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2017 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 http://www.elmhurst205.org/Audio (please click on appropriate meeting date).

...from the November 14, 2017 Meeting

PUBLIC HEARING ON DRIVER EDUCATION WAIVER OF RULES

Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Chris Whelton stated that “The purpose of this hearing is to seek a waiver of Illinois School Code to allow for fees to cover driver education personnel costs and to set a fee not to exceed $325.” The current fee is $245. This hearing takes place every five years. “The hope is to break even on costs,” he noted.

RECOGNITION

2017 Those Who Excel Honorees

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 was well represented at the Illinois State Board of Education’s annual Those Who Excel Awards Banquet, held on October 28 in Bloomington-Normal. Six individual educators and one team received Awards of Merit and Awards of Recognition.

Honorees include Jane Bailey, Principal at Conrad Fischer Elementary School, Julie Deely and Margaret Rasky, co-chairs of the Churchville Charge Amazing Race Event, Donna Dewar, librarian at Conrad Fischer Elementary School, Sharon Emmi-Iovielli, instructional coach at Conrad Fischer Elementary School, Dianne Schiltz, education assistant at Bryan Middle School, Karen Stezowski, District 205 parent and PTA volunteer and Cindy Villalobos, bilingual math teacher at Churchville Middle School.

The D205 Board of Education honored these award recipients with a proclamation at its November 14 meeting, thanking them for their service and for representing District 205 in the Those Who Excel recognition program. A total of 250 honorees received recognition at the ISBE banquet on three levels – Recognition, Merit and Excellence – and across seven categories. District 205 was represented in each of those categories. Not all nominees are honored.

Board Member Appreciation Day

November 15 is annually designated as School Board Members Day in Illinois. Elmhurst District 205 joins other districts across the State to thank these community volunteers for their commitment and contributions to our public schools. Nearly 6,000 people serve as elected school board members in Illinois.

Preparing today’s students to be productive citizens and leaders in a global economy is a tremendous task. As elected officials, school board members are the voice of their communities, serving first and foremost in the best interest of our schoolchildren.

To read the full statement, delivered by Superintendent Dr. David Moyer, please see the related news item on the District 205 homepage.

Dr. Moyer extended thanks to Board President Shannon Ebner, Vice President Margaret Harrell, Secretary Karen Stuefen and members Jim Collins, Chris Blum, John McDonough and Kara Caforio.

PRESENTATIONS

Middle School Acceleration


Assistant Superintendent for Learning and Leadership Development, Dr. Mary Henderson, along with Churchville English Department chair Barbara Ahlgrim and students from Churchville Middle School, provided an Acceleration 2017-18 presentation centered around the I Will Always Write Back project.

New this school year, all D205 middle schools have 30 minutes of acceleration time used for intervention and enrichment. The primary purpose is to provide intervention time for students; progress monitoring helps track growth. Acceleration time also provides opportunity for enrichment; that is also monitored and feedback collected from both students and teachers. Those students receiving intervention are able to experience some enrichment between sessions.

The Acceleration Committee is comprised of representatives from each of the three middle schools.

Some of the challenges have been choosing units, making the most of each school’s budget to maximize resources ($5K per school), and placement logistics. Acceleration class sizes vary. “We are trying to keep the intervention classes smaller,” said Dr. Henderson. “We are going to use Dr. Daggett’s Rigor and Relevance framework to support teachers as they create meaningful enrichment units.”

Acceleration for elementary students takes the form of targeted instruction in literacy. Students aren’t self-selecting, as they do in middle school. Teachers are grouping the students based on Fountas and Pinnell and other reading data.

Another report on acceleration, which includes growth data, will be brought to the Board in the spring.

Telephone Poll Results

During the Focus 205 Phase 1 process, District 205 heard from the community the need to create a long-term master facility plan, which might include all day kindergarten. To expedite this work, D205 partnered with polling experts to help gather data that will assist in creating this plan.

Lesley Rogers and Kevin Ingham, of Strategies 360, presented the results of a recently-conducted telephone poll, which was administered to a representative sample of the community. The margin of error for a survey of 301 interviews is ±5.7% at the 95% confidence level. The poll represents one data point in this work, informing the Board regarding what the broader community thinks about offering all-day kindergarten. The poll also asked for feedback on general views about the District, funding priorities and facilities.

Strategies 360 is a full-service communications firm with a national footprint; it is a leader in helping K-12 districts engage and communicate with all stakeholders. You may access the results of the poll here.

Overall, residents are satisfied with the quality of education the children of Elmhurst are receiving and they are in favor of all-day kindergarten. But there is concern about making sure classroom sizes stay balanced across the District and that our students and classrooms have the STEM resources they need to be future ready.

The poll provides data on not only what parents think about these issues, but the larger D205 community as well. There will be several other opportunities to engage staff, families and community members. In addition to this poll, another Thought Exchange survey is planned for the spring. An advisory committee will also be convened and town hall-style meetings announced, once the draft plan is available. Stay tuned for how you can be a part of planning for the future of Elmhurst D205.

Middle School Curriculum and Schedule Adjustments for 2018-19

Dr. Henderson also presented on Middle School Recommendations for 2018-19. For background information on the middle school recommendations, please reference this website created last year: https://sites.google.com/elmhurst205.org/ms-faq/home, as well as the Middle School Task Force Recommendations, presented to the Board of Education on March 21, 2017.

The objectives of the November 14 presentation were to:

  • Review rationale and process used to develop recommendation
  • Review changes implemented in 2017-18 school year
  • Understand recommended changes for 2018-19 school year
  • Provide clarification in order to gain information necessary for approval in December

The priorities established by the Middle School Task Force and timeline were reviewed, as well as the rationale for change. The goal of the 2018-19 proposed changes is to "shorten the middle school day for students in band, orchestra and/or choir while expanding choices/options for all students."

This would be accomplished by:

  • Bringing band, orchestra, choir into the school day, while still allowing students to participate in two of the three options (band and choir; orchestra and choir)
  • Expanding course options for students
  • Availing ourselves of flexibility within new legislation regarding PE requirements: PE is mandatory only if students are not in interscholastic or extracurricular athletic programs or other entities to the extent authorized by law or the Illinois State Board of Education

The impact on each grade was outlined, including electives, and sample three-year plans were shared.

Next steps as outlined in the presentation include:

  • Board Approval: December
  • Parent Meetings: Second week in January
  • Student Course Selections: January
  • Monitor Final Interpretation of PE Waiver: ongoing
  • Master Schedule Creation: February
  • Creation of Curriculum: ongoing
  • PLTW training: Summer, 2018

Requested for approval in December are the following:

  • Project Lead the Way at grades 6-8
  • World Language Levels 1, 2 (Enriched World Language) course for grades 6-8
  • Expanded Unified Arts courses
  • Incorporation of Band/Orchestra/Choir into the school day


SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – CONSENT

The Board voted 6-0 to approve five of the following items (removing those noted below):

The Board pulled the policy updates for #6:70 - Teaching About Religions (found in Section 6: Instruction) and #7:260 - Exemption from Physical Education (found in Section 7: Students). First readings for these policies will take place at the December 12 Board meeting.

Initial policy readings are necessary to bring discussion regarding possible policy changes into the public forum. It is the starting point for official discourse by the full Board. To that end, no decision is made on first readings. Neither is it necessary for a decision to be made on second readings, although that is a possibility. If the Board makes changes to the suggested new policy or update as presented, it returns to first reading status.


SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – ACTION

The Board voted 6-0 to approve the following items, one at a time:

  • New and Modified Courses at York High School for 2018-19
  • Approval of Board of Education Conference Expenses (Joint Annual Conference)
  • Donations to Hawthorne, Emerson, Lincoln, Churchville and Field Schools – see details below

Starting in the spring of 2017, the York Instructional Advisory Council (IAC) began discussing potential new course offerings as well as exciting course modifications for the 2018-2019 school year. The attached new courses and course modifications are the product of conversations with IAC and course teams throughout the last spring and this fall. Additionally, the courses were shared with Learning & Teaching team members for final feedback.

Proposal criteria: direction was given to York Department and Division Chairs to bring course proposals and modifications that meet the following criteria:

  • Close gaps in our current programming
  • Offer collegiate preparation and/or real world applications
  • Enhance the potential for collaboration among course teams (in PLCs)
  • Create curricular connections between Departments/Divisions
  • Provide a service to the school or community
  • Comply with state mandates

The new courses offered at York High School expand opportunities for students to advance their learning and pursue college credit. Four of the seven new course recommendations are dual credit with Indiana University or College of DuPage. The TSI course supports D205’s Mobile Learning Initiative. The interdisciplinary courses will allow for advanced honors coursework at the junior and senior level that are not currently in areas of AP study. The course revisions include modifications to our math and literacy curriculum for students receiving special education services. These revisions promote skill development in preparation for post-secondary employment, education and independent living.

The following donations were accepted in accordance with Policy #8:80 – Gifts to the District:

Hawthorne

The Hawthorne School PTA has generously offered to donate $1,700 to help complete a purchase of guided reading books for levels A-M. The books will be purchased through Custom Education Solutions, Inc. The books will be used to support literacy instruction during the literacy block and the acceleration period. This donation will help support the District's long term planning for its literacy curriculum.

Emerson

The Emerson School PTA has generously offered to donate $2,000 toward enhancing classroom libraries. This donation will help to buy more leveled text which will go into first grade classroom libraries. By having additional leveled text, students can find "just right" books at their reading levels which allows them to practice their reading skills and grow as readers. This donation will help support the District's long term planning for its literacy curriculum.

Lincoln

The Lincoln School PTA has generously offered to donate approximately $2500 for the purchase of STEM materials to support their newly growing Maker/Space. The purchase would include LittleBits Code Kit (2); Little Bits STEAM Student Set (2); The MakerBot Replicator Mini + and several spools of filament. Coding circuits and robotics would allow students to have hands-on experience coding. A 3D printer would allow students to explore STEM concepts, particularly technology and engineering in a hands-on authentic context. These donations help support the District's long-term planning for future ready spaces.

Churchville

Sam Bono, a Churchville parent, has generously offered to donate nine charging units for mobile devices. Each charging unit retails for $249.76 for a total donation of $2,247.84. This donation is in line with the District's technology vision and will help support the Mobile Learning Initiative.

Field

The Field School PTA has generously offered to donate $7,565 for a number of items. The first donation is in the amount of $900 which is allocated to purchase copies of the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Continuum, Expanded Edition book to support literacy instructional planning. This donation will help support the District's long term planning for its literacy curriculum.

The second Field donation was in the amount of $1,665 for the purchase of a Rack-It Drying Rack for the art room. This rack will help maximize space for student projects and has safety design features for ease of student use.

The third Field donation was in the amount of $5,000 to support the purchase of an assortment of flexible seating and work space options in the classroom such as: floor pillows; bean bag chairs; balance/stability ball chairs; standing desks and lap trays.

ACTION ON CLOSED SESSION ITEM

Student Residency

The Board voted 6-0 to uphold the recommendation of the Hearing Officer, that students “A” and “B” are not residents of District and be dis-enrolled at the end of the school day on December 22, unless the students establish residency on or before that date, and that tuition be charged from the first day of the 2017-2018 school term through the date that the Superintendent or his designee determines the students established residency in the amount to be calculated by the Superintendent or his designee.

SUPERINTENDENT’S COMMUNICATION

Freedom of Information Act Requests

Five Freedom of Information Act requests were received:

  • Four requesting a specific employee's salary, which were granted.
  • One requesting specific curriculum materials, which was granted.

Fullan Administrator Academy

On November 9, Elmhurst D205 welcomed Dr. Michael Fullan to Elmhurst to facilitate an in-house administrator academy for its leadership team. Approximately 75 D205 employees attended, including instructional coaches and teacher leaders.

Dr. Fullan is among the top international experts on change leadership, instructional excellence, and school improvement. He was awarded the Order of Canada in 2012. His organization currently consults with countries, provinces, states, districts, and jurisdictions around the world, including Ontario, California, England, Finland, New Zealand, Australia, and Uruguay.

Over the past three years, the administrative team has studied his books Coherence: The Right

Drivers in Action for Schools, Districts, and Systems (Fullan and Quinn), Professional Capital:

Transforming Teaching in Every School (Fullan and Hargreaves), The Principal: Three Keys to

Maximizing Impact and Cultures Built to Last: Systematic PLCs at Work (DuFour and Fullan). A prolific writer, his website credits 34 books to his name, but the number is much larger including his collaboration efforts, white papers, and other scholarly works.

The presentation focused on the elements of his recent work Coherence (Focusing Direction,

Creating Collaborative Cultures, Deepening Learning, and Securing Accountability) with an emphasis on deepening learning and the implications of technology through the lens of healthy cultures. His practical approach creates and drives theory after consulting with successful practitioners in the field.

The District welcomed participants from DuPage 88, Lake Villa 117, Villa Park 45, Moline, Queen

Bee and Fox Lake Grant. In all approximately 125 people attended the event at the Diplomat

West.

BOARD COMMUNICATIONS

Kara Caforio gave an update on the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCCC), stating that Elmhurst Mayor Steve Morley was seeking a seat on the Commission’s Ad Hoc Fly Quiet Committee. The Committee met recently to review the draft report on Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test #3, along with potential scenarios for the 2.5 year Interim Fly Quiet Plan. Survey results showed that Elmhurst residents strongly opposed the Fly Quiet Test #3.

FORTHCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS

November 22-25 – Thanksgiving Holidays, No School

November 30 – York Holiday Orchestra Concert – 7:30 PM – Baker Auditorium

December 7 – York Winter Art Show & Holiday Band Concert – 6 PM and 7:30 PM, respectively

December 12 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center

December 14 – York Holiday Choral Concert – 7:30 PM – Baker Auditorium

December 25 – January 5 – Winter Break, No School

January 8 – School Resumes

January 9 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center