Previous versions can be found on the Board Audio/ Highlights/Minutes page for 2011 and 2010
...from the February 25, 2014 Board of Education Meeting
HONORED BY PROCLAMATION OF THE BOARD
Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) All State Musicians
The ILMEA All-State Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festival was held January 22-25 in Peoria, Illinois. There are nine ILMEA geographic districts in Illinois. In the fall, more than 3,000 students from over 75 schools throughout Northeastern Illinois auditioned for the honor of All-District band, chorus, orchestra, and jazz band selection. All-State students are selected from the nine districts across the State. This year, 10 York Community High School students earned a spot to join some of the finest high school musicians from Illinois to perform at the Festival.
All-State Selectees for 2014 from York High School include: Julia Dierksheide (Harp), Lauren Gaynor (Flute), Jessica Heinz (Alto Voice), Allison Meyer (Flute), Madeline Meyer (Soprano Voice), Kristen Mojziszek (Alto Voice), Erin O’Neill (Alto Voice), Zachary Triska (Tenor Voice), Cristina Uribe (Oboe) and Hannah Widmaier (Soprano Voice).
Bill Riddle is the Division Chair for the York Performing Arts Department which also includes: Christopher Gemkow, Rebecca Marianetti, Ray Ostwald, Michael Pavlik, Michelle Scurlock and Anna Sapozhnikov.
York High School Teams Sweep Econ Illinois Stock Market Game
Three teams from York Community High School placed first, second and third out of 824 teams in the 2013-14 Econ Illinois Stock Market Game, earning over $100,000 combined on their initial investment. Matthew Druffel, Patrick Falkenberg, Matthew Niewiara, Jack Polte and James Pukala, from the Economics Club team, placed first in the competition; while Itoro Akpakpan, Jack Polte and Dominic Ravenna, from the Entrepreneurship class, placed second; and Kyle Preuss, Philip Serpico, George Stojsavljevic and Nicholas Tucker, from the Introduction to Business class, placed third.
The Illinois Stock Market Game is an online education program that teaches and reinforces critical thinking, decision-making, cooperation and communication, independent research, as well as saving and investing. The game is a state-wide competition run by the Illinois Council on Economic Education which allows students to use real internet research and news updates, making the simulation an even better mirror of the real marketplace. Teams started with a virtual cash account of $100,000 and strive to create the best-performing portfolio, using a live trading simulation, while researching and evaluating stocks to make decisions based on what they have learned.
Advisors to the three teams were: Jim Borel, Business Department chairman and Introduction to Business teacher; Brian Sheridan, Entrepreneurship class teacher; and Jessica Weldon, Economics Club Sponsor.
Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Requests
Four FOIA requests were made since the last meeting:
- One regarding information taken from an ISBE report which was granted.
- One regarding disciplinary information which was denied.
- One regarding specific financial information which was denied.
- One regarding a specific Request for Proposal which was granted.
Mobile Learning Initiative
Dr. Charles Johns, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, introduced the Mobile Learning Initiative Update. This was the second in a series of conversations about mobile learning. “We are lucky to have a dynamic Curriculum Technology Committee (CTC),” said Dr. Johns. “Their feedback helps inform our three-year Technology Plan.”
He reported that middle and high school Chromebook pilots are in the second and third quarters of implementation. Feedback from students and teachers has been overwhelmingly positive.
Members of the CTC have made site visits to Leyden, Maine Township and Glenbrook - which are leaders in the field of instructional technology. At the request of the Board to understand what leading-edge districts are doing, Dr. Terri Bresnahan, Director of Technology for District 64, Park Ridge-Niles (and a District 205 parent) was invited to present on Instructional Technology Coaching.
“One-to-one initiatives often fail when there is no support for the new technology,” said Dr. Bresnahan. “You must have the capacity, both within your teaching staff and within your technology staff for new initiatives. The amount of coaching required varies from teacher to teacher. We never teach technology in isolation. We ask what the learning target is and what is the standard you are striving to teach? The device doesn’t matter if you’ve made the (professional development) investment in people.
According to Dr. Bresnahan, high-quality professional development must be: job-embedded, sustained over time, individualized, include follow-up at the time of implementation and opportunity for feedback (both provided by the coach and given by the participant). Peer coaching provides a 95% return rate in the areas of knowledge, skill and transference. “This is working with a colleague to develop a new skill.”
Speaking from her experience in District 64 (which is K-8), Dr. Bresnahan recommends a slow implementation and greater support at the district-wide technology level. The effective infusion of technology has a high impact on formative assessment, which is proven to increase test scores. Formative assessment is used by teachers to take quick stock of student understanding and make mid-stream adjustments to best serve the needs of a variety of learners.
Reporting to the Board, Charlotte Kulla, a 6th grade English teacher at Churchville Middle School, said “Our kids were all over these Chromebooks.” She noted that the advantages of Chromebooks over a laptop is huge. Laptops take so much longer to power up, load and shut down, the battery life is double that of a laptop and everything is cloud-based, so is accessible from virtually anywhere.
“The fact that we could share our work became a great motivator in ways I had never seen. Essay writing used to be painful; now, the students love it. You can see their excitement; they are in their element. The cooperation available through Google Docs made writing an ongoing process. That’s what learning is all about,” she said.
“Students had a real audience for their work and realized a greater responsibility to the whole. That became a lesson within the community of learning that was taking place. They can also go back and look at their previous work and see how much they’ve grown. We are building a resource together."
Frank Dahlman, an 8th grade Social Studies and English teacher at Sandburg Middle School, was also invited to speak. Formerly an IT professional, he feels very comfortable with technology. “Students were very engaged, which provided a lot of lesson design opportunities that would not otherwise be available. For example, they studied the impact of various immigrants on Chicago using authentic documents available online,” he reported.
“My most powerful tool was Hapara. With 30 screenshots, I had access to all documents at any given time. The coolest thing was being able to teach from my couch when I was home with a sick child. I redirected some students who were off task in the classroom.
“I saw an improvement in student confidence using this technology. I could encourage and help out students who were falling behind. I was in their world - that of a 21st century classroom - and I just dipped my toe in the pool. Technology doesn’t replace a good teacher, but it certainly enhances what we’re doing. I see kids leading that would never have jumped out and done that. We’re facing a new reality and wondering how we can meet the needs of our students. I can create a dynamic learning environment. I am an education manager. We have a real opportunity to make a powerful and deep impact on our students’ learning here in Elmhurst District 205,” Mr. Dahlman explained.
“Cathy Baker (Instructional Technology Coordinator for District 205) did a great job of supporting everybody. She also had simultaneous professional development going on related to Google Apps. I’m really learning from hearing what other teachers are doing. We are focusing on learning targets and standards,” said Mrs. Kulla.
“Cathy was very vocal in advocating for and supporting us. It’s influenced what we’re doing in our building. Every grade level at every middle school is involved in a pilot. As we went from one pilot group to another, we shared tips we had learned with our colleagues. We’ve been learning from each other in many ways. We’re ‘seeding’ the knowledge. It’s causing us to rethink how we are structuring our lessons. This is much more student driven than teacher driven; it’s a balance.”
Superintendent Dave Pruneau observed that “Dr. Bresnahan told us a cautionary tale tonight. We are not yet ready for transformational change district-wide. Resources are just part of the solution; we have to get everyone on the same page. It takes time and a lot of dialogue.”
BOARD COMMITTEE REPORTS
Curriculum and Instruction Committee
- 8th Grade REACH Math Book
- Summer School Dates
- PARCC and Related Assessments
- Invitation to Curricular Technology Committee
Committee chairman Shannon Ebner reported that middle school REACH math students are ready for more rigor, as a result of accelerating the elementary math curriculum a few years ago. The administration is suggesting that Geometry be offered to eighth graders next year. There will be ongoing articulation between the middle and high school teachers over the next few months. The professional planning and learning, which will be quite robust, has already begun. Eventually, seniors would be able to take a high-level calculus course for dual credit (high school and college).
Finance and Operations Committee
- January Monthly Financial Report – “We are on plan and on budget.”
- Employee Compensation Letters – benefit statement templates are being created
- Student Fees
- Project Prioritization Rubric
- Updates – Storm Water and Budget
Chairman Chris Blum reported that the committee felt there was a comfort level with a four or five FTE addition/$400,000 investment in discretionary staffing. “This would be an on-going expense, of course. One idea would be to have a minimum commitment of three years.”
By consensus of the Board, Superintendent Pruneau was given the green light to explore the best way to meet the discretionary staffing needs outlined at the February 11 meeting.
“For planning with my team, this is helpful,” said Mr. Pruneau. “We’re still gathering input from our stakeholders, as we want to hear various voices. We realize that we can’t do it all, but this allows us to have some idea.”
Regarding the update on storm water, Mr. Blum shared that “We had previously looked at Madison Early Childhood Center as the easiest project to collaborate on. But the numbers indicate increased growth there. Our forthcoming demographic study needs to run parallel with this discussion, so that we can solve our early childhood needs and the community’s storm water needs at the same time. We’re working together with the City and will continue the conversation.”
Performance Management Committee
The Board Performance Management Committee met on February 6, 2014. Minutes are posted on BoardDocs and may be accessed through this link. Topics reviewed included:
- District Performance Indicators (DPI)
- Attraction, Retention and Development of Employees
- PERA Update - Student growth component, which will be a two-way conversation
- Project Prioritization Rubric - can the rubric’s weighting be tested for accuracy?
Concerning the DPIs, Chairman Karen Stuefen noted “It’s not just about the metrics, it’s about driving value, increasing student outcomes and employee satisfaction, and looking at how this is all linked. We currently have several different improvement plans underway, including Rising Star, which is a methodology of continuous improvement for all schools.
“We talked about how we’re intentionally improving our programs – linking DPIs with School Improvement Plans – and also about the desire to benchmark our DPIs with other comparable districts,” she said.
The committee also discussed the possibility of a compensation study for non-union affiliated employees and the value of a third-party view. A Request For Proposals (RFP) has been developed to see what the bid process might render. Further discussion with the Board will take place after pricing is determined.
SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – CONSENT
The Board voted unanimously to approve the following consent agenda items:
- Personnel Report
- Financial Report
- Approval of Agreements with Illinois Century Network (ICN) for Internet Service and AT&T for Switched Ethernet Service
- Approval of Agreement for Verizon Push-To-Talk, Cellular, and Data Services
- Approval to Enter Into Service Agreements with Call One for Telecommunication Services
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Updates - Section 2: Board of Education (First Reading)
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Updates - Section 3: General School Administration (First Reading)
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Updates - Section 4: Operational Services (First Reading)
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Updates - Section 5: Personnel (First Reading)
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Update - Section 6: Instruction (First Reading)
- Approval of Policy Reference Education Subscription Service (PRESS) Policy Manual Update - Section 8: Community Relations (First Reading)
SUPERINTENDENT’S AGENDA – ACTION ITEMS
The Board voted unanimously to approve the following action items:
- Approval of New Policy #7:185 - Teen Dating Violence Prohibited
- Approval of Foundation Donation for Media:scape Furniture and Additional Funding to Provide Two Labs for York Learning Commons
- Approval of Foundation Donation of Gifts Designated for Madison Early Childhood Center
Board President Jim Collins thanked the District 205 Foundation and everyone else who was part of providing the new Media:scape Labs at York High School (for details click here).
Mr. Collins also thanked the District 205 Foundation and the Elmhurst Garden Club for a $1,000 donation to the Madison Early Childhood Center’s Outdoor Classroom and Sensory Garden. In addition, the Foundation and PNC Bank donated $1,000 toward multicultural materials for the Madison School library. PNC employees helped with both a book drive and the Sensory Garden.
ACTION ON CLOSED SESSION ITEM
The Board voted to uphold its Hearing Officer’s factual findings that Student B is not a resident of the District 205 and has not resided within the attendance boundaries on a regular fixed basis since at least the beginning of the 2013-14 school year. Student B was dis-enrolled as of February 28, 2014 and charged the family for tuition from August 20, 2013 until that date in the amount of $7,997.04.
Karen Stuefen read excerpts from an email sent by the Legislative Education Network of DuPage (LEND) which stated that General Assembly legislators are getting the message about PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career). According to LEND Executive Director Peg Agnos, bills and resolutions to delay Common Core and PARCC are numerous.
She, along with administrators from Cook and the collar counties, recently met with State Superintendent Dr. Chris Koch and Illinois State Board of Education senior staff to express concerns about PARCC and the future of ACT, which serves as a national college placement test and may not continue to be a State-funded assessment after 2015.
UPCOMING MEETINGS AND EVENTS
March 3 – Curriculum and Instruction Committee Meeting – 7:00 PM – District 205 Center
March 4 – Board Improvement Committee Meeting – 8:30 AM – District 205 Center
March 11 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center
March 14 & 15 – Churchville Middle School Drama, Pirates of Penzance – 7:00 PM – CMS Gold Gym
March 18 – Finance and Operations Committee Meeting – 6:30 PM – District 205 Center
March 20-23 – York High School Spring Musical, Aida – Baker Auditorium (times TBA)
March 25 – Board of Education Meeting – 7:30 PM – District 205 Center
March 25 – District 205 Band Festival – 7:30 PM – York High School Field House
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).