September 26, 2017
News From the September Board Meeting
Budget Plan Balances Needs vs Funds
The 2017-18 budget approved by the Board of Education on Sept. 19 balances district programming needs with modest revenue increases.
Overall spending is increasing 1.7 percent from last year. Among spending increases in the $39 million spending plan are capital projects, new staff to meet enrollment and program needs, employee benefit rate increases and a new bus contract, according to Jessica Donato, chief school business official.
2017-18 Budget Expenditures By Function
Westmoor students and P.E. Teachers Chris Beese and Rachel Schlesinger celebrate the re-opening of the large gym after a new wood floor and basketball hoops were installed over the summer. The work was included in the 17-18 capital projects budget.
Strategic Planning Sets Direction
A new strategic planning effort is underway in District 28, with a team of 30 members representing Board/Administration, Staff and Parents charting the course for the coming years. Board members Tony Forchetti and Michelle Kohler are representing the Board on the team.

The process is being facilitated by a regionally recognized non-profit organization, Consortium for Educational Change. The organization specializes in assisting districts to develop strategic plans through an open and public process.

Have a Voice in the Future of District 28
As a community member of District 28, your feedback and experiences are essential to the strategic planning process. Please take a few minutes to participate in the community and parent survey. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete; it will close on Sept. 29.

This is the first step in our strategic planning process as the Strategic Planning Team works to update the district’s mission, vision and goals and develop a multi-year plan. Survey responses from staff, parents, community and students will be reviewed during the team's data retreat in October.
New Teacher Welcome
The Board of Education hosted a New Teacher Dinner before the Board meeting Sept. 19. New teachers, board members and administrators shared their favorite childhood book as a way to get to know each other. To learn more about our new staff, visit the 17-18 New Staff webpage.
Enrollment at Elementary Schools Climbing
There are more students filling the halls and classrooms of District 28 schools than five years ago, but total enrollment is still well within space limits, an analysis shows. There were 1,844 students enrolled in District 28 as of May 2017, 136 more students than in May 2012.

About half of that increase comes from the Young Explorers early childhood program that opened in 2015. New classrooms were added at Westmoor School to accommodate the program, which currently serves 64 3- and 4-year-olds from across the district in morning and afternoon classes.

Enrollment at the junior high has been fairly steady, with 15 more students today than in May 2012 and a population of 626 as of May 2017. There are bigger fluctuations among the elementary schools. Meadowbrook School is experiencing a four-year high, with 388 students in May 2017, and still higher enrollment this year with 393 students as of Aug. 31. Greenbriar and Westmoor enrollments are also inching up. Greenbriar had 51 more students in May 2017 than in May 2012 for a total enrollment of 415 students. This year’s enrollment is down slightly, to 403. At Westmoor, K-5 enrollment is 354 as of Aug. 31, compared to an enrollment of 299 in May 2012.

While there are enough classrooms to serve students at each school today, Meadowbrook is nearing capacity. Two housing developments – townhouses on Shermer Road and the Anets Woods development on Waukegan Road -- will be completed this year and may further impact Meadowbrook. Planners of both developments say the new housing is targeting empty-nesters and adults without children, so there should be minimal impact on schools. Exact figures won’t be known until units become occupied. 
District Happenings
District 28 Communications Receive State Awards
Northbrook School District 28 was among school districts statewide recognized on Sept. 15 at the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association Annual Communications Contest.

More than 160 entries in 11 categories were judged by out-of-state public relations professionals. Each entry was evaluated by three judges against a rubric of excellence, with awards given to those that scored within the established ranges for merit and excellence.

District 28 received two Awards of Excellence, for Website and the Update 28 community newsletter, and three Awards of Merit for two videos, “World Languages Program,” and “Sixth Grade Dance Assembly” and for the electronic newsletter, Matter of Fact, the employee newsletter. Superintendent Larry Hewitt and Communications Coordinator Terry Ryan were recognized for the work.
Spanish Teacher Helps Write Excellence Standards

Melissa Sen, NBJH Spanish teacher, recently joined 271 of the most accomplished teachers across the United States in Chicago to help set the National Board performance standards across 25 certificate areas.

National Board Certification is the teaching profession's mark of accomplished practice. The more than 112,000 teachers who have achieved Board certification demonstrate their ability to teach to profession’s highest standards. Ms. Sen received certification in 2008 for World Languages Other Than English.

National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) collaborated in groups according to their National Board certificate area/specialty. Each group of NBCTs dedicated one to two intensive days to assist the National Board in setting the performance standard indicating accomplished teaching for part of the content knowledge component for their particular certificate area.

 “The process of looking closely at the standards and determining what should serve evidence for accomplished teaching in our country was a tremendous experience and wonderful development for me professionally,” Ms. Sen said.

Standard setting is a research-based process for establishing a performance standard that indicates accomplished teaching.

"A critical part of the National Board's mission is to provide a national voluntary system certifying teachers who meet the National Board Standards. We could not accomplish that part of our mission without these teachers’ subject matter expertise, dedication, work and vision for the profession of teaching," said Peggy Brookins, NBCT, President and CEO of the National Board.
Second Grade Receives Heartfelt Thanks for Houston
Nothing teaches caring for others more than a direct exchange with those in need.

The four classes of second grade at Meadowbrook School in Northbrook adopted a fifth-grade classroom from Parker Intermediate School in Houston, whose students suffered devastation from Hurricane Harvey.

After collecting three boxes of school supplies and clothing, along with $450 in gift cards, Meadowbrook’s Ms. Jean Viviano received this message from Ms. Christine Clark, the fifth-grade teacher in Houston: “We received the boxes this morning! It was as if it were Christmas morning! My kids and I both could not believe how much we received! We could never thank you and your students enough for the overwhelming love and support that you have shown not only to our classroom but to our state! YOU ARE SUCH A BLESSING!” 

Photo above: Meadowbrook School second-graders prepare to pack up supplies and gift cards to send to Houston school.
MPC Wreath & Coffee Sale
The Music Parents Club Annual Wreath and Coffee sale ends Oct. 6. Fine quality greenery, coffee and candy items are available. This is the club's only fund-raiser and all proceeds benefit students.

Download the order form and turn in to the school office with payment.
Purchase Gift Cards Through the PTO and Give Twice

Gift Card Plus is a District-wide fundraiser administered by the PTO Council with help from each of the individual PTOs.

The program offers District 28 families and friends the opportunity to purchase gift cards from various retailers, including movie theaters, hotels, gas stations, restaurants, and specialty stores. The program also features local businesses such as Sunset Foods, La De Da, and The Book Bin.

Gift Card Plus revenue allows the Council to host family and parent programs, publish the calendar and directory, support the Traveling Art Show, and make a significant donation annually to the Homer O. Harvey Scholarship Fund. Click for details
District 28’s official hashtag! You can search the hashtag on Twitter or Facebook to monitor posts from teachers, administrators and the district accounts. This hashtag helps us tell the story of Teaching, Learning and Caring in District 28.