FY21 Final Budget Hearing 

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, presented the Final Budget for FY21.   Initiatives to be undertaken were discussed, including $5.4M for necessary facility work related to substantial Health/Life Safety and Facility Repairs, as well as as up to $2.7M COVID-19 related expenditures. Financial factors were also presented including property tax levy considerations, federal and state revenues and expenditures, and strategic planning.  

Total Budgeted Revenues for FY21 are $47,864,000 Total Budgeted Expenditures for FY21 are $53,800,000.  The District will address deferred facility maintenance items of over $5.4 million out of fund balance in FY21, as the District moves forward with the Educational Master Facility Plan. Operating Cost Per Pupil exclusive of COVID-19 related expenditures are increasing at 1.1%, well below the 3% target.  The District is expected to see a total operating deficit of $50,000. The Board voted to approve the final budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021

Regular Meeting 

Dawn Livingston, President, called the meeting to order. She recognized that the District met a significant milestone by welcoming over 1500 K-8 students back to campus and 100 students learning remotely on August 27.  It was noted that Kindergarten students are again at Crow Island following an implementation of the Redistricting Plan. She thanked the Village for collaborating with the District on this endeavor. Ms. Livingston also noted that the District closely monitors health metrics and guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, and Cook County Department of Public Health.  

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, shared that the District has enjoyed welcoming hundreds of families to virtual "Go to School" Nights. It took significant involvement from the entire community to welcome students and staff back on our campuses. The District remains committed to continuous improvement while implementing an educational model that has been completely redesigned as well as upholding our commitment to providing safe, in-person learning as much as possible

Dr. Kocanda announced that Beth Martin, Director of Student Services, will retire in June 2021.  She thanked Ms. Martin for leading an evolution toward more inclusive, research-based practices and services for students.  A national search for this position will immediately commence with opportunities for staff and parent feedback to inform the selection process.  The District intends to have a recommended candidate for Board approval by the November meeting.


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, and Central Office Administrators, provided an update on Health and Safety, Teaching and Learning, and next steps for fall planning. Student and staff safety and maximizing in-person instruction continue to be prioritized. An update on safety protocols was shared. Additionally, instructional topics were discussed, such as technology tools, related arts delivery, remote learning and special education services. The COVID-19 health metrics dashboard was presented and will be reviewed weekly by a team composed of the Superintendent, two board members, the WEA President, and a Central Office Administrator. The District will continue to refine practices in order to continue to improve.

In June 2020, the School Board determined that while designing a new 3-5 year strategic plan is desired, they postponed the collaborative process due to a number of factors associated with COVID-19. This year's plan is to resume the comprehensive process in January 2021 using an updated timeline and process. As an interim step, the core group of Portrait Design team members will periodically meet this fall to refine the Profile of a Graduate.

In partnership with a team of staff and administrators, the District has selected to move forward with Courageous Conversations as a professional learning partner.  While this particular professional learning opportunity will focus on the racial component of equity, it is our intent to include this in our greater commitment to equity as a whole, encompassing issues of gender, faith, sexual orientation, and ability in our dedication to inclusive practices as a system. The Board will be updated as the administration and staff move through this shared learning experience.

In May and June 2020, the School Board discussed recalibrating major initiatives in light of the pandemic. Direction was provided as it relates to: Facility Needs & Priorities, Financial Priorities & Planning, and Strategic Planning. The School Board agreed to identify streamlined annual goals for the 2020-2021 school year as a bridge between strategic planning.

Beth Martin, Director of Student Services, provided an overview of the number of students who transferred out of the District last school year and the number of students who newly enrolled into the District for this school year.  Included in the overview are the number of students who have transferred in or out of local private schools and the migration history of students transferring in and out of the District for the past nine years. The District welcomed 20 more students than those who transferred out.

Each fall, the Board is presented with data reflecting shifts in enrollment and staffing as compared to the previous fall.  Given the context of the pandemic, and a previously predicted declining enrollment, numbers reflect a subsequent reduction in student enrollment and maintained staffing numbers due to the need to comply with health and safety protocols (six feet of social distance, minimal transition to reduce exposure, reduced class size). 

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. FY21 Final Budget
2. Transfer of Funds Resolutions as presented at Public Hearing
3. Settlement Agreement and Release
4. Memorandum of Understanding Regarding COVID-19 School Re-Opening Plans 2020-2021

The Complete Board Packet for the September 22, 2020, School Board Meetings is here.

Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
October 20, 2020
November 24, 2020
December 15, 2020
January 26, 2021

February 23, 2021
March 23, 2021
April 27, 2021
May 25, 2021
June 15, 2021

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Carleton Washburne School through June 2021. Regular meetings begin at 7:15 p.m. Work sessions are also open to the public and may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board. Discussion topics and times for work sessions will be posted on the District website 24 hours in advance.
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