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Highlights of the Sept. 12 Board of Education Meeting

School Board President Robin Cleek acknowledged and thanked a variety of District 73 individuals. She recognized the teachers and staff who had perfect attendance for the 2018- 2019 school year. She thanked principals Mr. Collins and Mr. Natale for smoothly handling curriculum night events at the middle schools in the midst of tornado warnings. She recognized board member Matt Jacobs, who recently met the requirements to become a Master Board Member Level I through ISBE. She congratulated board member Victoria Helander-Heiser for being appointed to fill a vacancy on the ED-RED executive board.  (She will still remain on the District’s board.) Finally, she thanked board member Sonali Patil for her leadership and commitment when she served as school board president. 

Elizabeth Hennessy, Managing Director at Raymond James, provided a presentation on options for the referendum financing plan. She emphasized that the current low interest rates mean great news for tax payers and the District. She presented three options that reflect substantial savings and are in keeping with the District’s promise to tax-payers. The board will continue bond option discussions at the October meeting. 

Allison Stein, Director of Teaching and Learning, gave an update on the activities and future direction of the Guaranteed Viable Curriculum (GVC) Leadership Team. She said that during the 2019-2020 school year, a team of staff members will begin to review, refresh, and refine the District’s GVC through the lens of essential outcomes. The team will participate in six half-day training and planning sessions to prioritize and align learning standards K-8. The team will then use these essential outcomes to refresh and refine unit plans, pacing calendars, and assessments to ensure they are standards-referenced. This year’s focus for elementary is English language arts. The focus for middle school is both English language arts and math. The District is looking forward to engaging in this exciting work with dedicated teacher leaders.

In his Superintendent’s Report, Dr. Hannigan said that the Village of Vernon Hills approved the schematic design for Middle School North, which will now move on to the technical phase. He mentioned that extensive progress has been made at the construction site of the School for Young Learners. He is working on a plan to possibly expand the PALS after-school program to Townline and Aspen Elementary, since there are currently 100 families on the PALS waiting list. He encouraged the community to attend Oktoberfest on Oct. 18 and the PTO’s Hawthorn Hustle on Oct. 26. 

Abe Singh, Director of Finance and Business Operations, reviewed the 2019-2020 budget. The board approved the budget. The board also approved Gewalt Hamilton Associates’ civil engineering contract for Middle School North and Siemen’s letter of intent to install solar panels at the School for Young Learners.