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January 21, 2021 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 December 17, 2020
January Bills Payable
DecemberTreasurer's Report
Destruction of closed meeting audio recording from July 18, 2019
Quarterly list of authorized depositories, investment managers, dealers, and brokers
VI. Superintendent's Report
VI.A. Student Recognition
Description:  Landon Klecka will be in attendance so that we may recognize his accomplishments in being selected as the January Student of the Month.
VI.B. Blended Learning Update
Description:  We are excited to welcome students back to blended learning on January 19th.  At the time of Board preparation, we have 99 students who have opted in to fully remote learning, with the remaining student body returning for blended learning.  I’ll be sharing a brief presentation to highlight the revised Metric Dashboard that will be considered in learning mode decisions along with mitigation factors in effect.  Of course, in addition to the metrics will be consideration of personnel available and local illness/outbreak.
VI.C. Assessment Update
Description:  School districts are still expected to administer federally required assessments this school year.  The administration of these tests will be challenging given the pandemic and our learning mode.  However, we have laid out plans, assuming we are still in blended learning, to accomplish the testing required.  If we return to fully in-person learning prior to testing, it will be necessary to amend plans.  On a positive note, the Illinois State Board of Education recently announced that the window for particular assessments was pushed back in response to requests from school districts.  Our plans for these assessments are as follows:
  • ACCESS test for English Learners will take place between March 15 and May 25.
  • Illinois Science Assessment for juniors will take place between March 15 and May 14.
  • Dynamic Learning Maps Alternate Assessment will take place between March 15 and May 14.
  • SAT for juniors (and some seniors) will take place on April 13; this will be a state testing date with no other students in attendance.
  • PSAT 10 for sophomores will take place on April 14.  Wednesday’s are flex days and no other students will be in attendance.
  • PSAT 8/9 for freshmen will take place on April 21.  Wednesday’s are flex days and no other students will be in attendance.
VI.D. Event Planning
Description:  There have been a number of difficult decisions made in the past few weeks due to the pandemic:
  • Eighth grade enrollment night is going virtual!  As mentioned previously, the reimagined program will focus primarily on academics and the information freshmen need to select elective courses for next year.  There are a variety of faculty and staff contributing to the creation of the video 
  • Due to Covid restrictions and mitigations, the spring musical will be produced in a remote/virtual setting.  This change has compelled the Theater Department to revise their title for the 2021 spring musical. By switching from Seussical the Musical to Peter Pan, the directors will be able to produce a performance within the guidelines and mitigations of the pandemic.  Theater Director, Beth Suehr, will work with all of her assistant directors to maximize the opportunities for students wishing to be involved with the spring musical. 
  • Foreign language spring break trips to France and Spain have both been cancelled.  Parents have been provided options based on insurance coverage purchased.  Similar to last year, an option was presented for the District to purchase the unused travel voucher and apply it for future student travel.
  • The prom venue for this spring was cancelled.  Given gathering size limitations, combined with guidance from the Lake County Health Department, it was extremely unlikely we would be able to gather in the manner that was planned.  With the venue unwilling to extend the decision-making deadline and a sizeable deposit at stake, we did reschedule the Grand Geneva venue for a future date.  We are working on creative ideas, primarily senior focused, for a prom-like event.
The administration is considering an outdoor venue for graduation.  Any options we come up with would need to comply with social distancing requirements and gathering limitations.  However, we do want to create a graduation experience and celebrate our students walking across the graduation stage.  I will continue to provide updates as our planning evolves.
VI.E. Senior Recognition Planning
Description:  Many of the events above most dramatically impact this year’s seniors, as this is the second end-of-the-year events have had to be cancelled or reimagined.  Principal Schmidt has met with a committee of senior parents and administrators to plan senior recognition events, with the goal to recognize the hardships they have gone through and express our appreciation for their resilience.  I have assumed the committee meetings in the absence of Principal Schmidt and have my first meeting with the team on January 22.  Our postcard writing campaign to seniors should be well underway by then, with many additional ideas in the works.
VI.F. Legislative Update
Description:  I’d like to provide an update on the Education Onmibus Bill that the legislature recently approved.  The bill impacts an overwhelming number of articles in the School Code.  With nearly all changes, there is an emphasis on removing barriers and providing more opportunities for student access in secondary and post-secondary education.
VI.G. DMGroup Contract 2021/2022 **
Description:  As we have discussed at previous meetings, it has been necessary to modify our 2020/21 partnership plans with District Management Group.  With the pandemic and all efforts focused on teaching and learning remotely, we are continuing to work with DMGroup, but in a changed way.  Our primary team member at DMGroup has become another thought partner on our leadership team, providing resources and expertise in supporting struggling students in the remote environment.  As a result of this change, we have temporarily placed a pause on the implementation of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports.  Now was just not the time to pilot nor rollout new structures and practices.  However, completing and implementing the MTSS framework remains critical.  To that end, I am proposing we continue to partner with DMGroup through the 2021/2022 school year to assist in those efforts at a cost of $70,000.  We have made significant progress in creating a cohesive MTSS structure, despite the circumstances, but still have work to do!
VI.H. Student Residency Procedures **
Description:  Last year, you approved a one-year agreement with Thomson Reuters to provide a subscription-based residency validation program.  With residency-related cases continuing to require investigation, we are recommending we renew our subscription for the CLEAR residency program.  We will continue to utilize the program to ensure we are enrolling and educating only those students who reside in-district.  The program will provide us the opportunity to verify residency, through reliable public and proprietary information, prior to enrollment and periodically throughout their four years.  We will run residency reports once per year for all students, prior to the start of a school year, and perform unlimited searching throughout the school year (new students, transfer students, returned mail, etc.).  Based on the value the program has provided, we are recommending a 3-year agreement with Thomson Reuters in the amount of $549.05 per month to include the residency batch process and unlimited searching throughout the school year.
VI.I. Spring Coaching Recommendations **
Description:  Recommend approval of the spring athletic coaches as presented, conditional upon if a season is able to take place.
VI.J. Personnel **                         REVISED
Description:  Recommend the employment of the following individuals:
  • Dr. Stacie Noisey, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, at the salary of $145,000, start date-7/1/2021
  • Trevor Sefcik, Full-time Substitute, $175/day, start date-1/14/2021
  • Andrea Weaver, Long-Term Sub (Frett/Boton), In-District Sub, salary of $17,383.20.

Recommend accepting the retirement/termination letters from:
  • Sandra Lewand-Sherman, Custodian, effective 1/3/2021
  • Emma Figge, Spring Musical Choreographer, effective immediately
  • Kristin Kostakos, Asst. Winter Cheer Coach, effective immediately

Notification of FMLA requests from:
  • Roy Prouty, Bus Driver, effective January 4, 2021 - April 8, 2021
  • Maxwell Boton, Teacher, effective March 29, 2021 - April 16, 2021
  • Patricia Qasabian, Teacher, effective August 11, 2021 - November 8, 2021
VII. Business Affairs
VII.A. First Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement Between Certain Lake County Taxing Districts **
Description:  Last month, I mentioned that we would be changing legal counsel in the case that we have joined with Gavin School District, Fox Lake Fire Protection District, the Village of Fox Lake and Grant Township on which will be before the Illinois Department of Revenue.  Attached is an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement to make that change.  Recommend approval of the First Amendment to Intergovernmental Agreement Between Certain Lake County Taxing Districts.
VII.B. Resolution Authorizing Intervention in Proceedings before the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board **
Description:  This resolution authorizes legal counsel to represent Grant Community High School District #124 in proceedings before the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.  Typically, this is an annual resolution which we bring before you in June.  The resolution we are presenting will take the place of the one the Board approved in June, changing the legal counsel representing the District at PTAB to Franczek, P.C.  Recommend approval of the Resolution Authorizing Intervention in Proceedings before the State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board.
VIII. Other Business
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 **
XI. Adjourn
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