News and Notes

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

 


News and Notes 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.