Summary of the October 18, 2021 Board Meeting at Westbrook
Board Briefs is a newsletter-style overview of the highlights of the Board of Education's discussion and action. You can find the meeting agenda online here, and look for minutes of the meeting to be posted after they are approved at the next BOE meeting (November 15, 2021).
Board Meeting Recording
Dr. Delli turned over the presentation to Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning Dr. Matt Silverman. Dr. Silverman introduced instructional coach Adrienne Hoffer, who described the District's literacy framework, and the mission and vision around literacy, and introduced D34 writers! Students in first through fifth grade from across the District, joined by their teachers, shared personal narratives. They wrote about losing a tooth, getting lost in a corn maize, shared stories about friends and families and food, and read their stories in Spanish and in English.
American Heart Association Honors D34 Schools & Teachers
She shared her gratitude to the D34 staff in your district who partner with the American Heart Association each year through the Kids Heart Challenge program and to all the families in the community who participate and give their support. She shared that the Heart Challenge program is designed to teach students heart healthy habits at an early age to stay both mentally and physically healthy. The program encourages students to take a challenge for their heart health and allows them an outlet for donations to the American Heart Association if they wish to give.
Ms. Molidor honored the principals, and the PE teachers at Pleasant Ridge, Glen Grove and Hoffman who adapted to create a successful virtual event during the pandemic: Troy Cutler, Andrew Mayer, Lori Marcotte, Preston Roberts, Drew Russell, Anthony Mazza and Dawn Verachtert.
While donations are not required to participate in the program, District 34 is the top fundraising school district in the state of Illinois and one of the top 50 fundraising districts in the entire country. Last year, the three school communities raised a total of $76,000 to fight heart disease and more than 700 D34 students pledged to take a challenge to keep their hearts healthy. The AHA gave back $8,000 to the three schools to purchase new PE equipment. Throughout the years, the District has in total raised $1.4M to fight heart disease.
Cathy Kedjidjian shared that the FDA advisory panel is meeting on October 26 to discuss emergency authorization use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine for children ages 5-11. Then, the CDC's advisory committee on immunization practices will meet November 2-3. Though it is not clear what the final approval will entail, or the exact timeline, Raquel Kim sought and received approval from the IEMA to have our intermediate schools serve as vaccine sites. To be prepared, the district has set clinics for Nov. 18 (1st dose) and Dec 9 (2nd dose) for eligible children to be held in the afternoon/evening at Glen Grove, Hoffman and Pleasant Ridge, and is working to make the spaces comfortable for younger children. The District will share registration information for parents to sign up children who are eligible if and when the vaccine receives emergency use authorization.
Board Member Recognition
During the first opportunity for community comments, a District 34 student shared her concerns about the school lunches. She explained that they are generally not nutritious, and that fruits and vegetables are rarely fresh. The food does not reflect the diversity of the students and families. She said that she represents a group of students who want healthier and more diverse food at lunch, and encouraged the Board to support them.
Amendment to the 2021-2022 (Current Year) Calendar: End-of-Year Changes
Teachers and staff need time to clear out their work spaces, and to identify items that need to be packed, labeled and stored so that they go to the right place at the right time to be unpacked in the fall. While some purging and packing will take place throughout the year, the District does not want teachers to be without the materials they need for students while students are still in the classrooms. Therefore, the administration proposed, and the Board approved, changes to the 2021-2022 calendar:
- The last day of student attendance is Friday, May 27, the day before Memorial Day weekend (changed from Wednesday, June 1)
- The last day for staff remains Thursday, June 2.
This provides staff the opportunity to focus on student learning through the last day of student attendance, and then have the needed time to pack, sort and completely clear out their classrooms so that work can begin on June 3.
There had been additional days built into the calendar, so with this change, the District still meets the state requirement of 176 days of student attendance. While the District hopes that there are no further adjustments to calendars or operations, this is a significant construction project -- a $150M project that includes $119M of referendum funds -- and it may require future flexibility.
Second Referendum Bond Issuance Approved at $59M
She said that interest rates have gone up since September, though rates still are near all-time lows. She provided a history of the promise of the referendum, and the plan to accelerate the issuance of bonds to take advantage of low interest rates.
- Issuing the remainder of the referendum bonds over two years ($45M in 2022 and $14M in 2023)
- Issuing the remainder of the referendum bonds ($59M) in 2022
Total interest cost would be lower in Option 1 because the $14M debt would be outstanding for one year less. However, if interest rates increase by more than .27% on the $14M issue in 2023, then the lower cost option would be Option 2 – issuing all the bonds now in 2022.
The Board discussed the likelihood of an increase in rates and approved the issuance of $59M in referendum bonds in 2022.
2022-2023 Kindergarten Planning & Fees
Board members were unanimous in wishing to have a fee closer to the lower first estimate of $3,300, that the families who are able to pay do not bear the cost of fee waivers (the District should cover those costs), that the District should limit deficit spending. The Board, in setting the fee each year, will have flexibility to adjust that fee in the future.
The administration will continue to update the community on the progress of planning not only for the fee, but for the schedules, curriculum, programming for both full- and half-day kindergarten, and registration (which is expected to open in late November or December). The FDK website will be continually updated, and the District will be seeking input from parents and community members through a ThoughtExchange survey. [POST-MEETING NOTE: The survey was launched on October 19 and the community is encouraged to click here or the image below to participate, adn the survey is available in any language.]
The administration will bring a proposal forward in November of $3,600 fee for FDK (with a $300 discount for early registration). The Board will take action on that proposal at that meeting.
2021-2022 CFAC Charge
The CFAC charge for 2021-22 was presented:
- Based on discussion of key inputs and assumptions, the committee will present the five-year financial forecast. In addition to the base forecast, the committee will present key sensitivities including COVID-19 related considerations or a contingency forecast. (January 2022 Board of Education Meeting).
- CFAC will review the capital debt structure previously proposed and make any other revised recommendations based on the changing economic conditions given the global pandemic.
Glenview District 34 is governed by a seven-person Board of Education, elected by the community, that consists of the following individuals:
- Scott Nelson (President)
- John Heggie (Vice President)
- Mike Korman (Secretary)
- Jim Baumstark
- James Dolan
- Natalie Jachtorowycz
- Diane Stefani
You can contact the Board at email@example.com.