Highlights from the February 10, 2020
Lake Forest High School District 115 Board of Education Meeting
Superintendent’s Report
Student Body Vice President Bridget Mitchell reported the Winter Formal was a success. Student Council is recognizing different departments at the high school for their support. Most recently, Safety and Security members were thanked for their efforts.
 
Principal Chala Holland congratulated Elaina Lee and Alex Slomba on their selection as Presidential Scholar Candidates. Out of an estimated 3.7 million students expected to graduate high school this year, about 4,000 were invited to apply for the prestigious honor by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. Chala also announced upcoming auditions for the Talent Show, a fundraiser sponsored by the APT, the upcoming play Once Upon a Mattress , and a Career Fair to be held on March 17. Chala mentioned that the high school is working closely with sender schools to ensure a smooth transition for incoming students and families. Summer School courses and registration information has been posted on the website.

Superintendent Mike Simeck recognized Julia Tanna, a member of the 2019 Girls Swimming team, who earned a state title for a second year in a row in the 100 Breaststroke, Class A division for Athletes with Disabilities (AWD). Chala commented that Julia’s perseverance and focus helped her accomplish her goals while at LFHS. 
Mike reported that he attended the National School Board Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. with Board member Jenny Zinser. They had productive discussions with representatives regarding IDEA federal funding, a proposed full funding bill, and the financial impact on our school districts.
 
Mike highlighted and clarified four areas of recent discussion: the annual operational levy, the annual debt levy (2006 voter approved referendum), the Health and Life Safety Report, and the Master Plan. Mike discussed the administration’s recommendation regarding the levy, the pairing of the Health and Life Safety Report and Master Plan, and discussed upcoming capital improvements. View video
 
Public Participation
A resident discussed the levy and asked the Board to consider other revenue sources. A student announced a TEDx event scheduled for March 12 at LFHS and discussed the need for student voice and representation in politics. He proposed a change to Board policy to allow student representation on the Board of Education. View video
 
Extracurricular Report
Student Activities Director Ashleigh Malec and Athletic Director Tim Burkhalter discussed the schools efforts regarding student engagement and how it relates to a sense of belonging for our students. The Board has defined a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) with a goal of 90% of our students participating in school activities. This year 89.9% of our students participated in activities. Next steps include a review of student engagement and its connection to academic performance, and an analysis of results from student feedback surveys to drive communication, goal setting and professional development.
 
Post Secondary Report
Director of Educational Services Patrick Sassen and Counselors Laura Stetson and Dan Panfil presented information regarding where our students are going to college, and the changing landscape of college admissions. Patrick reported that LFHS students pursue 2-year and 4-year colleges across the country and graduates report great satisfaction with the college search program and support from the counselors. The team also highlighted the Post Secondary Planning Guide and the Scouts Destinations as two important student informational sources. View Written Report   View video
 
Legislative Liaison
John Noble noted that he and David Lane met with both our local state representative and state senator to understand their potential support of any directional or philosophical changes to current legislative mandate/finance approvals and waiver submission processes. Both Representative Morgan and Senator Morrison expressed an interest in seeing the legislation as it is formed.
 
Currently, ED-RED is working on two legislative efforts; one with State Senator Ram Villivalam on specific wording for a bill that was filed in late January that focuses new legislations regarding “Educational Mandates - Submission and Review Process,” and a second addressing a special education legislation that includes an opportunity for process improvements around current educational mandates for both teacher and administration yearly trainings. Both of these efforts will allow for the opportunity to create better efficiency and understanding of future costs and burdens being placed upon districts.
 
John commented that there is still very little progress on the Property Tax Task-Force summary report and recommendations to the legislation. The competing interests and approaches have not been resolved. There is an expectation of developments in the coming months.
 
John presented a general recommendation to the board around creating a set of specific legislative priorities for the district to publish and use as its guiding principles to help influence state and federal legislation.  View Written Report   View video
 
Action Items
Adoption of Resolution Directing the County Clerk of The County of Lake, Illinois to Abate the tax levied for the year 2019 for the Educational Fund of the District (Action – reduced to 1%) , Consultant Contracts ( Action – approved) , Policies (Action – approved), Approval of Raymond Moore Auditorium Lighting Partial Replacement (Action - approved $69,161.75), Human Resources Report (Action – approved) . View video for complete report and Board member comments

 
The Board Highlights are not the official minutes of the Board of Education. Minutes, once approved, all board agendas, packets, and videos can be found here.

Upcoming Meeting
Monday, March 9, 2020 - Board of Education Meeting 7:00pm, LFHS West Campus Board Room.