Highlights from the October 7, 2019
Lake Forest High School District 115 Board of Education Meeting
President’s Report
Board President David Lane reported that he has heard a variety of discussions addressing areas of passion from members of our community and school. David commented that he believes people are communicating things that are important and discussion is good when properly explored and thoughtfully enacted. He noted that he sees his role as Board President as one to be calm and thoughtful and to listen to all viewpoints. Decisions and action should be taken only after exploring all perspectives. David commented that he reads all emails that he receives and tries to respond or meet with as many individuals as possible. He urged the community to continue to share information and express opinions. David noted that he focuses on long and mid-term benefits in decision-making and always considers the following group hierarchy for each decision in this order: students, community, teachers, administration, and school board. David concluded his remarks by thanking everyone for coming and sharing their thoughts. View video for complete report

Superintendent’s Report
Student Body President Sarah Bires and Vice President Bridget Mitchell reported that Homecoming and the pep rally were a success with attendance at an all time high. The goal was to increase school spirit and participation as well as community support. The students commented that they received feedback that the window painting in the community was well received. Upcoming events include the Veterans Day Celebration and Thanksgiving Food Drive. 

Principal Chala Holland discussed the Open Doors Job Program and encouraged students to participate. She announced the annual Veterans Day Celebration will be held in partnership with American Legion Post 264 on Monday, November 11 at 12:55pm and this event is open to the public. Chala reported that October 16 is national testing day and our juniors will all participate, and a record number of sophomores have signed up as well. Chala thanked all who helped to make Homecoming a success.   

Superintendent Mike Simeck recognized and congratulated National Merit School Semifinalists John Clawson, Garifalia Kapsalis, Elaina Lee, Kenneth Murray, William Ortell, Rachel Quan, Carrie Saginur, Carson Ward, and Megan Wong. 

Mike informed the Board of possible legislative action regarding the proposed Progressive Income Tax and bills potentially associated with it. The “word on the street” is that property tax relief, pension cost shifts, school consolidation, and the retirement of the cost of living increase (COLA) might be passed as separate bills and used to attempt to leverage passage of the progressive income tax. This is because all of them would be contingent upon the approval of the Progressive Income Tax.

Mike reported that the Facilities Master Plan Committee continues to review life safety and instructional spaces in the building for long-term planning. Key issues that are being explored are security enhancements, student learning spaces, aging HVAC, etc.
Mike overviewed student free speech, student newspaper rights, and equal access in schools. Mike reported that staff members cannot be involved in political activities in schools. He also reported that the upcoming play has been reviewed for age appropriateness.  View video for complete report

Public Participation
Board President David Lane welcomed those in attendance and outlined the standard guidelines for public participation. David noted that this was a time for the Board to listen to all comments and details, and take all information under advisement. He encouraged the public to meet with school officials to receive information, share ideas, and express concerns. David invited participants to speak.  

Residents presented their thoughts regarding freedom of speech, displaying of flags, the American Legion, the school newspaper, student groups, collaborative/open learning environments, the decision making process, financial performance, the budget, and school rankings. David commented that he appreciated everyone's thoughts and sharing of perspectives. View video for complete report

Policy Committee
Ted Moorman reported that the Board will consider a second reading on PRESS Issue 101. Ted overviewed some of those policies. The Board will also consider 5-Year Updates to policies on this meeting’s agenda. View video for complete report

Legislative Liaison
John Noble reported that he attended the first ED-RED meeting and heard State Superintendent Dr. Ayala discuss the organization’s direction and development of a strategic plan. John noted that Ed-RED’s priority is staying involved with the Governor’s Property Tax - Task Force’s meetings and progress. ED-RED has upcoming ad-hoc group meetings planned to develop lead ideas on School Finance and Mandates, and the Practitioner Legislative Action Team (PLAT). John announced he will attend the first two Finance and Mandates ad-hoc group meetings. View video for complete report

Ted Moorman reported that NSSED has a new CFO, Julie Dillon, who is working to change the financial modeling process. Ted encouraged all to attend “No Small Matter” a program that will be held at Gorton Community Center on October 16 that explores the impacts of early childhood education. There is no fee but registration is required.

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, November 4, 2019 - Board of Education Meeting 7:00pm, LFHS West Campus Board Room.