ACROSS THE BOARD
August 2023 Committee Meetings
This issue of Across the Board provides an overview of the following meetings:
August 21: Learning and Teaching Meeting
August 28: Business Services Meeting
Learning and Teaching: Monday, August 21
PreK-12 Math Vision
The District's Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction (CAI) process includes committee work at the elementary, middle and high school levels to support the academic needs of students. In the spring, a committee of EC-12 educators and administrators was formed to develop a new vision, core beliefs, and guiding principles in mathematics. The goal was to align understanding and provide clarity between grade levels. Their work supports the District's strategic priority of Instructional Coherence.
Summary of Work
This consisted of multiple half-day and after school professional development meetings during the spring. The process began with group learning on evidence-based practices, reviewed current teacher practices, and compared work to benchmark districts, leading to a collaborative approach to developing a new vision. The vision focuses on supports and outcomes for each student, and the requirements for each student to achieve mathematical proficiency.
Recommendation: This presentation was for informational purposes only.
As part of its continued assessment of student math proficiency, District 303 is assessing the appropriate K-12 math course offerings that allow students to master grade-level standards and beyond in order to be college and career ready. This includes demonstrating proficiency on state assessments (IAR/SAT), and opportunities for enrollment in higher-level math courses (pre-calculus, calculus) prior to high school graduation.
Summary of work
Research shows a correlation between success in Algebra 1 and favorable outcomes in high school and beyond. Specifically, math proficiency that begins in middle school, not high school, is more indicative of success in first-year college courses. Furthermore, being unsuccessful in Algebra I in middle school can have a lasting impact on future success in high school mathematics courses. The District also determined that it can put into place other pathways in high school to ensure student success. The key is establishing a strong proficiency foundation by achieving success in Algebra 1 in middle school.
Recommendation: Administration recommends maintaining the current middle school pathway (Grade 8 math is standard) and developing multiple accelerated mathematics pathways at the high school level.
Elementary Grade Level Configuration
Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, Davis and Richmond Elementary Schools adjusted from K-5 elementary buildings to partner schools with primary (K-2) and intermediate (3-5) learning centers. Creating a partnership between these two buildings allowed the District to address the enrollment declines at Richmond without impacting district attendance areas beyond these two schools.
As the District prepares to make boundary changes for the 2024-2025 school year to address overcrowding concerns, the Davis Primary and Richmond Intermediate configuration is being reviewed. The first step in the boundary process is for the Board to establish guiding principles. This will take place in October, which will guide demographer RSP & Associates in determining the scenarios for the Board to consider. A vital component of the guiding principles is determining if the current elementary grade level configurations should continue or if the configurations should be adjusted.
Administration's review of existing research on grade-level centers found in part the following:
- The research does not identify or support one grade-level configuration as more effective than another. The impact of student learning is based more on the overall student experience rather than where students are served.
- Most research studies the relationship between increased transitions and student achievement.
- Research generally concludes that the most effective configuration will vary by school district and depend on the district's needs.
Recommendation: This presentation was for informational purposes only. Additional information and recommendations will be provided at the October Learning and Teaching Committee meeting.
Grade-Level Center Information Sessions
Engaging with District 303 families is a crucial part of the grade-level center and entire boundary review process. Davis and Richmond families have been invited to information sessions the week of September 4. Families from across District 303 will have the opportunity to attend information sessions on boundaries and engage in a survey from RSP & Associates in November.
Future Agenda Items
Update on gravel-level centers assessment
Student Achievement Report (preview)
Charge statement for high school course evaluation process
The next Learning and Teaching meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 18 at 5:30 p.m.
Business Services Meeting: Monday, August 28
Long-Term Capital Improvement Plan
District 303's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) sets the foundation to ensure adequate resources are available to address continued building and equipment maintenance. The CIP is one of multiple stages in the facility planning process:
- Stage 1A (Urgent): Repurposed Sites
- Stage 1B (Urgent) : Boundaries
- Stage 2 (High Priority): Capital Improvement Plan
A preliminary CIP summary was shared on July 31. Administration has since conducted a comprehensive assessment of needs in partnership with Wold Architects through various onsite inspections, conversations with staff, referencing existing documents, and industry knowledge.
Capital Improvement Plan summary (5-year outlook)
District 303, in working with Wold Architects, has assessed the anticipated building needs over the next several years with respect to maintenance, modifications, and replacements of building systems and components. District 303 facilities include 19 buildings, hundreds of acres and thousands in square footage of interior space, roofs, parking lots and sidewalks.
In the first 5 years, the CIP includes:
- Approximately $50 million in needed improvements over 5-year period
- First year includes significant one-time costs for repurposing Lincoln, Fox Ridge and Haines. Administration is seeking funding for construction costs by issuing long-term debt (See Long-Term Debt Update below).
- District-wide air conditioning expansion
- Door access control installation project
- Parking lot improvement program
- Roof replacement program
- Eventually reaching $6 million in annual building maintenance budget
In the first 5 years, the CIP percentages are as follows:
- Building renovations (29%)
- Mechanical improvements (21%)
- Roof replacements (19%)
- Parking lots and concrete (16%)
- Security and life safety (8%)
- Building maintenance (5%)
- Playgrounds (2%)
Recommendation: This agenda item is for Board discussion only. Administration does not have a recommendation at this time.
Long-Term Debt Update
- Scenario 1: July 2024 bond issuance at current market rates plus .25%
- Net proceeds: $14.6 million
- Homeowner tax impact: $23 annually for owner of $350,000 home
- Scenario 2: July 2024 Debt Service Extension Base (DSEB) capacity at current market rates plus .25%
- Estimated proceeds: $22,750,000
- Homeowner tax increase: $23 annually for owner of $350,000 home
In both scenarios, the annual impact is the same on the taxpayer, with Scenario 2 in place over a longer period.
Recommendation: Administration recommends that the Board approve the issuance of long-term debt in July 2024 to pay for construction projects planned and approved for summer 2024 and summer 2025. The total amount of long-term debt is estimated to be $22.75 million, pending market interest rates at the time of the bond sale.
Summer Construction Update
A key decision during summer 2023 will lead to construction during the summer of 2024 at three District buildings. In July, the Board approved construction for the purposes of reopening Fox Ridge as an elementary school, relocating L&T and Transition to Lincoln, and relocating early childhood to Haines. The Board has since approved the hiring of a project manager, Pepper Construction, which has met with Administration and Wold Architects to tour the buildings and being planning.
Over the summer, the District also completed a planned plaster replacement of the North High School swimming pool. Work continues on the planned installations of new boilers at North, East and Wredling, with anticipated completion in early October.
Recommendation: This agenda item is for discussion only.
Administration continually monitors the actual revenues and expenditures for Mid Valley and District 303 throughout the fiscal year, and reports them to the Board on a monthly basis.
- Mid Valley: In July there was little financial activity in Mid Valley, and there are no areas of concern at this time.
- District 303: At this early point in the fiscal year revenue trends and expenditures cannot be identified at this time, with the with the exception of salaries and benefits. There are no areas of concern at this time.
Recommendations: Administration recommends that the Board accepts the Mid Valley and CUSD 303 Financial Reports as presented.
Program Cost Analysis
District 303 offers several programs to students within its educational services, including advanced learning and language acquisition programs. During recent discussions of District programs, several questions were raised regarding the cost of programs offered and the associated impact to the annual budget. Administration provided a preliminary cost analysis of these programs for reference during future discussions.
Recommendation: This agenda item is for discussion.
School Bus Purchase
Annually, administration evaluates the need to replace buses and other transportation vehicles based on mileage and years of service. The District receives reimbursement from the state for the first five years the buses are in service. Central States Bus Sales has two 2023 Micro Bird 24-passenger lift buses available for purchase. These buses are new and meet all district specifications. Total cost for two passenger-lift buses will be $224,000.
Recommendation: Administration recommends the Board approves the purchase of buses as shown from Central States Bus Sales and authorizes Administration to execute all necessary documents.
Data Entry Process and Validity
As a precursor to selecting a new Student Information System (SIS), Administration feels it is important to look at the District’s data entry and validation processes. A SIS is a software that enables school districts to efficiently manage student information.
The District has received a proposal from Plante Moran Consulting to map its existing data entry processes, take feedback from data staff, and hold process optimization sessions to deliver recommendations on best practice data governance policies. This engagement has a projected timeline of 14 weeks at a total cost of $51,500.
Recommendation: Administration recommends that the Board approve the proposal as presented.
VOIP Maintenance Support
District 303 has made use of the Mitel Voice Over IP phone system since approximately 2012, which is now up for renewal. This system enables voice calls using an internet connection, and supports over 1,600 handsets across the District. The proposal includes one year of service at a cost of $57,451.32.
Recommendation: Administration recommends that the Board approve the proposal as described above at a total cost of $57,451.32.
Future Agenda Items
Monthly summer construction updates
Updated analysis of program costs
Food service RFP
Tax levy workshop in October
The next Business Services meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 25 at 5:30 PM.