New Staff Hired for 2020-21
The Board of Education approved hiring three NBJH math teachers teachers and a speech pathologist for the Young Explorers program.
New NBJH math teachers are Marissa Bay, Lexis Foerch and Carley Krasavin. Taylor Hoffman was hired as the Young Explorers Speech Pathologist.
Parents Can Expect Electronic Refunds
The district has begun the process of refunding parents for the various services not provided due to the closure of school. Families who pre-paid for KidCare services for March will be refunded for the days that school was closed. Families who paid for bus transportation will receive a 30% refund, which amounts to $97.50 per rider. Young Explorer riders will receive $165. Finally, summer school registration fees will be refunded in full. The district is working with the vendor who processes payments to credit accounts within the next two weeks.
STEM Lab Renovation Begins
Renovation is beginning that will create a larger classroom for the Northbrook Junior High STEM program. The new STEM lab will allow for expanded learning opportunities, Dr. Hewitt said.
All sixth- and seventh-grade students participate in the STEM class as one of the rotating six-week electives. Eighth-grade students have an option to take a STEM class as an elective. The new lab will include mobile furniture, as well as upgraded electrical and plumbing work, to create a more flexible learning space that is adaptable to individual and group project work.
The STEM lab will occupy the former cooking and sewing lab. Dr. Hewitt noted that two cooking stations will be preserved so that the junior high can offer a cooking club and perhaps a summer school course next year.
Charity Feeds 50 Families
Hunger-Free Northbrook provided 150 bags of groceries to 50 elementary students and their families throughout Northbrook in April. Also, families received $50 Jewel gift cards to further support their needs, Superintendent Dr. Larry Hewitt reported. Dr. Hewitt is a member of the Hunger-Free Northbrook Task Force.
Board Approves Bus Contract Adjustment
District 28 negotiated with First Student to reduce bus route charges as a result of closing schools for the remainder of the school year. The Illinois State Board of Education strongly encouraged school districts to continue paying contracted service providers during the mandated closures. The board approved an amendment that will pay the bus company 78% of the route charges for March 16 through April 24 and 40% of the route charges April 27 through June 11, resulting in a savings of $146,271 over the original contractual amount. School bus drivers were laid off as of April 27 and receive unemployment compensation as well as qualify for a federal unemployment booster.
Families who paid for bus transportation will receive a 30% refund, which amounts to $97.50 per rider. Young Explorer riders will receive $165.
Food Service Contract Adjustment Approved
The district’s food service provider, Organic Life, has continued to provide lunches to students who qualify for free/reduced price meals while schools have been closed. Organic Life employees were paid through April 30, which aligned with Illinois State Board of Education guidelines.
The district reimburses Organic Life for labor and food costs and retains the sales revenues from lunches sold at the junior high. Organic Life takes a percentage of those revenues for administration and management fees, which the company is waiving for the remainder of the school term. All employees were placed on unemployment in May, except for two employees who prepare the free/reduced price lunches. The board approved a contract amendment with Organic Life that reduces budgeted expenditures by $46,000.