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Board Highlights

Previous versions can be found on the Board Audio/ Highlights/Minutes page for 2011 and 2010

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...from the February 28, 2017 Board of Education Meeting
 

SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA - CONSENT

With one member absent, the Board voted 6-0 to approve the following consent agenda items:

  • Personnel Report
  • Financial Reports
  • Foreign Exchange Student “A” from Germany - Youth for Understanding USA Program
  • Bid #17-04 – Roofing at York High School
  • Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Updates - Section 2: Board of Education (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • PRESS Policy Manual Updates - Section 4: Operational Services (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • PRESS Policy Manual Updates - Section 5: Personnel (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • PRESS Policy Manual Updates - Section 6: Instruction (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • PRESS Policy Manual Updates - Section 7: Students (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • PRESS Policy Manual Updates - Section 8: School-Community Relations (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • New Policy #7:315- Restrictions on Publications: High School (Second Reading and Adoption)
  • Donations to York High School (competitive dance and cheer teams’ transportation to State)
  • Donation to York High School (improvements to the baseball field)
  • Donation to Field Elementary School (sign for the school)
  • Donation to Madison Early Childhood Center (8 industrial ceiling fans, two water bottle filler fountains, a stackable washer and dryer)
  • Donations to Jefferson Elementary School (classroom rugs and die-cut letters for displays)
  • Donation to Jackson Elementary School (equipment and furniture for the Library Media Center)
  • Donation to Jackson Elementary School (to the LMC in honor of former student Aidan Shea)
  • Donation to Emerson Elementary School (books to enhance classroom libraries in support of the new ELA curriculum)
  • Donation to Hawthorne Elementary School (books to enhance classroom libraries to support the new ELA workshop model)
  • Donation to Edison Elementary School (guided reading leveled readers for the LMC)

Director of Facilities Frank Schuh reported on bid #17-04, which drew seven bidders. “There is a single ply roof over the York High School academic wing, comprising about 72,000 square feet. While doing the specs, we identified some other small areas that need to be replaced as well. So alternate bids were written to include those areas plus tuck pointing. The bid came in at $1.18 with a $100,000 contingency for all areas. This roof comes with a 20-year warranty,” he said.

Karen Stuefen acknowledged the over $81,000 in donations made to the District, which included:

  • Three donations to York High School: $850 was donated by an unnamed York parent to upgrade bus transportation from a school bus to a Coach bus for the dance team to travel to the State dance competition and $1,800 was donated by Jackie Bjoersent, a York parent, to upgrade bus transportation from a school bus to a Coach bus for the cheer team to travel to the State cheer competition. A third donation was made by the “Friends of York High School Baseball” in the amount of $22,000 for stadium seating at the York baseball field as well as the painting of the roof of the baseball field dugout and the installation of a vinyl “York Dukes” logo on the dugout.
     
  • A donation to Field School by the Field School PTA in an amount not to exceed $4,100 for a school sign for the front of Field School similar to other signs across the District.
     
  • A donation to Madison Early Childhood Education Center by the Madison School PTA in an amount of approximately $4,259 for eight industrial ceiling fans to be mounted in the gym; two bottle filler filtered drinking fountains; and one 27 inch stackable washer and dryer.
     
  • Two donations to Jefferson School by the Jefferson School PTA: One in the amount of $700 to purchase one set each of upper and lower case die-cut letters and a second in the amount of $1,100 from their Square One Art Fundraiser to purchase one classroom rug for the art classroom and two lighted tracing boxes for the art classroom.
     
  • Two donations to Jackson School: One by the Jackson School PTA in an amount of approximately $6,944 for seven mobile flip and nest tables; eight ottomans; and one Q-ball microphone for the library media center. The second was donated by the Aidan Shea Foundation, in memory of Aidan Shea, a Jackson School student who passed away in December 2015, in the amount of $10,000 for the purchase of an octagonal book display island and $8,500 to purchase new non-fiction books.
     
  • A donation to Emerson School by the Emerson School PTA in the amount of $5,000 to purchase books to enhance classroom libraries.
     
  • A donation to Hawthorne School by the Hawthorne School PTA in the amount of $14,000 to purchase classroom library books.
     
  • A donation to Edison School by the Edison School PTA in the amount of $10,000 to purchase Guided Reading Leveled Readers for Guided Reading Instruction.

Mrs. Stuefen gave special thanks to each individual and/or group donor for their generosity.


SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA - ACTION ITEMS

 

With one member absent, the Board voted 6-0 to approve following consent agenda items, each by separate vote:

  • Resolution Regarding Public Act 099-0604 (Local Government Travel Expense Control Act)
  • 2017-2018 School Calendar
  • YSET Funding for York High School ($20,100 to be used for YSET grants)
  • Study Skills Instructional Program Stipends Funded by the District 205 Foundation

Dr. Jim Woell, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, provided a quick synopsis of the work of the Calendar Committee, which is comprised of teachers, support staff members and parents. Over 1,500 responses were received to this year’s calendar survey that was sent in both English and Spanish. The 2017-18 calendar eliminates the split start between EC-8 and 9-12 students, which the District has followed over the past three years.

The Illinois State Board of Education is using a new reporting system related to Child Find data required for special education services. This information is tied to the grant that supports reimbursement for costs associated with providing services to students identified for special education. With this new system, we must follow one calendar. So any day of student attendance that is not on the official calendar filed with the State would not be reimbursable.

“One new concern was that, under the State’s new system, only one calendar can be submitted for a unit district and that would be for the largest population of students, which is our elementary and middle school levels. A continued split start date would mean that District 205 could not receive reimbursement for costs incurred prior to the start of our EC-8 students,” he said.

“Another concern involves students being able to finish high school semester exams prior to the winter break (data shows scores improve under this model). This calendar balances the two semesters at 88 and 89 days respectively – you can’t get any better than that. A unified start date also helps us to better and more appropriately plan for the on-boarding of new teachers and professional development at the beginning of the year.

“Ideally, moving forward with this committee process we would like to plan out – don’t fall over – two years at a time so that we don’t have to do this on a year-by-year basis,” said Dr. Woell. “The calendar presented is inclusive of all breaks, start and end dates, emergency days, parent-teacher conference dates, as well as late arrival days. It’s a very clean calendar, thanks to all those who served on the committee.” The first day of school is Wednesday, August 16.

Dr. Harrell thanked the York Student Enrichment Team (YSET) for their continued support of York students, as well as thanking the individual donors who have contributed to the cause. The most recent donation was for $20,100.

YSET is committed to providing equal opportunity for all York students to participate in extracurricular activities and academic enrichment opportunities which enhance their York experience. YSET organizers believe this engages students and can also lead to better academic achievement. Families and students are assisted financially through grants that are awarded from an application and blind selection process. YSET has partnered with the District 205 Foundation to collect donations and support its fundraising efforts. Through YSET’s earmarked fundraising and donations, close to $174,000 has been raised and awarded in YSET grants over the past six years.

Additionally, the Board accepted a $16,000 donation from the District 205 Foundation for Educational Excellence which provided stipends to teachers who helped support the Elmhurst Study Skills Academy program for 2016-17.

John McDonough thanked the Foundation on behalf of the Board, saying “This organization is so attuned to the needs of this District. We do believe the moral imperative that all student can learn and this is an example of giving a little more to make that happen.”

 

SUPERINTENDENT’S COMMUNICATION

Freedom of Information Act Requests

The District received seven FOIA requests:

  • One regarding purchasing records, which was granted.
  • One regarding specific Board meeting minutes, specific correspondence and School Improvement Plans, which was granted.
  • One regarding specific course information, which was granted.
  • One regarding specific policies and positions, which was granted.
  • One regarding district boundaries, which was granted.
  • One regarding transportation contracts, which was granted.
  • One regarding the District's calendar, which was granted.

IASA Alliance Leadership Summit Report

The third Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Alliance Leadership Summit, which takes place every other year, was held in Springfield on February 21-22, 2017. This is a joint conference organized by the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Board, the Illinois Association of School Business Officials, and the Illinois Principals Association.

Jim Burgett, of Stifel, opened the conference followed by a keynote address by State Superintendent Dr. Troy Evers. Ralph Martire, of the Center for Budget and Tax Accountability, presented information on Illinois’ economy and fiscal policy with recommendations for future budgets. A political analyst panel of State journalists commented on the current legislative session. Dr. Beth Purvis, State Secretary of Education delivered a second keynote. A School Funding Reform Panel comprised of legislators from the committee explained the various aspects of Senate Bill 1, and Governor Bruce Rauner delivered a closing address.

The Summit focused primarily on the “Grand Bargain” of 13 Senate Bills that will eventually form the State budget. At this point it looks as if the State will move toward an Evidence-Based Funding Model. It appears that any budget deal will include a property tax freeze of some kind. The cost of living adjustment (COLA) is expected to be 2.1% next year. If the property tax freeze takes effect, it will save the owner of a $300,000 house, on average, about $95, while costing the District $2.1 million. This is problematic, because though Elmhurst would be held harmless in a new funding scenario, any new money generated from other sources would go to the neediest schools first, meaning that Elmhurst would be a net “loser.” The Alliance is lobbying for any property tax freeze bill to allow Districts to capture new growth and money that would become available when TIF Districts expire.

February Principal Professional Development Update

On February 16, Leslie Weber, Deb Lee, Arianna Leonard, Debi Wright, Nikki Tammaru, and Kathleen Tomei facilitated a discussion of Chapter Six of the Fullan and Hargraeves bookProfessional Capital entitled “Professional Cultures and Communities.” One of the main activities of the day included the administration analyzing its Professional Learning Community practices for areas of strength and growth and developing group norms for our collaborative work.

Erin DeLuga, Gina Pogue-Reeder, Melissa DeLaRosa, Tim Riordan, Drew McGuire, and Jacquie Discipio facilitated a discussion of Chapter Three of the Fullan and Quinn book Coherence entitled “Cultivating Collaborative Cultures.” The five main topics in this chapter are Culture of Growth, Learning Leadership aka Lead Learners, Capacity Building, Collaborative Work, and Collaborative Work in Action.

A primary focus at the elementary grade level team meeting this month was the study of the data from the most recent instructional rounds, which focused on rigor.

PMA Projections

Doreen Linderman, from Forecast 5 – formerly PMA, presented the February 2017 Forecast5 Analytics report for Elmhurst District 205, with assistance from Chris Whelton, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations. The presentation touched on the following areas:

  • Revenue budget
  • Local revenue - tax base assumptions
  • Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) history and projections
  • General State Aid assumptions
  • Enrollment and staff assumptions – slight increase over the next 5 years
  • Expense budget
  • Key expenditure assumptions
    • Salaries
      – Current contract through FY18
      – Future years subject to negotiations
      – Projected increases tied to CPI
    • Benefits
      – Health benefits increased 7% per year
    • Other expenditures
      – Expenditures increased between 0% - 2% EXCEPT:
      • Special Education Tuition Costs increased 7% per year
      • Projected Facility & Maintenance expenditures per District plan
      • Projected Technology expenditures per District plan
  • Revenue and expenditure projections – operating funds and all funds
  • Cash fund balance projections

Highlights of the report include the following:

  • D205’s mix of revenues is 90% local, of which 85% comes from local property taxes, 7% from the State of Illinois and 3% from the federal government
  • Property tax increases are limited to CPI by the tax cap. CPI for the last four years has been less than 2%. The 2016 CPI, announced in mid-January, is 2.1%. However, a bill pending in the General Assembly could freeze or eliminate that increase and any future property tax increases for school districts and other local government entities.
  • On the expenditure side, salaries and benefits comprise 79% of expenditures. Based on that, enrollment and staffing increases are the most critical elements of future expenditure budgets. Certified staff is expected to increase by 7.3 FTE (full time equivalents) in 2017-18, based on enrollment and the needs of our students.
  • Health insurance is projected to increase by 7% per year over the next five years.

Various scenarios outlined included the following possibilities: a pension cost shift; reduction of State categorical payments by one (from four to three or 25%); the proposed 2-year property tax freeze, which compounds over time; and a permanent property freeze.

“I want to add that the (Illinois Statewide School Management) Alliance is working hard to ensure that any new growth or any TIFs that return to the tax rolls are not included in the proposed property tax freeze. That would be devastating, because not only would we lose it in that year, we would lose it forever,” noted Dr. Moyer.

“We are anticipating a fund balance reduction of about $4M for 2017. Applying the assumptions going forward, we are expecting a small surplus for next year. That would, over the next few years, turn into a deficit projection, based on the current trends,” said Ms. Linderman.

“The $4M fund balance reduction is the money we’re transferring to cover capital project expenses over the past two years,” said Mr. Blum. “Now we’re paying for our annual maintenance out of our operating fund, said Chris Blum.

“Just to clarify, that’s the number we’re transferring out of operating because the City hasn’t paid the TIF money to us,” noted John McDonough.

“We’ve talked about fund balance being a cushion against what Springfield decides to do to us. The point being that if we didn’t have fund balance – and some of these things happen – we would have to make cuts in the operating budget. The fortunate thing I see here is that we have two or more years to figure out a new operating model. This has been the intent all along and is why we’ve been working on establish a fund balance, not that it would ever make up for what they do, but it would give us time to have a conversation with the community and adjust without resorting to cuts right away,” said Mr. Blum.

“Yes, I would agree with that. Because the District has been very fiscally responsible and has adequate fund balance you can withstand some of those changes, at least temporarily. Whereas other districts that don’t have fund balance would have to react right away,” said Ms. Linderman.

BOARD COMMUNICATION

Dr. Harrell thanked Bryan Middle School for the school visit she enjoyed on February 14. “This visit was important because to be able to see the impact first hand is very eye opening and very beneficial. I want to thank Principal Jacquie Discipio for arranging that aggressive schedule of 14 or 15 classrooms over a period of three hours. I also thank the administration for encouraging our Board members to be engaged so that we can understand the impact of our decisions.”

ACTION ON CLOSED SESSION ITEMS

Adoption of Resolution Regarding Multi-Year Administrative Contract

Board of Education President Shannon Ebner read the following statement on behalf of the Board of Education:

One of the main jobs of the Board of Education is the hiring and evaluation of the superintendent. Evaluation is something we do every year. We take that job very seriously and, therefore, in anticipation of an extension of the contract of the District 205 Superintendent, the Board met several times over the last month. In our evaluation of Dr. David Moyer, we considered the following accomplishments of the District:

Student Achievement Objective One

  • A record high ACT score for the graduating class of 2016 of 24.7
  • York was one of 433 schools in the US and Canada named to the AP District Honor Roll for having increased participation and maintained or improved pass rates during 2013-2016.
  • Eleven of 12 K-12 schools met or exceeded in math, with six exceeding on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. No school failed to meet or exceed the growth benchmark in at least one of the categories and Bryan Middle School exceeded in both reading and math.
  • Successful pilot of Eureka Math at the elementary and middle school levels, which will be streamlined and implemented in all K-5 classrooms in 2017-18
  • Work continues on the development of common assessments in all levels and content areas to ensure standards alignment and support teacher ability to utilize data to improve learning outcomes.
  • Increased capacity of teacher to formatively assess student mastery of designated learning targets
  • Increased capacity of teachers to utilize data to personalize instruction

Student Achievement Objective Two

  • Successful Year Two of the Mobile Learning Implementation (MLI) utilizing Chromebooks in grades 4-12
  • Building capacity around engaging students in learning and appropriately increasing rigor through the use of the Rigor and Relevance Framework
  • Implementation of the workshop model of literacy with the English Language Arts (ELA) units of instruction
  • Initiated and completed the Math Curriculum Development Team process
  • Movement toward the development of maker spaces and other STEM-related curriculum, both at York High School and across the District
  • Culmination of the work of the Middle School Task Force which includes a significantly improved approach to interventions and enrichment

District Culture

  • The District has adopted an approach in which Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) are the primary vehicle to build and maintain a highly collaborative, positive District/school culture.
  • All principal meetings are primarily professional development workshops, in which teams of administrators facilitate sessions and model adult learning strategies that their peers can employ in their building-level school improvement work.
  • The District is establishing a consistent and common sense approach to communicating and problem-solving, in which issues are addressed at the point of the concern.
  • The District is engaged in a massive Community Engagement campaign, known as Focus 205 that has extended over a two-year period. Part of that work included an interactive Thoughtexchange survey. In all, over 550 people attended the community engagement sessions, some 120 attended the three focus groups, and 1,500 people participated in the survey.

Finance

  • A balanced operating budget was presented to and approved by the Board of Education for FY17.
  • The District maintains the highest financial rating by the Illinois State Board of Education, and fund balances are above the minimum established in Board policy.
  • Working to develop and implement an Operational Plan in which financial sustainability and facility considerations support District student achievement priorities

We are proud of the District's accomplishments and because we believe Dr. Moyer is the best superintendent to keep the District moving forward, tonight, we are voting to extend the contract of District 205 Superintendent Dr. Dave Moyer.

Dr. Moyer is a visionary leader who is committed to raising the bar and closing the achievement gap for all students. Like his mentor, Motion Leadership author Michael Fullan, he believes this is public education’s moral imperative. And we concur. The Board adopted Student Achievement Action Plans and the related Community Compact in August, at which time Dr. Moyer stated, “Nothing is possible until the entire organization believes the moral imperative that ALL students can learn.”

Beyond that, Dr. Moyer believes that the best way to improve student achievement is to mentor teachers and administrators, with the goal of increasing learning capacity in the classroom. He is also committed to improving formative assessment and increasing student rigor and engagement.

Over the past year and a half, we have received feedback from both staff and community. Feedback came in a variety of forms. Ours is an involved community and change is always difficult, especially for the change agent. Together, we have stretched and grown.

Following a thorough analysis of his work over the past 20 months, we are more than satisfied that he has demonstrated progress toward meeting the District’s Key Performance Indicators and outcomes for all students, as reflected in the annual student achievement objectives which are consistent with the District Operational Plan and current research.

Finance and Operations Committee Chair Chris Blum then read the following preface to the resolution, which was passed with a vote of 6-0, with one member absent:

Over the past year, the Board has assessed the Superintendent’s achievement of the goals in his initial July 1, 2015-June 30, 2018 contract and his leadership in moving the District forward with a particular emphasis on identifying the needs of the District, developing long-range plans to meet those needs and, most importantly, enhancing our culture of student achievement at all grade levels.

We are pleased to announce that the Board has reached a consensus to enter into a new three-year, performance-based contract with Dr. Moyer. The new contract is for the period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020, which results in a two-year extension of Dr. Moyer’s employment. The salary and benefits provided for in the current contract are continued in the new contract, except that Dr. Moyer’s current base annual salary of $225,951.00 and benefits will be reviewed by the Board at the end of this school year, along with the salaries and benefits of all other administrators and may be increased by a modest amount. 

In reaching this consensus on a new contract for Dr. Moyer, the Board carefully considered whether it should wait until after the seating of the new Board members in late April or early May following the April 4 election. The Board concluded that it was appropriate to act now, given that the current Board hired Dr. Moyer and has closely evaluated his performance. This consensus was enhanced by the fact that there will only be one new member on the Board, given that there are now only three candidates for the open three positions and two of the candidates are incumbents. Finally, acting now on the Dr. Moyer’s contract, with the attendant endorsement of the direction of his leadership, will enhance the progress already underway, as well as the District’s ability to retain and recruit teachers and administrators this spring.

Entry into the new contract is accomplished by the adoption of a resolution which finds that Dr. Moyer has met the relevant goals of his current contract, terminates his current contract at the end of the day on June 30, 2017 and approves the new contract to begin July 1, 2017.

Mr. Blum made this further personal comment: “I think one of the main jobs of a leader, or CEO, or a superintendent, is to surround yourself with great people, and I think you would be the first one to say that those accomplishments weren’t accomplished by one person, but a team. I have been very impressed by your ability to put together a high-performing team. You’ve been consistent in bringing great people in that do great things for our kids. I think the hallmark of a great leader is a great team around him, and you have one. Thank you.”

Dr. Moyer responded saying, “I do have a lot of great people doing a lot of quality work, so thank you.”

Emily Bastedo stated, “When I was running for school board, someone gave me the advice that my job is really to hire a professional and to hold him or her accountable,” she said. “I really feel like we have demanded a lot of you and asked a lot of you, and you’ve risen to the occasion. I’m proud to vote yes.”

“We’ve spent a lot of time with Dr. Moyer. We’ve had some difficult issues that we, as a community, have faced. I think Dr. Moyer is leading this district to provide an educational product for our kids that is second to none. The organizational accomplishments are reflective of the leadership that he has brought, so I wholeheartedly make the motion for the extension (of his contract),” said Mr. McDonough.

“In 2011 there were four new Board members and two since then. We've extensively gone out to the community and the employee base, and we kept hearing at various different meetings that ‘We want to move the District forward; we want to get back to being the district that other districts come to for best practice and leading the charge.,’” said Mrs. Stuefen.

“And so it has been refreshing to have you come in, Dave, with that vision and truly being a visionary leader. We’ve received a lot of feedback; we have listened and we have adjusted accordingly. I don’t know what else you can ask for. It’s not easy, but it’s good work, so thank you,” she said.

“I echo Chris, that the hallmark of a great leader is the group that’s around him. It’s not just the administration, it’s the teachers and the staff all working together. And the community is an important piece of that too. The role of the leader is to hear and consider all of that information as we move forward,” noted Dr. Harrell.

“You guys have all said a lot of really nice things,” Dr. Moyer responded. “This isn’t, never was, about me.”

 

UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

 

March 6 – Finance and Operations Committee Meeting – 7 PM – District 205 Center

March 9 – Learning and Teaching Committee Meeting – 6:15 PM – District 205 Center

March 9 – Special Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

March 21 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

March 27-31 – Spring Break, no school

April 11 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

April 14 – Non-attendance day for students and staff

NOTE: Video footage of all Board of Education regular meetings are posted on 205TV within 48 hours. Audio is posted within 24 hours at http://www.elmhurst205.org/Audio (please click on appropriate meeting date).