The D73 Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 11. Please click here for the agenda.
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.
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.
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.
Highlights of the June 26 Board of Education meeting include that 10 teachers at Elementary North are pursuing National Board Certification. Board-certified teachers are recognized across the nation as having met the highest standards set by the teaching profession. Currently, only two District teachers are Board certified. In Illinois, 4.75 percent of teachers are Board certified.
Candidates undergo a rigorous, three-year, performance-based process that allows teachers to hone their practice, showcase their talent in the classroom and demonstrate their dedication to their students and their profession. The new candidates will receive support and resources through the District’s partnership with the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the National Board Resource Center at Illinois State University. Research shows that Board-certified teachers have a greater impact on student learning and achievement than non-certified teachers, with their students outperforming their peers in other classrooms.
Also at the meeting, staff recommended Lamp Incorporated as the construction manager for the kindergarten building expansion at the Sullivan Community Center. Staff sent requests for proposals to four firms, conducted interviews, checked references, and negotiated fees before making their recommendation.
Superintendent Nick Brown said that the District is moving forward to obtain public feedback about the spring referendum. The school will launch and publicize a community survey in the near future and schedule several “Bagels with the Board” meetings so community members can talk directly with board members.
Board of Education President Sonali Patil spoke about the Residency Event on August 2, 3 and 7 at Middle School North. She clarified that parents with children entering kindergarten do not need to attend the event, but if they have older children in the District, they do need to attend the event. She also reminded parents that enrollment numbers are changing every day, so the teacher assignments on PowerSchool may change at any time until the Residency Event.
The D73 BOE will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 26, in the District Offices. Please click here for the agenda.
Please review the Educational facility master plan presented at the May 31st board meeting.
The Hawthorn School Board meeting scheduled for tonight 1/27/14 is also cancelled due to the extreme temperatures forecast for this evening.
During the May 6 meeting of the Hawthorn Board of Education, three newly elected members were sworn in – Louis Gatta, Jeanne Engelkemeir and Ghita Mueller. In other business, the board elected new officers. Jeff Bard was elected Board President, Michelle Comitor was elected Vice-President, and Jeanne Engelkemeir was elected Secretary. Information about school board meetings is available on the school board webpages.
Sorry, no posts matched your criteria
- Hawthorn Offers AWE ExperienceSeptember 14, 2017 - 12:02 pm
- Highlights of the September 11 Board of Education MeetingSeptember 14, 2017 - 9:21 am
- Exploring Energy TransfersSeptember 13, 2017 - 8:43 am
- Hawthorn Elementary Principals Read at LibrarySeptember 12, 2017 - 3:16 pm
- Hawthorn Joins Hurricane Harvey Relief EffortSeptember 12, 2017 - 11:00 am