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  • March 8, 2021

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 3/8/2021

    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Committee of the Whole - Jerling Jr High

    Citizens’ Remarks: Public Comments ranged from community members stressing opinions of returning students to a full day in-person learning model. 

    Board Reports: 

    Teaching and Learning Board Advisory Committee: The committee met on February 10th, 2021. Mr. Mike Maratea informed the Board that they discussed MAP Testing which took place in January. Maratea stressed that it is hard to compare the testing from last year because testing did not take place in the fall. The committee also discussed the instructional details for teachers to use during the MAP testing as well as communication to send home to parents with details regarding the tests. 

    Technology Board Advisory Committee: The committee met on February 10th, 2021. Sandy Kulak informed the Board that the committee received an update on District office, school secretary’s computers to refresh and replace. The schools computers have been completed and the Technology Department is currently working on the District office computers. The committee also discussed the 8th grade iPad purchase program where families of graduating students have the opportunity to purchase their students device from the District for a fee. The fee breakdown can be found on the Technology website. Families were also emailed details specifically regarding their student’s purchase options. Registration is fully open for all returning students to the District as well as Kindergarten students. More information for registration can be found online. Registration is taking place online this year with all proof of residency documents submitted online. The committee also received an update on the SOPPA Act from the Technology Department. A total of 500 websites have been identified as accessing student information under the SOPPA Act. 

    Communications Board Advisory Committee: The committee met on February 24th, 2021. Mr. Dave Salabi updated the Board that the committee discussed the District Digest, a monthly newsletter that is sent over the email as well as published online. The focus of the newsletter is to focus on positive stories from around the district with an uplifting message. The District wide photo challenge was also discussed, March’s theme is “Start Local, Go Global” a focus on local spots around Orland Park and Orland Hills that OSD135 families like to go to. Mr. Shalabi also talked about the overall communications from the District and he believes that the District is doing a good job at communicating to all stakeholders during this school year. Current communication mediums include emails, robocalls, social media, text messages and website posts. It was also discussed that community members who do not have a child in the District but who are interested in communications can sign up on the District’s website to receive the newsletter as well as Board updates. 

    Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee: The committee met on March 3rd, 2021. Mr. Mike Maratea updated the Board that the committee discussed the potential sale of Silver Lake Country Club in Orland Park. A discussion took place regarding the timeline of purchasing this lot and what that would mean to the District. The committee decided it is not an immediate concern of the current board because it will take years for the sale to go through as well as any construction that may take place after the sale. There was also a Buildings and Grounds update with a possible facility survey for long term planning being discussed. The committee wants to go to the building administration first to hear about their concerns with each building. There were 6 proposals for photography and yearbook contracts. 


    Administrative Reports: Teaching & Learning

    1:1 Device Refresh Program: Instructional Technology Director Chris Bohula provided an overview of the Apple device lease agreement. The lease agreement involves replacement iPads for 1st and 5th graders as well as accessories and macbooks for certain staff members. Out of date equipment is disposed of upon Board approval. This will be approved during ther Regular Board meeting. 

    Testing Update: Assistant Director of Curriculum, Jennifer Nichols, provided an update on upcoming testing. AIR testing with begin on April 5th for grades 3-8 in reading, match, and science for 5th and 8th graders only. ACCESS testing will also be administered during April to all English Learning students (EL). The Department is considering forgoing the MAP testing scheduled for May, and postpone it until the Fall. 

    Summer Academy: Director of Curriculum, Dr. David Snyder, highlighted a variety of enhanced learning opportunities planned for the summer months. Reading and Math Summer School, Summer Math Academy, and a Summer e-Learning web page will all be available to families depending on qualifications for programs. More information regarding the summer academy will be forthcoming. 

    In-Person/ remote Update: April 12th - Junior High; Junior High Survey: Mr. Bryk, Superintendent, reported that overall student enrollment continues to indicate an average of 70% of students attending in-person and 30% ofs students learning remotely. My. Bryk reported that 66% of junior high families responded to the recent survey seeing feedback regarding students attending five days a week in-person or attending remotely. Results indicated a 10% increase for families preferring junior high students to attend every day in-person, which matches the current K-5 learning model. 

    Return to Full-Day Discussion: The board and administration discussed consideration of returning this year’s in-person instruction to a full-day schedule five days a week. My. Bryk presented key areas to consider including transportation, facility preparations, and add the lunch period. Staff concerns regarding a full day of in-person learning included all-day live streaming, potential class schedule changes, maintaining social distancing, and the lunch period. The Board weighed the two schedule options for the remainder of the year and ultimately decided to continue the current schedule with the abbreviated in-person learning, K-5 ending at 12 and junior high ending at 12:45 with specials and check-ins happening in the afternoon via Zoom. 

    2021-22 School Year: Full-Day/ Remote Options: Mr. Bryk noted that the 21-22 school year is planned as a regularly scheduled year with full-day instruction. Further details will be provided as direction is received by the State. 


    Administrative Reports: Finance/Operations

    Yearbook/Photography Proposals: Tammy Maksa, Finance Director, presented proposals for yearbook and school photography services. Two recommendations will be presented at the Regular meeting to approve one-uear contracts with Herff Jones for yearbook and Van Gogh for photography services. There is no cost to the District for these services, the fees are directed to the families. 

    Surplus Disposal - Maintenance Vehicle: Ms. Maksa reported on a recommendation for authorization to dispose of a 2008 Ford F350 Super Duty truck as it is beyond repair. 

    Vaccine Update: Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources, commended the staff’s cooperation and willingness to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and explained some updates from the IDPH and the Cook County Department of Public Health. 



    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Regular Board Meeting - Jerling Jr High


    Kristy Gilbert

    Special Staff Recognition- ISTE Certified: Kristy Gilbert, Library Information Specialist at High Point was recognized as an ISTE Certified Eductor. 

    ABCDE Staff Recognition:

    Faith Swanson

    Faith Swanson was nominated by Katrina Singer for the value of Compassion.

    (not pictured) Carolyn White was nominated by Nicole Mazgay for the value of Compassion.

    Jen Madsen

    Jen Maden was nominated by Nicole Mazgay for the value of Compassion. 

    (not pictured) Sandra Kulak was nominated by Beth Colby for the value of Compassion.

    Silvia Olivio

    Sylvia Olivo was nominated by David Snyder for the value of Compassion.

    Colleen Panega

    Colleen Panega was nominated by Katrina Singer for the value of Compassion.

    Brittany Feltman

    Brittany Feltman was nominated by Carmela Baniewicz and Jenny Miele for the values of Effective Communication and Inspiration. 

    Suzanne Owens

    Suzanne Owens was nominated by William Stine for the value of Outstanding Achievement.

    (Not pictrued) Nicole Detres was nominated by Beth Eliadis for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    Superintendent’s Report

    National Youth Art Month: A video was shared showcasing select student artwork from each school within the district. The Board commended the students for sharing their creative and budding talents. 

    March 11: parent Education Series - Shifting from Punishment to Opportunity: The next parent education series is scheduled for March 11 at 6:0 pm as part of the Restorative Practices Parent Academy. 

    March 15-April 9: Panorama Social Emotional Learning Assessment for Students: Mr. Bryk reported on the upcoming Panorama assessment for students. Notification was sent this week and families are encouraged to have their child participate. 

    March 22-26: Spring Break: Mr. John Bryk noted that Spring Break will take place Mach 22-26. Updated travel guidelines from the IDPH will be emailed to families and staff.

    FOIA Request: One request came in and one was filled.

    Comments (-1)
  • February 8, 2021

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 2/8/2021

    Monday, February 8, 2021

    Committee of the Whole - Century Jr High


    Citizens’ Remarks: There were no Citizens’ Remarks. 


    Board Reports: 

    Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Michael Marate updated the Board on this meeting which was held on February 3rd. He commented that Tom Sullivan, who is from ABC Bus Services, gave an update about the app Ride 260 which tracks the buses while out on the route. A couple of the parents that sit on the committee had issues with the app that Tom Sullivan talked through. ABC, the bus service, will look into solving the app issues in order to make it more seamless. The committee also discussed capital projects that still need to take place this year including lighting, bleacher updates, and the purchase of a new truck. The committee also discussed the need for new roofs at some schools. They hope to replace them during the 2021-2022 school year at Liberty, Jerling and Prairie. A financial report was also given during this committee meeting and an update that photo and yearbook bids that will come in March. Registration fees will not be increased for this upcoming school year and the transportation fee increase is forthcoming for next year. The committee also discussed the second part of the CARES Act. The District expects to receive $1.9 million from this Act. This money has to last until September 2023. Board President, Linda Peckham-Dodge also added that the District does not have a spending deficit this year. 

    Policy/Personnel Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Devin Hodge updated the Board about the Policy/Personal BAC Meeting which was held on January 20th. The committee reviewed the COVID-19 positivity rate within the District which was noted as “significantly low”. Mr. Hodge believes that everyone within the District should be commended for this percentage. There was also a discussion about the District’s collaboration with a Meadow Ridge parent who will be administering the COVID-19 vaccine. Mr. Lynn Zeder joined the meeting and discussed the plan on staffing for the 2021-2022 school year which usually begins this time of year. Administration is currently focused on staffing needs for the upcoming school year. A remote learning option will be included in the planning for next year. Staffing plans are focused on reducing class sizes at the junior high levels. President Peckham-Dodge added that the Board believes that ISBE will mandate a full remote learning option for 2021-2022 school year and stressed that the board is not operating under the fact that school will be fully remote, but an option will be available. A question will be included within registration asking parents if they would rather enroll their child in a full remote learning option or in-person learning option for the 2021-2022 school year so that the administration can start planning. 

    Teaching & Learning Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Sandy Kulak updated the Board on this meeting which was held on January 13th. The committee discussed a panamera survey that was given by the Department of Curriculum. The survey that was given had a focus on social-emotional learning as well as overall student well-being. The panorama team at each building will analyze the results in order to adjust towards needs. The committee also held a brief discussion on cultural awareness, as well. 

    Technology Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Dave Shalabi updated the Board about the Technology meeting which was held on February 3rd. The committee discussed the future evaluation of Seesaw and Google Classroom and opportunities for improvement.They also discussed that 8th grader device purchasing is the same as in years past. The committee also discussed the Student Online Privacy Protection Act (SOPPA) which will be presented later within this meeting. 


    Administrative Reports: Finance & Operations

    Vaccine Update: Mrs. Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources, updated the Board about the vaccine distribution. The District is fortunate to have a Meadow Ridge parent who is a Jewel pharmacist working with the District to vaccinate staff in-house. The week before this meeting was held, there were two vaccination days held at Meadow Ridge School where 120 staff members were vaccinated. 120 staff members are currently scheduled to receive the vaccine the week of February 15th at Orland Jr High. To date, 363 staff members within District 135 have received either one or both doses of the vaccine. After the vaccination drive next week, 40 staff members will remain to be vaccinated which Mrs. Owens will work with the pharmacist to get those remaining vaccines scheduled. The Board expressed sincere gratitude towards the parent who is helping vaccinate the District and hopes to honor her in an upcoming meeting. Superintendent John Bryk added that District 135 is one of few south suburban schools who have had this opportunity according to his conversations with surrounding districts. 


    Administrative Reports: Teaching & Learning

    Update- Student Online Privacy Protection Act (SOPPA)- Director of Instructional Technology, Chris Bohula, gave an update about this Act. It currently is in effort but there are new guidelines that will be placed on July 1st. To see Mr. Bohula’s presentation regarding the SOPPA Act, click here. 

    In-person/ Remote Update- Superintendent John Bryk gave an update on the percentage of in-person students and remote students. There has not been much of a change, the District sits at 68% in-person and 32% full remote percentage. A breakdown was asked for Kindergarten through 5th grade versus the jr high numbers. Mr. Bryk responded that a those numbers can be given during the Regular Board Meeting. President Peckham-Dodge asked Mr. Bryk for plans after the vaccination process and if there was an plan on going back full-time in-person learning. Mr. Bryk stated that the District has been trying to think ahead about jr high students returning for everyday in-person learning rather than the alternating schedule. Mr. Bryk projected that two weeks after Spring Break, the 6-8th grade in-person students could return to in-person learning everyday like the K-5 grades are currently enrolled in. Mr. Bryk believes that more traveling will happen during Spring Break which is why he is asking for two weeks after the Break to give a buffer and time for self-quarantine for any families who did travel. Mr. Bryk stated he is not comfortable extending the hours of in-person learning to include lunch. He does not think that would be feasible and would like to keep the hours the way that they are moving forward but is open to adjusting the junior high in-person learning to five days a week. Ms. Tara Schreiber asked if the District has talked to the staff about the adjustment of in-person learning. Mr. Bryk responded he believes there would be some uncomfortable feelings from the staff regarding the class sizes that the jr high students and teachers would be in if they were to move to a five days of in-person learning. The Board is recommending that the District should move forward with moving in-person jr high students to everyday in-person instruction starting in the middle of April. 

    2021-22 School Year - Mr. Bryk asked the junior high principles to evaluate what staffing would need to be done to get class sizes to the mid-twenties for the 21-22 school year to which they found it wouldn’t be an extreme amount of change. The District will bring on additional staff in order to decrease class sizes. Mr. Bryk also stated that he would prefer not to live stream classrooms next school year. 

    Monday, February 8, 2021

    Regular Board Meeting - Century Jr High


    Special Staff Recognition- Masters Recognitions: Sandy Sotzen, Resource Teacher at Liberty School, was recognized for becoming a published Author, “Why Do They Do That?”

    ABCDE Staff Recognition:

    (Not Pictured) Tammy Maksa was nominated by Brian Fogarty and Dave Snyder for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured) Bethany Ingram was nominated by Jill Czerwinski for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    Mary Karyl Duffy

    (Pictured) Mary Karyl Duffy was nominated by Colleen Martin for the value of Compassion. 

    Holly K

    (Pictured) Holly Kokonas was nominated by Marissa Rudolph for the value of Inspiration. 

    (Not Pictured) Lisa Leach was nominated by Ausra Zaukas for the value of Inspiration. 

    (Not Pictured) Renee Cagala was nominated by Susan Jachymiak for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured) Kelly Hickey was nominated by Katelyn McBrady for the value of Compassion. 

    Mary Jo

    (Pictured) Mary Jo Noreikis was nominated by Maureen Nugent for the value of Inspiration. 

    Lesley Winkler

    (Pictured) Lesley Winkler was nominated by Jennifer Mase for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    February 16: 2021-22 Kindergarten Registration Begins: The Teaching and Learning Department will open Kindergarten registration on February 16th. All documents will be uploaded on-line for parents. Families will not have to bring in documents in-person to register their child. Families do not need to pay their registration fees when they register their child. If families register by June 1st they will receive a cheaper registration price. 

    March 2: Registration/Residency: On March 2nd, 1-8th grade registration will open online for current families. 

    Donation to OJH Library: Mrs. Rita Hall has donated her annual amount of $1,500 to the Orland Jr High Library. 

    District Compliance Visit: Mr. John Bryk stated that the District is doing extremely well. District 135 has gone two years without any issues. There are no recommendations on doing any better because the District is already doing “extremely well”. 

    New Board Member Orientation: Four new board members will be elected in April. A smooth transition is in the works right now in order to train the new members with everything involved with the Board of Education including meeting Departments within the District. 

    FOIA Request: Two requests came in and two were filled. 


    Comments (-1)
  • January 11, 2021

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 1/11/2021

    Monday, January 11, 2021

    Committee of the Whole - Orland Jr High

    Citizens’ Remarks: There were no Citizens’ Remarks. 


    Board Reports: 

    Teaching & Learning Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Sandy Kulak provided an overview for the meeting held on December 16th, 2020. The committee discussed the new curriculum state mandates. Ms. Nichols relayed the new mandates that address the LBGTQ Bill that goes into effect for the 2021-2022 school year. The bill states that all public schools to introduce instruction that accurately portrays the contributions made by the LBGTQ community. The intent is to provide students with a more complete picture and understanding of American society and to promote a more safe and positive school climate. Updates to the curriculum will include historical figures who helped shape this society as well as the world. ACCESS Testing for the English Learners program was initially supposed to take place after winter break but it has been postponed until March. Dr. Lynn Zeder and Jennifer Nichols from the Teaching & Learning Department are working on the schedule for the ACCESS Test but believe, at the time of this meeting, that testing will take place after Spring Break. The committee also reviewed the MAP testing that will take place this winter for all students between the grades of 2nd - 8th. This test will provide information that will assist teachers in planning for the rest of the year. Last spring, a Social Emotion survey was sent to parents last spring and in response to that, the District is providing sessions throughout the year for parents to get more information. It was also stated that  during the February Board Advisory Committee meeting, the Teaching & Learning BAC will look at class sizes. 

    Finance & Operations Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Maratea provided an overview of the meeting that was held on January 6th, 2021. The committee discussed an update on FEMA and also found out that the District will get about four times more money from the relief act as they did from the CARES act. The committee also had an audit presentation during their meeting that will be presented to the Board later in the Committee of the Whole meeting. The audit did find that the District is doing an excellent job. The committee also had an update from Buildings & Grounds about the Air Purifiers that are being utilized throughout the schools. 


    Administrative Reports: Finance & Operations

    Annual Audit Review Presentation: An auditor from the audit company presented their findings to the Board. To watch this presentation, please click here

    Buildings & Grounds - Air Purifier Update: Mr. Rick Hansen provided this update to the board. The District has 275 Air Purifiers, 273 of which are in operation right now throughout the 10 buildings in the District. The focus was placing them in rooms with the most children and staff. For example, Park school has about 24 units while Centennial has about 37 units. The size of the building and the amount of classrooms comes in to play when dividing up the filtration systems. Communication was sent out to all building principals that the staff that occupy the rooms with the filtration devices in them are responsible for the unit. At night, the night staff will shut the units down and they will stay off over the weekend. So far, the plan is going well. Some requests have been made for certain rooms that may have been missed. The units are not in every classroom, but in spaces that are 700 square feet or larger. 

    Federal Stimulus - COVID Relief Package: Superintendent Mr. John Bryk explained that a package of 54.3 billion dollars was given to the state for educational expenses. Official communication should be coming “soon” from ISBE regarding the amount per school. Conversation is still taking place at the state level regarding details about this package but the District is expecting $2 million that can be used on meals & technology, special education, mental health services, summer learning, school facility repairs, and machine & technology that deal with air quality. 


    Administrative Reports: Teaching & Learning

    Return to School Update: Beginning the week of January 25th, all K - 5th grade will be able to attend in-person learning 5 days a week and jr high students will be alternating in-person learning on Wednesdays. The alternating Wednesday schedule for Jr High students can be found on the website. Mr. Bryk urged families to keep students home if they do not feel well and if international travel occurred, to quarantine for 14 days. Board President, Ms. Peckham-Dodge inquired about how the Kindergarten - 2nd-grade teachers are doing during this learning model. Mr. Dave Snyder, Director of Curriculum, stated that carrying out the live-stream learning model as well as teach the in-person students is difficult. The department has helped where they can as well as provide building substitutes for each building. Mr. Snyder also did touch upon the benefits that the live-stream has provided as well. Ms. Peckham-Dodge addressed Human Resource Director, Suzanne Owens, and asked about building substitutes. Ms. Owens reported that two building subs have been hired for each building which has helped immensely. Special teachers are also assisting in the classroom when they can because their special classes are a recorded session and are not taught live. Mr. Bryk chimed in with praise towards the Human Resource Department for all of their efforts with staffing as well as contact tracing. 

    Testing Update: Ms. Jennifer Nichols discussed that beginning the following week, the MAP testing would begin. 2nd-grade students who are learning remote will be invited in while 3rd-8th grade students will test in their current learning model. Ms. Nichols reiterated that the ACCESS test has been pushed back to March-May. The school district will wait and conduct these tests in April, after Spring Break. The Department is still waiting on learning more information regarding the testing as well as requiring students to come into the building to test. IAR required 90% of students to take the test for the report card. 


    Review of New & Revised Board Policies - 1st Reading

    • Policy 3:40 Superintendent
    • Policy 3:40-E Exhibit - Checklist for the Superintendent Employment Contract Negotiation Process
    • Policy 4:80 Accounting and Audits
    • Policy 4:90 Student Activity and Fiduciary Funds
    • Policy 6:20 School Year Calendar and Day
    • Policy 6:340 Student Testing and Assessment Program
    • Policy 7:100 Health, Eye, and Dental Examinations; Immunizations; and Exclusion of Student
    • Policy 7:140 Search and Seizure
    • Policy 7:300 Extracurricular Activities

    Monday, January 11, 2021

    Regular Board Meeting - Orland Jr High



    Special Staff Recognition: Sandy Sotzen, Resource Teacher at Liberty School, was recognized for becoming a published author, “Why Do They Do That?”

    Sandy Sotzen


    ABCDE Staff Recognition:

    Dan Prorok

    Dan Prorok was nominated by Courtney Basiorka for the value of Inspiration. 

    (not pictured)Samantha Witczak was nominated by Allison Swiatkowski for the value of Compassion. 


    Elizabeth Fasel was nominated by Lauren Bushwaller and Ceddrick Hunter for the value of Compassion.

    Sam Witczak

    Francesca Strolia was nominated by Lauren Bushwaller and Ceddrick hunter for the value of Compassion. 

    Holly Krokonas

    Holly Kokonas was nominated by Amanda Tonra for the value of Inspiration. 

    Claire Badke

    Claire Badke was nominated by Halina Ruiz for the value of Inspiration. 

    Katherine Berens

    Katherine Berens was nominated by Lydia Chung for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured) Ann Czerwonka was nominated by Carmen Briseno for the value of Compassion. 

    Katie Curtin

    Katie Curtin nominated by Anonymous for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Kelly Kelly nominated by Laila Safia for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Tracy Latting nominated by Laila Safia for the value of Inspiration. 

    (Not Pictured) Catherine Tinny nominated by Laila Safia for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured) Marial Pontillo nominated by Lauren Gute for the value of Inspiration. 

    Hollly K

    Holly Kokonas nominated by Lindsey and Matthew Sapp for the value of OUtstanding Achievement. 

    Annemarie Chiapetti

    (Not Pictured) Annemarie Chiapetti nominated by Lindsey Sapp for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Val Johnson nominated by Lindsey Sapp for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Dali Hoover nominated by Sara Crowley for the value of Compassion. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    Social Emotional Learning - Parent Education: Dr. Snyder, Director of Curriculum said the District is looking forward to an event on January 21st. They are beginning a series on Parent Education with restorative practices. The award-winning authors of the book “Hacking School Discipline” have been working with District teachers and staff on restorative practices. Then, starting on January 21st, a parent education series will be available on Facebook and the District website for parents to tune in and watch. Six different sessions will take place from January to April. An explanation of the series, topics, and times can be found on the District website. 

    Monthly District-Wide Photo Challenge - Superintendent John Bryk urged families to keep an eye out for the District-Wide photo challenge that takes place. Families are urged to take pictures or draw something that corresponds with that month's theme. Families have submitted snowmen, veteran’s videos, and winter-themed activities that then been compiled into a video showing off different talents and activities. 


    Consent Agenda

    The following items were approved: 

    • Minutes: December 14, 2020, Committee of the Whole Meeting
    • Minutes: December 14, 2020, Board of Education Meeting
    • Minutes: December 14, 2020, Closed Session
    • Accounts Payable as of 12/31/20: $683,778.39
    • IMPREST FUND- as of 12/31/20: $9,806.85
    • PAYROLL SUMMARY as of 12/31/20: $3,624,960.31 
    • Personnel Report, as presented 


    Board Motions

    The following items were approved: 

    • 20221-2022 Official School Calendar
    • Amendment of Superintendent’s Contract
    Comments (-1)
  • December 14th, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 12/14/2020

    Citizens’ Remarks: There were no Citizens’ Remarks. 


    Board Reports: 

    Policy/Personnel Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Laura Berry provided an overview of the meeting held on December 7th, 2020. The committee meeting discussed the COVID-19 Metrics page on the District 135 website. Comments were made about the number of positive and close contact cases and how they are below the average for Orland Park, which is commendable. The committee congratulated teachers, students, and staff for keeping their peers safe during the pandemic. Covid-19 communication was also discussed at the meeting. Some believed there is too much communication being sent out but Ms. Berry said she thinks otherwise, that the District is doing a good job of keeping all stakeholders informed. 

    Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Peckham-Doge discussed the Finance/Operations Committee meeting, starting with a financial update which included the CARES Act and FEMA. Information was also given about the audit that was performed on the District, it came back clean and will be presented in January to the committee and the Board by the audit company. The committee also discussed Buildings & Grounds conducting a survey of the District buildings. The committee has asked the department to come up with an official recommendation about the survey including a space study at the next meeting. Ms. Peckham-Dodge also discussed PPE. The supplies are being used as intended and also being replenished as needed. An update on the STARS Before/After School Care Program was also given. There are 109 students enrolled in the program at the time of their meeting. STARS will also try to run a winter camp over the holidays for the students when there is no school.

    Technology Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Shalabi discussed the Technology Committee Meeting. At their meeting, the committee discussed the Students Online Protection Act (SOPA) which will have updates in July 2021. The committee also discussed how well the Technology Department is doing. They have solved over 7,500 open Technology Help Desk tickets. 


    Administrative Reports: 

    Teaching & Learning Return to School Update: Superintendent John Bryk gave an update on the total number of students who are learning in-person and online. There has been a shift of in-person students moving to remote learning, about 8% total. To view all of the numbers in detail, please click here to watch the presentation. Mr. Bryk expects numbers to shift again after Winter Break but the District will not request families to fill out another Commitment Form for the second half of the year. The next category Mr. Bryk discussed the STARS Before/After School Care Program. The STARS program is planning on operating a camp during winter break on December 28th, 29th, and 30th, as well as January 4-6. Hours of the camp will be 6:30 am - 6:00 pm. Registration is open until December 20th. In order for the camp to operate, 16 students need to attend. Food service will be provided during winter break. Meals will be distributed at Century Jr High from 10:30 - 12:00 pm and 5 meals per child will be provided. Meal pick up is 12/21, 12/28, and 01/4. Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources talked about the Health Agency Update. Since the last Board meeting, the District has done a good job of keeping the case number low throughout the District buildings. Mrs. Owens applauded all people within the District for their efforts. The CDC released new guidelines that reduced the number of days of quarantine for close contact cases: People are allowed to leave quarantine after day 11 of quarantine if they show no symptoms. If people get a negative test after day 5 of quarantine and it is negative, people are released after 7 days instead of 14 days as before. The Illinois Department of Public Health is still following the “gold standard” of quarantine, rather than the new CDC guidelines, which is 14 days, and that is what the District will continue to follow for their staff and students. Board Member, Ms. Kulak asked Mrs. Owens about substitutes within the buildings. Mrs. Owens said staffing has improved greatly between the counts going down as well as the employment of 1 building substitute at each school. The District is working on employing a second substitute at each building to help with the staffing issues. Mr. Bryk spoke on the vaccination distribution and pointed to the Illinois Department of Public Health website if families have any questions about the vaccination distribution plan as well as more information. Mr. Bryk then moved on to discuss the future of in-person learning options for the District. The District plans to maintain the current schedule for the self-contained and early childhood programs. They also will continue the M, T, TH, F 8:00-12:00 pm and 1:30 pm - 2:30 p.m. instruction. Mr. Bryk proposed adding Wednesdays as an in-person student attendance day, as well. All Kindergarteners would attend and Jr High students would alternate with A/B days on Wednesdays. Click here for a schedule for A/B alternating days for Jr High students. Communication went out to families regarding the addition of Wednesday in-person learning two days after the Board meeting on December 16th. That letter can be found here. Board President Ms. Peckham-Dodge asked to talk about August 2021 and what needs to happen in order to get students back in the buildings for Fall 2021. She presented boundary changes, space issues, class sizes as ideas to prepare before the next school year. Mr. Mareta asked to wait for more information about the vaccine before going forward with plans. Discussion took place from multiple board members regarding the different topics that should be focused on and planned for before Fall 2021. Community Safety was also discussed within the Update. Mr. Bryk reminded families to continue social distancing, wear a mask, and do not send a student to school while waiting for a COVID-19 test result. Mr. Bryk also warned families about the scams that are taking place right now. He asked all families to make sure not to give out identification information and verify all information before releasing it. 


    Finance and Operations 

    Workers Compensation Renewal: Tammy Maksa, Director of Business Services, spoke about the workers compensation renewal that will be up for renewal that the regular board meeting taking place that night. The District did receive a credit for the premium for 2021 which is less than what the District paid last year. 

    2020-2022 PTABS Resolution: This is a resolution prevention plan for a company to work with us and other taxing bodies. 

    2020 Tax Levy: There were no changes for the presentation of the 2020 Tax Levy that was brought to the Board during the November meeting. 

    Air Purifiers: Rick Hansen, Director of Buildings & Grounds spoke on buying HEPA filters for all classrooms that are over 275 feet. These would filter the particles in the air 4 times an hour. These would filter out the COVID-19 virus. These would be stand alone machines that would cost $125,000. The units carry a 5 year warranty and the filters have a 5 year life span. The machines would be at medium speed which is a quiet function when teachers and students are in the room and overnight the machines would be moved up to a higher level to exchange out the air. The machines will go in classrooms as well as larger spaces such as the nurses room or office space. 


    Personnel & Policy Reports

    Stewards of Children Training: Administration took place in the Stewards of Children Training on November 14th. The training is a child sexual abuse precention program that includes video as well as interactive conversation with those in attendance. At the conclusion of the training, everyone who attended the training became certified to conduct the training for staff as well as any families. 


    Monday, December 14, 2020

    Regular Board Meeting - Jerling Jr High



    ABCDE Staff Recognitions: 

    (Not Pictured) Kris Conway nominated by Christine Czarnecki for the value of Effective Communication.

    ABCDE Nom

    Karyl Duffy nominated by Jeanette Marrella for the value of Compassion.

    (Not Pictured) Robin Garcia nominated by Dave Snyder for the value of Compassion.

    (Not Pictured) Mary Simms nominated by Susan Jachymiak for the value of Inspiration.

    Jennifer Madsen

    Jennifer Madsen nominated by Emily Fellman for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured)Samantha Parker nominated by Kelly Donlevy for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    Delaney Nock

    Delaney Nock nominated by Lori Brosnan for the value of Inspiration. 


    Special Recognitions: NJHS Inductees & Advisers

    NJHS Advisers

    The virtual induction of the National Junior Honor Society can be seen at this link. The three junior high Assistant Principals and NJHS Advisers were recognized for devoting their time and effort to NJHS. The following people were recognized: 

    • Heather Conrad, Assistant Principal - Century Junior High
    • Ceddrick Hunter, Assistant Principal - Orland Junior High
    • Stacy Westin, Assistant Principal - Jerling Junior High
    • Patricia Godfrey, NJHS Adviser - Century Junior High
    • Jennifer Bennett, NJHS Advisor - Century Junior High
    • Michelle Kedzierski, NJHS Adviser - Orland Junior High
    • Lindsey Hamideh, NJHS Adviser - Orland Junior High
    • Faith Swanson, NJHS Adviser - Jerling Junior High
    • Wes Rusick, NJHS Adviser - Jerling Junior High


    Superintendent’s Report

    Giving Tree Donation - Aileen S. Andrew Foundation: The foundation annually gives $5,000 to Century in support of their giving tree. Mr. Bryk thanked them for their continued support.

    Orland Township Gift Tags: Staff from across the District, about 90 employees, took gift tags for students (clothing and toys) and fulfilled their needs during the holiday season. Mr. Bryk thanked all who participated in the kind gesture. 

    December 21-23 & January 7,8 - Remote Learning Days: Mr. Bryk reminded all families and staff of the Full Remote Learning Days on December 21, 22, 23 and January 7, and 8. The District will send out a reminder the week of winter break, as well. 

    Modified: 2020-21 Board Meeting Schedule - Continuance of Junior High Rotation: Board Meetings will continue to be held at the junior highs on a rotating basis in order to maximize space. The rotation schedule can be found here

    Proposed 2021-22 School Calendar: The proposed first day of school is August 25th, 2021, with Institute Days taking place the 23rd and 24th. District 230’s first day of school is August 13th. The last day of school, barring any emergency days would be Tuesday, June 7th, 2022. The proposed calendar can be found here and will be approved during the January Board Meeting. 

    Survey Results - Parent/Teacher Conferences: Dr. Lynn Zeder, Assistant Superintendent, spoke about the survey that was filled out regarding the virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences that happened the week of Thanksgiving. She stated that multiple people were pleased with how the conferences went virtually. Parents were able to participate without having to leave work and therefore more conferences were attended. 87% of Junior High Parents attended this year, which is about 10% more than last year. Because of this, the District may implement a virtual conference day every year going forward. 

    FOIA Request: 1 FOIA request was received and it was completed. 


    Consent Agenda

    The following items were approved: 

    • Minutes: November 9, 2020, Committee of the Whole Meeting
    • Minutes: November 9, 2020, Board of Education
    • Minutes: November 9, 2020, Closed Session
    • Accounts Payable: 11/30/20 - $1,157,605.96
    • Petty Cash/ Imprest Fund: 11/30/20 - $3,215.53
    • Payroll Summary: 11/30/20 - $3,519,371.09
    • Personnel Report, as presented
    • Acceptance of Donation: From Aileen S. Andrew Foundation to Century Jr High, for CJH’s Giving Tree, in the amount of $5,000. 


    Board Motions

    • Amended Resolution: Destruction of Closed Session Audio Records - APPROVED
    • Bid: Standby Snow Removal Services - APPROVED
    • 2021 Workers’ Compensation Self-Insurance Proposal - APPROVED
    • Resolution: Authorizing Intervention in All 2020-2022 Tax Year Appeals - APPROVED
    • Resolution: Authorizing and Directing Tax Levy for the Year 2020 - APPROVED
    Comments (-1)
  • November 9, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 11/17/2020

    Monday, November 9, 2020

    Committee of the Whole - Century Jr High


    Citizens’ Remarks: During the Citizen’s Remarks, in-person staff of District 135 discussed topics regarding staffing with nurses in school buildings and asking to teach remotely if they have to quarantine at home. Staff also asked about Human Resources and brought up the delay that some staff members are experiencing in communications with the HR Department regarding COVID-19 tests and protocols. Staff also asked if the COVID-19 metrics could be updated daily on the website rather than weekly. Other staff members asked the Board what metrics they are using in regards to closing school buildings due to high COVID-19 cases. Staff also requested the students do not return to school on January 7th after winter break but rather return on January 17th in order for families and students to quarantine after the possibility of traveling over the holiday break. Electronic comments were also accepted during this meeting. The electronic comments included parents from District 135 requesting that the Board bring all students back to a fully in-person learning model. Parents of the District also requested that staff of the District follow stricter guidelines about traveling and subjecting themselves to the virus as well as requested that the District move back to a Full Remote Learning Model. 


    Board Reports: 

    Teaching & Learning Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Kulak provided an overview of the meeting held on October 14th, 2020. The main topic of discussion during this meeting was the classroom sizes and breakdowns of in-person students versus remote learners at each grade level and school. The committee had some concerns about certain class sizes at some buildings being too large. They discussed ways to combat large classes sizes such as moving to bigger spaces. The committee would like to hear from the board in regards to large class sizes and how to combat them in order to keep both students and staff safe. Dr. Lynn Zeder made mention of the class sizes and said she would go more in depth about the updated numbers later in the meeting during the Return-to-School Update. 


    Communications Board Advisory Committee: Ms. Schreiber provided an update from the Communications Advisory Committee meeting that was held on October 21, 2020. The board asked one of the members, Ms. Lauren Bushwaller how she felt her staff was doing with the communications from the District. Ms. Bushwaller commented that the word on the street is that the staff seems to be happy with the communication sent out. The committee also briefly talked about the idea of community members being able to subscribe to district newsletters and communications even if they do not have a child enrolled in OSD135. 


    Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee: Mr. Maratae provided an overview of the meeting. The committee expects to apply for the CARES Act and for FEMA reimbursement. The tax levy was also talked about at this meeting which will be presented later in this meeting by Tammy Maksa, Director of Finance. The committee does recommend approving the levy for the highest amount. In regards to the meal service, the District is supplying over 900 meals a day to students within the District. The District currently has a 12 week supply of PPE with a 100% attendance rate. Hand sanitizer is in every room as well as wipes. Trifold Plexiglass is also available for any staff member of OSD135, they just need to request it for their classroom. Bus routes are running right now and it was discussed that more busses and routes would be added if a bus had more than 30 students riding on the bus. The committee would like to see one kid per seat on the bus. 


    Administrative Reports: 

    Teaching & Learning Return-to-School Update: Dr. Lynn Zeder thanked the Board for approving the professional learning day before the in-person learning model took place. She spoke about how the staff took time to learn and prepare for the students who were coming in-person. She also spoke about the phase-in schedule and how the students reacted very positively to coming back into the building, making reference to the first day jitters and how these kids didn’t seem to be nervous to come to school because they had already been learning and had met their teacher over Zoom. She also spoke about the benefits of live streaming and how learning has been seamless between the two mediums of instruction. Dr. Zeder also urged staff members to approach the Teaching and Learning department if they are struggling to talk through issues they may be having. The department is traveling to schools and are working to be available to staff if needed. Dr. Lynn Zeder also spoke about the in-person class sizes that were causing some of the committee members concern. There were some classes where all students were coming on site, which meant that 23 students would be all together. There are additional staff members that are helping the larger in-person class sizes. Dr. Zeder also stated that about 140 students have decided to move back to the Full Remote Learning model after previously choosing in-person, so that decision has also affected in-person class sizes. The primary schools range from 62%-71% of students learning in-person. The intermediate buildings have the highest percentage of in-learning students at 67-73%. The Jr High buildings range from 64%-69% of students learning in-person. Dr. Zeder also touched upon the idea that following Thanksgiving Break, some staff members will be returning from leave which will help alleviate some of the higher class sizes. Mr. Maratae requested that the Board receive an updated list of all class sizes and Dr. Lynn Zeder said she could have that created. Dr. Lynn Zeder also spoke about the English Learning program as well as the self-contained program and how those students are coming four days a week to receive more instruction. 


    Cook County Department of Health Update: Mrs. Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources, spoke about how the Cook County Department of Health has been very supportive for OSD135. Mrs. Owens recognized that the District has created a weekly COVID-19 Metrics page on the website that is updated every Monday with the previous week’s positive and close contact rates. Once the page has been updated, communication is sent to all stakeholders making them aware of the new numbers per building. Contact tracing for the District is done by Human Resources and the building Administrators and nurses. Mrs. Owens is in constant contact with a Cook County epidemiologist about the school COVID-19 cases as well as the surrounding areas numbers. It was discussed that even though the area around the District is in a high transmission of cases right now, the epidemiologist stated that schools are doing a really good job because they are managing the cases and keeping the students and staff safe. If any staff member shows symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home until they can get a COVID-19 test. If they are positive, contact tracing takes place and that is reported to the Cook County Department of Health. If a student is experiencing symptoms, each school nurse works with the family as the student remains at home until they either get an alternative diagnosis, they are tested for COVID-19, or they remain at home for 10 days as outlined by the County of Health. Mrs. Owens also talked about the potential of an outbreak. Previously, an outbreak was defined as two or more cases within a classroom. On November 4th, the Department of Health updated that definition to five or more classes linked to a common location within a 14 days period. The linked cases could be within a school or within a classroom or across multiple locations if there are siblings at different schools across the district. Board Member Mr. Devin Hodge asked if the COVID-19 Metrics page could be updated daily rather than weekly. Communication does go out to all families within the building of the positive case but the Board would like to see the webpage updated daily. The Board talked about students and families needing information regarding other schools within the District so that every stakeholder within the District is informed about what is going on. Mrs. Owens agreed that the COVID-19 Metrics can be updated every morning in regards to the previous day's positive case numbers in each building as well as the number of close contacts. Board Member Ms. Sandy Kulak asked Mrs. Owens if Human Resources has enough staffing to assist in contact tracing and all the job duties that come along with the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. Owens stated that Human Resources did hire a new Benefits Coordinator who started the week before this meeting and she was assisting in all COVID-19 related issues. Positive cases and close contact cases are of priority for Human Resources. Multiple personnel have assisted Human Resources with contact tracing for positive cases. Mrs. Owens also addressed that all information is being shared in a timely manner and also stressed that building Administrators and nurses are aware of the COVID-19 process and should be utilized by staff if they have questions.  


    Substitutes Update: Mrs. Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources, talked about the District’s biggest issue right now is finding substitutes for staff members who are quarantining or who have tested positive with COVID-19. The District has adjusted the work day for substitutes so that more are inclined to accept assignments because their work day will end after the in-person learning time of 12:00 for K-5th or 12:45 for Jr High. In relation to that, the Teaching & Learning Department has also collaborated with building administrators that if a class has a substitute teacher on a certain day, their afternoon session would be asynchronous learning. The District is hiring more substitutes at a faster rate than in the past due to the increased substitute pay rate that has been implemented. At the December Board meeting, a recommendation will be made to hire three December graduates to fill positions that have been vacated since the start of the school year or because of student needs. The District has also recalled paraprofessionals that were honorably discharged in the spring. Full-time District substitutes are also being discussed and Human Resources is working on the hiring processes as well as analyzing where these positions would be best fit. At a minimum, each building would have one assigned permanent substitute but that number could increase depending on the December graduate program. 


    Building & Grounds Staffing: The District plans to put out a bid for snow removal as an extra measure to ensure that all buildings are safe during the winter months. Buildings & Grounds is aware that during this time, quarantine can remove some of their usual employees and keep them home so to ensure that all buildings are acceptable during a regular snowfall, the District wants to have a back up plan with a snow removal company. There have also been issues filling custodial positions around the District. As a backup, the District is looking to have a cleaning company on standby as an extra precaution during the winter months seeing as some custodial positions have not been filled as well as the idea that some members of the staff may need to quarantine at some point during the year. The District does not want to have to shut down a building because they do not have enough people to clean the building, therefore, they are looking at different backup plans and hope to have some solutions by the December 14th regular Board meeting. 


    Monday, November 9, 2020

    Regular Board Meeting - Century Jr High


    Staff Recognitions: Special Recognitions

    (Not Pictured) Eryn Blaser, an Art teacher at Orland Jr High, received the 2020 President’s Award from the Illinois Art Education Associated. 

    (Not Pictured) Kara Bonfitto, a Reading Interventionist at Center school, received the Hometown Hero Award from Marquette Bank. 


    Staff Recognitions: ABCDE (Above & Beyond the Call of Duty Everyday) Award: 

    (Not Pictured) Michael Bickham was nominated by Marla Erdman for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Bethany Ingram was nominated by Marla Erdman for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Jason Minarovic was nominated by Marles Erdman for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Wendy Marinier, Lisa Schaffer, Lynette Evers, Alania Jensen, Gina Liva, Norah Melka, Kim Westman, and Kevin O’Donovan were nominated by Marla Erdman for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Pictured) Lori Napoli was nominated for the value of Compassion by Amy Ploog. 

    (Not Pictured) Nancy Watt was nominated for the value of Outstanding Achievement by Joanne Kapsaskis. 

    (Not Pictured) Candance Scarpelli was nominated for the value of Compassion by Stacy Ramos Kweder. 

    Angelique Schoen

    Angelique Schoen was nominated for the value of Outstanding Achievement by Anonymous. 

    (Not Pictured) Kevin West & Megan Cannon were nominated for the value of Outstanding Achievement by Marla Erdmann. 

    Kristen Urbon

    Kristen Urbon was nominated for the value of Compassion by Michelle Goshko. 

    Laura Miller

    Laura Miller was nominated for the value of Inspiration by Michelle Goshko. 

    Melissa Collins

    Melissa Collins was nominated for the value of Respect by Mark Garrity. 

    (Not Pictured) Lucy Shalash was nominated for the value of Compassion by Susan Jachymiak. 

    (Not Pictured) Kimberly Frew was nominated for the value of Compassion by Susan Jachymiak. 


    IASB Master Board Member Recognitions: Board Member, Ms. Sandra Kulak, has achieved level II IASB Master Board Member Program as well as Board Member, Mr. Dave Shalabi, who has achieved level I in the Mast Board Member Program. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    November 18 - Illinois Paraprofessional & School Related Personnel Day: Mr. John Bryk recognized all the staff members that support staff, students, and parents on a daily basis. He thanked them for all of their hard work and dedication, especially during this time. 

    November 15 - Illinois School Board Member Day: Mr. John Bryke spoke to what the District 135 Board Members have been doing the last 7 months to keep OSD135 a great District. He thanked them for doing the best they can for the students, staff, and parents in this District as well as the support they have provided. 

    Illinois Report Card: Summative Designations: Mr. John Bryke stated that the designations have remained the same from last year. They have been grand-fathered in due to the current pandemic. Dr. Lynn Zeder added that the access scores for the English Learners program is double what the state pandates. They require 8% access and District 135 scored almost 18%. 

    FY20 Tentative Levy Presentation: Financial Director Tammy Maksa presented on the Tentative Levy that will be up for approval during the December 14th regular Board meeting. The levy is the amount of tax revenue requested by a taxing district. Please view the Board of Education Live Stream for Ms. Maksa’s entire presentation on the FY20 Tentative Levy. 

    FOIA Request: The District received and completed on Freedom of Information Act request. 

    Chat to Learn: Mr. John Bryk ended his Superintendent’s Report by providing information that was emailed to him earlier on Monday before the Board Meeting. The Illinois School Board and University of Chicago is starting a new program called “Chat to Learn”. In summary, parents of Early Childhood students may sign up to receive text messages on a daily basis reminding them of conversations they can have with their child. There is no app requirement and it is free. Questions would include “Is there a round-shaped food you enjoy eating?”. The program is aimed towards kickstarting young students to start thinking in that manner. Sign-ups have not opened yet but once they do, the District will provide information to parents as well as post information on the website. 


    Review of Revised Board Policies: The following Board policies were presented for 2nd readings and the Board will vote on them during this Regular Board Meeting. 

    • Policy 2:260 - Uniform Grievance Procedure
    • Policy 2:265 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure - NEW
    • Policy 5:10 - Equal Employment Opportunity and Minority Recruitment
    • Policy 5:20 - Workplace Harassment Prohibited
    • Policy 5:100 - Staff Development Program
    • Policy 5:220 - Substitute Teachers
    • Policy 7:10 - Equal Educational Opportunities 
    • Policy 7:20 - Harassment of Students Prohibited
    • Policy 7:180 - Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment
    • Policy 7:185 -  Teen Dating Violence Prohibited 


    Consent Agenda: The following consent agenda items were approved: 

    • Minutes: October 13, 2020, Committee of the Whole Meeting
    • Minutes: October 13, 2020, Board of Education Meeting
    • Minutes: October 13, 2020, Closed Session
    • Accounts Payable as of 10/31/20: $626,200.34
    • IMPREST FUND - as of 10/31/20: $5,033.43
    • PAYROLL SUMMARY as of 10/31/20: $5,243,549.70
    • Personnel Report, as presented
    • Renewal - BoardDocs LT, as presented
    Comments (-1)
  • October 13th, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 10/28/2020

    Committee of the Whole - Orland Jr High


    Citizens’ Remarks: During the Citizens’ Remarks parents of District 135 requested rationale for different learning models that the District is utilizing. Multiple staff members spoke about the concerns to returning to the classroom with students. They also requested consistent and transparent communication regarding remote and in-person instruction. In addition, a parent in the District commended all of the special education staff for how they were educating students during their in-person instruction and asked that the Board look at local school districts to review their protocols. 


    Board Reports: 

    Policy/Personnel Advisory Committee: Dr. Berry provided an overview of the meeting held on October 5th. She discussed various metrics that the District will use when reopening schools. The Committee recommended for the District to use the Northwestern Medicine website to generate metrics by zip code which could use all zip codes in the District as well as the High School. The number of cases per building would also determine if a building needs to close as well at the local numbers. Suzanne Owens, Human Resources Director, provided clarification of gathering data from Southwest Cook County as well as theCook County Department of Public Health as Region 10. It was also reported that the District has had 12 positive cases, all consisting of staff members. The Board directed administration to implement a COVID-19 metrics dashboard on the District’s website outlining positivity rates and reported cases (for the District as a whole and by school) for public access. 


    Finance/Operations Committee: Linda Beckham Dodge, the Board President, provided an overview of the meeting held on October 7th. Including in the discussion, she spoke on the anticipated timeline to begin planning for the FY22 budget as well as a recent insurance audit that produced &22,500 savings for the District. Discussions at the committee meeting also focused on preparations for the school reopening plan such as staffing, PPE supplies, social distancing measures, availability of resources, and the before & after school child care program. Discussions also included transportation, CARES Act funds, FEMA reimbursements, and the extension of the summer Food Service program for all District residents under the age of 18. Gratitude was also expressed towards the Village of Orland Park for lending about 50 picnic tables for use in the schools’ tent spaces. 


    Technology Committee: Ms. Kulak discussed the Committee meeting held on October 7th. There was an expansion of bandwidth and additional staff equipment for classrooms such as iPad tripods and microphone options. All of this in preparation for the reopening of school. 


    2020 IASB Resolutions Committee Reports: Linda Packham Dodge reported that several resolutions will be presented at the annual Delegate Assembly hosted by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) on November 14. A copy of the resolutions was provided to each Board member for review and Peckham-Dodge requested members email her with any questions or concerns. 


    Administrative Reports

    Teaching & Learning 

    Reopening Update: David Snyder, Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, reported on a Return to Learn project that took place during the week of October 5th in preparation for in-person learners coming back into the classroom. The pilot was conducted at three schools, primary, intermediate, and a junior high. Ten in-person students from specific classrooms at Centennial, Liberty, and Orland Jr. High were invited to attend a shortened school day in the classroom as a “practice run”. The project provided an opportunity for participating teachers to interact with in-person students as well with remote students. Dr. Snyder expressed thanks to staff and families who participated in the project. He also discussed that the training video was shared with staff as part of the professional development day. Additional information was provided to staff throughout the summer months, with a focus on instructional scope and sequence in preparation for a hybrid learning environment. Equipment upgrades took place in classrooms to help ease the transition as well as traffic flow patterns and additional sanitizers and disinfectants are being supplied to classrooms. 


    It was noted that student enrollment and scheduling is live and underway for the STARS before and after school child care program, with current enrollment at 65 students. 


    Bus routes will be mailed to families of in-person students during the week of October 19. Bus capacity will not exceed 50 occupants and will be loaded/unloaded per CDC guidelines. All in-person students will receive lanyards to hold daily self-certification forms, allowing a quick wellness check-in process for all students arriving to school. 


    October 22 and 23 will be remote planning days for principals, staff and administration, and well be a non-attendance day for students. Beginning on Monday, October 26th, the phase-in schedule will start with all in-person students reported to school per their assigned schedules on Friday, November 6. 


    The Board discussed an overview of processes for student & staff wellness checks na dmetric communication to the CCDPH as well as a need for flexibility of sub-salary rates during this time. Following the discussion it was the consensus of the Board to authorize Superintendent John Bryk to modify said salaries as deemed necessary during the course of the pandemic. A recommendation was brought forth during the regular meeting. 


    Teaching & Learning 

    Medicaid Billing Services: Superintendent John Bryk reported that a new provider, Public Consulting Group (PCG), was awarded the contract for Medicaid Administrative Outreach for all public schools in the State of Illoins. The District formerly used R&G Consultants. This change in provider save the District 4.5%. 


    Special Education in DuPage County - Intergovernmental Agreement: Mr. Bryk reported that an Intergovernmental Agreement from a DuPage-based facility will be brought forth for the Board’s approval of vision services provided for a student. The Agreement is a new measure required by the School Association for Special Education in DuPage (SASED), who has provided their services for the past several years. 


    Transportation One-Year Extension: Mr. Bryk noted that possibly action on this measure will be under consideration following the closed session during the October 13 regular meeting. 


    Review of Revised Board Policies: The following Board policies were presented for 1st reading. These policies required language updates in order to comply with updated legislation, administrative code, case law, and/or state guidelines (policies are available on BoardDocs for public view):

    • Policy 2:250 - Uniform Grievance Procedure
    • Policy 2:265 - Title IX Sexual Harassment Grievance Procedure* 
    • Policy 5:10 - Equal Employment Opportunity and Minority Recruitment 
    • Policy 5:20 - Workplace Development Program
    • Policy 5:220 - Substitute Teachers*
    • Policy 5:330 - Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays, and Leaves*
    • Policy 7:10 - Equal Educational Opportunities
    • Policy 7:20 - Harassment of Students Prohibited
    • Policy 7:180 - Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation and Harassment 
    • Policy 7:185 - Teen Dating Violence Prohibited 

    * For explanation on these certain policies, please view Boarddocs on the District Website or watch the meeting, available on YouTube. 

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    Regular Board Meeting - Orland Jr High


    Staff Recognitions: ABCDE Awards (Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Everyday)

    (Not Pictured) Nicole Detres was nominated by Kelly Kesper for the value of Compassion.

    (Not Pictured) Anthony Hernandez was nominated by Jennifer Mager for the value of Compassion.

    Lisa Leach

    Lisa Leach was nominated by Liberty staff for the value of Compassion. 

    (Not Picture) Jason Minarovic was nominated by Fatima Yasin for the value of Compassion. 

    Ashley Maro

    Ashley Maro was nominated by colleague Jill Decker-Doorn for the value of Inspiration. 

    (Not Pictured) Kathy Pustz was nominated by “Kathy Pustz’s Super Fans” for the value of Inspiration. 

    (Not Pictured) Chris Bohula, Eric Simms, Vincent Rini, Nick Salvatore, Don Seropian, Jim Mukite, Kim Cunningham, and Kara McFarlin (The District Technology Department) was nominated by Liberty Staff for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Carrie Forystek was nominated by Courtney Basiorka for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Dali Hoover was nominated by colleague Molly McLoughlin for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Jason Minaroic was nominated by Courtney Basiorka for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    (Not Pictured) Candace Scarpelli was nominated by Lesley Lerner and Karen Kotsiviras for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 

    QUEST Kitchen Staff

    Kara Hencinski, Amal Abdeldayem, Warda Khalil, Marlene McKinney, Deborah Petersen, Maria Tocaven, Robin Garcia (Quest Kitchen Staff) was nominated by a CJH staff member for the value of Outstanding Achievement. 


    Recognition of Excellence - i-Innovate Staff Presenters

    The following staff members received Board recognition for their participation as presenters at this year’s i-Innovate technology conference:

    Chrissy Keith

    Amy Smith

    Ashley Bobak

    Brittany Feltman

    Caitlin Loizon

    Cheryl Knight

    Courtney Berk

    Kelly DiFrancesca

    Gabi Sanfilippo

    Joanne Kapsaskis

    Kara Gikas

    Katie Knopf

    Kelly Donlevy

    Kim DeVries

    Kris Conway

    Kristy Gilbert

    Lauren Musielewicz

    Lindsay Duffy

    Special Recognitions: American Heart Association

    Whitney Smyser

    Whitney Smyser, the Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association presented plaques to each school that raised money for the American Heart Association during the 2019-2020 school year. In total, the District raised $38,481.36. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    2019-20 Parent Organization Donations: Superintendent John Bryk recognized by the Parents for Education (PFE) and Music Parents Association (MPA) for their generous contributions and efforts in helping schools provide activities that benefit the student body. Each organization presented a check to the board. 

    Music Parents Association

    The MPA raised $22,066.39 for Orland School District 135. 

    Parents for Education

    The PFE raised $97,177.42 for Orland School District 135. 

    In total, the two organizations raised $119,243.81 which was formally accepted by the Board under Board Motions later in the meeting. 


    October 2020 - National Principals Month: Mr. Bryk expressed esteemed gratitude for the exemplary leadership presented by District 135’s principals and assistant principals, especially in light of the COVID-19 challenges that have presented themselves this year. 


    Amendment 2020-21 Official School Calendar: Mr. Bryk noted new amendments to the FY21 calendar to coincide with the revised reopening plan. Amendments include October 22 and 23 are remote planning days for all staff in order to give them time to prepare for the new learning model which begins with the phase-in process on October 26th. 


    Veteran’s Day Activities: Schools are planning special student activities to help commemorate November 11, Veteran’s Day. A list of events and activities will be shared with the Board by the November meeting. 


    FOIA Request: Four Freedom of Information Act requests were received this past month, and were answered. 


    Review of Revised Board Policies - 2nd Reading

    Policy 5: 170 Copyright: Federal Law requires the District to designate an employee to receive any complaints of copyright infringement. Previously, that employee was Jennifer Obright but has now been updated to Allison Kaleta, Community Relations Specialist. 


    Board Motions

    Resolution - Deconstruction of Closed Session Audio Recordings: APPROVED

    Parent Organization Donations - Board of Education APPROVED the acceptance of donations from the MPA and PFE in the amount of $119,243.81. 

    Amendment: 2020-21 Official School Calendar: APPROVED

    Approve of New/Revised Board Policies - Policy 5:170 Copyright: APPROVED

    Approval Temporary Hazardous Route - APPROVED

    Approval - SASED Intergovernmental Agreement: APPROVED

    Resolution - Substitute Salary Authorization: APPROVED

    To see details of all Board Motions, please view BoardDocs or watch the Live-streamed Board Meeting on YouTube. 


    Board Member Comments, Reports and Requests

    Thanks to Village: Ms. Peckham-Dodge expressed thanks to the Village of Orland Park for lending picnic tables to the District for student use.

    Comments (-1)
  • September 23rd, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 9/30/2020

    Special Board Meeting - Jerling Jr. High

    Citizens’ Remarks:

    During public comment, many community members spoke about the difficulties regarding the Remote Learning plan that District 135 is utilizing. They spoke about too much screen time for their child, not enough breaks, and technical difficulties as major issues they were seeing. These community members urged the Board to transition back to in-school learning sooner than December 11th. Other community members spoke about the need to remain in the Full Remote learning model. They spoke about concerns for their child receiving a new teacher and being left behind if an in-school model is to take place in addition to Remote Learning. 


    Board Discussion:

    Presentation to Reopen Schools: Before the presentation began, Board President Ms. Peckham-Dodge made note that at the beginning of the school year, the Board wanted to begin the school year in a hybrid model but because of IDPH guidelines that were released, the Board felt it best to begin the school year in the Full Remote Learning Model that the District is currently in. The IDPH has revised those guidelines that make the Reopen School discussion possible. The Teaching and Learning Department then began their presentation about their Reopening Schools plan. This Department consists of Dr. Lynn Zeder, Dr. Dave Snyder, and Ms. Jennifer Nichols. The presentation presented the following options. 

    1. Option 1: Blended Learning A/B Days with Live Stream - this option is similar to the original Hybrid Model that was presented at the beginning of the year with some changes. Group A would attend school on Mondays/Thursdays and Group B would attend school on Tuesdays/Fridays. 
      1. The days would be shortened, not a full day of in-person learning and all students would be Fully Remote on Wednesdays
      2. This option would be the least disruptive to students’ and staff's classes and schedules. 
      3. Physical Distancing will be maintained as much as possible in the classrooms and at school. 
      4. Teachers would live stream their classrooms and lessons while they teach the in-person students in order to teach the Full Remote children as well. 
    2. Option 2: Blended Learning A/B Days Without Live Streaming 
      1. Full days with all students being Full Remote on Wednesdays 
      2. This option may cause significant disruptions to class and staff schedules and result in changes. 
      3. Physical Distancing will be maintained as much as possible in the classrooms and at school. 
    3. Option 3: All-In with Live Stream - Every student who chooses the All-In will go to school every day of the week besides Wednesdays. Wednesdays would be a Full Remote learning day for all. Teachers would live-stream their classes in order to teach both Full Remote students as well as in-school students. 
      1. Shortened day with Full Remote day on Wednesdays for all
      2. Class sizes will be dependent on the number of students returning to in-person learning in a classroom. 
      3. Physical Distancing will be maintained as much as possible. 
      4. It was noted that the average class size in Primary is about 22 students with one section in a Primary building with 24 students. With that being noted, there would be potential of reassignment of classes because of those numbers in order to keep a balance. 
      5. At the intermediate level, the highest class section is 27 students
      6. At the Jr High, there are some class sizes that are in the mid-30s. 
      7. Staff will also be important for this option, the District has to make sure that staff has the correct licensure and appropriate endorsements to teach certain classes/grades. 
      8. The Full Remote option is still available. 
    4. Option 4: All-In Without Live-Stream - This model is the same as Option 3 just without the Live Stream Option.
      1. Classes would then either be Full Remote, taught by a teacher only teaching Full Remote or In-School taught by a teacher who is only educating the students in the classroom. 
      2. Class sizes will be dependent on the number of students returning to in-person learning in a classroom. 
      3. Physical Distancing will be maintained as much as possible. 

    The presentation also clarified that the school day would be shortened to four hours (roughly 8:00 - 12:00). Core subjects would be taught during the in-person shortened school day while specials and support would be provided from 1:00 -2:30 once students arrived back at home. The Board discussed each option at length and then decided that Option 1 would be best for grades 6-8 and Option 3 for grades K-5. It was also discussed that the options would not begin for at least 4 weeks. 


    Board Motions: 

    Approval- Reopen Schools Plan: Mr. Hodge moved and Mr. Shalabi seconded that the Board of Education approve the Reopen Schools Plan for the 2020-21 school year, as presented and discussed. It was approved that grades K-5 would follow Option 3 and grades 6-8 would follow Option 1. 

    Comments (-1)
  • September 14th, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 9/21/2020

    Committee of the Whole

    Citizens’ Remarks:

    During public comment, different topics were addressed. 

    • Staff spoke about the hardships of Remote eLearning, not having enough PPE provided to them, being worried about their health when coming in the building. 
    • Parents also spoke about the hardships of Remote eLearning. All remarks were in favor of returning to in-school learning as soon as possible. Community members stated that between the technical issues of the iPads, being distracted at home, and not being able to provide a solid learning environment, they want to send their children back to in-school learning. 

    Board Reports

    Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee: This committee discussed the budget update that is going in front of the board at tonight’s Regular Meeting. The district has a budget deficit of three million dollars. The committee also updated the school lunch services and the days of which meals will be picked up. Due to the large amount of food that was wasted, meals will not be picked up every day anymore, rather moving to just a Monday/Wednesday meal pickup. They also had a PPE update about N95 masks. The district currently has 318 masks that nurses and maintenance staff are wearing due to the IDPH guidelines. They also reminded the Board that every mask-wearer needs to be fit tested. The difficulties of finding N95 masks were discussed but the District has more on order and should arrive in October. The committee also talked about the transportation that is happening within the district right now. St. Mike’s has ten routes in the morning and ten routes in the afternoon and Sunrise, the company transporting the Early Childhood and Special Education children is currently transporting around 60 students of District 135 to five of the buildings.  


    Policy/Personnel Board Advisory Committee: This committee discussed the District’s COVID-19 Communication Plan. The committee believes that the communication plan needs to be more robust as well as be communicated to the families of District 135 more. They referenced District 230 and their communication of emails, phone calls, text messages and social media posts as examples that District 135 should implement. The committee believes that, while the communication plan does live on the website, not all parties that should have seen it have seen it. They would like to see the plan be more accessible. The committee also discussed the increase in substitute pay that was voted on at the last Regular meeting. They also had a conversation about reopening schools. The committee would like to see the School Board discuss what it would take to go back to school sooner than December 11th, as previously decided. They believe it would take about a month to get all staff and the buildings prepared to have children back in school and they would like to start having those conversations. The committee also wants to know what school will look like once we do resume in-person learning. 


    Administrative Reports 

    Finance & Operations 

    FY21 Budget Update: FY2021 budget will go up for approval tonight at the Regular meeting. A $2.87 million deficit is projected for FY2021. A new $500,000 contingency account was added to the FY2021 budget this year which is for unseen expenditures. A question was raised about PPE and how much money is budgeted towards PPE supplies. Right now, the district is getting all PPE reimbursements from the CARES Act. The District has not exceeded the amount so there are no additional budget issues regarding PPE for the COVID-19 Pandemic. 


    Food Service: In the Regular Board Meeting, a one-year agreement with Quest Food Services will be up for approval. 


    Summer Capital Projects Update: All summer capital projects are almost complete, as of September 14, 2020. Two playgrounds at Centennial and Prairie Schools will get their occupancy permit on September 15, 2020. Windows at Park School had thermo-plane replacements put in. The additions are quieter and more energy-efficient. They also are tinted which alleviated the need to purchase shades for the windows. 


    Teaching & Learning

    Summer School Update: The Summer School Program was expanded this year with  279 students and 20 teachers. Compared to last year, there were about 200 more students in the program this year. The Summer School Program ran for four weeks and the students attended 4 days a week, remotely. The teachers provided direct target instruction for about 20/30 minutes per group. Notes and plans were kept throughout the program that were then passed on to principals regarding how students did with certain subjects and topics in order to be better prepared going into the 2020-21 school year. After the program, a survey was taken with the teachers who participated in it and a lot of positive feedback was received. 


    ESY (Extended School Year) Update: 270 students attended remotely with 73 staff members, which include classroom teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals. Students were eligible for reading or math instruction for four days a week, an hour each. All the skills and instructions were guided by the student’s IEPs. In addition, social work services were also provided this year to families and students who were going through a crisis. After the ESY program ended, feedback was received from teachers and parents. Some feedback stated that they wanted more instruction, while others stated they wanted less instruction. The majority of the parents were appreciative of the service and the staff given the circumstances during this program. 


    2nd Trimester Reopening: The committee believes that the conversation starts with when would in-school learning start. Once that date is established, the Board and administration will work backwards from there. Initially, the Full Remote Learning Model was going to be in place for the first trimester, through December 11th, 2020, but now the Board is reevaluating that date. Topics up for discussion vary from what grades would come back in-person, would the District start with K-5 grades or bring all students back at once. In addition to that, staffing will have to be evaluated regarding what staff is willing to come back to in-school teaching with children in the buildings. Another challenge would be students not being matched up with their original teacher that they began the Remote Learning program with. Another Family Commitment Survey will have to be distributed for families to choose whether they want to send their child back to school in the hybrid option or keep them in the Full Remote Learning option. Superintendent John Bryk believes that the District is in a good spot with PPE supplies and believes that the supply will only grow as the weeks carry on, better preparing the District to have students back in the buildings. The District has also been working with the Cook County Health Department where it was stated that N95 masks can be reused by a health care official as long as the mask was not exposed to a positive N95 mask. This means that if a health care provider evaluates a student who could be a possible COVID-19 case, once the student goes home, the health care provider will put the N95 mask in a paper bag, wait for results regarding the student, and then either throw away the mask if they are positive or use it again if negative. It was also noted that new guidelines have come out putting an emphasis on the word “new” when pertaining to COVID-19 symptoms. A student only has to be sent home with symptoms if it is a “new” symptom, not a yearly stuffy nose from allergies, for example. Currently, the District has about 140 students that attend in-school learning from our Early Childhood and Self Contained Special Education programs across five school buildings. Therefore, those five buildings have a loose interpretation of what returning to school with students in the building would look like. Human Resources Director Suzanne Owens spoke about the staffing issues with the Reopening Plan. Owens stated that the driving force behind staffing is the number of students who will be attending in-school learning. Once the District knows how many students will be returning with the hybrid model, then the staffing issues can be addressed. It was also discussed that the Board and administrators should reach out to other districts that are returning to school to see how they are acquiring PPE and what their return to school plan looks like and how they are implementing it. Discussion also included how many teachers will want to come back and if the District could operate with that number. This discussion did not determine if the District would move up the start date or adjust the learning model. A Special Board Meeting, scheduled for September 23rd, 2020, will be centered around the Review of the Reopening plan. 



    Review of Revised Board Policies

    Policy 5: 170 Copyright: Federal Law requires the District to designate an employee to receive any complaints of copyright infringement. Previously, that employee was Jennifer Obright but has now been updated to Allison Kaleta, Community Relations Specialist. 

    Regular Board of Education Meeting



    Staff Recognitions: Krystin Solak, Centennial First Grade Teacher, recognized with an ABCDE nomination of Outstanding Achievement. 

    Public Hearings

    Fiscal Year 2021 Budget: Public Hearing was opened, no Public Comments were made, Public Hearing was closed.


    District 135 e-Learning Plan: Public Hearing was opened, no Public Comments were made, Public Hearing was closed. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    Review: Start of 2020-21 School Year: The District has about 140 students that are participating in person with Early Childhood and the Self-Contained program. The District has received a wide spectrum of feedback regarding how e-learning is going. Most feedback is positive towards the staff as well as feedback regarding getting students back in the building. Superintendent Bryk also spoke about transportation and how that is going smoothly as well as everyone on the staff doing the best they can during this time. Feedback regarding the in-school EC and SC programs has been positive, as well. 


    Compensation Report and Posting in Accordance with 105 ILCS 5/10-20.47: A yearly review of compensation to the staff that gets posted on the website and is up for annual review. 


    FOIA Request: One request was filed and filled. 


    Review of Revised Board Policies: 2nd Reading

    To view a list of revised Board policies, visit BoardDocs. 


    Policies for Five-Year Review - 2nd Reading

    To view a list of revised Board policies, visit BoardDocs. 

    Comments (-1)
  • August 13th, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 8/26/2020

    Special Board Meeting - Conducted as a Virtual Board Meeting


    Citizens’ Remarks

    Citizens’ expressed concern over learning model options, both the Full Remote learning plan as well as the blended learning option. Comments were also directed to the start date of the 2020-21 school year with the concern about moving it back. Other comments also expressed gratitude to everything the District is doing to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


    Board Member Reports & Requests

    Reconsideration of District 135 Learning Model: The administration and board reviewed the new Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Guidelines which were released on August 12. The guidelines talked about new safety requirements that directly affected the Blended Learning Model and caused it to be untenable. After discussing the new measures and upon careful consideration the Board decided to start the school year with a full-remote learning model for all students through the first trimester. The Remote Learning model will entail students being assigned to their home school in a traditional classroom setting. Additional details will be provided for families whose children require special services. No official Board action was required for modifying the District’s 2020-21 Reopening Plan because of the ‘COVID-19 Reopening Plan Resolution’ that was approved at the July 23 special meeting. You can watch the July 23 special meeting on BoardDocs by clicking here. 


    Board Discussions

    2020-21 Official School Calendar: As previously discussed at the August 10 Committee of the Whole meeting, which can be viewed here, the Board further reviewed the idea of a later start date for the 2020-21 school year. The original start of school, Wednesday, August 26th, will now be moved to Tuesday, September 8th after Board discussion. August 31 and September 1 will be Institute days which will be followed by remote planning days on September 2-4. The shift to the school year will move the tentative last day from June 8 to June 15. The Board will vote during this meeting. 


    Substitute Pay: The Board continued its August 10 discussion regarding the approval of the ‘Restore Illinois Phase IV Pay Rates’. This would apply from the first day of school through the duration of time the State is in Phase IV of the Restore Illinois Plan, or when it is determined by the Board. It is recommended that the Board increase the $96 daily pay rate to $120 and from $188 to $246.21 long-term rate. Following discussion, the board requested further discussion regarding the pay increase consideration beyond the Phase IV Plan. 


    Blended Independent Learning Day: Discussion on this topic did not take place due to the Board’s redirection of the District’s 2020-21 Reopening Plan to a Full Remote learning model for the first trimester. 


    Other Discussion Items: Discussion was held on consideration to implement a support hotline/group and FAQ webpage as helpful parent resources. Helpful tips have been posted online for parents, which can be viewed here. 


    Board Motions

    Amended - 2020-21 Official School Calendar: The Board of Education approved the amended 2020-21 Official School Calendar, moving the official start of school to Tuesday, September 8th. 


    Approval - Restore Illinois Phase IV Substitute Pay Rate: The Board of Education approved the Restore Illinois Phase IV Substitute Pay Rate, effective September 8, 2020. This brings the $96 daily pay rate up to $120 and the $188 long-term rate to $246.21. 

    Comments (-1)
  • August 10th, 2020

    Posted by Allison Kaleta on 8/26/2020

    Committee of the Whole

    Board Reports - Advisory Committees 

    Technology: This Committee’s meeting was held on July 16 and discussed infrastructure improvements, including upgrading firewall settings, correcting settings on staff devices, upgraded building controllers, evaluation of the Cloud server migration, and recently joining the ICU consortium. They also suggested a list prioritizing technology needs for the District. 


    Communications: On August 4th, this Committee welcomed Allison Kaleta to the District as the prospective Community Relations Specialist. The Committee then discussed ideas for providing up-to-date information to families regarding the District’s reopening plan. The Committee is working to develop an FAQ webpage to help address questions in preparation for the beginning of school as well as helpful videos for students returning to school.


    Teaching & Learning: The Committee discussions on August 5th included the District’s e-Learning Plan (to be utilized in the event of emergency school closures) that requires Board approval. Discussion included platforms that will be used for e-Learning by grade levels (Seesaw for EC - Grade 5 / Google Classroom for Grades 6-8). Different expectations for the upcoming school year were outlined as well as ensuring social and emotional support for students. It was reported that principals are developing videos to help highlight different practices/protocols students can expect for the start of the school year. In addition, about 600 students from the District had yet to determine their preferred learning model. A top-10 tips list was also discussed by Assistant Superintendent Lynn Zeder, stating that it had been added to the website with positive responses as well as the idea that music classes (band, choir, or orchestra) would be conducted virtually for both the blended and full remote learning models. 


    Finance & Operations: The Committee discussed the tentative FY21 budget and financial outlook as well as food service modifications for the upcoming school year. Discussions continued regarding the process of providing free & reduced lunch services for eligible remote learners. The Committee also discussed Buildings & Grounds updates which included additional sink installations for increased wash stations, a demonstration of specialized spray equipment for disinfecting classrooms, and a review of masks received from the State. Concerns were also voiced over the Village of Orland Park lowering the District’s property tax levy.


    Administrative Reports - Finance & Operations 

    Review of Tentative FY21 Budget: Director of Finance Tammy Maska presented an overview of the tentative budget for FY21 which will be brought forth during the regular meeting for approval to be placed on public display for 30-days. The budget projects a $3.2 million deficit for the 2020-21 school year due to a $1 million increase in salaries and substitute pay, an increase in health insurance premiums, a projected increase in unemployment claims, an increase in capital projects, a projected decrease in interest revenue, and a projected decrease in revenue for food services. The final FY21 budget will be presented for public hearing and recommended adoption at the September 14th regular meeting. 


    Substitute Pay Review: Suzanne Owens, Director of Human Resources, presented a proposed temporary increase in substitute pay for the Board’s consideration titled ‘Restore Illinois Phase IV Sub Pay Rates’. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a shortage of substitutes in the State and continuous need for qualified substitutes. The increased amount from $96 a day to $120 a day and from $188 to $246.21 long-term rate would help attract substitutes to District 135. The Board discussed area substitute pay in comparison to District 135 and anticipated sub needs. A recommendation for the Phase IV sub pay rate will be presented during the regular meeting. 


    Temporary Hazardous Area: Superintendent John Bryk noted that a recommendation to approve a temporary hazardous route will be brought forth at the September 14th regular meeting after IDOT approval. 


    Administrative Reports - Teaching & Learning

    E-learning Plan: Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment David Snyder presented the proposed District e-Learning Plan. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires Board approval for all school district e-learning programs. The e-Learning Plan is similar to the District’s remote Learning Plan but it would be utilized solely in the event of emergency school closures, such as with ‘snow days’. The e-Learning Plan was presented at the last Teaching & Learning Board Advisory Committee meeting and is required to go on public display for 30 days with a public hearing and recommended adoption at the September 14 regular meeting. Please click here to view the proposed District e-Learning Plan.


    Enrollment/Staffing Update: Mr. Bryk reported that all family commitment responses had been received last week. 75% of families have a preference for the Blended Learning model while 25% chose the Remote Learning Model. District and building administrators are working to complete class schedules to accommodate the families with their preferences. Dr. Zeder also discussed the careful coordination of teacher licenses and endorsements and how they need to fit with the blended or remote learning models. 


    Special Recognition - Chief Timothy J. McCarthy, Orland Park Police

    Police Chief Tim J. McCarthy

    The Board of Education recognized Village of Orland Park Police Chief Timothy J. McCarthy for his 26 years of service to Orland School District 135 families. 

    Administrative Reports - Teaching & Learning (continued)

    Reopening Plan: An overview was provided by Mr. Bryk regarding the District’s Return to School Plan. A self-certification process had been added for students and staff entering the school building. Student self-certification will be completed by parents/guardians before getting on the bus each morning and upon entering schools. If a student comes to school without a form, the student will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms. Recommended guidelines from IDPH and the Cook County Health Department will be followed when a positive or suspected COVID-19 case is reported. Contact tracing from IDPH will also be followed. All health and safety guidelines outlined in the District’s Return to School Plan will follow requirements from ISBE, IDPH, and the CDC. The Return to School Plan also outlines nurse office visit protocols, procedures from student arrival and dismissal, transportation, and other services provided by the district. To view a recording of the August 10, 2020, Committee of the Whole and Regular Board of Education meetings, click here.

    Following Mr. Bryk’s presentation of the Return to School Plan, the Board discussed the option for a later start date for the school year. After an at-length discussion, the Board consented to delay the first day of school - from August 26th to September 8th. With that adjustment, Institute Days will be shifted to August 31st and September 1st, as well as remote planning days for staff established on September 3-5. This change will shift the school year by one week, with a tentative last day moved from June 8th to June 15th. A recommendation to approve an amended 2020-21 Official School Calendar will be presented at an upcoming Special Board Meeting. 


    Board of Education Meeting


    Summer Staff Recognitions: The board commended the following staff for their dedicated service to the students during the summer months: 

    Remote Summer School Program: Hala Al-Dakar, Jackie Bartolotta, Jennifer Bennett, Meg Carr, Jessica Diaz, Kelly Donlevy, Lindsay Duffy, Brittany Feltman, Kara Gikas, Ranya Gasan, Michelle Kedzierski, DiFrancesca Kelly, Stephanie Kobialko, Julie Lehnhardt, Martha Montalvo, Sylvia Olivo, Roba Sulaiman, Mickey Tebelman, Roxane Thompson, Sidney White

    Summer ESY Program: Alyssa Avant, Alyssa Pappas, Amy Jendra, Anne George, Annette Simons, Anthony Hernandez, Audrey Barc, Bernadette Depke, Beth Kwiatkiwski, Brian Cragg, Brianna Gerhard, Bridget Jordan, Cara O’Connor, Carrie Arroyo, Christine Gray, Cindy Pruny, Colleen Lusk, Colleen Panega, Cynthia Fowler, Dali Hoover, Dan Surdyk, Deb Arseneau, Deb Barker, Deb Kilbane, Donna Feehan, Donna McGrath, Erin Murphy, Erin Nowak, Eryn Blaser, Grace Fey, Haley Druker, Heidi Yakas, Jaime Nystrom, Kaitlyn Zielinski, Katelyn McBrady, Kayla Fitzsimmons, Kaysie Domenico, Kelly Morrell, Kelly Murphy, Kevin Krillic, Kim Frew, Kim Westman, Kyle Haworth, Kyle Kennon, Laura Bingham, Lauren Kral, Lauren Pammer, Liz Fasel, Marial Pontillo, Marissa Heinz, Mark Garrity, Meaghan Rafferty, Megan Maldonado, Melissa Bessler, Michelle Nee, Morgan Bianchi, Nicole Willis, Patricia Godfrey, Rachel Ssenyonjo, Rebecca Pearson, Renee Gale, Rozie Hornig, Sandy Guendling, Sara Outlaw, Sara Thompson, Sean Simmons, Stacey Linnert, Tracy Polson, Val Johnson 

    Summer E-Learning: Daniel Leib, Molly McLaughlin, Daniel McNicholas, Amy Necas, Sidney White, Christine Henning, Laura Prisby, Gabriela Sanfilippo, Lydia Vetrone, Carrie Forystek, Patricia Godfrey, Leah Herman, Jennifer Bennet, Ashley Bobak, Margaret Carr, Jaime DeRuiter, Melissa Dolle, Lindsay Duffy

    E-Learning Planning Committee: Jen Bajer, Lauren Billo, Ashley Bobak, Breanna Coe, Kim DeVries, Lindsay Duffy, Anne George, Bri Gerhard, Megan Hackett, Christine Henning, Danielle Latorre, Julie Lehnhardt, Dan Leib, Mike Konrad, Justin McElwee, Michelle Nee, Amy Smith, Chris Sokol,, Kristyn Soldan, Lesley Winkler 


    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included concern over the Return to School Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. Remarks ranged from support to Full Remote to support of Full in-person learning. 


    Superintendent’s Report

    FY21 Budget Hearing: Tammy Maska, the Director of Finance, presented the tentative budget for the fiscal year 2021 during the August 10 Committee of the Whole. The FY21 tentative budget will be recommended for approval during this meeting to be placed on display for a 30-day period, in accordance with School Code. The public hearing for the budget is scheduled for September 14th, during the regular Board meeting. The recommendation for final adoption will also be on September 14th. 

    8/17 & 8/18 New Certified Staff Orientation/Mentoring Program (BEAMS): BEAMS is the two-day program for new certified staff members and it will be held at Century Jr. High on August 17th & 18th. BEAMS stands for Beginning Educators’ Assimilation and Mentoring System. It is a program that is approved annually by the State. Activities included in BEAMS: Introduction to the Orland Council of Educators and Human Resource Department, also with an overview of the Districts’ mentor/mentee program. Curricular resources, professional attire, the Standards-Based Grading practices, and an overview of key Board policies are also discussed. The Board has been invited to stop by during the program to meet the newest members of the District 135 family. 

    8/24 & 8/25 Institute Days: An overview of the planned agendas for this year’s two Institute Days, which will be on August 24th & 25th was presented by Dr. Lynn Zeder. These days will focus on essential logistics and protocols in preparation for launching the blended learning model on the first day of school. Itineraries will encompass facilities and safety protocols, nurse procedures, and best instructional practices. 

    8/26 - First Day of School: Superintendent Mr. John Bryk noted that the first day of school is currently scheduled for August 26th. Discussions will take place during an upcoming Special Board meeting to talk about changing the start date to September 8th. This action would require Board approval. 

    9/4 - Professional Learning Day: Full Day of School: The Board of Education decided to cancel the September 4th Professional Learning Day. With the in-place Blended Learning Model, September 4th would be the first Friday of in-school instruction for Group B. With that in mind, the Board decided to have that become a full day of school for Group B to get a full day of learning, rather than a half-day. 

    Open House & Orientation Schedules: The open houses for each building will be virtual this year, except for Early Childhood & Kindergarten, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Early Childhood and Kindergarten will have their open house on-site on Monday, August 24th, from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Grades 1-2 will have a virtual open house on Thursday, August 27th from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Grades 6-8 will have a virtual open house on Wednesday, September 2nd, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Grades 3-5 will have a virtual open house on Thursday, September 3rd, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. For Walk-through, 6th grade will be on-site on Thursday, August 20th, beginning at 9:00 a.m. 3rd Grade walk-through will take place on Thursday, August 20th, beginning at 1:00 p.m. 

    FOIA Requests: One FOIA request was received and it was answered. 

    New & Revised Board Policies: To view a list of new & revised board policies, visit BoardDocs. 

    Consent Agenda: To view a list of items on the approved consent agenda, visit BoardDocs

    Board Motions: To view a list of approved and tabled board motions, visit BoardDocs. 

    Board Member Reports and Requests: Several Board members read statements expressing opposition to a resolution by the Village of Orland Park requesting District 135 and other governing entities to lower its property tax levies in order to provide economic relief to the Orland community. Many Board members stressed that property taxes are the District’s sole funding source. 

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