Board Briefs

December 14, 2020

Video of Board Meeting below:

Board Meeting Details

The December 14 regular board meeting was held both on site at the District Office and remotely via Zoom. Due to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, only 10 people were permitted inside the boardroom at any given time, observing proper physical distancing and wearing face coverings. Members of the public could listen/observe the meeting by logging in to a designated Zoom webinar. For open/community participation, a laptop was set up in the District Office to accommodate live public comment. The district also created a dedicated voicemail line for public comment.

Holiday Gift Giving Drive Update

Dr. Eileen Brett, principal of Wilmot Elementary School, talked about the 109 Gives Back Holiday Gift Giving Drive, which has collected over 400 gifts and over 50 donations of wrapping paper valued in excess of approximately $15,000! All of the donations will go to help local families have a wonderful holiday season. Here is a copy of her presentation.

Walden Teacher Presentation

Ms. Kathy Kerner, library information specialist at Walden Elementary School, discussed how our libraries have adapted to the pandemic and adopted a remote book selection process. Here is a copy of her presentation.

Community Participation Relative to Matters on the Meeting Agenda

There were several voicemails played from the public comment line. Most referenced the decision to revert to remote learning and their agreement or disagreement with the school re-entry process.

Superintendent's Report

Mr. Rafferty said that the superintendent's report would be conducted as part of the reopening update.


FOIA Requests

Mr. Himebaugh discussed several requests that have been fulfilled.

Reopening Update

Mr. Rafferty said that his and Dr. Westerhold's recommendation to resume school on January 19 still stands, but is open to revision and change like everything in the pandemic.

He said that the district has been talking with SHIELD Illinois, the saliva-based testing developed at the University of Illinois. When this testing is ready to roll out to K-12 institutions, they will recommend to the board that 109 pursue this avenue.

Mr. Rafferty shared the results of last week's instructional model selection form across the district:

For the elementary schools, there were 22 changes: 11 who now wish to remain remote and 11 who now wish to return in-person

For the middle schools, there were 55 changes: 28 now remote, 27 now in-person

Middle schools will have guided small group tours for incoming 6th graders and new students on January 12, 13, 14

Ongoing discussions have continued with both the DEA and DESSA. The administration has continued to receive an updated list of concerns from staff in terms of coming back to in person learning.

Mr. Rafferty said the district is encouraging parents and staff to sign up for the Lake County AllVax portal to be notified when a vaccine becomes available.

The board, through consensus, gave the administration guidance that they should continue planning for a January 19 return to hybrid in-person learning for K-6 and on January 21 for 7-8. The decision for middle school may hinge more on how the metrics look and any progress that is made on securing additional testing. The administration and board will have additional discussions at the January 11 board meeting to affirm this re-entry timeline.


Consent Agenda

Meeting Minutes from 10/26, 11/9, 11/12, 11/13, 11/16, 12/1, 12/2, and 12/3 were approved.

Personnel items were approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

Treasurer's Report was approved.

Destruction of closed session audio was approved.

Designation to prepare the tentative 2021-2022 budget was approved.

Final 2021-22 School Calendar was approved.

Approval of New Superintendent Contract

The board voted to approve the contract of Mr. Mike Simeck as the next Superintendent of Schools for DPS 109. Various members of the Board of Education offered their congratulations. You can read the district's press release announcing his hire here.

Committee Reports

No official committee reports.

Open Community Participation

There was none.

Board/Superintendent Other

There was nothing discussed.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Monday, January 11, 2021 -- Regular Board Meeting

Monday, February 8, 2021 -- Regular Board Meeting