News and Notes

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

May 20, 2024

Encumbrance and Expenditure – Board Approved

The Board of Education authorized the administration to encumber and expend up to 75 percent of the 2024-25 preliminary  budgets, which are being developed within budget guidelines established by the Board, and to pay salaries and benefits within Board-approved rates and schedules prior to official budget approval in August.

Conveyance of SEDOL property - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board adopted a resolution authorizing the district to enter into a contract to transfer property from the Special Education District of Lake County to District 75. The property, at 330 N. Ridgemoor Avenue, Mundelein, is attached to Carl Sandburg Middle School. The District had approved the purchase in January 2024.

Audit Services - Board Approved

The Board agreed to enter into an agreement with Miller Cooper & Co., LTD. for the district’s audit services. Miller Cooper was recommended because of their reputation, pricing and the depth of service that can be provided.

Grant Application Process - Board Approved

The Board of Education approved a plan required for federal grant applications. Known as a Consolidated District Plan (CDP), it outlines the components of title grants all in one place. The CDP also provides an overview of District 75 needs, assessments, goals, funded programs and measurements.

Student Services Update

The District 75 Student Services staff presented the Special Education continuum offered at its four schools. The district prioritizes supporting programs in-house so students can receive services in their home schools with their neighborhood peers. The staff shared information about its existing programs, their journey and the growth of the self-contained programs.
 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

April 23, 2024

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

April 23, 2024

2024-25 Budget Process Begins

In its first step in the 2024-25 fiscal year budget process, the School Board approved the proposed guidelines and assumptions relative to the budget. The assumptions included early projections on revenue, expenditures and enrollment. The tentative budget will be presented in June and the budget is scheduled to be adopted in August.

Breakfast and Lunch rates - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved new breakfast and lunch rates for the 2024-25 school year. Schools are required to charge students for paid meals at a price that is, on average, equal to the difference  between free meal reimbursement and paid meals. The D75 lunch rate will increase from $3.19 to $3.85, with a reduced price for lunches of 40 cents. The D75 breakfast rate will increase from $1.99 to $2.23 with a reduced price of 30 cents.

SEDOL Resolution - Board Approved

The Board approved a resolution notice to withdraw from the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL). The resolution requests SEDOL not to take action before spring of 2025, allowing the D75 School Board more time to make its final decision regarding SEDOL. The Board must file the notice no less than 12 months prior to the requested effective date; the intent of this withdrawal notice is to prevent District 75 from waiting until July 2026 to withdraw.

Next Board Meeting - Board Approved

The next District 75 School Board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, May 20 at the East District Office at 470 N. Lake Street. It was originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 28, but changed due to the lack of a quorum.

Board Meeting Times/Dates - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board will continue meeting at the same time and place in the 2024-25 school year. The Board holds its regular meetings at 6:30 p.m. on a Tuesday of every month (unless otherwise specified) for the next year. The meetings take  place at the East District Office at 470 N. Lake Street.


Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

March 12, 2024

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

March 12, 2024

 

Audit Report - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved the district’s audit report, meeting the annual state requirements. It showed a slight decrease in operating reserves and a slight increase in the Capital Projects Fund due to interest income. The district also retired just over $1.5 million of debt principal during fiscal year 2022-23.

2024-25 Staffing Plan

The District 75 School Board approved the recommended staffing plan for the next fiscal year.

The plan for the next year includes a small increase in the overall number of full-time employees. The District will add two additional paraprofessionals and a part-time reading interventionist.

Washington SIP Plan - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved the Washington School School Improvement Plan (SIP). Goals include decreasing the absentee rate and having 60 percent of students reaching their student growth percentile (SGP) on STAR math and reading during the next four years.

Proposed 2025-26 School Calendar - Board Approved

The District 120 School Board approved the calendar for the 2025-26 school year. The calendar was designed to mostly line up major holidays, start and end of the school year, breaks, teacher institute days and emergency days with Mundelein High School District 120.

Special Board Meeting - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved a special meeting on Monday, March 18 at the East District Office.

Carl Sandburg Volleyball Teams

The Board welcomed the Carl Sandburg Middle School boys 7th and 8th-grade volleyball teams to the meeting. The 8th-grade team won the conference championship and the 7th-grade boys won second place in conference. The Board congratulated the two teams in-person at the beginning of the meeting.


Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

February 27, 2024

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

February 27, 2024

 

New Carl Sandburg Principal - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved the hiring of Dr. Andrew Vondran to serve as the next principal at Carl Sandburg Middle School. Vondran will begin at CSMS on July 1, following the retirement of long-time CSMS Principal Mark Pilut. Currently in his seventh year as an assistant principal at Hubble Middle School in Wheaton Warrenville School District 200, Vondran also spent six years teaching middle school math and social studies. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Illinois University in 2006, a Masters of Education Degree from Aurora University in 2010, a General Administration Masters Degree from the University of St. Francis in 2013 and a Doctorate in Education from Northern Illinois University in 2023.

Academic Mid-year Report 

In a mid-year report on academic programs, administration reported that students are meeting eight of nine goals that measure student academic growth in English reading, Spanish reading and math for the 2023-24 school year. Staff has a plan in place to further improve scores.

Three-year Transportation Renewal - Board Approved

The Board of Education renewed its contract with Lakeside Transportation for three years. The contract includes cost increases of 9 percent for the 2024-25 school years, 8 percent for the 2025-26 school year and no more than 9 percent for the 2026-27 school year.

Impact Fee Resolution - Board Approved

The Board  approved a resolution that calls for municipalities to use a widely recognized industry-standard formula for projecting student growth in new developments when setting developer impact fees. The approach is designed to shield the Mundelein tax base from unwarranted strain of residential developments while upholding the District’s commitment to high educational standards.

TIF Resolution - Board Approved

The School Board approved a resolution for sensible responsible TIF reform that would prioritize community collaboration in economic development and establish transparency throughout the creation of a TIF (Tax Increment Financing). A lobbying partner for suburban school districts, ED-RED, continues to work on advancing TIF reform. The resolution will be distributed to state legislators representing District 75 areas. 

District 70 Intergovernmental Agreement - Board Approved

The Board adopted an agreement with Libertyville Elementary School District 70 for preschool student tuition costs that will allow D70 preschool students to attend the D75 preschool. District 70 will be responsible for student tuition and transportation.

Shared Service Compensation Parameters - Board Approved

The Board adopted the Shared Service parameters for evaluating potential compensation for any new or existing Shared Service administrator. The parameters also outline the role of the Shared Service Committee.

Special Board Meetings - Board Approved

The School Board canceled its regularly scheduled meetings for June 25 and July 23. Instead, the Board will host Special Board meetings on June 11 and July 9. Both meetings will be held at the East District Office, 470 N. Lake Street, Mundelein.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

January 23, 2024

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

January 23, 2024

 

Shared Services

The District 75 School Board met in a combined meeting with the Mundelein District 120 School Board to discuss its shared services program and address common matters of business. The boards came to a consensus on language in the superintendent’s evaluation process to avoid duplicating work; they discussed the pay philosophy for shared service employees; discussed how consultants could help them research the process of finding the next superintendent, and both boards approved BWP & Associates to lead the search process. Superintendent Kevin Myers reminded the two Boards about the unique opportunity they have in Mundelein to work together for the benefit of all the students. He also thanked the four members of the Shared Services Committee: D120 Board Members Tom Ouimet and Linda Vecchie and D75 Board Members Eric Billittier and Emily Karl.

SEDOL South - Board Approved

The Board approved the purchase of the SEDOL property at 330 N. Ridgemoor Avenue, connected to the west side of Carl Sandburg Middle School. The sale price was $630,000. The SEDOL Governing Board is expected to approve the sale of the property in March. D75 will take ownership of the property in June.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

December 19, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

December 19, 2023

 

Student Presentations

Five Washington students and two school administrators shared student experiences in learning how to decode words through a presentation titled, “How We Learn to Read.” Staff shared examples of how students use decoding strategies to support their literacy fluency in both English and Spanish. Students then worked one-on-one with Board members in a role-reversal exercise. The students taught the Board members using simple reading drills.

Job Descriptions Update - Board Approved

The Board approved updated job descriptions for an accounting supervisor and middle school principal. Job descriptions are periodically reviewed to ensure accuracy and they are updated as needed.

Visa Hiring Process

In light of the teacher shortage (especially for bilingual educators), District 75 is partnering with the Teachers Council to sponsor H1B work visas for highly qualified international candidates. This allows D75 to recruit experienced international teachers who can match the demographics of D75 students and support the district’s linguistic programs. The district currently has interest in hiring one qualified international teacher candidate.

Transportation Agreement - Board Approved

The Board adopted an intergovernmental agreement with Mundelein High School District 120 for transportation. District 75 will provide limited mid-day transportation services for MHS students and District 120 will be responsible for all costs of transporting MHS students. This should result in a cost savings in transportation for both school districts.

2024-25 Lincoln School Calendar

School Districts 73, 75 and 79 are working toward a common student calendar for Lincoln School. The goal is to have the same start date, professional development dates and breaks in the winter and spring. By creating a single calendar, there will be fewer interruptions and more opportunities for staff of the three districts to collaborate.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

November 14, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

November 14, 2023

 

2023 Tax Levy - Board Approved

Following a Truth in Taxation Public Hearing, the Board of Education adopted its estimated 2023 aggregate tax levy. The District will levy for a 8.3 percent increase to ensure it captures any new tax revenue generated from an estimated $618,000 in new property throughout the district. Because of the tax cap, the actual extension will be about 5.1 percent higher than last year when it is determined next spring. The projected tax rate will be $4.49, less than the 2022 rate of $4.62 and less than it was 10 years ago ($4.94 in 2013). Property owners can expect a tax increase for D75 of about 3.74 percent due to increasing property values.

Student Presentations

Six Carl Sandburg students and two school administrators presented an overview of the student experience within their school day. Students shared examples of how they Live the Tiger C.O.D.E, which allows them to be successful in school and also shared how their experiences provide them opportunities to develop academically, socially and emotionally. They also interacted with Board Members by asking questions on how the Board incorporates elements of the Tiger C.O.D.E. in its work.

Resolutions Committee Triple I Delegate - Board Approved

Board members discussed resolutions that will be considered by the State Board of Education and provided the D75 delegate, Board President Kristie Fingerhut, their input on how to best represent opinions of the D75 Board.

Health Life Safety at Carl Sandburg - Board Approved

The Board approved health life safety funds to replace the temperature control cabling and damaged controllers at Carl Sandburg School. Lightning damaged the temperature controls of two wings of the school. It had rendered ventilators, fan coils, chillers and boiler equipment nonfunctioning. The system that was damaged was 35 years old and obsolete.

School Report Card

District administration provided an overview of the 2023 School Report Card that was released by the Illinois State Board of Education. Administrators shared highlights from the report card including perfect scores in English-Language Arts proficiency at both Carl Sandburg and Mechanics Grove. The highlight for Washington was their math proficiency. Administrators also presented a plan that will include enhanced attendance procedures, more attendance resources, collaboration with parent coordinators and an Attendance Committee to review strategies and messaging.

Intergovernmental Agreement - Board Approved

The Board entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Fremont School District 79 to provide services in its structured Autism program for a D79 student. District 79 does not offer the programming. The agreement outlines the costs with tuitioning the student as well as the student’s 1:1 paraprofessional.

Job Descriptions Update - Board Approved

The Board approved updated job descriptions for a floating substitute teacher and a lunch/recess supervisor and approved new job descriptions for a daily substitute teacher and a parent coordinator position.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

October 24, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

October 24, 2023

 

2023 Tax Levy - Board Approved

The Board of Education adopted its estimated 2023 aggregate tax levy resolution. While the total equalized assessed valuation of property in the district increased an estimated 8.56 percent over last year, the Board is limited by law to levy for an extension increase not greater than 5 percent (not including new construction or bond interest obligations). A public hearing to approve the proposed property tax levy will be held on Nov. 14.

Student Presentations

Four Mechanics Grove students and two school administrators presented an overview of how the Leader In Me program is embedded in the daily lives of their school community. Students shared examples of how they demonstrate the seven habits that help them be successful in school and how their experiences provide them opportunities to develop academically, socially and emotionally.

Triple I Delegate - Board Approved

Following School Board approval, Board President Kristie Fingerhut will continue as the appointed delegate to the Illinois Association of School Board (IASB), representing District 75.

Joint Board Meeting

The Board’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024 will become a joint meeting with the School District 120 School Board. The two districts participate in a Shared Services program with many administrators, including the superintendent, working for both districts. The D120 Board approved its attendance on Oct. 10.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

September 26, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

September 26, 2023

 

e-Learning Program - Board Approved

The Board approved the District 75 eLearning Program, as mandated by the State of Illinois for districts that may use eLearning during the school year. The Board’s approval allows for the option of eLearning, but doesn’t mandate its use. A public hearing on eLearning preceded the Board meeting.

Updated Board Policy - Board Approved

The Board adopted the updated version of Board Policy #7:180, which addresses bullying and harassment. Changes in state law added new language to the policy that required Board approval including a requirement that the district must report any incident of alleged bullying to parents/guardians within 24 hours after they are made aware of it.

Technology and Facilities updates

The Board received an update from both the Technology Department on the implementation of its three-year plan. One of the biggest safety improvements being made this year involves the installation of new IP (internet protocol) speakers in the classrooms of each building and phone handsets in each classroom. These projects have been completed at Carl Sandburg Middle School and are in progress at Mechanics Grove, Washington and Lincoln schools.

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Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

August 22, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

August 22, 2023
 

Building Updates

Staff reported on facilities work done over the summer at all four schools and the East District Office. The work included recreating storage space into usable space at Lincoln, office improvements at both Washington and Mechanics Grove, technology updates at Carl Sandburg, and improved doors, doorknobs and windows to improve both staff visibility and security. Much of the work was done by staff with partial funding from grants, including $370,000 in federal money. Many of the changes will have a direct impact on teaching and learning.

Thanks for Your Service

Superintendent Kevin Myers and the School Board thanked Nikki Earich for her passion, dedication and service to students and the District 75 community. Nikki led the Mundelein D75 STEAM Foundation for eight years before stepping down earlier this month.

Special Education Considerations - Board Approved

Following a discussion of special education programs for District 75 students, the School Board authorized Superintendent Kevin Myers to make decisions on behalf of the Board in regards to future planning. District 75 is part of the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL).

Job Description Updates - Board Approved

The School Board approved three job descriptions, including one new position, one updated description and one title change. The new position is the position of Deputy Superintendent for both Districts 75 and 120 (Dr. Sarah Cacciatore); the updated description has building principals reporting to the Assistant Superintendent of Student Services (Jamie DiCarlo); and the title change is for the Grants and Medicaid Supervisor (it was previously a specialist role).

PRESS Policy 112 - Board Approved

The Board approved the adoption of PRESS Policy #112. Besides some basic language updates, the updates included mention of the appropriate administrator. The policies were presented by the Illinois Association of School Boards’ (IASB) full maintenance policy update service, PRESS Plus.
 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

July 18, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

July 18, 2023
 

New Board Member - Board Approved

The Board approved the appointment of Marcela Duran to fill the seat of outgoing Board member Freddy Gallegos who resigned in May. Duran took the oath of office at the beginning of the meeting and joined the Board for the duration. Her term will expire in May 2025.

Adult Meal Pricing - Board Approved

The School Board adopted the adult meal breakfast rate of $1.95 and the adult meal lunch rate of $3.69 for Fiscal Year 2024. The prices fully cover all costs including USDA Foods fair market value, in accordance with USDA Food and Nutrition Service instruction.

Special Education Transportation Bid - Board Approved

The Board of Education approved the bid from CitiCare Transportation for Special Education transportation services at $52 per route. Since both Districts 75 and 120 use the same company for Special Education Services they benefit by getting a lower rate per route. The Board’s action is pending approval of the bid by the District 120 Board, which will consider the matter in August.

Job Description Updates - Board Approved

The Board approved updates and new job descriptions for 18 different positions. While some are new job descriptions, many are current descriptions with slight changes. The changes will ensure the accuracy of the duties performed by District 75 employees as well as employees who have Shared Services positions in both Districts 75 and 120.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

June 20, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

June 20, 2023
 

Technical Difficulties

The meeting start was delayed due to technical difficulties with the Zoom streaming service. The meeting was recorded and will be made available for public viewing on the District 75 website.

Review of Academic Goals

In a final analysis of academic data for the 2022-23 school year, District 75 students showed improvement in reading, literacy and math despite an increased expectation for growth. Students met 9 out of 11 district goals that were set to measure student academic growth on the STAR and IAR assessments between the fall of 2022 and spring of 2023.

Purchase of SEDOL Building - Board Approved

The Board agreed to purchase the SEDOL property at 330 N. Ridgemoor Avenue for the price of $630,000. The building is connected to the west side of Carl Sandburg Middle School.

Shared Services Model - Board Approved

The Board approved a declaration and agreements to continue its Shared Services model with Mundelein High School District 120. The agreement includes three priorities: aligning work between the two districts, reallocation of resources for efficiencies and cost savings; and maintaining a positive environment for both school communities. Since 2018, the Shared Services model has saved the two districts more than $9 million while improving communications between District 120, District 75 and other feeder districts including Districts 76 and 79.

Organizational Chart Update - Board Approved

The School Board  approved an updated organizational chart that better reflects a shared services system. The new chart is designed to make the District more collaborative, efficient and accountable in a model that’s long-sustaining. The update will be considered by the District 120 School Board before it can be implemented.

New Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board voted to reclassify two current shared-services positions in the Facilities and Maintenance Department. The move will add additional supervisory responsibility to a pair of positions, saving money by not having to outsource work and improving the efficiency of electrical and mechanical maintenance at both District 120 and at District 75.

Intergovernmental Agreement with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services - Board Approved

The School Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) allowing for direct communication between the third-party vendor and the HFS and helping District 75 file Medicaid claims to the state.

Evening Custodial Services Bid - Board Approved

The Board accepted the bid of $508,746 by GSF-USA for the District’s evening custodial services.

Administrative Costs Waiver - Board Approved

The School Board agreed to waive a state rule to allow administrative costs to increase 6 percent, over the 5 percent maximum for the 2022-23 school year. The cost increase did not relate to salaries, but the move of $14,000 from one line item to another. The waiver is possible because District 75 remains in the bottom quarter of all school districts in the state for its administrative costs per pupil.

Board Meeting Dates - Board Approved

The School Board voted to cancel its regularly scheduled July 25 meeting and added two special meetings. The first special board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 13 for the purpose of interviewing school board candidates. The second special board meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18. It is expected to include the appointment of a new school board member.

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Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

May 23, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

May 23, 2023

 

Budget Adopted - Board Approved

Following a public hearing, the School Board adopted the budget for Fiscal Year 2024. The biggest changes to the budget were decreases in food service revenue and grant revenue. Those were offset by expenditure decreases in purchased services including food service, custodial and transportation.

Honoring the Outgoing Board President

The Board of Education and Superintendent Kevin Myers presented outgoing Board President Kevin Holly with a plaque and thanked him for his 14 years of service to District 75. Holly led the Board through various changes and improvements including starting the dual language program, the start of one-to-one devices and a shared services agreement with District 120.

National School Lunch Program - Board Approved

The School Board voted to enter into an agreement with Arbor Management for its food service program. Arbor submitted the low bid of $721,320. The agreement is for one year with option to renew for four additional one-year periods.

Intergovernmental Agreement with Mundelein Park District - Board Approved

District 75’s intergovernmental agreement with the Mundelein Park District was adjusted to address the Rec connection program moving from Washington School to Dunbar Center. The agreement also provides for transportation provisions, costs and automatic annual renewals.

Construction Management Service Contract - Board Approved

The Board approved the move to appoint David Zaremba, Director of Facilities and Grounds at District 75, and Kevin Quinn, Director of Maintenance and Facilities at District 120, as in-house construction managers. This will increase the district oversight on the Carl Sandburg stage project while decreasing the cost.

Administrative and ESP Compensation - Board Approved

The School Board approved increases for administrators and educational support personnel for Fiscal Year 2024. The move includes 5 percent increases, based upon the rate setting CPI for the district’s levy.

Strategic Plan - Board Approved

The School Board approved a list of action items connected to each of the goals in the District 75 Strategic Plan. The plan includes goals in four categories: student achievement, equity, partnership and fiscal. District 75 staff will take the steps to achieve those goals over the next three school years.

School Board Vacancy - Board Approved

The School Board approved the resignation of Freddie Gallegos and will begin accepting applications for a replacement. Applications are due by noon on June 6 and the Board will interview candidates on June 8. The individual selected to fill the open board seat will serve through May 2025.

 

Kristie Fingerhut, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

April 18, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

April 18, 2023

 

Tentative Budget Adopted - Board Approved

Chief Business Official T. Rancak and the District 75 Finance Advisory Committee forwarded a balanced tentative budget for Fiscal Year 2024 to the Board of Education for review and discussion. The biggest changes to the budget were decreases in food service revenue and grant revenue. Those were offset by expenditure decreases in purchased services including food service, custodial and transportation.

Washington Bell Schedule Review

Following a review of Rush University’s Sleep Study Survey and the new bell schedule that was implemented in the 2022-23 school year, the administration reported that there has been no negative impact on academic performance, discipline or behavior despite the earlier start time at Washington School. The results do not warrant adjusting the start time at Washington for the 2023-2024 school year. Administrators told the Board they are looking into providing free breakfast for all Washington students, working with the Mundelein Park District to have a single location for Rec-Connect and continuing the bus transportation route available to families with students at both Washington and Mechanics Grove schools.

Assistant Principal Added - Board Approved

The School Board approved the addition of a third assistant principal position for District 75, allowing for an assistant principal at each of D75’s K-8 schools. Currently, Washington and Mechanics Grove schools share an assistant principal. The move will create a more consistent role for administrators at those two schools and allow for a stronger emphasis on instructional leadership and student support services at the building level at Washington, Mechanics Grove and Carl Sandburg schools.

 

Kevin Holly, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

March 14, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

March 14, 2023

 

Budget Discussion

The first draft budget for FY 2024 was presented to the D75 Board of Education Tuesday. The tentative budget will be presented on April 15 and is expected to be adopted on May 23. Once again we have a balanced budget.

Staffing Proposal - Board Approved

The District 75 Board of Education approved an increase of 2.5 full-time staff members on Tuesday. The move included a 0.5 staff reduction at Carl Sandburg School, the addition of two part-time positions at Mechanics Grove and the addition of two full-time positions in special education at Carl Sandburg. The two schools that will increase are Washington and CSMS. The changes are based on both student needs and enrollment numbers.

Special Board Meeting - Board Approved

Due to the election in April, the School Board will host a special board meeting on Thursday, May 11 at 5 p.m. to meet the 40-day timeline for reorganizing the Board. The School Board will seat the new board members and reorganize officer positions.

 

Ray Rose, Vice-President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

February 21, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

February 21, 2023

Mid-Year Playbook

Principals from Carl Sandburg, Mechanics Grove and Washington schools presented updates to the School Board on the activities taking place to prepare for the next trimester. Each principal talked about reasons for celebrating their progress and stated some ideas for support or improvement. The district is on target in reading (both English and Spanish) and math to meet the goal of reaching proficient or higher in 11 of 12 goal areas.  Superintendent Kevin Myers gave accolades to our students, staff and leadership teams for the progress they’ve made academically.

Mundelein High School referendum presentation

The MHS Building Committee presented a report on the Mundelein High School $175 million building referendum on the April 4 ballot. The committee said that many of the common areas are nearing the end of their life span and District 120 will continue spending money on repairs until the space is improved. The committee’s plan calls for the renovation of aging common areas such as the auditorium, kitchen and cafeteria. While the high school program continues to achieve success, the physical facilities are the constraint. The limitations are impacting both academics and activities and creating difficulties with scheduling. The facilities plan will include the addition of a large multi-purpose room, a new competition gym and new space for an enhanced Career and Technical Education program. The plan also calls for a ring road around the campus to alleviate traffic congestion and the development of additional outdoor athletic/recreational facilities on offsite district-owned property.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board approved the addition of an administrative assistant for the Facilities/Maintenance/Construction Department. This position will be a shared service position, shared with Mundelein High School District 120.

 

Kevin Holly, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

January 24, 2023

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

January 24, 2023

 

Teaching and Learning: ASPIRE Academy

District administrators presented a report on the ASPIRE Academy. Due to a general shortage of teachers in the field of education and the need for bilingual educators, Mundelein High School is capitalizing on home grown talent and creating a course pathway for students interested in becoming educators. This semester District 75 is preparing its teachers to be cooperating mentors to host interns from Mundelein High School in their classrooms. The program will start with an orientation meeting at the beginning of the next school year. MHS students would spend three days a week in D75 schools during the full-year course for high school seniors. The students will rotate between Washington, Mechanics Grove and Carl Sandburg Schools, assisting teachers and sometimes working one-on-one with students. More than 30 D75 teachers expressed interest in hosting interns. 

Sleep Study Results and Next Steps

The District 75 Board heard a report from Rush University’s Sleep Study Survey that was completed in October by about 500 people for all grades, K-12. Both District 75 and District 120 shifted their bell schedules at the beginning of the 2022-23 school year, with a later start time for older students and an earlier start time for younger students. Overall, the data reflects the most benefits from families in grades 6-12 and the most concerns at grades K-2. The District 75 Administration will review the feedback and report back to the Board any potential options to address the feedback provided.

Public hearing on bonds for fine arts addition - Board Approved

The School Board passed a resolution to execute and distribute $4.5 million in working cash bonds to help finance an addition with a stage at Carl Sandburg School. The resolution sets forth the maximum terms and conditions of the bond issue. The structuring would be purposely configured to have the most minimal impact on the taxpayers as possible. It would also provide the District with the flexibility to fund other long-term projects such as life and safety improvements in the future and District 75 would retain its stable financial rating.

Summer School Stipends - Board Approved

The School Board increased the stipend allowed for the Summer School Leader positions to be in alignment with the hourly rate associated with the summer school teaching staff in the 2022-2026 collective bargaining agreement. Last year the Summer School Coordinator (serving as a principal) and Summer School Site Leader (serving as assistant principal) were paid based on teacher salaries. However, teacher salaries have increased with the new collective bargaining agreement. The two positions will increase from $45 to $50 per hour.

Intergovernmental Agreement: Long-term Substitute - Board Approved

School Districts 75 and 79 negotiated an agreement to permit Fremont District 79 to utilize a District 75 long-term substitute employee for one-day a week as long as the employee is not fulfilling an assignment at District 75. The agreement will allow both districts to better serve Ukrainian students at their schools. District 79 will reimburse District 75 for any days worked at Fremont schools.

Strategic Plan - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board approved the goals for the Strategic Plan, lining them up in accordance with the values the School Board listed in its proposed plan. The goals are:

  • Show continual improvement in literacy and math annually based on the appropriate standardized assessment.
  • Implement revised curriculum and assessments aligned to state  and/or national learning standards that support and enhance innovative and vision-focused practices and programming to foster high-level achievement.
  • Increase the number of school-community partnerships through events, communication, outreach and school culture.
  • Inform the Board annually on how the shared-service dollars were reallocated and shared service opportunities were increased.
  • Maintain fiscal stability and equitable spending practices.
  • Develop 21st century facilities plan to provide excellence in educational and extracurricular opportunities.

Board Vice President Ray Rose said the District goals become the foundation for which everything we do, going forward, will be built on. The next phase is the action plan in which the Administration will make action plans to achieve the goals set by the Board.

 

Kevin Holly, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

December 13, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

December 13, 2022

 

Public hearing on bonds for fine arts addition - Board Approved

The School Board held a public hearing regarding its intent to sell $4.5 million in working cash bonds to help finance an addition with a stage at Carl Sandburg School. A portion of the funding for the project would come from funds the district has previously saved with the remainder coming from the bonds.

The structuring would be purposely configured to have the most minimal impact on the taxpayers as possible. It would also provide the District with the flexibility to fund other long-term projects such as life and safety improvements in the future and District 75 would retain its stable financial rating.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board approved revised job descriptions for four positions and added a job description for a new position, a second payroll clerk. Like the current payroll clerk, the position will be a shared service role with School District 120. This new position allows both districts to have a backup position in payroll as well as provide more effective service for each district.

Insurance Program representatives named - Board Approved

The District 75 Board of Education named its Chief Financial Officer T. Rancak as its representative to the Northern Illinois Health Insurance Program (NIHIP) and its Human Resources Coordinator Tina Routledge as its alternate representative. 

FY24 Registration Fees - Board Approved

The School Board agreed to a slight increase in the registration fees for Fiscal Year 2024 while changing the process to make programs, field trips and clubs more equitable and accessible to all students. Fees for grades pre-K to fourth grade will increase from $117 to $120 in FY24; for fifth grade they will rise from $168 to $170; in sixth and seventh grades from $220 to $235; and in eighth grade they will remain at $235.

By combining the costs for technology fees, educational field trips (not including Camp Duncan or Springfield), end-of-year celebrations, clubs and one free Tier I activity, District 75 will have one single fee waiver process for those in need of financial assistance. Families who cannot afford certain fees will no longer have to  go through a multiple fee waiver process and all children, no matter their financial status, will have access to the same experiences including band, field trips, sports, clubs, intramurals. 

Accelerated Programming Plan - Board Approved

The School Board approved the District 75 Accelerated Learning Plan, setting up an application process for those requesting early entrance to kindergarten or first grade, acceleration to a higher grade level in a single subject area, or acceleration to a higher grade level in all subject areas. The plan sets specific guidelines for the application process including application deadlines. It fulfills a requirement by the Illinois State Board of education.

 

Kevin Holly, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

November 15, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

November 15, 2022

Working Cash Bonds - Board Approved

The School Board took the first step toward issuing $4.5 million in working cash bonds to help finance a new fine arts addition to Carl Sandburg School. A portion of the funding for the project would come from funds the district has previously saved with the remainder coming from the bonds.

Public Hearing on Working Cash Bonds sale - Board Approved

The School Board passed a resolution to hold a public hearing in December on its intent to sell $4.5 million in working cash bonds. The bonds will be used to help finance a new fine arts addition to Carl Sandburg School.

Adoption of Tax Levy - Board Approved

The District 75 Board of Education adopted both the tax levy resolutions and the certificate of tax levy. The estimated levy is a formal document that sets the amount of property tax dollars that can be levied by a taxing district for the operation of the school district. The 2022 levy, the total amount of taxes imposed by the district, and capped at no more than 5 percent higher than the previous calendar year, totals an estimated $19.3 million. No one commented during the Public Hearing on the 2022 levy. 

Specialized Transportation - Board Approved

The School Board agreed to purchase two mini buses and hire two drivers for specialized transportation services. Currently, the district spends $200,000 annually to a transportation company to provide three special education bus routes. While the buses and drivers will save the district an estimated $136,000 over four years.

School Calendars - Board Approved

The School Board agreed to adopt proposed school calendars for the next two years. While these initial calendars are subject to change, it does provide parameters and some key dates for future planning. Highlights for the 2023-24 calendar include a starting school on Aug. 16, winter break from Dec. 23 to Jan. 8, spring break from March 25-29 and school ending on May 23. The 2024-25 calendar includes a start day of Aug. 15, winter break from Dec. 20 to Jan. 7, spring break from March 24-28 and school ending on May 28. 

Shared Services Declaration - Board Approved

The District 75 Board reaffirmed its shared services agreement with Mundelein High School District 120 which was originally adopted in 2018 and began in 2019. The benefits of the Shared Services model include financial efficiencies and staff efficiencies. By the end of fiscal year 2023, the two districts are projected to have saved more than $9.1 million from the sharing of services. 

Teaching and Learning Update 

Administrators and teachers presented an update on the District 75 Teaching and Learning program. The District is in its third year of working with literacy consultants who are helping staff in reading, writing and foundational skills development. Staff is focused this year on small group instructional practices, consistent writing instruction and the inclusion of literacy in other areas of the district including at libraries, in the middle school social studies curriculum and by encouraging reading for the District 75 community.

District Learning Data

Staff presented a brief update on data it has been monitoring throughout the implementation of literacy and math initiatives. At this point, the data shows improvement for students in grades 3-8 compared to the learning loss during the summer of 2021.

 

Kevin Holly, President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

November 8, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

November 8, 2022

 

Shared Services Update  

The District 75 and District 120 Boards of Education met to review their Shared Services declaration and reaffirm their support of the model that began in 2019. The benefits of the Shared Services model include financial efficiencies and staff efficiencies. The number of staff employed under the shared services model has grown from 12 in 2019 to 27 today. By the end of fiscal year 2023, the two districts are projected to have saved more than $9.1 million from the sharing of services.  Those savings continue to be reinvested back into programs that benefit students and improve student achievement.
 

Kevin Holly, Board President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

 

 

October 18, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

October 18, 2022

Waiver Title Grant Schoolwide - Board Approved

The School Board will apply for Washington School to receive a Schoolwide Title Grant access. If approved, the waiver would allow the district to use federal funds on free and reduced services for programs that serve all students in the school. Currently Washington is limited to using Title Grant Funds to specifically targeted students. 

The title grant funds are typically used schoolwide when a school poverty rate is at 40 percent or above. Washington falls slightly below that threshold, and would need a waiver to use the funds schoolwide.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The Board approved the updates to seven job descriptions. The job descriptions now include a statement that applicants have the ability to fluently speak, read and write in English and Spanish (preferred). The positions descriptions include jobs for secretary, administrative assistant, receptionist and clerk. These are not new openings; the jobs are currently filled.

Tax Levy - Board Approved

The District 75 Board of Education adopted a $19.38 million tax levy. The estimated levy is a formal document that sets the amount of property tax dollars that can be levied by a taxing district for the operation of the school district. A Public Hearing on the Tax Levy will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the beginning of the Board’s monthly meeting. 

Strategic Planning 

The Board of Education discussed the next steps in creating a District 75 Strategic Plan.

Each Board member will define their own vision of the five main goals listed on the strategic plan by the end of October. The Board will then meet to discuss the points and build a consensus. The point of building common goals, Board Vice-President Ray Rose said,  is so the Board will be able to “monitor where we’re going so we keep moving in the direction we want.

“We’re building a foundation for the work we will be doing in the future,” he said.

Funding a fine arts addition

The School Board further discussed plans to finance a new fine arts addition to Carl Sandburg School. The Board last discussed the project during its Sept. 20 meeting and has since worked with various stakeholders to gather information and feedback. The cost of the addition, originally estimated at $4.5 million, is now expected to be somewhere between $5.8 m. to $6.8 m.

The district would need to borrow about $4 million in bonds to help pay for the project, about $1 million more than previously discussed. It is considering a financing option that would have the least impact on taxpayers while allowing the district to remain financially stable. To cover any unknown contingencies, the Board would consider using an additional $1 million in fund balance, if needed. A large portion of the funding for the project would come from funds the district has previously saved. 

An update and recommendation will be discussed at the Nov. 15 School Board meeting. 

Resolutions Committee - Board Approved

The Board of Education discussed and voted to direct Board Secretary Kristie Fingerhut, the District 75 delegate to the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), to vote on resolutions on behalf of the Board. The IASB delegate committee will meet during the Triple I Conference in November. 
 

Ray Rose, Board Vice-President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

 

September 20, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

September 20, 2022

 

Tax Levy

The District 75 Board of Education on Tuesday discussed an estimated $19.38 million tax levy, in preparation for adopting it in October. The estimated levy is a formal document that sets the amount of property tax dollars that can be levied by a taxing district for the operation of the school district. The Board will consider adoption of the estimated tax levy at the  October 18th meeting. 

Funding a fine arts addition

The School Board discussed plans to finance a new $4.5 million fine arts addition to Carl Sandburg School on Tuesday night, supporting an option that would have the least impact on taxpayers while allowing the district to remain financially stable. Board members called it a win-win plan that would help the community with minimal impact to taxpayers.

While the District would borrow $2.5 million in bonds to help pay for the project, it would make interest-only payments for the first two years. The structuring would be purposely configured to have the most minimal impact on the taxpayers as possible. It would also provide the District with the flexibility to fund other long-term projects such as life and safety improvements in the future and District 75 would retain its stable financial rating. About 40 percent of the funding for the project would come from funds the district has previously saved. 

Dual Language Program Improves

The Board received positive news on the progress being made toward goals in the District’s Linguistic Department. Ryan Zak, Director of Linguistic Programs, told the School Board that we are on the pathway to becoming a premiere dual language district.

This year the District started its roll-up of the 90:10 model where students would begin by working 90 percent of their lessons in Spanish and gradually reducing that by 10 percent per year. Other enhancements included professional development for bilingual program staff and co-teaching models for English learners. Bilingual Program teachers told the Board they are excited about their students’ progress and the collaboration among staff members from all three schools.

Paraprofessional Compensation Increase - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board on Tuesday increased the compensation for paraprofessionals $1.50 per hour and added a retention and attendance bonus for the 2023-24 school year. The District currently has seven paraprofessional openings and continually struggles to fill the vacancies. Since October 2020, the District has had one or more openings for paraprofessionals with as many as 11 openings at one time during the past 18 months. Compensation continues to be the most common reason for resignations.

The pay for paraprofessionals will increase from a starting rate of $15 per hour to between $16.50 and $18.75 per hour depending on the applicant’s level of experience, education and other skills. A retention bonus of $750 would be added in October 2023 for those hired prior to March 30, 2023 as long as they meet attendance requirements.

Superintendent Evaluation program - Board Approved

The Board of Education agreed to purchase one-half the cost of a $2,195 superintendent evaluation program called SuperEval. The web-based program is considered an effective and efficient tool for evaluating the work of the superintendent. The one-time cost would be split between Districts 75 and 120. The Board will be able to reassess the program after one year to determine if it wants to renew the program.

IASB Delegate - Board Approved

The District 75 School Board on Tuesday voted to make Board Secretary Kristie Fingerhut its delegate to the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB). The delegate would attend the IASB Delegate Assembly on Nov. 18 to vote on resolutions, hear from IASB officials and vote on officers.
 

Kevin Holly, Board President
On behalf of the District 75 Board of Education

 


 

August 26, 2022

District 75 School Board Meeting Notes

August 26, 2022
 

Equity Policy - Board Approved

This year the district accomplished many of its equity goals resulting in a more welcoming and inclusive experience for our students and families. On Aug. 23, the School Board approved the second and final reading for the new equity policy, officially making it part of the School Board Policy.

The committee considered resolutions and policies from other school districts, including Mundelein High School District 120. The District will continue to deepen its equity work to further the goals, impact and vision of the District 75 Racial and Ethnic Equity Policy.

Many thanks go out to the parents and staff members who served on the Equity Committee. The number of people and the diversity of people involved in creating the new policy is reflective in the policy itself, in that we want to do what’s best for all of our students.

Maintenance/Facilities

The Maintenance and Facilities Department oversaw a busy summer of construction, upgrades and repairs to our District 75 buildings. Director Dave Zaremba reported to the Board on Aug. 23, reviewing projects at all four school buildings and the East District Office. The projects include:

  • East District Office - The addition of 10 new offices and two conference rooms.
  • Carl Sandburg Middle School - New kitchen serving equipment; and a new sensory room (coming soon).
  • Mechanics Grove School - A new mobile unit at Mechanics Grove School to be used for music and robotics programs as well as a teacher’s room; a newly renovated front office  as well as expanded nurses room, copy and mail room; and new outdoor lights in front of the school.
  • Washington School - New administrative offices at Washington School; A chair lift at the Washington School Library, adding more space and providing more independence to handicapped students by adding a button so they can operate the lift themselves; Resurfacing of the playground and the installation of accessible ramps with financial support from a Safety First grant; and new outdoor lights in front of the school.
  • Lincoln School - Repair of brick and structural integrity following a car accident in the front of the school earlier in the summer.

Shared Services meeting Nov. 8

The District 75 School Board will meet with the Mundelein High School District 120 School Board on Tuesday, Nov. 8 to review the purposes of the Shared Services Program. Both School Boards have experienced some turnover since the Shared Services Program began in 2019, so it’s important to continue reviewing the purpose of shared services work. The meeting is open to the public.

School Board Conference - Board Approved

The School Board approved the expenditure of up to $6,900 for seven board members to attend the Illinois Association of School Boards Annual Joint Conference in Chicago. The conference, held from Nov. 18-20, is the premier training event for school board members, administrators and business officials.