News from CCSD15 Board of Education

April 11, 2019

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Board approves purchase of new elementary literacy curriculum

At its April 10 meeting, the Board of Education approved the purchase of new elementary literacy curriculum, Fountas & Pinnell Classroom (FPC), for all K-3 classrooms.

In 2017, the Department of Instruction began a review of literacy materials to replace the existing curriculum, which is 17 years old. The review included the highest quality student materials and teacher resources to propel teaching and learning forward.

After research and preview of various programs and resources, FPC was found to best meet the district's literacy curriculum needs and goals. A pilot of FPC began last fall in grades K-3. One K-3 grade level from each elementary school is participating in the pilot program this school year. Kimball Hill School is piloting all four grades from kindergarten to grade 3. FPC includes curriculum guides, high quality books, teacher resources and online resources to provide all classrooms with a comprehensive collection of materials.

The FPC pilot is designed to not only measure the quality of the materials, but also to introduce the use of a new training and implementation model of professional learning and implementation cycles. Participating teachers, administrators and students have shared high praise for the professional learning and implementation cycle model.

The new materials will be distributed to all K-3 classrooms for the 2019-20 school year. Materials for grades 4-6 will be purchased and implemented in the 2020-21 school year. Learn more about FPC by watching the video below.

Board revisits potential school concept in northeast Palatine

District 15 administration is revisiting the possibility of creating a new school in northeast Palatine in the former Whole Foods location in the Park Place shopping center. The Board of Education approved a preliminary real estate contract with the developer during its April 10 meeting, with a contingency period in place to allow for a fuller examination of the proposal.

The idea of a school in this location has been looked into over the course of the last year. The board withdrew its purchase agreement with the developer in November after the original plan failed to gain needed support from all parties. Since then, Superintendent Dr. Scott Thompson has continued to work with the property owner and the Village of Palatine to create a plan that would meet all of the entities’ approval.

The latest concept for a potential school is located in a different section of the development. Plans have also been adjusted to allow for a larger playground and play field. The space would accommodate 32 classrooms and would become a K-6 elementary school facility. The added space would allow for full-day kindergarten to be implemented district-wide.

Administration will present a more detailed plan, including projected long-term operating costs, at the May Board of Education meeting. If the board decides not to move forward with the proposal, it can vote to withdraw its agreement without adverse monetary implications.

Summer building modifications to improve student safety

At its April 10 meeting, the Board of Education voted to approve the construction bids for modifying five school entrances, creating more secure vestibules.

All District 15 schools require visitors to be buzzed in from the outside before entering the school. However, at several buildings, the main office is not directly connected to the front vestibule, allowing visitors to gain access to the whole school once entering the main doors.

During the summer of 2019, the vestibules of Virginia Lake, Carl Sandburg, Plum Grove, Kimball Hill and Hunting Ridge will be re-constructed to create a more secure front entrance to the schools. Construction at Sundling, Marion Jordan, Central Road, Lincoln, Paddock and Whiteley will take place in 2020. Once complete, all schools will have secure vestibules.

Board approves new administrative hires

The Board of Education approved the hire of eight new administrators at its April 10 meeting:

  • Alison Friedman, Virginia Lake Assistant Principal
  • Megan Pries, Lake Louise Assistant Principal
  • Breann Thurber, Winston Campus Elementary Assistant Principal
  • Andrew Wilson, Winston Campus Junior High Assistant Principal
  • Erin Stein, Assistant Director of Human Resources
  • Renee Urbanski, Executive Director of Second Languages
  • David Mekhiel, Special Education Coordinator
  • Nicole Milewski, Special Education Coordinator

Read more about these incoming District 15 staff members by visiting our website. They will all begin work on July 1, 2019.

Last day of school is Monday, June 3

The final day of the 2018-19 school year will be Monday, June 3. The Board of Education approved the last day of school at its April 10 meeting.

This year, District 15 utilized four emergency closure days for inclement winter weather. Because of these closures, the last day of school had to be pushed back to the Monday date. The last day of school runs on a half-day schedule.

Transportation staff member receives "Above and Beyond" recognition

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Thompson and Department of Transportation Director Mr. Tom Bramley recognized an unsung hero of District 15 at the Board of Education's April 10 meeting.

Mr. John Peterson is the district's mechanical foreman, responsible for overseeing the maintenance of 162 school buses and 32 district utility vehicles. This winter has made Mr. Peterson's job especially difficult due to the extreme weather we experienced. He put in long hours to ensure our buses were safe and ready to go for the more than 10,000 students who rely on them to get to school each day.

Mr. Peterson's history with District 15 goes back to his time as an elementary student. A graduate of Central Road and Carl Sandburg Schools, he started his career with District 15 in 1989 as Central Road's custodian. He has been promoted several times, and started work as the mechanical foreman in 2008.

Dr. Thompson presented Mr. Peterson with the "Above and Beyond" award and pin for his exceptional service to our school district.

District health care costs lower than projected national inflation rate

The Board of Education approved the renewal of its medical and dental rates for the 2019-20 school year at its April 10 meeting.

Both the employer and employee contribution amounts for the five plans offered by the district will increase by 4.8 percent from last year’s rates, 1.2 percent lower than the projected national medical inflation for 2019.

View the full presentation for plan summaries and modifications to the district's medical plans.

Marion Jordan, Frank C. Whiteley Schools share improvement goals

Marion Jordan and Frank C. Whiteley Elementary School provided the Board of Education with an update to their School Improvement Plans at its April 10 meeting.

All District 15 schools have been working through a process called "Data Wise," which was developed by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Data Wise supports educators in using collaborative data inquiry to drive continuous improvement of teaching and learning for all students.

After examining school data, Marion Jordan vocabulary development is its focus area, and Whiteley School has selected reading comprehension as its area of focus. The schools developed five-step action plans to address the issues, including adjusting instructional practices and enhancing professional development opportunities.

School Improvement Plan presentations for are available online for Marion Jordan and Whiteley.

Board recognizes student musicians, school leaders

At its April 10 Board of Education meeting, several student groups were recognized for their achievements.

Click the links above to learn more about these students and their accomplishments!

First-annual District 15/District 211 Senior Walks are May 17

In partnership with Township High School District 211, Fremd High School and Palatine High School, District 15 will be holding its first D15/D211 Senior Walks on Friday, May 17!

Seniors, please let our schools know you are coming by completing the online registration form.

Please note, we are still working on finding a date that works for Rolling Meadows High School seniors who attended our elementary schools.

We hope to see you there!