Volume 26, No. 3 | Thursday, September 22, 2022

News from the September 20, 2022 meeting

22-23 Budget Maintains Programs and Projects

The Board of Education approved the 2022-23 budget with break-even revenues and expenses after the exception of contingency funds, which are historically not spent, and capital projects, which are typically funded with district reserve funds.


The $47.7 million spending plan had only minor tweaks since the draft budget was published in July. About 80% of expenditures go to salaries and benefits for staff, said Chief School Business Official Jessica Donato in presenting the budget overview. The district has 239 certified employees, 176 support staff and 17 administrators serving 1,841 students. Local property taxes comprise 86% of the district’s total revenues.


New spending this year includes additional staff at Meadowbrook for growing enrollment, an additional teacher for the Young Explorers Early Childhood program, new science curriculum materials, continuous technology replacement and increased insurance and transportation costs, Mrs. Donato said.

This year’s capital projects total $715,000, the bulk being used for HVAC unit replacements at Meadowbrook and Greenbriar and safety improvements to all the buildings.

Contingency funds, budgeted at $781,500, are historically unspent year to year. When those funds and capital projects are factored out of the budget, expenses nearly break even with revenues of $46.2 million.

Westmoor Recognized With Blue Ribbon

Westmoor School is a recipient of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon School award by the U.S. Department of Education. Westmoor is among 297 schools receiving the nation’s highest honor for academic performance.


The Northbrook District 28 School was nominated by the Illinois State Board of Education and is being recognized as an Exemplary High-Performing School based on student scores on the 2021 state assessments in reading, English language arts and mathematics. To qualify, the school-wide performance scored in the top 15% in the state and in the top 40% for each subgroup of students in all three testing areas.


“We are thrilled that we received this award. It was really a group effort. It’s an incredible award and I’m so thankful for staff and students as well as the support of our families and the district as a whole,” said Westmoor Principal Mary Sturgill, who attended the board meeting Tuesday. A school celebration is being planned for  Nov. 7 after Ms. Sturgill returns from Washington D.C. with the award and official flag.


Read the full story on our website

Superintendent Continues Learning Tour

Dr. Jason Pearson visits Mrs. Avallone's 7th grade English language arts class for a reader's theatre activity. He plans to visit every classroom in the district in the first 100 days as part of his transition plan as the new superintendent. “There is really great learning going on in this district.  I look forward to continuing this process and highlighting the learning going on in our classrooms,” he said.


Four Content Areas in Curriculum Review

The district has a systematic curriculum review cycle to evaluate, develop, and implement updates to all curricula in staggered multi-year cycles. Each area receives specific focus as it proceeds through the stages of the review cycle. This phased approach to curriculum review allows teachers to focus on implementing new programs in one major content area at a time rather than attempting to manage multiple initiatives.

The curriculum review cycle process is comprised of three stages:

  • Stage 1: Committee work 
  • Stage 2: Implementation of curriculum revisions 
  • Stage 3: Monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting 

Typically Step 1, the committee work, spans two years. Step 2, implementation of revisions, is initiated over one year. Step 3, monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting, takes place over four years.


This year, science is in year two of review. The committee will evaluate what resources they need to align the curriculum to the current research and best practices identified in last year’s research, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kris Raitzer said.

English language arts, world language and visual arts will begin the review process this year. Each curriculum committee is made up of teachers from every grade and every school, student services staff and a representative from Glenbrook North High School.

Additional details about the curriculum review process is posted on the district website. 

In Brief

Northbrook Junior High staff and Northbrook police liaisons work through tabletop scenarios during Behaviorial Threat Assessment Training on Sept. 20.

District Participates in Threat Assessment Training

District 28 administrators, social workers, and psychologists attended a full-day training on Sept. 20 along with Northbrook police liaisons and representatives from the other Northfield Township elementary districts and True North Education Cooperative. The training is the first step in implementing the Salem-Keizer Cascade Threat Assessment Model that has been successfully implemented in the states of Washington and Oregon. The model is a framework of procedures and protocols to help educators identify behaviors or incidents that require more in-depth investigation. When threatening behavior is identified, intervention and supervision plans are designed to help support the student(s). It is specifically designed for the school environment to increase both the physical safety and psychological safety of the community.

SHIELD Testing Program Continues

Parents and staff will receive the next month’s supply of testing kits on Thursday, Sept. 29 to continue the at-home SHIELD Testing program. There were 144 participating in the voluntary tests over the past three weeks of testing. There were five positive cases identified from Sept. 6 testing, and one case on Sept. 13 and 0 on Sept. 20. Parents and staff can opt-in or opt-out of the program monthly.

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 October 25

The Board of Education is holding in-person meetings at Northbrook Junior High in the library. The meeting will follow 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 October 25.

Board of Education
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