August 13, 2018

Posted by Administrator on 8/29/2018

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

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

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