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school board meeting

Highlights of the September 11 Board of Education Meeting

At the meeting, the Board approved the 2017/2018 budget. The budget includes operating revenues of $51,965,326 and expenses of $51,872,742. It includes a deficit of $12.6 million that is due to the building of the Kindergarten Center at the Sullivan Center and summer capital work projects. As a result of the deficit, the District’s fund balances will go from $40,246,253 in June of 2017 to $27,604,275 in June of 2018.

The Board discussed the results of the District 73 community survey. The survey, which closed on August 31, was promoted through numerous ways, including a districtwide mailer, the district’s website, newsletters and social media. More than 500 people responded. The results of the survey will be presented at the next Board of Education meeting on September 25. Board members discussed what format would be best for presenting the results, and how best to address the comments and questions included in the returned surveys. The Board agreed that all questions need to be answered. Several board members volunteered to review the data and determine specific categories in which the data and feedback can be organized and presented.

Lisa Cerauli, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, provided an update on enrollment numbers based on the annual sixth-day report.

Representatives of the DLR Group (architects) and LAMP, Inc. (the district’s construction manager) provided an update on the kindergarten center project. They are planning to present a design for the kindergarten expansion at the Sullivan Center on October 9.  They are working with various agencies, including the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, to move through the permit and approval process. Because some of the property the center will be built on is in wetlands, the district will be contributing to a wetland bank to provide funds for the creation of wetlands in another part of Lake County. Ms. Cerauli noted that the design team that provided input and insight on the center’s design included a number of teachers. She thanked them publicly for their contributions toward a new and innovative building for Hawthorn students.

Board of Education President Sonali Patil mentioned that the district is joining a relief effort for families affected by Hurricane Harvey.   The district’s schools will be collecting specific items between September 18 and 29. Cash will not be accepted. Those interested in participating should contact their specific schools.

school board meeting

Regular Session of the Board of Education – September 11

The D73 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 11. Please click here for the agenda.

school board meeting

Highlights of the August 28 Board of Education Meeting

Superintendent Nick Brown reported that things went smoothly on the first day of school on August 23. Principals, teachers and staff were excited to welcome their students. A few buses were delayed due to construction work on Route 60.  He said that the district considers the first weeks of class as an important time for teachers to get to know their students. He also said that the schools are connecting with parents through numerous events, such as curriculum nights, parent meetings, and orientations.

Mr. Brown discussed a major event for the middle schools. About 1,500 middle school students are receiving their Google Chromebooks this week. Middle School North students received their Chromebooks on Monday and Middle School South received them on Wednesday.

Enrollment numbers were a topic of discussion as the district works to accommodate an increasing number of students. Mr. Brown said that this is a volatile time for enrollment. Numbers are going up and down each week. He expects the numbers to be more stable in October. He said that the schools have been creatively handling space challenges not only this year but for several years. For instance, health and art classes are taught in two portable classrooms at Elementary South, and other schools have moved a few classrooms into cafeterias and libraries.  He commended the principals for doing a great job with staff to make these displacements work.

Mr. Brown provided details on his conversation with management at the Cuneo/Loyola Mansion and Gardens property located at 1350 Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills. He said that the district can expect 120 children between kindergarten and eighth grade to live in the 128 new homes that will be built over the next three years. The Board is expected to make its decision on which district schools these students will attend by mid- to late October.

Board of Education President Sonali Patil gave an update on the Bagels with the Board meetings, in which board members met with the public to listen to their perceptions about the district. She said that while attendance was low at the meetings, there were opportunities to promote the district’s community survey and increase the number of surveys completed by both English and Spanish speaking residents. The survey will close on August 31. The results will be shared with the public.

In her president’s report, Ms. Patil urged parents to be patient and considerate as busing challenges get worked out over the first weeks of school. She assured the community that if a school bus is delayed, school officials know, and there is no need to contact the schools.

 

 

school board meeting

Regular Session of the Board of Education-August 28

The D73 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 28. Please click here for the agenda.

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.

school board meeting

Board of Education Committee of the Whole Meeting, August 14

The D73 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 14. Please click here for the agenda.

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.

 

 

 

 

school board meeting

Highlights of the July 24 Board of Education Meeting

Watch the July 24 Board of Education Meeting

 Abe Singh, the District’s Director of Finance and Business Operations, provided a budget update for fiscal year 2016/2017, noting that the numbers are not finalized yet. He compared the District’s per pupil operating cost of $12,742 with other local school districts. District 73’s per pupil operating cost was lower than the costs of many nearby schools such as Grayslake (which is at $12,841 per pupil), Libertyville ($13,464) and Fremont ($12,975).

While discussing revenue, he stated that the Educational Fund fell short by $1,812,000. This was due to the state budget impasse. However, the District anticipates receiving these funds in the future. Additionally, he discussed the impact that a potential property tax freeze would have on the District. If the tax freeze is imposed for two years, the District would lose $2,913,936.  If it is imposed for four years, the District would lose $9,843,707. A public hearing on the 2017/2018 budget has been scheduled for August 14.

Mr. Singh also provided an update on summer maintenance projects. At Elementary North, staff repaired old concrete outside the building, removed old risers that were not ADA compliant and replaced four uni-ventilators. At Middle School North, maintenance staff installed an ADA-compliant ramp at the south exit door and are in the process of replacing AHU and boiler circulation pumps.

Superintendent Nick Brown provided an update on the construction of the kindergarten building at the Sullivan Center. While it had originally been thought that the facility could not be taller than one-story, Mr. Brown said that the building could potentially be two stories as long as the building is used solely as a kindergarten. A two-story building would allow for more design options and the potential preservation of wetlands near the building. Preliminary designs are scheduled to be presented in August 14.

The Board approved a new first-grade teaching position at Elementary South and a fifth-grade teaching position at Aspen Elementary.  The positions are needed to address the student population increase at the schools.

Mr. Brown also expressed appreciation for the teachers and staff who collected funds and supplies for families affected by the recent flood.

 

 

 

 

School Board

Highlights of the July 10 Board of Education Meeting

Superintendent Nick Brown provided an update on enrollment at the July 10 Board of Education meeting. He said that many families have been registering over the past couple weeks. Enrollment as of July 7 is at 4,181 students.  To accommodate the anticipated increase in the student population, the District is considering adding several teachers. A recommendation to hire teachers at Aspen, Elementary South and Elementary North, and a potential new bilingual teacher, will be made at the July 24 meeting. Mr. Brown also noted that he and the principals are closely watching class sizes and making plans for addressing any space shortages.

The Board provided feedback on letters that will be sent to Mundelein, Libertyville and Vernon Hills regarding the District’s space concerns. The letters inform the villages that with the current housing inventory, District classrooms are already overcapacity.  The letters encourage the villages to include the District in conversations with prospective developers at an early stage to see what can be done to help the District address its space concerns.

Board member Wes Polen provided an update on the kindergarten expansion at Sullivan Community Center. She said that the kindergarten center planning team has met three times thus far and has toured several sites to review building designs. The Board’s guidelines for the design of the kindergarten center include:

  • Space should be as flexible as possible for future needs.
  • Discussion needs to take place on whether to use traditional or prefabricated construction.
  • The building should be designed for possible future additions, including a second floor.
  • Classrooms should be designed for class sizes of 25 to one or less.
  • To compensate for the loss of wetlands, the District will pay for the expansion of wetlands in another area.
  • The design will include dedicated space for small group instruction.
  • The design will provide sufficient outdoor play space.

The Board discussed plans to move ahead with its efforts to gauge public perceptions about the District and its facilities planning. A public survey and its link were posted on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the website.  The survey will also be promoted through local newspapers. In addition to the survey, several “Bagels with the Board” meetings will be scheduled for the public to talk directly with Board members. A communication about the meetings will be sent to all households in the area.