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2018 Highlights

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Board Highlights

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NOTE: Video footage of all Board of Education regular meetings are posted on 205TV within 48 hours. Audio is posted within 24 hours at (please click on appropriate meeting date).

...from the May 8, 2018 Meeting


Congressional App Challenge Winner

Ava Hollis, a freshman at York Community High School, was invited to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC last month to present the mobile app that she developed, called React. Ava’s app was created to help connect people to nearby EpiPens, inhalers, and other medical supplies and services when first aid can be administered before paramedics are able to respond.

In December, Ava was announced as the winner of the Congressional App Challenge for Illinois’ Fifth Congressional District by U.S. Representative Mike Quigley. The contest is designed to encourage creativity and participation in STEM-related fields.


SkillsUSA State Champions

Ken Ross, York Industrial Technology Department Leader, announced that the following York Community High School students earned medals in the specified competition categories at the SkillsUSA Illinois Championships held on April 19-21, 2018 in Springfield: Joseph Gemini – first place, Technical Drafting CAD and Matthew Shepherd – second place, Screen Printing. These two students repeated their outstanding performances from last year.

By placing 1st in the Technical Drafting CAD Competition, Joey has qualified to compete at the National SkillsUSA Competition and Conference to be held the last week of June in Louisville, Kentucky.

Under the leadership of Wendy Albert, Division Chair for Technology & Applied Arts, faculty of the Industrial Technology Department include Ken Ross, Dan Calenberg, Ron Robak and Joe Stolz.


Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA)

Wendy Albert, York’s Division Chair for Career and Technical Education, announced that the FCCLA State Leadership Conference was held in Springfield, Illinois, on April 12-13, 2018, and the following York Community High School students earned top positions in the competition categories as noted:

  • Apparel Construction | Gold – Jacqueline Fisher and Grace Wisenmayer, Silver- Peyton Herman, Maya Anikiej, Kate Schermer and Jolene Gundrum, Bronze- Yusrah Haswarey
  • Children’s Literature Presentation | Gold – Jenna Gallichio and Elena Vezmar
  • Culinary Arts (STAR Event) | Silver – Joseph Cornell, Isabel LoPiano, and Patrick Resing
  • Fashion Apparel Display | Bronze – Katherine Larson and Delaney Tase
  • Food Production – Salad Display | Silver – Aidan Mann
  • Interior Design (Senior STAR Event) | Silver – Ellaby Rohde
  • Interior Design (Occupational Category) | Gold – Margaret Quick, Silver – Jenin Teleron, Senior Category, Silver – Ellaby Rohde
  • Pastry Arts – Cake Decorating | Gold – Nina Fabrizius | Silver – Tabitha Lee
  • Pastry Arts – Cookie Decorating | Gold – Samuel Phillips, Silver – Alexandra Geary
  • Professional Career Image | Gold – Emma Johnson, Kathryn Piechaczek, and Gabriella Purpora, Silver – Isabella Herrera
  • Say Yes to FCS Education | Silver – Kevin Homan

Kevin Homan, Nina Fabrizius, and Emma Johnson received the “Most Outstanding” distinction which denotes the top project for their category in the State of Illinois.

In addition, Joseph Cornell placed second in the Culinary Arts STAR event, receiving a $1,000 scholarship from the Culinary Institute of America, and Kevin Homan received an Illinois Family and Consumer Science Teachers Association national conference stipend. Also, Joseph Cornell, Kevin Homan, Margaret Quick, and Jenin Telron were named national delegates and qualified to advance to the National FCCLA Leadership Conference in June in Atlanta, Georgia.


Illinois Athletic Director of the Year

The Illinois Athletic Directors Association has named York High School's Assistant Principal for Athletics, Rob Wagner, as the Class 3A & 4A Division 3 Athletic Director of the Year. He was honored at an awards banquet that was part of the IADA State Conference in East Peoria on Saturday, May 5th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in East Peoria.

Rob has been serving York for 15 years, eight years as the Athletic Director/Assistant Principal for Athletics. This is his second term in the athletic office. He was:

  •  A dean from 2002-2005
  •  Athletic Director from 2005-2009
  •  Assistant Principal for Student Services from 2009-2011
  •  Assistant Principal for Finance and Student Activities from 2011-2014 and
  •  Assistant Principal for Athletics from 2014- present.

Assistant Superintendent for Growth and Innovation Dr. Mark Cohen introduced Rob and noted that he is very hardworking and student-centered, greeting York students every morning as they arrive at school and often being the last administrator to leave the building at night following athletic events.


All Day Kindergarten

Susan Kondrat, Principal of the Madison Early Childhood Education Center, was joined by the All Day Kindergarten (ADK) Committee members, who reported on various aspects of the program, including local, state and national data.

Since 1977, the percentage of kindergartners enrolled in full-day programs has nearly tripled, increasing from 28 then to 77 percent in 2013. In the state of Illinois, 79% of 859 districts are offering all-day programs, as of 2015. Twenty-one of 33 districts in DuPage County offer All Day Kindergarten. “Elmhurst is becoming an outlier in the county and the state,” said Fischer Elementary School principal Jane Bailey. “What impact will this have both educationally and in terms of property values?”

The jump in new-to-first-grade numbers highlights that the community would like an all-day option and are finding solutions elsewhere.

“ADK educates the whole child in a developmentally appropriate manner,” said Lincoln Elementary School Principal Jen Barnabee. “It enhances the legacy of Elmhurst by supporting students to reach their full potential. Children in full day classes excel in reading, number knowledge, writing and self-regulation versus their half-day peers. A full day program provides us the time to make the learning experience for our youngest students even better. They deserve the same robust, inter-disciplinary as the rest of our students receive. Studies show that full day results are better than Head Start or classroom size reductions.”

Brooke Klein (Jackson) talked about having time for social emotional learning. Jeanette Kling (Field) addressed the importance of purposeful play. Increasing engagement through play allows students to…hone their executive functioning skills. Above all else, play is fun and interesting,” she said. Ms. Klein also covered the advantages of a full-day schedule in order to reach the District goal that all kindergarten students read at a level D by the end of the school year. In addition, opportunities for socialization are built into and throughout the school day, she noted.

Abby Udelhofen (Hawthorne and Jackson) stated, “We currently have everything we need; what we are lacking is the time to implement. The current half-day schedule is missing time for social emotional learning, interdisciplinary learning opportunities and purposeful play.”

View the ADK video created by D205 Communications Coordinator Kate Allt using this link.

Special Education Programming for 2018-19

Dr. Kathleen Kosteck, Assistant Superintendent for Student Services, shared information about the Special Education Continuum, the role of Special Education Instructional Coaching and provided an update of York’s 2017-18 expansion of social emotional services (ACCESS Program) during a Special Education Update.

Others presenting included: High School Coach - Kelly Stoia; High School ACCESS Program - Kelly McGarry and Tyler King; Middle School Coach - Maureen Schroeder; Middle School Instructional - Megan Enke -Sandburg; Middle School Resource - Megan Collins - also a co-teacher; Sandburg Middle School General Education - Kelly Harkins, ELA, Sandburg; Elementary Resource - Bridget Jessen, Lincoln; Elementary Coach- Bridget McDonald, Lincoln, Jefferson, Fischer and Hawthorne; Elementary Coach - Heather Noncek, Jackson, Edison, Emerson and Field.

In-District services include general education, push-in resource, co-taught, pull-out resource, self-contained Instructional (Core Subjects), and Self-contained District-wide. Dr. Kosteck noted that the least restrictive environment is always where services begin. She then went on to outline key elements in each of the following educational settings:

  • General Education – The course content is not modified, but the delivery can be. The student receives accommodations from general education teachers. The student will receive support from a special education teacher during another part of the day.
  • Push-In Resource – The student may require modifications from their general education teacher and a special education teacher may pre- or re-teach content. Other support may be required.
  • Co-Taught – The student may receive instruction from either teacher. They may have some modified curricular materials.
  • Pull-Out Resource – The student requires daily instruction from a special education teacher, as well as accommodations for testing. Breaks take place in the classroom.
  • Self-Contained Instructional (Core Subjects) – This student is two or three grade levels below peers. This is intense small group instruction with alternative materials provided from general education resources.
  • Self-Contained District-Wide – This student is three or more grade levels below peers. Intense small group instruction and alternative materials are required throughout the majority of their day for academic, functional, behavior and communication goals. Student receive community instruction. Instruction and resources in this setting are aligned to alternative standards.

Special Education teachers and Instructional Coaches are trained in the use of Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS). The feedback on use of the BAS is a valuable tool, which informs instruction. There are challenges, like consistency of planning time and not always being able to attend all Professional Learning Community meetings.

The Special Education Coaches work collaboratively with each school’s instructional coaches. They have been working with both special education and general education teachers.

Co-teaching at the middle schools began with small groups during the third quarter of school last year, with two teams per building. This year, all schools have a minimum of six co-teaching teams. There are many positives to this including sharing ideas, flexibility for instructional practices and an increased ability to differentiate.

York High School has launched a new intensive social emotional support program called ACCESS. This is for the student who struggles with a large school. For them academic success necessitates a smaller school environment. Flexibility with these students is paramount.


York senior Sabrina Cintron, who participated in this program in 2017-18 spoke eloquently about her experience in ACCESS this year. She went from lacking the credits to graduate to catching up and even enjoying her York experience. Sabrina felt the without the ACCESS program, she would not have been able to walk with her class on May 20. She highly recommends the program


“We were able to bring back [to District 205] six outplaced students this year and there has only been one outplacement in 2017-18. We can provide the therapeutic component, while offering students to the advantages of a quality high-school experience,” said Dr. Kosteck.


Community Advisory Team


Dr. Moyer presented a draft of the Master Facility Community Presentation to the Board for input prior to taking it to the community at the four large-group sessions set for May 12, 14, 23 and 30. In response to previous feedback from the Board of Education and parents, the D205 administration asked Cropper GIS, our boundary planning company, to see if there were alternative solutions that could meet the established criteria and better preserve natural barriers, such as train tracks and major roads.


Two additional options (C and D) were developed and presented to the Board on May 8. Option C would move students from Hawthorne to Edison, from Jackson to Jefferson and from Jefferson to Edison. Option D moves students from Hawthorne to Edison and from Jackson (Yorkfield area) to Edison. This option impacts the fewest number of students (3.6%), does not require busing students who currently walk, preserves natural barriers and does not send any students away from new construction, but also does not preserve contiguous boundaries. However, this does not address the approximately 90% capacity issue at Lincoln.


The presentation featured four main scenarios, each with two options, being considered as part of the Master Facility Plan, ranging from a status quo $26.1 M option 1 that would address current building maintenance needs to a future ready $168.5 M option 4 that would provide comprehensive upgrades to all schools, including secured entries, upgraded school libraries that feature STEM and makerspaces, York athletic field and auditorium improvements, an auditorium addition at Churchville, modernizing of the Madison Early Childhood Center, and new Lincoln and Field elementary schools.


Board members emphasized that due to the refinancing and expiration of past referendum debt, which will result in debt-free status as of 2025, District 205 is in a unique position to extend the current debt load for another 20-25 years and borrow enough to set itself up for success for the next generation with minimal impact to property taxes. It is estimated that the $168.5 M option 4 would have an additional impact of $149 annually on a house valued at $500,000.


Initial funding models suggest three bond issuances to keep the tax rate relatively level, with possible payments in 2019, 2021 and 2023, meaning that construction would be staggered and the timeline would extend over four to five years.


Melea Smith, Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations, reported that listening sessions were held on May 2 at Edison, Field and Lincoln Elementary Schools. School-specific informational meetings are scheduled for all elementary and middle schools. She gave the dates of the community-wide Future Focused meetings and encouraged all to attend.


She also reported that participants at these meetings will be sent an exit survey to gather further data. A full report will be given to the Board at its June 19 meeting. The communications team is also working to create a Frequently Asked Questions document, which will be posted on the website soon. For further information and to view the latest presentation, please visit


With one member absent, the Board voted 6-0 to approve the following item:

  • The Adoption of Resolution Authorizing Recall of Honorably Dismissed Teachers

Dr. Jim Woell, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources explained that this is standard operating procedure.


Dr. Moyer reported the death of Director of Facilities Frank Shuh on May 4 and expressed condolences to the family. Frank was a York alumnus and a long-time employee of District 205.


Staff Appreciation Week Recognition

Board President Kara Caforio read a note of thanks which was sent to all employees earlier in the day.

May 22 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center
June 19 - Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

NOTE: Video footage of all Board of Education regular meetings is usually posted on 205TV within 48-72 hours. Audio is posted within 24 hours at (please click on appropriate meeting date). Past editions of Board Highlights are posted/archived at