The District 99 Board of Education held its regular business meeting on March 20, 2017. Please see the video here.
Highlights of the meeting include:
Support for Freshmen
Representatives from the counseling departments shared the programs and interventions in place to support incoming students. Kristin Bormann, a social worker at South High, explained that programs begin when students are in 8th grade, and include an orientation, open house and individual meetings with counselors. Support continues with the “Positively North Stars” and “Mad Dash” events and first day of school itineraries, which include school tours. Cathleen Bendicsen, assistant principal at North High, described how District 99 strategizes with partner districts to identify and plan for individual 8th grade students who will need additional support in high school.
Adding Student Reps to Board of Education
The Board has discussed adding student representatives to the Board. Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele explained how Board members determine the details of the position, such as length of service. He added, however, that students will not be voting members and they will not be part of closed session discussions. The Board agreed to add one student representative from each school for a one-year term, starting with the 2017-18 school year. Administration and school principals will develop selection criteria and curricular connections.
Annual Personnel Review
Each year, the Board reviews personnel needs for the upcoming year and determines appropriate staff levels. The Board was required to hold a Public Hearing authorizing notice of honorable dismissal of non-tenured teachers, and it adopted the resolution recommended by administration.
The Board voted unanimously to replace 10,000 square feet of roof, originally installed in 1964, above the A-wing at South High; capital funds will cover the cost of $218,500. In addition, the swale at DGN’s Legion Field will be repaired and a new walk path will be installed for $94,052. Board member Don Renner asked, and it was confirmed, that the improvements will still be needed if the Master Facility Plan is adopted.
Transportation Contracts Renewed
The Board approved a one-year extension of the contract with First Student, which includes a 3.5% increase in service rates. Controller Mark Staehlin explained that all bus companies are experiencing higher costs due to difficulty retaining drivers, and that District 99 is paying the lowest fees compared to other DuPage County high school districts. The contract for special education transportation was also approved.
North High junior Audrey McDaniel expressed her concern about student drug usage.