District 57 School Board Meeting Highlights – Feb. 20, 2020
*School Board Meeting Highlights are a summary/overview of interesting and important decisions, presentations and/or discussions that take place at Board meetings. They are different from the meeting minutes, which give a detailed report of Board members present, personnel transactions, Consent Agenda approval, vote tallies, etc. Meeting minutes are posted on the website as part of the following meeting’s public packet.
Lincoln’s robotics teams – Teams 492 and 493 – were recognized and spoke about their projects this year. Dr. Elaine Aumiller and Board president Eileen Kowalczyk presented each member with a certificate and congratulated the hard-working students and their coaches, and also wished Team 492 best of luck at the World Competition.
Preview of FY21 Staffing Plan
Dr. Aumiller presented a preview of the FY21 Staffing Plan, which the Board will be asked to approve at the March meeting. Next year’s plan requests the same number of FTE employees as this year, and there are currently no major changes to the numbers of students per grade level and class. This is based on the District’s enrollment projections, which predict stabilized enrollment for next year.
Dr. Aumiller explained that the District is requesting to add an assistant principal at Lincoln next year. Adam Parisi, assistant superintendent for finance and operations, and Paul Suminski, Lincoln principal, presented the rationale for this new administrative position. Board members agreed with the recommendation and gave Dr. Aumiller the okay to add the position to the Staffing Plan.
The District plans to eliminate the student services coordinator at Lincoln and replace that position with the new assistant principal. Student services coordinators were added to each school a few years ago when there was a shortage of school psychologists and the District was having difficulty filling that position. The student services coordinator handled some tasks related to special education and other areas, but he or she could not help with the large administrative workload. The position was eliminated at Fairview, Lions Park and Westbrook and replaced with an assistant principal. That change was not made at Lincoln, which already had one assistant principal. But due to the higher number of students and staff and the larger facility, there continues to be great need for an additional middle school administrator. For example, there are significantly more staff performance reviews to conduct, student issues to attend to and facility needs to address. The District and Lincoln agree that it is imperative to bring another administrator on board, which will put the school on equal footing with neighboring districts, in terms of staff-to-administrator and student-to-administrator ratios.
Dr. Aumiller thanked the Board for agreeing to make this change, which she said will remove limitations of the current structure and be extremely beneficial for students and staff. She added that the change requires minimal additional funding since the assistant principal will replace the student services position.
Curriculum Cycle Update
This month’s Board packet, at the link below, includes a detailed Curriculum Review Schedule, which indicates the curriculum areas that are scheduled each year for evaluation/research, work process development, professional development, work process implementation and refinement. In addition, Dr. Mary Gorr, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, included a memo updating the Board on the first year of implementation for the new writing curriculum, which rolled out to kindergarten through eight grade last fall. The memo is also at the link below.
Communications Plan Update
Dr. Aumiller presented an updated Communications and Public Relations Plan and Calendar for the 2019-2020 school year. The plan, at the link below, highlights tactics that the District uses to keep its various audiences well informed about District and school news and information, as well as any larger issues that affect the schools. The detailed calendar highlights communications vehicles and messages that are put out each month, as well as the timing, distribution/audience and relevant links. The calendar is updated regularly.
Social Emotional Learning Presentation
Sara Tybursky, director of student services, outlined an update to the Code of Conduct and presented on the proactive strategies the District implements to address student needs. Her presentation, which can be found at the link below, addressed the goals and best practices of social emotional learning, the District’s multi-tiered system of support, the schools’ behavior matrixes, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Restorative Justice and the Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee.
PRESENTATIONS AND SUPPORTING MATERIALS IN THE BOARD PUBLIC PACKET AT THIS LINK: https://www.d57.org/BoardAgendas.aspx