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August 20, 2018 Board Briefs

Superintendent’s Report
Institute Day: Dr. McConnell shared a summary of the teacher institute day on August 16, 2018. There was a lot of positive feedback on the student presenters - Julia Hoodack, Kyla Guru, and Will Hulsey - who shared stories of their experiences in District 109.

Professional Learning: There were 1,200 hours of work and professional learning this past summer. Staff worked on Lucy Calkins Reading/Writing and did curriculum work in math, science, ELA, music, art, and more.

Survey Update: Staff Culture survey is currently out and closes today (8/20). There will be a student and a parent survey out in October. The parent engagement survey will ask similar questions to the staff and student surveys.

Technology: One to one devices being are distributed. The District has improved content filtering and implemented 24/7 monitoring by trained professionals with a company called Securly. Parents will soon be able to access student browsing history, time spent on pages, videos, etc.

Program Evaluation: The strategic plan calls for two programs to be evaluated each year. This year, the focus will be on response to intervention, the middle school encore programming, and social studies. For the social studies evaluation, the district will be looking at content and curriculum resources. The district will also be reviewing the elementary and middle school schedules; information will be shared at the September meeting.

American Heart Association Presentation

The American Heart Association presented our physical education teachers from Walden, Wilmot, and Kipling with a certificate for their hard work raising money through Jump Rope for Heart. Walden Elementary School raised $13,917, Wilmot Elementary School raised $38,127, and Kipling Elementary School raised $40,115! Thank you to Matt Rendl (Walden), Sam Tallidis (Wilmot), and Brad Greenberg (Kipling) for all their hard work in organizing the fundraisers! Also, MANY THANKS to all those in our community who donated to this great cause, it is because of your generous donations that District 109 was able to raise $92,159 for The American Heart Association!

American Heart Association Recognition

Items Presented for Information
(Note: Most information items are presented at one board meeting, and then, after having an opportunity for review, the Board acts upon them at the next month’s meeting.)

  • FOIA: The District received and responded to two Freedom of Information Act requests.
  • Construction Update: Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Greg Himebaugh, gave an update to the Board regarding all current construction projects. The library centers are close to being completed, with a projection for the end of this month. All other spaces that were being worked on are currently usable. The district is waiting for a few custom items to be delivered.
  • Extended School Year Update: The Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, Joanna Ford,  and the District Coordinator for Student Services, Megan Chin, gave an overview of how the Extended School Year (ESY) program went this summer. The program, which ran from June 12 to July 13, included 47 students and 23 staff members. The total expenses for the program was $71,899. ESY had a partnership with The Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) that provided a half-day day camp for students following the morning ESY session. Based on feedback from a survey given after the program ran, parents like a four or five-week schedule and preferred the program to run right after the school year ended.
  • Haiti Project Team: Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, Greg Himebaugh, shared that old furniture from our schools was sent to schools in Haiti and the schools sent the Board a letter of gratitude for the donation. The students were very excited about their new furniture!

Action Items

The Board approved:

  • Memorandum of Understanding - Accelerated Math. There are a few students in 8th grade requiring upper-level high school instruction. Their teacher will be reimbursed for the extra time to prepare lessons for accelerated math for those students.
  • Board Policy Reviews, Adoptions, and Revisions 
  • The Consent Agenda items, including minutes of the regular and closed session minutes of July 23, 2018, and minutes of the special meeting minutes from August 7, 2018; July’s treasurer’s report, personnel (resignations and retirements leave of absence, employment); and bills for payment. 

Closing Community Participation
In the second community participation period, in which community members can address the Board on any topic, the following community members spoke:

  • Patricia Reese, a former parent, expressed concern for removing language learning from the elementary schools and asked about the new process for elementary advanced learning initiatives. The process for elementary advanced learning initiatives can be found on our website under teaching, learning, and innovation.


Sari Montgomery complimented the student speakers at teacher institute day and expressed how much she, and other staff, appreciated hearing the students’ stories.

Board President Nick Begley, shared that Walden, Kipling, and Wilmot were mentioned in the top schools list in the Chicago Magazine insert in the Tribune.  

Dr. McConnell mentioned there were students from the Shepard and Caruso Middle School Destination Imagination Teams being honored for their hard work at the Village Meeting. Dr. McConnell also informed the Board that Representative Brad Schneider will be at Caruso Middle School to welcome back all students on August 22.

The complete minutes for this meeting will be posted after they are approved by the Board at the next regular meeting, on Monday, September 17, 2018, at 7:00 pm at the District Center.