Board Briefs

August 24, 2020

Board Meeting Details

The August 24 board meeting was held both on site at the District Office and remotely via Zoom. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, only 10 people were permitted inside the boardroom at any given time, observing proper physical distancing and wearing face coverings. Members of the public could listen/observe the meeting by logging in to a designated Zoom webinar. For open/community participation, a laptop was set up in the District Office to accommodate live public comment. The district also created a dedicated voicemail line for public comment.

Presentation by Wilmot School

Bonnie Pettinger, Social Worker at Wilmot Elementary School, presented live to the Board of Education via Zoom an overview of the "What's Up Wilmot?" initiative.

Destination Imagination Recognition

Eric Steckling, Director of Communications, showcased a short video recognizing the Global Finals champion Destination Imagination team of 8th graders from Shepard Middle School and the unique circumstances they had to overcome to accomplish their task during the pandemic.

Superintendent's Report

  • Mr. Rafferty thanked the administration for their hard work to launch the beginning of the school year.

  • Ms. Arnold provided an update on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. After an application process, invitations to subcommittee members were sent on August 23rd. The first meeting of the full committee is scheduled for Tuesday, September 8th and subcommittees will convene in late September.

  • Ms. Ford provided an update on special education services. They are thinking about how to transition special education services in-person. As soon as next week, there may be extended “meet and greet” opportunities.

Community Participation Relative to Matters on the Meeting Agenda

There were 86 voicemails played and 2 live speakers during the community participation section. The overwhelming majority addressed the school re-entry/reopening efforts and the overwhelming majority implored some form of in-person instruction as soon as possible.

Freedom of Information Requests

Mr. Himebaugh shared a summary of FOIA requests. 3 were business-related and 3 were related to school reopening efforts.

Intergovernmental Agreement between the County of Lake and Deerfield Public Schools District 109

Mr. Himebaugh talked about the agreement, which will allow District 109 to access some funds from the CARES Act, approximately $88,000 from Lake County.

Memorandum of Understanding for Temperature Check Duty

Dr. Fisher talked about the agreement between District 109 and the Deerfield Education Association that would involve staff taking student temperatures at school entry points when in-person instruction resumes.

2020-2021 Public School Calendar Amendment

Dr. Fisher said that since November 3 (Election Day) has been declared a holiday, a calendar adjustment is needed.

Re-Entry Task Force Update

The Re-Entry Task Force gave a presentation on the work of the School Re-Entry Task Force and an update on where they stand in their progress. After the presentation, the board engaged in lengthy discussion about the process. The board agreed in principle that the administration should pursue a COVID-19 testing contract with a laboratory. It was mentioned that test turnaround time and 90%+ accuracy rates are two important factors that should be considered when choosing a testing partner. There was significant discussion around the cost of the project.

The board debated whether there should be dates set for the upcoming school year. There was a request for a plan to be delivered by the administration by next Friday as to which cohorts of students could potentially be ready to return in-person first (or a subsequent explanation of why no in-person instruction would be feasible.) There was general agreement that the first action taken should be involving students in the K-2 group. The consensus was that the administration will deliver an action plan by Friday, September 4 detailing the logistics of returning the first group of students to in-person instruction.

Action Items

Treasurer’s Report was approved.

Personnel items were approved.

Meeting minutes from July 27, 2020 were approved.

The destruction of closed session recordings from February 25, 2019 was approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

The Intergovernmental Agreement between Lake County and DPS 109 was approved.

The MOU for temperature check duty was approved.

The 2020-2021 public school calendar amendment was approved.

Final policy reading updates for 2:20, 2:70, 2:100, 2:105, 2:110, 2:200, 2:220, 2:250, 2:260, 3:50, 4:15, 4:30, 4:80, 4:110, 4:140, 4:150, 4:170, 4:175, 5:10, 5:20, 5:30, 5:50, 5:90, 5:100, 5:120, 5:150, 5:190, 5:200, 5:220, 5:250, 5:260, 5:290, 5:330, 6:15, 6:60, 6:65, 6:210, 7:20, 7:150, 7:180, 7:190, 7:200, 7:270, 7:290, 7:340, & 8:30 were approved.

Committee Reports

There were no committee reports.

Open Community Participation

One community member spoke about the school re-entry program and stressed to the board that dates needed to be set and a sense of urgency needs to be prioritized.

Board/Superintendent Other

There were no matters discussed.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Monday, September 21, 2020 -- Regular Board Meeting

Monday, October 26, 2020 -- Regular Board Meeting