Board of Education Briefs for December 14, 2015

Board of Education Briefs for December 14, 2015

The District 99 Board of Education held a business meeting on December 14, 2015. Highlights from the meeting include:

Student Recognition

The Board members recognized the 2016 National Merit Semifinalist and Commended students.

  • Principal Ed Schwartz introduced the students from South High, including National Merit Semifinalists Joseph Gleeson, Allison Cheevers, Taylour Erickson, Ronnie Thottaplackal and Eric Haddleton and National Merit Commended students Helena Beikircher, Mark Blessing, Autumn Ganahl, Lisa Koniecko, Jack Lalonde, Swathi Pillalamarri, Peyton Parker, Julia Poska, Akila Shanmugham, James Weiss, Matthew Wiechec and Alan Zhou.
  • Principal Scott Kasik introduced the students from North High, including National Merit Semifinalists Sophie Baillargeon, Ari Scott, Alison Elgass and Hannah Thompson and 2016 National Merit Commended students Nuria Asad, Benjamin Cortez, Sarah Fantinel, Luke Goergen, Nathan Jeffries, Troy Martin, Jeremiah Pike and Aubrey Sieve.

See photos from the recognition and reception that followed here.

Approval of Superintendent Contract

After commending Superintendent Dr. Mark McDonald on his work at District 99 and the “indelible mark” he has left, the Board members voted unanimously to approve the three-year performance contract between District 99 Board of Education and Dr. Henry Thiele.

Each Board member commended Dr. Thiele and expressed high expectations for his future work.

“I reviewed Hank’s materials, and right away I knew that he was the one I wanted,” said Board Member Don Renner. “I think ‘innovation’ is the best way to describe [Hank’s] potential, and I believe [he has] a ton of it.”

Read more information about Dr. Thiele here.

2016-17 School Calendar

Dr. McDonald formed a committee consisting of teachers, administrators and support staff to study the issues surrounding changing the school calendar from a “traditional” to an “early start” one. The committee will review and consider the input from over 1,500 people who responded to recent surveys. The heat inside the buildings is one obstacle to adopting an early start calendar, since not all of the classrooms are air-conditioned. The committee will make a recommendation about the calendar to the Board in January.

Outdoor Sign at South High

Director of Facilities Jim Kolodziej presented two design options for constructing a non-digital outdoor sign at South High School, which will be placed on the corner of 63rd Street and Dunham Road. A previous sign was lost due to a tornado in 2011 and the district plans to file an insurance claim to fund its replacement. The Board expressed a preference for Option #2. The District will work with the insurance company and hopes to install a sign in the spring or summer of 2016.

Tax Levy Approved

The Board unanimously approved:

  • The 2015 Tax Levy, which reflects a maximum potential increase of 2%. The actual increase the district expects to receive is 1.3%, with .5% coming from new properties and .8% from existing taxpayers. The impact on a home with a $300,000 market value is an annual $17 tax increase.
  • The District’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which was presented by a representative from Miller Cooper & Co., Ltd.
  • New courses for 2016-17, including 3D Design and Animation; see curriculum proposals that were approved here;
  • Installing a dehumidification unit for the swimming pool at South High for $218,500.
  • Submitting an application to the Illinois State Board of Education to receive a Qualified School Construction Bond (QSCB) designation. If District 99 receives the QSCB, it could potentially save $500,000 in interest in the district’s anticipated $3.5 million Fire Prevention and Safety bond issuance. Read details here.

View a video of the meeting here.

See the full agenda and related documents here.

Upcoming Board Meetings:

  • January 11, 2016 – Board of Education Workshop at the ASC, 7 p.m.
  • January 25, 2016 – Board of Education Meeting at the ASC, 7:30 p.m.

This publication is for information purposes only; minutes approved by the Board serve as the official meeting record.