News from CCSD15 Board of Education

February 12, 2021

Capacity/Boundary Study Update

The Board received an update on the District’s boundary adjustment planning at its February 10 meeting.

Based on the combined work of key administrators, STR architects and RSP & Associates, deep capacity analysis and demographic surveys have shown that the District may have the ability to achieve its goals without the addition of a 21st school. Should a 21st school be determined necessary, the District will research other viable locations. As such, the Board voted not to seek an additional extension on the Park Place property.

The community’s goals remain front-and-center in our ongoing facility study, in which two key components are school capacity and boundary planning. Linked to this work is our desire to honor community, Board and administrative priorities that include but are not limited to:

  • Full-Day Kindergarten;

  • A complete feeder pattern from elementary to junior high to high school;

  • Potential conversion to a middle school model;

  • Eliminate overcrowding and equalize capacities across our schools; and

  • Provide equitable access to programs and services.

The Board will receive another update at its March Board meeting before a formal presentation and discussion will take place at a special April Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 21.

Community Engagement will be facilitated by Cor Strategies and is scheduled to begin this Spring.

COVID-19 Update

The Board COVID-19 update included sharing updated community metrics, which continue to decrease since the January meeting. Rates within the District (students and staff) are also at a comparable level. The District has not had to take any Adaptive Pauses at the classroom, building or District levels since January. We will continue to contact trace positive cases and update our dashboard to reflect weekly changes to our numbers.

The full COVID-19 Board presentation (starting at slide 21) is available online.


All District employees are now eligible for vaccination as members of Tier 1b of the state’s plan. District 15 is working with area healthcare providers so we are ready to efficiently distribute vaccines to staff when they become available from CCDPH. Cook County is currently prioritizing residents over the age of 65 as the first to receive the vaccine within the large Tier 1B category. The statewide target completion date of Tier 1b eligible personnel is April.


D15 Technology Department

Technology Services Department

Beginning with the abrupt forced shutdown of Illinois schools in March, the 10 member “tech team” dropped everything at a moment’s notice, worked nights and weekends to image devices, inventoried and barcoded chromebooks for distribution, purchased and distributed hundreds of hot spots, and helped teachers set up necessary equipment so our students and staff had what they needed to be successful during remote learning. From March to May, they provided ongoing device support so staff and students could communicate and learn together.

Since schools opened for in-person and virtual learning this fall, they’ve worked tirelessly to support the use of technology as a tool for learning. They have made themselves available each morning at our schools to help provide immediate help with faulty devices, to troubleshoot technology issues in real-time and to also help families coming in to swap out devices that need to be repaired by a member of the same very team.

We are very proud of the work our Technology Service Department does on a daily basis and are simply beyond thankful they work in District 15.

Building Future Ready Libraries

The Board heard a presentation from the Innovation and Instructional Technology team to create Future Ready Libraries which, in line with our Strategic Plan, will seek to keep school libraries open all day, create unified library standards and a viable and consistent curriculum, and provide real-time building-based technology support everyday.

The Board approved the proposal to move forward with the pilot by adding two full-time elementary library teachers so that the pilot will include 4 fully staffed elementary libraries and 4 fully staffed junior high libraries.

Residency Verification Process

District administrators presented a plan for expanding the residency verification process from one time (at time of initial enrollment) to a limited expansion in 2021-22, which will require parents/guardians of incoming 4th and 7th grades to re-verify residency.

District 15 boundaries cover 35 square miles and service all or part of seven municipalities. As such, we believe we have families registered within our schools who may not actually reside within District boundaries. During the 2020-21 school year, our per pupil expenditure is $13,957.65. The District could experience a significant cost savings by identifying existing students who do not live within our District boundaries. As a District that strives to be good fiscal stewards, we believe this is an essential practice to standardize. Surrounding districts already require all families to prove residency every year.

The Board agreed with the District plan to implement the reverification process next year. View residency documentation here.

Student Fees

District 15 collects student fees to help fund quality programs and services, district initiatives, new instructional resources and technology purchases. We educate roughly 12,000 students annually and rely on fees collected to help offset our per pupil expenditures as they provide an additional source of revenue to the district. Student fees have largely stayed the same for the past 7 years despite an increase in the overall cost of educating students—particularly in the area of technology. It is for these reasons that the District proposed an increase in student fees over the next four years.

District 15 has families that qualify for free or reduced lunches and fee waivers. Determination for such fee waivers are made based on income level and follows a stringent identification process to determine eligibility.

Additionally, we have families that experience a temporary financial hardship making paying fees in full difficult. When this occurs, families are able to apply for a payment plan or fee waiver for a specific length of time. This process is managed through the Business Office.

The Board approved a $15 increase in fees for Grades 1-8 for each of the next four years, as well as a $15 increase in fees for Kindergarten for each of the next two years. In addition, the District will no longer pay the convenience fee for those who pay their fees via credit card.

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