BOARD BRIEFS is a summary of the most recent Lyons Township High School District #204 Board of Education Regular Action Meeting. 

Please note BOARD BRIEFS is not an official transcript of the meeting.

For more information regarding the Board of Education, which includes a link to view the livestream of all meetings, please visit the LTHS Board of Education website.
The Lyons Township High School District #204 Board of Education conducted a Regular Action Meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, in the Reber Center at North Campus. The following items occurred during the meeting:

Board President Kari Dillon reminded those addressing the Board that individuals are expected to behave with respect and civility toward others and shall not use vulgar or obscene language, or impede, delay, disrupt or interfere with a Board meeting. For full policy details, consult the Board Policy manual on the District’s website.
Agenda-Related Public Speakers:
Rose Naseef
Jim Longino
Leslie Mendoza
LT Education Association President Andrew Johannes thanked the Board for their efforts in maintaining a safe learning environment. • The LTEA is hopeful for a for quick resolution to the paraprofessional contract negotiations. • The Association encourages everyone to get vaccinated and boosted and noted support for the district’s transition to mask recommended. • In addition to the data showing academic performance presented last week as part of the Grading Practices Update, Johannes acknowledged the tremendous effort, consistent academic standards, constant curriculum adjustments and grading practices modifications on behalf of teachers. The amount of change experienced over the past two years is unique and unprecedented, and LT’s excellent teachers continue to help students grow and succeed. Johannes emphasized the importance of the Grading Task Force continuing to meet and working together to continue meaningful change. • He acknowledged the Student Assistants, LT’s unsung heroes who help keep students safe • He noted that LT teachers disavow all racism and encourage a welcoming environment for all. • Teachers respect everyone’s right to express opinions, but they do not support disrespectful behavior. While everyone does not have to agree, it is essential to uphold LT’s 1st class principals and treat all with dignity and respect. • Finally, he congratulated LT’s All-State Musicians.
Student Representative to the Board Report
Student Representative to the Board Aamina Qureshi highlighted the following student activities: Steppers performed at the LaGrange Ministerium Black History Month Celebration • MUN is prepping for its conference • Scholastic Bowl took 4th in conference • Theatre Board’s musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, was a great success • National Honor Society has set April 9 at its Day of Service • Business Professionals of America are preparing for State • Math Team took 1st place at the Lemont Invite • Spring sport tryout start next week • Color guard -Tall Flags state champs • Competitive Cheer- First time ever at State, top 25 teams in the State • Varsity Poms Champs in Lyrical Dance, JV 4th place Lyrical Dance • Robotics going to State • Girls Gymnastics qualified five for State • Boys Swim and Dive eight heading to State • Lyon Con is this weekend • Eight students were named winners in the 2022 Highland Park Poetry • Eight senior student athletes signed letters of intent to play their respective sports in college. • Congratulations to the February Students of the Month.
Superintendent’s District Report
December Graduates: Superintendent Waterman congratulated December graduates, each of whom completed all graduation requirements at the conclusion of the first semester. These students will have the opportunity to participate in this spring’s commencement ceremony.
IMEA All-State Musicians: Illinois Music Educators Association honors the very best musicians from around the state of Illinois, and, once again, LT is honored to be represented with the following students selected for this honor: Lucas Barnes: Choir – Senior, Julia Blumhagen: Choir – Junior, *Charles Cundiff: Orchestra – Senior, *Emerson Eich: Choir – Senior, Cassidy Gall: Choir – Senior, Natalie Garbe: Band – Senior, Emmett James: Band – Senior, Grace Kovacs: Orchestra- Sophomore, Madison Kraus: Orchestra – Senior, *Amber Phillips: Choir – Senior, Connor Sandman: Choir – Junior and Kai Werlinsky: Orchestra – Sophomore (*Honors All-State Musicians)
Black History Month: An annual celebration of achievements by African Americans, Black History Month is a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. In addition to visual displays, social media posts, and daily announcements celebrating the achievements of African Americans throughout history, LT also hosted entertainer Maggie Brown, who performed Legacy: A Wealth of Music for classes both in person and via live-stream on Friday, February 11. The presentation focused on the history and influence of African American music and lessons on inheriting and leaving a legacy. Later this week, LT will host Virtual Pulitzer Center Journalist Noreen Nasir and the LT Reads Book Club: Angel of Greenwood.
Monthly FOIA Report:
  • A construction company requested bid documents for the SC Asbestos Abatement project and the NC Com Ed electrical services project           
  • A parent rights group requested information surrounding vaccine clinics and LT’s ESSER applications, as well as information regarding Board of Education public comment policy and procedures.                                                                                                                                     
  • A reporter requested information regarding status of a proposed club and public comments procedures at Board meetings.
  • Three citizens requested information on LT surety bonds and insurance documentation.                                            
  • The Paraprofessional association requested information regarding district health insurance plans.                       
  • A parent requested information regarding LTHS COVIS-19 numbers and the re-opening plan.

Message of Hope: Superintendent Waterman acknowledged the challenges that our school community has encountered throughout the last few weeks. He noted that the divisiveness, the disrespect, the racism, and the examples of anger in the form of harassment is not what we are accustomed to seeing at LT. At the same time, even in these difficult moments, learning continues. Student engagement with staff continues. Student participation in activities and athletics continues. Students getting support and encouragement from staff continues. He added that it is more important than ever to double down on kindness, compassionate, and tolerance. To double down on cultivating an environment conducive for learning and make sure actions send a message of hope and respect. He added, “And, I know, as this divisiveness continues in school communities throughout the country, I know this…if there is one school that will overcome this, if there is one school that will re-unite, and do what is best for all students, it’s this one. It’s LT. And, we will get there by working together.” 
The Board approved several updated and/or revised District policies as received from its PRESS Plus service.
  • Section 1: For quality assurance, two policies were presented for review at least once every five years
  • Section 2: 41 policy revisions includes changes of an administrative nature, such as updates to legal references, footnotes, terminology, or responses to recent legislation and should not affect how the policies are interpreted.
  • Section 3: 14 policies have been reviewed by legal counsel and recommendations were discussed.
The Board approved the 2022-23 Textbook/Instructional Material Change requests, most of which replace previous editions or swap one novel for another. The bulk of the monies requested are for new health books. Two of the new texts are digital, where each student will receive a code to access the digital book online. The total textbook requests total approximately $89,000.
As a result of recent statewide court proceedings and legislative actions and the decline in transmission within our community and school, the Board of Education approved an updated COVID-19 Mitigation Plan, which includes a transition to a mask recommended environment on Monday, February 28, 2022. This date aligns with the state of Illinois’ decision to lift the indoor mask mandate for most public places on the same date. Updated Mitigation Plan details will be available on the web and in order to support students through the transition to a mask recommended environment, teachers will guide students through mini-lessons this Thursday and Friday.
The Board approved the following contracts:
  • Flooring Abatement Project in the amount of $42,585
  • SC Site Work, including replacement of the SC parking lot, sidewalk and curb in the amount of $418,000
  • General Remodeling Project at both NC and SC including fieldhouse windows, repairing a water issue at NC, and floor tile in the amount of $874,000
  • Electrical Vault Repair in the amount of $680,645
Grading Practices Update Superintendent Waterman recapped last week’s Grading Practices Update noting that it included a brief history, significant concerns communicated prior to 2017, the most recent history from the fall, as well as feedback and adjustments made in time for the 2nd semester. First semester grade data and perception data collected from the Strategic Planning Environmental Scan were shared, along with teacher testimonials. He also noted that the presentation is available to watch on our Board of Education website. He detailed the questions the administrative team is working to clarify for the Board of Education.
Co-Teaching Pilot Director of Student Services Leslie Owens reviewed plans for a co-teaching pilot next school year at the Freshman Level within English I and World History classes. Co-teaching will provide a necessary service delivery component and take a significant step toward actualizing our district’s equity statement and desire for an inclusive school environment in which students feel an authentic sense of belonging while achieving at the highest levels. In terms of enrollment, nearly 35% of incoming students are currently enrolled (in 8th grade) in co-taught English and/or social studies courses, which is approximately 44 students. Co-taught courses are general education courses and will follow our traditional class-size maximums of 26 students. In a co-taught classroom, typically 70% of the students are general education students and 30% are special education students.
Arabic Culture Club moved from a pilot status to full club recognition, and Esports Club stipends increased to reflect the club’s growing membership with weekly competitions.
Non-Agenda Related Items Public Speakers
Board President Kari Dillon reminded those addressing the Board that individuals are expected to behave with respect and civility toward others and shall not use vulgar or obscene language, or impede, delay, disrupt or interfere with a Board meeting. For full policy details, consult the Board Policy manual on the District’s website.
The following individuals provided comments during the public participation portion of the meeting:
Lisa Hammon
Nicolas Castiglione
Nancy Bramson
Kelly Burns
Addisyn Schaefer
Lindsay Dillon
Jane Yount
Anthony McKenna
Annete Quick
Cris Shepard
Mary O’Dowd
For an archive of all previous Messages from the Principal, Superintendent and District, click the icon.
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LaGrange, IL 60525
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