Board Briefs: February 2022

board briefs february 2022

The District 58 Board of Education held a Regular Meeting on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at Downers Grove Village Hall. View the agenda. The Village recorded the meeting and is currently processing the video; when District 58 receives the video, it will get posted on the District 58 YouTube page.

Featured School: Kingsley School Flag Salute and Presentation

The Kingsley Student Council led the Board and audience in the Pledge of Allegiance and shared some of the school spirit and service projects that they’ve led this year. Principal Mel Hackett showed this video to the Board, and shared examples of how the school supports students’ academic, social and emotional needs. Click here to view Kingsley’s presentation.

Spotlight on our Schools: Winter Data Spotlight

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul gave an overview of the District’s winter 2022 aimsweb and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment data, as well as preliminary 2021 Illinois Assessment of Readiness results. More information will be provided during the Board’s upcoming Curriculum Workshops on Feb. 28 and March 7.

Aimsweb is an assessment that measures early literacy and numeracy among primary students. District 58 uses aimsweb data to identify each student’s current literacy level and to determine individual interventions to help each student succeed. District 58 reported lower-than-usual achievement on the fall 2021 aimsweb assessment and increased interventions to support students whose test results placed them at moderate or high risk. The winter 2022 aimsweb test results showed large improvements in both early literacy and early numeracy. District 58 will continue to provide increased interventions to support these improvements.

All grade K-8 students took the winter MAP Reading and Math assessment in January 2022. When reviewing MAP data, District 58 looks at both student achievement and growth data. Achievement shows how a student performs on the MAP test at a single point in time. Growth measures how a student’s scores change over time, or, in other words, how much he or she grows academically. MAP data showed that, in general, District 58 students continue to achieve at a very high level, despite the pandemic. Student growth, while still strong, lagged the District’s achievement numbers. Sisul shared that national MAP growth projections -- which are the numbers District 58 is measured against -- are based on data sets from pre-pandemic, “typical” learning years.

Finally, Sisul shared preliminary Illinois Assessment of Readiness, or IAR, data. All Illinois students in third-through-eighth grade take the IAR for Reading and Math. Due to COVID-19, many school districts, including District 58, moved this assessment from spring 2021 to fall 2021. When compared to spring 2019 (the most recent IAR data available), the preliminary data showed that the percentage of District 58 students meeting or exceeding state standards declined about 5% (from 49% to 44%) in Reading but increased about 5% (from 48% to 53%) in Math. 

Sisul also shared the preliminary IAR data for the state as a whole. The state’s preliminary data showed greater (more than 5%) declines among Illinois students in both Reading and Math.

District 58’s overall performance on the IAR also significantly outpaces the State average. At the state level, the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards in Reading ranges from 28-34% and in Math ranges from 22%-31% (the range is based on individual grade level data).

To better understand District 58’s decline in the IAR Reading assessment, District 58 drilled deeper into the data. The data showed that District 58 students perform very well on the literary, information and vocabulary sections of the IAR. Sisul noted that District 58 implemented a new English-Language Arts curriculum five years ago that placed a high focus on these content areas. However, the data showed that District 58 students didn’t perform as well in the written expression/written convention areas of the test. Sisul shared that District 58 formed a Writing Subcommittee last summer to enhance the District’s writing curriculum. The District will continue this work and its increased focus on writing instruction.

Additional information related to assessment data will be shared and discussed during the upcoming Feb. 28 and March 7 Curriculum Workshops. 

View the presentation.

Superintendent’s Report

Dr. Russell provided several updates, including:

  • Thank You: Dr. Russell thanked the community for their support and mutual respect as the District transitioned from a mask-required to a mask-recommended school setting. Dr. Russell also thanked the Kingsley administration and Student Council for their Board presentation.
  • Draft Calendar 2022-23: District 58 intends to bring its 2022-23 calendar to the Board for a vote at the March meeting.

Business Report 

Dr. Russell reported that District 58 revenues and expenditures are on track. The District expects to receive its first property tax payments in the spring. Until that happens, District 58 will be in the “low-cash” point of the year. In order to make payroll, District 58 is seeking Board approval to temporarily transfer $9 million from the working cash fund to the education fund. Once property tax payments are received, the money will be transferred back. Dr. Russell also noted that District 58 has received $4.155 million in proceeds from the Longfellow Center. This funding is not considered revenue. $3 million will be used to fund summer 2022 capital projects, and the remainder will be placed into the District 58 education fund.

Committee Reports 

Vice President Gregory Harris reported on the Jan. 11 and Feb. 1 Policy Committee meetings.  The committee reviewed annual policy manual updates recommended by the Illinois Association of School Board’s PRESS service. The Policy Committee made updates to 57 policies, in accordance with PRESS. The Board completed a first reading of these policies and will vote to approve them at the regular March 2022 business meeting.

Member Melissa Ellis reported on the Jan. 12 Legislative Committee meeting and the Jan. 28 Legislative Forum. The meeting finalized plans for the forum. This year’s Legislative Forum was in person and welcomed seven elected officials. The event opened with one large group question; the audience then participated in two small group sessions with the legislators. Board members shared positive feedback about the event and said they would be interested in reviewing feedback from the guests; a survey has been shared with event guests and will be reviewed at the next Legislative Committee meeting.

Member Tracy Weiner reported on the Feb. 7 District Leadership Team meeting. The group reviewed and provided feedback on eight draft key performance indicators and their associated metrics, along with the timeline for the potential adoption of the new KPIs.

Vice President Gregory Harris reported on the Jan. 13 Health & Wellness Committee meeting. The committee reviewed the employee wellness program and employee assistance program to determine if they needed additional promotion and whether they were meeting employee needs.

The Financial Advisory Committee has not met since the last Board meeting.

Approval: 2022-23 Student Fees

The Board approved 2022-23 school fees. Learn more. 

The 2022-23 school fees are:

  • Kindergarten Instructional Materials: $134
  • Grade 1-6 Instructional Materials: $225
  • Grade 7-8 Instructional Materials: $249
  • Transportation (>1.5/safety hazards): $46
  • Transportation (<1.5 miles): $614
  • * Grade 6 Outdoor Education: $200 
  • Grade 7-8 Novel Fee: $10
  • Grade 7-8 Yearbook: $20
  • Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program: $2,890
  • Preschool Tuition: $3,840
  • Preschool Application: $50
  • Outplaced Fee: $145

Milk fee was not part of this fee approval, as District 58 is not certain whether this fee will be issued next school year. If this fee is required, it will be approved at a later date. 

* The Grade 6 Outdoor Education fee was approved, but will not be collected until the status of the program is known for next year.

During the Meeting, the Board Also:

  • Approved minutes from the Jan. 10 Regular Meeting.
  • Approved all items posted in the consent agenda.
  • Adopted a resolution transferring $9 million from the working cash fund to the education fund. This money will be paid back to the working cash fund after the District receives its early levy year 2021 taxes. 
  • Approved the purchase of 3,760 ninth generation iPads with cases and three-year AppleCare+ for schools for $1,561,492. 
  • Entered an agreement with Inspec Engineering to provide building envelope consulting services for the masonry remediation projects for 6.25% of the lowest responsible construction bid. 
  • Awarded masonry remediation base bids #2 and #3 to A.L.L. Masonry for $1,142,000. 

Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 3:45 p.m.: Legislative Committee Meeting at Herrick
  • Monday, Feb. 28 at 3:45 p.m.: District Leadership Team Meeting at O’Neill
  • Monday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.: Curriculum Workshop at O’Neill
  • Friday, March 11 at 7 a.m.: Financial Advisory Committee Meeting at O’Neill
  • Monday, March 14 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at O’Neill

District 58 Board of Education members are: Darren Hughes, president; Gregory Harris, vice president; Kirat Doshi, Melissa Ellis, Emily Hanus, Steven Olczyk and Tracy Weiner, with Dr. Kevin Russell, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.