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School Board Meeting

Highlights of the November 13 Board of Education Meeting

The meeting began with a presentation on preschool programming by Renee Ullberg, Director of Special Services, Carol Bennett, Principal of the Lincoln Early Learning Center, and several of the school’s teachers.  They provided an overview of what the Early Childhood and Preschool programming entails. They also provided a colorful visual presentation of what a typical day looks like at the Center.

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, introduced the new Facilities Manager Michael Christensen.  He will start on December 4.  He replaces James Staples who is retiring after 38 years of service with the District.

Mr. Singh presented a brief summary of the 2017 Tax Levy. He said the prior year’s total extension was $49,212,457. The levy for this year is $51,722,542. The projected estimated extension is $50,965,094. After a public hearing, in which no members of the public made comments, the Board approved the 2017 Tax Levy during the Business Meeting.

The renewal of Lakeside Transportation’s contract for student busing was also discussed. It was agreed that Hawthorn will go out to bid this year since Lakeside Transportation is asking for a significant increase in payment. Hawthorn partners with districts 70 and 128 for busing. It will work collaboratively with these districts to go out for bid in mid-January.

The Board discussed placement options for the students moving into several new subdivisions, including the Residences of Cuneo Mansion and Gardens, Woodland Chase and Mellody Farms. The District’s administration had recommended that students from the Cuneo project attend Elementary North and Middle School North, and that students from Woodland Chase and Mellody Farms attend Aspen and Middle School South.  During the Business Meeting, the Board approved the administration’s recommendations.

Another topic of discussion was the kindergarten school at the Sullivan Center. The Board had already approved the schematic design for the building. Board members will be presenting the design to the Village of Vernon Hills on November 28. Traffic is a main concern. Superintendent Nick Brown will be meeting with library and village officials on this issue in the near future. Looking ahead, Board President Sonali Patil said the center will be able to accommodate the continuously growing kindergarten enrollment until 2025/26. Space has been allocated for an additional section to be constructed when the building runs out of space.

The Board discussed next steps regarding the Educational Facilities Master Plan.  President Patil said that while the previous referendum failed, the need is still there. The kindergarten center will provide some temporary relief to the elementary schools, but no relief to the middle schools. She said the EFMP survey results indicated that some of the reasons the previous referendum failed were because community members believed the asking price was too high and that separate STEM centers were unnecessary. The next date to put a referendum on the ballot is March 2018. The deadline to submit the referendum question is January 2, 2018. Board members agreed that those dates did not allow enough time to educate the public about the District’s plans. The Board agreed that the November 2018 election would be a better time to put a referendum on the ballot than March 2018.

 

School Board

The Next Regular Session of the Board of Education is November 13

A Regular Session of the Board of Education will take place on Monday, November 13, at 7 p.m. at the District Office, 841 West End Court in Vernon Hills.

school board meeting

Highlights of the September 25 Board of Education Meeting

A highlight of the September 25 meeting was a presentation by Victoria Kieffer, Ph.D., Principal of Townline Elementary, Samuel Smart, a fifth-grade teacher at Townline Elementary, and eleven students on their participation last year in the Science Olympiad. Townline students received numerous awards, including four first place awards, for their participation in 2016 and 2017.  The students briefly described their projects and spoke about what they learned through teamwork. Townline Elementary was one of only 12 schools in Illinois piloting the Science Olympiad for children in grades kindergarten through fifth grade.  The competition tests students’ knowledge of geology, chemistry, biology, weather, physics and aerodynamics.

Superintendent Nick Brown provided an update on the building of the new kindergarten building at the Sullivan Center. He said that the group designated to develop the Center’s design has been busily reviewing ideas and concepts. Teachers have provided input. The group is now confirming a concept that will be brought to the Board on October 9.  Mr. Brown is also meeting with the Village to discuss possible traffic patterns. In the future, meetings will be arranged to present the design to the Park District as well as the Village.

Last year, the Board of Education approved the expansion of the dual language program into the middle schools beginning in the 2018-19 school year. Mr. Brown provided an update on this new initiative.  He reported that the District is planning for the program to include a Spanish literacy course and content instruction in Spanish through social studies and science courses. The District is looking for staff to teach the new courses.

Board members gave a presentation on the results of the Educational Facilities Master Plan survey. They reported that 537 people took the survey, and thanked all those who participated. A sampling of the results is as follows:

  • 78 percent of the participants were satisfied with the quality of the District’s schools.
  • 74 percent of the survey participants voted in the April 2017 election.
  • 32 percent of those who voted in the election supported the school referendum while 46 percent did not support the school referendum.
  • 87 percent considered themselves aware of the District’s enrollment trends.
  • 84 percent said they were familiar with the development of the kindergarten building at the Park District’s Sullivan Center.
  • 85 percent said they were familiar with the issues surrounding the District’s facilities and the April 2017 election.
  • 36 percent felt there was enough space in existing Hawthorn facilities to accommodate student growth, while sixty-four percent felt there was not enough space.
  • 49 percent felt that Hawthorn’s facilities were sufficiently updated and modernized.
  • 66 percent felt STEM Center additions are important for student success.
  • 48 percent felt that early childhood/Pre-K services should be relocated from Lincoln Center to Elementary North.
  • 49 percent indicated that additional classrooms should be the top priority of the school district.

The Board discussed how best to present the comments that participants provided in the surveys. The comments have been organized into 13 or 14 categories. The Board agreed to present the first seven categories at the October 9 Board meeting and the final categories will be presented at the October 23 meeting.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Mr. Brown congratulated several students for their achievements. He said that Lexi Schulman, a seventh grader at Middle School North, placed third at the IESA State Golf tournament on September 16 at the Kellogg Golf Club in Peoria. Annie Zbylut, a third grader at Elementary South, was selected as Artsonia’s PreK-third grade “Artist of the Week” for September 17 – 23. During the contest Annie received 2,392 votes from website visitors. Anirudh Adiraju (a Middle School South eighth grader), Jingjing “Amy” Wang (a Middle School South Eighth grader), Charles Collier (a Middle School South sixth grader) and Phyllis Wang (a Middle School South graduate now at Stevenson High School) were honored at a ceremony held by Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. The students had received exceptionally high scores on either the ACT or SAT. In particular, Anirudh had achieved third place for seventh grade students in Reading in the ACT.

Additionally, Mr. Brown said that the School of Dual Language was among the Regional Office of Education’s list of top ten small elementary schools with the best regular attendance, and Elementary South and Middle School North were on the list of top ten large elementary schools with the best regular attendance.

Board of Education President Sonali Patil mentioned that the District is still accepting donations for families affected by Hurricane Harvey.  The drive will run through September 29.

 

 

school board meeting

Highlights of the August 14 Board of Education Meeting

Among the topics discussed at the August 14 Board of Education meeting was the new Cuneo development. Preparations are moving forward for the construction of 128 new homes on 53 acres on the Cuneo/Loyola Mansion and Gardens property located at 1350 Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills. The Board will determine which district schools the students from this development will attend. Superintendent Nick Brown reminded the Board that the district has tried not to split neighborhoods in the past, but separating the students would limit the impact on any one school. Mr. Brown will talk with the developer about the number of children expected to move into the development. He and the Board will also be looking at space availability once the kindergarten classes move from the elementary schools to the Sullivan Center. The Board is expected to make their decision by mid- to late October.

Director of Finance and Business Operations Abe Singh provided a presentation on the 2017/18 tentative budget. The projected revenue is $73,793,884, while expenses are estimated at $86,526,861. He discussed an increase in expenses compared with last year’s budget, which is due to an increase in instructional spending (up 5.5%), a new lease agreement for the Dell Chromebooks, an increase in curriculum needs, and other things.  $12 million has been allocated for the construction of the Kindergarten Center at the Sullivan Center. A public hearing on the tentative budget took place during the business meeting in which the Board received no public comments. The budget is scheduled to be adopted on September 11.

Mr. Brown provided an update on enrollment numbers. The district still anticipates that an additional 60 children will register for the new school year.  District Office staff members are calling families who did not attend the Residency Event. Mr. Brown is seeing slight increases in enrollment numbers across the district schools. A fourth-grade classroom is being added to Aspen due to increased enrollment numbers.

In her report, Board President Sonali Patil thanked staff for organizing the Residency Event, which she said went smoothly. She also reminded district residents to take a 10-minute survey that will help the district gauge community perceptions about its schools.  The deadline to take the survey is August 31.

Hawthorn Wants to Hear From You

Hawthorn School District 73 is holding a series of “Bagels with the Board” meetings for the public to discuss their perceptions about the District and its facilities planning efforts with Board of Education members. Please join us at one of the following sessions:

Tuesday, August 15, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Village of Vernon Hills, 290 Evergreen Drive in Vernon Hills
Tuesday, August 15, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center, 635 N. Aspen Drive in Vernon Hills
Wednesday, August 16, 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Victory Centre, 97 W. Phillip Road in Vernon Hills

Also, please take a 10-minute survey. Presionar aqui para tomar el estudio.

Growing Together

Hawthorn Wants to Hear From You

Hawthorn School District 73 is seeking the participation of community members in a brief online survey to gauge community perceptions of the school district and its facility planning efforts.  The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Click here to take the survey. Presionar aqui para tomar el estudio.

 

 

 

 

Hawthorn Wants to Hear From You

Hawthorn School District 73 will hold a series of Bagels with the Board meetings for the public to discuss their perceptions about the District and its facilities planning efforts with Board of Education members. For the schedule of meetings, please click the button below.

Meeting Schedule

The District is also seeking the participation of community members in a brief online survey to gauge community perceptions of the school district and its facility planning efforts.  The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.  To take the survey, visit the Educational Facilities Master Plan page. 

Hawthorn desea escuchar de usted

 

 

Growing Together Logo

Community Survey: Hawthorn Wants to Hear from You

Hawthorn School District 73 is seeking the participation of community members in a brief online survey to gauge community perceptions of the school district and its facility planning efforts.  The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation is greatly appreciated. Click here to take the survey.

Growing Together: Referendum Letter

Please take a moment to read our letter to the community regarding the Educational Facilities Master Plan.

Final Referendum Letter | 355

Thank you

Thank you to all the community members, parents, teachers, and staff who helped make the #H73EFMP possible.
Click here to learn more about the EFMP and the Hawthorn 73 referendum on the ballot TODAY:  bit.ly/H73EFMP