April 2020
Dear District 67 Community Member,
To keep you informed, we send 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 be found here.
Due to COVID-19 developments in Illinois, Governor Pritzker issued an Executive Order to all public bodies across the state suspending physical presence requirements under the Open Meetings Act (OMA). Therefore, the Tuesday, April 28 meeting of the Lake Forest District 67 Board of Education was held virtually via a video conference call.  

A New Board President
New District 67 Board President, Justin Engelland, presided over his inaugural meeting of the District 67 Board of Education. Residents of Lake Forest since 2013, Justin and his wife Shannon have two children in the district, a 3rd grader at Everett Elementary and a 6th grader at Deer Path Middle School.

President’s Report
In his first President’s report, Justin acknowledged the varied demands of the coronavirus pandemic and praised the District 67 teachers, staff, and administration for pivoting to a remote learning environment while modeling the values of our community. He spoke about how this experience, while difficult, will teach us new ways that help the district fulfill our mission and urged all in the district to keep lines of communication open, sharing feedback and ideas with the Board and each other. Read Report

Superintendent’s Report
Superintendent Mike Simeck reviewed the foresight and planning that made the transition to e-Learning possible. Describing a journey that began over a decade ago when the City of Lake Forest, Lake Forest College, and Districts 67 and 115 installed fiber-optic cable to create a network that would support the community’s growing use of technology, Mike chronicled the evolution of staffing, devices, curriculum mapping, professional development and communication platforms that paved the way for the move to e-Learning. In closing, he thanked Director of Innovation Renee Fitzsimmons and Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Jeff McHugh for their leadership and efficiency in submitting the District's e-Learning plan to the State of Illinois and recognized the administration, teachers and staff for their tireless efforts to activate remote learning. View video

Administrative Update on COVID-19
Superintendent Mike Simeck shared an update on e-Learning, thanking all teachers and staff for launching the effort smoothly and effectively. He shared early feedback he had received, calling the insights and ideas from parents and guardians “incredibly helpful.” He acknowledged occasional connectivity issues with the Schoology platform, attributing those to increased network traffic and a high volume of simultaneous log-ons. Mike also celebrated the much-needed daily connection to teachers and routine that students are experiencing through remote learning, adding that while he is pleased with the initial effort, e-Learning is still very much “a work in progress.” The district will continue to evolve and refine remote learning practices through ongoing professional development. View video

Word Study Request K-4 Resource Adoption Recommendations
District 67 Director of Teaching and Learning Dr. Jeff McHugh presented the Fountas & Pinnell Phonics, Spelling and Word Study System, a proposed new word study resource for grades K-4 offering research-based, standards-aligned instructional scope and sequence for word study. View video

Update on Future-Ready Science Labs
Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Hermes provided an update on the Deer Path Middle School future-ready science labs renovation, sharing pictures spanning the March 16 demolition through its rebuilding from the ground up. Jenn recognized the City of Lake Forest for being “an amazing partner” in managing the permits and inspections during the pandemic and reported that the project is on time, on budget and expected to be completed this August. View video

Administration Update/Recommendation on Budget
Chief Operating Officer Jennifer Hermes provided an update on Lake County/Springfield discussions on property tax, noting that while a few counties have made adjustments to their property tax cycle in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Lake County is not currently one of them. All documents have been submitted to extend our levy and tax bills are expected to go out on time. Regarding state funding, Jenn is watching evidence-based funding and categoricals. Next year’s District 67 budget is currently under development and will be adjusted to reflect the unique circumstances of the 2020-2021 school year.  View video

Policy Report
Jeff Folker reported that the Policy Committee reviewed PRESS Issue 103 , legislative updates and footnotes. View video

Joint Compensation R eport
Jeff Folker reported that the joint District 67 and District 115 Compensation Committee met to review and discuss recommendations included in the draft presentation for the joint meeting of the District 67 and District 115 Boards of Education held in April. The Joint Compensation Committee presented recommendations regarding Shared Services compensation and opportunities spanning both districts. The joint boards concurred with the recommendations that were presented. Jeff Folker thanked members of the Joint Compensation Committee for their insight, collaboration and counsel. View Report ,

North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) Liaison Report 
Suzanne Sands reported that the NSSED Leadership Council reviewed an updated financial model reflecting goals including equity, access and shared responsibility. The committee anticipates final approval at the committee’s June meeting.There will be a reconciliation at the end of each year. View video

Legislative Liaison Report
Alice LeVert reported that the State of Illinois continues its focus on the implementation of e-Learning across the state, noting Districts 67 and 115 are ahead of the curve. Alice will continue to monitor information regarding state recommendations for the fall of 2020 and any implications for District 67. Alice reiterated that in compliance with the Governor’s order, District 67 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. View video

Spirit of 67 Liaison
Richard Chun thanked the Spirit of 67 Foundation for the 28 grants generously awarded to District 67 totaling more than $273,000. View video
For complete information:

Next District 67 Board of Education Meeting:
  • Special Board Meeting, May 5, 2020, 7:00 p.m.— to elect a new board member, replacing Mike Borkowskivia video conference.
  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 7:00 p.m.— via video conference.