Summary of September 22, 2020 Board of Education Meeting

Summary of September 22, 2020 Board of Education Meeting



Recognition of Visitors/Communication to the Board

One parent urged the Board of Education to bring the students back to school as soon as possible. He stated education is an essential service.


The mayor of Homer Glen addressed the Board.  Mayor Yukich advocated that the Board of Education bring the students back to school. He stressed the students need a return to a semi-normal experience.


Homer Council Report

Ms. Ebel and Ms. Bruin, co-presidents, stated that we were in our fifth week of school, fourth week of remote learning. They were glad to hear that there would be additional plan time allowed for teachers. They thanked the Board for addressing the need. They look forward to students returning to class.


In addition, Ms. Ebel addressed negative social media posts. She encouraged parents to reach out to the teachers and stated that teachers are more than happy to work with you.


Ms. Ebel also encouraged people to fill out substitute teacher applications. We would love for you to work with us. 


Homer Support Staff Council Report

Ms. Kapusta and Ms. Koziarski reported that support staff continue to do what is best for kids.


Treasurers' Report:

Monthly Finance Update:


In August, the district spent $5.1M ($5,152,680) and took in $2.5M ($2,548,114), resulting in an decrease to our fund balance of $2.6M ($2,604,566 ). We started the month with $34.6M ($34,614,711) and ended the month at $32M ($32,010,145).


For August, adjusted operating expenditures came in approximately $240K higher than projected, and adjusted operating revenues came in approximately $1.2M higher than expected. The higher revenues are likely due to deferred tax payments as overall tax revenues came in lower than projected through June 30th.  It is important to note that these comparisons were done to the tentative budget and not the final budget.


Consent Agenda:


●        Dana Markiewicz - Instructional Aide at Hadley Middle School - eff. 8/25/20

●        Annette Conklin - Secretary at Homer Jr. High School - eff. 9/18/20

●        Heather Piazza-Hayford -  Lunchroom Monitor at Goodings Grove School - eff. 9/9/20

●        Jemeca Street - Bus Driver at Transportation - eff. 9/8/20

●        Marie Barmes - Lunchroom Monitor at Schilling School - eff. 9/18/20

●        David Booth - Lunchroom Monitor at Butler School - eff. 9/18/20

●        Kathleen Trilla - Lunchroom Monitor at Goodings Grove School - eff. 9/18/20


Request(s) for Leave of Absence (beginning and end dates open to modification):

●        Meghan Fitzgerald - Reading Specialist at Butler School - eff. 9/22/20 - 12/22/20, returning on 1/11/21

●        Karen Toland - 6th Grade Reading Specialist - eff. 8/14/2020 - 11/28/2020, returning 11/29/2020

●        Kristen Rekruciak - 3rd Grade teacher at Schilling School - eff. 10/26/20 - 11/20/20, returning 11/23/20

●         Kathy Strzelczyk - Lunchroom monitor at Homer Jr. High School - unpaid leave, eff 8/31/20, returning when school returns in-person

●        Jo Anne Bobek - Lunchroom monitor at Butler School - unpaid, eff 8/31/20, returning when school returns in-person

●        Kim Petroit - Receptionist at Administration - unpaid leave, eff. 9/14/20 - 10/2/20, returning on 10/5/20

●        Laura Biciste - Lunchroom monitor at Schilling School - unpaid leave,  eff. 9/9/20 until further notice

●        Esmeralda Ahmad - Lunchroom monitor at Young School - eff. 8/31/20

●        Nicole Lewis - Lunchroom monitor at Young School - unpaid leave eff. 9/15/20 until students return to school

●        Kelly Andricopulos - Lunchroom monitor at Young School - unpaid leave eff. 9/15/20 until students return to school

●        Jessica Welch - Lunchroom monitor at Young School - unpaid leave eff. 9/15/20 until students return to school

●        Mary O'Dwyer - Paraprofessional at Schilling School - eff. 10/13/20 to 11/20/20, returning on 11/30/20


Employment Recommendation(s):

●        Jillian McGuire - Full-time elementary substitute teacher at Goodings Grove School - eff. 9/23/20

●        Nicole Young - Reading teacher at Young School - eff. 9/23/20

●        Garrett Castello - Music teacher at Schilling - eff. 9/23/20,

●        Melinda Beliar - Paraprofessional at Hadley Middle School - eff 9/23/20

●        Jill Wolak - Building secretary at Homer Jr. High School - eff. 9/23/20

●        Linda Winterfeldt - Lunchroom monitor at Butler School -  eff. 10/5/20


Directors' Reports:


Mrs. Renee Karalus gave a shout out to Ms. Peters and Ms. Lara for their work on a SEL library and a virtual calm room.  Renee appreciated the teamwork and stressed this is the best way to learn. We are stronger as a team.


Mrs. Karalus shared that the SI program has been back in school for a week and a half.  The return has been successful. She gave a shout out to the community for their patience and the continued success of the students. 


Mr. Szopinski presented a job description for the instructional technology support coach stipend position for the District.  He stressed the six coaches will train all of Homer 33C certified staff on a standard set of technology skills.  In addition, he stressed the purpose of these six instructional technology coaches is to build capacity among the staff.


Mr. Szopinski shared the results of the parent remote learning survey.  Ninety percent of our parents want at least two hours of live interaction between the teachers and the students. He also shared that over 800 parents made the comment that "live instruction" has improved the remote learning plan from last year.


Mr. Portwood gave an update on staff leaves of absence, rationale for reporting to work for remote learning teaching, categories of work from home requests and one student residency update.


Principal's Report:


Dr. Onesto, principal of Butler Elementary School, shared that she was proud of the students, staff and parents.  She stressed that Butler School had a warm, welcoming vibe throughout the building.  Dr. Onesto expressed that Butler faculty misses teaching their students in school.


She mentioned that Mrs. Murphy and the 1st grade team have started their guided reading groups. They have been pleasantly surprised with the experience.


Melissa shared that second grade had a supply pick up day at Butler School.  In addition, Mrs. Odom will be hosting the Mayor of Lockport virtually.


Superintendent's Report:


Mr. Schoppe communicated a return to school presentation to the Board. This presentation is attached.


Approved Board Items:

●        Board policy updates and/or adoptions:  First and second read of policies 5:220 and 5:330

●        The FY21 Budget (Goal 5)

●        The final change order for the 2020 seal coating and maintenance project


Approved New Business:

●        MOU Collective Bargaining Agreement

●        2020 EIS Administrator and Teacher Salary and Benefits Report

●        Notice of retirement for Diana Miller, school bus driver at transportation, eff. 9/8/20

●        Temporarily increase of substitute wages for the 2020-2021 school year

●        Videotaping of Board meetings for future review

●        The return to school plan

○        Beginning October 5, 2020, K-2nd grade will return to the hybrid instructional model

○        On October 19, 2020, 3rd-4th grade will return to the hybrid instructional model

●        Six Instructional Technology Building-Support Coaches and one District-Wide  Instructional Technology Leader

●        The job description for Instructional Technology Building-Support Coach

●        The job description for District-Wide Instructional Technology Support Leader



Next Board Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 27, at 7:00 p.m.