Board Briefs

May 24, 2021

Board Meeting Details

Upon the guidance of IL Open Meetings Act P.A. 101-0640 - this meeting was held virtually. The District Center was open, but Board Members were not physically present. Due to space constraints, capacity including staff was limited. 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.

1. Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 6:32 p.m.

2. Approval of Meeting Agenda

The motion was approved.

3. Adjourn to Closed Session

The meeting adjourned to closed session at 6:34 p.m.

4. Reconvene to Open Session

The meeting reconvened in open session at 7:01 p.m.

5. Recognition: INSPRA Distinguished Service Awards

Director for Communications Eric Steckling presented Dr. Eileen Brett, principal at Wilmot Elementary School, and Mr. Ryan Kuo, Board of Education member, with Distinguished Service Awards from the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.

6. 109 Gives Back Recognition: #SydStrong & Caruso Student Council

8th-grade student council leaders from Caruso Middle School spoke about the #SydStrong fundraiser they are holding to benefit the family of a DPS 109 student facing a tough medical battle. See below for their video presentation.

7. Teacher Presentation

Ms. Julie Witczak, communication media arts teacher at Caruso Middle School, talked about the gender sexuality alliance at Caruso and the steps CMS has taken to be an LGBTQ+ inclusive school. See below for her presentation.

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

There were no voicemails left and no live speakers present.

9. Superintendent's Report

Mr. Simeck congratulated Dr. Brett and Mr. Kuo on their INSPRA awards.

He said that DPS 109 was the first district in Lake County to be fully onboard with the pilot classroom quarantine protocol, which was first used today.

Mr. Simeck explained the rationale behind not allowing remote students to switch to in-person, explaining that "space available" isn't applicable when it comes to running a comprehensive school system. A decision regarding one student ultimately ends up allocating resources and impacting others.

He ended his report by addressing what we currently know about the 2021-2022 school year:

-The intention is open school in the fall with full school days for all grade levels.

-All health & safety protocols would be followed

-Right now, it appears lunch & recess would look very similar to what they currently are.

-Given the current state of affairs we are operating on the assumption that mask-wearing will continue in public schools.

-Some reports say children as young as 2 may have the opportunity to be vaccinated before the end of the calendar year and we will certainly pay attention to that.

-We are exploring what remote instruction may look like.

-We are exploring if there any adjustments needed to the SHIELD testing schedule.

You can expect updates on these questions at the June & July Board of Education meetings and more frequently via email if warranted.


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

Mr. Himebaugh said there was one FOIA request that has been addressed.

10.2. Resolution to Establish a District 109 401(a) Plan

Mr. Himebaugh discussed this plan and said it would be brought back to the board for action next month.

10.3. ISBE Consolidated District Plan for Federal Grant Application and Management

Ms. Ford presented the plan to the board and said she is available to take any questions.

10.4. Recommendation to Purchase Chromebooks

Mr. Himebaugh said that 1,500 Chromebooks are set to be purchased. They would be ahead of the normal 4-year replacement cycle because grant money would cover the vast majority of the devices. The recommendation will be up for approval next month.

10.5. ECRA Group Professional Services Agreement with the Project 440 District Consortium with Districts Bannockburn District 106, Highland Park District 112, and Township High School District 113

Mr. Simeck talked about the joint venture of acquiring a data analyst that would look at the data from all of the feeder districts into 113. The goal would be to position students to be in situations for the best possible educational outcomes. The other 440 boards will be meeting in the coming days and we will have feedback from the other districts as to how they will proceed.


11.1. Consent Agenda*

The meeting minutes were approved.

Personnel items were approved.

Bills for payment were approved.

April treasurer's report was approved.

Destruction of Closed Session Audio was approved.

11.2. Student Settlement Agreement

The agreement was approved.

11.3. ISBE Consolidated District Plan for Federal Grant Application and Management

The plan was approved.

11.4. Olson Transportation Renewal

The recommendation was approved.

11.5. Resolution to Recall Licensed Teachers

The resolution was approved.

11.6. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes from April 26, 2021

The minutes were approved.

11.7. Approval of Closed Session Meeting Minutes from April 26, 2021

The minutes were approved.

12. Committee Reports (Policy 2:150)

Mrs. Jakymiw attended the most recent NSSED meeting and gave details about that. They will soon be known as True North Educational Cooperative 804.

President Montgomery announced that the committees have been re-constituted with the new board members and that the new committees are posted on the BOE page on the DPS 109 website.

Open Community Participation

There were no speakers present.

Board/Superintendent Other

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m.

Upcoming School Board Meetings

Monday, June 14, 2021 @7pm - Regular Board Meeting

Thursday, July 29, 2021 @7pm - Regular Board Meeting