Highlights from the meeting include:
Spotlight on our Schools: Strategic Planning Update
District 58 partnered with consulting group Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates (HYA) last fall to launch a comprehensive strategic planning effort. HYA conducted interviews and focus groups with 575 community members and reviewed strategic planning survey responses from 2,463 participants. HYA used this feedback to create a draft Strategic Plan Report, which they presented to the Board. The Board will vote to approve it during their regular May meeting.
The Strategic Plan Report lists the District’s strengths and growth areas, as perceived by the community. It features the community’s aspirations and a portrait of a District 58 graduate. It highlights the District’s mission, vision and guiding principles. It also contains three strategic goal areas and aligned objectives to guide the District’s decision-making during the next three-to-five years.
The three main strategic goal areas are:
Goal 1: Focusing on Learning: Enhance and support learning to meet the needs of all students.
Goal 2: Connecting the Community: Cultivate and strengthen community relationships by focusing on communication, collaboration and consistency.
Goal 3: Securing the Future: Provide safe and effective learning environments in fiscally-responsible ways.
The Board will be asked to consider and approve the proposed draft Strategic Plan at the May Board Meeting, after which District teams will work to develop timelines, committees, action plans and metrics for guiding and monitoring this work over the next five years.
Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli provided the Board information on 2018-19 school year registration, planning and budgeting for the 2018-19 school year and personnel hiring. She also shared information on several upcoming events, including the Realtor Breakfast (April 26), School Open Houses (April 26 and May 3), Select 58 (May 9), Distinguished Service Awards (May 15), the DGEEA Retiree Celebration (May 4) and the Board Retiree Celebration (May 25).
Assistant Superintendent for Business/Chief School Business Official David Bein provided the Business Report to the Board. Key highlights include:
- The Lester construction project is on schedule. Bids for the Kingsley fire alarm and Fairmount mechanical/electrical work will be opened later this month, and the District will make bid recommendations at the May meeting.
- The State currently owes District 58 about $841,000. In addition, several other revenue sources, including the replacement tax (CPPRT) and special education funding, are also tracking below the expected revenue amounts. If not offset, the District will end the fiscal year with a larger than projected deficit.
- The State recently signed legislation enabling the payment of incremental evidence-based model funding. This legislation will provide District 58 with about $101,000 in additional funding, bringing the expected total evidence-based model funding very close to the budgeted level.
Discussion: 1:1 Learning Initiative: Device Refresh Planning Update
Director of Innovative Technology and Learning James Eichmiller shared that District 58’s iPad fleet is four-to-five years old and reaching the end of its useful life. To help guide future 1:1 device decision-making, the Innovative Technology and Learning Committee recently administered a teacher technology survey, which received 230 responses.
Eichmiller presented the survey results to the Board. In general, teachers reported that not having a 1:1 student device would have a negative impact on student learning. However, many teachers also indicated that 1:1 device use at home is less critical.
Eichmiller shared that the Innovative Technology and Learning Committee recommends that the District refresh and renew its 1:1 device initiative. This refresh would include additional educational technology professional development. The Committee will share additional insights on how 1:1 technology can enhance learning during the May Board meeting, and after a thorough budget review, the District expects to bring a 1:1 purchase recommendation during the June Board meeting.
Board Committee Reports
Policy Committee: Member Greg Harris reported that the committee met April 5 and continued its work to better align the District 58 policy manual with PRESS, the Illinois Association of School Board’s model policy service. The Committee plans to recommend several new policies for the Board’s review in the near future.
Legislative Committee: Member Beth Taylor reported that the committee held a “Coffee with the Legislators” meeting on April 6. This meeting replaced the annual Legislative Breakfast, which was canceled due to the snow day. Sen. John Curran, Rep. David Olsen, Hillary Denk (a representative from U.S. Rep. Bill Foster’s office) and Chris Jordan (a representative from U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam’s office) attended the meeting and answered questions on educational issues affecting District 58.
Meet & Confer Strategic Plan Committee: Member Elizabeth Sigale reported that the committee met March 22 to review HYA’s draft Strategic Plan report and provide feedback on it. This feedback was incorporated into the draft report that the consultants presented during this Board meeting.
Financial Advisory Committee: Member Darren Hughes reported on the April 3 meeting. The committee reviewed the new federal requirements for school district reporting of district-wide expenditure data at the school level, as well as the District’s progress toward implementing these new practices. The committee also reviewed the growing costs of health care and discussed concerns for these growing costs over time. The committee postponed additional work on possible solar power installations at this time.
Highland School Student Council Officers Dana, Laura and Zachary reported that it’s been a great school year so far. The Student Council hosted several fun spirit days and organized many charitable projects and fundraisers, including their most recent fundraiser, Pennies for Patients. The school raised and donated nearly $5,500 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation!
PTA President Dawn Burrows shared that the PTA met its annual fundraising goals during its fall Fun Run. This enabled the PTA to support field trips, assemblies, parent-child nights, teacher resources and more.
Principal Bridget Moore shared this year’s school motto: “Be the reason someone smiles today” and demonstrated many of the ways the school is living out this motto. She also produced a creative video that showed one second per day of the school year at Highland.
During the meeting, the Board also:
- Recognized students who excelled in the Illinois Young Author’s Conference Contest.
- Approved minutes from the March 12 Regular Meeting.
- Approved all items on the Consent Agenda as presented in the packet materials.
- Abated and transferred $2.1 million of Working Cash Funds to pay for the Lester School addition and other capital projects.
- Approved the tentative amended 2017-18 budget. This tentative amended budget is available publicly. The Board plans to hold a Budget Hearing on May 14. Afterward, they are expected to vote on it. More information.
- Approved a resolution to dismiss two part-time educational support personnel. Annually, positions are reduced pending enrollment and staffing plans for the upcoming year.
- Approved second readings on three policies: Policy #1150 – Community Relations – Citizen Communications with the Schools and the Board; Policy #8244 – Internal Board Operations – Determining Agenda; and Policy #3295 – Business – Record-Keeping Policy and Post-Issuance Compliance. The Board approved revisions to policies #1150 and #8244 and the creation of Policy #3295.
- Monday, April 23 at 6:15 p.m.: Staff Meet & Greet with the BOE at Herrick Middle School
- Monday, April 23 at 7 p.m.: Budget Workshop at Herrick Middle School
- Monday, May 14 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall
District 58 Board of Education members are: Doug Purcell, president; Elizabeth Sigale, vice president; Greg Harris, Darren Hughes, John Miller, Jill Samonte and Beth Taylor, with Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.