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Board Highlights                                                                                   December 16, 2014 Meeting



   Strategic Planning

Board Highlights are timely recaps of School Board meetings. They are emailed to staff, parents, and interested community members before the official minutes are approved and posted. 


Links to pertinent memos and presentations from the Board packet are highlighted in green. Board packets are posted the day before regularly scheduled Board meetings.


Meeting podcasts, packets, and Board information can be accessed using the links on the left. 

The December 16, 2014, Board meeting included three segments, a work session devoted to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the annual Tax Levy Hearing, and the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. 

The PARCC assessment will replace the ISAT (Illinois State Achievement Test) and is scheduled to be administered for the first time in March and again in May. This new computerized test is required by the State and was designed to align with the Common Core State Standards. The Board had the opportunity to interact with sample test items prior to engaging in a discussion with the Administrative Team. It was noted the questions are unusually complex with a difficult to navigate interface. District administrators reported that there are concerns across the State and Township about implementation of the test including the impact on instructional time and scheduling logistics. Time needed to implement the PARCC ranges from nine to over ten hours for students in grades 3-8. They also noted that instructions for proctors and other materials required to prepare for implementation are not yet available. Regular updates will be provided to the Board. A parent communication plan will launch in January.

CFO, Dr. Susan Pingitoreopened the Hearing by noting that the District will continue the practice of asking taxpayers for only what is necessary to continue to support the the educational program and maintain facilities. She presented two levy options, both of which addressed the annual accrual of surpluses and provided immediate and long-term tax relief.  The first included a $3 million rollback; the second a $4 million rollback (vs. 2013). She recommended that the Board adopt the first option because of anticipated reductions in State funding. The recommended Tax Levy was approved during the Regular Board Meeting.

Regular Board Meeting

Board President, Ms. Kendra Wallace, began the meeting by extending her thanks to staff for all of their hard work. She recapped the PARCC Work Session and noted that both the Board and staff are concerned about the new assessment.

Superintendent, Ms. Trisha Kocanda, wished everyone a happy holiday and highlighted some of the experiences students have been engaged in recently. At Hubbard Woods School students created a detailed Wampanoag Village complete with sound effects. Fifth and sixth graders installed a 3D printer and created a set of working agreements about its use. Carleton Washburne School students identified opportunities for assisting families in need, raised, and donated more than $6,000 to local service organizations.

She recognized Kelly Tess who has been serving as interim principal of The Skokie School and recommended that the Board remove her interim title effective immediately. She commented that this reflects the District's confidence in her leadership and an opportunity to support continuity and stability. She concluded with an Entry Plan update, noting that verification work continues as scheduled, and themes and prioritized goals will be shared at the January 27, 2015, School Board meeting.


Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Ms. Alison Hawley, presented Phase One of the District's Assessment Audit, which focused on the amount of time students spend engaged in State and District assessments. High-quality assessment practices are intended to inform instruction without overtaking valuable instructional time. Next steps include analyzing the amount of time teachers devote to classroom assessments; addressing redundancies, discrepancies, and gaps in the assessment plan; and revising next year's Assessment Calendar. 

Informational Memos

An analysis of the math and reading ISAT data is prepared annually. It provides a benchmark comparison and growth comparison between demographically similar school districts. 

The math materials pilot process has expanded to include all Township sender districts with the exception of Wilmette, which completed their pilot last year. Joint training on the Connected Math Program 3 (CPM3), which is being used in sixth grade classes in the Wilmette schools, began in December. 


A preliminary description and cost analysis for a potential new District program designed to provide services for students with significant social/emotional needs was shared. If this moves forward, the District could offer additional programs onsite before considering a more restrictive placement out-of-district. 


Districts 109 and 112 have indicated that they will be withdrawing from NSSED on June 30, 2016. A Superintendent's meeting has been scheduled to review the impact of these anticipated changes.

Beginning in 2016, performance evaluations for teachers must include measures of student growth in addition to professional practice. PERA allows district's to tailor their plans to meet local needs, provided at least 30% of the evaluation is based on student growth. The District has participated in ongoing training and planning.

Since the September update, student enrollment has increased by four (4). Staffing has increased by .75FTE to meet student needs and address inconsistencies. 

A recommendation to increase substitute teacher pay and loyalty was put forth. This will better align the District's compensation with other local districts.

In anticipation of new members joining the Board in April, an orientation plan and formalized mentor program  have been developed.

Action Items


The Consent Agenda and following action items were approved.


1. Adoption of Proposed 2014 Property Tax Levy
2. Resolution to Dismiss Educational Support Personnel Employee For Reasons Other Than Reduction-In-Force
3. Substitute Teacher Compensation
4. Employ Legal Counsel


 meetingdates Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
January 27, 2015
April 28, 2015
February 24, 2015
May 18, 2015
March 24, 2015
June 9, 2015


Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held in the Hubbard Woods School Resource Center. Regular meetings begin at 7:15 P.M. Work sessions are also open to the public and may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board. Discussion topics and times for work sessions will be posted on the District website 24 hours in advance.
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