District 303 Committee Meetings & Regular School Board

August 28, 2020

Upcoming Meetings

School Board Meeting - September 14, 2020

Learning & Teaching - September 21, 2020

Policy Committee - September 21, 2020

Business Services Committee - September 28, 2020

Regular School Board - August 10, 2020

This was the School Board's first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic began in the spring. School Board members and the Administration practiced social distancing at the meeting, which was held in the Thompson Middle School LRC.

Superintendent's Report

Dr. Pearson discussed the Reopening School Plan Guide and provided some context by highlighting two central priorities.

  1. The health and safety of our students and staff members is at the forefront of our decision making.
  2. Maintaining the integrity of instructional programs and ensuring that the educational opportunities provided for students meet the standards and expectations that we have as a community, as well as the commitments our staff has made for excellence in the classroom.

Information and guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Kane County Health Department, and the Regional Office of Education continued to change throughout the summer. For that reason, District 303 decided to create a phased-in plan for reopening schools. Phasing in allows us to be sure that the safety procedures and protocols put in place are implemented successfully. In addition:

  • It is important for our youngest students to connect with teachers early on and learn the skills they need in case it becomes necessary for us to go fully remote.
  • Middle school students will have the opportunity to walk their schedules, meet teachers, and learn the protocols in their divided groups over the course of 6 days.
  • At the high school level, our students will start the year remotely. We got to the point where our schedule could not accommodate both our blended and remote instruction at the level that we wanted.

Dr. Denise Herrmann, Chief Academic Officer, outlined information about high schools.

As students get older, the more specialized the teacher requirements are for their credentialing, and the more diverse student course requests are. Our goal was to build meaningful schedules for students in both remote and in-person, but, as hard as we tried, we were not able to do that due to the small percentage of students who chose remote. As we took a step back, we asked ourselves, “What can we do to make sure that we were not sacrificing quality teaching or robust class selections?” We believe we have put together a schedule that allows for quality education in both synchronous and asynchronous learning.

Students who are enrolled in specialized programs will come every day to the high schools. We are looking for ways to bring students into the high schools in September in small groups.

For Action

Updated 2020-2021 Calendar

The Board approved the new 2020-2021 calendar with the following updates:

  • August 12, 13, 14 – Teacher Institute days (no students in attendance)

  • August 17, 18 – Remote Learning Planning days (no students in attendance)

  • August 19 – First day of school for students

  • January 19 – Student attendance day (originally scheduled as a Teacher Institute Day)

  • May 28 – Last day of school, if no emergency days are used

Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget

The Board approved the placement of the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Community Unit School District 303 Budget for public inspection from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm beginning on August 11, 2020, for a minimum of 30 days.

Rent Reduction for St. Charles Park District

The Board approved the reduction in rent for the St. Charles Park District’s use of the Haines building to $2,000 per month for April, May, and June for a total reduction of $5,811.

Resolution Authorizing the Emergency Expenditure of Funds for the Purchase of Personal Protective Equipment

The Board approved the purchase of plexi shields from Upstaging, Inc. in an amount not to exceed $100,000, and the purchase of ChemWipe buckets and Kleenex Hand Towels from Grundy Supply in an amount not to exceed $193,000.

Fall 2020 Reopening Plan and Remote Learning Plan

The Board approved a resolution regarding the CUSD 303 Fall 2020 Reopening Plan and Remote Learning Plan.

Zoom Conferencing for Education

The Board approved the Zoom Education Video Conferencing solution as shown above for a total cost not to exceed $60,000.00.

Citrix Environment Expansion

The Board approved the Citrix Environment for a total cost not to exceed $87,125.00.

Policy Committee - August 17, 2020

Board members discussed the following policies.

  • Policy 2:105, Ethics and Gift Ban – The Board discussed political activity related to Board members. Clarification was given to the Board from Mr. Stan Eisenhammer, who indicated that Board members may not engage in political activity on district property or use district resources.
  • Policy 2:110, Qualifications, Term, and Duties of Board Officers – Term limits and definitions of Board officer roles were discussed. Further discussion will take place at an upcoming Board retreat.

Learning & Teaching Committee - August 17, 2020

Early Learning Partnership

Mrs. Tricia Sabathne from Fox Ridge Early Childhood Center followed up on an earlier conversation about the St. Charles Early Learning Partnership. The partnership that helps children from birth to age 8 years old be successful in school and life. Mrs. Sabathne outlined the work of the partnership:

  1. Survey the community to ascertain their needs and interests regarding early childhood learning needs and desires;

  2. Identify the needs of early childhood students and families; and

  3. Develop strategies to enhance the learning abilities of early childhood students.

Multi-Tiered System of Support

Mrs. Jen Phillips and Dr. Patti Palagi provided an update from the MTSS Committee that outlined practice across each of the three tiers:

  • Tier 1: Core Instruction and Systems of Support
  • Tier II: Targeted Intervention
  • Tier III: Intensive Intervention.

Dr. Denise Herrmann and members of the Learning & Teaching Department provided an overview of the 4-day professional learning plan designed to support District 303 staff in delivering engaging, high-quality on-line instruction with the ability to seamlessly transition between in-person, hybrid, and remote models of instruction. The presentation showcased the website that houses all of the required and recommended training modules.

Business Services Committee - August 24, 2020

Dr. Pearson provided an update on the first few days of school, saying that things are going well with remote and in-person learning. He also reported that many families have made the decision to move from in-person to remote, which poses challenges with staffing and class size. The district will be hiring a 2nd-grade teacher to accommodate the high number of students who have made the switch. At the middle school level, we are now around 30% of remote students, so it may take a week or longer for TMS and WMS to accommodate the changes.

  1. Dr. Chapman reported on the COVID related expenses. COVID related expenses will continue to be tracked and reported out monthly.
  2. Dr. Chapman discussed the ongoing Facility Master Plan. The Facility Master Plan includes an educational capacity study, which is in progress at the Middle and High Schools, and a facility assessment, which is currently being finalized for Administration to review.

Dr. Chapman thanked both Quest and Organic Life for their work this summer to serve our families during this challenging time. Dr. Chapman presented updates to the food service contracts based on the current needs of the district.


Agendas and meeting minutes from the School Board meetings are accessible online via BoardBook.