President Mike Borkowski discussed the Board’s review of how the District addressed the Deer Path Middle School Principal’s resignation. In his comments, Mike emphasized that the District will use this as a learning experience to improve District processes and procedures regarding personnel matters. He emphasized that the District will continue to collaborate with the Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) to review our investigation protocols and practices for teachers and paraprofessionals. Mike further affirmed the District’s intent to provide timely and transparent (to the extent allowed by law) communications that maintain the culture of trust, support and respect that has long been the hallmark of District 67. For more information, please also reference the
District’s recent communication
on this matter.
Mike Simeck shared renderings of the proposed DPM science labs and commented that the $3.5M renovation project will begin this spring and is anticipated to be completed over the summer. Mike overviewed a presentation and opportunities staff had to visit and learn from other schools. He highlighted strategies for systemic change and improvement to support all students. Catalysts for change include learning by example, providing evaluations, and being persistent.
Mike noted four areas of focus: rigorous curriculum for all students, all students attending the school and class they would attend depending on their needs, clear guidelines and procedures for special education eligibility, and building staff capacity. Mike noted that we need to continue to provide concerted, significant professional development, staffing, and progress monitoring.
Mike also discussed the anonymous school climate surveys (CSCI – a range of school climate and workplace items, and SWSS – organizational practices, staff culture and job satisfaction) that are being administered in all schools again this year. Every year the Building Leadership Teams review the results and create action plans to improve shared interests.
The Lake Forest Education Association (LFEA) Co-presidents presented a petition with three hundred and thirty signatures to the Board, stating workplace climate concerns. A parent spoke in appreciation of a timely school safety communication, including students in building needs identification, and stated that teachers are teaching about things that cause distress to some students and these topics should be discussed at home. A parent spoke to the Board regarding listening to parents and teachers and asked them to try harder.
Director of Teaching and Learning Jeff McHugh presented some key takeaways from the 2019 Academic Assessment Report. He noted student growth continues to be at a higher rate than both the nation and state, our students attained extremely high levels of proficiency compared to the nation and state, and our students performed similarly to peer districts, but improved participation will provide a more accurate comparison. Jeff discussed how student participation in state testing and chronic absenteeism keep our schools from receiving Exemplary designations from the state. This information will be shared with staff and families in an effort to encourage test taking and reduce student absenteeism to support our students and improve our school designations.
Board Education Committee
Suzanne Sands reported that the Committee discussed grading and reporting practices at Deer Path Middle School. The Committee also reviewed the work that Carol Quirk from the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education will perform regarding an audit from a systems perspective focused on inclusive education.
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Board Finance and Operations Committee
Rob Lemke reported that the Committee discussed the District’s audit, student fees and the fund balance policy. Rob noted that he hopes to schedule some Board workshop time in the near future to review the fund balance policy.
Jeff Folker noted that the Policy Committee met jointly with the Lake Forest High School District 115 Policy Committee to discuss PRESS Issue 102 listed as a First Reading on the meeting’s agenda.
Jeff Folker reported that the Compensation Committee met jointly with the Lake Forest High School District 115 Compensation Committee and discussed current benchmarking, worksheets regarding shared services redundant activities, and spoke about engaging outside expertise to look at the shared service environment. The establishment of salary bands was also discussed.
North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED)
Suzanne Sands noted that the Committee received an update on the financial model process. It is anticipated that a proposal will be presented to the Leadership Council for action this spring. Information was also shared regarding how cash flow works at NSSED and a new billing timeline. The Committee has been gathering information from other cooperatives and is studying their financial models. Suzanne also reported that this year District 67 and 115 presented at the TASH Conference with NSSED. A group of over 50 participants from nine districts attended.
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Alice LeVert reported that she attended the IASB Annual Conference in November and voted on behalf of the District on numerous proposed IASB Resolutions. Only Resolution 1 – Student School Safety did not pass. This resolution would have allowed local boards the option of having voluntary employees carry concealed firearms.
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Action items include: Adoption of the 2019 Levy, Acceptance of the 2018-19 Audit, Approval of the first reading of numerous policies, and Approval of Human Resources items