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November 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM - Board of Education Regular Meeting

I. Call to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance 
III. Roll Call
IV. Audience
V. Consent Agenda **
Description:  Minutes of regular meeting held October 8, 2020
November Bills Payable
October Treasurer's Report
Destruction of closed meeting audio recording from May 16, 2019
VI. Superintendent's Report
VI.A. Student Recognition
Description:  We are proud to announce that Cameron Little is the November Student of the Month.  We celebrate his accomplishments and recognition!  Due to gathering size limitations, Cameron will be pre-recording a video for our meeting.   
VI.B. Staff Recognition
Description:  The Student Engagement Team, comprised of Bob Janusz, Anthony Johnson, and Geoff Williams, were awarded the first Excellence in Education Award of the school year.  These incredible gentlemen have dedicated themselves to supporting our students this school year amid the pandemic.  They have been invited to attend the meeting virtually to be recognized for their efforts.
VI.C. Board of Education Member Recognition
Description:  November 15, 2020, was School Board Members Day in Illinois.  This year’s School Board Members Day theme is "Perseverance through Leadership."  This recognition provides a chance to reflect on your important role to represent the Grant community in creating excellent educational opportunities that prepare our students for success.  That role certainly hasn’t changed, but we all know leadership has taken on new meaning this year.  While all of your typical responsibilities still hold true, we’ve had some difficult decisions that go far beyond traditional educational outcomes.  These decisions have all sought to balance the health and safety of our learning community with the educational outcomes desired.  Thank you for your continued leadership and support during this most challenging of years!
VI.D. Delegate Assembly Update
Description:  Mrs. Kusiak has represented the Board of Education throughout the virtual Delegate Assembly process.  Because the Joint Annual Conference was cancelled, the Delegate Assembly was moved up to November 14th, unfortunately not allowing time for the Board to discuss proposed resolutions collectively.  Although voting will have been completed by this meeting, I have asked Kathy to provide the Board with the highlights of the process and how we chose to vote on the proposed resolutions.     
VI.E. Learning Mode Update
Description:  Based on the recommendation of the Lake County Health Department, combined with our local health metrics, we are continuing with remote learning through November 24, 2020.  Our goal is to return to in-person learning as soon as it is possible to do so.  Given that is our goal, we will continue to review data every day and reevaluate our learning mode decision every two weeks.  I’d like to provide the Board with a brief update on our learning plans, health metrics, and decision-making considerations.
VI.F. Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Update
Description:  As we move into the winter season for athletics and activities, we continue to carefully attempt to balance the benefit of student involvement with the health and safety of students and staff.  At this time, we are proceeding with low-risk sports, including cheerleading, dance and bowling, in accordance with all Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines.  Both wrestling and basketball have been deemed high risk sports by the Governor and IDPH with guidance that it is not safe to proceed with either at this time.  The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) acted on October 28th to move wrestling to the summer season.  However, the IHSA Board voted to move forward with basketball in the winter season despite the guidance from the Governor, IDPH and the Illinois State Board of Education.  It is most unfortunate districts have been placed in the middle of this conundrum, but we remain hopeful a compromise is reached between the Governor and IHSA for the basketball season.  Supporting communication has been provided.
VI.G. Curriculum Guide 2021/22
Description:  I am happy to report the official 2021/22 Curriculum Guide is complete and attached for review.  We have several new course offerings for next year, with a total of 160 District curricular options.  Of those, there are 33 Honors level and 19 Advanced Placement level courses.  Many more alternative credit options exist through Edgenuity and Illinois Virtual High School.  In addition, the Tech Campus provides 22 course offerings, with both dual and articulated credit opportunities.   
VI.H. Curriculum Changes for 2022/23 **
Description:  I am presenting to you two new courses for the 2022/23 school year:

New Courses:
Acting II
Honors Biotechnology II

Supporting details have been provided on course proposals.  Recommend approval of the new courses as presented. 
VI.I. DMGroup Update
Description:  Our work with DMGroup has continued throughout this school year, despite the pandemic.  I’ve included a brief update on our efforts to develop a comprehensive Multi-Tiered System of Support and will share a few highlights at the meeting.  Additionally, the update includes steps we’ve taken to address immediate academic needs in response to COVID-19.  Given the unusual school year, our initial implementation plan for MTSS has had to change quite dramatically.  We are in the process of reviewing both short term and long approaches to address both academic and social-emotional supports with DMGroup.  
VI.J. School Report Card
Description:  As mentioned last month, the suspension of in-person instruction during the 2019/20 school year had a significant impact on almost every School Report Card metric.  School Report Cards were released on October 30 and you can find the link on the school website or at  I’ve shared with you an ISBE overview of the metrics potentially impacted.  Just as a reminder, summative designations were carried over from the prior year and we remain in "commendable" status.  Given the start to this school year, I believe we can expect a significant impact on these same metrics for 2020/21.  We look forward to a return to our normal educational operations and to the School Report Card being a useful tool to monitor our progress on a wide range of educational goals.
VI.K. Calendar 2021/22 **
Description:  The recommended 2021/22 calendar is being presented for approval.  The first day of student attendance is scheduled for August 11, 2021, the last day of school will be May 20, 2022, and graduation held on May 22, 2022.  The calendar has been shared and discussed with our feeder districts.  Recommend approval of the 2021/22 calendar as presented.
VI.L. ED-RED Membership **
Description:  ED-RED is an advocacy organization that represents Illinois suburban school district administrators and board members.  My primary goal in presenting this membership request to you is to stay informed of potential legislation, be involved in the legislative process and proactively represent our district in the Illinois legislature.  ED-RED has successfully established collaborative networking between districts, legislators, state agencies, and advocacy groups.  They have also experienced a great deal of success in advocating for or against pending legislation affecting their member districts.    Impactful legislation aside, membership also allows for valuable collaboration with other districts around educational priorities, processes, and policies.  Recommend an annual ED-RED membership in the amount of $5,000.00. 
VI.M. Personnel **            REVISED
Description:  Recommend the employment of the following individuals:
  • Debra Kossak, Business Office Assistant, $33,800/yr., starting 11/30/2020
  • Nicole Helbig, Full-time Paraprofessional, $14.72/hr., starting 10/19/2020
  • Rodd Hansen, Woodworking Club Sponsor

Recommend conditional approval of the following winter coaches for 2020/21 subject to resuming allowable district sponsored activities:     
  • Cory Dooley, Girls’ Basketball Assistant Coach
  • Rich Panitch, Girls’ Basketball Assistant Coach

Recommend accepting the retirement/resignation letters from the following:
  • Joanne Holtz, Special Education Teacher, effective December 31, 2020
  • Joseph Zarr, Transportation, effective December 31, 2020
  • Paula Hain, Part-time Food Service, effective October 14, 2020

Notification of the FMLA requests for the following individuals:
  • Stephen Liddle, Science Teacher, October 19, 2020 - January 29, 2021
  • Nicole Frett, English Teacher, January 4, 2021 - April 8, 2021
  • Leonard Grodoski, English Teacher, January 4, 2021 - April 8, 2021
  • Dave Behm, PE Teacher, November 16, 2020 = March 1, 2021
VI.N. Principal's Report

Mr. Schmidt will give his monthly Principal’s Report.

VII. Business Affairs
VII.A. 2020 Final Tax Levy **
Description:  Last month, I presented the tentative 2019 Certificate of Tax Levy.  Attached, please find the final 2020 Certificate of Tax Levy, along with the Resolution to Spread a Tax Levy for Year 2020, the Resolution to Levy Certain Special Taxes for Special Education District IMRF Purposes, and the Resolution for Levying for Working Cash Fund Purposes for the Year 2020.  There has been no change to what was presented last month.  Recommend approval of the 2020 Final Tax Levy.
VII.B. Property Tax Appeal Board and Lake County Board of Review
Description:  I’ve included a spreadsheet outlining properties that have filed appeals regarding their assessments with the Lake County Board of Appeals.  There are also a couple with appeals pending at the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB).  I will go over this with you at the meeting.
VII.C. Property Tax Relief Grant 
Description:  One part of the new evidenced-based funding from the state of Illinois that began in fiscal year 2019, is a property tax relief grant.  The state has provided $53.65 million for eligible school districts.  In return for abating a portion of taxes, qualifying districts received a state grant that is a portion of the tax relief they provide.  In previous years, we’ve applied for this grant, but due to lack of appropriation, there will be no new Property Tax Relief Grants for FY2021.
VII.D. Settlement Agreement with Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Grant Township Assessor and Fox Lake Fire Protection District Regarding Assessed Value **
Description:  In March, prior to the COVID shutdown, we were working collaboratively with Fox Lake Fire Protection District and the Grant Township Assessor to negotiate a settlement with Baxter Healthcare Corporation regarding their appeal to the Property Tax Appeal Board related to their 2018 and 2019 property tax assessment.  I’ve included the settlement agreement for your review and would like to go over it with you at the meeting.
VII.E. Intergovernmental Agreement Between Certain Lake County Taxing District **
Description:  This fall, we received notification that a large property within our boundaries has applied for an Application for a Non-Homestead Property Tax Exemption, alleging it qualifies as a charitable organization under Illinois law, 35 ILCS 200/15-65.  We discussed this with other taxing bodies that would be impacted as well, including Gavin District 37, the Village of Fox Lake, Fox Lake Fire Protection District and Grant Township.  All groups have verbally agreed to be a part of the opposition to the tax-exempt filing by this property.  This intergovernmental agreement formalizes the verbal agreement, and breaks out the legal costs by percentage of property tax for each district.  Recommend approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement Between Certain Lake County Taxing Districts.
VIII. Other Business
VIII.A. FOIA received anf fulfilled from SmartProcure
IX. Closed Session
X. Action Items from Closed Session Discussion
X.A. Potential Board action regarding personnel **
X.B. Potential Board action regarding placement of students **
X.C. Potential Board action on semi-annual review of closed session minutes **
XI. Adjourn
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