January 14, 2019

Posted by Administrator on 1/16/2019



Committee of the Whole

RFP - Surplus Maintenance Vehicle:

Mr. Hansen stated that one of the maintenance department's fleet trucks is too difficult to maintain in-house, so they are putting out a request for proposal to sell it.  It will be more cost effective for the District to sell it than to try to continue to maintain it.

Proposed Disposal - Surplus HVAC Controllers:

Mr. Hansen also noted that the HVAC components from Meadow Ridge and Century Junior High have been replaced, and they need Board approval to dispose of the items since the District will not be able to collect any money by selling them.

State of the District:

Each District department presented a brief overview of their mid-year state of affairs.

  • Communications: Mrs. Obright presented on the cost savings to the District by eliminating all print newsletters and school handbooks, noting that these have been replaced with digital sources of information.  She also touched on the growth of BoardBlog and the District's social media accounts as a source of reliable information for the public. Mrs. Obright also noted that continued website accessibility training will occur for all staff members.
  • Curriculum: Dr. Snyder presented that according to the "All Students" group, all of the ten D135 schools were "Commendable". He also noted that, while the District did not go to Standards-Based Grading due to the State Assessment, that test is entirely standards-based, and students are expected to have a better understanding of those standards now.  Dr. Snyder additionally discussed several resources and processes that are being implemented in the District.
  • Teaching & Learning: Dr. Zeder noted that as of January 2019, 16% of certified staff have their ESL (English as a Second Language) endorsement, compared with the targeted goal of 10%.  She noted that a third of incoming students require ELL (English Language Learner) services, particularly at the primary level. Dr. Zeder also presented on the ongoing school improvement meetings happening at each building.  In addition to the required plan for OJH, the Administration will work with each building to develop an improvement plan.
  • Special Education & Student Services: Mrs. Janettas noted that two special education coordinators have been added to the staff to assist with student and staff needs.  She presented data showing that D135 special education students are exceeding state proficiency in language arts and math, and she mentioned that a new dyslexia resource is being piloted in D135.  Mrs. Janettas said that the District continues to see diversity among its student body. She also noted that vision screening will be available on site for students.
  • Instructional Technology: Mr. Bohula presented on his department targets, including increasing efficiency of staffing and resources, cutting costs by removing classroom PCs, and increasing the balance of teacher versus technology time.  He also noted that his team is working to improve network security across the District. Mr. Bohula stated that beginning this summer, students in grades 3-7 will be able to take their devices home with them. This initiative would eliminate the need for summer interns and allow students access to instructional tools while on break.  Parents may opt-out of having the device go home for the summer.
  • Human Resources: Mrs. Owens stated that she continues to work on updating administrative procedures and exhibits, as well as implementing state-mandated training requirements.  She discussed the summer substitute training program, which will include classroom management, as well as managing the substitute shortage. She noted that D135 currently fills 94.7% of sub requests, which is good in comparison to surrounding districts.  Mrs. Owens also noted that the implementation of the Employee Assistance Program, Wellness Program, and additional professional development opportunities are going quite well.
  • Finance: Mr. Bryk noted that all registration payments will now be processed online, and that seems to be going well.  He also stated that his department is working on cross-training so that responsibility can be shared among several people if a need arises.  Mr. Bryk mentioned that he will continue to evaluate the current food service program and work with Quest to make improvements based on a recent survey.  He noted that the department would like to eliminate cash handling in FY20.
  • Risk Management & Safety: Mr. Hughes stated that transportation services are running efficiently.  He noted that a review of surveillance at each building is underway, and updates will be made as necessary to address blind spots.  Mr. Hughes noted that an Emergency Action Plan has been put in place for the Administration Center, and drills have taken place. He additionally noted that the WAVE PLUS safety system will be installed in the remaining buildings, and administrators will continue working on Threat Assessment Protocol training.
  • Buildings & Grounds: Mr. Hansen stated that, during inspection, minor violations were discovered and corrected immediately.  Mr. Hansen said that due to the replacement HVAC controllers, a $48,000 ComEd rebate was received. He noted that remodeling at Park will continue both inside and outside, the carpet will be replaced at Meadow Ridge, and roof work is pending at Orland Junior High and High Point.  Mr. Hansen also noted that the District can save nearly $9,000 annually by replacing the alarm monitoring system, which they plan to do.

Financial Planning:

Dr. SKogsberg noted that a comprehensive cost-savings plan had been provided to the Board, noting that the plan included a savings approximately $1.7M from Teaching & Learning, $1.5M from Operations, and $400,000 from District Office.  He noted that some recommendations are straightforward, while others will require additional consideration. Dr. Berry noted that there would be some discomfort and 'belt-tightening' as we move forward, but it is necessary.

Regular Board of Education Meeting


The Board approved all agenda items for the regular meeting on January 14, 2019.

Student Presentation:

The Meadow Ridge TV crew presented on their unique way of combining writing and technology to produce video morning announcements, entirely run by students.  MRTV was a key component of Meadow Ridge's journey to becoming an Apple Distinguished School.

Students presenting at the Board Meeting

Two students presenting at the Board Meeting

Students posing with staff at the Board Meeting

Staff Recognitions:

ABCDE Awards

Lisa FInk

Lisa Fink was nominated by Julie Rein, Meg Carr, Bridget Jordan, and Lori Mathias for the value of COMPASSION.

Megan Esposito

Megan Esposito was nominated by Marilyn Bucci and Dana Karczewski for the value of COMPASSION.