Dear District 30 Family,
As I write this Board Brief, I am grateful for all of our Phased Operations committees’ work to draft plans to reopen our schools in the fall for our in-person hybrid model or remote learning.
Our last Board Meeting included the following relevant items:
Tiffany Preuss, Allison Tarr, Sara Elliott, and Stephanie Marcus (rehired into part-time role below) all resigned their respective positions for the 2020-21 School Year. We wish those who are moving on well.
The Board also accepted retirement requests for two teachers and granted an FMLA leave.
The Board approved Julie Hahn as one of Maple’s Administrative Assistants, George Pierce as our new Accounting Coordinator, and rehired Stephanie Marcus as a 0.6 FTE Speech-Language Pathologist. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming all of these individuals to the District 30 Family!
Phased Operations Plan Approved
The Board Approved the collaboratively created Phased Operations Plan to reopen District 30 schools in alignment with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). Thank you to the administrators, staff, parents, and the Board of Education for working through this complex issue, and thank you to all of you who completed surveys to inform our efforts.
Plans include District 30 opening and utilizing the PreK-3 all-in model, with alternating days for grades 4 through 8, and a remote option for those who wish to remain at home during these times. Our updated eLearning plans were approved last night. These will be filed with the Illinois State Board of Education and will be utilized as needed next year. Please feel free to read more about our Phased Operations Resources.
We will remain agile as the backdrop of our work is a shifting health landscape. Thank you for your continued partnership and care for each other as we move forward together!
2020-21 Calendar Updated
The Board followed our normal process and approved our 2020-21 School Calendar at its October 24, 2019, Board Meeting. To assist with our preparations to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic, we relocated our March Institute Day to the beginning of the year, which shifts the first day of student attendance to Thursday, August 20, 2020.
The State of Illinois also declared the election day on Tuesday, November 3, a State Holiday. To maintain the end of the year, we will attend school on Columbus Day, on Monday, October 12, 2020. View the Updated 2020-21 School Calendar via the Calendar Section of our website.
Elementary Master Facility Plan Approved
When I arrived in District 30 in 2015, the most significant obstacle we faced was our facilities’ limitation on our educational programming, due to substantial infrastructure issues at Maple School, and limited capacity within our elementary schools. We addressed our most imposing issue, Maple School, first. Nearly 76% of our community supported our referendum to build a new Maple School, and we promised to handle our elementary capacity needs once the new Maple was completed.
We now have a state-of-the-art, flexible new middle school, but our elementary schools' capacity issues have only worsened due to increasing enrollment. Our Master Facility Plan summarized that we were “out of space” in 2016 when we were running 39 core elementary sections, which had risen from 34 sections in 2014. If this were a typical year, we would house 43 core elementary sections. Our space limitations place our most distractible learners in hallways and have required compromises, including putting up temporary walls to teach a class in our Willowbrook library. As we have generated plans for in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, our facilities limit the number of students we can bring back daily.
We are out of space, and our enrollment projections predict our student enrollment will continue to rise. Our desirable community, schools, and new developments in Northbrook will continue to drive this reality. After initially being ready to share this work in March, it was paused after Illinois issued a Stay-at-Home Order, due to COVID-19. Now is the time to continue this essential work.
The Board approved the recommendation to invest in our elementary schools, including adding eight classrooms and a gymnasium at Wescott. The project addresses the reality that Wescott is two classrooms short to meet projected enrollment, adds needed space for NSSED and Early Childhood Rooms, and generates four classrooms to realign Wescott’s Kindergarten with our neighborhood-school philosophy. Relocating Kindergarten at Wescott opens up needed classroom space at Willowbrook.
The project will also reconfigure space at Wescott and Willowbrook, including creating flexible space and small-group rooms in Willowbrook's library media center. Please read more at http://www.d30facilities.org/.
Third Reading and Approval of New & Revised Board Policies
District 30 revises Board Policies twice a year. Revisions and additions occur due to new legislation, and the need to ensure that our policies support and align with our practices. We completed the third reading and approved the following new and revised Board Policies:
New Policy: 265 Board Attorney; 280.03 BOARD MEMBER SERVICES - Board Member Compensation and Expenses; New Policy: 410.20 Use of Credit and Procurement Cards; New Policy: 500.03 GENERAL PERSONNEL - Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act; New Policy: 500.77 GENERAL PERSONNEL - Compensatory Time-Off; New Policy: 500.80 GENERAL PERSONNEL - Personal Technology and Social Media; Usage and Conduct; New Policy: 513 GENERAL PERSONNEL - Responsibilities Concerning Internal Information; 520.06 PROFESSIONAL PERSONNEL - Travel Expenses; 540.02 GENERAL PERSONNEL - Sick Days, Vacation, Holidays, and Leaves; and 645.02 Acceptable Use of the District’s Network
Mr. Rizki briefly reviewed the most recent Northbrook Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting, which was the first one held in about six months. The committee discussed the impact of COVID-19 on local businesses and the Village of Northbrook's supportive measures. All school districts shared their tentative reopening plans and are all dealing with similar situations. The mixed results of the triennial assessment were also discussed.
Let me know if you have any questions. Our August 13 Board Meeting will be back to in-person in the Cafetorium at Maple School. Masks and social distancing will be required. All are welcome!
Dr. Brian K. Wegley