HINSDALE TOWNSHIP
High School District 86
Board Briefs Logo
October 29, 2020
Regular Action Meeting
Good News
In her report to the board, Principal Arwen Pokorny Lyp from Hinsdale South highlighted some of the school's recent accomplishments, including:

  • Billy Gneiser taking second place at the Sectional tournament for boys golf.
  • Chase Metcalf taking second place in singles at the Sectional tournament for girls tennis.
  • Math teachers Rick Cazzato and Jennifer Gilbert being selected to present at the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) 2020 Annual Conference on Oct. 17. 

Principal Bill Walsh's report for Hinsdale Central also featured some recent accomplishments, including:

  • Moses Yawe being selected for the College Board's National African American Recognition Program.
  • Alonso Guerrero, Jacob Marquez, Melanie Quinones, John Rivera and Maria Rivera being selected for the College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program.
  • Coach Shawna Zsinko and the girls tennis team winning their conference and sectional championships.
  • Coach Nick Latorre and the girls golf team winning their conference, regional and sectional championships.
  • Coach Jess Krueger and the boys golf team winning their conference and regional championships, and taking second place at Sectionals.
  • Coach Bob Barber and the girls swimming and diving team winning their conference and sectional championships.

In addition, both principals shared that three District 86 world language teachers were selected to present at the Illinois Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ICTFL) 2020 Fall Conference. 

You can access Principal Pokorny Lyp's report by visiting https://bit.ly/3mtpZOQ and Principal Walsh's report by visiting https://bit.ly/3mEJTXz.

First Amendment and Open Meetings Act Presentation
Maryam Judar, who is the executive director and community lawyer for the Citizen Advocacy Center in Elmhurst, gave a presentation titled “Public Comment: Good for Democracy” that covered the following topics: reasonable regulations, protected speech, examples of unconstitutional restrictions on speech and best practices. You can view the video of the presentation by visiting https://vimeo.com/473924600 (starts at the 10:08 mark and ends at the 1:09:49 mark).

Committee Reports
Members of the Finance Committee provided the board with a report from their meeting on Oct. 21. During this meeting, the committee:

  • Discussed the assumptions that were used to generate the district's five-year forecast.
  • Reviewed the property/casualty insurance policy renewals that take effect on Nov. 1.
  • Talked about the bond premium, and recommended that the topic be brought back to the board for discussion on Nov. 19.
  • Reviewed and discussed the costs associated with the construction of temporary partitions at Hinsdale Central in conjunction with the district's return to school plan.
  • Talked about international trips and facility rentals, and recommended that the topics be presented to the board for discussion.
  • Discussed long-term solutions for addressing the space constraints that the Transition Center is facing, in large part, due to increased enrollment.

Members of the Security and Technology Committee provided the board with a report from their inaugural meeting on Oct. 14. During this meeting, the committee:

  • Received updates on the following topics from Kevin Simpson, who is the district's director of security.
  1. The district's Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). Simpson provided an overview of recent changes that were made to the plan, details about the adoption of ALICE strategies and procedures, and information about the overall management of the EOP. He also shared that the EOP mirrors the recommended template that was created by the DuPage County Regional Office of Education and its School Safety Task Force, and is reviewed on an annual basis by an internal team from the district and representatives from local first responders and emergency managers to ensure that it complies with state requirements.
  2. State required drills and training. Simpson shared that, despite the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, students and staff continue to receive the necessary and required training through a virtual platform. While In-person drills and training have been scheduled for future dates, they will only be completed when it is safe to do so. 
  3. Recent security integrations and referendum updates. Simpson shared that the new door access program is fully operational and has been integrated into the existing camera system, and that a new intercom system was installed and features emergency call buttons in every classroom and office. He also shared that he continues to work with the architects and construction team to ensure that the district's current safety and security systems are included in the ongoing referendum work.  

  • Received updates on the following topics from Keith Bockwoldt, who is the district's chief information officer.
  1. The Zoom video conferencing platform. Bockwoldt shared a brief overview of the initial setup process and the additional steps that were taken to tighten security to prevent Zoom bombing.
  2. Policies 7:340 and 7:345. Bockwoldt provided updates on both policies, and shared that, starting on July 1, 2021, 7:345 will require school districts to include certain measures in their data software agreements and disclose the data that is being shared with third parties. He mentioned that the district has already started to incorporate the language from policy 7:345 into software agreements related to subscription renewals.
  3. Security systems. Bockwoldt provided an update on the work being done on the district's security systems. He said the firewall replacements were deferred due to the pandemic and the possibility that the district could secure additional funding through Erate next year. He also said that the technology services department is currently reviewing different solutions that will further protect the district's email system and prevent scams. He explained that cybersecurity insurance providers are starting to require the implementation of additional measures such as two-factor authentication.
  4. Upgrades. Bockwoldt gave a brief update about the upgrades that need to be made at the Bank Center to support remote instruction and at the Transition Center to increase connectivity.
  5. Five-year technology capital replacement plan. Bockwoldt reviewed the plan, which includes information about lifecycle replacement for technology equipment and the projected budget for each year.
  6. Gmail and Google Drive. Bockwoldt provided an update on the move to Gmail and Google Drive. He shared that the change will allow for increased access to files and provide the district with a single integrated system.

Members of the Closed Session Minutes Review Committee provided the board with a report from their meeting on Oct. 14. During this meeting, the committee:

  • Conducted its semi-annual review of closed session meeting minutes that have not been released for public inspection. This included a review of minutes from October 23, 2019 through August 13, 2020. It also included revisiting past determinations of confidentiality for previously reviewed minutes. The committee found that, in order to protect people's privacy and the district's interests, there is still a need to maintain the confidentiality of the closed session meeting minutes that were reviewed. As a result, the committee is recommending that the board adopt Resolution #21.06, which deals with the treatment of closed session minutes.

  • Reviewed the administrative procedures from PRESS that deal with the treatment of closed session verbatim recordings. The committee determined that it will address the destruction of verbatim recordings during its meeting on Dec. 9.    

After the committee finished its report, the board reviewed and discussed a resolution for the treatment of closed session minutes. It is scheduled to vote on the approval of the resolution during its meeting on Nov. 19.

In addition to receiving the reports mentioned above, the board voted to release the draft minutes from these meetings as part of the consent agenda.

2020 Illinois Association of School Boards’ Resolutions Committee
The board reviewed the Illinois Association of School Boards’ 2020 Resolutions Committee report and discussed its position on key issues. You can access the report by visiting https://bit.ly/3e8hVjD.

Consent Agenda
The board approved the consent agenda as presented. The consent agenda includes personnel, stipends, board bills and meeting minutes. Please visit https://bit.ly/3oGDVXJ to access the consent agenda items beginning under number seven.

Approve the Development and Implementation of the Integrated Math Curriculum
The board approved the recommendation from the Math Pathways Team that the district move to an integrated math pathway starting in the fall of 2022. You can access the presentation that the team gave during the board meeting on Oct. 15 by visiting https://bit.ly/3e85Tqq. You can also access additional comments about the recommendation that Dr. Chris Covino, the district's assistant superintendent for academics, gave during the board meeting on Oct. 29 by visiting https://bit.ly/3ejqSHa.

Approve a Memorandum of Understanding Regarding COVID-19
The board approved a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Hinsdale High School Teachers' Association that addresses the following issues related to the district’s reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year.

  • Employees who are ordered to quarantine or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are still able to work.
  • Employees who are caring for a family member who is quarantined or has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • Employees who are ordered to quarantine or have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are unable to work.
  • Return to work during Phase Five of the Restore Illinois Plan.

Board President’s Report
Board President Kevin Camden shared that he believes the move to an integrated math pathway represents a great opportunity for the district's schools and students. He expressed his appreciation to everyone who shared their comments and feedback on the issue. He reminded the community that District 86 serves students from seven feeder districts. In addition, he stated that the district has always tended toward excellence, and should want to be associated with the best districts in the state and country, including those with selective enrollment.

President Camden also shared that he is proud of the district's faculty and staff, and thanked them for everything they have done to keep the schools open and get students in the classroom for in-person instruction. He said that he is optimistic that the district will be able to keep schools open and students in class the rest of the semester.

Superintendent’s Report
Superintendent Tammy Prentiss recognized Principal Walsh, Principal Pokorny Lyp and their administrative teams for their hard work and leadership during the pandemic.

Superintendent Prentiss also provided the following information and updates about the district's return to school plan.

  • She shared the themes that came out of her individual conversations with students and the meeting she held with student leaders from Central and South on Oct. 28. Those themes included:
  1. How hard the teachers are working and how much they care for their students.
  2. Frequency on campus matters.
  3. Feeling safe at school
  4. Consistency of synchronous instruction.
  5. Rigor and no busy work.

  • She reminded everyone that we have been bringing up to 25% of our student population and the members of our E group (E stands for everyday) back on campus for in-person instruction since Oct. 5. She also shared the total number of students who are in the E and R (R stands for remote) groups from both schools.
  1. South - 321 students in R (25% of the school's current enrollment) and 121 students in E (9% of the school's current enrollment)
  2. Central - 620 students in R (24% of the school's current enrollment) and 114 students in E (4% of the school's current enrollment)

  • She shared that we will be changing the rotation of our A, B, C and D groups for the rest of first semester starting the week of Nov. 9 so that our students in the hybrid model will be on campus for in-person instruction every other week instead of one week per month.
  1. During the week of Nov. 9, the students in Group A will be in the buildings on Monday and Tuesday, and the students in Group B will be in the buildings on Thursday and Friday.
  2. During the week of Nov. 16, the students in Group C will be in the buildings on Monday and Tuesday, and the students in Group D will be in the buildings on Thursday and Friday.
  3. During the week of Nov. 23, the students in Group A will be in the buildings on Monday and Tuesday, and there will be no school on Thursday and Friday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
  4. During the week of Nov. 30, the students in Group B will be in the buildings on Monday and Tuesday, and the students in Group C will be in the buildings on Thursday and Friday.
  5. During the week of Dec. 7, the students in Group D will be in the buildings on Monday and Tuesday, and the students in Group A will be in the buildings on Thursday and Friday.

  • She shared that every group (A, B, C and D) will get a day on campus during the week of Dec. 14. However, the order of the groups (i.e., the designated day they will be in the buildings) and schedule for the week are still to be determined, and will be shared at a later date. 

  • She shared that we will be seeking to increase the number of students who are assigned to Group E. These are the students who are brought on campus up to four days a week for instruction, interventions and support.

  • She announced that construction is complete on the temporary walls we need at Hinsdale Central to accommodate having students eat lunch in the building when we determine it is safe to do so.

  • She said that we will be maintaining the condensed block and Wednesday remote schedules for the rest of first semester.

  • She provided an updated version of the chart that depicts the steps of our phased-in approach for resuming in-person instruction. The main changes in the chart include:
  1. Use of additional local, county and regional metrics to help guide our progression through the steps. These metrics include: the Illinois Department of Public Health's mitigation interventions for Region 8, data for the communities our district serves, data featured on our district dashboard, school outbreak data provided by the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) and the availability of staff to maintain the continuity of instruction in our schools.
  2. Condensing the number of steps in the approach from five to four based, in part, on the addition of the metrics described above.

  • She shared the community transmission information featured in the DCHD's Return to School Framework, and the county's new case and positivity rate data as of Oct. 17 (data from DCHD is always one week behind).

  • She provided the combined seven-day and 14-day rolling average positivity rates for the communities we serve that are featured on the dashboard that was created by the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The district will begin sharing this information in the Updates from 86 email on a weekly basis.

  • She shared the data that is posted on the district's COVID-19 dashboard. As of Oct. 23, the district currently has five positive cases, 89 people in isolation and 44 people in quarantine. The district has also recorded a total of 20 positive cases since the start of the 2020-21 school year. This data is updated every Friday afternoon and shared with the community via the Updates from 86 email every Monday.

  • She shared that the district will not be giving final exams for first semester. This decision was based on the alterations that were made to the pace, structure and focus of instruction in the remote and hybrid models, as well as the challenges associated with administering what have traditionally been in-person exams to students who are learning remotely on a part-time or full-time basis. Below are the primary outcomes of the decision.
  1. Course teams can recover three to five days of instructional and intervention time at the end of the semester that is typically devoted to the review and administration of final exams.
  2. Course teams will still be able to give assessments during the final week of the semester. However, they will be calculated the same way as all of the other assessments administered during the semester.
  3. Course teams that assigned semester-long projects with checkpoints can proceed with the projects as planned. However, the scores students receive will not be entered as a final exam grade in part or as a whole project.
  4. Dual credit courses may still require students to take a final exam if they want to earn college credit.

  • She detailed the next steps the district will be taking to advance our return to school plan and preparing for second semester.
  1. Monitoring the situation involving the status of winter sports, including basketball.
  2. Administering a student feedback survey in November.
  3. Changing the rotation of of our A, B, C and D groups starting the week of Nov. 9.
  4. Holding a meeting of the Recovery-Revitalization-Restore Committee on Nov. 16, and of its sub-committees as needed.
  5. Issuing a communication regarding the decision about final exams.
  6. Providing an update on the framework for second semester during the board meeting on Nov. 19.
  7. Continuing to monitor the local, county, regional and state health metrics.
 
You can access the update from Superintendent Prentiss by visiting https://bit.ly/3jKDqYV, and the video of her presentation and the board discussion about it by visiting https://vimeo.com/473924600 (starts at the 1:55:04 mark and ends at the 2:30:16 mark). 

Program of Studies
The administration presented the board with proposed changes to the Program of Studies for the 2021-22 school year. Each year, course offerings, sequences, fees and academic information are revised by the buildings to accurately reflect the courses that students can enroll in for the next school year. 

This is the second year that changes have been made to the Program of Studies at Central and South in an effort to align curricular offerings across the district. The first step in this process was the creation of the alignment charts that are featured at the beginning of the section for each department. These charts are identical for the two schools, and indicate the courses that are offered at both buildings or are specific to one of them. As part of our ongoing work under Goal 1 of the strategic plan, we are moving toward a single Program of Studies for the entire district.

In addition to sharing the Program of Studies for each school, the administration provided a high-level overview of the specific changes being made to each document for the 2021-22 school year. Most of the changes correspond with our curriculum alignment work and ongoing efforts to provide equal access to all courses across the district. The overview also shows the continued work and progress of the science curriculum writing teams, which are highlighted by the introduction of the Chemistry of Earth Systems course as an option for all students.

Proposed changes to the course fees have been included in the Program of Studies. Most of these changes are the result of aligning course fees on both campuses and modifying fees in conjunction with the district's continued shift from traditional instructional resources (textbooks) to digital resources. All of the proposed fee changes will be presented to the Finance Committee for review and discussion during its meeting in November. All fee revisions recommended by the committee will be included in the final draft of the Program of Studies for each building. These drafts will be presented to the board during its meeting on Nov. 19.

You can access additional information about this agenda item, including the draft Program of Studies for both schools and the overview referenced above, by visiting https://bit.ly/2TzZRW6.

Academic Report
The administration provided the board with the annual academic report on student performance and achievement measures that included the following highlights:

  • Graduation rates, ninth graders on track, Seal of Biliteracy and National Merit Awards rose on both campuses.
  • The number of students enrolled in AP courses and the number of AP tests taken increased on both campuses, while the averages for the exams that were passed and college credit that was earned were maintained. Please note that the College Board decided in April to give the AP tests remotely in May. This did not leave our students and teachers with much time to adjust to the revised process for administering the assessments. 

Most of the information featured in the academic report will be included in the district's School Report Card, which the state is expected to release to the public in the next few weeks. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no new information to share for several categories, including the SAT scores for 2020, the Illinois Science Assessment and School Designations.

You can access the academic report by visiting https://bit.ly/34DFSME.

Five-Year Financial Forecast
As part of the annual levy process, the administration presented the board with the district's updated five-year financial forecast, which is based on the adopted budget for fiscal year 2021, the audited financials for 2019-20 and the forecast assumptions that were reviewed by the Finance Committee on Oct. 21. The administration did not include debt services and capital projects funds in the forecast because the bond sales, debt payments and project expenses would obscure the district's operational activity and financial position.

You can access additional information about this agenda item by visiting https://bit.ly/34DI5HW.

Estimated Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2020
Pursuant to policy 4:10 (Fiscal and Business Management), the administration presented the board with the estimated tax levy for fiscal year 2020. The board is required to estimate the amount of taxes necessary for the year at least 20 days before adopting a levy. Since the estimated aggregate levy shows a year-over-year change of less than 105%, no Truth in Taxation hearing is required. The board will consider adopting the 2020 levy at its meeting on Dec. 17.

You can access additional information about this agenda item by visiting https://bit.ly/3e6zEIq.

Financial and Treasury Reports
Per its regular cadence of reporting, the administration provided the board with the financial and treasury reports for September 2020. You can access the financial reports by visiting https://bit.ly/3oC2Qvz and the treasury report by visiting https://bit.ly/31UF2t3.

FOIA Requests
The board received information about the FOIA requests that have been processed since its last regular action meeting. This information included the names or titles of the individuals and departments who helped respond to the requests, a summary of the records that were requested and who asked for them, and trend data about the number of requests that have been processed and the legal fees the district has incurred in responding to them.

You can access additional information about this agenda item by visiting https://bit.ly/3mCKrx8.

Operational Calendar and Future Agenda Items
The board reviewed and discussed its operational calendar for the year and possible agenda items for future meetings. You can access additional information about this agenda item by visiting https://bit.ly/2H0UI71.

The meeting adjourned at 9;52 p.m. You can access the video of the meeting by visiting https://vimeo.com/473924600.  
Future Board Meetings
Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Regular Action Meeting
Hinsdale South Library

Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 6 p.m.
Regular Action Meeting
Hinsdale South Library

Thursday, January 14, 2021 at 6 p.m.
Committee of the Whole Meeting
Hinsdale South Library