The Communicator

District 47's newsletter - Winter 2018

IN THIS ISSUE

  • Superintendent's Message

  • Important Dates

  • District Highlights

  • In the News

  • Financial Update

  • Operations Update

  • Board President's Message

  • Board of Education Update

  • Student & Community Activities

  • Connect with Us!

FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

In December, District 47 completed its four-month strategic planning process. The Board of Education approved the plan in January, serving as the starting point for a very exciting time for the District and the community. The strategic plan focuses on goals in five areas: Student learning/achievement, learning environment, work environment, family and community partnerships, and resource efficiencies.


Between now and May, action teams -- led by school administrators and staff with oversight by the district -- will be creating a vision and timeline of tasks to accomplish these goals over the next three to five years. As with the strategic planning process, the implementation of the strategic plan and progress toward our goals will be made available to the entire community on our website in May once presented to the Board.


While much of the work of our action teams will happen behind-the-scenes and not be easily noticed by the community at large, the family and community partnership goal is designed to build a clear path of communication and partnership between the schools and the communities we serve. Through strengthened stakeholder relationships, we intend to share our progress, celebrations and challenges as we work toward our goals. Our aim is to be your “first source” for information about District 47.


The speed of technology and increased reliance on social media has unintentionally created an environment where people do not always turn to original sources of information for the facts. This can cause the repetition of untrue information as facts and can lead to confusion in our community. We invite and encourage our parents and other stakeholders to turn to District 47 directly when seeking clarification or information about something. In order to provide accurate news and information directly to our stakeholders, we have established a number of communication channels to accommodate individual communication preferences. These channels include:


  • A social media presence on Facebook and Twitter for the District and each school

  • A free mobile app that can be downloaded from the Apple or Android stores to communicate with our stakeholders. On the app, people can choose which school(s) to follow as well enable “push” notifications.

  • Robust websites for the District and each school to allow parents and community members to access general information, check out upcoming events, and/or view lunch menus.

  • An electronic District newsletter called “The Communicator,” which is posted on our website three times a year (October, February and June). A postcard is mailed to all households as a reminder once the newsletter has been posted. Community members can also sign up to receive our newsletter via email.

  • A printed annual report, which is available at the District and school offices as well as various locations in the community.


As we continue to explore methods for building and strengthening our partnerships with families and the community, we invite you to share your ideas. Let us know how you would like to receive information from and about District 47 so we can be your “first source.”


Dr. Kathy Hinz

Superintendent

IMPORTANT DATES

February 2018

2/27 - Kindergarten registration (Canterbury, Glacier Ridge, Husmann, South, Woods Creek)

2/28 - Kindergarten registration (Coventry, Indian Prairie, North, West)

2/28 - Early Release Day


March 2018

3/19 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

3/26 - 4/1 - Spring Break


April 2018

4/2 - Classes resume after Spring Break

4/16 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

4/25 - Early Release Day

4/26 - Open House (Canterbury, Indian Prairie, North)

4/27 - 6th Grade Parent Panel (Bernotas)


May 2018

5/3 - Open House (Hannah Beardsley, Lundahl, Bernotas)

5/4 - D47 Art Show at Lakeside Arts Park, 5pm-8pm

5/7 - Joint Board of Education meeting (Districts 47, 155, 26, 3 and 46), 7pm, CORE Center

5/10 - Open House (Coventry, Glacier Ridge, Husmann, South, West, Woods Creek)

5/16 - Early Release Day

5/21 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

5/28 - No school (Memorial Day)

5/31 - Last day of school (if no emergency days)


June 2018

6/18 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

DISTRICT HIGHLIGHTS

2018-19 Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2018-19 school year will begin February 27 and February 28, 2018 at the District’s CORE Center, 300 Commerce Drive in Crystal Lake. Click here for details, including registration requirements and a schedule by school.

2018-19 Early Childhood Registration

Wehde Early Childhood Center, located at 1120 Village Road in Crystal Lake, provides general and special education programming for 3- and 4-year-olds. Registration is now open for the 2018-19 school year. For information about Wehde or to register your child, call 815-788-3100 or visit the website at http://www.d47.org/wehde.

School Calendars

Calendars for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years were approved at the January 16, 2018 board meeting and are now posted on the District 47 website. Click here to access.

School Closing Information

To find out about District 47 weather and school closing procedures, click here for a message from our superintendent.

Clare Bourne Receives 2017 IASB Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award

In November, Clare Bourne, executive administrative assistant to the superintendent, was named the 2017 recipient of the ninth annual Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). To learn more about this recognition, click here.

D47 Seventh Graders Get Live History Lesson

Renowned author, historian, and actor/interpreter Clay Jenkinson brought former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson to life in front of more than 800 District 47 seventh graders on November 17th at Hannah Beardsley Middle School, thanks to the Crystal Lake Public Library Foundation. Click here to learn more about this special presentation.

ISBE Visits D47's Dual Language Classrooms

On November 13, 2017, representatives from the English Language Learning department at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) visited District 47 to learn about the district’s dual language program. The group toured Canterbury Elementary and Hannah Beardsley Middle School. The purpose of the visit was for ISBE officials to observe and learn about the implementation progress of District 47’s dual language program.


“It is clear that District 47 is committed to this program from the support shown by teachers, dual language coaches, school administration and the district,” said Libia Socorro Gil, chief education officer for the Illinois State Board of Education. Socorro pointed out that the program supports English Language Learners and has aligned its curriculum to learning standards, which is key. “The power of this program lies in the commitment, ownership and passion of those who carry out its mission every day,” she said.

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2016-17 Illinois School Report Cards

Click here to access 2016-17 District 47 school report cards on the Illinois State Board of Education website.

2018 Spelling Bee Winners Advance to McHenry County Spelling Bee

Congratulations to the following students, who were top finishers in the D47 middle school and regional spelling bees. The winners will now advance to the McHenry County Spelling Bee, which will be held March 7, 2018 at 7 pm at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake.

D47 Gives Back through Community Harvest Food Drive

In November, District 47 donated 4,500 pounds of food to the 2017 Crystal Lake Community Harvest. Over the past four years, D47 has donated a total of 28,219 pounds of food to the Crystal Lake Food Pantry.

District 47 Adopts Suicide Prevention Program for Middle Schoolers

Seventh and eighth graders learn about suicide prevention through the SOS (Signs of Suicide) program, presented and funded this year by Northbrook-based Elyssa's Mission. Click here to learn more or see the December "In the News" section below for news coverage.

Parent University at the Sage YMCA

This year's D47 Parent University event was held in November at the Sage YMCA for the first time. The family-friendly event included dinner, free childcare, a keynote speaker and a variety of breakout sessions on such topics as youth mental health, the home/school connection, mindfulness, and digital safety. Next year's planning is in the works and ideas for topics are welcome! Please email Denise Barr, coordinator of community relations, at dcbarr@d47.org.

CLPD/D47 National Night Out Art Contest

In partnership with the Crystal Lake Police Department (CLPD), District 47 is once again co-hosting the National Night Out art contest, open to D47 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Students may draw and submit a T-shirt design (using colored pencils or crayons) to promote the 2018 National Night Out annual police event. Drawings must be turned into elementary school art teachers by Fri., April 6th. One finalist will be selected from each school and artwork will be judged by the CLPD. The contest winner will receive a framed copy and T-shirt with his/her winning design. Open to the community, this year's National Night Out event will be held Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at the Three Oaks Recreation Center in Crystal Lake.

District 47 Adopts New Coaching Model for Professional Development

In the past, professional development in many school districts was primarily provided as a “sit-and-get,” where a group of educators came together to listen to a presentation or train on a particular topic. However, in recent years it’s shifted to a more interactive, goal-oriented approach driven by individual teacher needs and interests. In District 47, this more dynamic and customized learning model is being delivered to educators by coaches. Click here to learn more about how coaches are making a difference!
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Joint Institute Day

Educators and special service professionals gathered with colleagues from Districts 47 and 155 on January 12, 2018 to discuss current curriculum delivery models.
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Student Leaders Teach Peers How to "Be Smart, Be Safe, and Be Kind" Online

In January, District 47 8th student leaders taught their peers how to Be Smart, Be Safe, and Be Kind online through the Project B3 digital citizenship program. This is the second year that District 47 has implemented the program. Click here to learn more about Project B3 and what student leaders thought of their experience.

School Safety and Crisis Planning

Should an emergency or crisis situation ever arise during the school day, it's important for parents and guardians to know that District 47 schools are prepared to respond. Click here to learn about D47's crisis plan and the community-wide effort to keep our schools safe.

FINANCIAL UPDATE

2017-2018 Budget

On September 18, 2017, the District 47 Board of Education passed the 2017-18 budget. Click here to review this budget on the District’s website.


Within this budget, the Board abated $1 million to the District’s taxpayers to help offset the amount of taxes needed to cover annual bond payments. This has allowed the District to capture new construction taxes within the levy while maintaining taxes to homeowners at a relatively flat level unless a recent assessment increases the value of the home.


The D47 Board of Education and the administration continue to explore ways to fund projects and streamline costs.


Tax Levy

At the District 47 Board of Education meeting on December 18, 2017, the Board approved the 2017 tax levy and a $1 million tax abatement to reduce the total amount of the tax levy. This is the third year the District 47 Board has approved a tax abatement, allowing the District to ease the financial burden on taxpayers and reduce the overall tax rate.


Taxpayers will see additional savings when the District’s levied bonds are paid off in February of 2019. This will result in lowering the total tax rate by approximately 21 cents based on the 2016 property tax rate.


The tax levy helps to fund the everyday expenses of the District (salaries, benefits, supplies, etc.) along with costs associated with a five-year capital improvement plan. The capital improvement plan has major projects that span the District’s 12 schools including repairing or replacing structural elements, such as roofs, doors and windows, as well as upgrading electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. For more information on planned projects, see the Operations Update.


An advisory referendum about property tax levies proposed by the McHenry County Board will be included on the general primary election ballot in March. Click here to learn about what District 47 and other area school districts are doing to reduce the tax burden on the community in a joint message from school superintendents.


For information on the 2017 tax levy as well as frequently asked questions, click here.


School Funding Update

On February 14, 2018, Governor Rauner gave his Budget Address. The current education budget includes $350 million in new funding to assist in the Evidence-Based Funding Model (EBM), which is a step towards bringing adequacy to the funding of schools (SB1947). District 47 is included in Tier 2 of a four-tier system, which could bring additional funding to the District. However, as of the date of this publication, no additional funding had been dispersed to school districts.


To balance the budget, Governor Rauner has proposed a $490 million pension cost shift from the state to local school districts. This amount includes 25 percent of the normal cost for suburban and downstate districts amounting to approximately $262 million, and $228 million for Chicago Public Schools, in the first year of a four-year phase-in. If passed, the pension cost shift will be an additional financial burden on school districts. The estimated cost for the first year is approximately $1.1 million for District 47.


We encourage anyone with questions, comments or concerns about school funding to contact one of the local legislators listed below:


State Sen. Pamela Althoff

R-32nd District

Email: pamela@pamelaalthoff.net


State Sen. Karen McConnaughay

R-33rd District

Email: senator@karenmcconnaughay.com


State Rep. Allen Skillicorn

R-66th District

Email: allen@allenskillicorn.com or skillicorn@ilhousegop.org


State Rep. Steve Reick

R-63rd District

Email: steve@steve463.com or reick@ilhousegop.org


State Rep. Barbara Wheeler

R-64th District

Email: wheeler@ilhousegop.org

OPERATIONS UPDATE

In November 2017, District 47 hired DLR as its new architect. The company is in the process of reviewing information and conducting onsite visits at all District 47 facilities to gain a thorough understanding of current conditions and needs. The evaluation process will help District 47 prioritize and streamline projects and make recommendations to allocate funds efficiently and appropriately.


Current planned projects for Summer 2018 can be found in Board Docs on the District website. The projects outlined, which were selected based on immediacy, are estimated at $10,863,025 and fall within budget parameters. All required bids related to the project list will be presented to the Board for approval per Board policy.

FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT

Having served as a D47 board of education member since 2009, I have observed first-hand significant changes in education over the years and am proud of how the District as a whole has responded to those changes and remained student-centered. Besides an unwavering focus on academics, District 47 has stepped up efforts to address the needs of the whole child, teach digital citizenship, and ensure the health and safety of all students. Some recent examples include:


  • Through District-wide programs like PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) and Project B3, we are teaching students why it’s important to “do the right thing” and how to be good citizens -- online and off.

  • Weaving service learning into the school day connects students with community agencies and resources, allowing them to experience firsthand the satisfaction of helping others and the importance of connecting with the community for the greater common good. For example, all D47 schools were involved in raising funds or supplies for hurricane victims earlier this year in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and many partner with not-for-profit organizations in our local community to help fulfill their missions.

  • Collaborating with community partners to help ensure the health/well-being and safety of all students.

    • Each year, our bus drivers safely transport approximately 5,700 students over 937,000 miles to and from school.

    • Each day, the Crystal Lake Park District provides before- and after-school care to approximately 500 students.

    • Each year, we work closely with our local fire and police departments to practice crisis and safety drills so our students and staff are prepared in the event of an emergency.

    • Over the past several years, we’ve partnered with various organizations to address youth mental health. This year, we implemented a Districtwide social-emotional screener for students of all ages and introduced a new suicide prevention program to middle schoolers. Additionally, the 24/7 texting service MCHELP was expanded this year to all citizens in McHenry County to ensure that people who need help have a method to reach out for help from trained mental health professionals.


We have much to be proud of and grateful for in District 47. As we enter the third trimester of the 2017-18 school year, I’d like to express thanks and appreciation to all of our administrators, teachers and support staff who encourage, support, protect and challenge our students every day. It is through their efforts and the relationships we’ve built with our community partners that we will create forward-thinking, civic-minded and well-adjusted students to lead our future.


Rob Fetzner

Board President

BOARD OF EDUCATION UPDATE

February 2018

See highlights from the February 20, 2018 board meeting below:

  • Students from Lundahl Middle School presented the "I Believe" wall and students from Glacier Ridge Elementary presented a video titled "We are Writers."
  • The Board approved a notice of dismissal for an employee
  • The Board heard presentations on School Improvement Plans for South, West, and Husmann
  • The Board approved Title I school-wide plans for North, Canterbury, and Coventry
  • The Board approved the Educational Facility and Planning Assessment Proposal
  • The Board approved the 2018 Mechanical Equipment Bids
  • The Board approved the Electric Sale Agreement


January 2018

Click this link to view the January 16, 2018 board meeting minutes. See highlights below:

  • Students from South presented on PBIS and the use of their student committee. Students from RBMS presented on their school-wide service learning projects.
  • On the consent agenda the Board:
    • approved a resolution to transfer funds for the purpose of debt service (GO Bonds - Series 2007)
    • approved a resolution to transfer funds for the purpose of debt service (Build America Bonds)
    • approved a resolution to appoint a designee to prepare the 2018-2019 tentative budget
    • approved the purchase of 6 new school buses
    • approved the purchase of 12 new school buses
  • The Board approved the Strategic Plan for the District beginning in 2018/19
  • The Board approved fees for the 2018/19 school year
  • The Board approved calendars for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 school years
  • The Board heard an update on the summer 2018 summer capital facility projects plan
  • The Board heard and discussed the possibility of conducting an educational facility and planning assessment

December 2017

Click this link to view the December 18, 2017 board meeting minutes. See highlights below:

  • Students from Canterbury presented on social-emotional learning and students from West presented on how Seesaw helps them as learners.
  • On the consent agenda, the Board approved the second reading of policy 2:220 School Board Meeting Procedures
  • The Board approved the dismissal of an employee
  • The Board held the official hearing and approved the 2017 Tax Levy
  • The Board approved a transfer of funds and abatement of a portion of the Tax Levy to pay debt services

November 2017

Click this link to view the November 20, 2017 board meeting minutes. See highlights below:

  • Student presentations:
    • HBMS - Spanish encore for Dual Language
    • Indian Prairie - media club
  • On the consent agenda, the Board approved the FY17 Annual Statement of Affairs
  • The Board heard a presentation from the auditors on the FY17 statements
  • The Board heard a presentation on the FY17 Illinois Report Card
  • The Board heard a presentation on the Dual Language Program
  • The Board had the first reading of Board Policy 2:220 School Board Meeting Procedures
  • The Board approved the 2017 Tentative Tax Levy
  • The Board approved the 2017 Architect Agreement
Student & Community Activities

Click here to check out local programs and activities for students offered by our community partners!

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