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Highlights of the May 20 Board of Education Meeting

Review of Middle School Dual Language Program Assessment Data
Dr. Abrego, Director of Bilingual Education and Language Acquisition, provided a review of qualitative and quantitative assessment data regarding the Middle School Dual Language program. The data focused on parent and student perception of bilingualism, parent and student satisfaction with the program and student academic performance in the areas of English language arts, Spanish literacy and social studies. In addition, students participated in a Spanish language proficiency assessment. The results indicate that the vast majority of students participating in the middle school dual language program are exceeding, meeting or approaching designated learning standards in English language arts, Spanish literacy and social studies. Linguistically, they performed at the intermediate level in listening and reading. Overall, the results of this assessment review indicate that our students are bilingual and they are progressing well on this journey towards greater bilingualism. Dr. Abrego indicated that it is essential that we continue to communicate to our students the importance of bilingualism, that being a bilingual is a continuous journey and that with continued exposure and use, the students will become more proficient and confident in using their linguistic skills and abilities.


Amended Budget

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, discussed the amended 2018-2019 budget. He said that while the budget was adopted in September of last year, it needed to be adjusted to account for the addition of $13.5 million in referendum funds and the spending of $6.9 million toward the construction of the kindergarten building at the Sullivan Center. A copy of the amended budget has been posted for more than 30 days for public review. An opportunity for public comment on the budget was allotted, with no comments. The final 2018-2019 amended budget was unanimously approved by the board. 

Recognition of National Board Certified Teachers

The Board recognized eight teachers who had completed their National Board Certification training. Interim Superintendent Mark Friedman said that this was a difficult process that required a great deal of time. He congratulated the teachers on behalf of the Board of Education. 

Innovation Grant Awards

Jeremy Gong, Board President of the Key to 73, Hawthorn’s new foundation, announced the grants that the foundation recently awarded to teachers. He said the foundation awarded approximately $15,000 in grants, responding to 100% of the proposals that were received. The grants ranged from flexible classroom seating to earthquake technologies supplements. 

Recognition of Lynn Barkley

The Board recognized Lynn Barkley, Director of Human Resources, who is retiring after seven years of service with the District. Ms. Barkley briefly spoke about her work at the district and her primary focus on meeting the needs of the District’s students. 

Welcome to New Assistant Principal

Mr. Singh reported that 89 people applied for the assistant principal position at Middle School South. After extensive screenings and interviews, Natalie Mares was offered the position. She comes to Hawthorn from East Aurora School District 113 where she has been a high school English teacher and varsity dance team coach.  

New Kindergarten Name

Dr. Friedman once again recommended Hawthorn School for Young Learners as the name for the kindergarten building at the Sullivan Center. This name had been recommended at a previous board meeting. At that time, it was agreed to ask the community at large for name suggestions. Only a few name suggestions were provided. The board unanimously approved the name, which is suitable for the building whether it remains a kindergarten or includes an early childhood learning center in the future. 

Announcements

Dr. Friedman reminded everyone that the last day of school is June 6, less than three weeks away. The eighth-grade promotion ceremonies are May 28 at Vernon Hills High School. He also reported that this year’s online registration of returning students was a huge success. (The online registration process replaces the Residency Event, which will no longer take place.) If any family hasn’t registered yet, please do so.