Aug. 8, 2017
News from the July Board Meeting
2017-18 Budget Includes NBJH Projects, New Staff
The $38.8 million 2017-18 proposed budget strikes a balance between a low increase in revenues and meeting the facilities and programming needs of the District, Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato said.

Overall spending is $1.5 million over projected revenues. Contingencies, which are not typically spent, account from more than half of the shortfall.

Capital projects, which are paid for with fund reserves, account for $582,100 of the shortfall. 
The Board of Education will adopt the 2017-18 budget at its Sept. 19 regular meeting.   
 Key projects include asbestos abatement and carpet replacement at the junior high, which will take place next summer, and the gym floor replacement at Westmoor School, which is being completed this summer.

The remainder of the shortfall is due to a multi-year agreement with Northbrook Court that refunds some property taxes paid in previous years in exchange for a not seeking refunds for other years, both in the past and in the future. 

Among the spending increases are costs for new staff, employee benefit cost increases and a new bus contract. Staff increases include an administrator to develop the Educational Life Skills program for special education students, an additional position to support the early childhood program and a part-time special education teacher to meet needs of students.

The spending plan was crafted with an eye on the low Consumer Price Index. For the second year in a row, the CPI is below 1 percent. District property tax revenues are tied to the CPI or 5 percent, whichever is less. Some increase in property tax revenue is coming from newly developed property that has been added to the tax base. Investment income is also increasing slightly. Conversely, state revenue is uncertain. Last year, the District received only two of four state categorical grant payments, which help fund special education, transportation and English Learner programs.

“We strive to be as conservative as possible while maintaining our programs and buildings at the level to which our community has come to expect,”  Superintendent Dr. Larry Hewitt said.

The budget is on display on the District website and available for review in the District office until the September 19 meeting, when the Board will vote to adopt the budget.

Clay Sculpture was one of the new offerings in summer school this year. Forty-nine teachers participated in summer school this year.
Summer School Program Remains A Popular Choice 
The District 28 Summer School program continues to provide enrichment and extended learning for about 30 percent of the student population.

This year’s enrollment of 621 students included 36 students from District 27 and 31, 27 students in Extended School Year and 11 Early Childhood students, according to Dr. Rosanne Dwyer, Director of Student Services. Faculty members Hillary Nasso and Brenda Nowitzki were the administrative interns overseeing the day-to-day operations of the program.
The majority of students are enrolled in up to four enrichment classes a day, five days a week for four weeks. This year’s 115 class offerings served grades 1-8 and ranged from Math Minds and book club to volleyball, soccer, cooking, woodworking cursive writing, to Time for Tech.

The program is staffed by 49 teachers and 22 assistants along with office and custodial staff.
Board Briefs
New Hoops for Westmoor School Gym 

As part of the gym floor resurfacing project at Westmoor School, the basketball courts have been reconfigured to add playing space. This will expand use for physical education classes as well as for park district programs.

The gym will now have six hoops and backstops instead of four. The Board approved purchasing the new basketball hoops with motorized systems for additional flexibility.

Happenings Around the District
Summer Learning = Dedicated Teachers
Summer Professional Development offerings drew 750 participants -- that means many teachers were here for more than one class. There were 33 summer classes offered by consultants and staff. Funding for the program is paid for with federal grants. This enthusiastic participation is another example of the Teaching-Learning-Caring motto that our staff lives up to every day. Above, Diane Sweeney leads the workshop on Coaching Strategies Aug. 3 for faculty and staff.


District 28’s official hashtag! You can search the hashtag on Twitter or Facebook to monitor posts from teachers, administrators and the district accounts. This hashtag helps us tell the story of Teaching, Learning and Caring in District 28.