January 2020 Meeting of the D128 School Board

January 2020 Meeting of the D128 School Board


(murmuring)>>Everybody ready? All right, let’s call to order
the regular business meeting of the Board of Education
Community High School District 128 for Tuesday, January 28th. If I can ask everybody to please stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.>>I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all.>>All right, roll call please.>>Jim Batson?>>Here.>>Don Carmichael?>>Here.>>Pat Groody?>>Here.>>Lisa Hessel?>>Here.>>Kevin Huber? Karin Lundstedt? Casey Rooney?>>Here.>>All right, so we note, Karin
Lundstedt and Kevin Huber are out this evening but
we still have our quorum. All right, first of all, let
me just welcome everybody. This is actually a little overwhelming.>>In a good way.
>>It is a good way. (phone ringing)
Hang on a second. There we go. Please silence your phones. (laughing) Okay, so now we can go. All right our agenda
today, we will open it up to public comment, anybody
who would like to speak, the one thing I would ask is that you try to limit yourself
to three minutes or less. Yeah and try not to be repetitive. If somebody’s already brought up whatever it is you wanna
bring to our attention. We will have some student
recognition and a presentation from the Vernon Hills High
School Student Varsity Council. We’ll get updates from our
student school board reps and then each of us is
going to update some items on a conference we went
to in late November. We will have a superintendents report, we’ll approve the consent vote agenda which we reviewed earlier this month. We’ll have brief updates
from program and personnel. We’re gonna read everyone as positive. And facilities and finance,
just have a couple comments on SEDOL, anything from IS region? (man murmurs off microphone) No? Okay. And then we will convene an
executive session tonight which should be relatively
brief we will not be taking any action after the
executive session tonight. And that’s it.>>Briant has one update.
>>Okay.>>I received recognition,
unfortunately they’re sick today, so we will recognize them in February.>>Okay, no problem. So we will eliminate item 2BI, correct? And then we’ll only have
the diversity council. All right anybody from the
public who’d like to speak, just state your name and address?>>I’m Amal Hassan, As a district, the daring
mission is connected to every aspect of our schools and it connects us to the fundamentals of being a Wildcat or a Cougar. We value diversity and we participate in change for the greater good it says. If the system that says to be so inclusive is putting us down, but it is teaching me that I need to do things instead of waiting for
them to be done for me and to raise awareness on
issues of discrimination and have a more global view on the world till our daring mission to be fulfilled to its fullest potential. We are a district that is built to be multi-faith and multicultural. My name is Amal Hassan, a
Libertyville High School junior, student council board
member and a proud Muslim and I am here on behalf
of the over 1,000 people, students and community
members who signed my petition to promote Eid as a
deserving they offer school in observance and to promote
equality and fairness among the whole district. I want you to imagine
not having Christmas off or if you’re Jewish not
having Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur off. It is my only holiday that I only get to celebrate twice a year. It’s our only holiday. It’s a holiday where a whole community into the Libertyville Sports Complex, pray as a united group
and see our loved ones and celebrate under the same roof. For every Muslim, Eid is a time of sharing and expressing love, peace and friendship. Muslims worldwide extend hands to our non-muslim neighbors and friends. As we extend our arm of inclusivity to the non-muslim community, please consider us and
extend your arm of welcoming. As I looked at the data
from the 2000 to 2010 Lake County census, I found
that there was a huge increase in Muslim families living in Lake County and being in a new decade, I can only confirm this number
will increase even more. Because I walk into the mosque daily and see the welcoming of the
new family to our community. As time goes on, school
being on Eid will only affect more students and their families. For example, in 2023
there will be an increase of 49 muslims from just Oak
Grove alone and it will affect all of them and their families. I talked to principals at both schools and other faculty and staff and some common questions
and concerns were raised like that being that it shifts every year, no other schools around have it off or more days being added in summer. Well, let’s begin with
that shifting every year. If we’re arguing that this
holiday shifts every year, let’s look at Good Friday, Easter, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. And we’ve been adaptable in
the past to these holidays. But, as you can see in front of you, Islamic Society of North America predicts the date of the
holiday long in advance and the majority of Muslims in Lake County do abide by this day. As you can also see, there
are only four Eids until 2025 that lie during the school year. So asking for four days
off in the next five years isn’t too much of a request. To the second point of
no other schools around having it off. Let me ask you this, why does it matter? Why can’t we be the trail
blazers in Lake County and be the leading school
that initiates this? But let’s look at schools
that do have it off, for example Detroit School District, Dearborn Public Schools,
Cresswood School District, Hampshire Public Schools,
Skokie High Schools, New York City Public Schools
and Montgomery County, Maryland and way more are in progress currently. The last thing of more
days being added in summer. Well first, what if we implement
a teacher’s institute day where students have the
day off, teachers don’t, but on the District 128 calendar, it says teachers institute day/Eid al-Fitr Eid al-Adha for muslims. Another thing, at a recent board meeting, you have recently approved
of e-learning days making a couple of snow days unnecessary. So what is the possibility
of having those two snow days being moved and those two days dedicated to having Eid off instead. The conversation about Eid
becoming recognized as a holiday will have to start. So why not start now promote
religious toleration, inclusivity and respect? With Eid off and the public schools already amazing achievements, we could be a leading
educational institution that promotes equality and
diversity among its students. I urge you as D128 School
Board to serve all students including us Muslims and
hear us plea for equity. I now would like you to listen to three of my closest friends to speak on the harsh reality of choosing faith versus
education, thank you. (audience applauds)>>Good evening. My name is Emma Black, And I’m a student at
Libertyville High School. In LHS, I’m a member of
the Model United Nations Executive Board as well
as link crew leader and a participant in art and theater. As a Christian student at
Libertyville High School, I recognize my privilege. I recognize the privilege
I have to spend my holiday surrounded by family unconcerned
by homework or studying. I recognize my privilege as
I have never found myself struggling to choose
whether to stay in school or to be surrounded by family celebrating. I have never chosen to
subsequently overexert myself for the next week just trying to catch up as a result of missing school. It always seems to be
a given but it’s not, it’s a privilege. I recognize my privilege,
I do not accept it. Tonight on behalf of the student body, many of whom are joined with us today, I would like to show my complete support for religious tolerance in District 128. As one of over 1,000 signatures, we advocate for the acknowledgement of Eid as a religious holiday and one that should be
a non attendance day. The privilege I speak of
should not be a privilege but a right for all. I’m sure a lot of you
have similar memories, happy carefree holidays spent
with family and friends. This is unfortunately not
the case for all students in District 128. As individuals, a district,
a community and as a country, we support the right to express religion and the right to
education, we always have. It is important that we act
upon our values and in that we must be tolerant,
respectful, inclusive. Therefore it is simply
unfair to ask of students to choose between two rights,
religion and education. I, along with many of you, enjoy the right to spend
holidays with family and I wish the same for all of my peers regardless of religion. As a district, we stand for recognition and representation of all students. We stand for all faiths, we
stand for respect of our peers, we stand to be daring, doing individuals. We stand to make positive
change for future students. Now it’s our duty to prove it. Thank you. (audience applauds)>>Hi, good evening. My name is Sarah Blavas, And I’m a junior at
Libertyville High School. I’m involved in activities
such as track, student council coding cats, being a wish leader and MSA. As you can see, I’m part
of the student body. I am the student body and I’m
no different than my peers. I go to school valuing my
education more than anyone, I go to see my friends and I go to be active in my community. But the only difference
is that I have to fight to feel valued, to feel
like I am heard at school. The only difference is
that I’m the student who has to choose between
the value of my education and the value of my religion,
which I believe in so deeply. I’m speaking tonight
highlighting my experiences through predominantly White school to urge you to welcome
diversity and accommodation by recognizing Eid as a holiday, to allow me and my other Muslim peers to feel welcome and represented. I understand that Muslims are a minority but we have to be recognized alongside every other
student in District 128. I think I can speak on
behalf of every student here on how taxing it really
is to miss one day, especially for me in my freshman year. Coming from a small and
sheltered Oak Grove, I had no clue what to
expect for the years to come or what my future would hold at LHS. Going from a class of
100 to five times that, was a huge adjustment for me and I was still trying to
find my niche in the school. Still adjusting to high school, Eid fell on my first biology
exam, on Thursday, August 31st. A class that had already
proven very challenging for me. It didn’t help that my
schedule was already filled with such rigorous classes. In first period I would
have to make up the tests, I missed in biology and
grab a take-home quiz a day later than my classmates. In second period of geometry
honors, I would have to go in during the time crunch of before school and ask for a whole
day’s worth of math notes and learn it in 20 minutes. In, Spanish I would have to
make up the packets of grammar and speaking exercises alone at home. In geography, I would have
to copy down the notes and understand each single bullet point taught to us in class. In English I would have to be
two nights worth of readings and understand the previous nights with no additional class discussion and in gym, I would have
to make up 20 minutes in my heart rate zone
during my lunch periods. And that was already tough to manage on top of the mandatory
Link Crew attendance that was mandatory twice a week. All of that just because I
want to celebrate my holiday with my family. As you can see, I very much
do prioritize my education and always put that before anything else. However, as much as I value my education, when it begins to
interfere with my religion, I shouldn’t have to compromise two important aspects of my life, especially when my surrounding peers don’t have to do the same. Each student here fills
their own unique role within these schools including us. We’re a part of the student
body, we are the student body and we deserve to have
our holiday be recognized. Thank you. (audience applauds)>>Zana Kotsky, Good evening everyone. I’m a junior at Libertyville High School. I first would like to thank you, the board for letting me speak today. To not only let me represent my own values and the Muslim students
who are part of D 128, but also for the millions
of Muslim students who are part of the public school system who struggle with their Muslim identity and have to choose whether their faith or their education matters more. I, a student who identifies as a Muslim, as an American-Pakistani and
as a Libertyville Wildcat know what it is like to struggle with my
identity of being Muslim. Starting from elementary
school I came face to face with the reality of being a minority. It especially hit me hard
during the holiday season and during spring break. Other kids used to be excited
during those joyous occasions but for me, I used to dread it. Why? Because of all the questions, the pity and the ignorance. Knowing that I won’t have
the opportunity to experience the same enthusiasm as
any of my classmates. Coming to Libertyville, I knew
was going to be different. High school is a place
to open up your mind to challenging ideas and to
face your identity head-on, but after recent events and
feeling specifically targeted by group who are so openly Islamophobic, I realized that no one
is going to stand up against discrimination, unless those who are
being discriminated do. This is my opportunity to do so. Following my sister’s footsteps,
I’ve taken the position of being president of
Muslim Student Association and helps to make District
128 a more inclusive space. But as a student, that
should not be my obligation. My job should be the same
as every other students’, to come to school, to
work hard, to be involved and to feel respected and to have a voice. Having to choose between
my faith and my future not only threatens this
voice but suppresses my right to feel welcome at
Libertyville and Vernon Hills. I assure you that D
128 makes Eid a holiday on the school calendar. It will not only give representation to the countless Muslims in our community, spreading awareness of
acceptance and tolerance of faith but it will also set an example for many other public school systems around the United States. I urge you all, please to remember us. Amal Hasan, Sara Blavas, Zena Kotsky and the other tens of Wildcats and Cougars who were standing here,
unapologetically Muslim asking you to no longer make us choose between faith and future. Thank you. (audience applauds)>>Hello, my name is Kirsten Makoladi. I didn’t know that this
group would be here and I notice they are some small children and my subject matter is
that there’s nothing graphic but it is mature. So I just wanted to kind
of tell the parents. My daughter is a District 128 student who was enrolled in the
special education program and continued on to the transition program of the Special Education District of Lake County, also referred to as SEDOL. Her years of Libertyville High
School were a great success and she continues to be involved
in after-school programs at LHS including Best
Buddies and Special Olympics. Since December of last year however, there have been a series of events that have greatly impacted
her continuing education through District 128. It was reported that a
fellow classmate of hers had been sexually assaulted by a teacher at the SEDOL location on
Atkinson Road in Gages Lake where they both attended class. The perpetrator has been charged
with four counts of felony, aggravated criminal sexual assault, four counts of felony
criminal sexual assault and felony aggravated
criminal sexual abuse. The abuse occurred over a two-year period at the SEDOL Atkinson location where a small number of students less than about 20 attended class and where approximately eight teachers and paraprofessionals were employed. Our family learned of
the perpetrator’s crimes through the local news and
we were not alerted by SEDOL until the story had
become public knowledge. The space in which
these crimes took place, which I have been to on several occasions is approximately 1,000 square feet. It’s very small. It has been reported that
the abuse of the student took place in locations
including the conference room adjacent to the classroom space. It is beyond disturbing that
the student was being assaulted in a small room while class
was taking place just outside. Why did the other SEDOL
teachers neglect to locate the whereabouts of a student
who should be in class with the others? Why would the teachers
and aides so negligent in ensuring the safety of
a student in their care? Why aren’t two teachers
or aides present at times when the student is
outside of the classroom? This isn’t the first of
recently reported abuses occurring in the SEDOL program. Investigations into 21
reports of physical abuse were opened last year at
another nearby SEDOL location. While our daughter was
not directly victimized in these crimes, upon
learning of the assault in her classroom, we
immediately removed her from the SEDOL transition program because we feared for her safety. Has District 128 considered bringing the special education
transition program in-house as opposed to utilizing an outside program that is clearly not serving it’s students in the best way possible? Several surrounding high
schools including Stevenson, Barrington, Lake Zurich
and recently, Mundelein provide in-house transition programs. The in-house program in
District 128 would not be large as it would only accommodate
students from our own district. As a parent, concerned for
the safety of our daughter, her fellow classmates and
future transition students, I urge you to strongly
consider an alternative to the SEDOL program that has been putting District 128 students
directly in harm’s way. Every District 128 student deserves the best possible education and its most vulnerable
students deserve a safe and successful transition program. Thank you. (audience applauds)>>Anybody else. No? Okay, so now I think we
will move on and have the, yeah, okay, so let me make a brief comment on what was presented. I was gonna wait until
after the presentation. First of all, to the
students who did speak, I don’t know some of what they think. You guys did a wonderful job. I kept looking over at Dr. Lundstedt, well you’re all ready kids, because your presentations
were extremely passionate, extremely powerful and
extremely well thought out. So I really want to applaud
your courage frankly for standing up in front of this group that even I am intimidated by. So congratulations on that. So here is the one
commitment that I can make. Obviously this is an issue that we would want to further study and so we are gonna defer this to, I hate to say this way,
the Calendar Committee. As you might imagine and
maybe you you don’t or can’t, putting the annual calendar together is an extremely challenging task which has to take into
account the needs and wishes and dreams and a lot of
different stakeholders, it’s the best word, okay. And I know even last year
after we thought we had it, we had to redo the whole
thing for a lot of reasons, but I promise you this okay, we will take the feedback very seriously. I believe we now have students
on the Calendar Committee. So at a minimum, all right,
they will be part of the process and the recommendations of decision making on where that calendar takes place. That’s something new that I
think we talked about last time we had lunch at Baker’s Square. (murmuring) So I promise you we will take
the input very seriously. We will consider that among other things and I’d ask you to just be patient and stay tuned until we
can really thoroughly vet all the various aspects of your issue as well as those of
the other stakeholders.>>Can I ask a really good question?>>Sure.>>Are the Calendar Committee meetings open to the public or not?>>There are members of the public, I believe on the committee.>>There are. It’s not, but when the Calendar Committee makes a recommendation to the board, it will be done and those
discussions are shared with the board at our early
month committee meetings, public and also the board meeting. So ultimately the board’s
legal responsibility is to vote on the calendar
for the school district. So any work that the calendar does always comes back to the board and before the board approves anything as you are all well aware, we discuss it at committee
meeting or committee meetings and then we bring it to the board for final adoption or a final vote. So Pat, I was just gonna add to that, for our community members that may be your first time with us, the board uses a committee structure here to do all of the detail work on all of the issues that we deal with. So that’s where the board does, the yeoman’s share of its work. The Calendar Committee is
no different than that. If you stay for the remainder
of the meeting tonight and I’m not suggesting
that you have to do that, of course if you want to
stay, we’re glad to have you. But you are going to
hear the cumulative work that the board has done
in both our program and Personnel Committee, where
this issue would come through the Pipeline and Facilities
and Finance Committee and then the board will
be making final decisions on those issues. So it’s important that you
understand when we say committee, because sometimes people think
of a legislative structure and if you wanna kill a bill,
you throw it to committee. Committees are active working parts of how we do our work. The board meetings are the
culmination of that work. So Dr. Fischer Reid, if
you wanna raise your hand. Dr. Fischer here chairs or facilitates our Calendar Committee and we are aware that the students have
more detailed information to share in some back work
that that they’ve done and Dr. Fischer will ensure that the students will have an opportunity to present that at the Calendar Committee and the Calendar Committee will do its job vetting all of the information and all of the various items
that they have to consider prior to making a recommendation. And be aware we’re always
working forward on the calendar. We try and work two years in advance on the calendar as we move forward.>>So that means we have
actually already approved next year’s calendar.
>>Yes ma’am.>>So any changes that the
Calendar Committee would make to our existing structure–>>Would be for the following year, the year after.
>>Would be then.>>What’s been recommended.>>Right, and the dates of the holidays as students have mentioned like some of the other holidays change and so that would just be
part of the conversation. That would not be a reason not to look seriously after that. So you have the board’s commitment my commitment as a superintendent district administrative team. Again Dr. Fischer and
the Calendar Committee which the students and community members and staff members here are involved in and they do very detailed and complex work over a period of time. So the students will have
an opportunity to present the additional information
that they’ve prepared for the committee as it
goes through its process and again, it will culminate
in some discussions at a board meeting or committee meeting or meetings prior to
making a final decision at a regular board meeting like this.>>Can I actually make
a few comments, so one, because there are so many people here. Can you just give us an idea who is on that committee,
not necessarily names but stakeholders and then
also just a rough idea of the calendar for
the Calendar Committee. So there it is roughly an annual event. So the rough timing you work
on between now and whenever whenever is when you’re
gonna present it back. And then of course just
clarify what was said earlier. So no, that committee is not gonna have broad representation from the community because if we had 100
people from the community, we probably never have a calendar but there will be time during the year when both at the committee meetings that we have the second
Monday of every month, as well as at the board meeting, which is the fourth Monday of every month where that calendar recommendation will be presented to the board. That is certainly an
appropriate time for anyone from the public who wants
to come and comment on it to come and do so.>>A Calendar Committee
includes about 25 people that represent both of our
communities of Libertyville and Vernon Hills High School. We have a parent representative from each of the high schools and our parent representatives
have always done a really good job of holding
their constituencies, working with their neighbors
and friends and contacts to bring that feedback to the
Calendar Committee meeting. We have a school board representative on the Calendar Committee and we have educators and administrators from the two high schools
on the Calendar Committee. We have a representative of the union that has also done polling
of all of our teaching staff regarding calendar formation and we have principles
that we’ve operated under in the design of the calendar based on the Regional Office of Education recommended school calendar, Illinois school code, the
dates of our graduation and final exams. So that’s always our starting point but we’re happy and very excited to include student voice
in our upcoming meeting, that is the piece that
we have been missing and so we’ve had that
through parents before but having direct
representation from students, we’re excited about that change. We do try to plan a
couple of years in advance but we don’t always have all
the information necessary to make a decision two years in advance. So we begin to look at drafts two years out and then we
review those drafts over time. So in February, we’ll
be taking a second look at the 21-22 calendar that
we’ve already started to review when we adopted the 2021 calendar. There is an opportunity
through school code to offer calendar amendments to already adopted calendars as well. So that February meeting
will be a starting point for discussing this issue
and we certainly will plan at that February meeting
whether we would talk about the issue and invite
additional students to present what we heard tonight.>>I know the represent the
girls and I we all talk about how excited we are to
be at the February meeting because I know students
were not invited before and we talked about it. I think this is a really
good opportunity because, I mean in my journals of tag
class but we look at Illinois like report cards for
our schools and stuff and I know for Vernon Hills,
our student body is 60% white while our teaching staff is 98% white. So having just educators
and parents or a parent that’s not very reflective
of the student body. So I think it’s a really
good opportunity as students.>>Thank you.
>>That’s a great point.>>I thought that too.>>And I will say when we met
with the students last month, again for the public, we meet once a month Dr. Groody, myself, Dr.
Guillaume and Dr. Koulentes, the principals with our
6C ward representatives over lunch once a month and so we have an opportunity
to talk about things that are going on in the district or things we should be thinking about. And so when we talked
about the opportunity of the students joining
that Calendar Committee, I think some of you almost jumped out of your chairs with joy, so that may be a little
bit of an overstatement but you were very excited
about the possibility and we’re very excited to have that voice as part of that important committee.>>I agree with you, you’re correct in the years that I’ve been serving as a facilitator of
the Calendar Committee, there have really been no changes to the kinds of
representation that we have at the committee meeting. So this is an exciting
change and an important one.>>Yeah, and I’ll make one last comment and I’m pretty sure I speak on behalf of this whole board but I want everybody to understand it. There are a number of things
that I think we as a board and as an administration
take very seriously in this district. Foremost on my mind is
student safety and security, but I would say the other
that I can assure you is extremely important
to every single one of us and I know for me personally
’cause I’ve spent some time outside of this country and that is where each and every student is this district, I’m gonna say feel equally welcome okay. I acknowledge that we
as it’s true and I think the broader context of the
community and society in general fall short of where we
probably wanna be some day but I don’t think I’m overstating
how much it means to us to continue to pursue that goal. I just can think of no other option. So, that’s not a promise that
we’re gonna do everything that everybody wants ’cause
that’s just not practical but I think it’s important
to realize that at the core, that is a real core value
I believe of this place, this board, this administration, and I hope of this community. So again, I applaud your
courage in coming forward. That was among the more
passionate presentations we’ve had in a while and
that is not done easily, so thank you very much for
what you guys did tonight.>>We heard you.
>>Yeah, we heard you. (audience applauds)>>So for the audience, we’re gonna move on with the rest of the board agenda. We’d love to have you stay but at this point if you want to leave, you certainly have the option to do that. (murmuring) (laughing)>>Sorry, I couldn’t hear you across. (murmuring)>>So the only meeting that we have in representing that
issue to the committee, and scheduling other meetings to invite so students react to (murmurs). (murmuring) Yeah and I would love it if you
would invite her to do that, but I think maybe you oughta allow her–>>You’re all amazing. You already knew that, but I’m gonna tell you that again. (murmuring off microphone)>>Yeah, another Calender Committee, yeah. (murmuring off microphone) we’ll ask the committee to
schedule another meeting to present directly. (murmuring off microphone) (murmurs off microphone) (tapping)>>All right, thank you.>>Next up, Vernon Hills High School Student Diversity Council, Dr. Guillaume.>>Thanks I’m Jon Guillaume, principal of Vernon Hills High School and I think on the heels of that really well done dynamic presentation. Tonight’s board
presentation fits right in. I actually wish they
all would have stayed, I think they would have really enjoyed it. As tonight I think you just
take that issue of equity and inclusion to the next
step with another example. The board knows that as
a district, each school, Libertyville and Vernon
Hills has continued its commitment to issues
of equity and inclusion and the board presentations
that we’ve had this year already including our English learners group, we had Best Buddies talking about another issue of inclusion, have highlighted some of those
and tonight is no different. Tonight it’s my pleasure as
principal of Vernon Hills to welcome a group of students
who will speak to that issue with some of the work
being done at Vernon Hills and of course makes me proud. I do think it’s important to
note that that Dr. Koulentes and the students and faculty
and staff at Libertyville are doing some of the same things through their equity leadership team and while we get to hear
from our group tonight, there are similar great stuff
going on at Libertyville. To introduce them though is
our two equity coordinators and just as a side note,
I have been pleased and proud to see them lead in
a passionate and selfless way over this year, so it’s
my privilege to introduce Amy Christian and Tara Young. (audience applauds)>>Good evening, so my name is Tara Young, I’m an English teacher
here at Vernon Hills and also one of the equity coordinators and we are so thrilled and grateful that you have invited us here tonight to hear about what we’re doing through our Student Diversity Council. Our message I think is really in line with the amazing message
that you just heard from our friends over at LHS that our district values equity and we care about the inclusion and representation of all of our students and Amy and I are so honored and grateful to work with an incredibly
dynamic group of students who are passionately
committed to this equity work that we’re doing at Vernon
Hills and I think this clicker, I don’t know what happened, there we go. So I’m gonna show you
something that you all know that you’ve already been
hearing tonight but you know that our district is committed to equity so much so that it’s actually
built into the mission, into our daring district mission. So we know that we value diversity, we know that we seek to
understand the varied experiences and realities of others. We know that we delve into
complexity and ambiguity, we also know that we ponder problems, question convention and propose solutions. And this work is exactly the type of work that our Student Diversity Council has been embarking on this year.>>So it’s been really
exciting in our position to get to work with staff but also a really
important part of our job is working with students. And so one such way
that we are collectively working together to empower students to be a part of these
conversations about equity is through our Student Diversity Council, many of whom you see right here behind us who are gonna spend way more time talking than we are because you
wanna hear from them anyway. So this is a group that’s
committed to equity and inclusion in several different ways. Over the course of first
semester in this past month, some of the ways we’ve
been doing this work is including students alongside staff in their own professional learning as well as, thank you,
exploring our own identities, and learning about ourselves
and then teaching each other. And then finally through, sometimes it doesn’t click for us, through reading and
discussing a book called “Waking up White and Finding
Myself in The Story of Race” by Debbie Irving alongside staff. So they’re going to highlight
those three different episodes for you just a little bit. We’re gonna start off
with the Lunch and Learns. Typically as you know Lunch
and Learns are provided for staff to take part
in professional learning and this has been an
exciting thing for us to ask for students to come
alongside our staff members in that learning and Avy and Xander are going to tell us all about that. Thank you Avy and Xander.>>All right, so I’m Avy Hustle, I’ve attended a bunch of
these staff Lunch and Learns and the two that I’ve been to have both been about race and racism and our awareness of both. So the first one was we watched
Mellody Hobson’s TED Talk, about “Color Blind or Color
Brave?” and it talked about the importance of discussions
about race and racism and we discussed how that
applies to our our own school and our environment. And then the next one,
we read and discussed the introduction of “Waking up White” and we discussed the
realizations and lack thereof of privilege and the understanding that we have of our own racial identities. I found it to be very beneficial to be at these staff learning sessions because I think a lot of these discussions end up circling back to the students and a lot of these
discussions revolve around what we’re learning in school
and what we’re discussing as staff and as students. So I think it’s been very fascinating and been very beneficial
for us to be there to learn along with teachers and see the work that they’re doing that ends up impacting us.>>And I’m Xander Hume. One of the most impactful
parts of these Lunch and Learns is the discussions that we have afterwards where both staff and students together can share their own experiences when it comes to these topics as well as what they’ve
learned in kind of unpacking what the videos were about
and the media was about, which is very important ’cause
it fulfills our overall goal which is to talk about
race to talk about issues that are uncomfortable for a lot of people which can open a lot of people’s minds and I feel like it really has that just through these
discussions that we’ve been having. It’s very important that
we have these conversations to normalize talking about
race especially in our schools that are predominantly white both with staff and student body. It’s important to understand
the role that privilege has when it comes to our
schools and our curriculum. And it’s through these
conversations, I definitely feel like there has been a lot
of learning being done in these Lunch and Learns. So I think that’s very
important what we’re doing.>>So in addition to the Lunch and Learns, we also meet every other Friday morning and again, we’ve been focusing
a lot on student learning and exploring our own identities
in those morning meetings. And so now I’m going to
invite Amelia and Hannah to talk about that.>>Hello, my name is Amelia Teronnie and I’m currently a junior and so I started in
Student Diversity Council this past year and one reason I continue to keep coming
back each and every week is all the talks about religion and my culture because
everyone is different and we often accept and
learn about those differences so I think it’s really cool
how each and every time we have to talk about our own religions or other people’s religions and to get more knowledge and background and that’s one of the reasons I love Student Diversity Council here at Vernon Hills High School.>>I’m Hannah Kapoor and
I’m a sophomore this year and I started coming to the
Student Diversity Council this year and I started coming because I found it very easy to just being your own bubble
when you come to high school and only surround yourself
with people you can relate to or people you understand and it’s very common
even in the real world to do that as well. But coming here I’ve been
able to learn so much more about different identities that
people have here in one way that was done is by the
social identity wheel and everyone would pick out the gold peace for each of the categories and you can see what people value more in their life. Some people bigger slice for like language because that was a really important way for some people had more for race because they really identified
with where they’re from. So it was interesting to see compared to what
preconceived notions you have of other people verse
what they’re actually like because it’s very different, it’s very important to
understand those differences and understand why you
think those are different and also just to be able to
respect people differences and admire them as well.>>So one of the other things that we did in our Friday morning
meetings is craft the lesson. So we’re also trying
to empower our students to lead learning and
so they craft a lesson for our freshmen transition program that was about finding
your home at Vernon Hills and Nicole Herrera is gonna
talk a little bit about that and her experience in
Student Diversity Council. She also hates that her picture is there. (laughing)>>Hi, I’m Nicole Herrera, I’m a senior. I was in the video. (laughing) It’s my first year in
Student Diversity Council and going off of what my peers said, I think it’s very important to
value diversity and inclusion because we can all learn
from everyone’s culture and it’s a good thing
to be culturally aware and understanding of our peers. And so I found my home at
Student Diversity Council ’cause I’ve gotten to learn so much about other people’s identities and their cultures and everything and I remember my freshman year and especially the first day of school I was walking up the stairs
and I lost my flip-flop, so I had a run back down the stairs and get my flip-flop. That was pretty eventful, but I remembered the
most of my freshman year was walking into my
freshman with honors class and looking around and seeing
that there wasn’t anyone else who was of a Latinx background as I was. And at first I felt like
a little bit taken a back and like a fish out of water, but then I made a bunch of
new friends and everything. Everyone made me feel super included and I found a club named Latino Life. I’m currently the president and those other people in the club who share the same identity
as me, same traditions, food, culture and everything, and
I really love being Latina it’s a big part of my identity
and Student Diversity Council allows me to contribute
my personal viewpoint and also understand
everyone else’s viewpoints. Thank you.>>So, as you heard our
second Lunch and Learn was about the opening of Debbie Irving’s “Waking up White” and sparked by that Lunch and Learn. We’ve kicked off a book study
with the Vernon Hill’s staff as well as some folks
who are sitting here, right in front of you who
will make the trek over to our building. It’s an invitation to study
the entire book together and we thought it might
be interesting to ask if any of our SDC students
wanted to also study that book and we had two students say, yes on top of their course load, on top of everything else
they are involved in, they too are reading this
entire memoir alongside us and alongside our staff. I mean so Gabby and Shay
are gonna talk to you about what that experience is like.>>Hi my name is Gabriela Aribas and I think we wanted to read the book because something that’s
really, really important to me is that all of the students
feel welcome in school. And learning about how the staff was going to be reading
this book, I felt comforted because I know that I walk into school and Holly pointed out earlier that 98% of the teachers are White and I
know that as a Latinx student, I don’t often see myself
represented in our teaching staff and I think one of the
things that can really change is that staff are more
sensitive to racial issues and I think by no means is
this a bad school at all, but every school should be heightening their racial awareness and
having these conversations. And so when the opportunity
came to read the book, I felt like it was important to go along, especially after being
in the Lunch and Learns and on all that I felt
like it was something that I should continue, especially since I’ve been
learning a lot this year that it’s not enough
to just be not racist, you have to actively
participate in anti-racist work. And I think one of the ways
that I’m going to learn and continue to learn is through the book. So that’s why I wanted to read it.>>My name is Shea Neary
and so far in the book, I can only speak for myself
here, not so much Gabby, but I know that as the author’s white, I kind of see myself in her in the ways that she’s
realizing her own ignorance about certain issues relating
especially to her growing up and verses like how a
black family would grow up. And this has just been
really eye-opening for me because obviously I knew that
there were differences before but just seeing this kind
of through her eyes as well, it’s just really shown me that
I’m not alone in my thinking but by opening myself up,
I can clearly learn a lot. And also just reading this
book in like such a safe space with Miss Young and Miss
Christian and Gabby, is just really rewarding and
I’m very thankful for it. Thank you.>>We are so very thankful for all of these amazing kiddos behind us. Can you give them an applause? (audience applauds) Thank you for your interest in hearing the work we’ve been up to. So come on forward, if
you got any questions. We’d love to hear your thoughts.>>Can we maybe take a
picture with the group, Mary?>>Absolutely.
>>Okay, maybe Jon and Pat. (laughing) (murmuring)>>Keep up the good work. The world follows, you’re leading.>>I can still do it if
someone asks me a question.>>Thank you.>>I can’t promise I
won’t hug a coupe of you. (laughing) I’ll maybe move over here. (laughing)>>Make sure they’re all in.>>Yeah, if you guys would all
just go right a little here. (laughing)>>Yeah, yeah, you, you. (laughing)>>Big smile, Gabby.>>Awesome.
>>Thanks.>>Great, well done.>>Thanks for being here. (murmuring)>>We look forward to a
future recording, okay? (murmuring) Yeah. Of course. (murmurs off microphone) (murmuring)>>Okay, so let me back track one point. I need designate Lisa,
secretary pro temp tonight. I failed to do that. Even though I had her
support at the beginning, I just failed to mention it. All right, wow, so that was
a pretty powerful first hour. Okay president’s report. We’ll just continue on
to share the good news, update from our students school events. Deeply disappointed, I
know, there’s no more pie. (laughing)>>All right, so let’s
just start with that. So as we said before, you
know once a monthly meet with the student board
reps for probably 20 years in this district way before I even came 15 years ago to the district. That meeting has been taking
place at Baker’s Square in Libertyville and much to my chagrin, Mr. Kelly broke the news to me today that like literally overnight
Baker Square closed. So we are going to have to
find another place to meet. Dr. Guillaume suggested
maybe trying Lazy Dog, the new restaurant and
in between Vernon Hills, or right over here, but
we would certainly be open to suggestions but wow, we’re
gonna miss that pie, right?>>Yeah.
>>For sure. Okay so that’s the bad
news, now you can pick us up with the good news.>>All right, in more positive aspects, this month Vernon Hills
hosted an academic fair during all lunch periods. So it’s kind of similar to
the 8th grade orientation but this one is more specifically targeted towards students that already
attend the high school. And they just had a
opportunity to explore courses for next year and ask teachers questions about recommendations and
what courses are like. This was just really useful because it came right
before class registration. Our Turnabout Spirit Week is coming up with different themes days. Vernon Hills Student Council
is ready for turnabout and the dance is going to be themed a blast from the past. The dance is being hosted on February 15th and students are excited for spirit week which will include denim day, tie dye Tuesday, rock-and-roll
Wednesday, throwback Thursday my personal favorite and a
whiteout for Friday’s pep rally. We wanna say congratulations
to the varsity boys bowling team for winning the
IHSA sectionals championship this past weekend in Sycamore. Senior Jacob Gates led the way as the individual of sectional
championship champion and your Cougars are also
competing for state hardware this coming weekend in O’Fallon, Illinois at the IHSA state finals. Congratulations to the varsity
and JV cheerleading teams for each taking first place
at the CSL championships last Thursday at Evanston. Varsity Cheer also won the Belvedere and by the way, go Cougars. Human anatomy classes
recently dissected brain, they dissected sheep brains as part of their nervous system unit and students investigated the brains to see what a real-life visual of different components
they had been studying while many students
complain about the smell, it was a very beneficial way
to see a real-world application to their studies. Before this break Dr. Janet’s
School Environmental Club hosted members of the
Go Green Vernon Hills school community and Solid
Waste Agency of Lake County to begin initial plans to
create a zero waste initiative at Vernon Hills High School. The group’s hope to introduce
waste recycling procedures that will ultimately collect
all food waste and recycle it through special containers. While this might have some
increased cost to the district, the school believes that this is kind of a sustainability program and it’s very important to
our community and our world. We have an opportunity
to set an example of this in our schools.>>On January 10th, the
senior class student council partnered with the Varsity
Blood Center of Illinois to sponsor a school-wide blood drive and each period of the day, Vernon Hills students 16
years and older and staff had the opportunity to donate blood and potentially save some lives. And we hope this event
will spark some inspiration to people around the community
to donate and help out with the current blood shortage. According to givingblood.org,
someone needs blood every two seconds and
4.5 million Americans need a blood transfusion each year. Vernon Hills blood drive
registered 107 donors and helped to save up to 219
lives with our donations. On the 23rd, Vernon Hills
hosted an orientation for the class of 2024 who
are current eighth graders where they listened to a
presentation in the auditorium about what they can expect
next year at Vernon Hills and they were also able to
see many of the club’s sports and extracurricular
activities in the main gym where students, coaches and
club sponsors answered questions and handed out information
for interested students to get involved. National Honor Society
students volunteered to show new families around the
school and answer questions. Last week students also completed
the five essential survey before their second period class. The results of the survey are published along with the Illinois
Department of Education school report card. This is one way that our
school gets rated and ranked in comparison to other
Illinois high schools. The survey is completely anonymous and no one will know the answers except for the students
submitting their own survey. The more honest that students are, the better results we
can get from the survey to help out the school and it was administered by VH Give members as part of the VH Give
Vision theme for the month. Students are currently in
the process of choosing their classes for the upcoming school year and juniors are meeting
one-on-one with their counselors to ensure that they have
enough credits to graduate and be successful in their
post-secondary pursuits. The Future Business
Leaders of America Club with over 100 members, competed at the area
competition this month. It was held at the college of Lake County for the first time ever and
the students enjoyed learning what it feels like to spend the day on a real college campus. Some categories included taking a test giving a presentation or doing
an impromptu speaking event. Many of the members qualified to compete for the state competition, which
will be held in Springfield and everyone is very excited for that. On January 23rd, Vernon Hills hosted the Career Advisory Council. The council with over 50
individuals representing 30 local businesses and agencies, met to hear about our
school’s business endeavors and ways that the
community can be involved. Some of the meeting highlights
include junior, Zach Grant, who shared his vision of developing a robust job shadowing
program and plans are underway to connect 150 interested
students to local businesses so that the students can see firsthand what professionals in chosen careers do on a day to day basis. And students will travel
to job shadowing locations on non-attendance school days. The first opportunities are scheduled for the March 2nd Institute date. Also junior Niranjan
Kukarni shared details of upcoming Tech Talks modeled
after the popular TED Talks. These ones will invite
local business leaders into Vernon Hills to share
stories of professional pathways and job specific industry
standards and skills. Students will have the opportunity to interact with these professionals in an authentic and meaningful way as they weigh their own educational track before they go off to college.>>So yesterday the annual
chat about crew was announced and the student body is greatly
looking forward to the dance on February 22nd with the
theme of generation wildcat. The Spanish three classes at LHS have been collecting calendars intended to organizations in Nicaragua and we’re so proud of their initiative and all that they’ve accomplished. The Latin Program at LHS recently
held a Latin themed night and a basketball game to encourage
other students to sign up for Latin in the coming school year. Though the Latin community is small, they are very passionate
about their program and would love to see more people join. And on that note, students
are currently in the process of selecting their courses for the next academic school year. One of the most fun days is coming out for a group of students at LHS
going to snowball this Thursday at Camp McLean in Wisconsin. It’s a fun day full of activities
and meeting new people. This year’s theme is about being yourself and not changing who you
are for other people. Moving on to clubs, on
Saturday January 18th, the Thundercats, our fencing team competed in the Great Lakes
Junior Varsity Championship at Marion Central Catholic High School where men’s and women’s team
competed in all three weapons. Our own senior, Mary Rushmore placed third and freshman Jonah Roberts placed ninth. A huge congrats to the whole team.>>A few other updates with
clubs, on January 18th, the Debate team competed in the Palatine High School tournament. We wanna congratulate
freshman Nick and Gina for receiving fourth place speaker in the novice LD division, Lincoln Douglas division
and sophomore Sara Dowden for her finish as fifth best speaker in the JV Lincoln Douglas division. LHS Young Americans for
Freedom organized a meetup to attend March for Life
in Chicago on January 11th and similarly, Leah and
the class organized a group to attend the 2020 Women’s
March in Chicago group. On February 17th after school, On January 17th after school, they hosted a poster making party then on the morning of January 18th, all the participants took
the Metro downtown together braving the bitter cold. This Saturday the LHS
Science Olympiad group hosted invitationals. Miss Ares and Miss
Holder, the club advisors run the events and a number
of schools participated. Senior member Sinithra Canan
said that they got to spend a ton of quality time as a team and the team was looking forward
to the rest of the season. And last Friday the LHS
FBLA team was also able to participate in the tournament at CLC that included schools
from the northern suburbs. The team is coached by
Mrs. Odea and Mr. Gorel and the team was able to meet lots of people from local schools.>>Over winter break the
marching band was able to travel down to Disney World for the Outback Bowl for college football for
thousands of people to see. Marching band had so much
fun and was able to play and meet high schools
from all over America that were selected for this event. Congrats to them. The freshman sophomore
play, “Air Guitar High” is working super hard this week, bringing the show together
for their four shows on Thursday, Friday and
Saturday of this weekend. Come see and support the super fun and crazy show this weekend. The IMEC conference in Peoria
for select band orchestra and choir members is this
Thursday, Friday and Saturday where 13 students will represent LHS. We wish them love for their
performance on Saturday. The LHS jazz band has been
so successful this year, they were able to perform at the North Shore Jazz Festival recently when they placed third. This Thursday they will be performing at the Illinois Music
Education Conference in Peoria. We’re so incredibly proud of all that they have accomplished. Orcases performs at Berrington High School for their third year as a part of the Gus G.
O’Donnell Choreography Project. Members of the Gus G.
O’Donnell Dance Company choreographed pieces for
various orcases companies in the area and they all gathered on January 18th to perform. It’s an exciting
opportunity for all dancers to be able to work alongside
professional dancers and to meet other
dancers from other towns. The LHS Stage Players
Club went to Theaterfest for the first weekend
back from winter break. This festival is a ton of fun for so many theater students
and a fun small vacation. Students go out and get to
see all state show workshops and other small shows that were brought to Illinois State University. Over winter break into
the first week of school coming back from winter
break, six LHS students have finally performed in
the all-state cast of Aida. After six months of
hard work at rehearsals performing at Illinois State University for the 2020 theater festival. LHS had two leads, Rachel
Erman, Isaac Nearest, Albert Sterner Azoza, one
ensemble member, Jason Sokili, one crew member, Maiga
Vilwige as assistant director and two pit members, Noah
Cublink as violin one and Sara Donofrio as keyboard two. LHS is super proud to have
these six talented students in all state, especially
’cause of how rare it is to have more than one to
chose students get in. Thank you.>>All right, great job guys. Thank you. Yeah, you guys are welcome to stay. You’re welcome to leave. (murmuring) While I’m thinking about it, actually one thing just for
the board members actually, I won’t be here for the next 20 minutes. That also means I won’t be here for lunch. Location TBD. (laughing) So before the end of the night, anyone wants to volunteer
and go, just let me know and then I can get the
word to Catherine, okay. (murmuring) All right, thanks everybody, great night. Okay, next.
>>Good job guys.>>Let’s talk about the ISB, the joint conference.>>Can I set a little context to your because sometimes there
are some misinformation, particularly in the Chicago tribune bit. Once a year, the Illinois
Association School Boards, the Illinois Association
of School Administrators, which is a superintendents group, the Illinois Association of
School Business Officials and even the IPA Conduct what
we call a joint conference, or triple A conference in downtown and it’s typically a couple of
weekends before Thanksgiving and roughly 12,000 school board members and their administrators
from around the state attend the conference in Chicago. The conference is specifically designed for board member professional development. So there are several keynote sessions but probably more importantly, there are a number of breakout
sessions for board members at many levels of board service. First year, veteran school board members and also a lot of sharing from school board members
and administrators with other school board
members and administrators. So it is the primary driver
of professional development for school board members around the state. Our board has a long history
of changes every year based on availability, but one to five or six
school board members being able to attend that conference. So we wanted the public to know that our board has been
active in that conference, will continue to be active and I think finds value
in that conference. So Dr. Groody has asked the board members to share a couple of points from the breakout sessions
they’ve went to there and it’s important for the
public to see that, know that.>>Happy to start.>>And make sure you
speak in the microphone.>>The art of school boarding is something that requires some effort. So going to the conferences
helped me a great deal to make connections with
other school board members but also just could learn what it means to be on a school board. So it was funny that tonight,
one of the things I went to was the session on school law. And one of the things they said was, you cannot ask for the
name and address of people right before they present for
the board, which we did today. They also said we should
have a timer set up so that we could be sure that
it’s exactly three minutes ’cause if you don’t, then you by practice have to allow additional time. We also have to keep the
comments just in that section and since I’ve been here, we’ve done it where we allowed comments to occur in the middle of the
meeting, I was one of them. So I don’t see any reason for that here, but it’s interesting
how many other districts have such contentious
school board meetings where there are people there who are angry and I didn’t see any of that tonight. We had a group of people here tonight that they had some right to be angry and they presented a cogent, well-thought impassioned plea to the board and they kept within their time limit which I just thought that was great.>>Can I clarify one thing you said, we cannot ask for their name and address?>>No.>>I thought we could ask
but we couldn’t require it.>>I think you can ask but can’t require.>>Correct, so you can’t say–>>You can’t speak because
if you’re not giving your name and address.
>>Right, exactly.>>So it’s okay to say, state your name and
address for the record, so you use it, we say,
okay fine, just keep going.>>Right.
>>Is that alright?>>Well, actually, that
came up in conversation where they said that
that could put somebody at a disadvantage where they would feel if they had to not to give, or they didn’t wanna
give their name address, that that would set them apart.>>I just think it’s good if they will because for all those
people watching the tape, at least they know these are
people from Libertyville, they have an issue and they
wanna air, that’s fine. Obviously if somebody
does it, I’m okay with it. It used to be, we actually
made them to do that.>>Well, every school
board did back in the day and I think that’s evolved through.>>Apparently that’s not a thing anymore.>>So, one of the things that–.>>Just to clarify, we’re looking at our
distinguished council down here.>>I’m not aware of there
being a prohibition from asking for their address.>>It wasn’t that they
said it was a prohibition, they said that we shouldn’t ask for it. And of course they have
the right to refuse.>>I just want make sure I’m not doing something I’m not supposed to do.>>From what I’ve seen is
what time do you live in, you know that sort of thing, more general than the specific address.>>Okay and that’s fine and maybe that’s a great change. I mean, not that it really matters. I guess to me is nice to know that they’re from one of our two towns. And I guess that’s what we’re looking for. I’m interested in what you have to say, maybe a little less, so if
they come from 50 miles away.>>Right, which they can.>>Yes.>>They have a right to do that.>>I also went to a three-hour
session on school finance and all I could think of the whole time was how grateful I am that we have you. So thank you because
the whole time I’m like, Dan understands that,
Dan understands that. Like I’m trying to understand it and you go through it a
few times, it’s not enough. It’s just something goes on again. But after a while you get
used to hearing things like PTAL having a sense of what that means rather than really having to.>>What’s that mean again?
>>So thank you. I also went to a session on cyber bullying and something called sextortion, which I had never heard before. It’s an officer I brought
this for you so you can, it’s here somewhere. So that you guys can look this over. But he headed up a task force with the FBI catching people who prey
on high school students. And what they do is a
little bit at a time, they get some person to reveal
something about themselves until they get to a leveraging point and then once they get
to the leveraging point, then the real pressure starts. And they might have hundreds of people that they’re working on simultaneously. Any one person might have
hundreds that they’re extorting. What they said was in every
case in the United States, which I thought was interesting, the one thing that all cyber bullies or bullying and sextortion
cases have in common is that the victim had
access to their phone or computer at night after
the parents were asleep. If there was any one thing
that a parent was going to do, it would be to take their kid’s phone and computer away at nighttime. Let them go to bed, but that’s my alarm. I’ll buy you an alarm clock. The things that they showed in
that session were astounding. And there’s a couple of links in there for some practice training sessions. They come to school districts, they of course they’re selling a product but I was surprised by it. So, that’s enough from me.>>Thank you. I attended the school
finance session as well and to echo what Don
said, I’m just grateful that we have Dan available to us because he is always willing to spend time explaining how our district finances have functioned in the past,
how they operate today, how the state of Illinois
operates with finances. It never hurts to get refresh around that. The more you hear it, the more you understand it and absorb it. The evidence-based funding is a big nut to get your arms around
in terms of understanding and the guys that presented
it did a great job and it’s always very eye-opening to spend time with folks
from other districts and we realized how fortunate we are here and how well we manage our
finances here in District 128. So thank you to everyone
who’s been here before me and to Dan for all your hard work on that. I also attended a half-day
session called Attention Pays run by Nina James if you’ve
ever heard of her before. Put her book on your reading list ’cause she is a firecracker. I mean I have never had
a session fly by so fast and been like wait, no, we can’t be done. She was just so much fun to listen to and really the whole session centered around how to drive productivity by unplugging from the things
that distract your attention and harnessing the things
that grab your attention. It sounds very simplistic
but she’s got a whole matrix and a real way of presenting it, so it really gets you thinking. So, and like I said I’m
not here to plug her book, she actually did not
tell me to do that but. And then I attended a session
about teach the teacher, talking about how teacher
mentoring programs. So I just kind of wanted
to get a little more view on how teachers talk to each other and how do they mentor each other and I found that to be very
productive and interesting. So all in all, it is always a
very, very worthwhile exercise attending the school board conference.>>Okay in addition to it
being this great conference for these three organizations
during this process and as our district representative to the Illinois Association
of School Boards, they have what they call
their delegate assembly which is their major annual meeting with one representative
from every member district in the state attending it. There’s two things what we do, is basically a business
meeting for the association, a vote on officers, changes
in bylaws that kind of thing. But the major thing that we do there is to vote on resolutions and
those resolutions are issues and information to that
the association can use as a guiding principles for
when they discuss things with the legislature
when they discuss things with the State Board of
Education, those kinds of things. So sort of their beliefs
statements on various legislation that might be pending that type of thing. So we vote on those there was one that was pretty contentious
as it was the year before and that was allowing the
concept of allowing a teacher or an educator or a staff member to carry a weapon in the school building as protection for them
and for the students. And that did not, support for that concept did not pass. So for the second year in a row, so I don’t know if we’re gonna hear much more about that in the future but there’s dozens and
dozens of these resolutions that we review and vote on. So that was a portion of
one of my days was spent representing us on that in that meeting. In addition to that,
I hit a mix of things, two of the three key
notes which were great. I went to one on what will the spring legislative session bring? At that and after that I got to meet with now Senator Robert Markovic who has a representative about a year ago introduced Hospital 3606, which is something that
was of importance to me. This is adjustments to the
Student Online Protection Act. And there was some major changes in that and Hospital 3606 was passed and signed by the
governor over the summer. So I was able to chat with
him a little bit about that and actually thank him
for some of his support on some of the issues that
that we were interested in regarding HD3606. I attended in support of
one of our center districts Dr. Ronny Lemon presented on
renovating older buildings, so that was an interesting
session that I attended to help our Hope Grove folks and see what they were up to. I also attended one selfishly
from Fenton High School district 100 which is where
I happen to spend my days during the day in my day gig and a number of our
administrators were presenting our success in achieving the Advanced Placement District
of the year this past year. So I got to do that and
met with a ton of people, there’s a huge exhibit floor
where I learned quite a bit about some educational technology. There’s a great bookstore
that I always tried to spend a little bit of time in and pick up a new book or two each year and then just running
into tons of present, current, former colleagues,
former classmates, various programs and whatnot. So it’s a great opportunity
to network with people from all over the state and really get different perspectives on what it means to be a school board member, how we can do this great work
that’ll improve our schools and really support public education.>>So I actually spent the
good part of the first day at the safety and security seminar, which was really quite good. And the first presentation
was done by Paul Tim who I believe we’ve been
doing some work with. Yeah, he was really good and his focus was on a lot of nuts and
bolts of school security, I’ll call it the hardware
side of business. Use of magnetometers and door
locks and a lot of that stuff so I think he had a lot
of good things to say and I certainly look
forward to some followup on the work that he’s done with us. The second part, a guy named Nick Churnoff who’s more of an IT social media guy and really opened my
eyes to what’s out there and what can and is done with say Snapchat and Google and all that. I’m amazed at how much
information is out there that I really don’t think people know. And so they talk a lot
about some of the searches, image searches you’ve been
doing stuff, both proactively and as part of investigations,
something like that. Really tried to look for,
I’ll call it bad behavior in the community somewhat proactively. So that’s very helpful. And it caused me to
appreciate a lot of the things that I think Mick and his
team and our resource officers do and get involved in. So that was quite good. Then the third part that
was done by Frank Deangelis who was the principal at Columbine 1996, during the Columbine disaster, so that was a very moving presentation. Talked about all the students and what was like in the
community following that disaster, so that was kind of a
reality check for everybody that left everybody
quite moved, I would say. Then I attended one about
pension cut salaries, files and budgets, just kind of curious what’s going on there. So one thing that I did learn, I guess the Tier II pension system is maybe underfunded is not the right word but at risk of generating enough income to meet the threshold. There’s a threshold
that it’s gotta pay out at least what Social Security does, and if it doesn’t, we’re all
kind of on a hook for it.>>They have to fix it.>>Yeah, so they gotta fix that,
I think the tone of the room was they’re gonna find a way to fix that but at least at this point
there’s some risk there, I would say.>>There’s a significant risk there.>>Yeah, and to put that in
context, that’s not a situation where I’ll call it, I
don’t wanna use the word, I guess I’ll use word
excessive just ’cause that’s what’s in the paper all the time, excessive pension benefits
are breaking the system. That’s one where the pension benefits aren’t even meeting what
Social Security would provide and that’s the minimum
threshold as I understand it, it has to do so. I wasn’t aware of that,
that was quite interesting. Pension cost shift
discussions are continuing, so just ’cause you had
it read in “The Tribune” or “The Daily Herald” recently, that discussion I think
is still happening. You may know more about that with some of your recent discussions. And then of course the
focus of that discussion is, and if it does happen
there’s no reason to believe that that wouldn’t have to be covered within the limits of the current tax caps. Okay, so that’s got a
lot of people scrambling. And again a bigger picture
context, I like you spent a lot of my time there thinking about how fortunate we are because it’s one thing
for us to try to adjust and cover for some of these things. It is a completely different
thing for a lot of the smaller and especially downtown
state districts to do it. Saturday morning, I went
to the general session. I don’t know if anybody
else went to Maybury. It was really good.>>I’ve seen him before.>>He was excellent. I knew he was in at Chicago there but I didn’t know his story. Turns out he is a recovering drug addict. At age 16, he was this phenomenal athlete that became a drug athlete, almost threw his entire life away. Long story short, he recovered through a lot of very
challenging circumstances, became a Chicago Bear,
fulfilled his life’s dream I think he went into one game, got injured and his whole career was over. So he basically gave a great presentation on the ups and downs of
life and things like that but he was very, there were I would say, a couple 1000 people in the
room for that presentation. It was great. So he was pushing his
book through, I bought it. I was so moved by it, I couldn’t help it. But it was very powerful presentation. One of his great lines
that I’ve always said, “You are who you hang out with.” And I’ve always said that. I always said to my kids
when they grew up, I said, “You’re more than always
welcome to come to my house,” ’cause I wanted to see who
they were hanging out with. But he just felt fundamentally,
he became who he was including the drug addict because that’s who he
was hanging out with. And he used that line over and over again when he was trying to get fixed but he kept hanging out
with drugs and drug people and that just made that
much harder to recover. So it was a great presentation. I went to another one, current trends in collective bargaining. I know we have just finished our contract, but I was just kind of curious
what was going on out there. The majority that presentation was kind of something I got to feel that they present every
year, which is like here’s what collective bargaining is. There was a lot of time spent
on unfair labor practices and things to be aware of,
so that was informative. But in terms of trends,
I think they mentioned there was a trend toward
slightly longer contracts. They did mention in a lot of districts what they’re trying to do to cover now the minimum salary increase
that the state’s been passing. And so again you could
appreciate into smaller districts and the downstate districts,
they’re not in a position of actually finding a way
to get more money for that, they’re talking about how they move money from benefits to salary. So big challenges for a
lot of those districts. And then there was a
discussion about the move back from 3% caps on retirement increase to 6% and what the impact are
on existing contracts and new contracts, so
that was interesting too. Then two last things, one
really good presentation by the district on strategic planning. I know we talked about
this briefly in committee. These guys did a great job in particular, they created a plan with goals in the areas of student achievement, program services and
curriculum was another pillar. Facilities finances and then district and community relations. They did a really nice job. That was actually one of
the better presentations that I saw out there. You can really see they had nothing and they created something out of nothing, and I think they did a really nice job. Last but not least, I also
mentioned visit the committee with the president’s round table. That was really quite interesting. I would say round numbers, there were at least 50 of us there. And everybody broke out, they
asked for a list of topics that everybody wanted to talk about, we’re going to break out
into the round table of 10. By far the two biggest, in fact we had to open
up a second table on this was how to deal with a
problematic board member. So as I mentioned, it was such
an eye-opening experience, the all weekend in terms of
appreciating the greater good of all the things that
we have in this district but I know one is laughing
at last conversation on a slightly more micro level, definitely having a greater
appreciation for all of you if I didn’t already have a very good one, I left there with even better one, because some of the issues, I decided I would sit at that table before they open the second one, I said, I’m thinking of myself, we
don’t have these problems, maybe I can help. And I really did try to help them. It was really interesting. Well did you try or and
just listen to them? (laughing) Do you know how to paraphrase
so that at least feel like they’ve been heard? But it was much bigger than that. I mean we’re talking like
personal attacks on each other and I was just like, I’m
walking out of there going, oh, boy, very different world. So thank you to all of you including the two that are
not here for your patience, understanding and collective listening ’cause it really does make a difference. I was amazed how that was like the topic. Second biggest one was what to do with a problematic community member. Sort of on the same theme. So that was one, but it
was actually really good. And there’s talk about
trying to figure out how to get together a
little bit more often than just once a year, we’ll
see better what happens. All right, but overall very
productive couple of days.>>I’m gonna try to be as brief as possible since we’ve kind of gone down the line and the only thing that
I would like to repeat is how worthwhile it is as a board member to go to this type of event because other than the parent training and the open meetings act, we really don’t do any
professional development. So I appreciate the fact
that we get to do this and I appreciate that we have a community that supports us coming
together once a year. We do a bit of bonding as a team but we really do get to pay attention to issues that we wouldn’t
otherwise have exposure to. So I appreciate that. The other thing I think is
worth repeating is Prentiss and every one of you
sitting down this line, you are the best at what you do and I thank you on behalf
of a grateful Board. Our district gets the results that we do because of every single one of you.>>On behalf of us I’m going to say wow and thank you very much and
right back at all of you because it takes all
of us working together to get where we’re at
and where we’re headed.>>Right. And that could not be more true, I want to finally echo what Pat said, we have a fabulous board and
I know I might seem biased but I’m one of the two people
that had a trial period of being appointed before I was forced through the barrier of entry of having to run for a seat on the board, which I’m very glad that I did because…>>Did she said forced?
>>She said forced.>>It’s the elections
part that you’re forced the barrier to entry. I am so glad that I had the trial period before I had to decide whether
not to run for the board because for me, that election
process was very off-putting and seeing the group that I was going to be participating with made that worth it. We are so fortunate when
we go to these conferences not only do we see the great diversity and get to appreciate how
multifaceted our state is and put into context our
experience as a school board, but we also do get to
see a lot of the problems that are very typical and
we are by far the exception. We have such a dedicated, ideologically diverse but
committed to the right thing, which is the success of
students in our district. So I’m very grateful for
my fellow board members. Nobody here is with an issue, nobody here talks to hear themselves talk except for maybe me right now. I’m just kidding.
>>You’re doing fine, you’re doing great.>>And everybody really
does listen to each other and has a different perspective, so we really are so
fortunate in this district and that perspective would be
worth it by itself to attend. The two breakout sessions
that were notable, both Karin Lundstedt and I attended the equity breakout session and that was really interesting. Gave us a chance to
think about some things that we wouldn’t normally think about and to workshop some different ideas with people from around the state, which was a very valuable experience. And then any takeaways that from that, I think Karin and I could always talk about further in committee. And then there was one
on school construction, the byline of that was
bigger is not always better and as we undertake capital
improvement projects in our district, I was very interested to hear how two different school districts approached building needs
without necessarily going bigger and that was very enlightening and it was a whole
different sort of paradigm to think about how to
meet your structural needs while still being very
mindful of your footprint, both financially and ecologically. So that was a very good breakout session. So thank you again for
the opportunity to attend. It’s always very welcome.>>Great, okay and thanks everybody for extending this much time as you did and in some cases it
was almost three days.>>Before we actually
covered in my recording, this is a good lead-in. I wanna say again for the community, I have been in this system for 15 years and we’ve had several
reiterations of the board over the years, of course
as people do their service and then they move on, and I can tell you, we have
had the most incredible, effective school boards
over that period of time. And so to the point, I
always try and tell you, not enough probably but
it’s important I think for the community to hear that again, the level of success
in terms of ultimately, kids being more successful
in this district, healthy, happy and
successful in this district is the result of vertical
and horizontal alignment. So we’re looking vertically,
that would be the school board district building administration,
teachers, support staff, our incredible students of course and the communities that support us and provide us the resources. We have only been able to maximize, Don, we just had this discussion. We’ve only been able to maximize our success in this district
over a long period of time because of that alignment, right. And to all of your points, the
thing I love about this board historically here, is the
more complex the subject, the deeper and richer
our conversations are, and that diversity of opinion
is welcomed at the table, somebody always plays the gate keeper and the result of that conversation is that we make good decisions and we rarely make mistakes and blow one as a result of that a collective wisdom. So we really speaking
on behalf of all of us of course the teachers
and the support staff, we really appreciate you and I know from my years in the business that we are where we’re
at and we continue to go as evidenced by these amazing kids tonight and these two presentations because we also have a great school board. Okay, so thank you on behalf of all of us for your commitment to the
mission of the district.>>There are just two outcomes. One, so related to that and in the spirit of
what we tried to do here, what would the interest level
be in having a conversation at the board level maybe? We used to do a board
workshop, remember that? A couple several years ago, I’m not gonna propose that we
do that on a Saturday morning we get together for half
a day or a day with– I’m not proposing we do that but we could spend half an hour or an hour just talk a little bit
about how things are going, what we do well, what can we do better. I mean I don’t wanna just assume that everybody sitting there
saying, well that’s great. What do you guys say we do? Would we try to fit that
into existing meeting, whether we did that as
committee the whole meeting or however the right way to do it but as interest we’ll figure it out.>>It’s a pretty good operating question just that we could ask
every month how’s it going, how we doing and we’ve got time that we can have those conversations without probably maybe
artificially building them.>>Well I thank you for your optimism that we would be able
to have any conversation over 30 to 60 minutes. (laughing)>>That was more naivety, but it’s okay.>>But we do have coming up
policy as a self-evaluation. So I think as part of our
policy, it’s time for us to get some iteration of that on
the calendar and perhaps as in either that will
cover what you’re getting at or some outcropping of personal evaluation will be some type of periodic conversation that has point and a time limit and gets us to be better board members and better at serving the community.>>Okay any thoughts on that.>>Yes, I like it.>>All right, so we’ll think about that and try to figure out how we wanna do it.>>And if you if you did, for a lack of a better word, a kind of a structure or
process that regularly happens because remember, next
April we’re gonna have really the first
significant board turnover that we’ve had for a while. And so we’re gonna welcome some new board members to the
table and it will be easier if we just have something
that’s kind of natural in place that is just kind of part
of how we can operate as newer board members come on. So it’s all good. Yeah, we can work with
you on that, for sure. (murmuring off microphone) Yeah, for sure.>>We could do that in March ’cause I’m not here in February and I’d like to be part
of the conversation.>>Oh, sure, absolutely.>>Or in March, ’cause once March comes, the rest of the school year just goes by. Very quickly, hey Don, just
one second before you go.>>I’m just gonna grab water.
>>Yeah okay. I meant to mention while
the kids were still here ’cause they mentioned the
green thing, what was it? Go green something. I don’t know if we
brought them up to speed on the conversation we had
in the last committee meeting in that initiative. So whoever doesn’t attend lunch, might wanna just mention that.>>Well we could talk county general–>>We’ve already give my other students giving the administration an opportunity to talk to each other first.>>So in that regard.>>Yeah just with the kids, he was talking about bringing the kids.>>In that regard, let’s
hope that you guys can have that conversation make sure maybe they’re already aware of it. Never hurts for the board member
sitting at the lunch table to reinforce it.>>And the kids, I can assure
you they’ll be all in.>>So again, that to me
is an opportunity we say, we heard you. We agree with you, we’re on it.>>They’ll be all in.>>’Cause the worst thing we can do is have them speak month after month, nod our heads and do nothing. Okay, I think all of us
within the business world have probably been to countless
sessions of varying kinds where how many task forces and committees and consultants did you
work with when they left, it was back to the way it always was. I always used to tell people,
you go to a conference, or you try a conference, I think I told you some of the things with leadership conferences
and stuff like that, always ask people, what
was the most important day? And they’re trying to figure out, if it was like Monday through Friday, they’re trying to figure out (mumbles) and I’d always say, it’s next Monday. They’re just gonna look
at me, next Monday? We’re not gonna be here. I go, “I know.” You’re going back to your desk, all right and you coming out of you’re
all energized and excited about all the great stuff ’cause usually with those conferences were, you’ve time to sit back, reflect and think about what’s going on. But then when you go back on
Monday it’s business as usual, that’s when it really matters.>>I’m getting a message
from board member Hubert, it’s coming through the atmosphere and he wants everyone
to know, especially Don that the Wildcats have defeated the Stevenson Patriots tonight.>>Especially Don.
>>Yeah.>>I mean maybe I’m picking it up.>>(laughs) Maybe he’s on his way.>>I was gonna say, does that
mean it’s highly likely?>>I don’t know about that. That is not coming through.>>That is great news. A worthy update, thank you.>>Excellent news. And Kevin’s right where he should be.>>Don showed his new colors here. (laughing) Come on, Hubert.>>I’m very good friends
with the coach, so.>>Still good friends.
>>Oh, yeah, okay.>>Good reason for you to
connect, you could say, I’m really sorry about, you know. All right, here we go, a little bit more good news tonight, first on January 4th seven
District 128 Special Olympians competed at the area
Winter Games in snowshoeing at Hoffman Estates High School. Four athletes qualified
for the state Winter Games in Gulina, February 4th to
6th by taking home gold medals in their respective races. Congratulations to the following athletes, Nathan Ferrara, gold in the 200-meter, gold in the 100-meter. Noah Hewitt, silver in the 200-meter, bronze in the 100-meter. Haley Dunbar, gold in the
100-meter, silver in the 50-meter. Joseph Mahler, gold in the 50-meter, silver in the 100-meter. Shawn Caranan, silver in 100-meter, bronze in the 50 meter. Drew McCarthy, gold in the 100-meter, silver in the 50-meter. Alex Akwende, bronze in the 50-meter and fifth place in the 100-meter. Alex Akwende, Haley Dunbar, Sean Curanan, and Drew McCarthy were fourth place in the four by 100 relay. On Sunday January 12th,
the Special Olympians competed at the area basketball tournament at Hersey High School which happens to be John
Guillaume’s alma mater. Both teams finished second
taking home silver medals, congratulations to our athletes. On the storm blue team, McKenzie Rooney, Regina Vancott, Johnny
O’Connor, Shawn Curanan, Halley Dunbar, Daniel Burnados,
Alvina Kisa and Noah Hewitt. Our storm black team was
Nathan Ferrara, Alexa Donato, Anna Scholer, Chris Morosen, Chase Miller, Anthony Berkold and Joseph Mahler. VHHS Senior Justina Schewe and her team won the Congressional app challenge in Illinois district three for her app, [email protected] or ampersand,
which helps educate users on sustainable habits and
gamifies habit tracking. It’s very interesting, that
could be a good tie-in for us. She and her team were selected winners by Congressman Dan Lipinski
and are now invited to Ampersand House of code
Capital Hill reception in Washington DC to discuss
their app with leaders from Congress the administration
and the private sector. They will also have the opportunity to connect with sponsors,
partners and community organizers and get interviewed by Habitat. Habitat will be displayed
in the US Capital building and at house.gov. She was also awarded $250 in
Amazon Web Services credits. That’s pretty incredible. And two of staff, good
news pieces former staff. Retired LHS athletic director
Tim Albers has been selected to join the Illinois Athletic
Director’s Association Hall of Fame class of 2020. Tim will be inducted at the
IADA Hall of Fame banquet on May 2nd at the Embassy
Suites in East Peoria and Tim was here a number of years as Brian’s predecessor
as athletic director and is one of the great ones in the field. Retired LHS teacher and
Coach Dale Christensen has been selected to join the Illinois High School
Football Coaches Association, Hall of Fame class of 2020. Dale will be inducted in late
March at the IHFCA banquet. Again congratulations to
both Tim and Dale, okay. So that concludes the good news report. Mark I’ll just do the
30-second version of the LHS in interest of time and
if you wanna add on. LHS main gym repair
work as the board knows and their community should know, we’ve completed the work on replacing the original painted metal
duct work in the gymnasium, which has created some problems for us over the last couple years. Special thanks to Mark who
did just an amazing job of working with contractors
and making it all happen in a very short period of time and his staff for rearranging
things over the winter breaks so we could get that all done. We’ve also received two pieces, maybe a couple pieces of
better news as the board knows. Part of maybe a part two and
a part three of that project was to look at the existing
painted metal ceiling panels that are all across the gym and the two or three exposed steel beams, which hold up the roof
which are also painted. Mark working with a specialist contractor. I actually did some analysis of the remaining paint in the gym and what they really discovered is there is only trace amounts of lead way under what the EPA and other groups would consider dangerous. Under the paint on the
ceiling panels and the beams they did find higher levels
of lead paint on the lintels, the steel lintels over
the three main doorways. However, those are
covered by regular paint, have never peeled or
have ever been exposed. So the good news here is that it appears what we thought we might
originally have to do was to look at replacing those panels and then sandblasting those
beams down at the metal and then repainting them. The result of not having to do that is probably in the neighborhood of at least a million plus dollars in terms of having to do that. It also means if we have some
additional peeling in the gym we’re not gonna have to
shut down the whole gym and do abatement. We’re gonna be able to repair that area and move on with life, okay. So that’s really good news. So again thanks to Mark
for taking that next step before we moved forward with
maybe a second and third phase of that project. Mark, anything else on that?>>No.
>>Okay. So that rolls right into as a great segue into capital projects.>>Capital projects update. So, thank you Jim. Over here in Vernon Hills moving forward with the addition. We poured the topping for floors on the second and third floor. They have interior walls going up and door frames are in place upstairs so they’re starting to
put the masonry up there so moving forward, it’s
starting to shape up. You can see the actual
rooms coming together. So working through that out of sight. Over here in the gym in
addition to dance studio, they have the south wall
and the west walls up and now they’re moving towards the inside to do the bearing walls. There’s two walls that
need to be installed inside the structure. We’ll leave a section of a building open so they can get a crane in
and also get the trusses in and we’ll work our way out and then close that one section up and then set the less few trusses up. So in the next month or so
we should see that happen all depending on whether the
weather has been cooperating as far as temperatures
for us to move forward.>>Marking a big picture, what’s the timing looking like overall so the filling of classrooms, we want those ready by next month.>>The classrooms and the cafeteria. We want it before we begin school and we know we have the delays because of the underground
piping that we ran into trying to find, locate it and make sure we have everything in place structurally to hold the building.>>Are we’re still feeling good about artists ready classrooms?>>Yes, we’re still feeling good. We’re meeting more and Jon
Guillaume and I have talked and so they could come up with a plan if we feel that we’re not gonna make it then Jon’s structure
is classroom scheduling around where we’re at with the scheduling on the academic wing. So, for next year, for next year.>>So priority one is cafeteria. Cafeteria has to be done.>>Yeah, cafeteria–>>The classrooms we have been
talking about for a while like we always would, what is plan B at the start of school if we
don’t have the classrooms? So we will have a plan B if
the classrooms are not done right at the start of school, we will be able to accommodate students, still have all the classes
and do what we need to do until they’re open. So we have to do that
contingency planning of course because even if we thought
they were gonna be done and then for some reason they’re not done and we don’t have a plan,
then we can’t have class.>>Is it likely that plan will be a change in the curriculum or just a change in where we house people?>>Just a change in where
the classrooms are.>>We won’t have to cut sections or–>>Oh, no, no, no. It’s just scheduling the room space.>>Okay all right. So it’s a logistical problem.>>So we meet weekly with Jon and staff and the construction
and the weekly meetings are going great suggestions
from John and his staff and we’re making accommodations
for us to move forward so we knock those little things out. So we have plenty of staffing to complete the critical things
when it comes to that point.>>And then the gym won’t be ours I can tell by looking at that. But what’s the next critical time by which we feel we need the gym? And are we on trail for that?>>We would want the time for that gym for sure ready by the
time fall athletics end and winter kicks up, ’cause that’s really, as we’ve shared in our reports leading into it, that kicks off our really
busy season indoors obviously when the water turns into ice.>>There’s really not a good
plan B when you’re a gym short. So we gotta figure out an ultimatum.>>So we’re looking at a
Halloween date for that. But hopefully even before that.>>Okay, good.>>Over at Libertyville,
things are really shaping up. Excited for you guys
to see at next meeting, we got dry wall up in the dance studio.>>Another hard hat tour?>>Another hard hat tour.>>Awesome.>>Things are really coming
together and moving forward. If you could really see
how it’s gonna look now. Ceiling grid is up. There’s a couple of sections are up, they’re installing the sleek trim lighting that goes to the grid
work and you’ll be amazed when you see how it looks.>>Because the last time you were there a couple of months ago, they had just taken the bottom vessel out and I mean really that’s what was up when we were there. So it’ll be pretty cool to see that. So we’ll do that before the start of our committee meetings next month. We’ll send you pictures.>>I’ll stop by in your meeting. (laughing)>>Okay Mark, is it good?
>>That’s good.>>Okay, next up actually
we can take four and five and Jim and I can just again
for lateness of the evening come back in more detail. The Illinois Sprint Legislative
session is coming up, so this time of year
over a period of a month I start to connect with legislators that I’ve worked with and only in our area but throughout the state
and reconnect with them and then connect with our new legislature. So Representative Mary Emily
Allen is a representative kind of up in the Libertyville area and then Dan Dedic is a representative should replace Carol Santina down in the southern end of our district. Carol did such a terrific job for us. And then Senator Terry
Link is the state senator for Mount Vernon Hills
and then Dan McConkey is for Libertyville on down to Barrington. And I will tell you all of our lives, also for us I do a lot of work with Senator Melinda Bush in Gray’s Lake. She’s a terrific legislature and then several other
legislators in the area. So our Lake County group
actually works together and across I know pretty effectively for the benefit of Lake County. And so they’ve reiterated that again. So here are some of the
things in the spring session that are gonna relate to public schools that are gonna be very
important for us to follow and engage in conversation,
property taxes, PTEL. This would all be a relief and reform. Property tax relief in reform, PTEL which Don mentioned earlier,
is actually tax caps reform, TIFF reform, the longest
TIFFs right now are 23 years. It’s 23 years we’re not getting
additional taxes from that. So the legislators are well aware that. School consolidation is
gonna be on the radar as part of that conversation. What we heard from Senate
President Cullerton last night is that the actually the
pension to cost shift is that conversation may
be dying down a little bit, because it got pushed pretty
heavily for a couple of years. So we’ll have to see where that goes and then on an underfunded
mandates of course, which is always an issue for us. Akin with looking at property tax relief and reform which you all
agree needs to happen, is that the majority of
funding for public schools in the state, particularly
in a district like ours comes from property taxes. So the legislators clearly understand that if you’re gonna do some kind of property
tax relief and reform, you’re gonna have to find an
additional state funding source to have an offset of that revenue. So along with the constitutional
amendment in the fall and graduated income tax,
which the governor has said a lot of that money will be
dedicated to public education. So I think all of those
things are gonna be in toe in the conversation. Jim and I attended the 49th annual EDRED, legislative dinner for community members. EDRED is the Chicago Suburban Public Education Advocacy and Lobbying Group. They do a terrific job
for us and as I noted, former Senator Cullerton now
has been a great supporter of public education was the
keynote speaker last night and also did probably 25
minutes or half an hour of Q&A, when did we got done and I
thought it was a great evening. And Pat will not believe
me when I say this, we were done at 7:35.>>Yeah, it’s hard for me to believe.>>Okay, because usually
walking out the door there at 9:30, okay. So Jim, I don’t know if you
wanted to say anything else about the dinner last night but I thought.>>It’s a great organization. I guess I got sort of hooked
on it a few years back at the encouragement of Dr.
Lee and actually last year wound up sitting on one
of their ad hoc committees and surprising last night by saying, oh, yeah I’ve been on another
ad hoc committee this year that he didn’t know I was a part of. I was part of the Finance Ad Hoc Committee and those are groups that work with EDRED to sort of set our view, our vision of what they should be looking at in terms of supporting public
education down in Springfield on behalf of the north
suburban area, I guess. Is because there is sort of
geographic north to northwest. So it’s a great event. And you get to meet with
so many of the legislators and even talk face to face
and get their read on things, and let them hear you.>>Okay. If we’re done, any questions on that, we have a donation
acknowledgement this evening and this is for Mr. James
Pardon in Lake Zurich. Letter is to verify
that Mr. Pardon donated a 2008 Honda Odyssey Ford Taurus sport van to Vernon Hills High School. Its a free will donation and no money was received
by us, the donor. Vehicle will be used at Vernon
Hills High School campus by the Auto Tech class and will be jumped once it is of no further use. So we wanna thank Mr.
Pardon for his donation to– (man murmurs off microphone) I think that is Jim. I’m gonna make sure that
may not have been his father or distant cousin. And we had one foyer request
this month since last meeting. Foyer commercial request
received on a 12/4/2019. Response deadline is 1/6/2020. Request or was Bethany Simpson, data acquisition specialist
from Smart Procure. Requested offers receive
records from 9/3/2019 to current specific information requested from record-keeping system
is purchase order numbers, purchase order date, line item
details, line item quantity, line item price, vendor
ID number, name, address, contact person and their email address, follow-up is done by Rose DeCicco and the request was fulfilled and the response was sent at 12/30/2019. Amount of time spent on their request approximately 30 minutes of office time.>>I feel like we’ve done that before.>>Well, some of these are
repetitive that well could be. Before we move to number eight, Pat, I just got a couple of others here. I wanna remind the board and anybody that may be listening
in to us this evening that the District 128
foundation for learning, this is our first D128 Day Forgiven. So 128 for 128. And Mary, I don’t know what
our update is right now but she’s probably
calculating as we speak. But we’ve never done this before so anything we raise in this obviously will go directly
to fund our innovation grants and also our students in need and we’ll add to what
we’ve been able to do through the big event. So drum roll please.>>We are currently at $4,319. So about a third of our goal.>>It’s really good for a first year out. So I think Maryanne
talked about there may be some follow up the next couple days. Hey if you missing up, you’re gonna get a, but you’ll miss all the big giveaways ’cause they’re being giveaways all day. Before I came over here tonight, Mary had me pull a name
between 6:15 and 6:30, whoever donated got of
chance for some swag. And so I pulled the name
before we came over here and lo and behold a former
board president in District 128, won one of our prizes
tonight, so very cool. Last thing on this
dependence agenda tonight. This is the time of year we do one of our semi annual
review of closed minutes. After reviewing those minutes, the administration is recommending
that we do not release any of those minutes
as we are allowed to do under law at this point and if there are no questions or further discussion
needed from the board, Pat, we will not need to
go into closed session for that purpose. And if that’s the case and I’ll be looking for a recommendation to not release any of the
closed session minutes.>>Okay is there a motion to release the closed session minutes?>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Are any discussions? Anybody oppose? Okay, roll call please.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>All right, motion carries.>>Okay and just one
other, then we can move on and the rest of the agenda will probably moved fairly quickly. The board will recall about a week ago that it received an email from a citizen who was encouraging the
board to begin to take a more active role on
gun safety in the home. And as usual, I responded
initially on behalf of the board, Briant would be someone
that would really take that to the next level. Briant has emailed back-and-forth with that individual several times in the last probably 12 hours. The board and I and Briant
have received multiple emails which are essentially the same email. They’re cut and pasted
emails on the same topic. So just to read one of
those into the record and then I’ll tell you what
we recommend at this point. As a resident in District 128, I’d like to request
that you please include education all parents
about secure gun storage as part of your targeted school
violence prevention policy. Data compiled by the US Secret Service from all previous school
shootings indicates the following, 75% of school shooters
were students into school, 78% of school shooters obtained
the guns from their home or the home of their relatives or friends. According to the US Secret Service, addressing student access to
guns is a critical component of any school-based threat
assessment intervention plan. Approximately 4.6 million children live in a household with at least one gun that is stored loaded and locked. Rising awareness in a
proactive manner to all parents about the importance
of keeping guns locked could help us work together
to decrease the likelihood that children in the district have access to a loaded unlocked gun. Thank you so much for your hard work and efforts for keeping our kids safe. So we have received three or
four of these this afternoon. So on the grand scale we all agree that everything is important
about school safety. The resource for parents to reach out to if they’re interested in
gun safety already exists through our local law enforcement agencies who would be more than
happy to help any parent who wanted to get
knowledge of securing guns. For those people that live
outside of municipalities, for example, at Green Oaks where I live is really covered by the
Wayne County Sheriff, they would be happy to do that as well. So to duplicate that effort in the expenditure of tax
dollars to do that service, that may not make the greatest sense. Briant will share a little
bit more information here moving forward but there are also a lot of organizations out there that want to have access to our kids and our parents through our normal events. So for example any event
that we have at school, they would like to have a table set up and there are organizations
around this issue that fall into that and we cannot give those
outside organizations total access to our students and parents, because in a public setting
if we allow that accessibility and we have to allow that
accessibility to everyone even some groups that we
would not be supportive of having them come in too. So, Briant, I don’t know if you wanna add anything else to that.>>Sure and some of the concerns came up because our citizens were
looking at board meeting and knew that we were
looking at board policy 4190, adopting that which had to do
with threat assessment teams. And so I have pointed out to them that it’s part of our
threat assessment team that is being developed at both buildings and our threat assessment procedures that we feel that there is a threat or we have a student that
there is a situation, part of the threat assessment team is involved in local law enforcement. So that’s one of the members of the team and we would work with
local law enforcement who would then maybe do a home visit to ensure that there are no weapons. If there’s weapons available at home whether it’s knives or guns,
that they are properly secured, discuss the parents and bring the parents into the conversation. So, that’s when we look at
what we feel as a threat and what we’re being
asked is to really educate all of our parents on proper gun safety and as Prentiss pointed out, there are I think other organizations, law enforcement that could
help to educate parents. We did have a Health and Wellness Fair at Vernon Hills this past year. We did have outside
organizations that came in and talked about a lot of different things whether they were local CrossFit gyms or other things in our lobby and we organization come in
and have their tables set up to share with our students. What we’re being asked
is a little bit more to have access at open
house or registration maybe pre-registration, but we’re just not I think
in a position to do that because we have a lot of organizations that want to be able
to come to those nights whether they’re helping with financial aid or college assistance
outside organization. So that’s kinda where we’re at. And so I have responded
to some emails you got to the meeting and I’ll
respond to the emails that we received today.>>Thanks.
>>Thank you.>>So again just to reinforce
safety and security of our students and staff,
number one priority. The board has invested
over four million dollars in additional security. We work closely with local law enforcement and our first responders
and we review that work, they do crisis intervention drills not only for a local police departments but the entire area over that and of course we are very
concerned about weapons safety, but the appropriate forum for that. Again there are resources
out there that already exist that the public is paying for
through their tax dollars. And so at this point, we believe that’s an appropriate resource.>>So, just one question, I agree with that 100%
when I first saw that, those emails, I had the same response and I don’t know whether
it’s our responsibility to educate the entire public
on that particular topic but if I would just assume, let’s just assume that one of the key drivers of violence in schools is kids do have access to guns at home and blah, blah, blah, blah, it would seem like a good thing to try to reduce that if we could. So if that was a fact, I guess I’d only challenge us to think, is there anything else we can do? For example, can we drive
people to those other resources and assist them in those efforts. So I’m not looking for an answer today but I don’t mind what the response was, it’s not really our job. But the more I sit here and
think about it and listen, I wonder whether there’s
anything we could do because we have access to the community in a way that maybe not everybody does. Is there something we
could do that would help us in our bigger picture goal? I don’t know.>>And one of the things
that we have offered to one of the groups is
that they could have, so we do offer our auditoriums,
gymnasiums to outside groups to be able to put on
programs or a rental program that they could book a space and do an evening
presentation and invite people as an outside group and
they are more than welcome to do that. So it’s something to look at.>>I don’t know what
the solution is Briant, If we sat here and said boy, if only we could get it to the point where kids didn’t have
access to guns at home. No I don’t envision
we’re gonna hold seminars and say anybody in the neighborhood who wants to come can come to our place and we’re gonna tell them that but how do we get them to
go to the police department or I don’t know. I’m just thinking out loud at this point. If that’s a root cause
of some of these issues, it would seem like it would be the one we would want to try.>>Do our kids at any point
have any kind of instruction on what to do if they come across a gun?>>I’d say that that topic
I believe is covered, I would have to confirm but
when our school at Libertyville and the school resource officer visits with all of our freshmen link crew, I believe that topic is discussed in terms of how to report
it but I can confirm that.>>So I think it’s addressed
in the theater districts for kids, little kids. So if you go to somebody’s house and there’s a gun laying
out, you don’t play with it. So there’s some sort of
education that happens with our students in the school building that directly relates to
their safety in high school.>>It would be like Tom said
when the resources officers work with the kids when they
first come in to school.>>I know the officer visits and goes through a number of things and I think visits more
than once a semester because covers topics like
dating and stuff like that. But I need to confirm
if they actually cover what to do if you see a gun.>>Tom, is this something
that a group like Parent Cats could take up? I mean I know Vernon Hills parent groups are organized a little bit differently, but what they’re really
asking is education resources for parents who might
have guns in their home and perhaps store them
there, proper storage. What gun safes are
appropriate for what guns, things like that. I don’t know if that’s something some of the parent organizations maybe could help connect
resources with at the very least.>>That’s a possibility.
>>Again maybe as a conduit.>>That’s really what we can offer.>>There are people that
this is their life, this is their job.>>They’d be more than happy to do that. So I mean we would certainly, we always act when we can
to be a resource connector and certainly the parent groups do that and we do that as well. I think we have two great
police departments here and really Lake County Sheriff
has been very responsive. So just like as we talked
to district office today, the fire departments, if
somebody calls and said, hey I don’t know about my
smoke detector’s working, they love to make those calls, because if they make that call, so if you think about the police, if they can prevent a tragedy in the home, not even in school, but
a tragedy from happening with a gun in a home, they’re
more than happy to do that. So yeah we can probably do that connecting but I think we just wanna
make sure that people realize those resources are already there. And an outside group or outside groups that wanna come in here and get access to our kids and our parents, we don’t do that for organizations because we have to allow
all of those organizations to come in then. So we can look at ways we might–>>Maybe just putting it
in the parent newsletter because really, it’s a
parent directed information. It’s not necessarily educating the students we’re talking about here. It’s talking about giving
parents the resources, if you want to learn more about this, here’s where you can go. We don’t have to bring anybody
in to discuss it necessarily but here are the links,
here are the organizations that are responsible for things like that.>>Okay.>>Briant, is there anything
else you wanna add to that? Okay Pat, believe it or
not, back over to you.>>All right, consent for agenda is listed. We reviewed it earlier in the month. Can I send for a motion to approve the consent vote agenda as listed.>>I motion to approve the consent vote agenda as listed.>>Second.
>>Discussions? Roll call please.>>Carmichael.
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney.
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>And the motion carries. Rota on personnel.>>Okay. We’ve got a couple of items here. We have some board policies for a second reading and adoption. Read the names.>>I don’t think you have.>>So we’ll approve these. We went through them
at committees meetings in the past couple months. We went through them quite thoroughly, made some adjustments as requested in. They were presented for
first reading last night, so we’ve gone to this quite a bit. So that being said, we
have a motion and a second to adopt and for the
second reading adoption of these board policies.>>I move to adopt the second reading of board programs and policies.>>Second.>>Any questions, comments? Okay, roll call please.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Okay then, motion passes. I will read down these real quick. We have a section B
here is board policies. These are for the first reading since they haven’t been discussed in a formal board meeting. These have been discussed in
committee but policy 2:70, vacancies on board of
education, policy 2:100, board member conflict of interest, policy 2:200, types of
board of education meetings, policy 2:220 board of
education leading procedures. As you can tell, those are all related to the operation of
our Board of Education. Policy 4:15, identity protection and these are all under
operational services. Policy 4:30, revenue and investments, policy 4:60, purchases and contracts, policy 4:80, accounting and audits, policy 4:150, facility
management building programs and then under personnel its policy 5:100, staff development program, 5:200, terms and conditions
of employment dismissal. 5:220, substitute teachers. 5:250 leaves of absence. 5:290, employment
termination and suspension, policy 5:330, sick days,
vacation holidays and leaves. 6:20 school year calendar and
day, which is a timely topic, policy 6:300, graduation requirements. And then under title of students, policy 7:180, prevention and
abuse response to bullying. These all be discussed
again at the policy program. I can’t say it, program and
personnel committee meeting this next month. So if anyone has any interest in getting into the details
of that, feel free to join us. There’s no action needed on those. Educational tour request. This is a tour request that came in after the agenda was put together and the consent agenda was put together. So we have this one operation snowball at the YMCA Camp in McLean. So if we can have a new motion for this.>>Move to approve that
educational tour request?>>Second.>>Questions or comments.>>What budget is this coming out of? Do we know? The expenses, the district
expense for the snowball trip?>>The cost of the snowball is funded in part through a grant. There is no district cost for it.>>Okay, thank you, I
couldn’t locate the documents for that one in my materials.
>>There is no district cost. So there is the student
funded through the activities and there’s also grand
that is awarded to school to support with campaign program.>>Thank you.>>Any other comments or questions?>>I located the district cost at totals zero cost is certainly zero.>>Okay, any further questions, comments? Roll call please.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>And then last but not least, we had a couple of employees issues here that came in after the
consent agenda was developed. So if we can have a motion for these.>>Motion to approve the
employment of employees.>>Second.>>Any questions, comments? Roll call please?>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>And that concludes
program and personnel.>>Okay, facilities and finance. I’ll take this since, school maintenance project grant approval.>>Yeah, in the previous committee meeting, we discussed the school
maintenance project grants. So that is for anyone new
to the board since 2014, the state periodically makes
available funds to schools for maintenance project grants. And so this one is released very similar to the one last
time and the one before that where there’s enough money for basically every school district in
the state to get a $50,000 matching grant to use towards a school maintenance project. And districts have to apply
it has to be approved. The application has to
be approved by the board and we apply for that and so you have to, in order to get the full 50,000 you have to do a project
that’s at least 100,000. So the state knows that the reality is not every district does that because you have to have
$100,000 up front to do that, and not every district is
in a position to do that. The conditions for the
project account for us we have all kinds of projects going all the time in various phases. And so for it to count
towards this project it has to be a project that one, the board has not already
committed money to, meaning you could not have
already awarded bids to something and two, the work can
not have already started. So that’s really what we
look at for the projects then there’s priority
ranks with the state. The first is if you have
an emergency project and you have a state
where the emergency is. We don’t have any that qualify. After that would be
health life safety project that you would do relative to
the health life safety program you have to file with the state. We don’t have anything that
would hit that threshold. We don’t have any projects that big. Third would be any state funded. I’m trying to think of how they worded it. It’s like a state-funded program that the state really cares about. So for example, we get money
for CTE from the state, if we were gonna do a project in a CTE area of our district, that would be a third priority. The fourth party is other
maintenance projects around the district. So that’s what this project that we would like to
use this to apply for, is one of the projects that we’re planning for this upcoming summer
is replacement of a few, interesting, I just realized something. Replacement of a couple roofs
at LHS is part of our cycle. A few of them are little canopies but the one is the roof
above the autos department which that’s maybe interesting, I can change the priority level. But yeah the roof needs
to be replaced there. And so based on all the roofs there, we’ve estimated right now
maybe it’s about 400,000 or so but we wrote that stuff into the grant. So that’s really the project
that we’re looking to do to have the state send us some money. If this grant didn’t exist,
we would still be looking at doing this project next year. This will just help offset
the cost by 50 grand. So this requires board approval. So I put all the application
materials in there to see what our application is. It’s pretty basic and straightforward. It’s about 12,800 square feet of roofing that we’re looking to replace altogether. And so, yeah one of the things that we are doing also with that, we’ll get into at the
next committee meeting, more about that project
but one of the things we’re doing also with that
area is making it solar ready. So it’s making sure it’s
strong enough to hold that I don’t think we need to do anything any reinforcements to the roof. For that roof, you have
to look at each roof and make sure ’cause some
roofs you might need to. That one doesn’t need it and
they’re also gonna make sure like a conduit is put initially so that everything kind of get down so you don’t add it later. So that’s kind of until
we get a better footing on how we’re gonna be doing
solar on a systematic basis, the solar rating is kind
of what we’re shooting for for the roof. So the project requires the board to approve the application. It’s not you’re committing
the money for that project, it’s you approving the application.>>All right, so there’s a motion. Is there a motion to approve the school maintenance
project grant approval. I’m sorry, grant as written? Sorry.
(laughing)>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Any discussion? Roll call please.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Motion carries. Coke contract.>>So this was something that
was not in our committee but it came last week and just kind of with
the timing of everything, we wanted to include that for approval. So really the meat of it is the Coca Cola contract
with Vernon Hills. We got it back and finally
settled on all the terms, but we’ve been negotiating that contract for about four months to
kind of finalize everything and so because you send
it and it takes a while and you get it back and it takes a while. So that’s just why it’s been
taking some time to do that. So we finally got the final one back and everything is all good, ready to go. So what this is is a contract that you, I think you have in front of you. Carol, is that right? So those are the contracts
for Vernon Hills. So the way it works that those contracts will run through August of ’23. Last year we had done the LHS contract which also took a while to negotiate and that was a five year
ending in February of ’23. I would really like to
not keep negotiating one contract per building each year when they end up being
extremely similar language, and we go through the same process.>>You took the question
right out of my mouth for a second time tonight. Why do we have building contracts instead of the district contract?>>Because a point in time in the past, Vernon Hills was not with Coke, they were with a different provider and so they just kind of
operated on their own. And so what I was presented last year was LHS contract is up, so we need to do something about it. Okay, well I’m gonna look at the contract and I’m gonna take a look. What about Vernon Hills? Well, Vernon Hills is still
under contract for another year. Well then I can’t do
anything with that until then but I have to address the LHS contract. So the idea is that’s
why there’s an amendment to the LHS contract. So what the amendment for LHS is basically extending that contract through the same termination period as this one for Vernon Hills so they will all be done August of 23 and then we will have a
contract for the entire district from that point on going forward.>>So the short version
Lisa is Libertyville historically had been a Coca-Cola school and when Vernon Hills came in
and they bid a new contract, Pepsi gave them a really good
deal to get their contracts so they were a Pepsi
school for a long time. And then last time or the time before maybe even when Helen was here or John, maybe after you came, Coke came back in because they bid when the contract’s up. Coke and Pepsi are gonna
bid on those contracts. Then Coke came back with a
better deal than Pepsi had and Vernon Hills became a
Coke school at that time ’cause Libertyville was
already under contract. So yeah, they were at different time so now we’re syncing those
two contracts together and when they’re both done, so
that’s what the amendment is that’s what Dennis did such
a great job explaining that.>>Part of the reason why
it took so long to do this ’cause really our initial starting point was just take our LHS contract
and slap Vernon Hills name and we’re done, we spent
all this time doing it in the period of time
where we finished the LHS Coke’s whole legal thing
kinda redid their contract and so it was trying to make sure all the things are in the right spot. So like all the contract language
is almost exactly the same it’s just all in different spots and so you have to make sure, as much as people tell you like oh yeah, they’re good to go and LHS would verify. The verification takes a while especially when you have
that many pages of language that you wanna confirm.>>And just for the public,
the contract with Coke results in us getting an
additional rider to use for the kids in our two schools okay. Selling Coke for the
privilege of having Coke.>>This this is a contract that generates more than $1,000 in
revenue for the district, so the board by law has
to approve these contracts and so that’s why this
contract is here before you. The proceeds for this goes
to the student activities in various ways, it’s
utilized in the schools for different style
activities, student activities, athletic activities, all kinds of stuff, there’s scholarships that it’s used for and there’s medium stuff, there’s flowers. So it’s a really, really valued, I think a valued source for the schools to do a lot of fun, interesting, miscellaneous stuff that schools do.>>Super important.>>And also just for the record, this is not just sugary
Coca-Cola from the machines, it’s a lot.>>No yeah, Coke own a lot of stuff. I mean there is sugary Coca-Cola stuff but there’s also water,
vitamin water, athletic drinks.>>Yeah, correction there
is no sugary Coca-Cola.>>Powerade, there’s Iron–>>There’s Iron V, there’s smart water the sound.>>Make sure it’s not
triggered by law any more.>>So even though the
contract says Coca-Cola, it’s really a lot of other drinks.>>Well, it’s Coke products.
>>Coke products.>>Monster.>>Real quick then section three. I’ll just read through this as fast I can. Sponsorship via in the Vernon
hills getting the 32,000, 8,000 a year for the four years. What is this first amendment is to the Libertyville agreement dependence says the aggregate is $7,000.>>Over the extended
period of the extension. February until August.
>>Okay, that’s fine.>>All right, is there a
motion to approve the–>>Unless we have to say one other thing just in case anybody you know asks you this question that is, the revenue stream is a
bit larger at Libertyville than Vernon Hills because
Libertyville has more students who are using the products. So that results in more profit at Libertyville than Vernon Hills. So if you get that question.>>We have been getting
a number of questions about these contracts
as they’re on our agenda and so you may see an article
in the paper about it.>>Yeah Russell’s been
back and forth again today and there’s not just here it’s everywhere, so there may be something
online tonight or tomorrow so just so you’re aware of that.>>At the end of the
day one question I have I looked at downstairs, if I buy a bottle or whatever’s in there
in our vending machine, is it competitively priced
with if like if I go to some gas station or
something like that? To me the important
thing for the community is making sure the kids
aren’t getting ripped off ’cause we’re getting
this payment from Coke. I thought our price is
actually below market.>>Oh my gosh, you’re cheaper than 7-Eleven
or something like that.>>I honestly don’t know,
I’ve never got one before.>>The price is definitely at or below.>>Okay.
>>Definitely not higher.>>Okay. So and I ask this since
it’s a generous contribution on part of Coke to our school district.>>They swept their bidding for it.>>I’m sure there’s good
marketing in it for them, maybe they got to college,
drinking the same thing they’ve been drinking in high school. That’s okay, right? Alright is there a motion
to approve the Vernon Hills, actually we’re still in Libertyville student activity Coke contract.>>I move to approve the amendments to the LHS student activities
Coca Cola contract.>>Second.
>>Any discussion? Roll call please.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney.
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>And motion carries.>>Is there a motion to
approve the Vernon Hills student activities Coca-Cola contract?>>So moved.
>>Second.>>Any discussion? Roll call please.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Okay, motion carries. Both motions carry. Good on that? Anything else to add? I don’t think so. Okay, I’m gonna do something
really quick on SEDOL. Karin is not here. So we had some pretty strong comments from one of our residents. Let me just update. I thought I talked to you guys after I went to one or meetings, I think it was late
November, maybe, maybe not.>>You did.
>>I did.>>Have you touched base
with Kelly since then?>>I had the conversation
immediately following the meeting, nothing since then, okay. Well I’m assured it’s
their issues in SEDOL. All those issues are well recognized. I will tell you after I
sat through a few minutes of the board meeting, I was
actually quite surprised by the end of the meeting
I feel quite confident that the administration in SEDOL is taking appropriate action to deal with each and
every one of the issues that they’re dealing with. And it is a very, I’ll call it
tragic and serious situation. So among other things,
they have a task force. They had a task force
but as a result of I mean they kind of, I think
knocked that up a notch. It has been meeting regularly. I have read through the December minutes and the January minutes. The one thing I’ll share with you quickly just so you know what’s going on is, in December that task force
there’s 28 participants and they had their December meeting really to refresh their goal set. And so there were each
participant was asked to actually highlight
three areas basically where they felt they were weak
or where there were concerns and three areas where they’re actually doing things pretty well. And then the groups got
together, came to consensus. And I’m just gonna share with you the three areas of ongoing concern, so we’ll start there and those are one, the need to create a shared vision and professional development
to increase student engagement and positive interventions. A lot of what you’ve read
about are these interventions with these students and
how that’s been managed. Second one was ongoing
plan for consistency and teaming of dysregulated students and written procedures to
support staff and students. To some extent I think the
staff is not clear at this point on what they can do, what they
can’t do and a lot of the, I’m gonna call it norms around
that frankly are changing and so they’re having to deal with that. And then the third thing
again ongoing concern is developing a mindset for change and self-care supports for the staff. It’s clearly an environment
where things are changing and the staff needs to
come with them on that. And so they’ve been
struggling on how to do that. So those are the three things
I’ve identified to work on. I’ll call it first. That doesn’t mean the only
three things we’re gonna work on but it’s clearly three that
they’re concerned about. Then there were things highlighted
as positives, all right. One, safer environment due
to staff to student ratios, which was certainly a topic
of conversation last year. Two, the staff bonding
as a more cohesive team. That suggested to me they’re
making some progress there. Three, staff and students
supporting each other when in crisis, all right. So those are the three things that they’re highlighting together that they think they’re
doing a pretty good job of and need to keep that. So what I would like to suggest is again, maybe in the one of the
October committee meetings, we get a further update from Karin who goes to these meetings regularly, but also I guess I wonder
whether it might make sense, I hate to do this to Kelly ’cause I know she travels
a big distance after work but in the committee
meeting we start early. Would it be reasonable to
think maybe she can come in and give the board a slightly
deeper dive into SEDOL and what’s going on there
and one of the comments that we had because I don’t
want anybody to be in the dark and I do feel sometimes
what we read in the press gives you one side of the
story, it’s an important side but I think it’s important that
we understand the other side because I can assure you
each and all those issues are being addressed and being
addressed very thoroughly.>>And I think you did a
good job either last month or the month before really pointing out where the meeting began and where it ended and once you had more context
and clearly understood there were some things that had to be done immediately legally there that the administration was working on and there was another
side of the equation. So yeah well we’ll talk to Kelly.>>Go and talk to Kelly and see, I think it would be really helpful because I mean I think at this point look, this is very legitimate and again another passionate piece of feedback that I think we are aware of and we need to be comfortable that because we’re
sending students to SEDOL, are we comfortable still doing that? I think it would be worth
more than a brief update at the board meeting and spend some time. Kelly is very well connected
to what’s going on there. I had a conversation with
her after that board meeting and just was very impressed
with her understanding of what’s going on in SEDOL, her understanding of the issues at SEDOL her understanding what’s
being done to correct them. She’s just got a great perspective.>>Right at the beginning of…>>I think we’ll do it right at
the beginning, we’ll do PnP, we’ll do it right at the
beginning, let her do her thing and then she can head home
but I think would be good, I would hate for the feedback we got to not result in some kind of response so that we’re all adequately informed and aware of what’s going on, ’cause it is a pretty significant thing that’s going out there, I think.>>And part of the bigger issue
that you’re reading about is the whole issue of restraint. So that hasn’t been sorted out yet because there’s two sides of that too. There’s also a danger side to staff and other students for some students. And so the state’s still
working through that as well and it’s just an important topic decision.>>It’s an important topic and
a very, very challenging one.>>And I think Kelly was also
gonna touch base with you and Karin regarding the
SEDOL rejoin agreement. I think we can do both of those things at the PnP committee being. So she wanted a touch
base, I think with Karin ahead of time on that but
then she did wanna talk to the whole board about that piece. So we’re kind of already earmarking that next PnP to have her come in.>>And who’s gonna follow
up with the parent that requested the board?>>We’ve already talked
to them about tonight. So I touched base with
her tonight and Kelly, they’ve been contact
also with Cathy Marcel who’s also back there who takes students. So Cathy’s already been in touch with them and Kelly’s kinda been
involved a little bit but Kelly and I will contact the parent. I’ll talk to her tonight.>>Again I’m confident when
you get one information and a better understanding
what’s going on there, you’ll be satisfied that the
professional team at SEDOL is doing all those things. I know when I was briefed on it, I was convinced there would
be like it was done here. When we have a personnel matter or we have other serious matters of this type in our buildings,
I think one of our strengths has always been, we don’t sit around and think about it and talk about, we actually take action. We get the facts that we need and we take very appropriate action, okay. That action is not always popular but I think we’ve always
felt it was appropriate. And I felt the same way
coming out of the conversation in SEDOL and admittedly, I did not when the conversation started. It wasn’t until I was
fully informed that I said, oh, okay, I think I understand,
A, why this is so difficult and B, why it’s appropriate.>>And I think Kelly has said repeatedly that Mel, who’s the executive director for the past few years is uniquely qualified to take
SEDOL where it needs to go. Programmatically, legally, all of that, and I would agree with that assessment.>>Which again you may not hear universally in the public and or more
from people at SEDOL.>>Or from some staff.>>So that’s why I think it’s important to be educated on this topic.>>It’s complex issue.
>>It’s a very complex issue.>>And we need to get to
know what the facts are so that we can–>>This one’s pretty serious
and I think it’s important because there will be more
articles written on this as I understand, okay. All right, so given that
the last board meeting was I believe an hour and I wasn’t there, and this one is now
running to two and half. I feel a lot of job security here. (laughing)>>So we can all tell Kevin, it’s not Tuesday after all.>>The enthusiasm on Dr. Guillaume’s
face is overwhelming me. However, we are now finished. Third, yeah so can I ask
for a motion to convene an executive session, closed session.>>I move to convene an executive session for elective negotiating matters.>>5LCS120/2C2. This shall be brief, I hope.>>Second.>>Yep, it will be brief.>>Roll call.>>Hessel?
>>Aye.>>Rooney?
>>Aye.>>Batson?
>>Aye.>>Carmichael?
>>Aye.>>Groody?
>>Aye.>>Again, no action being
taken after this meeting, so thanks everybody.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *