Board Briefs: May 2019

The District 58 Board of Education held a regular business meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019. View the agenda and presentation links. Meeting audio and video will be linked here.

Highlights from the meeting include:

Board Approves Four Administrative Appointments
District 58 warmly welcomes the following newly-appointed administrators, effective July 1, 2019:

  • Amy Read, Herrick Middle School principal
  • Zachary Craft, Highland School principal
  • Matthew Jewell, Fairmount School assistant principal/curriculum coordinator
  • Christine Priester, Highland School assistant principal/curriculum coordinator

Learn more about District 58’s four new administrators.

Spotlight on our Schools: Preliminary Staffing Plans for 2019-20
As guided by the Strategic Plan, District 58 created the Resources Review Council in fall 2018.  Assistant Superintendent for Personnel Dr. Jayne Yudzentis presented an overview of the group’s progress. This year, the Council developed a definition of “equitable” (view slide 3) and set districtwide class size targets. They recommend the following targets, effective for the 2019-20 school year:

Preschool: 15-18 students per class
Grades K-2: 80 percent of classrooms will have 24 or fewer students
Grades 3-8: 80 percent of classrooms will have 26 or fewer students

The Council realizes that classrooms can vary in size due to the District’s small neighborhood school model and the varying needs of students, which makes open communication very important.  The Council discussed the need to be proactive in more broadly communicating about staffing allocations, as well as the rationale behind various decisions. As a result, additional communication steps have been added to the staffing process.  If a classroom does not meet its target class size, the school will communicate its decision-making rationale to parents. If a grade K-2 classroom reaches 28 students or a grade 3-8 classroom reaches 29 students, the school and district teams will work to identify possible next steps and necessary actions to ensure all student needs can be met. View slides 4-5 to access more information on class size targets.

In the coming year, the Resources Review Council plans to continue developing a more formal system for related services staff allocation. Related services staff include resource teachers, social workers, psychologists, speech pathologists and nurses.  Communication about the systems will be an important next step, in order to develop a better understanding throughout the school community.

View the Preliminary Staffing Plan for 2019-20 presentation to learn more.

Facility Planning Council Update
Assistant Superintendent for Business Todd Drafall and Wight & Company Architect Amy (Fuller) Tiberi presented the Board with a facility planning update. The District’s Facility Planning Council, in conjunction with Wight & Company, will continue its development efforts toward a Facility Master Plan. To prepare, the Facility Planning Council evaluated its facility planning research and the feedback it received from this winter’s community and staff visioning sessions. The Council created three guiding principles, six key drivers, and four ingredients (or action areas) that will build the Facility Master Plan’s foundation.

The three guiding principles are: Safe and Healthy Environments; 21st Century Learning; and Connectedness.

The key drivers of the Facility Master Plan are:

  1. Create safe and secure atmospheres.
  2. Improve indoor air quality.
  3. Create spaces for 21st century learning and doing.
  4. All buildings have maintenance and capital improvement needs.
  5. Explore grade reconfiguration – freeing up space in elementary schools and exploring feasibility of 6-8 middle schools.
  6. Evaluate District facility use (Longfellow and Administrative Service Center).

The four action areas are: Maintenance, Safe and Healthy Environments, 21st Century Learning, and Comprehensive Improvements, the latter of which specifically calls the District to evaluate its existing middle school model.

In April 2019, the Facility Planning Council met with the Instructional Model Review Council to review their research into middle school models and to discuss the feasibility of District 58 moving to a grade 6-8 middle school model. Architect Wight & Company presented two preliminary Herrick Middle School renovation concepts and one preliminary O’Neill Middle School renovation concept that would accommodate sixth graders, as well as resolve the schools’ other facility needs, as directed in the guiding principles and key drivers. The Councils also summarized its elementary schools’ facility needs, as related to the first three action areas: Maintenance; Safe and Healthy Environments; and 21st Century Learning.

District 58 will offer several community engagement opportunities as it prepares its Facility Master Plan. This month, the District invites the public to community engagement sessions on May 21 and May 22 and staff to a community engagement session on May 29.

View the entire Facility Planning Update presentation to learn more.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli shared several announcements with the Board, including:

  • Staff celebrations: Congratulations to Distinguished Service Award winners Todd McDaniel and Nicole Ferroli, and Teachers of the Year Karen Ryan and Traci Leach. Dr. Cremascoli also thanked the Board and community for celebrating District 58’s fantastic employees during the recent Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.
  • Student celebrations: Congratulations to this year’s Select 58 eighth grade award recipients.
  • Open houses were well-attended. Dr. Cremascoli thanked teachers and staff for their hard work making the open houses a wonderful celebration of students and their work.
  • Incoming Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell has visited each school and met with central office staff. He has also attended several Board meetings and other District events.
  • 2019-20 registration is open through May 17. Please register now! Timely registration is critically important to the District’s staffing decisions.
  • During the May 9 Half-Day School Improvement Day, teachers engaged in learning and professional development activities along with school improvement work.
  • During consent agenda this evening, District 58 is proud to rehire many teachers and hire four new administrators. Pending registration numbers, District 58 expects to rehire additional teachers.

Business Report

Assistant Superintendent for Business Todd Drafall reported that this past month, the District received a state revenue payment and a corporate personal property tax check; the District also anticipates early property tax payments from DuPage County in mid-May and the first week of June. Thanks to these anticipated payments, the District has sufficient funds on hand to cover expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year. Forty-three percent of the District’s revenue is received in the last 30 days of the fiscal year. Drafall also noted that expenditures are on budget, and he pointed out that this month’s copier bid, if approved, would replace all district and school printers with more cost-effective and efficient color copiers.

Committee Reports:

Board Member Jill Samonte reported on the April 30 Policy Committee meeting. The committee continued its work aligning District 58’s Board Policy Manual with the Illinois Association of School Boards’ (IASB) model policy guide and recommended the revision of nine policies and the deletion of one policy, deemed no longer applicable. The Board approved the first reading of the policies and will place them on the June agenda for final approval.

Board Member Kirat Doshi reported on the April 17 Legislative Committee meeting. The committee debriefed on the recent Legislative Breakfast, noting successes, challenges and ideas for the future.

Board Member Darren Hughes reported on the May 10 Financial Advisory Committee meeting. The committee discussed potential new investment options for District 58 and will invite a financial group to present these options at the next meeting. The committee also discussed the Longfellow Center’s property value and current inefficiencies. The Committee asked the District to prioritize evaluating the feasibility of selling the Longfellow Center.

The District Leadership Team has not met since the last Board meeting.

Pierce Downer Spotlight

The Pierce Downer Student Council, Principal Chris Collins and Assistant Principal Lauri Cole shared some of the activities, programs, charitable projects and special projects that Pierce Downer has proudly achieved this school year. In addition, PTA Co-Presidents Mariah Cameron and Stephanie Vroman highlighted some of the activities the PTA supports, including a new family welcoming program, instructional school assemblies, family engagement programs and more.

View a short video featuring recent Student Council-led Spirit Days.
View a presentation highlighting the “ABCs of Pierce Downer,” created by Mrs. Collins and Ms. Cole.

During the Meeting, the Board Also:

  • Recognized students who excelled in the Illinois Young Authors Conference Contest.
  • Approved the purchase of the FUSE Studio Create package for $35,500. These resources will be used in the new eighth grade exploratory course, STEAM Studio. Memo.
  • Approved a three-year contract for Seesaw for Schools for a total of $46,413. Memo.
  • Approved a classroom lease agreement between District 58 and SASED for the 2019-20 school year, with a $23,000 room rental rate and an expected total receipt of $115,000 for District 58. Memo.
  • Approved a three-year contract with Proven IT for 36 copier leases at a rate of $6,738.78 per month and a corresponding maintenance agreement for those devices, pending attorney review. Memo.
  • Approved bids for custodial supplies to Warehouse Direct, Ramrod, Unique and Performance Chemical. Memo. Bid recap.
  • Adopted a resolution authorizing a transfer of funds from the Education Fund to the Debt Service Fund to cover costs for the copier lease. Memo.
  • Approved second readings on six revised policies:  Policies #5100 – Admission-Residence, #5101 – School Admissions and Student Transfers, #5131 – Student Behavior and Discipline, #5138 – Prevention of and Response to Bullying, #5138.2 – Sexual Harassment Prohibited, and #6002 – Title I Programs.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, May 21 at 7 a.m.: Policy Committee at the ASC
  • Tuesday, May 21 at 4 p.m.: District Leadership Team at Longfellow
  • Friday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m.: Retiree Luncheon at the Hyatt Lodge
  • Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Village Hall

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Greg Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk, Jill Samonte and Tracy Weiner, with Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.