Community members addressed the Board on a variety of COVID-19 mitigation-related topics. They urged the Board to consider all perspectives and individuals’ choices when deciding on mitigation steps; asked that Board members work to end any mask policy before the fall; and urged the Board to base its mask policy on the community’s wishes, not on state requirements.
Board President Jenny Zinser noted that, as a public school, Lake Forest High School must follow the current state mandates on masks.
Board President Jenny Zinser launched her report by recognizing Interim Superintendent Dr. Constance Collins, who, she said, “brought tremendous positivity to Lake Forest High School” during an unprecedented time. Dr. Collins joined the District in March as former Superintendent Michael Simeck was leaving and will depart at the end of June ahead of Superintendent Dr. Matthew Montgomery’s arrival.
“Connie has helped us weather the final quarter of a school year scarred by the pandemic and has helped us move forward with more awareness of who we are, who we can be, and who we will become,” Ms. Zinser said. “She regularly prompted us to think as educators and seek every opportunity to keep learning and growing.”
Ms. Zinser thanked Collins for her “very short but very impactful time” as the leader of Districts 67 and 115.
Dr. Collins reported on several topics, including graduation for the Class of 2021, an event she described as “wonderful.” Some 391 LFHS seniors graduated June 5 in a ceremony on the school front lawn, with their families in attendance. She also shared what Illinois’ entering Phase 5, as it did on June 11, means for LFHS Summer School. That includes 100% in-person learning and use of masks indoors but no masks required when students and staff are outside on school grounds.
As part of the report, District 67’s Dr. Michelle Shinn, filling in for LFHS Director of Safety and Security Lane Linder, told the Board that both Districts would be part of the Lake County Health Department’s Modified Quarantine Pilot program. The pilot project will help determine if quarantine recommendations for schools can be revised in the fall.
Dr. Collins concluded her remarks with a welcome for new LFHS Principal Dr. Erin Lenart, who joins the District on July 1, replacing Dr. Chala Holland, who has resigned to become an administrator in Naperville Community Unit School District 203. Dr. Collins said Dr. Lenart has already started working with the LFHS administration to ensure a smooth transition.
Veidlinger Report Next Steps
Deputy Superintendent Rebecca Jenkins shared an update on five follow-up items identified after the independent investigation that attorney Rebecca Veidlinger led into sexual misconduct allegations involving former teacher David Miller. The follow-up areas included two policy changes, which the Board gave first-reading approval to later in the meeting.
Comprehensive School Climate Inventory (CSCI) and Emotional Wellness Report
Director of Educational Services Dr. Patrick Sassen and John Maher, Assistant Director of Educational Services, shared findings from the Comprehensive School Climate Inventory administered to students, staff, and parents during the 2020-21 school year. “As an academic institution, LFHS consistently scores over all in the positive range,” Dr. Sassen said. “But our work is really in investigating the areas where students, staff, and parents report less than positive or neutral experiences.”
Chair Dewey Winebrenner said the committee is planning a meeting to include the new superintendent, principal, and Board members.
Finance and Operations Committee
John Noble said the committee would meet July 7.
Sally Davis said the Joint District 67 and 115 Policy Committee met June 4 and reviewed two policies that link back to the Veidlinger Report. Those two policies won first-reading approval later in the meeting.
ED-RED Legislative Update
John Noble, legislative liaison, gave the Board an update on education-related bills that passed the Illinois House and Senate.
Monday, July 12, 2021 - 7 p.m.