News from CCSD15 Board of Education

April 16, 2020

Staffing Projections Increased for 2020-21 School Year

District 15's 2020-21 enrollment and staffing projections were presented to the Board at its April 8 meeting, showing the need to add 6.83 full-time equivalent (FTE) certified staff members for next year.


In preparation for the 2020-21 school year, a preliminary review of staffing needs was conducted by both central office and building administration. Projected enrollment for the upcoming school year, current staffing allocations, grade level sections, projected number of students exiting bilingual education and unique building needs were evaluated.


Over the last four years, administration has used both historical as well as current student enrollment data to determine future enrollment projections. This year, D15 also began tracking enrollment month-by-month in order to provide an even more accurate staff allocation forecast for future years.

Review the full presentation on enrollment and staffing projections by clicking here.


Enrollment will continue to be monitored and adjustments will be made to staffing as enrollment at each school fluctuates between now and the start of the 2020-21 school year. The final staffing plan will be presented to the Board of Education in October.

Academically Talented and Gifted Program Update

The Board of Education heard an update regarding the Academically Talented and Gifted Program at its April 8 meeting. In the 2019-20 school year, two schools that house program have experienced space constraints (Pleasant Hill and Central Road). To address this situation, the 3/4 gifted classroom at Pleasant Hill is reassigning students to the gifted classrooms located at Marion Jordan and Hunting Ridge.

Parents of students in the Pleasant Hill gifted class will have the option to continue with the program at these alternative sites or to remain at Pleasant Hill and return to a general education classroom. In the future, new students from Pleasant Hill that are eligible for the gifted program will be assigned to Marion Jordan. Central Road students in the gifted program will remain in the Central Road classes, but future students will be assigned to the gifted classroom at Winston Campus Elementary School. In both cases, bus transportation will be provided.


Furthermore, administrative reviews of the Academically Talented and Gifted program have identified three areas to review and address: alignment with the District’s other acceleration program, disproportionality in the gifted program’s student make-up, and how the program can provide a broader reach to those students in need of enrichment.


To support this review, D15 has contracted with a national consultant to help guide its efforts with this process. A joint committee of administrators and staff to are also engaged in the review process. Parent input from families who participated in the program and families whose children were considered, but were not eligible, is also a planned part of the review.


To view the full presentation, click here.

Bond Financing Option Presentation

At its April 8 meeting, the Board of Education heard a presentation from financial advisor Elizabeth Hennessy regarding the district's bond financing options to fund ongoing facilities projects and overall building maintenance.

District 15 has nearly $100 million in outstanding health & life safety facilities work that must be completed over the next several years as part of the Illinois State Board of Education's health/life safety code guidelines.


Hennessy provided a market update, debt limit and outstanding debt summary for District 15 as well as financing options and schedule. The full presentation can be viewed online.


The Board will continue discussing financing options at future meetings.

Board Approves Additional Instructional Coach Positions for 2020-21

At the April 8 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the hiring of four additional instructional coaches and one additional Culturally & Linguistically Responsive Teaching coach for the 2020-21 school year.


INSTRUCTIONAL COACHES

Instructional coaches provide valuable job-embedded and ongoing professional development to ensure teachers are equipped to deliver responsive and differentiated instruction to a wide array of students. Currently, D15 has dedicated a portion of Title I federal funds for instructional coaches at eight of its Title 1 schools. Since the Board's approval of the additional coaches, all Title 1 schools will have an instructional coach for the 2020-21 school year.


CULTURALLY & LINGUISTICALLY RESPONSIVE (CLR) COACH

District 15 has 12 of 20 schools that have been trained with CLR practices. The goal is to have all 20 schools on board over the next two school years. Currently D15 has one internal CLR coach and relies on external coaches from Teacher Created Materials (TCM) to supplement the work we can do in-house. This external training is costly, and will be pared back significantly with the hiring of an additional internal CLR coach.