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October 1, 2018 Board Briefs

The Board Meeting on October 1, 2018, was held in Caruso Middle School’s newly updated Learning Commons so the Board of Education and the community could see the newly renovated space.

Items Presented for Information

  • Board of Education TEAMeX Survey Results 2018: Dr. McConnell presented the Board of Education TEAMeX Survey Results. After sharing the results, members of the Board discussed areas for improvement including communication. The presentation is linked.
  • District Managment Group (DMG) Schedule Feedback: Dr. McConnell shared feedback from the District Management Group’s findings from a recent survey. The purpose of this research is to ensure we are creating cost-effective elementary and middle school schedules. Takeaways from the DMG analysis are that elementary class size guidelines have helped with schedule efficiency, the difference in scheduling/staffing efficiency between elementary and middle schools is significant, the impact of declining enrollment is impacting elementary and middle school enrollment and the analysis matches Evidence-based funding (EBF) worksheet. The presentation is linked.
  • Teaching, Learning and Innovation Update: Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, Scott Schwartz, gave an update about Teaching, Learning and Innovation in District 109. Dr. Schwartz discussed data and assessments, communication, professional development and support, digital security, program evaluations and the technology roll out. The presentation is linked.


Action Items

The Board approved: 

  • The personnel item regarding a notice of remedial warning was approved.


Closing Community Participation

In the second community participation period, in which community members can address the Board on any topic, the following community member(s) spoke:

  • O’Neal Miller expressed concerns with the enrollment projections and tracking off-screen time for students.
    • Greg Himebaugh shared that they are aware of potential local developments and our analysis on the location shows no significant change with our projected numbers.
    • Dr. McConnell said that while we are not currently tracking off-screen time, it is something we could consider.
  • Patricia Reese (former parent) expressed while she enjoys evidence-based learning, she hopes our district wouldn’t lose the magic of the classroom. Ms. Reese also said that while technology is great for monitoring students, she is worried about how much parents can see into their children's’ lives in the classroom. Ms. Reese also expressed that while change is good, sometimes there can be too much change.
  • Jen Penzekik asked if we knew why enrollment numbers have declined.
    • Greg Himebaugh explained that this is a nation-wide trend.


  • Jodi Shapira gave a report for the Safety Committee, Presidents’ Council and her morning spent at South Park Elementary School.
  • Sari Montgomery asked for feedback for the IASB resolution to provide a vote based on feedback from the Board of Education.
  • Ken Ashman shared a conversation he had with a parent regarding the promotion of healthy habits for standardized tests and not normal class tests.
  • Dr. McConnell shared that South Park Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School earlier that afternoon. Dr. McConnell also told the Board about Caruso’s grand re-opening of their learning commons and announced that Shepard will have their grand re-opening next week on October 10. Dr. McConnell thanked the Willow House for providing free counseling to any of our staff who needed it after the unfortunate loss of Karyn Rudy Kamen.


The complete minutes for this meeting will be posted after they are approved by the Board at the next regular meeting, on Monday, October  22, 2018, at 7:00 pm at the District Center.