December 10, 2018

Posted by Administrator on 12/21/2018

Committee of the Whole:


Public comment:

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

Parent/teacher conference survey:

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

Proposed amended 2018-19 school calendar:

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

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

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

Proposed 2019-2020 school calendar:

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

Fall housing report:

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

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

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

Specific rates of pay:

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

Tax Relief:

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



Board policy updates:

See BoardDocs.


Regular Board of Education Meeting:

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

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


To view the agenda, visit BoardDocs. 


Community Spirit Award:


Dorlene Poe

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


ABCDE Awards:

Carita Hall

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


Jackie Valentine

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


Patti Loichinger

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


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


Brenda Lee

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


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


Carolyn White

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


Jennifer Madsen

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


Sandy Sotzen

Sandy Sotzen was nominated anonymously for the value of COMPASSION.


Mary Fox

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