Board Briefs September 2023
Volume 27, No. 3 | Friday, September 29, 2023
NEWS FROM THE SEPTEMBER 26, 2023 MEETING
Budget Supports New Staff, Maintenance, Programs
The majority of the district’s budget is allocated to salaries and benefits for employees that provide a robust instructional program for students.
The board approved the 2023-24 budget as presented by Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato. View the 2023-24 Budget Overview
Local revenues fund 95% of the budget, with federal and state funds covering the remaining 5%. The district taps into reserves to pay for building improvements and maintenance projects, which total $715,000. The budget also includes contingency funds of $781,500 used only if there are unforeseen expenses.
Total property tax revenues are anticipated to increase by 6% over last year due primarily to a combination of new property development and the consumer price index, which sets the amount the district can increase its property tax levy.
The budget includes additional staff to meet the needs of students, including two special education teachers; 1.5 social worker positions; a Board Certified Behavior Analyst; a speech-language pathologist; and a part-time occupational therapist.
Capital Project expenditures of $715,000 funded the following projects:
- Air conditioning unit replacement for the Greenbriar auditorium
- Elevator replacement at Northbrook Junior High School (NBJH)
- Gym divider wall replacement at NBJH
- Terrazzo floor repair at NBJH
- Keycard access installation at NBJH and Meadowbrook School
- Fencing at Westmoor School
- Office renovations at the District Office
- Concrete repairs district-wide
Northbrook Junior High leadership team includes, from left, Dr. Heather Schultz, Asst. Dir. of Student Services; Dr. Scott Meek, Prinicipal, and Christine Lake, Assistant Principal
Board Applauds National Blue Ribbon Effort
Northbrook Junior High is among 20 schools in Illinois to receive the 2023 National Blue Ribbon School award. The recognition is based on the school’s exemplary academic performance. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators throughout the nation, the U.S. Department of Education noted in its announcement of the awards earlier this month.
Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson and the board commemorated the efforts of NBJH Principal Dr. Scott Meek in completing the application process. Schools are identified by the Illinois State Board of Education and are invited to apply by the U.S. Dept. of Education. A lengthy application process must be completed confidentially and reviewed by the federal agency. The state is then required to certify that the school has maintained its high academic performance as a final step in the process.
“I am incredibly impressed and proud of the NBJH staff and students for receiving this honor,” Dr. Pearson said.
Dr. Meek, Dr. Pearson and a representative teacher will travel to Washington, D.C. to accept the award on Nov. 16-17. A special school celebration is being planned for after Thanksgiving break.
Northbrook Junior High joins Glenbrook North High School, which also received the 2023 National Blue Ribbon. Westmoor School received the award in 2022 and Greenbriar School received the award in 2013. Northbrook Junior High also received the award in 1992. Schools are eligible to be nominated every 10 years.
Buildings and Grounds
Work Continues On 10-year Facility Master Plan
DLA architects, the firm hired to develop a 10-year Master Facility Plan, have met with administration at each of the district’s schools to review data collected since the project began last spring, Jessica Donato, Chief School Business Official said.
The architecture firm is working with various engineers, a demographer and a school safety and security specialist to provide their expertise. A final report is expected to be presented to the Board of Education in January.
The report will include:
- Architectural surveys of existing facilities
- Mechanical, electrical and plumbing survey
- Roof Evaluation and analysis of all buildings
- Safety and security assessment
- Capacity studies of all schools including room utilization, programs and services
- Demographic study to forecast student enrollment
- Short-term and long-term priorities
- Project cost estimates for recommended improvements and maintenance items
- High-level bubble diagrams and preliminary cost estimates for possible remodeling or additions at Meadowbrook.
Welcome New Staff!
Welcome to the following certified staff who were approved by the Board of Education:
Natalie O’Brien, School Nurse, Northbrook Junior High
Ms. O’Brien is joining Northbrook Junior High as the school nurse after six years in health care. She began her career as an Operating Room Nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She was also a Team Lead Clinical Coordinator for Northshore University Health Systems, a Service Coordinator for Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest and an agency nurse for PRN Healthcare. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from University of Tampa.
Welcome to the following support staff approved by the Board of Education:
- Lois Edwards, instruction assistant, Greenbriar
- Qua’Vyana Frazier, Special Education Assistant, Greenbriar
- Robert Moy, Special Education Assistant, Greenbriar
- Julie O’Brian, Instructional Assistant, Greenbriar
Enrollment Steady But Fluctuates Among Schools
In his back-to-school report, Dr. Pearson reported that overall student enrollment this year is 1,854 – which is just nine students more than last August. However, the enrollment between schools is experiencing more fluctuation.
Compared to last year, September enrollment shows:
Greenbriar is up 11 students to 351 students, which includes moving a foundational class from Meadowbrook;
Meadowbrook has eight more students, with 453;
Westmoor is down 20 students to 402, including Young Explorers Early Childhood Program
Northbrook Junior High has 20 more students than last year with 645 students.
Dr. Pearson said that enrollment trends and a demographic study that will be part of the forthcoming Master Facility Plan will give the district more data to help plan for the next 10 years.
District Communications Receive State Recognition
District 28 communications received seven awards at the annual Illinois Chapter of National School Public Relations Association Communications Contest.
Meadowbrook Principal Ericka Garza, Greenbriar Principal Dr. Ginny Hiltz and Communications Director Terry Ryan, APR, received Awards of Excellence in electronic newsletters for the “Meadowbrook Star,” “Greenbriar Gazette” and the employee newsletter “As A Matter of Fact.”
Dr. Jason Pearson and Ms. Ryan were recognized with an Award of Merit for the podcast, “Insight 28,” and the special purpose publication, “Superintendent’s Entry Plan Report.” Ms. Ryan was also recognized with Awards of Merit for video, “What Makes Westmoor a Blue Ribbon School,” and for the printed community newsletter, “Update 28.”
Want to Know More?
The Board of Education meetings are live-streamed on the District 28's YouTube Channel. The live streams are also archived for later viewing.
Next Meeting is OCTOBER 24 at 7 p.m.
The Board of Education meets in the HOH Community Room at District office, 1475 Maple Ave., Northbrook. The meetings are also live-streamed on the District 28 YouTube channel.
Visit Northbrook28.net for more information