October 2022 Board Meeting Recap
Fremont School District 79
Regular Board Meeting
Gabriela Whipple, Board President, welcomed all in attendance, as well as those who were watching the meeting on YouTube. This marked the first Board of Education meeting to be available via a live stream, which was a priority for the Board. President Whipple stated that it is important for the Board to invest in its ongoing development, so with that in mind, the Board attended the Illinois Association of School Boards Lake County Division event to learn more about the importance of advocacy with our elected officials.
President Whipple also recognized the principals as part of National Principal Appreciation Week (Oct. 16-22) for their unwavering commitment to our schools. She thanked the Fremont PTO for a wonderful Trunk-or-Treat event on Saturday, October 22, and also recognized the Fremont Middle School National Junior Honor Society students who have been helping out with childcare during the parent focus group sessions.
Dr. Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent of Schools, remarked on the following items:
- A large group of Fremont Middle School seventh- and eighth-graders were able to explore potential career fields by participating in a STEAM event at Lake County Tech Campus.
- Congratulations to the Fremont Middle School girls soccer team, which earned a second-place conference finish.
- It was great to see so many families at the District's Bilingual Parent Involvement Night event on October 13.
- As part of the Superintendent's Entry Plan, Dr. Kocanda has been holding focus groups with students, staff, and parents. Additionally, she has discussed partnership opportunities with Medline Industries, while partnering with D120 superintendent, Dr. Kevin Myers, on a presentation at the Grand Dominion community.
The Board of Education continued a new agenda item in which it recognizes a group or individual for their service or an accomplishment. Fremont Elementary School nurse, Dana Bestler, was honored for her service and commitment to the District. In particular, her efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic were highlighted. She has been unwavering in her dedication to our students, our staff, and our schools.
Dr. Brian Bullis, Assistant Superintendent of Learning, provided an update on the District's student growth and achievement. ISBE summative designations for 2021-2022 were announced, including an “Exemplary” designation for grades PK-2 and 3-5 and a “Commendable” designation for grades 6-8. Overall, the District returned to pre-pandemic growth levels in 2021-2022 for math and ELA. Fall 2022 NWEA MAP scores demonstrated that almost every grade met or exceeded their growth projections and are also on pace with pre-pandemic norms.
Ivy Fleming, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations, presented the Tentative 2022 Tax Levy. The final levy is scheduled for adoption at the November 28, 2022 Board meeting with a Truth-in-Taxation Hearing. The tentative levy (the amount we request) is based on the prior year’s extension, Consumer Price Index (CPI), new construction, and Equalized Assessed Valuation (EAV). The District is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) which limits the increase to CPI or 5%, whichever is less (excluding new construction and bonds).
The 2022 levy is built on new construction valued at $16M, CPI at 5%, and EAV at $987M. With these factors, the levy is 6.95% higher than the 2021 extension as it captures unknown new property growth and a 5% CPI tax cap for existing property owners. Although the District is asking for this amount, the amount we receive is less. The tax resources will be used to fund high needs areas related to: 1) Improving recruitment and retention of staff in part by addressing below-market salaries, 2) Implementing tuition-free full-day kindergarten, and 3) Addressing ongoing facility maintenance and security needs.
Additional information regarding the levy can be found on our website.
For over 10 years, FSD79 has outsourced its technology roles and responsibilities through a collaboration with the Dyopath organization. Following a thorough review of the District's technology goals and the instructional support needed for educators and students, FSD79 has chosen to build an internal technology team to be headed by a Director of Information Systems & Network Security. The full implementation of this shift is expected by June 2023.
The FSD79 Board of Education is invested in the long-term development of its members. In addition to the Board recently receiving School Board Governance Recognition from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), Board Member Michael Jandes has achieved the Distinguished Board Leader status and Board Secretary Shawn Killackey has achieved the Established Board Leader status as recognized by IASB.
The Consent Agenda and Following Action Items Were Approved:
2022 IASB Resolutions
FY22 Audit and Annual Financial Report
Middle School Playground Purchase
Middle School Door Replacement Project
Intergovernmental Agreement with Fremont Township
School Maintenance Project Grant
Resolution of Intent to Levy 2022 Taxes
Engage Legal Counsel with both the Franczek and Kriha Boucek, LLC. law firms
To view the Board Packet materials from the October 24, 2022 Meeting, click here.