school board

Highlights of the February 12 Board of Education Meeting

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, discussed a list of proposed working capital projects. The list was prioritized with the most important projects at the top. He said that Facilities Manager Mike Christensen will go into detail about each of the projects during a presentation he will give to the Board in the near future.

The District went out to bid this year on busing services, because Lakeside, the District’s current busing service, asked for a significant payment increase.  Mr. Singh said that after the bid was posted, five firms participated in the process, but Lakeside was the only firm that submitted a bid.  He said the District’s recommendation is to contract with Lakeside transportation, as there were no other bids. The cost to the District would be $293,000. However, 75% of the transportation costs are reimbursed by the state. This recommendation will be brought before the Board for approval at the Feb. 26 board meeting.

Superintendent Nick Brown provided a brief update on the progress of the kindergarten center at the Sullivan Center. He said that the DLR Group is creating final documents.  Several meetings have taken place with the village and the library. A preferred traffic pattern for the facility has been designed and details are being worked out with the plan team.

Superintendent Brown also discussed the proposed operational cost of the kindergarten building. The current estimation is $573,800 for additional ongoing operational costs directly assigned to the proposed new building.  He said that the administrative team has taken a hard look at ways to operate efficiently to control costs.

Board President Sonali Patil led a discussion about a community meeting that has been scheduled for February 21. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the District’s space needs and receive feedback from community members on what they would like to see take place to address the issues. She said that representatives of the District’s partners, including LAMP, Inc., the DLR Group and Elizabeth Hennessy, will be present to answer questions.  Translators and childcare will be available. The meeting will be streamed live. Additional meetings will be scheduled with the goal to schedule one meeting for each school.

Board Member Robin Cleek gave an update regarding the Hawthorn Student Assistance Program meeting she attended during the third week of January. This is a student advisory committee led by Assistant Principal Megan Goldman with representatives from grades fourth through eighth in every school. She said that the meeting was uplifting, with lots of feedback about improvements made from a social emotional learning standpoint.  She said it was great to hear from students that lunch room and hall behavior had substantially improved, and that students felt comfortable about going to administrators if there was a problem.

In her President’s Report, Ms. Patil mentioned that a free seminar on parenting offered by Alexian Brothers will be offered on March 6 at Middle School North and that this year’s kindergarten registration will take place February 22 and 23 at Middle School South.