District 15 Board of Education News
November 9, 2022
The District 15 Board of Education meeting was held on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. The full meeting agenda, recorded video, and minutes from the meeting can be found on the BoardDocs website.
Pledge of Allegiance led by Central Road Students
Students from Central Road School who participate in either the Yoga or Wellness Club and the Kindness Club led the Pledge of Allegiance. Central Road places a strong emphasis on academic success and building a strong sense of community. By offering a variety of choice clubs, students have the opportunity to connect with various peers while also giving back, fostering creative thinking, and learning new skills. Thank you Central Road students! You are making a real difference.
TJ Staff Recognition of Cynthia Fletcher
District 15 was honored to recognize Thomas Jefferson's staff member, Cynthia Fletcher. Cynthia is a 3rd/4th grade LEAP teacher at TJ. Cynthia has gone above and beyond to help the special education department, working with four new special education teachers, new occupational therapists, speech/language, social work, psychologists, coordinators, and administration. Cynthia’s leadership and willingness to put in time above and beyond what is expected is amazing. Her efforts directly impact all the students within our special education classrooms. Thank you for going above and beyond, Cynthia! D15 is lucky to have you.
Board of Education Recognition
Sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), School Board Member Day is being celebrated across Illinois on November 15. District 15 is joining with other Illinois districts to sincerely thank the seven members of our wonderful elected Board of Education for championing the work of educators, for fully supporting our continuous improvement efforts, and for helping shepherd the Moving 15 Forward plan. Their work as a Board fully embodies this year’s theme of Partners in Excellence.
I encourage all members of the District 15 staff and community to reach out to our Board and share their appreciation. Board members may be reached via the Board menu on our website: www.ccsd15.net/boe. #ThankABoardMember
Dr. Heinz began her update by thanking the community for doing something they have not done in 34 years—they approved a referendum in support of District 15’s Moving 15 Forward plan. The community support was resounding with 62.67% approval!
The $93M in funds approved from our successful referendum will allow District 15 to repair and restore its facilities, update its learning spaces, improve school transitions, bring full-day kindergarten to District 15, and much more.
Both Dr. Heinz and President Szczupaj shared their sincere appreciation for everyone who helped this plan become a reality after years of preparation. Dr. Heinz reviewed some next steps and the District will continue to keep our community informed as we move forward with the implementation of the plan. Again, Dr. Heinz thanked residents for their support that will allow us to boldly move the district forward.
Presentation: Tentative 2022 Tax Levy
Diana McCluskey, Chief School Business Official, and Mary Chaharbakhshi, Director of Fiscal Services, presented the tentative 2022 Tax Levy. Per state statute, the tentative levy is presented to the Board of Education at least 20 days prior to adoption. The final levy is scheduled for adoption at the December 13, 2022, regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting. Overall, approximately 73% of the District’s revenues are from property taxes.
Mrs. McCluskey shared that the levy is “the ask” by the school district to the Cook County Clerk’s Office to extend property taxes for 2022. The District is subject to the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL) which limits the increase in the tax to the December 2021 CPI-U of 7% or statutorily 5%, whichever is less. The applicable increase is 5%. The final extension will include new properties that come on the tax roll for the first time. New property includes finished construction and tax increment financing districts that have expired. Both are taxed at the full rate. The LY22 levy is $145,939,635 which is a 7.6% increase from LY21. The actual LY22 extension will likely be closer to $143M after the 5% PTELL limitation is applied.
Presentation: 2022 Summative Designation
Every October, schools receive an annual Illinois Report Card Summative Designation from the Illinois State Board of Education that shows how schools and the District are progressing on a wide range of educational goals. Dr. Tom Edgar, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, presented the District 15 summative designation update. Dr. Edgar shared the designation components, historic and current designations, as well as key areas for continued action.
For the 2021-22 school year, all District 15 schools have been designated as Commendable. A Commendable school designation means that not only does the school’s overall performance fall within the state’s performance targets, each of the student demographic groups in the school also meets the state’s performance targets.
Dr. Edgar shared that the Educational Services department will present the District Achievement Report to the Board of Education in December. Data reviews and updates will be presented to the Board in January and May.
Presentation: Fall 2022 Universal Benchmarking
The Fall 2022 Universal Benchmarking report was presented by Dr. Meg Schnoor, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services; Dr. Thomas Edgar, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning; Dr. Ann Scully, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services; and Mrs. Renee Urbanski, Assistant Superintendent of Multilingual Programs.
At the beginning of every school year, District 15 administers a comprehensive set of assessments to determine the academic level and associated needs of its more than 11,000 kindergarten through eighth-grade students. This process is referred to as benchmarking.
The universal benchmarking process allows schools to assess students so they are able to create an academic picture of each learner. The team shared how the picture serves to help solidify levels of support students may require to ensure they grow as learners. Accurately identifying each student's level of need plays an important role in our academic intervention system as it allows us to match need with available intervention support. This process is part of a larger Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), which matches support to students across tiers of intervention support.
At the district level, these measures capture valuable “moment in time” information in the areas of literacy/reading, mathematics, and overall social-emotional well-being/behavior. This data is reviewed at each school and by each grade level to identify students in need of additional intervention support, accelerated placement for advanced math program, and is also used as part of the gifted program selection process.
Since no single measure adequately captures a learner’s profile, we administer a series of benchmark assessments to create a more comprehensive picture of each learner – their strengths and areas in need of additional instruction. Some of the assessments the District uses are Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), FastBridge, and SAEBRS (Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screener).
The team presented data and comparisons to previous years for Grade K-1 Fastbridge reading and math data as well as data from the new Social-Emotional Learning screener.
Board Member James Taylor shared the Foundation is analyzing the teacher mini grants now and they anticipate announcing the winners after Thanksgiving. Next, the Foundation will prepare for their 50/50 raffle which takes place between February and March.
Board Members Zubair Khan and Samantha Ader shared that they met with Dr. Heinz to discuss the social studies program and participating as part of the strategic planning process. The equity committee has also had conversations around Moving 15 Forward and how to support students during any upcoming transitions.
Board Member Frank Annerino shared there are no new updates.
Board Members Wenda Hunt and Anthony Wang shared no new updates.
The Board had a first reading of 6:260 and a second reading of PRESS 108 and 109.
- Approval of Personnel Report: Administrative, Certified and Non-Certified Staff - approved
- Semi-Annual Review of Closed Session Minutes - approved
- Resolution Estimating the Aggregate Levy for the Year 2022 - approved
- Board Policy - Second Reading (PRESS 108 and 109) - approved