Board Briefs

Highlights from the 2-11-2019 Board of Education Meeting


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 (March 18, 2019).

Superintendent's Reflections

Each month, Superintendent Dr. Dane Delli updates the Board of Education and the community about programs, events, notable achievements, and other timely information and celebrations.
Dr. Delli shared that the administration is having conversations about how the end-of-year calendar will change to adjust for the snow and cold days. There have been no definitive decisions made. Dr. Delli reminded everyone that winter is not over yet!

Community Comments

The community is encouraged to attend Board of Education meetings, and contribute during the community participation periods. In all regular Board of Education meetings, the Board follows a set agenda that include two opportunities for community participation.


The following community members spoke in support of Science Olympiad:


  • Laura Horwitz, parent, thanked the District for funding Science Olympiad. Her youngest child currently participates and has had a great experience. She hopes that the District will continue to fund it and consider increasing funding to support the program. It offers teamwork, STEM exposure, competition, benefits that extend beyond the classroom.
  • Madhuu Thota, parent, has coached Science Olympiad for several years. He says that students who participate in Science Olympiad are very self directed. He requested that the District continue to fund the program.
  • Dan Grant, Science Olympiad coach, thanked the Glenview Education Foundation for funding the Science Olympiad up until last year. Other schools have Science Olympiad night to recognize students who win awards. He said that the budget for Science Olympiad has been cut, and the program have lost teachers because the stipend is small.
  • Becky Betts, parent of a current student and alumnus, expressed support for Science Olympiad and her wish for it to have it a permanent place in the budget. This past weekend, students participated in a meet and took first place.

Resolutions

The Board approved several resolutions, including personnel, payroll and vendor warrants; destruction and release of executive meeting minutes; and the adoption of the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan.


The Board also approved contractor agreements for summer 2019 work, and a resolution abating the District 34 working cash fund. When bonds are issued, they are deposited into the working cash fund, but the money must be transferred through operations and maintenance fund and into the capital projects fund.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports

The Teaching & Learning team -- Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment Dr. Matt Silverman, Executive Director of Educational Technology Brian Engle, Executive Director of Student Services Mary Geraghty, Assistant Director of Student Services Kristin Caceres, and Director of EL & Bilingual Programs Raquel Kim -- presented information about District 34's progress in implementing Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS), a process for addressing student academic achievement, behavior, health and social-emotional well-being and improving outcomes for all students.


Kristin Caceres explained that MTSS is about systems; it folds in all of the District's initiatives of support. She said that it eliminates the silos; the T&L team working all together is an example of that holistic view. MTSS focuses on equity and inclusive practices. She outlined priorities of MTSS, including cementing belief systems (such as the culture for high expectations for all, and supporting the whole child) and understanding of state policies surrounding MTSS.


The T&L team conducted a District-wide survey to gather data about staff understanding and beliefs about MTSS. The results show a need to build skills among stakeholders to understand the process.


The District has taken many steps in implementation, including creating an intervention specialist position for math, and building a District MTSS leadership team. Continued work includes ongoing professional development and consistent communication, and the development of a draft MTSS framework.

Municipal Advisor

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Eric Miller explained that, if the Board were to consider a referendum to fund ongoing facility projects, it will be advantageous to work with a municipal advisor for a competitive sale of bonds. A municipal advisor provides advice to the District on the structure, timing and terms on financial products and legally must put the District's interests first. The benefits of using a municipal advisor include reduced borrowing and issuance costs, positive impact on taxpayers, and regulatory oversight over standards.


Mr. Miller recommended that the Board approve Elizabeth Hennessy from Raymond James to serve as the District's municipal advisor. Ms. Hennessy has worked with the District as an underwriter for many years (including in the most recent bond issuance), so she understand's the District's needs and environment.

Staffing Allocation

Executive Director for Human Resources Dr. Heather Hopkins outlined the projected staffing needs for the 2019-2020 school year. With a projected decrease in enrollment, there will be a slight reduction in the number of classrooms. There are some changes in staffing based on how we deliver services, leading to a slight increase to support EL learners and students with IEPs. The early childhood program is seeing an increase in students, thus requiring a staffing increase. There is a requirement, by Illinois School Code, to offer bilingual services at the middle school level; that addition also requires an increase in staffing. The District is bringing some services currently provided by NSSED in house (occupational therapy and assistive technology). Having those positions within the District will allow us to better meet the needs of all students, and also will lead to cost savings that will allow funding for the staff increases. Other staffing additions include:


  • Two instructional coaches
  • Science teaching specialists for intermediate schools


Overall, the recommendation is for a an increase of 13 FTE in certified staff.


Dr. Hopkins also outlined a change of administration configuration to include assistant principals at every school (an addition of three FTE). Research shows that instructional leadership has a great impact on student achievement. Currently, building principals do not have sufficient time to serve as effectively as they would like as instructional leaders.


The District is looking at new recruiting efforts, including national efforts, to attract the best candidates.

Future Facilities Financing

Eric Miller explained that the Board will see a presentation in May about the District's capital needs as revealed from the architect's space utilization study. If the Board feels a referendum may be required to meet those needs, the District will need to inform and hear from the community. Eric Miller said that the District will benefit from using a consultant to understand and evaluate the wishes of the community in a very scientific way. Mr. Miller, Dr. Delli and Director of Communications & Strategic Planning Cathy Kedjidjian will investigate options and learn about how other districts have used consultants in their referendum planning.

NSSED Board Report

Board Vice President Natalie Jachtorowycz, said that she, Mary Geraghty and a District 34 parent attended the National School Board Association's conference on equity and advocacy, and it was a powerful experience. She shared some of the learning she experienced in keynote and breakout sessions about equity and access to education.

Meet the Board of Education

Glenview District 34 is governed by a seven-person Board of Education, elected by the community, that consists of the following individuals:


  • Sam Ach (President)
  • Natalie Jachtorowycz (Vice President)
  • Jim Baumstark
  • John Heggie
  • Katie Jones
  • Jackie Lutz
  • Diane Stefani


You can contact the Board at board@glenview34.org.