| April 2, 2013

SD 81 Board of Education Meeting

                                     February 20, 2013

Payment of Bills

  • The Board authorized the payment of bills in the amount of $236,066.58.

(Discussion: Member Godziszewski inquired about tuition reimbursement for Winter 2013 and why it is being reimbursed now. Dr. Boryszewski replied that the District is paying in advance for teachers who are taking ELL endorsement coursework at the request and benefit of the District. Dr. Boryszewski stated that only the ELL endorsement coursework is reimbursed in advance.)

  • The Board approved payroll in the amount of $758,896.14.

Public Participation 

  • Roula Karras Abajian, SPEA President, stated that March 2nd is Read Across America Day and that Dr. Seuss Night is February 28th. Mrs. Abajian stated that reading performance in SD81 has increased 11% in the past 5 years, and 43% in the last 9 years. Mrs. Abajian also stated that the key to success is the board members supporting the educational decisions made – and not being at odds with the common goal of providing the children of SD81 with the best educational experiences that will promote their future success.
  •  Barbara Folan, District 81 ELL (English Language Learner) Coordinator, stated that she would like to clarify misconceptions regarding District 81’s ELL population:
    • District 81 has a total of 435 ELL students, with more than 20 different languages spoken.
    • An AYP subgroup is formed with a minimum of 45 students, which impacts state and federal mandated testing.
    • NCLB law requires that a school cannot make AYP if one of its subgroups does not make AYP.
    • The law requires that ELL students must take the same grade level assessments as their peers, even though they have not achieved English proficiency.

As students progress through the grades, they are becoming English proficient and exiting the ELL program. Last year 50 students exited the program, resulting in Lincoln not having a LEP (Limited English Proficient) subgroup.

The District provides tuition reimbursement to teachers who are pursuing ESL/Bilingual endorsements. Currently over 30 teachers have their ESL endorsements, and 5 have the bilingual certification in Spanish, Polish, and Bulgarian. Many other teachers are enrolled in programs for their certification.

The District is working on aligning ELL standards to the Common Core, has developed a student progress database, and differentiates instruction to meet the needs of all students.

The District will be in compliance with the mandate that by July 1, 2014, all Pre-K teachers (not kindergarten teachers) who work with LEP students will be ESL certified.

The requirements for administrators of the Bilingual Education program do not begin until July 1st, 2014.

  • Ms. Folan stated that District 81 will continue to provide all students with rich experiences and multiple measures of growth rather than just one test mandated by the state.
  • President Desecki responded that she was sorry that Ms. Folan felt that she needed to speak in defense of the District’s ELL students and programs, and that its diversity is one of the things that make the community great.

Alina Ortega, teacher and SPEA member, stated that the SPEA would like to respond to Board Member David Stachura’s statement in the February 2012 issue of People and Places. Ms. Ortega stated that the SPEA consider themselves fierce advocates of the children of the School District 81 community. Ms. Ortega stated that Member Stachura wrote that he has utilized the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information for the taxpayers. Ms. Ortega stated that the information could have been easily retrieved by calling or visiting the district office, and that since Mr. Stachura repeatedly argues about the district’s need to be fiscally responsible, he should take this into consideration before wasting tax payer money. Ms. Ortega stated that his FOIA requests needlessly cost the taxpayers $10,492 dollars that could have been used to purchase 31 iPads for the students instead, and that the children were overlooked in Member Stachura’s letter in People and Places.  Ms. Ortega stated that the District deserves the best from its board members, and the majority do give their best. Ms. Ortega stated that the SPEA felt it was important to respectfully remind the community that Mr. Stachura’s service on the School Board is supposed to be about the very best he can do for the children of School District 81.

  • Jody Horan, resident and District 81 employee, stated that she was a victim of a violent crime, and that an anonymous blogger posted her personal information on the Schiller Park blog for the entire world to see. President Desecki apologized to Ms. Horan, stating that Ms. Horan has become a victim of political garbage, and that the Schiller Park Police can look into the violation, but that despite how angry and upset the Board of Education is about this violation of Ms. Horan’s privacy, there is nothing the Board can do. President Desecki stated that none of the board members present at the table had anything to do with what was posted on the blog, and that they do not condone or answer to the blog.
  •  Kathy Brant, Director of Communications, invited the community to participate in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which will be held at East Leyden High School on July 19th.  School District 81 and the Village of Schiller Park are both forming teams to walk in the event. More information will be forthcoming about how to register.
  • Angela Corcione, resident, stated that she has been having wind issues at her house ever since the old Lincoln Middle School was torn down, and that the old building provided a barrier between the house and the wind, but now that the building is gone the wind is causing destruction to her house. Ms. Corcione inquired about District 81 putting up a wind barrier on the Lincoln fields similar to what she has seen surrounding Leyden High School’s fields.
  • President Desecki stated that the District could look into the issue, but there is most likely nothing that they can do.
  • Dr. Boryszewski stated that the District has investigated the fence at Leyden High School, and that it serves primarily as a privacy fence rather than a wind barrier.
  • President Desecki stated that Washington School’s performance of the Little Mermaid was better than the Walt Disney version, and that she hoped everyone had a chance to see it. She congratulated the parents of the children who participated. Dr. Kristin Kopta, Principal of Washington School, stated that Washington has DVD copies of the performance.

Example of Excellence – Special Olympics Basketball Skills

  • The Schiller Park Sharks showcased their basketball skills in the Lincoln gym.  The District wishes to thank the families who came to the meeting with their children so they could demonstrate their hard work and talent.

Old Business

  •   Information: No questions or comments on the finance update or FOIA report.
  •   Action:  There was no Old Business Action.

New Business Information

  •  Rapid Response Training will take place during Spring break at Lincoln Middle School. Detective Tom Henn stated that the recent Sandy Hook tragedy has brought new safety information for the police department and administration to consider. Sergeant DiCosala will conduct the training. Board of Education members, administrators, and teachers are invited to attend.

New Business Action

The Board of Education approved the following:

  • The Kennedy and Washington School Improvement Plans as presented.
  • The K12 Solutions STAGES Software License Agreement as presented.
  • The Cogent Communications Optical Internet Agreement as presented.
  • The Campus Suite Website Agreement as presented. (Discussion: Member Delaney inquired if this was the students’ website or for the District. Dr. Boryszewski responded that the agreement is for a new district website.)
  • The PMA Financial Planning Consulting Agreement as presented.
  • The 2013-2014 District 81 calendar as presented.
  • The Administrator Contract for Director of Special Education as presented.
  • The Employment Contract for IT Director as presented.
  • The hiring of Long Term Substitute Teacher.
  • The hiring of 3 classified employees, 2 retirements, and 2 leaves of absence. (The complete list of employees will be included in the February meeting minutes, which will be posted on the district website after approval at the March 20th, 2013 Board of Education Meeting.)

Public Participation




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