April 2018
Dear District 67 Community Member,

To keep you informed, we will be sending you the District 67 Board Report on a monthly basis. Please note: These are not the official minutes of the Board of Education. Minutes once approved, all board agendas, packets, and videos can can be found here
Board President's Report
Mike Borkowski stated that District 67 has a Vision statement to drive decision-making, which has been in use for the past five years.  A lot of time and money has been spent recently pursuing Milestone #6, the Environment Milestone that focuses on reimagining learning spaces to enhance the learning experience.  There is a new space at Deer Path Middle School called Haskins 2.0, and core classrooms will be undergoing a major transformation this summer with new furniture, lighting, and audio/visual equipment being installed.  More recently, the Board approved additional funds for the middle school science labs to be upgraded.  

Mike discussed other areas of the Vision that affect students as much as the physical spaces.  Mike stated that students would be joining the board meeting with a Presidential Campaign Advertisement and Rap Debate project that highlights the progress being made toward achieving the District’s Vision. The inquiry-driven project connects past presidents with present day issues facing the country and is a great example of progress in other areas of the Vision beyond environment. Mike stated that the upgraded learning spaces directly support these types of student projects, which is exactly how the Milestone, working together to create an optimal learning experience , is supposed to work.

Mike stated that the District Vision calls for the school district to be an “innovative learning community” where students “cultivate their minds, create enduring connections and discover their passions.” The Core Values statement speaks of students taking risks and being “actively engaged” in their learning.  Within our Milestones the Instruction Goal states that “Instruction is to be highly differentiated and inquiry-based, driven by students' needs, interests and passions,” and that the highest-quality talent is needed in order to achieve this type of instruction. Fortunately, we have that type of talent within District 67; high-quality, dedicated, passionate, and creative staff.  While the students are the stars of the show, and the beneficiaries of the significant shift toward the project-based learning model, it is District 67 teachers who do the hard work to make these experiences happen.

Mike introduced students and teachers who showcased a project entitled “Early Years of the Republic: Past Meet Present.”  He gave kudos to the seventh grade social studies team for putting the “project-based-learning” experience together, outstanding work by outstanding staff, and also kudos to the students for embracing the project, for working together, for being inspired to move out of their comfort zones, taking risks, and for letting their passions show. View video  

Superintendent's Report
Mike Simeck gave an overview and recap of the work that the Board of Education does to support teaching and learning. During the years of 2008-2011 the District was in financial survival mode. From 2011-2012 the parking lot at Deer Path was replaced. From 2012 to 2013 The Cube was created, flooring and abatement, and exterior lights and security cameras were completed at DPM-West. The following year a mechanical screen was installed at Cherokee for noise abatement. From 2015-2016 Stem Labs, elementary schools flooring and abatement, painting, and Sheridan paving projects were completed. In 2016-2017 the Life Skills classroom project and flooring were completed at DPM-East. 2017-2018 was a very significant year when the Haskins 2.0, welcome centers, vestibules and nurses’ offices were completed; a very prudent investment with regard to safety. Roofing, boilers and paving projects have been completed. The sum total of these projects is approximately $7.5 million dollars. Upcoming improvements that have been approved and will impact instruction include furniture and LED lighting in core classrooms, A.V. projectors and sound systems, and the Cherokee playground. Other things on the horizon include ordering drawings for DPM-East and West science labs and doors and handles that are a safety feature and comply with ADA requirements. The community needs to know the degree to which this Board has updated the buildings and how important the upcoming changes are including moveable furniture, lighting, sound systems, and spaces for students to learn and play. View video
Education Committee
Jeff Folker reported that the District has decided to move forward with Discovery Ed Techbook as the science resource for grades 6-8 starting next school year.  Laura Douglas, a DPM Science teacher, provided the committee with an overview of the Discovery Ed website and Techbook.

The District held a Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Institute Day in March where staff spent time discussing how to embed the SEL standards into the curriculum, figuring out where SEL standards/targets are already being taught throughout the curriculum, and gathering data from teachers.  

Kate Cavanaugh, Special Education Coordinator , provided the committee with an overview of Structured Academic Integrated Learning “SAIL” in the District. SAIL is initially cost neutral for the District, with the potential for long-term cost savings vs. student out-placement.

The District currently uses Edmodo as our Learning Management System in grades 5-8, but is trialing two other Learning Management Systems platforms, Google Classroom and Schoology, to determine if there is a better alternative.  Judi Epcke, Director of Instructional Technology , provided the committee with an overview of the trial, and the pros and cons of each platform. She will be presenting the recommended option at the May meeting.

The District currently utilizes iPads in all Kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms, on a shared basis.  This pilot has been looking at the potential benefits of providing iPads to K-1 students on a 2:1 or 1:1 basis.  Mrs. Epcke shared feedback from teachers as to their preferences and shared a tentative recommendation with the committee. View written report   View video
Board Policy Committee
Kent Novit reported that the Policy Committee discussed PRESS Issue 97 and Policy 5:125 Social Media and Electronic Communication and the policies are on the agenda for approval. View video
Joint Shared Services Committee
Mike Borkowski reported that the Joint Shared Services Committee met to discuss the Superintendent’s Contract. View video
North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED )
Mrs. Sands reported that Dr. Schneider informed the Leadership Council that draft action plans for the strategic plan are now being shared for feedback across stakeholder groups, and a final document will be presented at the Leadership Council meeting in June.
Ms. Lynn Clarke, Administrator of Educational and Life Skills (ELS) Services, reported on the ELS program and highlighted how ELS services can support districts’ changing needs and how partnerships can develop to support a common standard across ELS type programming across member districts. Ms. Morgan Ryan shared that NSSED will implement BoardDocs board management software for the 2018-2019 school year.
Mr. Jim Fitton, Director of Business Services and Facilities, reported that the North Shore Academy Elementary School lease has been extended for three years.  Mr. Fitton reported on the transportation contract with Septran.

The Governing Board approved the following slate of officers for the 2018-2019 year: Suzanne Sands, President; Debra Hymen, Vice President; and Lori Goldstein, Secretary. The Governing Board also appointed the following members to the Advisory Committee: Suzanne Sands, Chair; Debra Hymen, Vice Chair; Lori Goldstein, Secretary, and Ed Feld. The superintendents appointed to the Leadership Council and the Advisory Committee are Dr. Trisha Kocanda, New Trier Region; Dr. Chris Dignam, Northern Region; and Larry Hewitt, Northfield Region. NSSED is in the final stages of purchasing the Rubloff building.
Spirit of 67 Foundation
Mrs. Sands reported  that the Spirit approved 23 grants awarding $278,890 in funding. Additionally, they approved that $10,000 be set aside for Founder’s Grants for the 2018-19 school year and they will also be funding last year’s Revitalizing Outdoor Recess and Wellness grant to purchase Cherokee’s new playground equipment for $93,833.
The Spirit of 67 has received over $117,000 in donations so far this year and raised just over $57,000 at the fall luncheon. This year’s Home Tour will take place on May 10, 2018. Tickets are available on the Spirit website at https://spiritof67foundation.org .  
Association of Parents and Teachers Executive Board (APT)
Jeff Folker reported that the APT Executive Board Old Board/New Board meeting is scheduled for April 15, and is the last meeting of the year. View video
For More Complete Information:

Next Meeting:
Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 7:00pm, Administration Center Board Room, LFHS West Campus, 300 S. Waukegan Rd.