Board Briefs January 2024
10-Year Plan Offers Comprehensive Look At Schools
A comprehensive 10-year Facilities Master Plan outlines building needs and community desires for each of the four district schools.
Eric Sickbert of DLA Architects provided the Board of Education with an overview of the plan at the Jan. 23 meeting. The 528-page plan was compiled with input from specialists in mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems; civil engineering; demographics; roofing; and building security. The firm collected input from parents, students and staff last spring through focus groups on learning environments and priorities for improvements.
The plan recommends $80 million of potential building improvements for the four buildings over 10 years in the areas of accessibility, life safety, operation and maintenance, and capital improvements.
$21 million at Greenbriar School, built in 1948
$23 million at Meadowbrook School, built in 1954
$15 million at Westmoor School, built in 1965
$21 million at Northbrook Junior High, built in 1959
“This is a global look at all the district facilities,” Mr. Sickbert said. “It is very smart to go through this process and have a plan instead of reacting to issues as they arise.”
Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato said the district currently spends about $1 million each year on preventive maintenance and repairs, funded through the district’s reserves.
Some items, such as replacing rooftop heating and air conditioning units will have to be prioritized. The study identified $12 million in top-priority work that should be completed in the next two years.
Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson said the report contains a lot of information and that it will take some time to identify priorities and funding sources. The Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee will dig deeper into the plan and report back to the full Board of Education for more discussion.
Strategic Planning Starts With Vision Retreat
The Strategic Planning Team will meet on January 30 for a full-day visioning retreat, Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson reported. The team is comprised of 54 volunteer parents, staff, community members, board members, and students.
During this session, the strategic planning team will develop a shared understanding of the current mission, vision, and goals of the district. The team will look at best-practice research that guides improvement and begin to develop a renewed mission, vision and portrait statements for learners, staff members and the district organization.
VISIONING ACTIVITY SESSIONS FEBRUARY 6
The district is collecting feedback from the community throughout the process. An online survey, which closes Jan. 29, will help inform the team of perceptions and aspirations of parents, residents and staff.
The second opportunity for parents, staff and residents to participate will be on February 6. Two sessions will be held on February 6, from 1 to 3 p.m. and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the HOH Community Room at the district office, 1475 Maple Avenue. Participants will be asked to review the work of the Strategic Planning Team from the Vision Retreat and provide input and feedback.
Learn more about Future Focus Strategic Planning
Snow Day Decisions And Notifications
Superintendent Dr. Jason Pearson recapped the decision-making process to close school on Friday, Jan. 12 due to the winter storm and on Tuesday, Jan. 16 due to the wind chill warning.
Whenever a storm has the potential to impact travel and safety, discussions among schools, village and county officials begin 24-48 hours before the storm is expected to hit. Conference calls and storm tracking continues until a decision is made.
“We work to notify families as soon as a decision is made. If we cannot make a decision by 9 p.m. then the weather is assessed again around 4 a.m.,” Dr. Pearson said.
Cold weather guidelines are a little more specific. Schools will be closed if a Wind-Chill Warning is issued by the National Weather Service. A Wind-Chill Warning is typically issued when the wind chill will be -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, and the winds are greater than or equal to 10 mph, OR the actual temperature is -15° F. A Wind-Chill Warning indicates that life-threatening conditions exist.
In order to hold an e-learning day, the district must have advance notice so that our younger students bring home their i-Pads. E-learning days are only used if there is going to be an extended time out of school or if the emergency day would disrupt the summer school calendar.
“Every storm is different and there are a lot of smart people trying to make the best possible decision they can,” Dr. Pearson said.
As a result of the two emergency days this month, the last day of school is moved to Tuesday, June 4 and Summer School will start Thursday, June 6.
The details of emergency closing protocols are posted on the district website under
‘About Us>Safety & Security’
2024-25 Student Fees Approved
The general curricular material fee required for each student in 2024-25 will remain unchanged for the second year in a row. The fee for grades kindergarten through 5th is $145 per student and for grades 6-8 is $150. The fees pay for consumable instructional materials and supplies and is due at registration, which will begin in April.
Information on how to apply for a reduced rate due to financial hardship is available by contacting Jessica Donato, Chief School Business Official.
Busing continues to face climbing costs due to increase in labor costs and fluctuating fuel costs. The district will maintain the family discount fee structure. The transportation fees for the 2024-25 school year will be $559 per year for the first rider, $435 for the 2nd rider, $311 for the 3rd rider, with additional riders in the family receiving busing at no charge.
Young Explorers Early Childhood program fees will increase by $100 per year to $4,500. The bus fee is $899 per year. The program serves special needs students, at-risk students and typically developing students in a blended classroom model. The program fee is for typically developing children. Special needs and at-risk students attend at no charge.
There are also slight increases in KidCare fees, the before- and after-school program for K-5 students, to keep up with inflation.
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 FEBRUARY 27 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