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  • 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. 

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  • 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. 

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  • 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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  • March 9, 2020

    Posted by Administrator on 3/25/2020

    Committee of the Whole


    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included concern over the Board approving Eid as a non-attendance day for students as well as comments on personnel matters.

    Board Reports - Advisory Committees

    Policy & Personnel: The Committee is awaiting recommendations from a special education and instructional technology committee regarding staffing.  They discussed progress with the hiring process as well. The Committee updated the public on bus safety and stated that the third camera that has been placed on all buses facing the driver has been installed on all routes.  A decision was made to continue requiring proof of residency each year. Additionally, it was noted that a definitive procedure for lunchtime visitors was not decided on; however, the Committee feels that each school should have the same procedure and accompanying enforcement across the District.

    Teaching & Learning: The Committee provided an update on the social studies curriculum pilot and stated that teachers are close to deciding which they’d like to proceed with at all levels.  Dr. Snyder is working with the building principals to roll out the National Junior Honor Society and getting students involved quickly. The Committee also looked into available learning space and explored which buildings may have room for additions or trailers if needed.  The final topic of discussion for the Committee was whether or not the District should begin charging early childhood families on a tuition basis instead of providing that service for free since it may be necessary to build space for the program in the future.

    Finance & Operations: The Committee evaluated health insurance consultants, noting that they identified one that emphasizes health and wellbeing of employees.  This consultant group also provided analytics that would point toward enhancing benefits and reducing costs. The Committee also discussed transportation, recommending that the District move forward with a one-year extension of contract for regular education busing from American School Bus Company (ABC).  ABC is currently working on a bus tracking app for parents as well as GPS systems on all buses and especially for substitutes driving routes for the first time. The Committee noted that the District could not come to an agreement with Sunrise for special education transportation, so the District will go out to bid for that contract.  The Committee also noted that several large summer projects are coming up at many different buildings, including: replacing playgrounds, physical education lockers, roof and HVAC replacements, brickwork, refinishing gym floors, replacing windows, and configuring soccer fields. The Committee mentioned that the before-and-after school care program had been notified that the District was likely terminating their contract in December due to a violation of the terms of that contract, and that options are being explored for a new program offering this service.  The Committee discussed additional cleaning and sanitizing measures being taken at all buildings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as new procedures for students. The new procedures include switching lunch to before recess and encouraging hand washing throughout the day. It was noted that families will be asked to disclose any international travel plans, and the appropriate course of action will be taken in order to keep buildings safe and clean.


    Loan to History Museum

    The Orland Park History Museum would like the Board to loan items uncovered from the basement of the administration center for display.  Since District 135 second grade students visit the museum as part of the curriculum, the administration recommends that the Board approve these items for loan.  Items include a teacher’s contract and attendance records. 


    Board Meeting Schedule

    The draft Board meeting schedule for the 2020-2021 school year will be approved at next month’s Board of Education meeting.  Next year, the proposed calendar includes meetings at eight school locations so the Board can see more schools in a year. Typically, the Board has held meetings at five school buildings.


    Board Policies

    The only change to Board policy 5:220, Substitute Teachers, was to a legal reference.  The policy will be brought forth for a 2nd reading & re-adoption in April. To see the list of Board policies, visit BoardDocs.


    Board of Education Meeting


    Student Recognitions

     Ting Dauber and Haden Toenjes

    Ting Dauber and Haden Toenjes, two fifth grade students, were recognized for having their art works selected to be featured in the Illinois Art Education Magazine, called the Mosaic!  The artwork will be featured alongside a lesson created by Eryn Blaser, art teacher at Meadow Ridge, based on a local contemporary artist.

    Staff Recognitions

    Sara Kash

    Sara Kash was nominated by Monica Socih for the value of COMPASSION.

    Kris Conway

    Kris Conway was nominated by Monica Soich for the value of Effective Communication.

    Julie Rein

    Julie Rein was nominated by Sue Kashkeesh-Al Kaki for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Brian Dugan (NOT PICTURED) was nominated by the Orland Junior High 7th Grade Team for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Marilyn Bucci

    Marilyn Bucci was nominated by Valerie Plotke for the value of COMPASSION.

    Early Childhood Team

    Sue Battistoni, Sandy Mars, Marie Polit, Sara Outlaw, Sireen Bamieh, Denise Nelson, Anne George, Jackie Kitchen, Stephanie Anderson, Jaime Nystrom and Kelli Rusnak were nominated by Amy Burke for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Christina Kmetty

    Christina Kmetty was nominated by 'Ms. Kmetty's Super Fans' for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

    Molly McLoughlin

    Molly McLoughlin was nominated by Sean Simmons for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

    Brittany Feltman

    Brittany Feltman was nominated by Jill Decker-Doorn for the value of COMPASSION.

    Tiana Cigrand (NOT PICTURED) was nominated anonymously for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Lisa Kileen

    Lisa Kileen was nominated anonymously for the value of COMPASSION.

    Patti Kester

    Patti Kester was nominated by Connie Keucher, Lois Boele, and Sheila Schedin for the values of INSPIRATION and COMPASSION.

    Mary Charles

    Mary Charles was nominated anonymously for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.


    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included an inquiry into a plan for continuing to provide after school care for District families as well as a comment on personnel matters, and concern over the Board approving Eid as a non-attendance day for students.

    Superintendent’s Report

    March 2020: Student Art Display at Orland Park Public Library: A display of student artwork would be at the Orland Park Public Library during the month of March.  Students in grades K-8 will be featured in the display.

    April 6, 2020: Parent Night - Anxiety & the School-Aged Child:  The District will be hosting a parent information session on anxiety at Meadow Ridge on April 6th.  The speaker will provide parents with guidance on managing their child’s anxiety.

    FOIA Requests: There were two (2) FOIA requests received this past month. One request has been answered, and the other was in process. (It has been completed to date - but this is what was reported at the meeting.)


    Revised Board Policies

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


    Action Items

    All action items were approved at the March 9 Board of Education meeting.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.

    Comments (-1)
  • February 10, 2020

    Posted by Administrator on 2/27/2020

    February 10, 2020

    Committee of the Whole

    Board Advisory Committee Updates

    Finance & Operations: The Committee discussed transportation contracts.  It was noted that Sunrise Southwest, who provides special education transportation, has come down significantly in their proposal for next year, and negotiations with American School Bus Company (ABC) are also going well for regular education transportation services.  It is expected that the District will renew with both companies next year. The Committee also discussed solutions to the paid rider fees so that the District no longer loses money on this program. The Committee recommended an increase of $80 per year for the next three years for Board approval to close this gap.  The Committee noted that the vape detectors had been installed in each of the three junior highs, and are operating properly. Additional discussion included the cost for a personality test for new hires (it was mentioned that the validity of this test is not sufficient), exploring a new health insurance broker, and a continuation of the pension shift discussion in Springfield.


    Technology:  The Technology Committee previewed the new online proof of residency submission system at their January meeting.  It also held a discussion about e-Learning days, noting that it would be very difficult to successfully utilize this option at an elementary district level - most districts that currently have them in place are high school level.  The technology director from District 230 also attended the committee meeting to answer questions regarding students transitioning into high school, stating that District 135 students have shown that they are well prepared for their freshman year. 

    Administrative Report - Assessment Update

    Curriculum Director David Snyder and Asst. Director Jennifer Nichols presented the Winter assessment updates, noting that District 135 students did very well on their MAP scores from fall to winter.  Last year, all students met their growth expectations in reading and exceeded those expectations in math, and this year all students exceeded in both reading and math.  


    Proof of Residency Demonstration

    Eric Simms provided a demonstration of how the new online proof of residency system will work.  Beginning March 3, returning parents will receive an email with directions on how to submit their documents online, which can be done from a mobile device or a computer.  If the documents are denied, parents will receive an email with instructions on how to correct it.

    Proof of Residency Requirement

    The Board discussed consideration to change the proof of residency requirement.  Currently, families must prove residency each year, but it was proposed that the District require proof of residency initially upon entering the District and then when the student changes school buildings or if the family should move.  The Board expressed a desire to have the advisory committees discuss this proposal and directed the administration to prepare a cost comparison for the proof of residency process last year versus what the cost will be this year with the new online residency system.


    Proposed School Calendar 20-21

    John Bryk noted that the only change to the proposed calendar is the addition of a non-attendance day on Eid, May 13, 2021.  The proposed calendar was presented for Board adoption during the February 10 regular meeting.


    Paid Rider Fees

    The Board revisited its earlier discussion regarding paid rider fees, noting a desire to reduce the deficit caused by this program.  It was stated that many families rely on this program, so the Board does not want to eliminate it, but feels the proposed $80 increase per year is a viable option. A recommendation would be brought forth for Board approval during the regular meeting.


    The Board conducted its 1st reading of three revised policies. These policies will be presented for 2nd reading and possible adoption at the March 9 regular meeting.  To view the policies, visit BoardDocs.

    Regular Board of Education Meeting



    Community Spirit Awards

    Crossing guards posing for a photo at the Board meeting

    In honor of National School Crossing Guard week, the Board of Education recognized the following school crossing guards with Community Spirit Awards: Pat Kuszmaul, Peggy Wojcik, Kim Kuchan, Mary Lou Nimtz, Martha Teresiak, Myron Potocki, and Martha Serna.

    Student Recognitions

    The Century Junior High 8th grade girls basketball team (not pictured) was recognized for taking first place in the SWIC conference and tournament this year.

    CJH Boys VBall representative

    The Century Junior High 8th grade boys volleyball team was nominated for taking first place in the SWIC tournament this year.


    ABCDE Awards

    Lori Haskett

    Lori Haskett was nominated by Steve Ruppert for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Leanne Brown

    Leanne Brown was nominated by Ann Czerwonka for the value of COMPASSION.

    Paul Foertsch (not pictured) was nominated by the Liberty School Staff for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Ekram Jaber

    Ekram Jaber was nominated by Lori Napoli for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Sandy Guendling

    Sandy Guendling was nominated anonymously for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Megan Schuster

    Megan Schuster was nominated by Carly Reilly for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Katlin Davis

    Katlin Davis was nominated by Saoirse Redmond for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Jill Zajicek

    Jill Zajicek was nominated by Eileen Swieboda for the value of COMPASSION.

    Kim Moriarty (not pictured) was nominated by Rebecca Hess for the value of COMPASSION.

    Samantha Dziadkowiec

    Samantha Dziadkowiec was nominated by Aisha Zayyad for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Bridget Carstensen

    Bridget Carstensen was nominated by Eric Schilling for the value of RESPECT.

    Daniel Prorok

    Daniel Prorok was nominated by Mustapha Obeid for the value of COMPASSION.

    Candace Scarpelli

    Candace Scarpelli was nominated by the Kelley family for the value of COMPASSION.

    Bridget Duckhorn

    Bridget Duckhorn was nominated by Jessica Palmer for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

    Meredith Rucinski

    Meredith Rucinski was nominated by Jessica Palmer for the value of COMPASSION.

    Carrie Forystek

    Carrie Forystek was nominated by Lori Brosnan for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Jeff Nightingale

    Jeff Nightingale was nominated by Aisha Zayyad for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

    Eric Kivi

    Erik Kivi was nominated by Irina Sfinaciuc for the value of INSPIRATION.

    Angie Ogean

    Angie Ogean was nominated by Jennifer Schanz for the value of INSPIRATION.


    Moment of Silence

    A moment of silence was held for Evelyn Thomas, Early Childhood student at Park School, who passed away on January 23, 2020.

    Superintendent’s Report

    Kindergarten Registration: Kindergarten registration begins on February 11th and each of the primary schools will be open to accept proof of residency from 9 AM to 1 PM.


    Donation to OJH library: Libby Hall, a retired District 135 educator, makes a yearly donation to the Orland Junior High School library.  The Board was asked to accept this donation during the regular meeting.

    Featured Authors: The Orland Park Public Library (OPPL) is host to a featured authors exhibit.  This month, writings from junior high authors in District 135 will be hung up in the children’s section at the OPPL.

    FOIA requests: One FOIA request was received and answered.


    2nd Reading of Revised Board Policies

    A 2nd reading of revised policies took place.  To view the policies, visit BoardDocs.

    Action Items

    All action items were approved at the February 10 Board of Education meeting.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.


    Comments (-1)
  • January 13, 2020

    Posted by Administrator on 1/29/2020

    BoardBlog - January 13, 2020


    Committee of the Whole

    Citizen’s Remarks

    A student addressed the Board regarding the school calendar, inquiring about the possibility of making the Muslim holiday of Eid a non-attendance day to better serve the growing population of students who celebrate the holiday in the District 135 Community.


    Board Reports

    Communications Advisory Committee: The committee finalized the questions for an upcoming communication survey, which will be sent out on February 3rd and will accept responses until February 14th.  They also reviewed a teacher recruitment package, continued discussion regarding the possibility of adding a frequently asked questions page to the website and discussed the next episode of 135 Points of Pride.  The committee also reviewed communications procedures in specific situations, such as crises and event notifications.


    Finance & Operations Committee: The Committee received an audit review from a representative of Sikich, LLC. The District was noted as having transparent financial reporting and for achieving the highest level of financial recognition, as well as a healthy fund balance. Transportation options for special education services were discussed, and the Committee will continue deliberations on the matter. It was noted that student fees will not be raised; further discussion will be held regarding the paid bus rider fee. In addition, the Committee discussed the implementation of vaping detectors in the junior high schools, as well as areas of improvement for custodial services. The next meeting will be held on February 5 at 7 p.m. in the Board Room.


    Policy & Personnel Committee: The Committee discussed lunch visitation concerns in relation to Policy 8:30, noting the data was insufficient/anecdotal. A survey will be conducted for parents to weigh in on the lunch visitation procedure. Survey TBD. The Committee also reviewed special education services, as well as the Tech Department evaluation of hardware/software applications and tech skill sets. Discussion included the evaluation of human resource processes. An outside firm has been selected to conduct the evaluation. Upcoming discussions include pick-up/drop-off procedural changes to help reduce traffic/bus congestion. The next Committee meeting is February 12 at 6 p.m. in the Learning Center. 


    2020-2021 School Calendar

    Mr. Bryk discussed the results of the survey, noting that the staff and parents who participated would prefer a start date of August 26th, so the Board would plan to move forward with the draft calendar that reflects such.  Mr. Bryk also noted that, due to a student’s request during citizen’s remarks, he would recommend the Board review the possibility of making Eid a non-attendance day. The Board agreed to hold off on placing the calendar for 30-day display until the matter could be reviewed.

    Custodial Cleaning Services

    Mr. Hansen noted that the District exceeds all State requirements for cleaning and maintaining school buildings.  Student desks are being cleaned daily when possible, noting desks in Kindergarten and self-contained classrooms, as well as student desks that require cleaning according to their IEP are cleaned daily.  It was clarified that five out of the seven primary and intermediate buildings have all desks cleaned daily already, and they are working toward that goal with the other two buildings. Mr. Hansen and his staff have placed hand sanitizer pumps in classrooms and hallways at several buildings to promote cleanliness and noted that there has not been an increase in sick days taken by staff or students this school year.  

    Review of New & Revised Policies - 1st Reading

    The Board reviewed several policies reflecting the latest legislative updates.  These policies will be brought forth for a second reading and final approval at the February 10th regular meeting.  To review these policies, visit BoardDocs.

    Regular Board of Education Meeting

    Student Presentation

    Student holding microphone reading from paper

    Students presenting at the board meeting 5th Grade student ambassadors from Liberty School presented on a project they put together using green screen technology for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

    Student Recognition

    Pe'Tehn Jackson posing with administration, her teacher, and the Board Pe’Tehn Jackson performed a poem titled Affirmations that her parents wrote for her and that her family has since published.   The Board recognized Pe’Tehn for her outstanding performance. Each member of the Board received a copy of the published book.

    Superintendent Announcement

    New superintendent John Bryk posing with the Board

    The Board of Education announced that, following a long and involved candidate screening process, Mr. John Bryk has been selected as the next Superintendent for Orland School District 135.  Ms. Peckham-Dodge noted that the District received 55 applicants and that the Board and the community were involved in the thorough process. To view the official announcement, visit the District website.

    Vaping Parent Information Session

    Mr. Bryk reminded the Board that the District would be hosting a presentation on vaping at Meadow Ridge School on Tuesday, January 14th at 6:30 PM.


    Action Items

    All action items on the January 13, 2020 agenda were approved by the Board.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.

    Comments (-1)
  • December 16, 2019

    Posted by Administrator on 1/6/2020

    BoardBlog - December 16, 2019

    Committee of the Whole

    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included comments regarding student desks not being cleaned nightly, as well as gaps in hiring procedures and monitoring of vendors in relation to the incident at Center School in November.


    Superintendent Search Process

    The search process for our next superintendent continues.  No action is anticipated until the January 13 regular Board of Education meeting.


    Committee Updates

    Teaching & Learning Advisory Committee: The committee spent time in Park and Century to explore over-and-under-used space in District buildings.  They have examined comparable schools in regards to class sizes and will continue to review options to relieve space issues in the future. The committee also examined junior high special courses and would like to consider the opportunity for students to choose their special courses.  Due to the timing of this discussion, all courses would remain the same for the 2020-2021 school year.  


    Technology Advisory Committee:  The technology committee reviewed technology use in the classroom and examined time limits for types of use.  It was noted that these guidelines have been posted on the website. The committee also discussed technology help desk tickets, noting that the response time has been cut in half since the system was put into place two years ago.  They also discussed selling devices no longer in use by the district. The committee also reviewed the first episode of 135 Points of Pride and had a positive conversation about the 6th-grade digital literacy course.


    Communications Advisory Committee:  The communications committee reviewed the timeline and potential questions for the upcoming communications survey, and noted that a final draft would be reviewed at the next meeting.  The committee also viewed the first episode of 135 Points of Pride and provided positive feedback and suggestions for future episodes.  


    Finance & Operations Advisory Committee:  The committee discussed the National School Lunch Program trial and reviewed comments and feedback, noting that the cost savings would not be worth implementing this program.  A representative from the bus company presented on an app that will provide bus locations, as well as the possibility of bus drivers using GPS instead of the current paper system.  It was noted that the special education transportation contract is up, and that there was a proposed price increase for next year, and that the committee would continue discussions regarding that contract.  The committee will begin discussions on how to close the budget deficit at their next meeting.


    Policy/Personnel Advisory Committee: The committee reviewed current student enrollment and discussed the superintendent search process.  They also continued discussion regarding the visitors to school policy (which includes parent lunch visits) - no consensus has been reached yet on this matter.  The committee also had a good discussion about the alcohol and drug free policy, recommending that the new verbiage from PRESS be included in the updated policy.


    Parent-teacher Conference Survey

    There were 975 responses to the parent-teacher conference survey this year, and that feedback will help the District to address concerns and improve the conference experience for next school year.  It was noted that there was positive feedback from parents regarding the reorganization of junior high conferences.

    2020-2021 School Calendar

    The proposed calendar for the 2020-2021 school year was discussed.  It was noted that the calendar includes two institute days at the start of the school year to allow for more preparation time before students arrive.  Additionally, the proposed calendar includes a non-attendance day on election day in November to address security concerns since several District buildings serve as polling locations.  The Board requested feedback from staff and parents regarding the start date on the proposed calendar, noting that the current draft calendar reflects August 19 as a start date (which is the day District 230 would start as well).  A survey would be sent to parents and staff asking them to choose between two start dates, and the results would be available at the January 13 meeting. It was mentioned that, although the start date may change, spring and winter breaks would remain the same.


    School Improvement Work Plan

    Orland Junior High is in the second year of its work plan.  This year’s plan will reflect a continuation of the goals set forth by last year’s plan.  The Illinois Quality Framework Rubric results provided a guide for the school improvement team to write up the plan, which must be approved by the Board by December 30.  It was noted that OJH improved their summative designation from ‘Underperforming’ to ‘Commendable’ in the past year.


    Property Tax Relief Grant Application FY 2020

    The application for the Property Tax Relief Grant was submitted; however, the $54 million in grant relief dollars are distributed to the first 50 schools on the list, so it is unlikely that the District will receive money from this grant.


    Tax Abatement Resolution

    Mr. Bryk provided an overview of the Tax Abatement Resolution, which is related to the Von Maur Intergovernmental Agreement. The Resolution will be brought before the Board for approval during the regular meeting.


    Disposal of Surplus Property

    A Resolution to authorize the disposal of obsolete computers and other classroom technology equipment will be brought forth for recommended Board approval during the regular meeting.


    Medicaid Billing Services

    Mr. Bryk reported that a contract to renew Medicaid billing services with R&G Consultants will be brought forth for recommended Board approval during the regular meeting. R&G Consultants, a Third Party Administrator (TPA), has provided Medicaid fund services to the District for many years. 


    Worker’s Comp Renewal

    Mr. Bryk discussed the bid process, noting two bids were received, with Mesirow Financial providing the lowest responsible bid. There is a 4.5% increase from last year’s rates due to an increase in claims. Recommended approval will be brought forth during the regular meeting.


    Review of New & Revised Board Policies

    Ms. Owens noted that several updates to Board policies required the Board to answer some questions prior to final approval.  The updates to these policies were discussed and the Board came to a consensus on all questions posed by Ms. Owens, with further discussion to take place during January’s 2nd reading regarding the administration of Glucagon to students with low blood sugar.  Among the policies discussed were an update to an employment policy regarding recreational cannabis, and a policy addressing visitors on school property. The policies will be brought forth for a second reading and readoption at the January meeting. To view the list of policies, visit BoardDocs.

    Regular Board of Education Meeting

    Park School Students

    Park School students presented on the concept of growth mindset and shared things that they are able to do now because they believed in themselves.


    ABCDE Awards

    Edward Boswell  Edward Boswell was nominated by Alicia Gonzales for the value of COMPASSION.

    Tim Kantor Tim Kantor was nominated by Cathy and Mauro Franzese for the value of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION.

    Tracy Polcyn (Not Pictured) was nominated by Melissa Dolle for the value of OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT.

    Helen Apostopoulous (Not Pictured) was nominated by Sheila Schedin for the value of COMPASSION.

    Sidney White Sydney White was nominated by Nikki Naroleski for the value of COMPASSION.


    Statement and Board Discussion

    A statement was provided regarding an incident at Center School, noting that the District took immediate action and partnered with the Orland Park Police Department and the Department of Child & Family Services to address the incident.  The District made immediate plans to have a District staff member monitor before-and-after-school programs to ensure the safety of our students. The Board discussed the possibility of hiring a firm to explore additional steps that could be taken to improve the District’s hiring process and noted their interest in adding a personality inventory when screening potential employees.


    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen's remarks included a discussion of additional training measures for staff to identify and prevent incidents as well as a statement from Champions regarding safety and supervision updates.


    Moment of Silence

    A moment of silence was held for Margaret “Rone” Leja, a St. Michael School teacher who was tragically killed earlier this month.

    IAR Student Data

    Student group data from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) was shared with the board.  Students receiving special education services, students receiving English Learners (EL) services, and low-income students all showed growth from 2018 to 2019 at both the intermediate and junior high levels.  

    December 20th: Early Dismissal

    It was noted that Friday, December 20 is an early dismissal day.  Students in grades K-5 will be released at 12PM and students in grades 6-8 will be released at 12:45 PM.  There will be no school for early childhood and pre-k students.

    Giving Tree Donation

    The Aileen S. Andrew foundation gives annually to Century Junior High’s Giving Tree.  The donation will be brought forth for approval during this meeting.

    January 14th Parent Info Night - Vaping

    Mr. Bryk highlighted an upcoming parent information night on vaping.  A presenter from the Robert Crown Center will provide information on the dangers of vaping and review common questions.  Mr. Bryk also noted that the District is exploring the possibility of installing vaping sensors at the junior high buildings that would notify administrators upon detection. This topic will be added to the January 8 Finance/Operations Board Advisory Committee agenda.

    Action Items

    All action items on the agenda were approved.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.

    Comments (-1)
  • November 11, 2019

    Posted by Administrator on 12/10/2019

    BoardBlog - November 11, 2019


    *There was no Committee of the Whole on November 11, 2019

    Regular Board of Education Meeting

    Closed Session

    The Board went into closed session to review candidates for the superintendent position.  

    Return to Open Session

    The Board returned to open session at 7 PM.  

    A moment of silence was held for Adrian Hernandez, a 2019 Orland Jr. High graduate, who passed away on Saturday, October 19, 2019, and for Robert “Bob” Scherzinger, night lead at Jerling Jr. High, who passed away on November 5, 2019.

    Student Presentation

    Students performing at the board meeting

    In honor of Veterans Day, students from Center School performed patriotic songs.



    Student Recognitions

    Student spellers being recognized at a board of education meeting

    The following students were recognized for their outstanding performance at the 41st Annual Orland Open Spelling Bee: Eli Herrera, Novak Jagaria, Nikola Jagaria, Jack Kanagy, Emma Kanagy, Zyad Mahdi, Isla Moore, Aesha Patel, Ben Phillips, and Shukri Saada.


    Meadow Ridge students recognized at the board of education meeting

    The following Meadow Ridge students were recognized for organizing a bake sale that raised over $500 toward a new bottle filling station for their school: Adrienne Maynard, Julia Humilier, Makenna Wohlberg, Kaitlyn Marks, Caitlin Reiter, and Despina Karanastasis.


    Jerling junior high boys and girls cross country teams being recognized at the board of education meeting

    The Board recognized the Jerling Junior High boys and girls cross country teams for placing first in all four SWIC open and conference races.


    Jerling junior high girls softball being recognized at the board of education meeting

    The Board recognized the Jerling Junior High girls softball team for placing first in the SWIC tournament.


    Staff Recognitions

    Staff members being recognized at the board of education meeting

    The following staff members were recognized for serving as chaperones during the 8th grade trip to Washington D.C.:  


    Orland Jr. High

    Dr. Lynn Zeder

    Dr. Edward Boswell

    Jenna Spagnoli

    Brian Cragg

    Lisa Novak

    Courtney Berk

    Michelle Gaj

    Morgan Biel


    Jerling Jr. High

    Melissa Domico

    Sarah Callis

    Kathy Cavalier

    Chrissy Keith

    Wendy Marinier

    Paula Schackle

    Lisa Schaffer


    Century Jr. High

    Dr. Brian Horn

    Lisa Morrey

    Brian Mallo

    Susan Berry

    Gregg Degen

    Jennifer Malinoski

    Kevin Krillic


    ABCDE Awards

    Dina McGuire and Jan Sarno

    Dina McGuire and Jan Sarno were nominated by Brian Fogarty for the value of COMPASSION.

    Board Member Report

    The Board noted that it completed a review of candidates for the superintendent position. A total of 54 applications were submitted, and at the time of the meeting had narrowed its selection down to four candidates.  A special Board meeting was held on November 14 to conduct first-round interviews in closed session.


    Superintendent’s Report


    Illinois Paraprofessional & School Related Personnel Day and Illinois School Board Member Day: Mr. Bryk recognized that the third Wednesday in November is Illinois Paraprofessional & School Related Personnel Day and that November 15 is Illinois School Board Member Day.  Mr. Bryk took a moment to recognize each group and thank them for their service to our students, staff, and families.


    Illinois Report Card - Summative Designations:   Dr. Snyder announced that seven District 135 schools received the ‘Commendable’ designation and three schools received the ‘Exemplary’ designation.  Dr. Snyder congratulated all of the schools on their dedication to improving their schools and achieving these designations.


    Orland Jr. High School Improvement Plan: Dr. Snyder noted that OJH is in its second year of its School Improvement Plan, which was required by the Illinois State Board of Education due to an ‘Underperforming’ designation last year.  The plan receives funding through a Title I grant, and this year’s plan will be brought forth for Board approval in December.

    Presentation of Estimated 2019 Levy:  Mr. Bryk provided an overview of the estimated levy for 2019 in an amount of $71, 610,000.  He noted that a resolution to approve an estimated levy increase of 1.9% based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will be presented during this meeting for approval, with final adoption set for the December meeting.

    Review of Board Policies

    The Board conducted its 2nd reading of new and revised Board policies, as well as a five-year review of several Board policies. These policies were then brought forth for adoption as presented and discussed. To view a complete list, visit BoardDocs.

    Action Items

    The Board of Education approved all agenda items at its regular meeting on November 11, 2019.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.


    Board Member Reports and Requests

    Ms. Peckham-Dodge recognized the schools for their wonderful Veterans Day assemblies and activities throughout the month of November.

    Comments (-1)
  • October 15, 2019

    Posted by Administrator on 11/1/2019

    BoardBlog - October 15, 2019


    Committee of the Whole

    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included a request for the Board to reconsider the proposed limitations on visitors during lunch, as well as a request that the Board vote against a resolution to allow school districts to have armed staff in their buildings.

    Board Member Discussions:

    The Board held a discussion regarding whether or not they would like to accept public comment submissions prior to the Board meeting so that they may have time to put together a response to provide at the meeting.  The Board decided to revisit the issue at a later date.

    Superintendent Search: 

    The Board provided an update on upcoming important dates in the superintendent search, which include a review of candidates from 3-6 PM on November 11, the first round of interviews on November 14, and the second round of interviews on December 2.  It was noted that each date would be posted as a Board meeting and the candidate review and interviews will be conducted in closed session. Due to these changes, there will be no Committee of the Whole on November 11 prior to the regular meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. as scheduled.  The Board noted that at the time of the meeting, there were 19 completed applications and 36 applications in progress.

    Review of 2019 Resolutions Committee Report:  

    The Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) published its Resolutions Committee Report, which entails a summary of recommendations submitted by local school boards. Those include: 10 proposed resolutions, five amendments to current position statements, and one reaffirmation of a current position statement.  The Board discussed one recommended resolution to allow teachers to be armed during the school day. Following discussion, the Board consented to vote in opposition to the resolution at the upcoming IASB delegate assembly this November.

    Advisory Committee Updates:


    • Policy / Personnel Advisory Committee:  The Committee discussed parents visiting their students during lunchtime, and reached consensus to recommend allowing parents to visit on special occasions, such as birthdays or other recognitions, but not to allow daily visits.  Additionally, another provision under consideration in the policy would allow parents to take students off-campus for lunch, but that outside food delivery services should be prohibited. Discussions will continue at an upcoming Committee meeting.

    • Finance / Operations Advisory Committee: The Committee discussed a proposed change to the state income tax that may result in a freeze on school property taxes.  They also had a discussion regarding the proposal to consolidate districts across the state, noting that, while it may be appropriate for a smaller district, consolidating with High School District 230 may be difficult and not a financially sound decision.  It was also noted that the State is still contemplating placing the burden of teacher pensions on school districts. The Committee discussed the levy, and a recommendation will be made at the November meeting. A discussion was also held regarding the National School Lunch Program trial currently taking place across the district, noting that a survey would be provided once the trial concluded and a decision would be made after that feedback was reviewed.



    Printer/Copier RFP

    The Board will be asked to approve a printer/copier bid during the regular meeting.  The RFP process was reviewed by the Finance/Operations and Technology Board Advisory Committees as well. One vendor’s proposal came in at a cost significantly below the others that were received, and would provide an estimated $100,000 savings annually for the District over a 45-month period.

    Levy Process and Consumer Price Index

    Possible levy scenarios will be presented at the November 11 Board of Education meeting, with a recommendation to approve the estimated levy for 2019.  Mr. Bryk noted that it must be adopted in December and presented to the county prior to the end of the calendar year.

    Review of New & Revised Board Policies - 1st Read

    The Board briefly reviewed several changes and additions to Board policies.  Visit BoardDocs for a complete list of revisions.  The Board also noted that it will reserve the right to continue conducting the first reading of its policies, rather than assuming the responsibility to the Policy/Personnel Board Advisory Committee.

    Board Policies Scheduled for 5-Year Review

    The Board reviewed several policies that are required by law to be reviewed every 5 years.  For a complete list of policies up for review, visit BoardDocs.


    Board of Education Meeting

    Citizen’s Remarks

    Citizen’s remarks included a request for Board members to accept questions prior to their meetings in order to receive timely responses, concerns related to lunch visitor limitations, and a discussion of the IAR results from the Spring 2019 data presented in September.

    Student Presentation

    High Point students posing with Board members after their presentation at the October meeting

    Principal Colleen Joyce introduced several students representing High Point’s Media Team, who showcased their school’s community groups, which typically meet on Professional Learning Days to discuss a variety of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) topics. Asst. Principal Kristin Beeler also noted High Point’s recent recognition as an Apple Distinguished school. Following the presentation, the Board applauded the students and the High Point staff for their outstanding efforts in this important project.

    October 2019 - National Principals Month

    Mr. Bryk noted that October is National Principals Month, and that October 20-26 is Principals Week in Illinois.  Mr. Bryk thanked all of the principals and assistant principals for their dedication and leadership to the students and the District 135 community.

    Veterans Day Activities

    Mr. Bryk noted that the Board has been provided a list of this year’s Veterans Day activities from across the District and are welcome to attend all events.

    Action Items

    The Board of Education approved all agenda items at its regular meeting on October 15, 2019.  To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs.

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