Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C
Board of Education - Regular Meeting
January 22, 2019
Homer Council Report: Cathy Clayton, co-president, reported that the union negotiation team continues to meet in preparation of negotiations. Homer council is also monitoring any new educational developments at the state level.
There was no Homer support council report.
A parent addressed the board to express her concern regarding the location of a bus stop.
The Board Approved the Following Recommendations:
Leave of Absence:
● Eileen Schulz - second grade teacher at Butler School - unpaid leave from 1/16/19 - 3/25/19
● Vickie Ryan - social studies and electives teacher at Hadley Middle School - 2/4/19 to 3/29/19, returning on 4/8/19
● Kelly Zink - department secretary at Transportation - from 1/28/19-2/15/19, returning on 2/19/19
● Candice Klimson - kindergarten teacher at Schilling School - eff. 2/11/19
● Kimberly Coniglio - 7th/8th grade math and science Discovery teacher at Homer Junior High School - eff. 1/18/19
● Nelida Merenda - nurse's aide at Schilling School - eff. 1/7/19
● Lauren Niemiec - paraprofessional at Butler School - eff. 1/21/19
● Joyce Cwik - lunchroom aide at Schilling School -eff 1/18/19
● Jennifer Lawson - lunch/recess monitor at Butler School - eff 1/30/19
Resignation Extra-Curricular Staff:·
● Amy Lepper - girls' softball "A" team coach at Homer Junior High School - eff. 1/17/19
● Andrea McCarthy – kindergarten teacher at Schilling School – eff. 1/23/19
● Frances Hoak - lunchroom monitor at Hadley Middle School - eff. 1/23/19
● Maria Orlowski - building secretary at Schilling School - eff. 1/23/19
● Barbara Kardas - lunchroom monitor at Hadley Middle School - eff 1/23/19
● Maribeth Carlson – nurse's aide at Schilling School – eff. 1/23/19
Extra Curriculum Staff Recommendations:
● Andrew Maier – 8th grade girls' basketball coach at Homer Junior High School – eff. 1/23/19
● John Hajek – 7th grade girls' basketball coach at Homer Junior High School – eff. 1/23/19
● Renee Karalus, Director of Special Services, reported that more staff members continued to complete the coursework necessary to become a Registered Behavior Technician, R.B.T. Also, Mrs. Karalus talked about the suicide awareness training that she attended with other staff members. Next year, the District will be required to establish a suicide assessment team.
● Mike Portwood, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, communicated that he posted the Goodings Grove building principal position. He worked with Goodings' staff and Mr. Schoppe to create a Homer profile for the principal position. Also, the Director of Technology position has been posted; he will begin the evaluation of applications and the vetting process.
● Arlene Siefert, Director of Technology, shared with the Board that the Technology Department is ready for 6th and 7th grade students to start bringing their chromebooks home with them. The pilot will last through the end of March.
● Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, Mike Szopinski, shared that the K-5th grade math textbook committee conducted a site visit to Frankfort to learn more about Eureka math. In addition, the 6th-8th grade math textbook committee conducted a site visit to Hickory Creek Junior High School to learn more about Carnegie math.
● Robert Rounsaville, Director of Support Personnel Service, reported that the Transportation Department is in need of hiring two more bus drivers. Mr. Rounsaville is searching for new avenues to advertise for bus drivers. Currently, we have not received a new bus driver application since November 30th.
● Craig Schoppe, Superintendent, discussed the details and the process for developing the 2019-2020 school-year calendar. Mr. Schoppe shared that the state will require two more days of student attendance; as a result, we will have 176 days of student attendance instead of 174 days.
● Assistant Superintendent for Business, Al Kirkus, reviewed the District's financial performance for the first six months of the year. Operating revenues at the end of December were $24.4M, coming in below the budgeted estimate of $25.9M. Operating expenditures were $24.8M, also coming in below the budgeted estimate of $26.1M. Moving forward, the District expects revenues to catch up as property taxes from the slightly higher 2018 levy come in, and expenditures also increase as the holiday season comes to an end. All things considered, revenues and expenditures are tracking fairly close to expectations for the first six months. The district's total fund balance at the end of December was $39.53M. However, when capital projects and debt service balances are removed, the operating fund balance is $30.81M. The operating fund balance is the amount available to the District to pay its day-to-day bills.
● Kristen Schroeder, principal at Hadley Middle School, shared some Hadley highlights:
❖ After reviewing our student MAP scores, many of our students have met or exceeded their winter MAP goals. We are eager to see how we do in the spring.
❖ Our students were able to meet real-life author, Trent Reedy, and he shared his powerful story about how he did not let dyslexia keep him from fulfilling his life-long dream of becoming an author. Students were able to purchase advanced copies of his book during a book signing.
❖ We are cultivating student leaders and are working to make a positive change in the world. We have collected donations for the Hines Veterans Home, students are working to
beautify the school with a garden and mural, and our pennies for Hadley campaign is going to support TLC as well as a local cancer organization.
❖ Joe Cernak was selected as a 2019 National Oratory Fellow by the Ford's Theatre Education team. This summer, he will spend a week in Washington, D.C., to collaborate and receive specialized training in building student leadership and enhancing reading, writing and oratory skills.
❖ The Lincolnway Special Education Co-Op worked with staff to provide an opportunity to experience what it is like to have a disability, and how to adapt. It was a very powerful activity.
❖ Teachers are planning for our upcoming Hadley STEAM night. Our budding engineers, mathematicians and their families will get to showcase their talents while participating in a variety of activities.
❖ We have already started working on our schedule for next school year. We will hold the 6th grade election assembly next week, and students will have the opportunity to choose their electives for next year.
❖ A Hadley 6th grader entered a Crayola art contest and won the grand prize, which earned her a $1000 gift card, her teacher a $1000 gift card, a variety of art supplies, and $10,000 for Hadley School!
❖ Yesterday, six Hadley staff members, along with Will County officers, embarked on a great adventure. We began COREMatters intensive training. This dream started 2 years ago with our former school resource officer. We piloted lessons after school, set up a plan of implementation, and conducted parent surveys. We were not able to do the program previously due to finances; however, Mike Szopinski helped us to secure a grant. The COREMatters project is a 13-week, multi-dimensional, research-based, education program that incorporates social emotional wellness with physical fitness. This will be incorporated into our 5th grade PE curriculum. Children will learn leadership skills, how to avoid conflict, build resiliency, CORE strengthening, and much more. Our teaching staff, and their partnered trained officer, will co-teach lessons utilizing the ancient art of Taekwondo as a physical metaphor for the social emotional lessons and create concrete meaning for abstract concepts. Students will also learn techniques to help them when they get anxious. MOST IMPORTANTLY, COREMatters teaches children that although they may not be in control of everything that happens to them, they are in absolute control of how they react.
Assistant Superintendent for Business, Aleksas Kirkus summarized problems that the District has been having with technology tools intended to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the District's transportation operations. Leading the implementation of these tools is a company called Edulog. Mr. Kirkus informed the Board that a representative from Edulog would be onsite starting January 29th to diagnose problems and oversee the implementation of these technology tools. This onsite work is at no cost to the district.
Health Insurance Audit Update
Mr. Kirkus reminded the Board that the District's Health Insurance Dependent Eligibility Audit has begun. Letters were mailed to insured members with insured dependents on January 18th, and document submissions are being received. Final results are expected some time in April.
Health Insurance RFP
Mr. Kirkus informed the Board that the business office is working on an RFP (Request for Proposals) for health benefits broker/consultant services. He explained that the while the District is not dissatisfied with its current broker/consultant, it is wise to periodically go to market to ensure that the District is getting the best value for the dollars spent on these services. The timeline is to provide the RFP to the Board for review and comment at the February Board meeting, and barring any delays that stem from that review, release the RFP the following day.
FY '20 Budget Update
Assistant Superintendent for Business Aleksas Kirkus explained the budgeting process for FY20. This year's process will rely on technology to facilitate extreme collaboration between principals, department heads, and other administrators to iterate through any proposed budget scenario, and arrive at an exceptionally accurate and focused budget. All participants have access to all revenue and expenditure data; everything is visible and no proposals are off limits. The process has already started, and the outcome of this work, the FY '20 Tentative Budget, will be presented to the Board during the May Board of Education meeting.
● Jodi Bordenaro - general music vocal teacher at Young School - eff. 2022-2023