News from CCSD15 Board of Education

January 19, 2022

Board President’s Remarks

President Lisa Szczupaj welcomed everyone back to start the 2022 year and wished everyone health, happiness, and success in the new year.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent, Dr. Heinz shared an update of the Moving 15 Forward proposal, transportation planning, and staffing planning underway for the 2022-2023 school year. As is shared in this monthly update, Dr. Heinz also provided an overview of what each department has been focusing on throughout the District.

Pledge of Allegiance: Pleasant Hill Students

A delightful group of sixth grade students from Pleasant Hill who are members of the Helping Hands Club led the Pledge of Allegiance. This club was established last year at the request of the students who wanted to help their school and the larger community.

This ambitious group of students has taken on different projects including planting flowers and designing and painting benches around Pleasant Hill, sponsored a food drive for the Palatine Food Pantry, and led their school’s Veterans' Day ceremony.

District 15 is so proud of these students for taking the initiative to make a difference during the ongoing pandemic. The Helping Hands Club has shown their servant hearts, commitment to their community, and desire to do their part to help their school and community.

We are so proud of you and your dedication to helping others!

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Student Recognition - Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) & All Illinois Junior Band (AIJB)

District 15 is proud to have 10 students perform at the prestigious Illinois Music Educators Association District 7 Junior Band Festival. These talented students spent many hours working with their music teachers and practicing at home to perfect their performance.

Congratulations to all of these hard-working band musicians and their directors!

  • Flute: Joanna C., Karen K., Ashley K., and Brianna W., Plum Grove Junior High

  • Clarinet: Christopher C., Plum Grove, and Paige A., Walter R. Sundling Junior High

  • Alto Saxophone: Riley K., and Neel H., Plum Grove Junior High

  • Trumpet: Matthew P., Plum Grove Junior High

  • Trombone: Justin Z., Plum Grove Junior High

  • Violin: Sahana I., Plum Grove Junior High and Zoe T., Walter R. Sundling

  • Bass: Malavika P., Walter R. Sundling

Illinois All Junior Band is a premier musical experience for the state’s finest middle school band students. Membership in the Illinois Junior Band is solely determined through competitive, blind auditions. This year there were 168 student auditions across Illinois for a mere 71 spots. Plum Grove Junior High School had 7 students audition from which 6 musicians were selected! The following students were recognized:

  • Christopher C. 2nd Chair Clarinet

  • Karen K. 1st Chair Flute

  • Ashley K. 2nd Chair Flute

  • Riley K. 1st Chair Alto Saxophone

  • Matthew Q. 1st Chair Baritone Saxophone

  • Justin Z. 4th Chair Trombone

Congratulations to these extraordinary musicians! We are so proud of you and your accomplishments.

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Community Partner Recognition

St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church, of Palatine, was represented by Father Chris Mihalopoulos, Parish Council President, Matthew Stankowicz, the Greek Fest Chairs, Peter Lembessis, and Nick Galanis and Peter Lembessis (not present), at our Board meeting to present a check for $5,000 to support our Blessings in a Backpack program. Blessings allows D15 to provide students who face food insecurity a backpack of food to bring home over the weekend. We simply cannot thank St. Nectarios Greek Orthodox Church enough for their generous donation and partnership in helping eliminate hunger in our community.

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COVID-19 Update

The District presented the Board of Education with its monthly COVID-19 report including updates to guidance, community and school metrics, Test To Stay and SHIELD data, and information about winter sports requirements that include weekly SHIELD screening for athletes as recommended by IDPH.

2021 Financial Statement Audit Results

Betsy Allen, Partner at Miller Cooper & Co., Ltd Accountants & Consultants, presented the highlights from the FY21 independent audit. Illinois school districts are legally required to have an annual audit conducted by a public accounting firm.

Miller Cooper issued an unmodified opinion which is the highest level of assurance a District can receive. District 15 again achieved the ISBE Financial Profile Designation of Recognition by maintaining a score of 3.9 out of 4.0. Fund Balance and cash and investments increased by $2,057,613.

View the audit presentation here.

Library Innovation Pilot

Dr. Meg Schnoor, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, and Library pilot lead Janice Mattheis, Director of Innovation and Instructional Technology presented an overview of the District’s Library Pilot which is underway this year.

D15 Librarian Innovation Teachers (LITs) foster student agency, which allows students the ability to see the value in reading, knowledge, and new ideas, demonstrate a commitment to modern literacy, and work effectively to teach students to think critically about the world around them.

The pilot LITs have been working with Dr. Margaret Policastro, Professor and Director of Language and Literacy at Roosevelt University. Together, they have developed an innovative library curriculum that connects learning to the classroom, engages kids with rich and diverse texts, and prepares students for school, career, and life. Two lesson examples were provided including teacher testimonials highlighting the benefits of having a full-time LIT and the impact on student learning. Pilot LITs will be implementing the curriculum through the end of the school year.

The department will report back to the Board of Education later in the spring with updated data on what has been learned through the pilot process as well as to determine pilot expansion timelines and funding.

View the library innovation pilot presentation here.

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Transportation Update - Adjusted School Start/End Times

Dr. Claire Kowalczyk, Deputy Superintendent, and Thomas Bramley, Director of Transportation, provided an update to the Board of Education about the steps taken to implement the 3-Tier Busing Schedule beginning on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

The transportation department is currently working on finalizing routes in the new

3-Tier schedule and has communicated new pick-up and drop-off times to families enrolled in District 15 busing on Friday morning.

We continue to acknowledge the impact this change has on staff and families and thank everyone for their understanding.

View the transportation update here.

Educational Services Department Report

The Educational Services Department provided an update of their new departmental structure and key initiatives they are focused on within their first year. The Department provides academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support to students and is responsible for overseeing:

  • Student Academic Interventions

  • Student Mental Health, Behavior Support, and Well-Being

  • Related Service Provision, 504, Gifted and Acceleration

  • Community Schools, Afterschool Programming, and Summer Programming

  • Assessment, Student Data, and Information Management

View the Educational Services presentation here.

Committee Reports

Education Research Development (ED-RED)

Board Member Annerino was not present.

one-five Foundation Committee

Board Member Taylor provided an update on the Foundation’s Mini-grant Program. Program awards will be announced in February. Watch for information regarding the Foundation’s annual 50/50 raffle which will also be shared in February.

Finance Committee

Board Member Wenda reported that the Committee is currently planning for its next meeting.

Equity Committee

Board members Ader and Khan provided an update on a recent meeting to discuss the next steps for the committee including participation in the development of the District’s Portrait of a Graduate, as well as considering the addition of a dashboard.

Action Items

  • 9.1 Request for Clerical Position (Multilingual Department) - approved
  • 9.2 Approval/Disapproval of Mid Year Teacher Resignation - approved
  • 9.3 Approval of Personnel Report: Recommendations for Administration, Certified and Non-Certified staff members - approved
  • 9.4 Acceptance of FY2021 Final Audit - approved
  • 9.5 Approval of 5.5 Additional Full-Time Library Innovation Teachers (LIT) - moved to the February 19 meeting
  • 9.6 Approval of Purchase of 530 E. Northwest Highway - approved
  • 9.7 Approval of the Battelle for Kids Proposal for Portrait of a Graduate and Strategic Planning Services - approved
  • 9.8 Resolution to Establish a Fiscal Year and Prepare a Budget - approved
  • 9.9 Resolution: Student Disciplinary Action - approved