Board Briefs: July 2019

The District 58 Board of Education held a regular business meeting on Monday, July 8, 2019. View the agenda and presentation links. Meeting audio and video will be linked here. Highlights from the meeting include:

Spotlight on our Schools: Spring Data Snapshot
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul reviewed District 58’s spring 2019 AIMSweb and Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment results and initial Strategic Plan key performance indicators.

AIMSweb results show significant early literacy improvements
AIMSWeb is an assessment that measures early literacy 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. The data showed that District 58 students made significant early literacy improvements from fall 2018 to spring 2019, and the numbers of students considered “high risk” for challenges in fall 2018 fell dramatically by spring 2019.

District 58 students excel on MAP assessment
The MAP assessment measures achievement and growth in Reading and Math for students in grades K-8. The spring 2019 MAP data showed that the median District 58 student at all grade levels continued to exceed achievement and growth targets. The median District 58 student’s Reading achievement is at the 74th percentile nationally, and the median Math achievement is at the 71st percentile. This median student achievement is very high; when compared nationally, this achievement places District 58’s schools among the top 9 percent in Reading and the top 13 percent in Math.

On a granular level, Sisul noted that for the past two years, the math committee has made targeted efforts to review and supplement the grade 3-5 curriculum, as these grade levels have historically seen lower than expected growth. This spring’s MAP scores reflected a significant improvement in these grade levels, which he cited as a positive example of the District’s response to data. He also noted that the eighth grade math school conditional growth percentile (SCGP) was lower than expected, and curriculum committees will review this data closely. The SCGP measures how eighth graders’ math growth compares to other eighth graders nationally who have similar starting achievement levels.

District will administer MAP two times in 2019-20
On behalf of the Differentiation and Assessment Committee, Sisul recommended that District 58 administer the MAP assessment in winter 2019 and spring 2020, eliminating the district-wide fall 2019 MAP testing period. This change would recapture additional fall instructional time, and allow teachers to create student instructional groups and support plans earlier, using spring data.

A first look at Strategic Plan key performance indicators
When the Strategic Plan was adopted in 2018, District teams set ambitious student key performance indicators (KPI): to place in the 75th percentile in Reading and the 71st percentile in Math by spring 2019. As a whole, District 58 approached or met both goals, with an average of the 74.4th percentile in Reading and the 71.3rd percentile in Math. However, there were a few individual grade levels that did not meet this goal. Through the ongoing work of curriculum committees as well as the professional learning opportunities for teachers next year, Sisul expressed confidence in the District’s ability to realize the achievement and growth that will meet the ultimate KPI targets of the Strategic Plan in 2021. The District is also measuring growth performance among its state-identified subgroups to ensure all students receive the support needed to thrive.

View the spring 2019 data presentation.

Facility Planning Council Update

Assistant Superintendent for Business Todd Drafall and Wight & Company Architect Brad Paulsen provided the Board with a facility planning update. As tasked by the Strategic Plan, the Facility Planning Council formed in fall 2018 to develop a long-term facility improvement plan that ensures safe, modernized and effective learning environments for all students. 

This year, the Facility Planning Council completed extensive research, conducted a districtwide facility needs assessment, and offered several staff and community engagement opportunities. They used this information to create facility improvement ideas and draft cost estimates as an initial starting point. These initial ideas and cost estimates are subject to change with community input. 

The Facility Planning Council recommends that District 58 launch a larger community engagement effort to both educate the community on the District’s facility needs and seek community feedback regarding their vision for District 58’s schools’ future.

The Facility Planning Council used this year’s community engagement sessions to create three core guiding principles for the District’s master facility plan:

  • People need safe and healthy environments.
  • Learning is enhanced with learning environments for the 21st century.
  • Students benefit from enhanced connectedness.

Through the districtwide facility needs assessment, the Council identified four ingredients, or action areas:

  • Maintenance – essential capital improvements, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, interior repairs, site health life safety
  • Safe and Healthy Environments – secure entrances, indoor air quality, air conditioning
  • 21st Century Learning – makerspaces, STEAM, collaboration/breakout spaces, flexible furniture
  • Grade Reconfiguration + 21st Century Learning – reconfiguring all schools to move sixth grade to the middle school

The Facility Planning Council prepared initial draft districtwide cost estimates, considering the above core guiding principles and ingredients/action areas:

  • Maintenance – $115.6 million estimate
  • Safe and Healthy Environments – $60.6 million estimate
  • 21st Century Learning – $13.9 million estimate
  • Grade Reconfiguration + 21st Century Learning – $54.7 million estimate
  • Total Budget Estimate: $244.8 million estimate

Next month, the Facility Planning Council will present a draft master facility plan to the Board with greater detail. They also recommended District 58 launch a comprehensive community engagement effort to educate the community on District 58’s facility needs, share information regarding possible facility solutions, seek community feedback and ideas regarding initial plans, and gauge community support. The Board directed the administration to seek proposals from third party community engagement consultants to assist with these efforts. The community engagement proposals will be brought to the Board in August for potential approval.

The Board and Facility Planning Council emphasized that the draft master facility plan to be presented in August 2019 will be in draft format and subject to change with Board and community feedback. Please note, no decisions have been made in terms of a final plan or how potential projects would be funded.

View the Facility Planning Council presentation.
View a supplemental presentation with detailed elementary facility information.
View the facility planning webpage.

Superintendent’s Report
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell provided the Board with information and updates, including:

  • Transition: Dr. Russell has completed phase one of his transition, which included meeting with many stakeholder groups and attending District and community meetings.
  • Planning: This month, the District’s administrators will participate in retreats where they will plan for next school year, grow as professionals and come together as teams. 
  • 2019-20 Resources: The new science curriculum resources have arrived, and Longfellow employees are working hard to prepare them for teachers and students! In addition, the Longfellow team is on track to have all student and teacher devices ready for the start of school. Kudos!
  • Grants: The central office team is finalizing 2019-20 grants to help fund essential services, including Titles I-IV, preschool and IDEA grants. 

Business Report
Assistant Superintendent for Business Todd Drafall reported that the 2018-19 final budget report is almost complete and will be shared with the Board soon. Pending final review, it appears the 2018-19 budget will close with a small surplus.  Drafall also presented the tentative 2019-20 budget, which currently has a $3,000 surplus. The Board approved the tentative budget as presented and will make it available for public inspection at the ASC office and online. The Board also set a budget hearing for Monday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. at Downers Grove Village Hall, immediately preceding the Board’s regular business meeting. The Board is expected to vote on the final 2019-20 budget during its regular September meeting.

View the tentative 2019-20 budget.

DGESP Contract
The Board approved a new four-year collective bargaining agreement with the Downers Grove Educational Support Personnel (DGESP) association, following five months of negotiation sessions. 
View the contract.

Committee Reports:
No committees have met since the last Board meeting.

During the Meeting, the Board Also:

  • Approved minutes from the June 5 regular meeting.
  • Approved all items presented in the consent agenda.
  • Adopted a resolution approving proposed amendments to the DuPage/West Cook Regional Special Education Association Intergovernmental Agreement.
  • Approved second readings on two policies: #5100.2 – Health, Eye and Dental Examinations, and #5100.3 – Students with Chronic Infectious Diseases.
  • Awarded a bid for ink cartridges, drums and printheads to Genesis Technologies for an estimated $47,202.42.
  • Awarded a bid for Kingsley’s swing installation and site work to Hacienda Landscaping of Minooka for $104,242. District 58 allocates funding to repair playground structures that pose a safety risk and/or are not ADA-compliant. Due to limited financial resources and the need to fund other essential facility safety repairs, the District must prioritize playground improvements by those with the greatest safety needs.
  • Approved the contract renewal with Knowledge Universe Education (informally called Champions) to provide before- and after-school care at all District 58 elementary schools.
  • Designated the following items as surplus equipment: John Deere Sx85 tractor, John Deere Gx95 tractor, Toro Snowblower 624, Toro Snowblower 824, Toro Proline 36″ mower and Pneumatic Floor Machine.
  • Received three visitor comments. One visitor requested the District consider administrative buildings as part of its master facility plan. The second visitor requested District 58 provide more parent education regarding MAP score interpretation. The third visitor welcomed Dr. Russell, requested Board presentations be made public prior to meetings, and asked the Board to explore as many options as possible during the facility planning process. 

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Village Hall
  • Monday, Aug. 26 at 5 p.m.: Budget Workshop/Board Self-Reflection Workshop at Longfellow

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