President Garlovsky attended the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Luncheon with DHS Principal Kathryn Anderson, DHS teachers, and seven DHS students. Ella Katz and Shula Horton, DHS students, had the honor of escorting one of the Holocaust survivors who was accepting the Elie Wiesel Award on behalf of over 400 survivors who were in attendance.
School Bus Driver Appreciation
Board Vice President Stacey Meyer recognized members of the District 113 Transportation Department for their exceptional work and dedication to the students, staff, and community. Thousands of District 113 students ride the bus each week. During the 2017-2018 school year, our Transportation Department drove a total of 396,000 miles. The Board of Education and District 113 are appreciative of our bus drivers for providing a safe and reliable means of transportation for our students and for most importantly, putting the needs of our students first.
President Garlovsky recognized Deerfield High School Principal Kathryn Anderson and Highland Park High School Interim Principal Deborah Finn for their dedication and leadership. Ms. Anderson and Ms. Finn are passionate educators who cultivate a learning environment in which our students can excel. They work collaboratively with staff and parents to ensure all students have the opportunity to receive a high quality education and are provided with the resources to achieve their greatest potential.
Student Representative Reports
Zack Dickson from Highland Park High School and Hannah Shapiro & Ella Katz from Deerfield High School shared recent successes of their peers and highlighted upcoming events at each of the schools. Click here to view a video of the reports
Dr. Martindale shared a copy of the board briefs from Northern Suburban Special Education District (NSSED). Cole Donoghue, transition student in the District 113 ELS program, was recognized during the October 10 NSSED Board Meeting. Last week, Dr. Martindale, Dr. Yonke, and Board President Garlovsky attended a District 113 School Board caucus meeting and presented information related to potential Board members. The meeting was a great opportunity to engage with community members about recruiting and selecting candidates for the open Board positions.
The Board of Education approved the following minutes:
- Special Meeting – September 15, 2018
- Special Meeting Closed Session – September 15, 2018
- Regular Meeting – September 24, 2018
- Closed Session – September 24, 2018
The Board of Education approved the following policies to update administrator names:
- 2-260, The Uniform Grievance Policy
- 7-20, Prevention of and Response to Harassment, Including Sexual Harassment
- 7-180, Prevention of and Response to Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment by Students
The Board of Education approved the amended schedule of Board of Education meeting dates for the period beginning November 2018 through June 2019. The item was discussed during the Board of Education Meeting held on September 24, 2018. Regular Board of Education Meetings will be held once a month instead of twice a month. In addition to the monthly meetings, quarterly Workshop Meetings will be held, focusing on specific topics. Special Board Meetings will be scheduled as needed. This structure allows for the continued oversight of Board-related matters, but in a more efficient and organized manner.
The Board of Education approved (a) its intent to levy for the tax year 2018 a total aggregate of $92,071,405 exclusive of Bond & Interest costs, (b) $98,655,920 with Bond and Interest costs, and (c) authorize the publication of a notice in compliance with the Truth-in-Taxation Act for a public hearing on the 2018 tax levy to, scheduled for Monday, November 19, 2018 at the Township High School District 113 Administrative Building. A finance committee meeting was held earlier in the evening, during which the Tax Levy was discussed. The levy is the amount of money raised from property taxes collected from taxpayers in the district. This levy is expected to provide a 2.1% increase over the prior year in the property tax extension, which is equivalent to the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
The Board of Education approved the employment contracts for Dr. Lilly Brandt for District Coordinator of Academic and Administrative Services and Deborah Ofcky for Interim Athletic Director.
- Dr. Brandt will maintain her role developing the master schedule at Deerfield High School but will take on new district-wide job responsibilities, including coordinating standardized testing and providing oversight for the bookstore and staff handbooks. Deerfield High School will now have two Assistant Principals instead of three, with Dr. Brandt.
- Deborah Ofcky will temporarily serve as the Interim Athletic Director at Highland Park High School while Jon Rowley is on a family medical leave. Dr. Yonke expressed her appreciation of Ms. Ofcky, who quickly provided leadership and has already begun working with the Highland Park High School Athletic Department.
Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
Dr. Elizabeth Pérez Robertson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, shared information about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The bipartisan measure was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 10, 2015. ESSA reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), our country’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The previous version of ESSA, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002.
The annual Illinois Report Card will include ESSA designations for each school. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will send official designation letters to superintendents on October 30 and will publish the 2018 Illinois Report Card on October 31.
Dr. Yonke shared that the District hopes to have additional information to present at the October 29 workshop focused on academic achievement. The efforts of the state to support students and schools are appreciated, as several components of the plan focus on the variety of elements necessary to support student learning and growth. Because the Illinois ESSA Plan determines designations by identifying the top 10% and bottom 5% of schools, there will always be an artificial bell curve that categorizes schools, regardless of the improvement that all schools may demonstrate. This ranking and categorization included in the Illinois ESSA Plan may overshadow the success of the programs and supports that are being provided to our students with the greatest needs.
Ali Mehanti, Assistant Superintendent for Finance, shared information about how the District determines whether or not to appeal property taxes using a cost-benefit analysis. The District is recommending the firm of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn (HLERK) to be authorized to provide legal representation for Property Tax Appeals on its behalf.
HPHS Assistant Principal Loren Stillwell and HPHS Social Studies Teacher Colette Pretet shared information about the international trip to Ireland – Towards a Better Understanding (TABU) – sponsored by the Rotary Club of Highland Park. Biennially, five or six students are chosen to represent Highland Park High School in Northern Ireland. Students stay with host families who are members of the Rotary Club of Belfast and/or are families of students who will be travelling to Highland Park with the Rotary Clubs. The trip provides a wonderful learning experience for our students and is generously funded in full by the Highland Park Rotary Club.
HPHS World Languages Department Chair Jeff Handley and Chinese Language Teacher Weifang Wang shared information about the international trip to China. During the two-week trip, students will explore the culture, cuisine, and history of China. At this time, approximately 30 students have expressed interest in attending the trip. More detailed information will be shared with families after the Board has approved the field trip. Highland Park High School hopes to have at least ten students participate in this international trip.
Dr. Yonke reported on the Board of Education self evaluation held on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Dr. Yonke thanked Board President Garlovsky and Board Vice President Meyer for their collaboration on the draft of the District 113 Board and Superintendent Agreements. School Boards are allowed to go into closed session for the purpose of self-evaluation but must have a representative from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) present. Dr. Yonke and Dr. Martindale attended the self-evaluation, which was a positive and productive session during which the role of the Board of Education, the role of the superintendents, and the expectations for each other were discussed.
Future Agenda Items
The following item(s) were recommended for inclusion in future Board of Education meeting agendas:
- Board Member Stacey Meyer requested clarification regarding the process of recommending agenda items and topics for special workshops, as she would like to recommend that an update is provided on the District’s equity work. Dr. Yonke confirmed that an equity update is being planned as part of a future workshop meeting.
Complete minutes for this meeting will be posted upon Board approval at the next Regular Board of Education meeting.