Arturo Abrego, Director of Bilingual Education and Language Acquisition, gave a presentation on the Middle School Dual Language Program. In 2017, the Board of Education approved the expansion of the Dual Language program into the middle schools beginning with sixth grade and rolling up a grade level each year thereafter beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. The program is designed to enhance and extend students’ abilities in bilingualism, bi-literacy and multi-culturalism. Looking ahead to the 2019-2020 school year, Mr. Abrego said the program will be able to provide a middle school experience for sixth and seventh grade students using its current staff allocations. At Middle School North, 46 sixth-graders and 55 seventh-graders are projected to continue in the program, and at Middle School South, 36 sixth-grade and 24 seventh-grade students are projected to continue in the program.

Mr. John Langelund, the President of the Hawthorn Education Association, presented a check to Matt Polnow, the head of the non-profit organization PRIME PE. A physical education teacher at Elementary North, Mr. Polnow said the donation will go toward the purchase of gym bags for Hawthorn students in need.

The cost reduction recommendations, which were discussed at the previous meeting, were approved by the board. The reductions are as follows:

Reduction in custodial contract hours and services: $100,724
Further supplies and materials reduction; utility contract changes;
building rental fee adjustments: $155,528
Eliminate maintenance inventory control position: $57,069
Reduction of eight office clerk positions: $200,000
Reduction of 14 teacher assistant positions, via attrition: $434,000
Total Cost Reduction 2019-2020: $1,072,321

The board approved a resolution authorizing the honorable dismissal of full-time educational support personnel, including eight clerks and an inventory control/maintenance position. Board President Sonali Patil said that this was one of the hardest things the board has done, but the reduction in staff is necessary to balance the budget.

The board approved the kindergarten building contractor bids that were presented at the last board meeting. There were 23 contracts totaling $11,222,953. The Village of Vernon Hills was authorized to execute the contract. The Vernon Hills Park District will vote on this at their March 28 meeting.

In her President’s Report, Ms. Patil congratulated students who excelled in sports, especially the 6thand 7thgrade girls volleyball team, which is the state champion, Jack McGowean, who recently won the IESA state wrestling championship in his age category, and the 6thand 7thgrade boys volleyball team, which recently won their conference.

Ms. Patil also mentioned that the March 21 Board of Education meeting has been canceled.