Board Briefs

November 18, 2019

Superintendent's Report

The Board of Education will attend the Joint Annual Conference this weekend.

The Teaching, Learning, and Innovation Department held their second Parent Night and discussed ELA and Innovation. Many thanks to all the staff who helped put together an informative presentation for our families.

Middle School had their first reporting period.

Elementary progress reports are available.

Parent-Teacher conferences are coming up on November 25 and 26.

2019 Tax Levy

Each year, the Board of Education estimates how much money needs to be raised

through taxation for the operation of the schools for the following year. This

determination must be made before the last Tuesday in December. Once the determination is made, the levy is filed with the Lake County Clerk. No less than 20 days prior to the adoption of the current year's levy, the Board is to estimate the amount of money necessary to be raised by property taxation. If it is anticipated that the increase in the levy, excluding taxes for Debt Service payments, is more than five percent of the previous year's levy, a public hearing is


The Board of Education has the authority to levy separate taxes for the following

purposes: Education, Liability Insurance, Special Education, Operations, Life Safety,

Leasing Facilities, Debt Service, Transportation, Municipal Retirement, Social Security,

Working Cash, Summer School, and Tort Judgment Bonds. The 2019 levy will include

amounts extended for Education, Special Education, Operations & Maintenance,

Transportation, Municipal Retirement, and Social Security funds. Notably, the levy will

not include amounts for the Debt Service Fund.

Upon conclusion of the levy procedure, and after determination of the District's

equalized assessed valuation, the County Clerk extends the appropriate amount of taxes

against all taxable property within the District. This extension notes the actual taxes to

be collected from the real estate property owners in the District. In extending these

taxes, there are certain limitations imposed based upon maximum tax rates that are

allowable either by law or as determined through local referenda.

There were no comments made during the Public Hearing and the tax levy was approved at the meeting on Monday, November 18. The 2019 Tax Levy can be viewed on our website.

Enrollment Based Staffing

The district has been reviewing its declining enrollment trends over the past several years, which includes staffing patterns at both the elementary and middle school level. The district has also studied the impact of class sizes at all grade levels, K through 8. In the 2015-16 school year, the district implemented equitable staffing at our elementary schools, helping us adjust to declining enrollment and keep class sizes at a satisfactory level.

On September 16, 2019, the Board of Education adopted a resolution to begin staffing based on enrollment at Caruso and Shepard Middle Schools in the 2020-2021 school year.

Changes are being made to ensure equity for students and staff, to address declining enrollment, and to provide greater equity and management of financial resources across the district. The district asked for middle school parent, staff, and student feedback through a survey sent earlier this fall. Following the survey, principals held focus groups of parents and students. After all the data was collected, a committee of seven teachers from each school (14 total) has been discussing possible options. This committee has met three times and is currently set to meet more before coming back to the Board in January.

At the Board meeting on Monday, November 18, middle school teachers presented their preference for keeping a team structure amid any changes that may be made. They discussed how teams allow staff members to meet individual student needs, have common planning time, and support a positive school culture. There were several parents who spoke in support of the teachers and the concept of continuing a team structure.

The Board thanked the staff for coming to the meeting to discuss this important topic and expressed their appreciation of their commitment to our students. One Board Member expressed that while their roles may be different, both teachers and the Board have made students their top priority. Another Board member expressed that their job is to look at equity for all students in our district, and currently, some of the elementary school classes are larger than at the middle schools. Board members also discussed declining enrollment and management of the resources of the district.

Moving forward with this process, the committee of teachers and administrators will meet more before winter break. The Board of Education and the administration believe that through collaboration and communication with the members of the committee and all staff, we will be able to find a solution that will address the needs and concerns of our staff while allowing for appropriate staffing based on the declining enrollment trends. Since the Board meeting, administrators and teachers have been exploring an option that would keep two teams of 8 teachers where teachers could stay within grade levels and subject areas. The district will continue to keep our staff, parents, and community members informed through this process.

Student Services Update

The Student Services Department presented an update to the board including IAR data and how the expansion of inclusive practices has helped to improve data. A team from Shepard Middle School shared practices that have made their students and staff successful with inclusive practices. Also, a team from Wilmot Elementary School discussed how they have created a culture of inclusion in their school.

The Student Services presentation can be found on our website.

2019-2020 School Calendar DRAFT

The Board of Education received a draft calendar for the 2019-2020 school year for review. As in the past, District 109 made a strong effort to align our calendar as closely as possible with District 113's calendar. The Board will be presented with the calendar for approval at the next meeting on December 16, 2019.

Action Items

Destruction of closed session recordings from April 23, 2018, was approved.

Personnel items including resignations/retirements, leave of absence, employment of certified staff, employment of educational support staff, and employment of at-will staff were approved.

The treasurer's report for October 2019 was approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

The settlement agreement for D.G. was approved.

The resolution to aggregate levy for the year 2019 was approved.

The resolution authorizing levy for special education purposes was approved.

The resolution providing for the payment of debt service and abating taxes was approved.

The meeting minutes for the regular board meeting on October 21, 2019, were approved.

The meeting minutes for the closed session meeting on October 21, 2019, were approved.

Committee Reports

EDC met on October 29 and will meet again on January 7.

NSSED is extending the timeframe for its financial review.

Policy Committee will meet on December 16.

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, December 16, 2019 - Regular Board Meeting

Monday, January 13, 2020 - Regular Board Meeting

Monday, February 10, 2020 - Regular Board Meeting