Board Briefs – July 2018

The District 58 Board of Education held its regular business meeting on Monday, July 9, 2018. View the agenda and presentation links. Meeting audio will be posted here.

Highlights from the meeting include:

Spotlight on our Schools: ESSA Background and Overview

Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul provided the Board with an informational presentation on the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA. This federal legislation passed in December 2015 and replaced its No Child Left Behind predecessor. Sisul said that following ESSA, the State of Illinois updated how it measures school quality and will give individual schools a single summative rating on a four-tier scale. A few other ESSA highlights include:

  • Academic Indicators (75 percent of summative rating): New this year, the State will grade schools on their students’ academic growth, in addition to their proficiency, as measured by the PARCC and DLM assessments. The growth score will comprise 50 percent of each school’s summative grade. Math, ELA and English Learner proficiency will comprise an additional 25 percent of a school’s grade.
  • Student Success Indicators (25 percent of summative rating): The State will also grade schools on student success indicators, including chronic absenteeism and survey participation. Any student who misses 10 percent or more school days will be considered chronically absent, regardless of whether the absence was excused. Exceptions include hospitalizations and deaths in the family. A school’s chronic absenteeism rate will comprise 20 percent of the school’s overall grade in 2018-19. In addition, a school’s 5Essentials survey participation will comprise 5 percent of the school’s grade.
  • PARCC Participation: Schools that do not meet a 95 percent PARCC/DLM assessment participation rate for three straight years will receive a Tier 3 – Underperforming School designation. 2018 is the first year of consideration for this data collection.
  • Building-Based Budgeting: ESSA requires all districts to report per-pupil expenditure data at the district level and at the school level, separated by each fund source, starting in 2018-19.

View the ESSA informational presentation.

View the State’s ESSA handout.

Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli welcomed new Assistant Superintendent for Business Todd Drafall and Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Barto and provided the Board with an update on Lester construction, summer facility projects, contract negotiations, strategic plan development team work and 2018 PARCC preliminary data. Dr. Cremascoli noted that the State shared preliminary PARCC results with school districts. A preliminary review of these data shows very positive results for District 58 students. The District looks forward to sharing additional information as these data are finalized by the State, but is pleased to report that celebrations for growth on the PARCC assessment are recognized across the district in both Math and English Language Arts. Dr. Cremascoli thanked the students and teachers for their work in support of this improvement effort, as well as parents for their partnership in this regard.  The data is publicly embargoed until October.

“We anticipate having some positive news about our PARCC scores that we will be able to share in October,” Dr. Cremascoli said. “Thanks to the hard work of our students and teachers, in partnership with parents, preliminary data indicates that we have made some significant improvements across our district and within each school.”

Business Report
Assistant Superintendent for Business/Chief School Business Official Todd Drafall reported that:

  • Upon a preliminary review, the District concluded its fiscal year on June 30 with a balanced 2017-18 budget.
  • The District’s auditors conducted preliminary fieldwork for their annual audit last month. They will return in August to complete their on-site work.
  • The tentative 2018-19 budget will be presented to the Board for review in August and approval in September.

Longfellow Discussion
The Board of Education discussed the future of the District’s Longfellow Center. The 90-year-old building houses the District’s curriculum, technology and facilities work spaces, as well as the District’s meeting spaces. To prepare for this discussion, District administration provided the Board with a current, extensive Longfellow space use analysis, a current estimate of the property taxes that could be realized if the Longfellow property were redeveloped, and historical information regarding the property and previous considerations to sell it.

Board members noted that the Longfellow Center property is a valuable asset, and redevelopment has the potential to add new property tax revenues. However, if the property is sold the District would first need to find another facility to accommodate the displaced staff, functions and meeting space for professional development and collaboration. Dr. Cremascoli emphasized that any considerations regarding the Longfellow Center should be coordinated with the District’s long-term facilities vision, noting that the District’s recently-approved Strategic Plan calls for the administration and Board to develop a focused and long-term facility improvement plan that considers safety/security, air conditioning, sixth-eighth grade middle schools and future enrollment projections along with District facility use. The Board plans to continue its facility discussion at the next Financial Advisory Committee meeting.

During the meeting, the Board also:

  • Approved minutes from the June 11 Meeting and the June 22 Special Meeting.
  • Approved all items on the consent agenda as presented in the packet materials, including the appointment of Stephanie Dornan as the Herrick assistant principal.
  • Approved 2018-19 salaries for non-union educational support staff, non-union technology staff and administrators.
  • Approved an agreement with Pediatric Services of America to provide contractual nursing services to a student.
  • Approved second readings on 11 new policies: #3100 (Fiscal Business Management), #3290 (Revenue Investments), #3291.1 (School Activity Funds), #3318 (Purchases and Contracts), #3320 (Payment Procedures), #3423 (Accounting and Audits), #3511 (Facility Management), #3511.1 (Environmental Quality of Buildings), #3610 (Food Services), #3620 (Free and Reduced-Price Food Services), and #5152 (Waiver of Student Fees). The Policy Committee recommended the adoption of these policies as part of its effort to better align District 58’s Board policy manual to the Illinois Association of School Boards’ model policy guide. The Board approved the adoption of these 11 policies.
  • Approved second readings on 14 policies recommended for deletion: #3110 (Budget Planning), #3110.1 (Long Range Planning), #3140 (Adoption of Budget), #3170 (Budget as Spending Plan), #3220 (State Funds), #3250 (Fees for Materials), #3291 (Depository & Authorization to Sign Checks), #3322 (Paying for Goods & Services), #3412 (Revolving Fund), #3413 (Petty Cash), #3430 (Inventory of Equipment), #3435 (District Owned Vehicles), #3440 (Monies in School Buildings), #3510 (Energy Conservation). The Policy Committee found these 14 policies redundant upon the adoption of the new policies above. At the Committee’s recommendation, the Board approved their deletion.

Upcoming events:

  • Wednesday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m.: Special Board Meeting – Appointment of New Board Member – at the Administrative Service Center
  • Monday, July 16 at 7 a.m.: Financial Advisory Committee Meeting at the Administrative Service Center
  • Monday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall.

District 58 Board of Education members are: Doug Purcell, president; Elizabeth Sigale, vice president; Greg Harris, Darren Hughes, John Miller and Jill Samonte, with Dr. Kari Cremascoli, superintendent; and Melissa Jerves, board secretary.