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.
All member of the board were present
3.0 Meeting Opening
3.03 Pledge of Allegiance - Ellsworth Elementary School
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.
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.
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.
6.01 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
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
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
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
8.04 Life Safety Surveys - Madison & Washington Junior High Schools
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.
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