Board Briefs – November 2018

The District 58 Board of Education held its regular business meeting on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. View the agenda and presentation links. Meeting audio will be linked here.

Highlights from the meeting include:

Spotlight on our Schools: Professional Learning in District 58

Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Dr. Jayne Yudzentis and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul shared a spotlight on District 58’s professional learning, planning and evaluation. Their presentation reviewed the topics planned for this year’s teacher institute days, school improvement and collaboration days, grade-level collaboration meetings, department meetings and more. They also discussed the benefits of ongoing collaboration and professional learning, as well as how they use staff feedback to improve professional learning.

View the presentation.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli shared updates and information on several topics, including School Board Members Day (Nov. 15), Teacher Institute Day (Nov. 26), facility planning, the upcoming preschool state audit, District 58 and state surveys, Education Foundation grants, ESSA parent forums, and water testing.

Business Report

Assistant Superintendent for Business/Chief School Business Official Todd Drafall presented the Business Report. He reported that:

  • Revenues and expenditures are on budget.
  • District 58 completed $2.6 million in capital work during summer 2018. Although waiting on final receipts, District 58 expects its summer 2018 work to be $200,000 under budget.
  • The District expects to receive its annual state audit results later this month. Provided this report is issued when expected, the completed audit and annual financial report will be presented during the regular December Board meeting.
  • During this meeting, the Board approved a recommendation to adopt a $57.2 million tax levy, or an increase of 4.991 percent. However, the District expects and will budget for a much lower increase, as the District is limited annually by its tax cap, which for 2018 is 2.1 percent plus any new property. The new property amount is not yet known for this year.

Board Meeting Recordings and Communications Discussion

Board Members Darren Hughes and Elizabeth Sigale led a discussion regarding Board of Education communications. In consideration of Strategic Goal #2: Connecting the Community, they asked the Board and District administration to consider video recording Board meetings. The District provided information on video recording options. The Board agreed that video recording Board meetings would be valuable and discussed the pros and cons. After discussion, they asked the District to work with the Village of Downers Grove to provide video services on a trial basis, ideally beginning in January. They also asked the District to explore options to improve the quality and accessibility of its Board audio recordings.

In preparation for the next District Leadership Team meeting later this month, Members Elizabeth Sigale and Darren Hughes said that they would like the District Leadership Team to consider options to increase its communications support. Before having this conversation, they wanted feedback from the Board. Board members offered support to get the conversation started.

Committee Reports

Board Member Greg Harris reported on the Oct. 16 Policy Committee meeting. The committee continued its work aligning District 58’s Board Policy Manual with the Illinois Association of School Board’s model policy guide and recommended the revision of 12 policies and the deletion of two redundant policies. They approved the first reading of the policies and will place them on the December agenda for final approval.

Board Members John Miller and Darren Hughes reported on the Nov. 9 Financial Advisory Committee. They noted that the major discussion points were covered in the Business Report. They added that this month’s meeting welcomed a few new members whose diverse perspectives helped enrich the meeting discussions.

The Legislative Committee and the District Leadership Team have not met since the last Board meeting.

Herrick Spotlight

The Herrick Middle School Student Council, Principal Matt Neustadt and PTA Co-President Kim Peters discussed some of Herrick’s recent achievements. For example, the Herrick Student Council organizes several spirit days and charitable projects for their school. New this year, they will host a basketball fundraiser to support pancreatic cancer research. The PTA shared that their recent Raise Craze program — a fundraiser that asks community members for donations in exchange for acts of kindness — generated $36,000, enough to cover all PTA operating expenses for the year.

View the Student Council’s presentation.

During the meeting, the Board also:

Upcoming Events

  • Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 7 a.m.: Policy Committee Meeting at the ASC
  • Nov. 16-18: IASB/IASA/IASBO Joint Annual Conference in Chicago
  • Monday, Nov. 26 at 6:15 p.m.: Staff Meet & Greet with the Board at Kingsley School
  • Monday, Nov. 26 at 7 p.m.: Financial Workshop at Kingsley School
  • Monday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.: Board of Education Candidate Forum at Kingsley School
  • Tuesday, Nov. 27 at 3:45 p.m.: District Leadership Team Meeting at Longfellow
  • Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 4:15 p.m.: Legislative Committee Meeting at the ASC
  • Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6:30 p.m.: Board Building Tour and PTA Meeting Visit at Hillcrest School

District 58 Board of Education members are: Doug Purcell, president; Elizabeth Sigale, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Greg Harris, Darren Hughes, John Miller and Jill Samonte, with Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.