Board of Education Briefs for November 21, 2016
The District 99 Board of Education held a business meeting on November 21, 2016.
Summer School Calendar – The Board members approved the Summer School 2017 schedule. The first semester of Summer School 2017 will run Wednesday, June 14 to Thursday, June 29; second semester will run Monday, July 10 to Wednesday, July 26. Compared to last year, each day will run slightly longer, but each week will be shorter. Please see the approved calendar here.
Class Rank on Transcripts/Weighting of “D” grades in Honors and AP Classes – Board members agreed to eliminate class rank from student transcripts, beginning next school year. District 99 will develop other ways to appropriately recognize academically hard-working students. Also, an additional grade point will be given to students receiving “D” grades in AP and Honors courses, so that students are encouraged to take these rigorous courses. Read the report and rationale about class rank; report and rationale about the weighting of grades.
Capital Improvement Plan – Director of Facilities Jim Kolodziej shared the $1.3 million in capital improvement projects requested for 2017-18; see the complete list. Larger items include replacing roofs from 1964 and 1969 at South High and upgrading Legion Field at North High. Kolodziej reported that he applied for a $184,000 grant to offset some of the North High boiler project costs.
Tax Levy Request - Controller Mark Staehlin provided an analysis of the district’s 2016 levy request of $74 million. Legislation allows school districts to increase the total amount of taxes by the rate of inflation, which this year would result in an average increase of 0.7% to existing property owners. Please see the complete financial analysis here. Staehlin also noted that District 99 has one of the lowest tax rates in the area. The Board members approved the tax levy request. Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele commended Staehlin on his analysis, stating that District 99 benefits from his financial expertise and oversight of district funds.
Communications Report – Director of Communications Jill Browning shared highlights of the communications plan for the school year. New webpages have been created at #WeAreDGN and #DGSPride to collect all of the social media posts made by students and teachers, and to widely share information with those not using social media. A new video series called “Opening Doors” provides a brief, behind-the-scenes look at what’s happening inside district classrooms. Watch the video that was shared at the meeting here.
Community Engagement – Dr. Thiele reported that the district is recommending an outside expert to help direct community engagement related to the Master Facility Plan and broadly share the plan. The outside provider will present to the Board on December 5, 2016. Dr. Thiele also reported that there was strong representation at the first Community Advisory Council to the Superintendent; over 30 people attended, representing a variety of perspectives.