Board Briefs

December 16, 2021

Board Meeting Details

This regular Board of Education meeting was held in person at the District Office with no pandemic-related capacity limit. In-person public comment was available for attendees.

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 p.m.

2. Approval of Meeting Agenda

The agenda was approved.

3. Recognition: What's Good in 109

Mr. Steckling shared highlights from around the six DPS 109 schools.

Highlights include:

-Artwork featured at the District Office from South Park students

-109 Gives Back philanthropy projects: South Park helping Gratitude Generation, Kipling helping Restored Hope, and Caruso helping Social Works

-Operation Snowflake housed at Wilmot

-Recognition for Jennah Bolda from the Buildings & Grounds department

-Recognition for our seven nurses for everything they do!

You can see his presentation below.

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Our featured school was Walden, where the following was highlighted:

-MakerSpace activities in the LC

--"One Plastic Bag" activity from STEAM class

-We Are Going Places Postcard project from Ms. Arlia's class

We also heard a great presentation from several students from Mrs. Oshiro's class about the Mood Trackers they have created and put up around Walden School! You can watch their presentation below:

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4. Superintendent's Report

Mr. Simeck opened his report by addressing the nationwide issues with school violence threats stemming from TikTok. He reiterated that no specific threat has been made against DPS 109 and that there will be a precautionary enhanced police presence in the district tomorrow.

Dr. Filippi reports that the COVID-19 vaccine clinics for 5-11 year olds at Shepard have gone very well. The final one is Monday.

Mr. Simeck said that when it comes to COVID, we are seeing more positive cases than at any time since we began testing. He reiterated that most positive cases stem from outside activities that are not related to school in any way and reminded families & the community to celebrate the holiday season responsibly.

He said that we expect a change from Lake County and possibly state health officials in guidance for the 2nd semester, but it's unclear what that will exactly entail. We have heard that it may turn over all contact tracing to local school districts, that the "Test To Stay" protocol would stick around, and that health departments would help support districts with clusters or outbreaks. He said that we won't know what this exactly means for DPS 109 until we see the guidance. After winter break, we continue to expect doing what we have been doing as it relates to mitigation protocols, especially because case counts tend to be higher in the weeks following breaks from school.

Mr. Steckling gave a update on Define 109, reminding the community that the 2nd ThoughtExchange survey is open until 5 p.m. tomorrow. The mission & vision drafting phase would tentatively begin in January.

Mr. Simeck & Steckling then showed some photos around the district and reminded the board that despite every hoop we continue to have to jump through, our students are having a much better and more normalized school experience than they did last year.

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

There was one speaker who asked the board to look at compensation for our school nurses.


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

Dr. Filippi discussed two requests that are part of the packet posted on BoardBook.

President Montgomery noted that due to an agenda snafu, there will be a special board meeting tomorrow where the Caruso auditorium will be an action item.

6.2. 2020-21 Audit Results Presentation. (Policy 4:80)

Dr. Filippi introduced John Aceto to present the audit results. Mr. Aceto says the audit went well. He said they go through and look for any potential risks when it comes to the financial statements and processes of the district. He pointed out that the district has had a long-standing history of award-winning reporting and he expects the same this year. He said the school district's fund balance has increased since last year, which is a positive sign. You can read the financial report below, and look at other documentation in the agenda in BoardBook.

6.3. 2022-23 Tentative Budget Calendar

Dr. Filippi presented this calendar for the board's consideration. It is a standard annual practice to set the budget process in motion.

6.4. Review of Board Meeting Locations

Mr. Bialk, the Chief Technology Officer, discussed the report he has prepared for the board about potential future meeting locations. The three options most closely studied are the Shepard MPR, Caruso MPR, and Deerfield Village Hall. His recommended option is the Caruso MPR.

You can click below to see his prepared document detailing the three options.


7.1. Consent Agenda*

Personnel items were approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

Destruction of closed session audio was approved.

7.2. Accept 2020-21 Audit Results

The audit results were approved.

7.3. Designation to Prepare the Tentative 2022-23 Budget

The designation was approved.

7.4. Treasurer's Report - October and November

The report was approved.

7.5. Approval of Meeting Minutes (Policy 2:220)

The minutes were approved.

7.6. Open Closed Session Minutes (Bi-annual requirement) (Policy 2:220)

The minutes were approved.

7.7. BOE Member IASB Joint Annual Conference Reimbursements

They were approved.

8. Committee Reports (Policy 2:150)

Mr. Kuo said the Finance Committee met. Audit results were reported in this meeting.

Mr. Morrison said that the Policy Committee met this evening and reviewed a number of policies that will be brought to the board at some point.

Mrs. Jakymiw said there was a TrueNorth board meeting last week. They have forecast meetings coming up. They will be discussing going to the Equity Symposium for the National School Board Association Meeting.

9. Open Community Participation (Policy 2:230)

There was no community participation.

10. Board/Superintendent Other

President Montgomery discussed recent legislative happenings concerning gun possession in schools and board member compensation. She thanked the tech team for streaming meetings, the business department for their work on the audit and the vaccine clinics, Mr. Steckling for the What's Good in 109 segment, and finally our nurses for all of their work.

Mr. Morrison gave a shout out to the Finance Department for their track record.

Mr. Begley thanked Greg Himebaugh for all of the contributions he made to the district and the great shape he has left the business department in.

11. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 8:38 PM.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Friday, December 17, 2021 @ 4:30 p.m. - Special Board Meeting to discuss Caruso Auditorium

Thursday, January 20, 2022 @ 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting

Thursday, February 17, 2022 @ 7 p.m. - Regular Board Meeting