September 10, 2018

Posted by Administrator on 9/21/2018

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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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

Student Recognitions:

ISTE Student Representatives

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


Student Technology Ambassadors

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


Staff Recognitions:

ABCDE Awards

Rick Hansen

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


Julie Muchna

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


Leah Herman

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

Joanne Kapsaskis

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


Not Pictured ABCDE recipients: 

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



Special Recognition

Dr. Michele Sheehan

Dr. Michele Sheehan was recognized for earning her Doctorate