Volume 25, No. 2 | Friday August 27, 2021
News from the August 24, 2021 meeting
Community Input Launches Superintendent Search

The Board of Education will be seeking broad input from the staff and the community as it conducts a search for a new superintendent to replace Dr. Larry Hewitt when he retires at the end of the school year.

The board is working with the educational search firm School Exec Connect to assist in the superintendent search process. ExecConnect consultants Dr. Linda Yonke, a retired superintendent from New Trier High School who lives in Northbrook, and Dr. Devon Horton, superintendent of Evanston/Skokie District 65, met with the board during a Committee of the Whole meeting Aug. 24 prior to the regular meeting.

The firm will conduct an online survey and focus groups with stakeholders to create a New Superintendent’s Profile that will be used to develop a slate of candidates. The process will begin with the online survey Sept. 20-Oct. 12. Parents, staff and the community will be invited to participate.

Dr. Yonke and Dr. Horton will also hold focus groups with staff, students, parents and community members on the district’s strengths, challenges, and characteristics the next superintendent should possess. The focus groups will be held in person and virtually Sept. 20-Oct. 8. 

Findings from the survey, open forums and focus group conversations will be used to develop the New Superintendent Profile that will be presented to the board at its Oct. 26 regular meeting. 

The board’s most important consideration is securing the strongest candidate pool and ultimately hiring the right person who will lead the district with the vision, values and support our exceptional team of teachers and staff. To ensure the deepest candidate pool, the Board will conduct confidential interviews. The firm will present a slate of candidates that will be interviewed by board members in late November. The final interviews will be held in early December with a target of appointing a new superintendent by early 2022.

SchoolExec Connect has recently worked with a variety of districts including Deerfield District 109, Elmhurst District 205, Barrington District 220 and Park Ridge-Niles District 64.
Schools Welcome Back All Students
School opened to all K-8 students on Aug. 19 with health and safety measures in place to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. For about 30 percent of the students, it may have been their first full day inside a school in 17 months. Dr.Hewitt said school opening went very smoothly.
Saliva Test Planning Underway
District nurses, school principals and district administrators are participating in training and working with a third-party vendor to set up voluntary SHIELD Illinois saliva testing at each school. 
The Illinois Department of Public Health is funding the program. Dr. Hewitt said IDPH recently communicated that only unvaccinated individuals are eligible to participate. 
The district continues to work with the third-party administrator to develop logistics for implementing the program, which is expected to launch after Labor Day. Additional information about the test and procedures will be shared with parents before the program begins.

Vaccination Rate Among Teachers
Dr. Hewitt reported that 97% of the certified staff is vaccinated and more teachers will be fully vaccinated in the next few weeks that will bring the rate up to 98%. (The governor announced on Aug. 26 that all preK-12 teachers and staff will be required to be fully vaccinated or test weekly for the virus). The district is also asking parents at Northbrook Junior High to share their child’s vaccination status via a secure website. Vaccination status is an important factor when determining the necessity of quarantine after close contact with persons with COVID-19 or after travel. An individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after they receive the final dose. 

Bus Routes Continue Refinement
In the wake of driver shortages throughout the area and the state, District 28 is fortunate to have all bus routes permanently staffed, said Jessica Donato, Chief School Business Official. There are always some delays as drivers learn the routes at the beginning of the year, she said, but overall buses are running smoothly. Ms. Donato noted that parents who experience any issues with the bus should contact the bus company, First Student. The mobile app that allows parents to track their child’s bus will be updated after all the routes are finalized. The district will share an announcement with parents when the app is operational.

Interest Grows for D28Mobile App
The district’s mobile app has been promoted to parents throughout the month. The app highlights communications, helpful links to the website, calendars that integrate with mobile devices and lunch balance information for junior high students. It also provides links to the other apps used by the district, including the online payment and online gradebook TeacherEase. The app has had more than 700 downloads. It is available at the Apple App Store or Google Play.
New Staff 2021-22
Anna Sherbin, NBJH Speech/Language Pathologist
Ms. Anna Sherbin has been hired for a speech/language pathologist position at Northbrook Junior High. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in speech, language and learning from Northwestern University. She completed a variety of clinical experiences at Chicago Public Schools and Chicago Pediatric Therapy and Wellness Center.
District Happenings
More than 60 parents participated in #NB28FirstDay photo contest on social media, posting photos of their students getting ready for the first day of school. The district office staff had the pleasure of reviewing all the photos and voting for their favorites. This year’s winning photo is from Stephanie Keddy (LEFT). Congratulations, and thanks to all the parents for sharing your smiles with us! You can view most of the entries by searching #nb28firstday on Facebook and Instagram. Below, two of the runners-up photos.
Want to Know More?
Livestream/Archive Video
The Board of Education meetings are live-streamed on the District 28's YouTube Channel. The live streams are also archived for later viewing.

Next Meeting is September 21
The Board of Education is holding in-person meetings at Northbrook Junior High. The meeting will be held following health and safety protocols. The meetings will continue to be live-streamed on the District 28 YouTube channel. The next regular meeting of the Board of Education is scheduled for 7 p.m. on September 21.