The Lyons Township High School District #204 Board of Education conducted a Regular Action Meeting on Monday, May 16, 2022, in the Reber Center at North Campus. The following items occurred during 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.
Agenda-Related Public Speakers:
LT Education Association President Andrew Johannes congratulated the Class of 2022, noting that he is impressed with the resiliency they have demonstrated throughout their high school careers. They have much to be proud of, and he is looking forward to celebrating their achievements and wishes them all the best of luck. The LTEA supports the finalization of the Strategic Plan. He also noted his appreciation of the productive conversations in the Grading Implementation Committee. He congratulated Aviation teacher Dave Root for his recognition, as well as Student Representative to the Board Aamina Qureshi and the Green Halo Scholars. He thanked each Board member for their time and efforts, especially when making difficult decisions and is looking forward to working together next year.
Student Representative to the Board Report
Student Representative to the Board Aamina Qureshi highlighted the following student activities: • French Club met with foreign exchange students • Yoga Club hosted a Mother’s Day class • Steppers hosted their 6th annual show competition Step Into Lion’s Den • Eurythmics Dance Company held their spring show • LT collected sleeping bags for Ukrainian refugees • Fishing Club qualified for the sectional tournament • BPA sent six members to participate in Nationals • Lion newspaper and staffers received recognition form journalism associations • Fashion Club held its Spring Fashion Show • A run down of spring sports was delivered, including those that have completed their seasons and those heading to state competition.
Superintendent’s District Report
• Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History, or TEAACH, Act ensures every public school student in Illinois learn about the contributions of Asian Americans to the economic, cultural, social, and political development. Beginning next school year, every public school shall include in its curriculum a unit studying the events of Asian American history, including the history of Asian Americans in Illinois and the Midwest, as well as the contributions of Asian Americans toward advancing civil rights from the 19th century onward. Ensuring Asian American history is taught lays a foundation for cross-cultural education and advances racial equity. LT looks forward to expanding Asian American history and contributions within our curriculum, and is proud to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
• LTCAC Consensus
o The LT Community Advisory Council met for the final time on Wednesday, April 27, and the topic was strategic planning. The Council reviewed a draft of the plan and offered feedback on the various components. The most prevalent ideas for improvement were related to the sentence structure of the Vision. The most prevalent area of support was related to the clear and concise format of the plan.
o Superintendent Waterman recognized LTCAC Chair Kate Kelly for the time and efforts she put into leading the LTCAC for the last five years.
Four FOIA requests were made since the last Board meeting:
o A public record collection service requested emails from January 1, 2022, between LT and the Western Springs Police Department, as well as a local reporter.
o Commercial request for the results of the fiscal year 2022 gym uniform request for proposals
o Local newspaper reporter requested communication regarding anyone banned from Board of Education meetings and their responses.
o An attorney requested records of incidents of any student assault, threats, or bullying.
• Embry Riddle Recognition
Dave Root was recognized for his dedication to the classroom, professionalism and helping provide the next generation of aviators. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University presented Root with an award, noting his credentials as a professor, commercial pilot, certified flight and certified flight instrument instructor, as well as his multi-engine and remote pilot licenses. For the past 16 years, Lyons Township High School and Embry Riddle have had a dual credit partnership. Root, a 2003 LT graduate, began teaching at LT in 2009. The LT Aviation program has grown from one course to five, and routinely turns out a half dozen licensed pilots each year. Aviation courses use real-world experiences and guest speakers to enhance coursework, including field trips to aviation museums, national guard facilities and commercial and private hangars, along with guest speakers in all fields of aviation.
• Green Halo Scholars
In its third year partnering with Green Halo Scholars, LT has had approximately 15 students complete the program which provides consistent mentorship and support for students (particularly underrepresented and first-generation college students) as they navigate the college application process. Superintendent Waterman presented six Green Halo Scholars with certificates of achievement for hand work and congratulated them on their college admissions and scholarships.
• Class of 2022 Resolution
Superintendent Waterman recognized the Class of 2022 as they celebrate the completion of their high school experience. In addition to the recent Baccalaureate, the Class of 2022 will participate in Senior Honors Assembly on Thursday, Prom on Sunday, and Commencement on Wednesday, May 25. The Board of Education approved a declaration that identifies Thursday, May 19, as Senior Honors Day.
• Student Representative to the Board
o Superintendent Waterman thanked Aamina for her service to the Board and her fellow students. Board members echoed Dr. Waterman’s sentiments.
o Junior Matthew Walsh was introduced and welcomed as the next Student Representative to the Board.
• Strategic Plan Update
Superintendent Waterman presented a two-page draft strategic plan that includes mission, vision, motto, graduate, adult and system profiles, as well as five long-range goals and strategies. The items outlined were reached through consensus by the Core Team and the Plan Team and reviewed for input through a survey administered to students, parents, staff, community and alumni. There will be additional opportunities for editing between now and the final draft plan, which is scheduled to be presented for BOE consideration in June.
• The Board authorized the superintendent to appoint an Illinois licensed attorney as the district hearing officer for one year who will conduct due process expulsion hearings. A hearing officer will allow for higher level of record keeping, with written records, witness testimony, and all findings of fact.
• Director of Business Services Brian Stachacaz reviewed the process for requesting and budgeting capital requests. The Board approved Education Fund and O&M Fund capital requests in the amount of $1.7 million, which represent the majority of the “Priority 1” requests submitted including, a 10-passenger van, security camera system upgrade, lawn mower, yoga mirrors and flooring, phone system, network and wifi upgrades, as well as cyclical end-of-life technology replacements.
• The Board approved approximately $80,000 in summer extended contracts for counselors, College/Career Coordinator, select Special Education positions and the Assistant Athletic Director. These workdays will help staff complete tasks for closing out one school year and preparing for the next school year.
• The Board approved the 2022-23 Textbook/Instructional Material Change Requests, which include class sets, removal of instructional material that has not been used, and several new text requests. Texts up for adoption were placed on public display for 30 days.
• The Board approved three summer workshops for course teams who are updating curriculum, assessments and grading practices. The workshop includes three course teams: American Studies Prep, Cross-Categorical English III/IV and English Learning/EL Reading.
• The Board approved updates to the 2022-23 calendar to include the addition of Election Day, November 8, 2022 as a state school holiday, modifications to the Late Start schedule to begin at 9:15am, reinstatement of Early Dismissal Days, and inclusion of Asynchronous/Remote Learning on SAT Day 2. Click for a final 2022-23 school calendar.
• Members of the Special Education Department presented an overview of the district’s special Education service delivery model.
• The Board of Education approved the Discipline Improvement Plan as required by the Illinois State Board of Education. LTHS was identified as being in the top 20 percent for the racial disproportionality metric, defined as the overrepresentation of students of color in comparison to the total number of students of white students, with respect to the use of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions. The purpose of the Discipline Improvement Plan is to examine district discipline data and identify actions and strategies the school will implement to reduce the use of exclusionary disciplinary practices or racial disproportionality or both.
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.
Nancy Bramson with Kathy Pierson and Rebecca Ramano (CommUNITY Diversity Group of LaGrange)