Recaps of Board of Ed Meetings

Hi everybody,

 It’s been a busy couple of weeks, so for now this recap only covers the discussion of D203’s performance on the State of Illinois tests that are used for NCLB calculations. I will have an update on the website of the annual analysis I do comparing ACT scores and costs in the next few weeks.  I plan to get the recap of the All Day Kindergarten from this meeting out soon as this is another significant conversation we all need to be following.

 A few items of note:

The November 5th meeting was the first workshop ever broadcast live over the internet and marks the first meeting that is archived on the D203 website. You can watch the meeting here.

The plan is to televise and archive all future meetings, which I think is an excellent move.

D203 deserves a lot of credit for manner in which they presented the assessment data here. It would be easy enough to point out the many strong positives contained in the data and leave it there. Giving the community a detailed picture of where district administrators see the need for improvement, as well as, showing where D203 sits in relationship to 7 benchmark districts in relation to the various subgroups is to be commended.

As you will see noted below, the “cut score” which is the number of questions a student needs to answer correctly to reach a benchmark is being raised on the ISAT for this year. That, and the new tests coming from PARCC to replace the ISAT which will also be more rigorous is leading to the expectation that the percentage of students in the Meets and Exceeds categories for 3-8 will fall to percentages comparable to the 11th graders.

 Lastly, I want to again remind readers of the multitude of educational challenges facing all school districts, not just D203. From the challenge of successfully implementing the Common Core State Standards (soon to include science - a very good thing) that will also require an increased effort by students and a greater involvement by parents, to a more extensive teacher and principal evaluation system, to the ever increasing academic performance expectations for all groups, (although attainment is becoming more challenging due to the changing demographics of many districts, including D203), it’s safe to say that the magnitude of change and what is being asked of school districts is sobering. The real positive here is that D203 administrators are cognizant of the challenges and are working to insure that every student reaches their potential.

Happy reading,

Thom Higgins



November 5, 2012 workshop

All board members present

4.0 Public Comments

Dr. Kantaoui spoke about his concerns about how the district evaluates 3rd grade students based on COGAT scores, and District assessments and criteria.

Karen Tatman spoke in favor of the implementation of All Day Kindergarten.


5.0 Superintendent/Staff/School Reports

5.01 State Testing Data

Presenters: Tim Wierenga, Assistant Superintendent for Assessment; Malee Farmer, Director of Research & Analytics.


District 203 Assessment Philosophy

– Primary goal is to improve student learning.

– Any one assessment should be used in conjunction with all other available information.

– Students should be involved in their learning, assessment, and evaluation.

– Results should be used to design educational opportunities for all learners

 Wierenga:  I want to really emphasize that the assessment process is part of the instructional process. We use multiple summative data as part of process of making decisions but we also make sure we emphasize formative data as part of the instructional process to inform how we look at each individual student.  The assessment for learning process is still the bedrock of what we do in the district.

For 2013, as part of the 11th grade PSAE, is the addition of the “Locating Information” WorkKeys test so students are eligible to earn the ACT “National Career Readiness” Certificate.   It’s a 45 minute test with 38 questions; focused on how students read and gather information from graphics and information given electronically. Will allow our students be identified and even be put into a database where corporations can look and see our students and their qualifications

State Benchmarks for AYP


– 95% of Students Participate in taking the test

– 85% of Students Meet or Exceed in each Subgroup

• Safe Harbor

• State Waiver

– 82% Graduation Rate

• Including Adjusted Graduation Cohort Rate

– 91% Attendance Rate

In 2003 at the beginning of NCLB, the first Meet and Exceed benchmark was at 40% and each year the percentage increased to a projected 100% in 2014. For the 2011-2012 year Illinois received a waiver to keep the AYP at 85%, the same as the previous year.

District 203 2012 Results

Participation:                 State Requirement – 95%     District 203 -- 100%

Meets and Exceeds:      State Requirement – 85%     District 203 – 89.8%

Graduation Rate:          State Requirement – 82%     District 203 – 96.8%

Attendance Rate:          State Requirement – 91%     District 203 – 96.3%


State Improvement Status:  If any school does not make AYP for 2 consecutive years in the same subject area, the school is on Academic Early Warning Status.


Federal Improvement Status: If a Title 1 school does not make AYP for 2 consecutive years in the same subject area, the school is on School Improvement.

– The School Improvement Plan is in the Rising Star system provided by the State of Illinois.

– School Choice must be offered.

– After 3 consecutive years, Supplemental Educational Services must be provided.


District 203 Elementary AYP

 11 out of 14 Elementary Schools made AYP in Reading and Math

– Beebe made AYP in all areas except reading for Hispanic Students and Economically Disadvantaged.

– Ellsworth made AYP in all areas except reading for All.

– Mill Street made AYP in all areas except reading for Hispanic Students and Economically Disadvantaged.      .

 Wierenga: Just because a subgroup did not meet AYP, that doesn’t mean that every student in that sub group didn’t make AYP. Many students in the subgroups did make AYP.

 District 203 Junior High AYP

 Lincoln Junior High School made AYP in Reading and Math (did not make AYP in those areas last year)

Jefferson made AYP in all areas except Math for Black Students

Kennedy made AYP in all areas except Reading and Math for Students with Disabilities

Madison made AYP in all areas except Math for Students with Disabilities

Washington made AYP in all areas except Reading and Math for Students with Disabilities

 District 203 High School AYP

 Naperville Central made AYP in all areas except:

• Reading for All and White Students

• Math for All, White Students, and Students with Disabilities

 Naperville North made AYP in all areas except:

• Reading for All and Students with Disabilities

• Math for All, White Students, Hispanic Students, and Students with Disabilities

Thom Higgins:  if you look at the graphs that are part of the presentation you will see that the high school Meets & Exceeds percentages are far lower than the 3-8 grade M&E percentages. This is a function of the difference in the rigor (difficulty) between the ISAT test given to 3 -8 graders and the PSAE given to 11th graders and is the reason why more students in the HS’s don’t qualify as making AYP in reading and math.

 Wierenga: In Illinois, only 11 high schools made AYP this year; only 18% of all school districts made AYP this year and only 34% of all schools made AYP this year.

 Farmer: For 2012 the ACT composite score is 25.3. A 25 ACT composite places a district at the 79th percentile nationally with half of D203 students in the top quartile.

 Benchmark District Comparison: see pages 29 through 34 of the presentation linked above.

Thom Higgins: The 3 charts show that, although D203 is at the top of the ACT scores compared to the 7 benchmark districts, the performance on all tests and all students for grades 3-11 in reading and math put the District more or less in the middle of those rankings, something the District is interested in improving. As you will see in the next section, D203 results for various subgroups with disabilities or low income are also in the middle of the pack.


Achievement Gap discussion: see pages 35 through 42 of the presentation. Numbers to the left are the Meets and Exceeds percentages for the various subgroups.

 Wierenga: We have been working with Joe Murphy for a year and a half, and he has been talking to us about how to look at demographic information and he tells us while group definition and information is critical, equally important is that equity must be determined one student at a time. He talks about making sure we apply value added learning, trying to close achievement gaps but also enhance the learning of all students. We want to feature balanced instruction which includes culturally responsive pedagogy.  Murphy also talks about creating a cohesive assessment system to collect and analyze data which is what we have done with our new Pinnacle/Insight system. Lastly to develop a culture of high academic press and personalization as part of the way we look at the needs of these students in the various categories.

 We want to point out with working with these subgroups there are no magic bullets, no short term solutions. We have to be looking at as an entire system in terms of how we approach it.  We need to look at those students in need and how we can accelerate their learning to bring them to the next level.  We must remember that prevention always trumps remediation as part of this process.  Local context at the various schools is important as we implement these solutions.

 State of Illinois initiated changes:


Farmer: The 5 Essentials Survey, also sometime referred to as the Climate Survey.  Supt. Bridges has spoken to this before. We are going to use the results from this to inform the Diversity Action Plan. Developed by the University of Chicago Impact Group. Two of the indicators will be on our District report card to indicate our climate.

 5 Essentials Survey

• Provided by the State through the Performance Evaluation Advisory Committee (PEAC)

• Intended to provide a cross?district collaboration data set to

--Provide feedback about School Improvement efforts

–Articulate School Growth goals

–Inform professional growth plans of Principals

–Provide a basis for discussions concerning school climate.

 Farmer: all certified staff EC through 12 will take the survey as well as 6-12th grade students.  The 5 essential indicators are:

  • Ambitions instruction
  • Effective leaders
  • Collaborative teachers
  • Involved families
  • Supportive environment

 The other change coming from the state is in January they will release new cut scores for the four proficiency categories (exceeds, meets, does not meet, academic warning). The expectation is with the higher cut scores, only 50% of students will meet or exceed on the state tests. Additionally, in the 2012 ISAT, there will be approximately 20% of the questions in reading and math related to Common Core Standards.  The state has agreed to provide the District with test results for the previous 5 years based on the new higher cut scores for analysis purposes.

 Wierenga: With the coming 2014 PARCC assessments that are replacing the ISAT, we will be able to benchmark ourselves to schools nationally who will also be taking the same test. The District will continue to give the Explore test in 8th grade, but the State has asked we move the Plan test in the fall of 10th grade. We had been giving it in the 9th grade. Later in the year the 10th grades will take the practice AT we own, to give us an indication of how they are progressing.

 We are working in the schools with a multi-level system of support for the school improvement programs; working with Pupil Services and Learning Services, talking about how we can support students at many levels and what that support can look like, also what culturally responsive practices look like. There are three essential interdependent components of culturally responsive practices; high quality instruction, balanced assessment, collaboration amongst our staff. We are involving more people in the Continuous Improvement Process, looking at the data for individual students and using evidence based practices to help our individual students.








Another substantive meeting. The board finally put the 2013-2014 school calendar to bed, Supt. Bridges updated the board on the District’s participation in the Parent Summit,  Kitty Ryan and Dave Zager discussed current enrollment and class sizes and the board approved a revised Abused and Neglected Child Reporting policy.

22 School Improvement Plans were discussed and approved. It’s well worth going to Board Doc’s October 15th meeting, and scroll down to 10.3 to read your child’s  schools SIP.  As you will read below, the District continues to integrate technology into the assessment process, as well as integrating the new principal evaluation requirements into the SIP’s.  New for this year is more organized and extensive reporting of results and creation of multi-year tracking.

Of interest is the IASB proposed resolutions that, if approved, the IASB will lobby the state legislature for. The proposed resolutions will be discussed at a future meeting.

Lastly, Dave Weeks, once again, campaigned for the District to release minutes of closed sessions. At the end of the meeting, in response to a question by NCHS student ambassador Jarjieh Fang, Mike Jaensch, Susan Crotty and Terry Fielden made extensive comments about why the board chooses to not release the vast majority of the minutes. Worth a read.

As always, I try to be as complete and grammatically correct as time allows. It’s not perfect.

Happy reading,

Thom Higgins


All board members present.

Pledge of Allegiance: Elmwood School Cub Scout Pack 105

3.0  Meeting Opening

4.0  Recognition

4.01 Eleven seniors make top score on ACT

Eleven students from the Class of 2013 scored a perfect 36 on the ACT this year, a score only 0.04 percent of students achieved in the nation last year.  If reaching the highest score possible once wasn’t enough, three students reached the mark twice. Daniel Parker, (computer science or computer engineering) Aditya Dewanjee, (pre med), Gabriel Carrier (degree in finance and then med school), James Schelli, Edward Miliavski , Ethan Brodeur (looking at economics or international business), Kirthi Bellamkonda, Daniel Shen (essentially undecided leaning towards pre med possibly engineering) and  Maggie Wang of Naperville Central and Divya Shanmugam  and Jason Zhao of Naperville North all earned a top composite on the ACT. Carrier, Schelli and Zhoa each have double 36s.

More than 1.6 million students took the ACT last year, with just 704 recording a score of 36 on the exam in the nation.  Nearly 60 percent of America's college-bound students as well as all junior students in Illinois take the ACT as part of the Prairie State Achievement Examination.

4.02 National Network of Partnership Schools - Partnership School Awards

Julie Carlsen: There are 750 school teams that are part of the National Network of Partnership Schools out of John Hopkins University. This year, 12 were chosen to receive a school partnership award. 3 of those 12 are from District 203. Partnership Teams at Naperville North High School, Highlands Elementary, and Ann Reid Early Childhood, received the awards.

5.0  Public Comment

No Public Comment

6.0  Communications

Student Ambassadors Report:

Jarjieh Fang NCHS: Central Times was nominated again for the Pacemaker Award which is the highest award for scholastic news papers. Freshman Class Council is planning their annual food drive; looking for staff involvement such as starting competitions, etc. A student has started a Naperville chapter of the Hope Scholarship, to collect money for younger students in China to attend primary school.  A new club, The Policy Initiatives Group has decided to make Central greener. Has started by calculating all the carbon emissions at Central. They want to offset and reduce all carbon emissions by the end of the school year.

6.04 Student Enrollment Summary

Kitty Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education

Dave Zager, Associate Superintendent for Finance/CFO

Enrollment Report

Bridges: At various milestones throughout the beginning of the school year the administration has provided the BOE with an update of the student enrollment. Tonight we have the enrollment update through the end of September.  It is very close to what we have projected. Additionally,  it’s clear the phase 1 boundary changes approved by the board  accomplished its goal of moving students from over populated schools.  One of the receiving schools, Elmwood, has come in higher than we projected. summary.  I’m going to ask Kitty Ryan to speak to that and then ask Dave Zager to speak about how these numbers impact our facility planning.

Ryan: Elmwood is a little higher than projected , however all class sizes remain within District policy.  K-1-2-3 are at 26 or lower. 4-5 are no greater than 28. Those classrooms have instructional assistance assigned to them.  In addition to that, class size is reduced during reading and math because of students leaving for PI or honors math. Beebe is very close to what was projected. We do see higher class size in 5th grade. Mill is below what we projected. Those class sizes are in the moderate to lower range.

Romberg: Highlands is a little higher than what we projected.

Ryan: Highlands is a little higher than what we had projected… but remain within board policy.

Jaensch to Patrick Gaskin (Elmwood principal): how is Elmwood doing with the increased size? He’s giving a thumbs up so I guess we are good.

Bridges: Let’s let Dave speak first I think it may address some of those concerns.

Zager: At Elmwood we previously had the early childhood classes there, so there’s plenty of classrooms available now. Once we get up to the 600 capacity, there will still be a number of “bump rooms”.   It does have the smallest gymnasium at 2400 sq ft . We are pushing forward with the building program to add a larger gymnasium and converting the existing gym into a multi-purpose room. I think that will help Patrick out quite a bit because right now he’s having to run lunch  and gym class in the same space with a 100 more students than he had.  The other two schools we had looked at adding gyms or muiti-purpose rooms have come in a little bit below projections. Prairie is at the lower 500 range for the near future. Steeple Run a little bit lower than what we had projected. The Arbor Trail (residential) development hasn’t broken ground yet. As that does develop, we should start seeing increased enrollment in the next 3-4 years. Have to decide if some will go over to Prairie, and look at putting in a multi-purpose room at Steeple Run.

6.05 Diversity Action Plan - Parent Summit

Bridges: The second report I’d like to share is an update on our Diversity Action Plan.  D203 participated in the African American Latino parent summit hosted by the Du Page Regional Office of Education and the College of Du Page on Saturday September 29th. The purpose of the summit was for parents to gain an awareness of  the current achievement gap crisis, learn about forces the deter students from achieving greater academic success, learn about roles and responsibilities and helping children excel in school and college and the opportunity to ask questions. While I’m awaiting final numbers, the summit seems to have been a tremendous success. Registration was closed a week prior to the summit as the number of people reached the facility maximum. COD estimates that 750 attended even though registration was capped at 500. I spoke to three D203 families after the event who found it to be informative and hope that we will continue to participate. D203 was one of several agencies helping plan this event.  We are scheduled to update the board at the December meeting for 203’s diversity plan.  We are on track with our target activities, we are however, adjusting the timeline on two activities; diversity training for our leadership, planned for this fall,  will come in the early spring due to additional information received from the Du Page ROE that will be incorporated. The other change will be the timing of when we conduct the survey. Our intent was to develop a culturally responsive questionnaire to our staff and students. We have already done one for our principals and administrators and found that survey would not be appropriate for students or staff based on feedback. We began to develop a new one and then became aware of the fact that the state is requiring the schools to conduct a school climate survey from students, parents and staff. After our initial preview of this survey, we are confident it is going to give us the data and information we need to begin to improve culture and climate in our schools so we are going to be holding off, instead of the fall the target time is now February.

D203 Diversity Committee Update from previous meeting


7.0  Monthly Reports

8.0  Action By Consent

Weeks:  I would like to pull 8.06

Price: Before I start. We haven’t talked about this in awhile; I want to review what our responsibilities very briefly. The board has the responsibility to review bills and claims and all of our financials. They are very complex…. When you talk about oversight in complex systems, I am assured, because we have very sophisticated processes in place, any bill and cost goes through 4-5 people who review it, which provides a lot of insulation against any kind of fraud. ...Dave Zager feels very strongly that we have the safeguards in place and a culture in  place that any kind of attempt would be caught….You put the appropriate processes in place, you have them reviewed by an outside auditing firm every year to insure they are being adhered to, and our role is to simply go through and talk about those processes. We can go into as great as detail or as general as we want to. Having said that I move to approve, 8.01 through 8.05 and 8.07

Motion passes unanimously

Bridges: One of the items contained in the Consent Agenda tonight is in regard to an appointment, and I’d like to introduce to you a new appointment. As the board knows with the departure of Kathy Duncan the Chief Academic Officer position, that position was re-titled to Deputy Superintendent and was posted as an interim position… (He introduces Dr. Bob Hawkins    as Interim Deputy Supt. who is a retired West Aurora administrator with an extensive administrative background).

Jaensch 8.06 for discussion

Weeks: …Am I correct we are not releasing any closed minute meetings out of this past 6 months?

Jaensch: out of this list yes.  None were recommended for release.

Weeks:  I want to go on record. I disagree with that. There is very little here that should be kept from the public. Very easy to redact names and personal situations. A lot of these have to do with  negotiation and things like that, seems to me that the public has a right to know.  I would really urge this board consider sharing the board with the public.

Motion to approve 8.06 carried 6 to 1. Weeks voting no.

9.0  Discussion Without Action

9.01 IASB Resolutions

IASB Report to the Membership

Jaensch: every year prior to the IASB (Illinois Association of School Boards) conference there are a bunch of resolutions that come down on positions that the IASB will take and lobby for. This is a review of those resolutions. We have been fortunate that Terry has been very involved and is on the resolutions committee.

Fielden: There were 23 resolutions considered by the committee this year. I think where we want to focus our efforts is where we get into the PTEL and some of the financial aspects of it. There was some good discussion on those aspects and those really seem to be working to the surface more frequently; how property taxes are assessed and the pension was discusses and what kind of resolution does the IASB want to allow the districts to recover some of the pension shortfall, when there is no doubt that the state is going to pass some of the pension burden back to us.  The IASB has not really formed an opinion of what they want to do with that. This is something that we need to start coming to grips with.

Bridges: I really don’t have much to contribute aside from what Terry said. We didn’t find anything that we would recommend a contradiction to what the IASB committee has recommended.

Weeks: we are not going to go through resolution by resolution?

Jaensch: What I prefer is if a board member that has a specific resolution that they want to emphasize, or think the board should considering disagreeing with the IASB recommendation that would warrant further discussion. We can do that now if you have done your homework, or we can do it next meeting.

Weeks: It doesn’t matter to me. 2-4-8-9-10, 2-4-8 I disagree with and 9-10 I think we should underscore.

Jaensch: Does everyone want to review these or discuss them now?  We will discuss them at the following meeting. We need a representative (at the IASB convention). Is anyone interested in doing it?

Fielden: I can do it.


10.0  Discussion With Action

10.01 13-14 school calendar.

2013-2014 Calendar

Passes unanimously.  (Amen! TH)

Highlights of the approved calendar include:

  • The first day of student attendance moves from August 14, the second Wednesday of August, to one week later on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.
  • Monday, October 14, 2013, (Columbus Day) would be an attendance day. Being in school on this day moves one day of student attendance from the second semester to the first semester, which helps balance the days in the semesters.
  • First semester final examinations will be December 18, 19, and 20, 2013, ending the first semester before the winter vacation.
  • Last day of student attendance, without any emergency days, would be Friday, May 30, 2014. This moves the last day of attendance from a Monday to a Friday, which was a move recommended by the community feedback in May.
  • Semester balance:
    • First semester will have 82 full days of attendance.
    • Second semester will have 89 full days of attendance. Taking into account the two lost days of instruction for the administration of the PSAE, there will be 87 full days of instruction.
    • The second semester includes 3 half days of instruction. Adjusting the 3 half days to the equivalent of 1.5 full days, there will be 88.5 days of instruction in the second semester.
    • The difference is 6.5 days, which both high schools believe is acceptable.


10.02 Approval Policy 5.90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting

Bridges: …Since the beginning of last year we have been involved with a comprehensive policy manual review, in collaboration with legal counsel and consultants with the IASB. The redline version with the new language in red and the deleted language is lined through is the proposed document

Approved Policy

Passes unanimously

10.03 School Improvement Plans

Tim Wierenga, Assistant Superintendent for Assessment

School Improvement Plan Overview

Wierenga: The SIP is a continuation of the work we did with Joe Murphy earlier in the summer to look at the SIP so we don’t focus just on the plans but also the process involved…. Like to present to you the SIP process itself and the Rising Star process for Mill St, and the plans itself. This process starts with the Data Spa, the school teams get a half day of training on our data analytics system. They also work with learning services as well. The teams work during the year not only developing, not only their process and their plan, but to write, monitor and evaluate the plan, during the school year. The teams also work with the assessment office… getting help in writing their plans and getting feedback on their plans.

Regarding the SPI’s the schools were encouraged to write 1-3 goals. Those goals were often academic goals focused on student achievement, or maybe a second goal might be socio-emotional. What we then had in the second column was the measurements that that goal would be measured by.  Schools noted the reason that goal was put in place to give some background as to why, and a target piece of data that would show achievement of that goal. Measurements often focus in ISAT data, or PSAE data, early literacy measure, possibly Explore test data, as well as, they might work on behavior measure or survey data.

The actions in the action plan, in the third column, are outlined in terms of categories. The fourth column, which is blank here, is set up to be a log… It represents a place for the schools to keep a log of not only the progress during the year, but what is happening in terms of their data and also the actions that are being taken.

Mill Street is in a process through the state, Rising Star, a state program for any school who did not make AYP for two years in a row; required to be in the process. We will return in November with details of both Mill St’s plan and the District’s updated plan in Rising Star. Mill St. has developed a team who is starting to look at the process of assessing what the needs are, planning for that, implementing a plan and monitoring what’s going on an adjusting along the way is the model that we use in the District as well as what Rising Star uses.  The first thing we need to do is look at District data. The Assessment Dept. helps with that, looking at student performance metrics. That’s done through the Pinnacle Insight data analytics tool that we use to look at those pieces of date. The team from Mill St. as well as the District can look at those. Step 2 is to assess the indicators that’s done by the SIP team. That’s where they do research inside the Rising Star system. They have documents that give updated research on different indicators and their impacts on the school improvement process. The teams will read through those processes…. Step 3 is to create the plan and assign tasks to team members. Then they work on monitoring the growth on an ongoing basis to see how the team is doing. And then working on a collaborative process to not only inform the board but to see that this is no longer an compliance issue ….but it really is a process to get involved with the plan and data  for the students and work on updating how the students are doing, in the course of the year. Mill St. has 104 indicators to go through (in the Rising Star process).

Since the District did a district improvement plan last year, ours is only an update in the area of ELL, in terms of the annual measurable outcomes for our ELL students. And there are only 20 indicators for the District that we are presently working on.


Jaensch: We approve these every year. I peruse a lot of them, I see a lot of numbers… and I see the results on one of your slides. Who are the results reported to, how are people held accountable? As far as I know, we approve the plan and that’s the last we hear of it. If someone doesn’t make their number… where’s the accountability? It’s a wonderful program and a lot of thought goes into these plans. What happens with results, or does every year, all 22 buildings meet every SIP they had?

Wierenga:  Great point. That’s one of the reasons we developed that last column as part of this plan, so it becomes a living document that we can not only log and look at how it’s going but we can also report out on how they are doing. A really important of what’s happened is our alignment with our operations folks is that the evaluation goals for our principals are aligned with the SIP goals.

Jaensch: Am I correct that the last column was first added this year?

Wierenga: Correct. In previous years we had executive summaries. There were two very similar documents. The feedback was it was very unclear as to how they were different. We took that feedback we made one living breathing document that we report on.

Jaensch: is your intent is that next year, the results from the previous year’s SIP will be in that new document next year?

Wierenga: Absolutely.

Crotty: Tim how aggressive are those plans?

Wierenga: We want our schools to set high expectations. As an example, this year the state received a waiver for the national AYP of 92.5, reducing it to 85%. Many of our schools took a look at that and said it’s not good enough for us. You will see in many of the plans we are being measured by the higher standard of 92.5%t to see if they can meet that. Some schools have already met that standard, and so that would not be a goal. Some of them had to look hard and deep at their data to say, what areas should we improve in? Where are the needs of our students? So they had to find other pieces, sometimes it was looking at maybe early literacy.

Crotty: How does this tie in to how our principals are going to be reviewed?

Wierenga: The evaluation goals that were set by Kitty and Bob, working with the principals… took a look at their SIP goals and said how we can get measurable steps to see they are moving forward on their SIP. The principals are measured on subgroups that are affected by these goals.

Crotty: So is it a back and forth process?

Wierenga: Absolutely, what I have enjoyed is working with Bob and Kitty in the schools. We have met looking over the goals, seeing if they are achievable, but also if they stretch the principals enough.  It’s been a good give and take. In fact, the whole cabinet and the work they are doing including Pupil Services and Learning Services, and the work they are doing, going out to the schools and working with them on a multi-level system of support and how that impacts the SIP as well to make sure it’s all aligned.

Fielden: So how does this feedback get reported next year. Do we get this report back with the comments?

Wierenga: That is the intention. You will note this is a multi-year plan and so how that plan should work is you should see the progress made in the forth column. We will have to see what updates that we will make nest year to the plan.

Romberg: I appreciate that. These are great and so much thought and time goes into these, but then you wonder what happened? I will wait in anticipation, I’m not sure how I’m going to follow how this one little column is going to incorporate this wealth of information. …I appreciate we are going in the direction, yes in terms of accountability, but also make it a worthwhile process. When you track things it becomes a living document. I applaud you for trying to put it on a schedule that all of us can understand.


The Mill St. team:


 Team Leader: Tim Wierenga (Assistant Superintendent)

 Capacity Building Coach: Jen Hester (Associate Superintendent)

Process Manager: Malee Farmer (Director)


Mill Street Elementary School:

Team Leader: Mary Baum (Principal)

Capacity Building Coach: Lenore Johnson (Consultant)

Process Manager: Christina Podraza (LSC)

Motion to approve SIP; passed unanimously.  


11.0  New Business

Weeks: I don’t know if it’s old or new, but we originally said Dan, that we want to come up with a long term plan that include the types of major things we may need to add such as ADK, such as immersion language. I know when we made you permanent and took the Interim off, you said give me a little bit more time which I think makes all the sense in the world. Just wanted to get an idea of where we are going with that, so for instance, next meeting we are bringing a report back that says Kindergarten. I think that report is to be the changes we have made up to now, that’s not necessarily the report on ADK, correct?

Bridges: We’ll include that in there. From a broad perspective, part of my goals conversation is in Exec Session in Nov 5th, we will talk about my goals and how they relate to the long term planning and goals of the District. We will be providing an update of our Kindergarten program and in that presentation we will also talk about options or recommendations or considerations the board could have regarding ADK moving forward.

Weeks: how does that then relate to a long term plan?

Bridges: That is part of what we will be presenting to you, options for the BOE to consider in terms of moving toward that.

Weeks: It will include options other than just Kindergarten?

Bridges: Yes it will.

Weeks: One of the reasons I brought that up is we’ve changed the time frame, and I’m all for that, that we’ve in the past communicated publically. I thought it would be good to indentify that.

Jaensch: any other items from the board?

Jarjieh Fang, NCHS Student Ambassador: I just have a very quick question regarding the sealing of closed session meeting minutes, and the rationale behind leaving those closed for the public. Why do we not want to increase transparency?

Jaensch: I think we are very transparent in our communications… We’ve have no FOIA requests in awhile. I think that speaks to how much information we put out there. The way the open meetings act works in Illinois, is there are specifically exempted items that we are allowed to talk about in closed session. I would hope everyone would agree, we are very careful of what we talk about, and the reasons vary from negotiations that involves tactics and strategies that even after the fact,… the majority of the board feel that are sensitive enough that it would not be helpful to discuss them in public. Other things like personnel… you don’t discuss them in any way that can identify the person. Even if you redact all sort of stuff, a lot of people can figure out who you are talking about. Real estate for example, is another thing where we talk about strategies and negotiating before we make an offer. Once we make a contract, as we did last month, then it is part of the public record and it’s out there…The question comes can you redact enough information so it’s not a factor? Perhaps, but is it useful?  Student discipline is another one, we feel very strongly that student privacy absolutely important. For people in the audience that don’t know, we never even know the students name. We go by the students ID number. But still if even redacted versions were put out, people would put two and two together. It’s a very limited list we can discuss in closed session.

Weeks: Just as another side of the coin, and everything that Mr. Jaensch said is accurate; obviously the majority of the board agrees with that. As I read the open meetings act, we are to disclose, unless there are issues that would be injurious to the individual, the board or the school. In other words, I feel it’s incumbent upon us to release information, and I don’t think we do a very good job. In fact, I think in the last ten years there has not been a single meeting that we have released minutes for. I find it very difficult to believe that our thoughts are so, I find it very hard to believe, that everything we’ve talked about in the last ten years is privileged. I think the public does have, let’s use that latest real estate purchase, you’re right we’ve gone public with it, but it’s only the uses we talked about. Why we felt the need to move on that were all in closed session. I think the public has a right to know those things. So I am the minority.

Fielden: As far as the uses go for the premises. There’s is nothing baring you from talking about that if you want to go through that on the real estate. Certainly, the contract’s approved, if you want to embellish more what the property used for, you can do that. But I have to agree with Mike. The issues discussed in closed session could have some life changing alterations to students. I think what’s important is we are fully compliant with the law. We are not breaking the law. There is no reason for us to release information on student expulsions, not even to hint around those issues, because they have life changing effects as they go forward. I completely disagree that that information can be redacted, it can be inferred. This is a very small community, you can find out who it was, and that would be detrimental.

Crotty: we had talked about the cost of an attorney to look at it, and as stewards of these communities resources, it didn’t seem the thousands and thousands dollars....(made sense).

Weeks: Just real quickly, I will mention in my unofficial survey when I go to the triple I convention I do ask other board members their practice, the majority I talk to, do release at least some closed session minutes.

12.0  Old Business

13.0  Upcoming Events



All members present

Jaensch:  As is our habit we will start out with public comments. I see what they are all about, so before we get started since I’m not sure everybody got a chance to look at the revised proposal, I’m going to ask Mr. Bridges to summarize the proposal.

Draft Calendar

Calendar Comparrison

Bridges:  Following the last BOE meeting, the administration was directed to go back and review and draft a new proposed calendar for the 2013-2014 school year.  We have done that. The highlights of it is it moves the first day of attendance from the approved August 14th to  one week later to August 21st The significant change would be that school would be in session on Monday Oct 14th, which is Columbus Day. Being in class that day would allow us to move one day of student attendance from the second semester to the first semester which helps the balance of days between semesters. Final exams would be scheduled for Dec 18-19-20 before winter vacation. The last day of student attendance without any emergency days is scheduled to be May 30th 2014. By moving the one day from the second semester to the first, it allows us to move the end date from June 1st. a Monday.

It is also important to note calendar changes going forward, public act 97-0742 go into effect June 30, 2013, removes the provision in the school code allowing that days of attendance be less than five clock hours for the first and last days of the school term. This means the last day of school will not be the typical short day we have had in recent schedules. A couple of other highlights; one of the concerns that had come forward from the BOE regarding the original calendar as proposed was the imbalance in the number of days in the semester. The revised proposal, with school starting on August 21st, would have first semester at 82 full days of attendance, Second semester would have 89 full days of attendance. However, when you account for the two full days lost for the administration at the HS for the PSAE, there would be 87 days of instruction. Second semester also includes, in addition to that, three half days of instruction. Adjusting for that there would be 88.5 days of instruction in the second semester, with a difference of 6.5 days, which is less than the original calendar as proposed, and the HS’ have indicated to me that would be acceptable.

Jaensch: were there any questions from the board before we have public comment?

Public Comment:

Laura Lane: I will have 2 students @ NN next fall. In favor of the new calendar.  This is a very demanding school district, kids are already feeling the stress in getting their coursework done.  I know kids have missed school for stress, and they really need a winter break, they need to have their finals done before we start. I  Appreciate you have pushed back the days. I tried to look up to see if there are any studies about having finals before break or after break. No peer reviewed articles, but there is a group out of Stanford called and they do consulting for school districts. The worked with seven high performing school districts in the bay area, and one of the recommendations was move finals before break. 77% students said it reduced their stress.  I think anything we can do to reduce stress, I know kids have been hospitalized, 200 kids last year due to stress. Only been in the district 1 year and really impressed when the admin sees a need for the students they have modified some of the things like making finals before break..

Joey Greco: Naperville North Junior: One of the students who initiated the petition that has 2,000 signatures supporting test days before break.  Spoke in favor of tests before break

Austin Hansen: NN Junior student advisor to the ISBE. Former student ambassador the NEF and a member of the NN board.  Speaking on behalf of current and future the Huskies and Cardinals.  We have 2,000 signatures in support of keeping finals before winter break.  Concerns:  increased stress, unfair that they lose the relaxation of a vacation, inefficient use of time. Pushing back exams requires more review days.

Gus Kartsonos:  I support the calendar that has been proposed. Think it’s a fair compromise. Happy to see the students engage, but let me be a devil’s advocate and ask to see what the non emotional reason is for tests before Christmas. As a working father and taxpayer, I think my opinion counts just as much, if not more, than the students who attend the school.

Tami Schultz: …I’m thrilled with the calendar. Happy to see the students here and getting involved.  The one small comment that I want to make, it hasn’t been mentioned at this point, ….at the last meeting the Superintendent had mentioned that he was thinking of doing, always a third Wednesday in August., having that as a standard thing to look at.  My only concern is …. I’m going to be here for a long time. Started looking at the calendars coming forward and we would be OK 13-14.  15-16 start date would be the August 19th, 16-17 would be August 17th, then August 16th, August 15th. …I don’t really want to be here talking about this again in a few years. I know it’s not set in stone, but if there is some turnover.. and people forget, and we are right back here again. If we can have something; … no sooner than August 20th, that would be my only suggestion to keep that in mind. Thank you, I’m thrilled with this, I very much appreciate the compromise that was made.

Weeks: I think your point is well taken about the third Wednesday. Those times that start early, do I assume correctly there are five Wednesday? I think that’s an interesting observation

Elizabeth Halada: Junior at NN. Think the calendar is really great.  District 203 is a great district. Spoke in favor of finals after break.

Kari Cesaeretti: NN student, in favor of the later start, but in favor of finals before break.

Jaensch: I think I can speak for the whole board; we love hearing from adults and parents, but I for one, really appreciate it when students come out, and especially as well spoken as you were tonight and the research you have done, shows that you’re everything we are hoping you will be. Thank you very much.

Jeansch: I’d like to open up for discussion 7.02.


Weeks: …I will echo that the students that spoke were very well spoken. I will also remind you that you have a very short history.  Austin, you asked us to step into your shoes, we’ve been there. May I remind you that the norm has always been exams after Christmas; I doubt there is anyone up here that did not have their exams after Christmas.  So, It’s not a penalty, OK, well, I will only speak for myself, but we have been in your shoes, and Naperville is not the only top performing district, I would challenge, although I am going to support the calendar, I think that’s fine, but I missed one thing in listening to the very well thought out and delivered talks and that is you only talked about yourselves, the HS kids. This is a unit district and I guess my one concern is, that so many times we don’t act like a unit district. We either represent the HS or the Elementary school. May I remind you that just, first of all, I could argue waiting till after break for exams will get you ready for the real world.  Because when I take vacation, I don’t get to just check out, I have to keep the trains running. But, may I remind you that younger children and younger families have a completely different schedule. In HS you are probably not in Little League anymore, which goes just during the summer, a lot of parents, families do take vacations in August and this will affect them. I’m not saying right wrong or indifferent, but just in the spirit of being well rounded, I throw these things out to you.


Romberg: I too will support this calendar.  I want to believe I’m a lifelong learner.  I was one who didn’t support the previous calendar, because of the imbalance. I am deeply respectful of our educators, and was appreciative that they went back and looked at the delivery of the programming for the semesters and could live with it. It is a remarkable district, Dave. I have to say we are a unit district, and I believe we do think this is a compromise situation. One example; our HS kids get picked up and sit in the HS’s, 40 minutes before classes start so those buses can be back for the elementary children.  Inaudible due to applause… but also we could have easily started on a Monday and we are starting on a Wednesday, and I know from my adopted schools and my elementary schools, I have heard from many parents starting on Wednesday is a driver of elementary and it really is important. Tami and I were with a lot of kids in our neighborhood yesterday and you see these little kids and you think there’s no way you can go from summer to starting on Monday. I do believe, at least for me, I think about everything, the totality, the three year olds to the 22 year olds; that’s who we educate in our district. So thank you for the compromise (inaudible due to applause, I think she says: thank you for going back) I am a lifelong learner and I will definitely support this calendar.

Price: I too support this calendar, I supported the calendar on the 14th, it did have issues, our supt. has addressed those issues and I think it has resolved that. I went to a high performing HS and we had exams after break, we also had a smoking section. So, we don’t do things the way we have always done them. We consider ourselves a college prep district, getting our kids ready for college. College has their exams before their holiday break. When our students go, they are ready; they know how to manage their time. I think there is value in that. When I voted for the calendar on the 14th, I was very aware of the survey, our then interim supt. provided details about the survey where he outlined what the responses were. I think the challenge of surveys is you have to have a lot of information to provide answers that are in the context of how an institution works, and that’s nearly impossible to do, whether it’s online or in person. So, I think our survey gave us a snap shot of the community and that’s what I saw. We were looking at a context that we had not shared and that was what my decision criteria was. The challenge of using research to make arguments, education research especially, is there is very little research, there’s no control groups; are you going to provide programs to some kinds and not others? So, education research is this movable feast. Research like surveys, sometimes tells us what we want to hear. You can find research that makes one argument and research that will make another argument on the same issue. In this kind of situation, we have to make decisions based on our values. Our values in this school district are to balance as much as we can parents and students, the interest of pre- kindergartners and the interests of seniors in HS. That’s what we have to balance, so we try to find that balance. I believe our supt. has made a recommendation that provides that balance.

Crotty: As you know I have been the champion against August creep all these years. A sit keeps moving back we keep losing our summer. I have to say with this compromise calendar, I feel much more comfortable, that the community’s been heard, the administrations been heard, and nothings perfect. Because we have voted on calendars more than once (in a year), I have had the opportunity to vote on calendars 12 times in 8 years. I didn’t understand when our kids were in elementary school what it meant to be in a unit district. You balance the Kindergartners and younger kids, jumping in slowly (starting midweek) and how it makes that transition to school so much easier. Sometimes it’s hard to understand in the middle of winter why you have a semester day for the HS…. I voted the first year to have finals after Christmas, and a neighbor came down and told me I’d only understand when I have HS kids.  I called her last week and told her she was right and I thank you. I hope the community who doesn’t have HS students understand we do support our students from the day we come in here till after they go out of here. I can feel  comfortable with the calendar because it’s a compromise, it’s the best we can do.  I think for our community and the engagement we have gotten, I appreciate that.

Dennison: I like the calendar, I like the compromise. My thoughts most closely echo Susan’s in that the number of conversations… have been from the elementary parents which as part of a unit district, we have to recognize as well. I give credit to the administration for coming back with a good proposal, given the very difficult parameters. I like it,  I will support it. I think it’s a good calendar. I’d like to see us moving it further into August, but really don’t want those exams after break. I think it’s a good compromise.

Fielden: I agree, exams should be before break. Mine; when I was in HS, we finished our exams and then we were able to do a lot of family things. To me, that is the driving reason for having that break. Really the only time in your life where you have these two weeks free…. I also know for the elementary kids, it is somewhat a burden with the calendar but you can start a little bit later, you can miss the first few days of school if you need to for vacation. That was some of the advice we got from elementary districts. We didn’t take it up but there is always that option.

Jaensch: ..I like the compromise. Hearing from the staff through Dan helped a lot that they are totally comfortable with the semester break, which obviously affects the HS students. It doesn’t affect anyone else. That was one of the things that several people were concerned about. It may become a bigger factor if the school year becomes longer in the future. This will become more pronounced (semester difference). When student performance starts affecting teacher evaluations, they may think twice about it then if they have 10%-11% less time to teach the same material. All in all I think it’s a good compromise because it gives at least the first several weeks of August. To Tami’s point, looking at calendars, I looked it earlier too; we may have to discuss going the third full week which is equivalent to what Dave brought up the second to the last Wednesday. Whichever way, I get the idea that one of these may be the way to go in the future. As you know this is not on our agenda today. But you have heard everybody express their support. The official vote  will be put on the discussion with action section, October 15th.  I promise we won’t change anything in between them.


A few personal thoughts: I appreciate the fact that the BOE had concerns about the disparity of days in the semesters, as presented in the first draft calendar. I think they were correct to address the issue, even though it displeased some parents. Because they spend too much time on this every year and it creates uncertainty, I like the idea of developing some governing principles for the calendar and sticking to them, but I strongly believe the the principles have to be consistent with placing best educational practices first. 

I think it's a reasonable compromise to have, as a target, the third Wednesday in August as a start date, with the understanding that we might lose the Columbus holiday and have to make other adjustments, when that start date creates too large an imbalance in semester days.

Thom Higgins



All member of the board were present

3.0  Meeting Opening

3.03 Pledge of Allegiance - Ellsworth Elementary School

4.0  Recognition

4.01 Special Olympics State Champions

In June, each of the Special Olympics Team203 Track Athletes below participated at the Special Olympics State Meet in Bloomington, IL and placed in their respective events:

1st place: Abi Adesanya - 100m Run;  Maura O'Gradu - 100m Run & 4th place 200m Run;  Katie Smith - 50m Run, & 6th place Tennis Ball Throw

2nd place: State Champions - 4 X 100 Relay Kevin Briegel, Tyler Nowak, Ryne Briegel and Abi Adesanya

2nd place: Abby Kunz - Softball Throw

4th place: Kevin Briegel - Softball Throw; Tyler Nowak - 100m Run, & 6th place 200m Run; Haley Wiskari - Softball Throw


4.02 National Merit Scholarship Semi - Finalists

More than 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high schools entered the 2013 National Merit Program by taking the 2012 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semi-finalists, which represents less than one percent of high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. These academically talented high school seniors have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 8,300 Merit Scholarship awards, worth more than $34 million, that will be offered next spring.

The following students from Naperville Central High School will be recognized for being Semi-Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program:  Kirthi Bellamkonda, Gabriel Carrier, Lydia Fern, Neil Jindal, Lucia Korpas, Anthony Lu, Eric Lullo, Anna Marchenko, Daniel Parker, Nicholas Pratt, James Schelli, Christian Schulz, Daniel Shen, Arjun Singh, Durva Trivedi, Amy Wang, Maggie Wang, Eugene Wu, Thomas Wu, Kangni Xiao, Vivian Xu, Hanyao Zhang, and  Rock Zhang.

The following students from Naperville North High School will be recognized for being Semi-Finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program: Sahil Batra, Mollene Denton, Sunny Duan, Isaac Heine, Allison Hollatz, Anthony Intini, Gavin Mitchell, Bennett Samuels, Divya Shanmugam, Praneeth Tripuraneni, and Jason Zhao.


4.03 National Network of Partnership Schools - District Partnership Award

The 2011 - 2012 School Family Community Partnership Core Team won a 2012 Partnership District Award from the National Network of Partnership Schools at Johns Hopkins University. This is the twelfth annual Partnership District Award to be received by District 203. The awards committee carefully assessed the documents submitted by D203 for its Lunch Bunch activity.  The Activity was praised for its simplicity and productive design to keep schools on the right track for improving their partnership programs.

The following people recognized were active members of the 2011 - 2012 SFCP Core Team:  Nanette Awe, Dan Bridges, Julie Carlsen, Catherine Cohoon, Kari Dunlap, Chuck Freundt, Yvonne Janvrin, Jessica Jozwiak, Jeannie Matula, Kathy Meyers, Suzyn Price, Bob Ross, Theresa Tinker, Nancy Voise, Carolyn Wenig, Bill Wiesbrook, and Mary Wilkerson.

4.04 Good News


5.0  Public Comment

Jaensch: The only comments I see are dealing with the school calendar. We’ve done this before with other issues and we found it often helpful to have, in this case, we have a report from the Supt regarding the school calendar. I think it would be helpful if he went over his report and we review what’s happened so far, invite any board discussion and….I think it would help give you more depth to your comments, make them more effective. So if there is no objection I would like to move 6.04 in front of the public comment. Any objections?


Bridges: the purpose of this report is to provide the BOE and the community with an overview of the process used by the Dist Admin. to recommend a calendar to the BOE for their approval. My report will provide the following; an overview of the policy and contractual requirements that must be considered,  recommendations made by the DuPage Regional Office of Education to all county school districts, overview of previous years surveys, overview of spring 2012 calendar survey, review of the calendar development timeline and some areas for improvement, or future  direction regarding calendar development.

Section 1, policy and contractual requirements:  board policy 6.20 states the board upon the supt’s recommendation, and subject to state regulations and collective bargaining agreements, annually establish the dates for opening and closing classes, teachers institutes and in-services, the length and dates of vacations and the dates designated as legal school holidays. The Illinois school code provides districts guidance and direction regarding the development of the annual school calendar. The code requires each district in the state of Illinois prepare a proposed calendar consisting of a minimum amount of days to insure sufficient days for student attendance. The code sets forth guidance for a number of items such as, day of attendance, maximum institute days, minimum proposed emergency days, parent teacher conferences and half day school improvement. The code does not provide guidance on start and end dates. The collective bargaining agreement with the NUEA contains language that must be considered when developing the school calendar. The language in the agreement addresses the scheduling of certain work days, patent teacher conferences, and certain in-service days. It also speaks to the total number of work days in a school year.

Section 2: DuPage ROE recommendations: the ROE provides school districts with recommendations to consider when developing their calendars in order to insure compliance with the Illinois school code and to offer consistency within the county. The ROE recommendations for the 13-14 calendar include: the school year should begin with one or two teacher institute days preceding the first student attendance day. The first pupil attendance day for an early start date should be Monday August 12, 2013, and Wednesday, August 28, 2013 for a late start day.  The spring county-wide institute day will be scheduled for February 28, 2014, the day after Thanksgiving should be a day of non-attendance, the winter holiday break should begin Monday, December 23, 2013, with students returning Monday, January 6th, 2014. Spring break should consist of five days, commencing Monday March 31, 2014 and student returning Monday April 7th. As I said in the introduction regarding the ROE, these are guidelines and recommendations. They are not requirements.

Section 3 Previous Surveys:  Community surveys regarding school calendar were conducted in 2005, 2007 and 2009, as well as last spring. Results of previous surveys indicated a strong preference to end the first semester prior to winter vacation, this will allow HS students to complete final exams prior to the break. As a result of those findings from previous surveys, the 2012 calendar survey did not ask a question regarding the desire to hold final exams prior to break. Comments made by respondents in the 2012 survey suggested that this was still the preference.

Section 4. 2012 Key Survey Findings: Over 3500 responses were collect from parents, staff and HS students. 2006 of the responses were from parents, analysis shows the percentage of respondents mirrored the percentages of elementary and HS parents. Key findings included, start later in August. Parents were most in support of a later start, followed by staff and then students. Most frequent reasons given were to enjoy the August weather and other summer commitments. Parents preferred a June end to the school year, but teachers and students preferred an earlier end. When asked about the importance of balancing the number of days in semesters,  2/3 of the the  parents and staff gave  no level of support for balancing.

Section 5 Calendar Timeline: the following timeline represents milestone dates in the calendar approval process for this year. On May 7th an overview of the key findings of the calendar survey were presented the BOE. On May 17th, calendar committee meeting was held and detailed results of the survey were shared with the committee. Three draft calendars were discussed and considered , the committee agreed on one calendar.  On May 23rd the draft calendar agreed on by the committee and administration was presented to the BOE for their first review.  The next day the calendar was posted (on the D203 website) for public review and comment. Comments received generally supported the calendar. Early June; while meeting with H&S presidents to discuss my transition into the supt’s position, presidents were offered the opportunity to provide input or to make comments regarding the proposed calendar. Comments generally supported the calendar. The most frequent criticism was that the last day of school would be on Monday June 2nd. June 18th by a 3-3-1 vote, the proposed calendar failed to meet approval. July 16th, the BOE provided the administration with direction and priorities upon request for development of a new calendar. The consensus priorities were to balance the days in the semesters, keep finals before winter break and start as late as possible to accomplish the first two priorities. On August 20th the current tentative calendar we presented to the board and was approved by a vote of 5 to 1.

Section 6 Recommendations for future Practice: since assuming the position of ast supt and then supt, I’ve talked about the importance of improved communication. Not only must our communication with our parents and community improve, but our internal communication must also get better. I will continue to work toward that. After speaking with individual board members it became clear that communication regarding the findings of the survey could have been better. At its May 7th meeting the board was presented with an overview of the key findings , but did not see the detailed findings that were used by the administration and committee used to develop the proposed calendars. Some board members have indicated they may have had a different opinion or approach if they had seen that detail. It’s important that the board be provided with sufficient information before being asked to vote. That will be a work in progress that we will have to continue to address from an administrative standpoint.

In reviewing the feedback from parents and community members, I believe we can do a better job of keeping the community informed of the business being brought before the BOE.  I’ve taken a step toward that by posting before this evenings meeting, on the district’s website, notice of tonight’s meeting, a list of the topics to be addressed and a link to the agenda.  We’re also in the process of beginning to explore recording and archiving all meetings on our website, so there’s a record of the information we discussed and agendas are clearly presented…

In regard to the calendar; I believe moving forward, the development and usage of some sort of standardized calendar should be considered. The advantage to this approach would be our community would know that start and end date will into the future. My recommendation for consideration is the target start date be the third Wednesday in August. The start date would then range as early as August 15th as it did this year, to August 21st.  Although some years the date would fall in the high teens, it would never come earlier than the third week of August thus allowing time for Summer activity in the month of August. Per the board’s request, I have provided this report and this overview of the process used to get to where we are this evening regarding our calendar. At this time I would welcome the opportunity to address any questions.

Weeks: I guess I’d like clarification on the process here tonight. Are we going to have discussion before comments?

Jaensch: I think it’s important that the community knows where we are on this. That could affect their comments, but that doesn’t mean we can't continue our discussion if something new comes up.

Romberg: I appreciate these comments. My question would be, knowing what you know now, what would be your recommendation for a start date for the 13-14 school year.

Bridges, I would suggest the original recommendation . If were up to me to establish the start date it would be August 21st, thereabouts. There are some concerns that were brought forward that need to be considered. The number of days of imbalance between semesters;  that needs to be looked at. There are some ways that can be addressed with  the calendar that was presented.  Could look at attendance at school on Columbus Day, could push the start date to Tuesday instead of Wednesday. That  moves the end date off the Monday, and brings the semesters closer by two days.  If you consider the two testing days in April (the two PSAE days) where content isn’t being delivered, that reduces it by an additional two, that brings the discrepancy down to five days. Direct point to your question, my recommendation would be to go back to the calendar that was recommended by the committee.

Romberg: there were three overarching parameters: exams before break, balancing semesters and start as late as possible. How many semester classes (HS) are affected?

Bridges: Approximately half of the offerings at HS are semester courses. Most are elective courses, only 5 are AP courses. Talking to principals and dept chairs there did seem to be some concern about being too high an imbalance, there was never really a set number, but an imbalance of 5 to 7 days would be manageable.

Romberg: just for clarification, the earlier start date was talked about by the board when we were at 10 days. Something about two weeks was a decision point, so I appreciate the clarification.

Price: so if that is the recommendation, it is old business, so it’s something we can reconsider.  Or do we want to put it off to the workshop meeting?

Jaensch: before we rush into things, if we have a vote on this, we would post it on the agenda. Second, based on Dan’s comments, … he hasn’t presented to us a proposed revised calendar.

Bridges: I would not be prepared to re-recommend for action, nor could we, but based on the boards direction,  the administration can use the initial calendar as a template, and come back for the October 1st meeting.

Jaensch: that’s really where we are. We have an approved calendar and we can change it, we’ve done it before, it can be put on the agenda if the board wants to. Possible looking at this as Dan recommends, not just look at 13-14, but we set a policy so we don’t have to revisit this every year.  My personal observations, I’ll jump right in there and say that, if I had seen the overwhelming numbers that supported the later date, I’d  would have attacked this differently. More importantly is that we get it right. Nobody was being disingenuous or trying to hide anything, but I don’t think anyone on the board necessarily knew the vote was 5 to 1 by parents 3 to 1 by staff, 2 to 1 by students.  For me, I would support looking at this, especially if we make it a standard start week going forward. I’ll entertain a poll to see if this should be placed on the agenda for the next meeting.

Weeks: I concur with you, but I think there is a bigger issue here. That is one of communication and transparency. I recall the first time this came up, I raised the issue, we appointed teachers parents who had all of these details, and we weren’t happy with what they came back with... I agree if I knew it was 5 to 1 I would have banged my fist harder...  I got sick and tired of all the messing around and lost sight of our job which is to represent constituency.  I do recall asking Dan what do the teachers think about the balanced semester, and I recall very specifically, the answer shocked me, but he said they are very ambivalent about it and they didn’t think it was a problem. And yet I jumped, did jump on and say I think it is, and I voted to support that. I think I was wrong to do that. I think we have to get past the place where we think we know better. We should have asked for the survey. We asked for their opinion and we didn’t care enough to get it….We have to get to the point where if we ask for an opinion we have to listen to it, otherwise let’s not ask.  It clearly boils down to a HS issue, 60%, or whatever it was, want a later start, and those are the JH and elementary (parents?? TH)… We have an obligation to listen to the majority and that means we have to reconsider this.

Crotty: Every year, I talk about the August creep. First we moved back a few days from Labor Day, then it moved  back the week before that, and now are three weeks before.  Always my concern.  I appreciate the community input and we will have it to make a better choice. You mentioned a policy, would this be an administrative policy?...I would hate to be tied  down and not have flexibility if we should need it for some reason at some point.

Bridges: my recommendation would be we develop an administration regulation procedure that’s attached to board policy 6.20. Should there need to step outside… we would have the flexibility, rather than changing policy, we would use administrative regulation to make adjustments as necessary. Also lay out a timeline in which information would be posted so if there does need to be an adjustment, it falls within the parameters of the time line, so it can be quickly and easily communicated if there needs to be an adjustment.

Dennison: I appreciate you going back and getting more information. Couple of things that surprise me: one was the insignificance of the Monday holidays, and the second was the balanced days in semesters, which from what I’m seeing here, is statistically significant…  I  would support going back and taking another look at this.  We represent you guys, we’ve been elected to represent you guys, if that’s what the facts and data is telling us then let’s go back and give it another shot.

Fielden: I would certainly want to go back and review it, but for me, it’s not a condition of if we are going to put parameters in place, (but??) how the calendar is going to be reviewed on an overarching pattern, I hear the third Wednesday in August, it might be a good place to start, but I also think there’s got to be some other parameters, such as testing and so forth. I agree with Susan, I don’t necessarily favor a policy, but I do favor posting on the web some guidelines that are easy to access. We spend an inordinate amount of time debating this calendar every year… rehashing the same issues to get back to the same place we are now. I voted for the first (calendar) I did hear Dan very clearly that it was a compromise calendar.  The committee was assigned to make the recommendation; I took that recommendation, and wanted to honor that. I think there has to be some tempering of that too. The board wants to be careful not to overpower the committee… The committee should have some confidence that when they bring back the recommendation, the board is going to pass it.

Price: I agree, I also voted for the first calendar as well and am open to reconsidering it.  I think it’s an issue you have to serve what’s best, and there’s a way for us to balance that fairly.  I think that our supts and we have information that wasn’t reflected in the survey. Surveys are not an exact science…  have to be careful with them… That said, we certainly should reconsider it. There are ways to be more flexible. I think one of the other concerns we had, the reason I reconsidered it, was that the makeup of the committee came up. We would like to see a committee that is reflective of the curriculum in the district… We would like to see principals, teachers and  curriculum folks on the committee, who can provide an understanding that if they are recommending something that’s two weeks (difference in the semesters) that’s ok… or that we can eliminate a holiday.. or how we can move things around…

I do think that exams before break is critical…I think it gives our kids a competitive edge. I think it’s an effective use of our classroom time, not having to come back and spend time reviewing, material. It certainly gives our seniors and important advantage in applications. I talked to board members of other districts that don’t have it and they said they wished they could move to exams before holidays… They know their kids get waitlisted, where ours get accepted. I think that’s a value we can provide our students.

Weeks: the ROE, you gave us their recommendations, was that just for this year?

Bridges: they provide a memorandum for two years. So the dates I gave you are the recommendations for 13-14.

After some discussion, the board agreed to place the 13-14 calendar on the October 1st. agenda.

Public comment:

Gus Kartsonis: (spoke at prior meeting) Obviously I’m against the August 14th date… starting on around the 21st is a fair compromise as long as there is some guidelines so it doesn’t start creeping back… Want to go back to what the people have spoken in the three key findings in the executive summary. Start as late as possible 5 to 1 parents, 3 to 1 staff, 2 to 1 students… Parents prefer June end to school year by 60%, semesters do not need to have equal days by 2/3rd of parents and staff…When you considered your key elements you said number 1 is balancing the semesters, contradicting a key finding. Administering final exams before holiday, that’s fair. And we can only take two out of three, and starting later in August was not even considered and that was the most important finding of the survey. I respect the fact you are working to make the best decision, however I do know that good decisions are based on the facts available at the time and good facts lead to good decisions. It sounds like not everybody knew what the facts were. I support you reconsidering it.

Tami Schultz:  I started the grass root initiative which as of tonight it has 898 signatures.  I had a very elaborate and impassioned speech planned; luckily I don’t have to go there. The one question I have for the board, I believe strongly in compromise, I think there is a way so the high school students can have their exams before hand and we can start later.  What has come up a few times…is do you have any research showing that exams before breaks, concrete research, that really does give our kids a competitive edge. I have a list of the top ten Illinois schools, the latest start date they have is August 20th and only one has exams before break. I am in favor of compromise, I don’t have high schoolers… if that really gives our kids an edge I am all for that. I’m wondering if we do have any proof of that at all.

Eileen Bailey: I have three elementary children. The one thing I haven’t heard addressed at all, that I’m disgusted at, is how the board could spend over $12,000 on a survey and most of you weren’t aware of the results. How can you spend $12,000 of taxpayer money and say you weren’t aware of the results. The results were so clear in the survey. I don’t understand in this day of free on-line surveys how you could spend this money and then not be aware.

Rebecca Techin (sp??) I just want to give my appreciation to all of you, let you know how much people appreciate your willingness to re-open this topic. I am a H&S president, getting a lot of emails and calls over this issue. My children are elementary age. About the college application thing. When I applied to college, I applied in November/December. I knew where I was going by March.  I looked up my university who uses an application common to a consortium of 400 schools. I was able to find that the date that the vast majority of applications are due is Jan or February for regular decision. Early decision was before the end of the first semester. If this is one of our most important things, I don’t understand how doing exams before Christmas would be affecting applications that are due January 1st. maybe February 1st if we are getting them early. The rolling applications I don’t believe are affected because they are by definition rolling.  If that is one of our criteria, and one of the things you will be considering, as you reopen this issue, I ask that you take a look at the empirical data, the data that Tami has asked for, are we doing the best for our students by giving them exams before break?

Jaensch: I think Mr. Bridges wants to talk about the survey

Bridges: Prior to the calendar survey and the use of consultants to create the survey was even discussed as an issue at the BOE, one of the goals I presented to the board was the importance of making sure we were fiscally responsible in using resources appropriately, and I had begun to work with my cabinet on indentifying our use of consultants, the purpose of the use and the cost. So we can look at those critically, we will be looking at it with them. Typically consultant use is approved throughout our normal budget process.  That may not be something that specifically catches a board members eye, so we have to find a way to better communicate that to our board members in terms of our use of consultants, our purpose for our use and the cost of those.

Jaensch: I can only speak for myself, but I was surprised, very surprised at the cost of the survey, I thought it would be a tenth as much. The board in not going to approve every single survey, or every single project we do, but as Dan alluded to, part of what he’s doing is making sure he has a process in place and it becomes, in my mind at least, a culture that these things are not automatic, everybody in the district that could use a consultant has to consider the cost vs. the gain. I think we screwed up, that’s my personal opinion.

Romberg: I would like to ask Dan, having had my children go through 203 schools, I know that our HS teachers at both schools are very committed and have impassioned reasons for exams before break. I have my own personal reasons for it, but let me ask Dan if he can speak to it tonight, or maybe he can ask the principals to speak to it at a future point in time, but at the end of the day, we are here as a governing board to take the best information and deliver the information as effectively as possible for kids. I’m not a teacher… but I respect those teachers who are making that decision and giving us that guidance.

Price: the danger of that though is you can start proof texting research. Is an end date in June or May better for students? Is the start date in August or after Labor Day better for students? I know we have research that students lose knowledge over summer… We spend a lot of time reviewing because we have students who lose a lot. I just want to caution us, that we have practices that we believe  based on our students and faculty are best for our students, and give them a competitive advantage.. Talking about family time, having two weeks that are uninterrupted is quality family time, and a quality break for students taking AP classes.  I think we need to be careful to not be doing research battles as well.

Bridges: let me comeback in October with discussion of the recommendation for the calendar, and provide some information and rationale in terms of why the recommendation is what it is.

Fielden: we are also to discuss what parameters for future calendars (look like) as well.

Bridges: correct.

Fielden: I asked my kids and oddly enough 100% said they wanted exams before break. For the same reason that you said Suzyn, and I did see that in the emails,  the two weeks are an important family time.  I think that you (Dan) understood that and that is the reason why it didn’t show up on the survey.

Romberg: I think if you ask teachers there are some curricular reasons for why it makes sense in our two HS.

Fielden: I also want to agree with Syzyn, it’s not a data driven decision for me, it’s a value driven decision for me.

Weeks: we can give lip service that we want to listen to the experts. We didn’t listen to the experts.  They brought a recommendation and we said no, we didn’t like it. I would like to see empirical evidence,  I’m not sure it’s not a urban myth that having, you know, things before do give us a leg up.  I think the point is pretty well taken that a lot of very fine schools don’t. So there’s got to be some evidence someplace, but what I really want to say is, I don’t think the point being raised and the point that I have gone away with on this is just that we spent money on a survey. We spent money on a survey and didn’t even bother to look at it. I think that both Mike and I did say mea culpa, I should of asked, I didn’t ask. I hope it won’t happen again.

6.0  Communications

6.01 Student Ambassadors Report

I have a couple of things. I’d like to talk about today. Our Sodexo contract, there has been recently many concerns about the food selection and also the quantity of the meals being served. Many students have found they are paying for their meals and receiving less. We understand new laws have been passed regarding the fruit and veggie act where  every student is required to have a fruit and vegetable with their mean, however,  whether they choose to or not, those students who are opting to not get the combo meal are slowly pay more and more for those individually priced meals. Also our creation bar that served waffles and stir fry has been taken away, and that was a fun treat once a week or once every other week so students are upset that this has been taken away. So needless to say many students have been addressing this concern with the contract. We are two or three years into the contract and if possible we would like a handful of North students on the committee for the possible continuation of this contract.

Regarding our mobiles, we have 6 mobiles in the back of the school. School is looking to put them somewhere else. The current architect is looking to put them in the courtyard.  The courtyard is our one time a day that we can go outside and get some fresh air.. If we are to fill that in that is our only spot where we can go. Hopefully we can put them in the front of the school, Idea of putting a second floor above the small café. Lots of ideas for the use of the courtyard for students use.

Bridges: There have been no specific plans made to fill in or use the courtyard.  Architects have reviewed the facility they have looked at a number of spaces and options. But there are no plans at this point.


6.03 Superintendent/Staff/School Report

Bridges: I’m going to ask Rodger Brunelle to give a brief update, we had a little difficulty as did many districts regarding the PTC Wizzard. Some of our families had difficulty today.

Brunelle: We had about two hours of system slowness, from noon to 2:00 to 2:15. We contacted PTC at 12:05 when we noticed system slowness. After about 2:10 - 2:15 they had restored the system, by 5:00 we had more than 11,000 booked. But for a period of two hours we had some frustrated parents. We had a lot of people that hit the button right at noon.

Price: I went on at 3:06 and it took 4 minutes.

Weeks:… we spend a lot of money on this, it should work.


6.04 2013 - 2014 School Calendar


6.05 Administrative Compensation Report

 Compensation report

Zager:  this is the administrator and teacher compensation report.  State law combined the two reports. You are required to receive the report, there’s no action required on your part. We will  post it on the website and forward it on to the state Board of Education.


 6.06 World and Classical Languages Update

 Jennifer Hester, Associate Superintendent for Learning Services

 Powerpoint Presentation

Hester:  The purpose of this presentation is to provide the BOE with a brief update on two timelines. The first timeline is the Jr. high and HS world classical languages timeline and the second is the timeline for developing the curriculum for our current 5th grade immersion students who will attend Jefferson as 6th graders in the fall of 2013.

Let’s look at the Jr high HS timeline. There are three areas of focus. The first is vertical articulation, the second is assessment development and collaboration and the third is the jr high HS instructional observations.

For the vertical articulation,  this is when  jr high and HS teachers will meet on our institute day to look at the rigor and the content in levels 1 through 4 in Spanish and French, Our HS teachers will have the continue this conversation and work during our late arrival times with some jr high representation.

In terms of the assessment work, the goal of the assessments work is to develop assessments that measure the sufficiency of learning, we call summative assessments.  The real goal is that we develop those so that the structure and the rigor is consistent with the AP exams.

 For the instructional observation, these are an opportunity for the jr high and HS teachers to observe each other teaching twice a year. We are going to do that in October and May, so that we can look at consistency in our instruction.

 Moving to the 6th grade immersion students transitioning into world and classical languages, the two areas of focus are the 6th grade immersion development and then the 7th grade Spanish development for 6th grade immersion students. Bob Ross and I have meet with Nancy Voise to go over what we need at Jefferson to make the immersion program successful, and between October and December we will begin curriculum work on the 6th grade immersion. Moving to Jan and February, we will continue the 6th grade curriculum development, and also begin the conversations about 7th grade curriculum. Additionally there was already a meeting with parent about what the dual language program will look like at Jefferson,

There will be another meeting during this time frame to give them more information. We already have our teacher hired art Jefferson who will teach for the immersion program. We will make sure we have all staffing needs considered. We will continue the curriculum work in March through May, and then in June and July we begin professional learning although that occurs as we write the curriculum as well, and then we continue the curriculum writing for 7th grade.


 Weeks: who is the dual language coordinator?

 Hester: Julie Knight

 Romberg:  There seems to be a little push back from HS counselors that some of the kids who have taken successfully taken two years of French or Spanish but don’t want to go into French 2 or Spanish 2. Who oversees that?

 Hester: Carrie Ray is the person responsibility, but ultimately the responsibility for that articulation falls on me.


6.07 President's Report


 6.08 Board of Education Reports

minor comments

 7.0  Monthly Reports

8.0  Action By Consent

8.01 Bills and Claims

 8.02 Board Meeting Minutes - 8/20/12, 9/4/12

 8.03 Personnel

 8.04 Life Safety Surveys - Madison & Washington Junior High Schools$file/MJHS%20WJHS%20L-S%20Survey-HB%20Summary%20Letter.pdf$file/Washington%20LIfe%20Safety%20Survey-Schedule%20%20Costs.pdf$file/Madison%20Life%20Safety%20Survey-Schedule%20%20Costs.pdf

 Passes unanimously

9.0  Discussion Without Action

9.01 First Reading Policy 5.90, Abused and Neglected Child Reporting

 Bridges: Current policy adopted in June 2009, based on IASB at the time

Jaensch: We have done this consistently over the past several years, where we go through our policies, sometimes as needed, sometimes on a regular basis to make sure they are up to date and meet all legal requirements. Plus to see if times have changed and we need to make any changes that are called for.  We are currently reviewing with IASB (Illinois Association of School Boards) policies in a comprehensive manner. Suzyn Price is our representative there. Would you like to make any comments?

Price: We are doing a comprehensive review which is called for at a regular basis. We update policies as laws change or as circumstances come up. This is one of those situations where something specific to address that needs to be done before we finish the comprehensive review.

Jaensch: I’ll let Mr. Bridges do the introduction.

Bridges: I’m going to begin with some very similar comments. As the board knows, this is more for the community, one of the primary powers and duties of the SB is to formulate, modify and adapt board policies. Policy review and update is a regular activity of a SB to create an effective policy manual. Although review of individual policies is an ongoing endeavor, since last year D203 has been involved in a comprehensive policy review in collaboration with legal counsel from the IASB. The purpose of our work is to develop an up to date SB policy manual, looking comprehensively at all the policies. At this time the IASB and their consultants have completed a first draft manual. They have met with our administrators to review sections 1, 2 and 8. Sections 4 and 5 are scheduled to be reviewed next Friday. But…issues regarding policy may come up that require more immediate attention. As we have been following a matter in a neighboring school district regarding reporting suspected abuse or neglect, it’s an appropriate time for our district to review its policies related to mandate reporting. Before I continue I’d like to address the issues in the other district. Over the past several weeks media outlets have reported on a matter regarding West Aurora SD that took place in 2010, when I was an employee of that district. Because many of those stories have commented on my involvement, I would like to make a brief statement at this time:

I believe that it’s very important that the State’s Attorney office be able to review the process and decisions made in 2010 without hindrance and without interference. For this reason, I have not been and will not be commenting further about this matter outside the scope of the SA’s investigation. I’ve worked cooperatively with all law enforcement authorities on this matter, since the spring of 2011 when I took part in the reporting of suspected abuse by a staff member to DCFS. Regarding the current issue that has been recently raised, I continue to cooperate fully with the investigators in the Kane Co. SA’s office. It’s important for me that the BOE know, for the families and members of the community of 203 to know that I am committed to focus my work on leading this district and providing for the safety of all our students.

In your backup material, you have our current policy and the recommend revised policy. The current policy was approved in June 2009. At that time, it was based off a model IASB policy. Changes in legislation, changes in the school code necessitate it by updated. The draft policy is presented for review and it represents current model policy. I will speak briefly to bring to your attention the changes regarding the current policy…

Weeks: excuse me Dan, before you go away from that statement, I want make a statement before we get into this and that is…. the board has been privy to certain information that is not going to divulged for the reasons that Dan said. I have received several emails implying different things.  I want the statement Dan made to sink in. The authorities are dealing with this. We are making sure it’s being done fully and properly and we have confidence that everything is being done properly. Sorry to interrupt you.

Bridges: Because it is related to this policy, I felt it was important to make this statement. Back to the recommended policy; the proposed policy by the IASB, I’m going to highlight the significant changes for the current policy we have, to model a recommended policy. You note in the initial paragraph it speaks to the obligations and requirements of the employee. With the new language, new requirements specifically state the addition of  “ for a student age 18 through 21.” The previous policy had stated specifically an abused or neglected child. The current policy is more specific as it can deal with students are in transitions and connections program. It also goes on to state a report, or cause of report to be made, that it be made and that any direction given by the DCFS to complete the report must be followed. Another significant change is the addition of a new paragraph in the proposed policy. It is the fourth paragraph, this is the new language that I think is helpful to all SD’s regarding employee conduct. It states the supt shall notify the state supt. and the regional supt in writing when he or she has reasonable cause to believe that a certificate holder was dismissed or resigned from the district as the result of an act that involved an abused or neglected child. Supt must make the report within 30 days of the dismissal or resignation and mail a copy of the notification to the certificate holder.

Weeks: did you get that language from the updates state version or did you write that?

Bridges: I got it from the IASB and their legal counsel.

Jaensch: I can tell you it’s straight out of the school code.

Bridges: We will be bring this back to the board for discussion at the October 1st work session. We will then ask for action on this specific policy at the October 15th meeting. I have asked Bob Ross and Kitty Ryan to work with District staff to review the requirements of this policy and to insure we have appropriate policies in place to insure all staff are aware of and understand their status as a mandated reporter. Will provide the board with an overview of those processes at the October meeting.  \


Weeks:…what’s way more important than our policy is what are we doing to insure that everyone knows the policy and knows they are a mandated reporter.

Jaensch: not all districts have the comprehensive training that we have had in place for several years at least.

Bridges: this is correct. Bob, do you want to speak to this?

Ross: sure, the current state is when anyone is hired, they are required to sign a form acknowledging that they are a mandated reporter. Beyond that, HR has been coming out every other year to the buildings to work with supervisors to give training on all sorts of things including boundaries and ethics between employees and students, emphasizing this part of the requirement that exists. We are going to institute a summer mailing to everyone reminding them of their mandated reporter status. Beyond that, we are going to have our supervisors verbally remind everyone of their mandated reporter status.

Jaensch: … if you suspect or receive information, you make a report.  The employee shall promptly notify the supt or building principal that a report has been made. The onus is on the employee. Do we need to add language to protect our employees or supervisor, to remind them that someone made a report to them and they need to call DCFS. Do we need to do that or is that obvious in this?

Bridges: I think that moving forward with our procedure we can do that… We do need to makes sure that is part of this process.

Weeks: what are the protections for the person that reports and it turns out it’s smoke and no fire?

Bridges: there are protections in place for those that make good faith reports.

Dennison: I hate to get into over-legislating here. Is there any sort of necessity for follow-up to the reporter to say we took what you reported and action has been taken on it. Because we know there is an instance in the past where this happened…

Bridges: there is follow up by the state agency regarding the receipt of report. There is an acknowledgement of the receipt of the report and what they have done with the report.

Fielden: how does that follow up come back?

Bridges: to the individual who made the report.

Fielden: would you receive a copy of it?

Bridges: I’ll have to report back to the board on that.

Jaensch: just to make sure I understand, someone makes a report to DCFS they are bound to make an investigation and it will come out in one or two ways; cause for further action or there is no cause, in their opinion. I assume that what you want to check that either report would be reported to the Supt.

Jaensch: I understand the report is going to the one who made the  initial report, but if it doesn’t come to the supt. it doesn’t do a lot of good.

Current policy

Proposed policy


10.0  Discussion With Action

10.01 Purchase of Real Estate at 700-722 W. Fifth Ave., Naperville

Purchase contract 1

Purchase contract 2



Zager: the district currently leases four spaces for about $180K per year and is looking for aditional space.  The  option before you, will satisfy our current needs and future needs. The cost of the leases would go a long way to offsetting the cost. If we were to bond over the 20 year period at 3%  it would end up at about the same cost.  I think it’s a good deal for the district and I recommend the board approve it.

Weeks: Can you also explain why it’s advantageous for the district to own property rather than lease it because of real estate taxes?

Zager: Sure, the district doesn’t pay real estate taxes on the ownership properties we use for school purposes, but if we lease property, we typically have to reimburse for the taxes.

Jaensch: The key point is $180K is what we pay now. We are looking for more space which would have caused the lease cost to go up.

Motion approved unanimously.

11.0  New Business

Weeks: went to our website. We don’t have any minutes posted there for 2010-2011 or 2011-2012.

Jaensch: the minutes are there.

12.0  Old Business

13.0  Upcoming Events



Hi everyone,

If you're reading this, you're enough of a geek to be aware that a bit of a controversy has developed regarding the 2013-2014 calendar. Before I start the recap I’d like to offer a few thoughts.

Faced with three mutually exclusive desires; later start, balanced semesters and exams before break, the D203 board decided balanced semesters came first, with exams before break, second. They did so from the lens of what they believed is best from an educational standpoint. Then all hell broke loose. It’s true that 203 is going back a week earlier than many Illinois schools, but I believe from various conversations that nationally, the trend is to start in mid August, as is having exams before break (D204 and Hinsdale are moving to them as well).

We are living in an era of rapid educational change, increased expectations and greater competition for good jobs. The Common Core State Standards are going to require a far greater commitment to education by everyone, including the student and parent. We will rightly hold our schools accountable for making sure our children live up to the promise the Common Core holds for them. So I struggle a bit when parents rise up to protest about starting early in order to preserve another week in August for vacations.

For me the question is always, what is in the best educational interest of the student? Yes, a teacher can fit the coursework into a shorter semester, but as we have the ability to more or less balance the semesters, shouldn't we? As to finals before or after the break, opinions seem to be divided a bit, and here I think some in-depth study into the matter is warranted. I’m agnostic on it at this point. My bottom line is the District and Board must make decisions based on best educational practice, not we can make this work and hope for the best. Additionally, I think there needs to be some greater discussion about how to best address these three issues, define a policy and the live by it going forward.

Please note that the following is not an exact transcript, although I try to be as complete as possible. I paraphrase sometimes for ease and clarity. I only do a cursory proofreading of it, so it’s not perfect.

OK, here we go:


September 4, 2012

All board members present.

4.0 Public Comments:

Gus Kartsonis: Here to talk about my objection to the school calendar, August 14 start  is way  too early… starting school in the middle of the summer for those parents who have kids in activities they start at the end of July; completely out of sync with friends and siblings which start at the end of August.  Getting out of school May 23, I can understand if you contracted the summer break and gave more instruction, but instruction is the same, you just move the dates to the left a little bit, so have kids getting out when it’s still kinda cool and going back in the middle of the summer.  You sent out a survey,  I read the executive summary and it was overwhelming, 5 to 1 parents prefer late summer start. On June 1st you sent out a draft calendar showing an August 23rd start date which I think is a fair compromise. Then all of a sudden the vote came and everybody’s opinion that was clearly expressed in the survey as well as the draft calendar, was disregarded….I think it’s wrong, and I’m just curious to hear the reasoning was why we are starting that early, and why the majority parents opinion and taxpayer for that matter opinion was disregarded. Lot of people mobilizing to express their disagreement. I’d like to hear at some point why it happened.

Jaensch: I appreciate your comments. We do have more people commenting on the calendar so I will move right along.

Terry Edmonds:  I had originally drafted an email letter to the Sun after we went through this elaborate process to provide our feedback on the school calendar. Similar to Gus and other families I completely disagree with the calendar that had been proposed. While they never ran this, I’m going to read a couple of excerpts because I think it’s important. A lot of recommendations that I had provided went into a black hole. Never got any response, and the recommendations I came up with completely followed all the guidelines outlined by the calendar in terms of having a balanced number of days between semesters. One thing I found particularly annoying is the fact that Kids were still in school on Dec 23rd…  It’s hard for kids to be in school and do Christmas traditions, visit family that might live in other states/countries, and not be able to do it because the kids are still in school.  So that really requires people to take vacations after Christmas and that defeats the purpose.  So in some of the recommendations I came up with I really talked about instead of having two weeks of Christmas break, we shorten it to one. The kids are going back to school January 9th the holidays are over after January  1st. I don’t know what people do that one freezing cold week, but nothing that productive.  Why can’t we shorten that, and fit into what I felt was a fair recommendation for a balanced calendar. The summer break is the thing that bothers me the most.  Many other districts this year started a week after or at the end of August. True they are getting out the first week of June, but nobody had objections or the vast majority had objections getting out in June as well. Think it’s a shame to  send our kids back to school in August. I always started school after Labor Day, I’m not proposing that. But I think the recommendations we came up with were fair. We were trying to negotiate for a start that was a little bit later in August and I think if we could have come to that it would have been a win-win for both…Keep kids out is school in the warm months.

Jaensch: Thank you very much

Weeks: Just a quick question. Your kids are in what grades?

Edmonds: I have a daughter in 6th grade and son is 2nd.

Dina Kartsonis: My husband Gus spoke for the both of us. Our opinion is the same on this. We have four children in 203 schools. I think the primary complaint being voiced throughout: all of our kids and parents and that, is that it’s exceptionally early to have them start on August 15th, and also when they got out the weather was not very conducive to saying this is summer break. I think a later start would be the better option and also letting the kids get out in June. We all did the survey hoping that our voice would be heard and we are stumped on what happened. It seems that the consensus was everyone wanted a later start, and we are questioning where was this decision made to continue again with August 15th. If you can explain to us that would be wonderful and if you could reconsider this it would be even better.

Jaensch: Thanks very much. I will say that as Gus pointed out, it’s not on our agenda, so it’s not really appropriate for a public discussion at this time but I would urge you, I’ve already spent a considerable amount of time on the phone today explaining the process we went through and at least one board members impression of how we got there. I would encourage you to reach out to individual board members and they can give you a lot more time and a lot more detail. I think that might be helpful. I can't guarantee you will get all the answers, but you will hopefully understand the process a lot more. I can sense there are some unanswered questions that we can try to do our best to answer. Thank you for coming here we do appreciate it. .

Weeks: Got similar emails. Can anyone summarize the findings of the survey?

Bridges:  The executive summary of the survey is posted on the website under the district calendar tab. Throughout the course of the spring, I had presented to the board a summary, an overview, of the survey that was administered, and how it was used by the committee. I did not go into great detail specifically regarding the survey. If board members are interested in that, I can meet with you to provide deeper information. As we prepared the survey, we did not survey this year specifically regarding administration of finals prior to the break, because it had been presented to me that that commitment had been made through previous surverys and the development of other calendars, and that that was the strong preference.  This particular survey was administered with the sense that finals would occur before winter break.

Jaensch: once again, at this point, since it’s not an agenda item, I have asked Dan to forward all the board members the detailed report from Baird. And also a direct copy of the executive summary that does a very good job of capsulizing the information and that was not sent to us directly. And then I would encourage you if you do have comments or questions  to contact Dan or myself if that’s appropriate. Once again, thank you very much. We do appreciate it, we really do.


5. Superintendent/Staff/School Reports

Bridges: we have a number of reports for you this evening. I mentioned to the board that throughout the course of the beginning of the school year I would provide you with brief overviews regarding our enrollment as we continue to watch our enrollment in the district. Our most recent milestone was the 6 day attendance, this is an important day in tracking our enrollment. Overall our 6 day enrollment compared to 11-12 is down 213 students and  is down 149 compared to  the projections.  Comparing 6 day enrollment from last year to this; Elementary is down 158, JH down 64 and HS is up 9. Compared to our projections, Elementary is 86 below what we projected, JH is 15 below, and HS is 48 below. Our next major milestone is actually today. Like to look at the attendance after Labor Day. We will  provide the board with a detailed report at our October meeting.

Weeks: can you give us the actual vs  projected for Mill and Beebe please?

Bridges: Beebe 683 projected vs. the 6 day of 676. Mill 700 projection vs. 655 6 day.


5.01 Canvas Update

Presenters: Rodger Brunelle, John David Son and Tim Wierenga

From the PowerPoint:

Since the last presentation in May:

• Contracts negotiated and signed

• Phase I implemented (early adopters)

• Collaborative work by Learning Services, IT and Canvas staff

• Integration with Infinite Campus.

• Training for over 200 teachers performed by IT and other district teachers.

• System available on the first day of the 2012-2013 school year for Classroom use.


• Feedback so far:

• High energy and interest from both students and teachers.

• Additional teachers requesting access based on peer conversations.

• More than 7800 students logged in and utilized some functionality

• In the last 3 weeks, another 120 teachers have been trained and

have access via building based trainings.


Wierenga:  have over 200 teachers as early adopters in all three levels. Have 7800 students in Canvas. We have confirmation of the success of the progress through having a lot more teachers and students asking to be part of the process.

Brunelle: The system is a highly secure system. When you look for that you look for four major areas;  uses encrypted communication on the internet, uses role based security, uses two factor authentication, and is continually audited. Not a lot of data we provide to it.  Most of the data is in the Student Information System. Most of the sensitive data is housed securely in Infinite Campus.

David Son: One of the other areas we wanted to talk about is digital citizenship and how our students and teachers utilize this too. These virtual classrooms are monitored  by teachers and students for any inappropriate content. Teachers have the ability to lock and delete  and remove any content. When a student posts content, it is in reply to something a teacher has created. Students don’t have the ability to just post content.  System utilizes monitoring. A teacher has the ability to be notified when a student posts something. Teacher has to set alerts. System does not scan for inappropriate content. This system relies on the users to monitor content. Emphasize during teacher training that they are the ones setting the expectations within the classroom for how students can appropriately and effectively use this tool.

So what's next? Within phase II, there are four key buckets we are going to focus on, starting with the beginning of the school year and running through the end of the school year. We are going to be focusing on training, and training includes additional teachers coming on to  use the system. Have 120 teachers requesting to be trained on the system.  Also focus on level two sessions for the early adopters to use the system at a higher level. We are also going to focus on communication with teachers, students, principals and our parents. Focus on other systems integrations like our Turning Technologies Student Response Systems, which is a plagiarism site used in HS, Discovery Education, etc. One of the Key Focus’ is solidifying integration with these other key systems. Finally, product enhancements. Already getting feedback from early adopters, teachers as well as students, talking about things they would like to see improved. Campus has been excellent listening to these early adopters are trying to figure out how to roll them out.

Weeks: anytime content is added the teacher is notified?

David Son: Yes.

Weeks: Do they have the responsibility to monitor that, or if they want to they can?

David Son: It is on the teacher to monitor that. It is part of the expectation we set with them in their training. Have a choice how often they are notified. We suggest they set the system to notify them whenever something is posted.

Weeks: how discretionary is that part of it?

Brunelle: Teacher are in the system constantly using it.  They are going to see that content pretty quickly. No mandated monitoring.

Crotty:  Our kids are learning to be digital citizens already. They have collaborated on Blackboard already. They understand they are being monitored.

Romberg: I’m comfortable at Jr High and HS, but some concern with elementary (second grade) who may not be mature enough to use properly. Is our expectation that if he posts something naughty at 8:00 pm we expect the teacher to look at that at 9:00. I thought there was some sort of governor for the younger kids.

Brunelle: no governing ability in system. It comes down to the teacher monitoring the content. Don’t  have monitoring now with Blackboard.

Romberg. Is this something that parents understand, that their child is on the system and the teacher may not see what they post until the next morning?

David Son: We sent a note home specifically to the elementary parents, because of their role in the system. Teachers add them as an observer to their child's account. Talks about how this is an extension of the classroom and the things you brought up.

Dennison: 7800 unique users?

David Son: unique users. Just tells us they logged in.

Dennison: that’s a heck of a number

Brunelle:  we have teachers wanting into the system.

Jaensch: are teachers required to participate?

David Son: No.

Jaensch: do they have a choice on the modules they activate. Do they have the ability to pick and choose?

Davis Son: an individual teacher has the ability to hide individual components.

Jaensch: so if a second grade teacher felt their students didn’t need access to a blog, they could block it.

David Son: that’s correct.


5.02 Teacher valuation Committee Report

Presenter: Carol Hetman.


Hetman: What I will give you a brief update to the changes for Certified Staff evaluations for the 12-13 year and a brief outline for future work.

Under PERA, the law requires districts to design and implement performance evaluation systems that assess a teacher's professional practice, and are aligned to the Illinois Teaching Standards. In addition the new systems must incorporate measures student growth, based on the timelines that are outlined in PERA. Finally, districts must evaluate teachers using a four level rating scale. Those four levels are excellent, proficient, needs improvement and unsatisfactory. Number of initial changes that went into effect Sept 1.  To put these new evaluations in place, District  adminstrators are required to work with the teachers union, through a joint  committee. As you can see D203 has a 14 member committee.  Work together to develop a new evaluation system, including the student growth system, and insure the evaluation system is research based, valid and reliable and insure the system Improves student outcome.

Committee began working in 2011. The evaluation that we have been using in the district was developed by Charlotte Danielson, which is the framework used by the state. For 12-13 year, the committee agreed that we would use the same documents for observations, we would use and retain the four domains and the elements under each of the four domains would remain the same.

Domain 1: planning and preparation

Domain 2: classroom environment

Domain 3: instruction

Domain 4: professional responsibilities.

Under PERA  they mandated specific changes after Sept 1st Agreed that the summative evaluation would be amended. Move from three ratings to four,   there will be a rating in the summative in each domain and then there would be an overall summative rating. Added some new sections for evaluation comments.

PERA also requires a regular evaluation schedule for teachers and we have that. Teachers with tenure who receive ratings of excellent or proficient will be evaluated every other year. Those teachers who are rated needs improvement or unsatisfactory will be evaluated the following year. That will be new for us. The rating we use and we look to is the overall summative rating. The non tenured teachers have always been evaluated every year for the first four years and we will continue to evaluate them every year.

Committee agreed on a grid that determined an overall rating.  Rating for each domain. If you are rated unsatisfactory or needs improvement in any of the four domains, then your overall rating would be either unsatisfactory or needs improvement.

In summary, we want to accurately and objectively measure how educators are doing, we want to identify their areas of strength, we want to look at their areas of growth, and then align those areas of growth to professional development.

Timeline and next steps: Our committee agreed on the following:

2012/13: 4 Ratings begin; continue to work on evaluation documents in order to agree on new rubrics for specialist positions

 2013/14 New rubrics in place for specialist positions (nurses-social workers); begin informal discussions on measures for student growth.

 2014/15 Evaluate student growth model; pilot student growth model with a select group of certified staff

2015/16 Pilot new evaluation with broader group of certified staff including specialist positions

 2016/17 Implement new certified staff evaluation with student growth model for all certified staff unless state pushes up the timeline what that.


Weeks: I understand that the state of Illinois doesn’t require this to be complete until 16-17. I assume if we want to we can do it early?

Hetman: Yes

 Weeks: is there a lot  of work to do to get to this point?

 Hetman: for the student growth piece we will need to get Tim involved with that. Matter of resources. He has primarily  been working with the principal evaluations.

 Bridges: we are going to learn a lot of lessons this year from the implementation of using student growth data for our principal and ast principal evaluations. I understand your question. I’d like to think it might be easy, but then the process the state has gone through to establish the type of assessments that can be used, we are in the process of reviewing the kind of assessments we use. If you ask me that question today, I’m not so sure that we can do this much faster and do it well.  As we implement new assessments, we could potentially do it.


5.03 ACT report

Presenter Tim Wierenga


Wierenga: Want to give the board a quick overview of the ACT for the 2012 class and also review the college readiness information provided in the report. As you can see from this graph, this is the last 10 years of ACT score at a district level. Back to 1982, the score for central was 21.3 and north was 22 and we can see that the scores have risen to 25.5 for central and 25.1 for north.  Last year’s scores were a bit of a flip-flop, Centrals score as 25.2 and North was 25.6. As you look at the graph the two schools since 1982 they wind their around each other in that period of time, within a half a point of each other. What that points to is there is excellence and equity between the two schools. In terms of the District, the momentum we have seen over these years, early on from 82 to 92  there was about a 2 point rise and since then we have seen about a 1 point rise.

When it comes to the separate scores, (D203’s 2012 class) English score was 25.2, math was 25.6, science 24.9 and the reading was a 25. 

ACT’s college readiness score is based on a 50% chance of getting a “B” in that college entrance class, or a 75% chance of achieving a “C” in one of those classes. What that means for those different courses is, for an entry level course in English Comp. the benchmark ACT score is an 18. For college Algebra the benchmark score is 22. Social Science is based on the reading score, and they expect students to get a 21 on the reading. And biology, which again, not as many students take an entry level biology course which is taken by many (science) majors, that would be a 24. Our goal in this is to have all our students work to attain these scores. The main reason for this is to give students as many options as possible once they get to college. If they are able to enter these credit bearing classes, and achieve, and get credit, it opens a world of opportunities for those students.

For the 2012 class, 89% of our students measure at a college and career readiness level for English, compared to 2010 at  89% and 2011 at 90%. For college algebra 78% scored at a college and career ready level. In 2010 it was 71%, and 2011 at 76% We have seen some significant gains. For Social Science, 77%  scored at the college and career readiness level. In 2010 is was 74% and in 2011 it was 77%. In Biology, our toughest benchmark to meet, the number was 63%, in 2010 it was 57% and in 2011 it was 60%. So we have seen about a three percent rise the last two years. As you can see in the Meeting all Four Categories, the state lists 25%. We over double that with 56% students meeting that benchmark, and that has risen from 51% in 2010 and 53% in 2011.


Romberg: sat with some family leaders at NN last winter. One thing that came up is our science curriculum. We have lots of choices in English, algebra and social sciences, but where parents were a little frustrated is freshman have to take the DES class (dynamic earth science). You have to take DES,  but then don’t have the time to take the other rich offerings in science at HS. My question is we need to be doing better in science, and to get back to the parents' concerns, there are some great course offerings but  they can’t get to them if you take DES.

Price:  There was a response given, I think  by Kevin,  that  DES was developed for kids who weren’t going to be taking a strong science curriculum, but were going to be running into physics and astronomy in the ACT junior year.  If they were on the traditional curriculum they would take physics their senior year. DES was offering some of the subject areas that they will run into on the ACT before they took the class senior year.

Wierenga: DES as you mention offers a mixture of physics first, geared towards giving students that kind of mind set before they moved into the other classes, also some earth science and astronomy, also these were matched better to the Illinois State Goals. As we move into the  Common Core State Standards for science, the curriculum team is already gearing up for that review, to take a look at what that means, and how it impacts our curriculum.

Price: so what it means, the challenge to have physics first is what Leon Letterman approached having Physics first, you have to have the math to support the physics. And that is one of the challenges we run into regarding the math. Two questions: do we feel that DES has been an effective course, we have had a lot of complaints about it. How has it worked for us, as far meeting its goal, is it working effectively? We say physics first but then students on the honors track are starting with chemistry.

Hester: we are starting this fall to study the new  (science) standards that are out in draft form. Scheduled to be adopted this December. We are already looking at the standards, they would lead us down a different path than providing DES, but aside from the standards, we know we need to  do something about it anyway looking at the HS pathways and sequence, we are already starting the conversation.

Romberg: because the ACT doesn’t have writing in it, do you see that students in 2012, (a lot of colleges require writing portion we are not offering  because the state isn’t willing to pay for it) would we see a natural decline in ACT scores because it’s a practice test  for them now because students can’t use it for application to college.

Wierenga: last year was the first time that that has happened. We were pleased, looking at the initial data of the PSAE, as we examine the data, it does not look like the students struggled with taking the test.






Board member Jim Dennison absent.

I arrived at the meeting late, coming in during 6.06, Principal Evaluation Overview.

Presenters: Kitty Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education; Bob Ross, Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Education

 Thom Higgins: One of the PERA act of 2010’s requirements is that new performance evaluation procedures for principals are required to be in effect by September 1, 2012. The State has kept to the date even though it has been tardy in creating the necessary implementation structure. One of the new mantra’s in education is “growth.” As you will see in the following presentation and related documents, measuring student academic growth is one of the standards principals and later teachers, will now be judged by.

Briefly, principals will be evaluated in two major categories: Standards for Professional Practice will comprise 75% of the summative evaluation rating and Student Academic Growth Measures will comprise 25% of the summative evaluation rating.



ISBE Illinois Performance Standards for School Leaders

Ross: we will observe each principal at least twice, more if we think is appropriate, in the same way as a principal observes a teacher in a formal setting. Will also have the results of the ValEd, or in the case of the ast principal, the other rubric. I will be the primary evaluator for the middle and HS principals. Kitty will be the primary evaluator for the early childhood center and all the elementary schools.  The principals are the primary evaluators for their ast. principals. And of course senior administrators will provide input as they have for years in our evaluation process.

Ryan: there have been questions on how are evaluators trained. We are in the process of that training right now.   PERA requires pre-qualification for both teacher and principal evaluators.  We, along with the principals and ast. principals are completing that rigorous training right now.  The training is broken up into a series of modules that take at least fifty hours to complete.  There’s content and then a test after each module.  Unfortunately, the State was very much delayed in releasing these.  It was much later in the summer when they were available to us, but we are going to comply with the time requirement.

Weeks: how and what do you do when you observe a principal?

Ryan: once a principals goals are established, they will help us determine what will be evaluated.  One of the things we are going to do for every principal is we will  talk to the principal about talent management. Carol Hetman has been leading that process.  One of these formal observations will be around that principals ability to talk to us about teachers that are future talents to develop and teachers that are struggling. The other observation will be on one of the principal’s goals.

Weeks: so it’s as much of a conversation as an observation.

Ryan: In the case of the talent management it will be, but in terms of the other observation we might be observing a staff meeting, we might be observing a Home and School meeting, might be observing a number of things directly relating to the principals goals.

Weeks: has there been principal observations before?

Ryan: not the formal observations but certainly talent management has been for a number of years and other times that we have been present and used that as part of the evaluation.

Jaensch: how does the student growth metric work?  I hear you saying it can vary from school to school?

Ross: It’s possible.  What we’d like the like principals to do is have this flow from the School Improvement Plan (SIP). It’s important at a school that everyone is on the same page, and that page is the SIP.  We wouldn't want a principals goal to be detached from that. And at different schools we have had success at different levels and different areas.  So what’s appropriate at school A, might not be as appropriate at school B. From the SIP, the principal will determine, with our help, his or her goals. So yes, it might be different, and depending what we are working on, what the goals are related to, how we are measuring the growth of the students from one time to the next time we measure, could be a little different depending on circumstances.

Jaensch: so one school could have a SIP on literacy/reading and another have their SIP in math and those are the metrics you would look at, at those schools?

Wierenga: The way the legislation is written, they have to pick from either a type 1 assessment which is a national or state assessment graded outside our district, the second is a type 2 assessment which is a district created assessment. A type 3, which will be a later possibility for teachers, will be a  classroom created assessment.  What we are focusing on for the principals right now is primarily type 1 assessments.  Have to do it in a way so they can get some pre data and some post data.  Tests will be given early in the school year.  Another assessment then given later, most likely in January and then we measure the student growth based on the goal for that process.

Jaensch:  it’s the cohort growth, it’s not grade growth.

Wirengea: This is about the specific student’s growth over time.  At the HS level, we could set goals looking at how the student does moving from the Explore to the Plan to the ACT, rather than comparing one class’ performance over another

Ryan: it’s about attainment rather than achievement; growth and attainment are thought of in the same way and achievement is thought of differently. Achievement is what a cohort would achieve in the end of a course of study and attainment is what that growth looks like.  (I think what they are saying is achievement is talking about the level a student rose to academically. Attainment is how much growth did the student experience. You can have a student exhibit strong growth over previous levels but not be at a high level of achievement. Conversely, you can have a student come in at a high level and experience very modest growth, but still show very high achievement. T.H.).

Jaensch: what does 25% mean? Does it really mean anything?

Ryan: Yes, it really does. 25% of the summative rating for a principal is student growth. The growth towards the performance standards is 75% of the principal total evaluation.

Crotty: one of my adopted schools had a principal that was a guinea pig last year.

Ross:  five schools piloted this last year using the ValEd and  an alternate plan. We learned a lot and we found the ValEd to be very valuable.


6.07 Presidents Report:

Jaensch: I will echo Dan’s statement. It was a marvelous time last Wednesday. What struck me the most was the excitement for the new year was palpable in every building we went in, right from the teacher to the principal to the kids. Never seen so many people so excited to be in school in the same time.  It was a great experience and proud to be a part of this district.


7.0 Monthly Reports

Terry Fielden, looked over bills with Dave Zager.  8.07 was pulled off by Price for discussion.

Passed unanimously

8.07  IHSA High School boundaries.

Price: This is one house, I’ve not seen something like this before.

Bridges: This family moved in to a house after the board approved the boundaries to be IHSA compliant for eligibility. We are bringing this to you because they moved in after that date.

Passed unanimously.

No Discussion Without Action items.

Discussion With Action.

10.01 NTA Agreement

Zager:  The agreement has been ratified by the NTA. This is a 5 year collective bargaining agreement, through June 30, 2017. Financially this results in a 2.25% increase base rate of pay for each of those 5 years. When one includes all other components of pay including steps included it’s 2.5%.

Passed unanimously.

10.02 Lease of School District Real Estate to Naperville Park District

The District has leased five pieces of property to the Naperville Park District to serve the community’s recreation needs.  The prior lease term was for 20 years.  The five leases are, again, for 20 years term.  The school district may cancel the leases with a one year notice after the initial two years.  The properties include Wil-O-Way Park, Arrowhead Park, Mill Street ball field, Prairie Park ball fields, and part of the Ann Reid Early Childhood Center property (basketball courts and playground).

Passed unanimously.

10.03 Director Career 203 Job Description

Hetman: The CPI (Committee for Professional Innovation) has reached a critical point in the development in the Career203 program. The work that needs to be done now is very detailed and the key work involves all the implementation planning, creating the mechanics of each brick. Researching the status of each brick in the 22 buildings, what exists currently and how it works in each building. Do some fact finding with other districts, whether they exist in other districts and creating the mechanics of each brick and the templates and forms to support the bricks. Finally, drafting the communication plan. Work is substantial enough to require a full time person and a teacher-leader who would be on leave for a year.

Jawnsch:  we discussed it this last month, and we were universally impressed with the thought and detail that went into this.

Weeks: we are going to dedicate two full time people. We haven’t talked about the fiscal impact of all this.

Hetman: the direction we received is to do this as quickly as possible. One of the key elements is we have to build out these bricks.

Weeks: when will the teacher step up, have they been identified?

Hetman: Yes.

Weeks: hopeful of this process, but there are a whole lot of “if’s”. Don’t want to look at this as locking us into something.

Jaensch:  I don’t think it locks us into anything. We have to start identifying and defining some of these thinks so we can determine is their going to be a cost to it. Right now it’s all ideas.

Price: I talked about the status of any possible funding at the last meeting. My impression that this is very innovative and has the potential to tilt the discussion in some interesting ways.  I’d like us to be recognized for that, people need to know about and  the (the effort) be recognized.

Weeks: Julie works on the grant side; do you have any feel if we can find something?

Julie Carlsen: this is not something I’ve looked into at this point. Not familiar with the funding that would be available, might be able to uncover something.

Price: The likelihood is limited.

 Romberg: the other piece that Suzyn brings up is the publicity side.  Our community needs to know we are doing this, that it is important to us.  Know we are doing this in a thoughtful way and we have a lot of work to do,  it won’t fall in our lap.

Weeks: are we approving the job description or the job?

Bridges: You are approving the job position.

Passed unanimously.


10.04 Draft calendar 13-14 school calendar.

Bridges: we have had extensive conversation about the 13-14 calendar.  At the last meeting asked the board to provide some direction in terms of priorities. The board consensus established the priority of balanced semesters, finals before winter vacation but starting as late as we could. Days are 86 in first semester, and 88 in second. If we move it one day,  the last day of the year would be the day after Memorial Day, and we had some feedback regarding that.

Romberg:  we do calendars two years in advance. Is this final or tentative?

Bridges: my recommendation would be this is final.

Crotty: would our student ambassadors comment?

Jodi Nemethy, Student Ambassador from NNHS: I think I can speak for many students that it’s not so much starting early,  it’s more that  around the holiday break we are so stressed out, it’s almost like we are not experiencing the holiday break because we are so focused on school and then the next day is Christmas Eve. So if it means starting a week earlier I’d prefer that. We would prefer exams before break.

Wondering about starting in the middle of the week, is there a reason for that?

Bridges: There has been feedback in previous surveys preferring we not start with a full week for (the benefit of the) younger elementary students.

Jaensch: We have not invited public comment on this (specific) calendar. Should we put it off for two weeks?

Weeks: if we invite public comment again are we willing to change it based on that input?

Romberg: It hasn’t been our practice to resend out the draft calendar after the initial public comment.

Passed 5 to 1, Crotty dissenting.

Prior to the meeting adjournment, Board president Mike Jaensch read a short statement informing the public that the board had unanimously moved to name Interim Superintendent Dan Bridges the new Superintendent for District 203.

From District 203:

The Naperville School District 203 Board of Education invites the community to meet the new Superintendent of Schools Mr. Daniel M. Bridges at a reception to be held on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 from 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Introductions and comments will be made at 5:15 p.m. The reception will be held at the District Administrative Center, 203 West Hillside Road, Naperville. The Board of Education will hold its scheduled monthly meeting at 7:30 pm at the Administrative Center, which is a change in starting time.