    Kristy Gilbert


    ABCDE Awards:




    Gina Butzow was nominated by Ausra Zaukas for the value of INSPIRATION.


    (Not Pictured)Stan Paluszkiewicz was nominated by Leanne Brown for the value of RESPECT.



    Lindsay Zilly was nominated by Julie Rein for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.



    (Not Pictured) Jennifer Bennett was nominated anonymously for the value of COMPASSION.



    Vicky Arends was nominated by Karyl Duffy and Julie Rein for the value of COMPASSION.



    Noel Cary-Enriquez was nominated by Julie Rein, Karyl Duffy, and Ellen Broad for the value of COMPASSION.



    Marcie Flores was nominated by Edward Boswell and Lauren Bushwaller for the value of COMPASSION.



    Sue Berry was nominated by Leanne Brown for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 10, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 9/21/2018

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on September 10th, the Board discussed the following topics:

    • Assistant Superintendent John Bryk presented the proposed budget.  The Board inquired about the fund balance, noting that it is currently below the Board-recommended level of 45-55%.  It was noted that there is not a cause for concern with the current fund balance being below the recommended rate, but that the Board and Mr. Bryk will continue to monitor the budget and revisit it if necessary in the future.  There were no additional questions, so the proposed budget would be voted on during the regular meeting that evening.


    • Mr. Bryk also presented a summary of Debt Certificates outstanding until FY 2024. Mr. Bryk presented options for the Board’s consideration to refund the 2012 Debt Certificates with funding bonds paid from Debt Service Extension Base (Tax Levy). The options would relieve some anticipated deficit, and would not impact the District’s operating funds. It was noted that the Board’s direction for the Levy will be sought in November.  Discussion included concerns with increasing needs for student services coinciding with a continued reduction in available funding. Following discussion, Dr. Berry requested Mr. Bryk to meet with each Board member to provide a detailed review of this analysis.


    • Superintendent Dr. DJ Skogsberg presented enrollment history and projections.  He stated that the current enrollment is already higher than what was projected for the District’s beginning enrollment by the State, and we can expect to see the enrollment increasing as the years go by.  Additionally, attention was brought to the special populations that require additional supports as they relate to and impact classroom usage. It was noted that as a result of implementing full-day kindergarten there is an enrollment bubble at 2nd grade (the first class of full-day kindergarten), and that trend is expected to continue. Click here to view the enrollment history and projections document. Continued discussions on these matters will be held at the Board’s upcoming Committee of the Whole meetings on October 9 and November 12.


    • Rick Hansen, Director of Buildings & Grounds, highlighted the summer Buildings & Grounds work that had been done internally, and the significant cost savings experienced as a result of that work.  The bulk of the work that was completed this summer took place at Park and Centennial. The Board thanked Mr. Hansen and his team for their hard work


    • Mr. Hansen also presented an equity study of all school buildings in the District, which included classroom size, building facade, HVAC, plumbing, and more.  It was noted that services are now offered in classrooms that were originally created to house classes, so the original enrollment capacity of each building is no longer accurate. This study helps indicate areas that are due for updates, and which components may require more immediate attention. An upcoming project list will be presented in January for the Board’s review and consideration.  


    • Human Resources Director Suzanne Owens presented a brief staffing update.  She noted that the District is still hiring, but that they are below the requested FTE for the current year.  The HR department continues to evaluate needs, and they currently have the flexibility to hire if needed. Currently, the District is still trying to hire a Behavior Specialist (BCBA) and a school psychologist due to increased student needs and staff leaves of absence.

    During the regular meeting, all agenda items were approved.  To view the agenda and relevant documents, visit BoardDocs.


    Several student and staff recognitions also took place during the regular Board of Education meeting.

    Student Recognitions:

    ISTE Student Representatives

    Alicia Bragassi and Adan Habibi were selected to represent District 135 in June at the International Society for Technology in Education conference.


    Student Technology Ambassadors

    Selena Al-Nasraui, Tyler Koski, Sophia Mendez, Lydia Hernandez, Ella Martin, Ella O'Neill, Evelyn Okonski, Eva Zimmerman, Sarah Enright, Delaney May, Ryan Welcome, and Liliana Munoz were selected to present to our staff at the summer I-Innovate mini technology conference!  This was the first time our students presented at summer professional development for staff. 


    Staff Recognitions:

    ABCDE Awards

    Rick Hansen

    Rick Hansen was nominated by Tori Alvarez for the value of COMPASSION.


    Julie Muchna

    Julie Muchna was nominated by Mary Conway for the value of INSPIRATION.


    Leah Herman

    Leah Herman was nominated by Amanda Buis for the value of COMPASSION.

    Joanne Kapsaskis

    Joanne Kapsaskis was nominated by Mary Conway for the value of INSPIRATION.


    Not Pictured ABCDE recipients: 

    • George Jackson, Debra Mullen, Cinnamon Ollestad, Frank Sendra, and Michael Foy (buildings and grounds) were nominated for Outstanding Achievement by Lilya Lukovska
    • Gerry Primozick and James Patla (buildings and grounds) were nominated by Kim Moriarty for Compassion and Respect



    Special Recognition

    Dr. Michele Sheehan

    Dr. Michele Sheehan was recognized for earning her Doctorate

    Comments (-1)
  • August 13, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 8/29/2018

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on August 13th, the Board discussed the following topics:

    • While not on the agenda, the Board made note of an upcoming 5K run/walk to be hosted by the new Orland 135 Foundation for Education.  The event will take place on September 8th at the Metra station on 153rd Street.
    • The Board reviewed several small changes to a variety of policies.  Those policies and the changes discussed can be found on BoardDocs.
    • An update from the summer school program was provided by Assistant Director of Curriculum Jen Nichols.  Summer school was held at Prairie this year, and took place over four weeks in July. Seven teachers were employed for the reading and math program, and 50 students participated.
    • An update on the Extended School Year program was provided by Bridget Carstensen, who served as the ESY principal this summer.  This year, 212 students participated in the program that was facilitated by 42 certified staff and 30 classified staff. Adaptive physical education and art were added to the curriculum this year.  The theme of ESY was camping, and REI was invited to give a demonstration of camping equipment. ESY students also experienced a visit from therapy animals and had a Special Olympics day.
    • Dean Pappas, special education coordinator, presented a new approach to early childhood diagnostic testing.  In the past, the testing was done one-on-one with students, however, now they approach diagnostics in a group setting.  This allows them to observe the children interacting with others.
    • Human Resources Director Suzanne Owens presented a staffing update, stating that the District was still working to fill several spots for the new year, but that everything was going smoothly.  As of the meeting on August 13th, the District was able to remain cost-neutral compared with last year when hiring FTE employees.
    • Karen Janettas, Director of Student Services and Special Education, presented an enrollment update.  At the time of the meeting, there were 577 new students enrolled, and 710 returning families who had not yet completed verification of residency and/or online re-registration.  A plan to send another mass notification blast was confirmed with Director of Communications Jen Obright.
    • The Student Risk Screening Scale (SRSS) is a tool that helps teachers identify students who are at risk of behavioral issues.  Dean Pappas, special education coordinator, noted the various levels of communication involved when a student is identified. Lower tier situations will be handled at the classroom level, and as a child moves up the tier system, District administrators will work with building staff to provide support.
    • Dr. Lynn Zeder discussed the proposal for the trip to China that will take place in the spring of 2019.  The administrative team made additions to the proposal requirements, including monthly meetings and professional development presentations.  The Board agreed to move forward with accepting proposals, and the application will be made available during the first week of school.
    • Dr. DJ Skogsberg went over the administrative retreat that was held on Thursday, August 9th.  The agenda was narrowed down to four hours and was very prescriptive to prepare for the new school year.  
    • Rick Hansen, director of buildings & grounds, noted that many improvements had been made to Park and Centennial over the summer, and he invited the Board to tour the buildings with him later this week.

    At the regular Board of Education meeting on August 13, 2018, all agenda items were approved.  Visit BoardDocs to view the agenda and attachments.

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  • July 9, 2018

    Posted by Administrator on 7/16/2018

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on July 9, 2018, the Board discussed the following topics:

    • Karen Janettas, Director of Special Education and Student Services, discussed the new Student Risk Screening Scale (SRSS) tool.  Teachers use SRSS to monitor and identify students who may need additional support or interventions related to Social-Emotional Learning.  It will be used in the fall, winter, and spring to monitor student behavior and progress to ensure all students have the tools they need to succeed.  A presentation is available on BoardDocs.


    • Dr. Lynn Zeder, Assistant Superintendent, presented an initial proposal for a delegation of 20 Orland School District 135 representatives to travel to China for an education immersion and learning experience over spring break in March of 2019.  
      • District 135 has a long history of hosting a delegation of educators from China so they can learn about the American public school system.  
      • On their last trip to Orland Park, the delegation extended an invitation to help organize a trip for our staff to visit them.  
      • The Board was in support of moving forward, so a committee will begin accepting applications from staff who are interested in attending.
      • The goal of this trip would be to create Global Ambassadors in the District who would not only serve as a liaison when the Chinese delegation comes to visit, but will also share their experiences and knowledge with staff members throughout the year.


    • Dr. Lynn Zeder, Assistant Superintendent, discussed the curriculum, English Language Learners, and special education grants and how much money the District can expect to receive for the 2018-19 school year compared with the past two years.  These graphs can be found on BoardDocs.


    • The Board and Administration considered moving the Treasurer’s Report at the agenda of regular Board of Education meetings to the updates section at the end of the agenda in the interest of saving time.  It was noted the report will still be publicly available through BoardDocs, and Board members will review it prior to each regular meeting, but the report would no longer be read out loud. The Board and Administration agreed to the change moving forward.


    • The Board of Education reviewed an Intergovernmental Agreement between the Village of Orland Park and Orland School District 135.  This agreement is similar to that of District 230’s and will allow the two government agencies to share necessary information.


    At the regular Board of Education meeting on July 9, 2018, the Board approved all items on the agenda.  To view the agenda and associated documents, visit BoardDocs.

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  • Welcome to BoardBlog!

    Posted by Admin on 6/26/2018

    You asked, we answered!  BoardBlog will keep you up-to-date on all things Board of Education from here on out.  After each committee and regular meeting, a new BoardBlog will be posted. 

    If you want to subscribe to BoardBlog, click the button at the bottom of this post!  We will send an alert every time we post a new blog, and you'll get an email!

    We hope this blog helps you stay in the loop on all Board of Education happenings!



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