The District 99 Board of Education held a business meeting on October 17, 2016.
Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele reviewed the district goals established for the school year. He has started communicating parts of the plan to staff and the community; updates about actions taken on the goals will be made throughout the school year. The Board unanimously approved the goals.
Bus Provider Update
District 99 contracts with First Student to provide busing services. Joanne Viehman, a district manager for the company, provided a status update. With the exception of three routes at North High running five to ten minutes late at pick-up, she said the district’s 45 routes are operating smoothly and on time. She also shared that a challenge in her industry is filling permanent part-time driver positions. An improved economy means there are more desirable full-time positions available elsewhere; even so, First Student is placing a priority on creating incentives to keep drivers on their team.
District Refinances Debt
Controller Mark Staehlin proposed refinancing debt certificates that were issued in 2007 and 2008 for science lab renovations and a second access road at South High and fine arts rooms at North High. Refinancing will reduce interest costs, saving the district an estimated $460,000. In addition, Staehlin made additional recommendations to shorten the maturity of the bonds, and to directly solicit bidders in the private market; both moves will increase the district’s total refinancing savings to $730,000. See the resolution to refinance here; See the resolution to refund and issue new certificates here. The Board members unanimously approved the action items.
“We really appreciate it…keeping an eagle-eye on everything,” said Board Member Deb Boyle. “Taking six years off our payments is saving us a boatload of money.”
Reducing Printing Costs
The Board unanimously authorized pursuing a printer service contract with Konica/Minolta, which has offices in Downers Grove. The district maintains over 300 printers that are shared by 600 staff members and 5,000 students, spending an average of $330,000 per year on printing. By consolidating printer and maintenance services with one vendor, reducing the number of printers and acquiring new printers over time and taking advantage of new digital capabilities, the district hopes to reduce costs by at least $50,000 per year. Please see details about the contract here.
New District 99 Education Foundation Director
Board Vice President Terry Pavesich, who serves as a representative on the District 99 Education Foundation, announced that the Foundation has hired Denise Callarman as its new Executive Director. Callarman, who is a South High graduate, is the first to serve in the new role to lead the Foundation in its fundraising efforts.