Virtual Board Briefs

Summary of the October 19, 2020 BOE Meeting, held virtually

Board Briefs is a newsletter-style overview of the highlights of the Board of Education's discussion and action. You can find the meeting agenda online here, and look for minutes of the meeting to be posted after they are approved at the next BOE meeting (November 16, 2020).

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D34 Board Meetings: Virtual for Now

District 34 Board of Education meetings are being held virtually until further notice. Information to access the virtual meetings live will be emailed to parents, staff and community members and posted on the D34 website no later than the Friday before each meeting.

Superintendent's Reflections -- Hybrid Update

Each month, Superintendent Dr. Dane Delli updates the Board of Education and the community about programs, events, notable achievements, and other timely information and celebrations.


Dr. Delli and members of the District 34 administration team presented an update on hybrid teaching and learning. The presentation included an overview of the positive aspects of hybrid learning, as well as the areas for improvement. Dr. Delli also gave an update on the District COVID-19 dashboard. At this time, all positive cases in our schools are the result of community spread; no positive cases of staff and students in District 34 have led to additional positive cases.


He also shared an update on the local and regional metrics that the Northfield Township elementary school districts are following. He explained that the District expects that the numbers will continue to trend upward (with more COVID cases and a higher positivity rate), soon putting us in the "substantial community transmission" category. The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) does not give school districts a formula that dictates when we need an adaptive pause, but we do work closely with CCDPH health professionals to better understand the data as it relates to our schools.

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The administration and Board stressed the importance of the entire community continuing to follow the important health and safety measures, in and out of schools:


  • Watch your distance
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a mask


Community Participation

In the virtual setting, community members submit comments to an online form, which opens before the start of the Board of Education meeting. During the two opportunities for community participation (one early in the meeting, and the other at the end of the meeting), the following community members submitted comments and questions about the metrics in moving between remote and in-person learning, reporting of COVID-19 cases, instruction for simultaneous in-person and remote middle school students, considerations for changes in class sizes after trimester two registration and providing more challenging instruction.


  • D34 Parents: Jules Dessibourg, April Perry, Lauren Bauerschmidt, Joanne Penne
  • D34 Staff Members: Mara Caplan Pierce, Jamie Fishbain


During the community participation periods, the Board is in listening mode. Responses to questions or other follow-up information is provided to the community member directly and, when appropriate, to the community as a whole.

Resolutions

The Board approved the consent agenda, which included a personnel report, payroll and vendor warrants, and the cooperative team agreement for middle school wresting.

Discussion

Financing Summer 2021 Construction

Elizabeth Hennessy, managing partner from Raymond James Finance. She gave an update on the volatility of interest rates after the COVID-19 shutdown. She explained that the District's Aaa bond rating has never been more valuable, as it will save the District 20-25% in interest. In addition, the assumptions for rates in the coming years have been reduced due to the changing global economy. Both of those will provide savings to taxpayers over time.

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Tentative 2020 Tax Levy

Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Eric Miller presented the tentative tax levy for 2020. This levy will fund the District's 2021-2022 budget, and is significant because 81% of the budget comes from local tax dollars.


The proposed tax levy will ensure staff and students have the necessary resources. It is subject to the limitations of the Property Tax Limitation Law (PTELL) -- commonly known as the tax cap -- and restricts the growth in property tax revenue to the lesser of 5% or the annual change in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous calendar year, plus new construction. The 2019 CPI was 2.3%.


He reviewed the tax levy calendar, which includes a Truth in Taxation Hearing for December 14, 2020. By law, the Board must hold such a hearing if the proposed levy exceeds the prior year's levy by 5% or more. Even though this levy is an increase of less than 5%, a hearing will be held in the interest of transparency.

Workers' Compensation RFP

Mr. Miller explained that the District’s broker for workers’ compensation insurance issued an RFP to seek pricing for the upcoming calendar year. Based on the responses, the District's current carrier was the low bidder, and the District expects to realize a 4% reduction in cost.

Superintendent's Charge to Work with CFAC

Mr. Miller explained that every year, the Board asks the Citizens Finance Advisory Committee (CFAC) to review the 5-year financial projections. The committee will report back to the superintendent in January 2021. He also said that CFAC also will look at the debt structures related to the referendum debt issuance and report to the superintendent, who will share it at the November Board of Education meeting.

Policy Updates

The Board heard the first reading on updates to several Board policies. These updates are recommendations from the Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS).

Meet the Board of Education

Glenview District 34 is governed by a seven-person Board of Education, elected by the community, that consists of the following individuals:


  • Natalie Jachtorowycz (President)
  • Jim Baumstark (Vice President)
  • John Heggie
  • Katie Jones
  • Mike Korman
  • Scott Nelson
  • Diane Stefani


You can contact the Board at board@glenview34.org.