Summary of August 25, 2020 Board of Education Meeting

Summary of August 25, 2020 Board of Education Meeting



Homer Council Report:

Tammie Ebel and Wendy Bruin, representing Homer Council, reported the school year was under way. Ms. Ebel said this was a very unique year. They thanked the teachers for pulling together to start the school year. Tammie mentioned that Schilling teachers were presenting a digital Curriculum Night. She shared that parents should reach out to classroom teachers if they had any questions and thanked parents for their patience.


Homer Support Staff Council Report:

Stella Kapusta and Susan Koziarski, representing Homer Support Council, reported that they were off to a busy start to the school year.  They emphasized that they were striving to do their best for students.


Treasurer’s Report (from Mr. Kirkus):

July 2020 Summary Financial Update for Board of Education

In July, the district expended $5.7M ($5,767,434) and took in $1.7M ($1,745,782) in revenue, resulting in a decrease to our fund balance of $4M ($4,021,652). We started the month with $38.6M ($38,636,363) and ended the month at $34.6M ($34,614,711).


July is the first month of our fiscal year, and a final budget has not yet been approved for this year, but based on a comparison to our tentative budget our July expenditures came in approximately $259K higher than projected, and adjusted operating revenues came in approximately $924K higher than expected. The higher revenues are likely from deferred property tax payments typically paid in the previous fiscal year, but whose deadlines were extended making them payable this fiscal year.


The Following Were Approved:


●      Elyse Hiss - 3rd Grade Reading Teacher at Young - eff. 8/18/20

●      Kathy Tucker - Instructional Aide at Schilling School - eff. 8/13/20

●      Erini Ishak - Lunchroom Monitor at Schilling School - eff. immediately

●      Thomas Pratt - Bus Driver at Transportation - eff. the start of the 2020-2021 school year


Request(s) for Leave of Absence:

●      Lorie Matriciano - Special Education Teacher at Hadley Middle School - intermittently eff. immediately

●      Sarah Peters - 3rd and 4th Grade Special Education Teacher at Young School - eff. 8/24/20 - 6/11/21


Employment Recommendation(s):

●        Kirsten Selof - 5th Grade Teacher at Hadley Middle School - eff. 8/26/20

●        LuAnn Silzer - 4th Grade Teacher at Butler School - eff. 8/26/20

●        Alexandra Noffsinger - 3rd Grade Teacher at Young School - eff 8/26/20


Employment Recommendation(s) for Non-Certified Staff:   

●      Jacquelyn Bonds - Lunchroom Monitor at Goodings Grove School - eff. 8/26/20

●      Melissa Ortiz-Wayne - Instructional Aide at Schilling School - eff 8/26/20

●      Sick Day Correction for Director of Support Personnel Services, Mr. Robert Rounsaville


Directors' Reports:


Director of Transportation. Mr. Robert Rounsaville, reported the Transportation Department was doing well. Usually, they start routing in March; this year, the process had to be completed in one week!  Mr. Rounsaville gave a shout out to Chris, Trina, and Kelly for working until midnight on Thursday to complete this process.  Robert also gave a shout out to our Homer parents, who have been patient and so kind.


Mrs. Renee Karalus, Director of Special Services, commented that she was impressed with how this school year all came together. She mentioned the Special Education Department was working on a document for what special education services looked like in a remote-learning setting. She said she would meet with each building to discuss plans.  She stressed that we all need to continue with grace and compassion. 


Mr. Szopinski, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, shared with the Board that the Department of Learning was working hard to get Eureka In Sync up and running.  There were still some technical difficulties that needed to be worked out.  He also mentioned that he communicated in a letter to parents about the blended-learning procedures.  Mr Szopinski shared that he is working hard to continue professional development opportunities for Carnegie and Eureka Math--he will problem solve on a new format that adheres to all ISBE social-distancing guidelines.  In addition, he shared that the science pilot would resume on January 15th. The Department of Learning will make a recommendation on a main resource for science during the March Board meeting.


Mike Portwood’s presentation will be sent in a separate email.


Eric Nush’s presentation will be sent in a separate email. 


Superintendent’s Report:

Mr. Schoppe reported during this unique school year, we were able to hold two first days of school. On August 24th and 25th, students assigned to the “Homer” and “Mustang” groups, respectively, attended their first in-person school day.  Our remote-only group of students and teachers also started school on August 24th.


Half-filled buses and socially-distanced classrooms did feel different; it was exciting to see students enter the buildings.


As the Board of Education is aware, a great deal of planning and work was required to prepare for the first week of school. It was a team effort from all Homer 33C stakeholders to create and prepare for two very different instructional models as well as meet the new IDPH guidelines. Mr. Schoppe acknowledged the efforts of everyone who helped get Homer 33C up and running.

Teachers - preparing lesson plans and videos for the first few weeks of school; working to learn all of the aspects of Google Classroom and Screencastify.

Support Staff – assisting with labeling and preparing 1300 Chromebooks for students, handing out devices and textbooks to our remote-only students at each school, preparing materials for students.

Custodians – cleaning, painting and moving classroom furniture around this summer. The buildings look beautiful.

Office Staff – registering our students, answering parent and staff questions.

Building Administrators – preparing master schedules and student schedules with minimal amount of time, preparing safety measures for our staff and students.

Nurses – preparing for all of the new safety and health measures to keep our students safe.

Technology Department – preparing 1300 Chromebooks for students in a few days; responding to 1100+ help desk requests from parents and staff late into the evening and on the weekend.

Transportation Office – creating updated bus routes in less than a week.

Bus Drivers – who were provided routes last Friday and had minimal time to learn the routes.

District Office Staff and Administrators – working to support our staff and parents.

Board of Education – working to support our staff and parents.

Parents – patience and flexibility with student schedules and bus routes.

Superintendent Schoppe is truly appreciative of everyone’s efforts to get ready for the first week of school during these unprecedented times.  Everyone has gone above and beyond for the most important Homer 33C stakeholders, our students!


Approved Items:

●        Grant of easement area in front of Homer Jr. High School to Nicor to facilitate expansion of Bell Road. 

●        Approve the final change orders for the 2020 Renovations at Homer Junior High School, Goodings Grove School, Luther J. Schilling School, William E. Young School, William J. Butler School and the Transportation Building (REBID), increasing the total contract amount by $10,728 to $1,043,013.


●        Approve the Consolidated District Plan. 


●        Approve the notice of retirement for Debra Miller, paraprofessional at Hadley Middle School, effective August 14, 2020. 


●        Approve Butler activity fund transfers for June 30, 2020. 


Next Regular Board Meeting:  Tuesday, September 22, at 7:00 p.m.