LT Education Association President Andrew Johannes commended Drs. Waterman and Tyrrell on their management of the incident that occurred at LT’s South Campus on Saturday, October 2, resulting in the postponement of the Homecoming Dance. He noted that the Association supports the new proposed 2022-23 school calendar and the development of a districtwide strategic plan. Despite a stressful start to the school year, he said teachers have done an amazing job and is hopeful LT can continue to offer strategies to help eliminate stress for staff and students. He shared concerns regarding staff shortages, particularly paraeducators in Special Education. He emphasized that technology issues are negatively impacting instruction and operations, and is hopeful the broadband upgrade will remedy some of those issues. Finally, he celebrated Business teachers Krista Wilcox, Greg Gerritsen and Natalie Carlson for their work in Unchartered Learning, workshops that help teachers learn how to integrate real-world entrepreneurship tools and strategies into curriculum.
Student Representative to the Board Report
Student Representative to the Board Aamina Qureshi congratulated various clubs on their events and activities, including Model UN and their success at two recent conferences and WLTL and their four John Drury Award wins. She noted that Student Council has been busy organizing the rescheduled Homecoming dance and week-long activities. Theatre Board will perform Neighborhood 3: Requiem of Doom this week and rehearsals start for the Wizard of Oz, the freshman/sophomore play. Fall sports are at the end of their seasons and include several conference and top state finishes. She also mentioned that the original Homecoming Pep Rally was very fun, as was Mr. LT. She noted that LT recently hosted a LatinX book club, is hosting a fall blood drive, and congratulated the October Students of the Month.
Superintendent’s District Report
Dr. Waterman commented on LT’s recognition of LGBTQ+ and breast cancer awareness month. LTHS celebrates LGBTQ+ History Month, an annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQ History Month provides role models, builds community, and represents a civil rights statement about the contributions of the LGBTQ community. During the first week of October, students learned about famous and historic figures who changed the world. In week two, students were invited to join the PRISM Club for a lunch trivia event. Next, there will be a documentary Watch Party for the American Experience film, Stonewall Uprising, and a Book Club discussion of Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager, which delves into the lives of 23 people. October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to raise awareness about the impact of breast cancer. At LT, Future Health Professionals sponsored a Pink Out in which they sold t-shirts, cotton candy, and collected donations after releasing pink powder at Friday’s football game – all in the name of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The following FOIA requests were submitted since the last Board meeting:
- The District responded to a request from a student for additional information related to LT’s Stipend Committee process
- The District responded to a request from the LT ParaEducator Association for additional information related to ParaEducator wages, resignations, insurance, substitute pay, and seniority lists.
- The District responded to a request from Local Labs for additional information related to 1) information about LT’s student and staff COVID-19 data, 2) the 1619 Project requesting whether or not LT either teaches or possesses various titles and authors about slavery and black history in America, and 3) information about LT’s American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds and plans
- The District responded to a request from a parent for specific information related to an incident that occurred.
- The District responded to a request from NBC for information related to unclaimed funds.
Dr. Waterman encouraged the LT community to participate in the upcoming Glenbard Parent Series. The Parent Community Network partnered with the Glenbard Parenting Series, an educational consortium dedicated to presenting distinguished, relevant, high-profile authors, clinicians, and educators who share practical research-based knowledge and personal experience to develop social and emotional learning, increase well-being and enhance the positive youth development of students of all ages.
LT Community Advisory Council Chair Kay Kelly shared questions discussed at the fall meeting and the Council’s consensus: what are the most significant issues affecting the adolescents that should be addressed by prevention and wellness efforts, what should every student know and be able to do with regard to social and emotional learning and post-secondary preparation, and provided feedback on LT’s first Student Wellness Conference, LT Fest and one day of SEL lessons for all students.
Physical Education teacher and coach Katie Meyers was presented with a Vita Plena award. Katie began at LT in 2006. She teaches junior and senior physical education, strength and conditioning, sports officiating and self-defense. She has also coached basketball, volleyball, track and coordinates winter intramurals. She is involved with professional learning, and a graduate of Learning Forward, furthering her knowledge and skill in the classroom. LT is proud of all the ways Katie supports our students and families.
Several Board policies were approved, some were unchanged but up for a five-year review, while others included changes of an administrative nature such as updates to legal references, footnotes, terminology, etc., and additional policies included language changes as recommended by IASB and district counsel.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction Scott Eggerding discussed new changes to the proposed 2022-2023 School Calendar. He stated that the State added a new non-attendance day to the calendar. The new draft calendar recommends August 22 as the first day of school and ends first semester before winter break. Details include: 176 school days - 83 days First Semester, 93 days Second Semester and 183 teacher work days. Significant Dates include the following:
- First day of School: August 22
- Election Day: November 8
- Last day of Semester 1: December 23
- First day of Semester 2: January 10
- Spring Break: March 27-31
- Last day of Semester 2: June 1
- Teacher Work Day: June 2
- Graduation: May 31
The Board approved the 2022-2023 Curriculum Change Proposals, which included several new classes: Yoga, Geometry in Construction, Data and Probability and Sustainable Urban Agriculture. The Board also approved a title change and restructuring of the Reading EL course. In addition, Introduction to Healthcare Careers was approved and is designed to create a career pathway to nursing, pre-med or physical therapy.
The Board approved a strategic planning contract with Consortium for Educational Change Their process involves working with 60 different stakeholders, collection and analysis of data, and development of a plan that will help the district identify its core values, objectives and strategies on how to get there. Work will begin immediately and the goal is to bring a final plan to the Board by May, 2022.
Coordinator of Assessment and Testing presented the 2021 Annual Assessment Report, which detailed the performance on standardized assessments, as well as AP exams. Varying test administration timelines have delayed test results and call comparisons to previous years’ performance into question.
- Victoria Franzese, an LT graduate from LaGrange, expressed concern about the quality of education and urged the Board to encourage teaching that allows students to think for themselves.
- William See questioned why students are mandated to wear masks, and criticized District #204 for their support and celebration of LGBTQ+ History Month.
- Judy Kaiser criticized the hiring of a Director of Equity and Belonging, and stated she would prefer the focus shift from social emotional learning to logic and reasoning.
- LTHS Senior Leslie Mendoza disputed the denial of a Turning Point USA chapter at LT, and questioned the mask requirement as a government mandate.
- LT parent Janelle Bernstein urged the Board to help find an appropriate solution for quick COVID-19 testing in order to ensure students return to school as quickly as possible.
- Becky Lorenzen thanked the Board for their diversity and inclusion work, which is important messages for students to know and evaluate. She also thanked Drs. Waterman, Tyrrell and Rowe for participating in the CommUnity Diversity Group’s Race Unity Rally.