Vol 1 Issue 3 --- December 1, 2022
From the desk of the Superintendent:
The November 29, 2022, Board of Education meeting was a great success as a direct result of your commitment to excellence. We had a genuine opportunity to engage with our community relative to the topic of taxation. The reality is we can not control the tax rate of other taxing bodies, but we do control ours, and our data shows positive outcomes. Our work shows a 12.5 million abatement over the last six years and a consistent decrease, as shown in the presentation provided below.
Please consider the following useful talking points:
●Historically, the District increased the levy over the previous actual extension to protect the District in case of upward fluctuations in the assessed valuation.
●With the addition of the Property Tax Relief Grant (PTRG 3) Repeat abatement and the planned Property Tax Relief Grant (PTRG 4) abatement, the District will have returned $12.5 million property tax dollars back to the community over the last six years.
●As a result of the District’s Property Tax Relief Grant (PTRG) abatements and increases in EAV, the District’s tax rate has fallen from an all-time high of $5.30 in 2015 to an estimated $3.51 or by $1.79.
●The District’s 2022 estimated tax rate is ~$ .34 lower than last year, the $3.51 tax rate is the lowest it has been since 2011.
●The reduction in estimated tax rate this year is a savings of approximately $198 for the $175,000 homeowner, assuming their assessment remained roughly the same.
The data, as demonstrated in the presentation attached, shows the positive trajectory of the district relative to addressing taxes for the community. It demonstrates the district’s commitment relative to relief as the data shows over 12.5 million dollars back to the community over the last six years. The actual data also shows the District’s commitment to tax relief with tangible results based on final results.
District 126 Actual Numbers and Projected Tax Rate:
●Estimated EAV: $856M & New Construction: $903K (Final Numbers in April)
●CPI: 5% & Prior Year Tax Extension: $29,462,158
●Tax Rate: $3.85
●Proposed Levy: $32,065,049 or 8.83% = Estimated Tax Rate: $3.73 (-.12)
●Estimated Extension w/PTRG 3 Repeat Abatement of $1,837,194: $31,015,909 or 5.3% = Estimated Tax Rate: $3.62 (-.23)
●Estimated Extension w/PTRG 3 Repeat: $1,837,194 & PTRG 4: $1,892,406 Abatements: $30,033,603 or 2% = Estimated Tax Rate: $3.51 (-.34)
The projected property tax extension is estimated to increase by 2% when all abatements are calculated into next year’s plan. Again, District 126 serves as a model to follow as the district values the taxpayer. Furthermore, the District continues to seek federal and state funding to support the enhancements of the District as of today. All projects have been possible as a result of federal and state dollars with local funding as needed, but over 7 million “Federal and State” restricted dollars have been strategically invested in District 126 as a means to support our Facilities Master Plan. We understand the frustration from community members, but again we serve as a model as we sought tax relief funding as approved by the BOE to assist in this endeavor.
I am also appreciative of the work of administrators relative to assisting members of the public in understanding our work. The leadership behaviors truly show that our work is better when we do it in partnership with our community. It is truly an honor to work with you as a collective unit.
With Regards - Dr. Jesse J. Rodriguez
Service and Leadership:
IASB Joint Conference
Staff Holiday Luncheon
- Monday, December 12th - Business, Bid, and Finance Committee 4:30 pm
- Thursday, December 15th - Executive Cabinet and Management Team Meeting 3:00 pm
- Tuesday, December 20th - Board Meeting 7:00 pm (Holiday Celebration all management team invited)
- December 23rd, December 26th, January 2nd - District Closed
- Tuesday, January 10th - Curriculum Committee 5:30 pm
- Thursday, January 12th - Personnel Committee 4:30 pm
- Tuesday, January 17th - Business, Bid, and Finance Committee 5:00 pm
- Tuesday, January 24th - Regular Board of Education Meeting 7:00 pm
- Saturday, January 28th - Zion Leadership Group Community Event 10:00 am PAC (all Executive Cabinet and Management Team encouraged to attend)
District Business Office
Board of Education Meeting Snapshot
Benefits Corner with Zimmerman
Looking for benefits information?
- get your health insurance card
- learn about flex spending, or
- need information about IMRF or TRS
If so, remember that you can access information about your benefits HERE.
From the Lake County Health Department - Information About the Flu Vaccine
The flu season is here, and the holidays are fast approaching. It is important to get the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible. It is recommended that everyone ages six months and older get the flu shot. An annual flu shot can reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, and hospitalizations. Have a healthy holiday season, and get vaccinated today!
Visit vaccines.gov to find a flu shot location near you.
On November 29, 2022, the Board of Education approved the hiring of the following staff:
Sophia Jones: Pre-Vocational Teacher
Nancy Villalobos: Duplication Secretary
Kendall Williams: Student Support Specialist
Courtney McNeal: Assistant Boys Swim Coach
Welcome to the Zee-Bee family we look forward to your contributions to District 126.
Program HIghlight- Educational Life Skills (ELS)
The dedicated ELS staff:
Certified Staff: Mr. Dave Cianfrani, Mr. Michael Sikula, Ridonna Ridley & Ms. Kate Hudgins.
Support Staff: Ms. Teresa Dubois, Ms. Kathy Paxton, Ms. LInda Goodnight-Moore & Ms. Cheyenne Duron.
District 126 Technology
College and Career Center Opportunities
Dec. 1 - Tech Campus Application
Dec. 6 - Course Selection Promotion Begins
Dec. 14 - Huntington Test Prep Meeting
Dec. 21 - Pop Up Santa Shop
Shop With a Cop
Princesses & Ladies
Princesses and Ladies is an afterschool girls’ mentoring program. In alignment with our mission, this program emphasizes self-worth. Princesses and Ladies focus on developing the body, mind, and spirit. They empower girls to become women through the values of knowledge, confidence, pride, and power. Young ladies are encouraged to be involved in their community. The next session will occur on Monday, December 5th, in the peace room.
SIP - December 7th
SIP - December 8th
SEL Field Trip
Trust and Communication
Zion-Benton High School
New Tech High @ Zion-Benton East
Safety & Academic Secretary
The 2022-23 Winter season is off and running. Nearly all teams have had their first competitions of the year and have seen much success. As with the fall, the winter season participation numbers have increased from last winter with a 31% increase in participation. There is excitement in being part of the program!
Come out and support our BEES!
The upcoming Zee-Bee Athletic competitions can be found on the District website or the link below.
Kiwanis Students of the Month
This month we celebrated two seniors as our Kiwanis Student of the Month, Araceli Solis and Conner Yee. Both students are at the top of their senior class. Araceli Solis is involved in multiple activities like Healthy Youth, the National Honor Society (NHS), Peer Mentor, and ZBTHS Bee Leader. Araceli also serves our community as a Lake County juvenile justice peer juror to ensure all young people have a fair outcome to the consequences they are held accountable for. Conner Yee is involved in several activities at ZBTHS. He is an active member of SAGA, the National Honor Society (NHS), ZBTHS Bee Leader, Healthy Youth, and is a senior council representative. Congratulations once again to Araceli and Conner!
NEW TECH UPDATES
A Note from the Principal...
New Tech is well into the implementation phase of the Reimagination Plan developed last year with administration and the New Tech School Improvement Planning (SIP) team. With the conclusion of our first semester this month, we have run our new schedule, new courses and new intervention programs successfully. We are already planning for second semester and looking at adding dual credit courses and instructors. Our SIP team is meeting in early December to examine branding and identity development for the reimagined New Tech. Mr. McKnight and I are also gearing up for our recruitment efforts for the class of 2027!
Items in progress::
NT students to ZB for practice -NJROTC Pass and Review- December 7, 2022 6:30
Confirm NT final exam bus schedule for 1:04, 11:25 dismissal on 12/20, 12/21, 12/22
Plan January Recruitment nights
Finalize 2023-24 New Tech Course Guide
Discussion of Final Exams for 2nd semester at New Tech and/or District
Outreach to foundation middle schools for high school readiness
Mr. McKnight and Mr. Niemi are collaborating on a New Tech sponsored student leadership service initiative during an upcoming basketball game…more to come.
Notable for December
Caring Cards for the Community will begin on December 5th! Students and staff will be encouraged to make cards for residents in our local retirement and nursing facilities as well as patients at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Cards will be delivered prior to Winter Break.
We bid Henry Batdeleg (Mr. B.), our Tech Site Coordinator, farewell as he embarks on a new career path. Staff gathered on his last day to present a card and gift as well as share thank you notes from students. Henry has been a critical part of the team here at New Tech and will be missed.
New Tech Calendar
Zion-Benton Township High School District 126
Location: Zion-Benton Township High School, West 21st Street, Zion, IL, USA
Phone: (847) 731-9300