BOE Recap

April 20, 2023

Board Meeting Details

This regular Board of Education meeting was held in person at the District Center.

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.

2. Approval of Meeting Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Closed Session

The board moved into closed session at 6:03 p.m.

Closed Session to discuss: The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees, specific individuals who serve as independent contractors in a park, recreational, or educational setting, or specific volunteers of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee, a specific individual who serves as an independent contractor in a park, recreational, or educational setting, or a volunteer of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity. However, a meeting to consider an increase in compensation to a specific employee of a public body that is subject to the Local Government Wage Increase Transparency Act may not be closed and shall be open to the public and posted and held in accordance with this Act. 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1). *

*let the meeting record show that the Open Meetings Act Exception listed on the agenda and noted above for Closed Session was a typo. It should have read: Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees. 5ILCS/2(c)(2). This is reflected in the Regular and Closed Session Minutes from 4/20/23.

4. Reconvene To Open Session

The meeting reconvened to open session at 7:00 p.m.

5. What's Good in 109

Mr. Steckling presented the monthly What's Good in 109 report.

South Park is our featured school of the month, as we showcase the 3 C's in one building:

-Dr. Faust had a "live report" from SP via Zoom where Showcase Night was just wrapping up. She said it was a very successful event!

-Ms. Bertram's 3rd graders just wrapped up a really cool engineering project where they had to build a tunnel for roly-poly bugs to successful cross underneath a fake road. They had material and budget constraints they also had to consider. Check out pictures on the South Park Facebook page!

-SP as a school knocked a Winter Reading Challenge out of the park, with over 60,000 minutes read across the school. Just one class, Ms. Laughlin's 5th grade, accounted for over 26,000 of those minutes!

-Elsewhere, 2nd graders at Walden & Kipling filled out an info sheet about themselves and it was sent off to 7th grade ELA students at Shepard, who then had to write and illustrate a fictional story about their younger buddy! The middle schoolers then got to take a field trip and meet up with their buddies in their classrooms. What a great project!

We were proud to honor the award winners (pictured below) of the districtwide Young Authors competition, listed below by school:

Kipling - 1st: Emmy L; 2nd: Waverly W

South Park - 1st: Madison B; 2nd: Avery S

Walden - 1st: Autumn E; 2nd: Addy W

Wilmot - 1st: Myles W; 2nd(tie): Dana J & Maya J

Caruso - 1st: Eva R; 2nd (tie): Riley B & Julia S

Shepard - 1st: Marissa T; 2nd: Daphne G

Congrats to all!

Big picture

Finally, we recognized Daphne G. from Shepard for qualifying for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She is the first qualifier in DPS 109 history! Good luck in D.C., Daphne!

Click below to watch the What's Good segment!

Big picture

6. Superintendent's Report

Mr. Simeck recently judged a 5th grade debate at South Park about whether the school should start a composting program. A video recap of the debate was played. He thanked the students for their hard work and dedication!

He said that safety remains at the forefront of conversation given the events that keep happening in the week. Last month, schools had to be put on a non-emergency lockdown due to a situation in a neighboring community. From every situation we evaluate our response, evaluate both internal & external communication, and collaborate with first responders & official agencies to improve. He urged families to reach out to elected officials to ensure they are doing everything they can to keep schools safe.

The master facility planning committee will meet again next week and there will be an update on their planning in the next 109 News and in the next superintendent's report, if not sooner.

Staff Appreciation Week across DPS 109 is May 8-12. We want to thank all of our staff for their service and dedication to the students of our school district.

Click below to watch his report.

7. Community Participation Relative to Matters on the Meeting Agenda (Policy 2:230)

There were no speakers present.


8.1. Freedom of Information Requests (Policy 2:250)

Dr. FIlippi discussed the three requests. More information can be found in the board packet.

8.2. Social Studies Curriculum Review Update

Dr. Arnold, along with several DPS 109 staff members, presented an update on how the social studies curriculum review process is going. You can watch their presentation below.

8.3. Technology Refresh Purchase for the 2023-24 School Year

Dr. Bialk presented about the current state of technology in the district and laid out plans for upcoming years. Click below to watch his report.

8.4. Student Use of Seat Belts on School Buses

Mr. Ashman brought this topic before the board. He showed the board a few different videos related to the topic. The board will potentially consider this topic at a future date.

8.5. Olson Transportation Contract Renewal - 2023-2024

Dr. Filippi presented the recommendation to the board. There are two renewal options, one that has lap belts and another that would have 3-point safety belts. This would be voted on next month.


9.1. Consent Agenda*

Meeting minutes were approved.

Personnel items were approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

9.2. Treasurer's Report

The report was approved.

9.3. Recommendation to Approve 2023-24 Fees

The recommendation was approved.

9.4. Final Public School Calendar Submission 2022-23

The calendar was approved.

9.5. Resolution/Teacher Appreciation Week

The resolution was approved.

10. Committee Reports (Policy 2:150)

Mrs. Jakymiw attended the recent TrueNorth board meeting. They are having budget discussions. She has also been elected TrueNorth board president.

Mrs. Wener attended the ED-RED meeting last week where many legislative topics were discussed.

11. Open Community Participation (Policy 2:230)

There were no speakers present.

12. Board/Superintendent Other

President Montgomery congratulated Mrs. Jakymiw on her TrueNorth election. She thanked Mr. Begley and Mr. Ashman for their service over the years as this is their final regular board meeting.

Mrs. Jakymiw thanked Mr. Ashman for his passionate presentation on seat belts.

Mr. Simeck thanked Mr. Begley and Mr. Ashman for their longtime service to the board.

13. Adjournment

The meeting adjourned at 9:37 p.m.

The next school board meeting is...

Thursday, May 25, 2023 @ 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting