Summary of October 22, 2019 Board of Education Meeting

Summary of October 22, 2019 Board of Education Meeting



Recognition of Visitors:

Two parents expressed concerns about student numbers in second and fourth grades. Another parent advocated that the Board move to ratify a new certified staff contract. The parent stressed that certified staff was working without a contract.


Recognition of Golf State Qualifiers:

Maeve Heeney shot 101 at sectionals (her lowest score ever) to qualify for state; at the state tournament, she shot a 115 to finish 52nd. Dominic White shot a 99 to finish 60th in state in boys golf. Way to go, Maeve and Dominic!


Recognition of Boys Baseball State Qualifiers:

Our Homer boys baseball team advanced to the final eight in the state tournament. They ended up tied for 5th place in the state. Coach Button thanked the players and parents for their dedication, time, and hard work. It was an excellent season!


Homer Council Report:

Cathy Clayton, co-president of the certified staff union, reported the union leaders met with district office today. Cathy indicated that the union signed off and released on all, except for two items. Once teacher salary schedules are released, they hope to ratify the first week of November.


Homer Support Staff Council Report:

Susan Koziarski, co-president of the support staff union, stated the support staff union has submitted their letter of intent to bargain to the Board of Education.


The Board approved the following items:


Leaves of Absence:

●      Eileen Garrison - 7th and 8th grade Discovery teacher at Homer Junior High School - eff. 11/8/19 - 1/7/2020, returning on 1/8/2020

●      Mary Kay Oldendorf - paraprofessional at Homer Junior High School - eff. 10/16/19 - 11/27/19, returning on 12/2/19

●      Bridie Hearne - bus driver at Transportation - eff. 11/22/19 - 1/6/20, returning on 1/7/20

●      Zachary Schmidt - custodian at Schilling - eff. 9/19/19 - 10/18/19, returning on 10/21/19

●      Tod Pedigo - maintenance at Transportation - eff. 10/22/19 - 12/20/19, returning on 12/23/19



●      Kristin Czahor - lunchroom monitor at Young School - eff. 10/2/19

●      Megan Aiken - lunchroom monitor at Butler School - eff. 8/19/19

●      Jeanne Mudroch - instructional aide at Schilling School - eff. 10/30/19


Position Recommendations:

●      1.0 FTE paraprofessional at Schilling School

●      1.0 FTE paraprofessional at Butler School


Employment Recommendations:

●      Sarah Marion - 7th grade social studies at Homer Junior High School - eff. 10/23/19

●      Carol Hess - bus driver at Transportation - eff. 11/4/19, dependent upon successfully completing her criminal background check and obtaining her CDL for driving a school bus

●      Audrey Prost - paraprofessional at Young School - eff. 10/23/19

●      Marcia Duran - lunchroom monitor at Butler School - eff. 10/23/19

●      Joyce Hale - lunchroom monitor at Young School - eff. 10/23/19


Employment Recommendation(s) for Extra-Curricular Staff: 

●      Jacklen Girgis - 7th grade reading ASAP teacher at Homer Junior High School - eff. 2019-2020 school year


Directors’ Reports:


Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Mike Szopinski, reported that he will present the 2019 Illinois Assessment of Readiness during the November board meeting. He asked the Board what they would like to see included in the Board presentation. 


Assistant Superintendent for Business Aleksas Kirkus, presented the tentative tax levy to the Board ( The tentative levy must be presented at least twenty (20) days prior to the adoption of the actual levy which is expected to happen during the November 19, 2019, Board meeting.


In 2018, the district billed taxes in the amount of $44,733,683. Based on current estimates of district-wide property value changes and the value of new construction, the district expects to bill taxes in the amount of: $46,132,022, an increase of $1,398,339 over last year. While these are the estimates of what we believe will actually happen, the district will levy a larger amount $46,968,194 in order to ensure that the district is able to capture the full value of new property across the district. If the levy were lower than what is allowable, the district would lose the difference in revenue on a compounding basis for all future years. However, if the levy amount is higher than allowable, the clerk will simply reduce the levy request to match what is allowable by law.


Since the levy is based on estimated values, it is in the district's best interests to overshoot, or balloon the levy, and have the clerk reduce the amount to match what we are allowed to receive once final values are known.


Glen Wysong, Director of Buildings and Grounds, reported on the old HJH project. After many meetings, testing, and calculations, Glen reported that a lot of progress has been made and many items have been crossed off the list.



Glen indicated that, during the last Board meeting, discussions took place about moving into the boiler room and making sure the system was designed correctly and the right amount of water flow was going out to the school.  A team met with the hydronics specialist and he will send us a letter stating the system was designed correctly.


Mr. Wysong said that as they continued to test the system at full load, they found that some unit ventilators were not responding as they should. In response, they are coordinating with contractors to flush the system so it can be retested. Once we get the system flushed, we should have a better idea on how everything is operating. If the weather cooperates and gives us another warm humid day, we will be able to test the dehumidification also. We will continue testing the system and fine tuning it.


They are still balancing Hadley, but we are taking all of the fine tuning that we are doing at Homer Junior High and doing it at Hadley to make sure the same issues do not happen.


Superintendent’s Report:

Superintendent, Craig Schoppe, reported the following on the strategic planning update: 


October 2, 2019 - The self-study team, consisting of three subcommittees, focused on the following areas of study:  learning, data, and culture/collaboration. Each of these subcommittees spent time reviewing and listing various district practices and procedures which are currently in place for each specific area in relation to the research-based framework.  The subcommittees then rated where we are as a district in each category. The document and corresponding ratings will be shared with the CEC team before the scheduled three-day site visit.


November 4, 2019 – Day 1 of the System Assessment (all day at district office). The CEC will bring in a team of educators consisting of superintendents, building principals, teachers, and board members from other districts to complete the system needs assessment.  On the first day, the team will interview the superintendent, assistant superintendents, directors, board members, union leaders and building principals.  The team is scheduled to interview members of the Board from 1:45 - 2:30 p.m., in the boardroom.


November 5, 2019 – Day 2 of the System Assessment (AM – 3 buildings; PM – 3 buildings). The CEC team will break up into two teams and visit all 6 of our schools.  The teams will interview staff, students, and parents at each school.


November 6, 2019 – Day 3 of the System Assessment (all day at district office). The CEC team will complete follow-up interviews with district office administrators.  The team will then complete the system assessment report, which will be presented to the self-study team in the afternoon.  Members of the Board are welcome to attend the presentation scheduled at 1:30 p.m., in the boardroom.  Mr. Schoppe will provide the findings in that report to the Board at the November meeting as well as make it available to our staff and community during the first week of December (contingent upon receiving the report in time to include in the November Board packet).


November 14, 2019 – Self-Study Team followup.  The CEC leader will meet with our self-study team to prepare for the next steps of the strategic-planning process.  We will be complete a more in-depth analysis of the system needs assessment findings and utilize that information to help drive the long-term strategic plan.


Goodings Grove School Update:  Mr. Schoppe met again with members from the Joliet Diocese and St. Bernard’s Church a few weeks ago regarding their interest in acquiring Goodings Grove School to utilize as a possible community center for children.  He is still in the process of gathering details, but we need to do our due diligence to study this as a possible option to address our increasing enrollment throughout the District.  The long-term facilities committee is scheduled to meet the week of November 11th to review current and projected student enrollment numbers, building space issues throughout the district, and to create a plan to address future growth.  This committee will be responsible for studying the feasibility of selling one of our buildings and possible expansion opportunities.


Board Approvals:


●      Final FY19 Audit

●      Board Policy 4:145 Service Fee for Inactive Student Accounts

●      Resolution to Effect Interfund Transfer from Operations and Maintenance Fund to Debt Service Fund 


Board Approved Retirement:

Jane Tucker - Retirement effective June 30, 2020


Board Approvals:

●      A donation of 10% of the proceeds from the 7th and 8th grade girls’ home basketball games during the month of October, 2019, to be provided to the Susan G. Koman Foundation in the name of Homer Junior High School  

●      New projectors and an updated control system in the Schilling School main gym, at the cost of $24,429

●      District-wide security camera wiring and district-wide access control wiring, for a total of $65,475  




Next Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at 7:00 p.m.