Board Briefs

March 17, 2022

Board Meeting Details

This regular Board of Education meeting was held in person at the District Office with no pandemic-related capacity limit. In-person public comment was available for attendees.

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:08 p.m.

2. Approval of Meeting Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Recognition: What's Good in 109

Mr. Steckling shared highlights from around the six DPS 109 schools.

Highlights include:

-The 5th grade robotics championship at Wilmot

-Artwork from Shepard featured at the District Office

-Older students getting a chance to teach younger students at Kipling

-Successful musicals at Caruso & Shepard

-A quick video update on the Caruso auditorium project

-Recognition for Nurse Nora Moskos of South Park who spoke at a recent JDRF event

-Recognition for our 6 PTO's who came together for a supply drive for refugees from Ukraine

You can see his presentation below.

Our featured school was Walden, where the following was highlighted:

-1st grade map making... where Starbucks was a popular addition

-Composting lunch waste now taking place in the cafeteria

-Students applying for jobs as part of the 3rd grade class economy

We also heard a presentation on March Reading Madness from several students representing the Walden Philanthropy Club. You can watch their presentation below:

Big picture

4. Superintendent's Report

Mr. Simeck talked about the experiences he has had out in the district recently, getting to meet with the whole staff on Institute Day recently and also attending the Wilmot robotics assembly earlier in the day.

He detailed the COVID mitigation changes the district has employed over the last month, including moving to a mask recommended status, eliminating the daily certification for students and staff, eliminating the SHIELD testing requirement for extracurricular participation, and removing attendance restrictions on evening & afterschool events.

We continue to have a high staff and student vaccination rate, while the CDC continues to classify Lake County as having a low COVID-19 community level. Our primary indicators remain SHIELD testing prevalence along with positives in classrooms or other settings with identifiable connections. This is subject to change based upon guidance.

Ms. Ford said that our SHIELD testing positivity in the past week was 0.69% and has not been above 1% since early January. We have had outbreaks in 2 classrooms in which we consulted the Lake County Health Department, all families in the classroom were notified, and additional testing was offered.

Ms. Ford thanked families for their help in the battle against COVID. She encouraged them to keep reporting symptoms to your building nurse. She encouraged families to keep their child home if they are not feeling well. If you are comfortable doing so, send your child in a mask to school. She also encouraged people to take advantage of vaccines and SHIELD testing.

Mr. Simeck said that there will be a communication from the district to families tomorrow

with information detailing current mitigations and communication procedures. There will be another communication sent on the Sunday prior to returning from spring break.

He reiterated that the primary goal is to get kids into school and keep them there. We will likely be dealing with COVID on an ongoing basis. We may need to dial up or dial back mitigations and it may look different at different times of year. We will do what we need to do to limit spread of infection and preserve in-person instruction.

Spring break is an opportunity for everyone to recharge and Mr. Simeck encourages everyone involved in DPS 109 to take advantage of it.

5. Community Participation Relative to Matters on the Meeting Agenda (Policy 2:230)

There were no speakers.


6.1. Freedom of Information Requests (Policy 2:250)

Dr. Filippi said there are four requests in the packet that have been addressed.

6.2. New Mission and Vision

The board reviewed the mission and vision presented to them in February along with two new revisions made in coordination with Eklund Consulting. After robust discussion, the board fine-tuned both the mission and vision for a vote later in the evening. The new mission and vision read as folllows:

Mission: District 109: Where challenging experiences foster confidence, collaborative relationships build community, and creative environments ignite curiosity.

Vision: We will develop each student to be emotionally resilient, socially skilled, and academically prepared by forging connections within, across, and beyond our classrooms, and by embracing each student's uniqueness.

6.3. Intergovernmental Agreement to Facilitate the Sharing of Identifiable School Student Record Information Between Township High School District 113 and its Feeder Districts

Mr. Simeck introduced the intergovernmental agreement that will allow the 440 districts (106, 109, 112, 113) to come together and share aggregated data for the purpose of improving student achievement. He answered board questions.

6.4. Summer Work Summary and Flooring Bid Results

Dr. Filippi presented a summary of summer work and the results of recent flooring bids. Among other projects, Kipling, Walden, and South Park are all due to have gym floor work done this summer. This will be brought back to the board for action in April.

6.5. Landscaping Maintenance Bid Results

Dr. Filippi presented the landscaping bid results. The low responsible bidder is Moore Landscapes. Details are in the packet posted online. This will come back to the board for a vote in April.

6.6. Consultant Agreement for Interim Associate Principal

Dr. Fisher presented the agreement, which is to cover an approved leave of absence at Shepard Middle School through the end of the school year.

6.7. Technology Update

Mr. Bialk gave an update on the technology department. He covered the current makeup of the technology team as it stands in DPS 109. He proposed adding one technician to the staff to allow for there to be a Tier II technician that serves as the District Technology Services Facilitator.

He proposed changing the Internet Service Provider (ISP) from Net56 to Illinois Century Network, which will allow the district to upgrade from 6GB to 10GB.

He proposed moving DPS 109 to a private WAN network, moving away from the same WAN as the general public. 100% of the costs are covered by special funding, and the monthly cost will go down by 80% as a result of this project.

Mr. Bialk proposed moving the district's data center to an offsite location.

He laid out a device refresh schedule for all students across the district, proposing purchasing new Chromebooks for 5th grade students for the upcoming year and ensuring that no student device moving forward is more than 5 years old. Mr. Bialk proposed refreshing all middle school faculty MacBook Pros with new MacBook Airs and getting new machines in the elementary STEM labs this summer. You can watch his presentation below:

6.8. Resolution Regarding Covid-19 Operations

Mr. Simeck introduced the resolution that would expressly give authority to the administration when it comes to determining COVID-related mitigations. The administration would report back to the board on steps taken and fully communicate with the community. The intent of this would not be to directly or immediately make any changes, and would not give the superintendent or the administration any powers they don't already have. It's simply to expressly designate that COVID mitigations can be adjusted by the administration without having to call a special board meeting.


7.1. Consent Agenda*

Personnel items were approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

Destruction of closed session audio was approved.

Meeting minutes were approved.

7.2. Treasurer's Report

The report was approved.

7.3. Approval of Meeting Minutes from February 17, 2022 (Policy 2:220)

The minutes were approved.

7.4. Approval of Closed Session Meeting Minutes from February 17, 2022

The minutes were approved.

7.5. Approval of New Mission and Vision

The mission and vision were approved.

7.6. Approval of 2022-23 Fee Recommendation

The recommendation was approved.

7.7. Approval of 2022/23 Board of Education Regular Meeting Schedule

The schedule was approved.

7.8. Intergovernmental Agreement to Facilitate the Sharing of Identifiable School Student Record Information Between Township High School District 113 and its Feeder Districts

The intergovernmental agreement was approved.

7.9. Approval of Consultant Agreement for Interim Associate Principal

The agreement was approved.

7.10. Approval of 2022-23 Administrator and Exempt Compensation

The agreement was approved.

7.11. Approval of Non-Renewal of Probationary Staff

The agreement was approved.

7.12. Approval of Custodial Contract - Citywide Building Maintenance

The contract was approved.

7.13. Policy Final Reading: 4:20, 4:40, 4:50, 4:60, 4:70, 4:80, 4:90, 4:100, 4:110, 4:150, 4:160, 4:165, 4:170, 4:175, 4:180, 4:190, 6:135

The policies were approved.

7.14. Approval of Resolution Regarding Covid-19 Operations

The resolution was approved.

8. Committee Reports (Policy 2:150)

Mrs. Jakymiw attended a TrueNorth board meeting last week and gave a report.

9. Open Community Participation (Policy 2:230)

There were no speakers present.

10. Board/Superintendent Other

President Montgomery thanked the administration for their work on the mission and vision process. She thanked Ms. Ford and her team for all of their work with the transition to a mask recommended environment and all of the contact tracing that goes with it.

Mr. Simeck thanked everyone for their work on mission & vision, including the board for putting their finishing touches on it this evening. He thanked the student services department for all of their work. He also thanked the parents for their flexibility with all of the changes, and the staff for everything they do for our students.

Mr. Begley asked for an update on strategic planning. Mr. Simeck noted that the board should expect to see a presentation in their August meeting.

Mrs. Jakymiw asked about when the board would complete the values portion of the mission, vision, and values work. Mr. Simeck said that there will be a Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled in the near future to work on that.

11. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Thursday, April 21, 2022 @ 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting

Thursday, May 26, 2022 @ 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting