Posted March 3rd, 2016 by Terri McHugh
Discussion – Staffing Plan for the 2016-17 School Year:
Dr. Peter Hannigan, assistant superintendent of human resources, presented the administration’s preliminary staffing plan for the 2016-17 school year.
The first step in determining the staffing plan is projecting the enrollment. To estimate next year’s enrollment District 54 considers the difference between this year’s eighth grade class and next year’s kindergarten class; but also must consider the number of students who transfer into and out of our district at other grade levels. This number is much harder to predict. The early childhood through eighth grade projected enrollment for 2016-2017 is 14,676, which is a slight increase from the current 2015-16 enrollment.
District 54 always begins with a conservative staffing plan. If enrollment increases prior to the beginning of the school year, District 54 may shift or add teaching positions to maintain consistent class averages.
The district is recommending the reduction of five kindergarten teaching positions at this time, due to the kindergarten enrollment uncertainty. Positions could be added if enrollment increases.
The district is recommending the reduction of five Child and Family Educators at the Early Learning Center, who will be replaced with the addition of three school social workers.
Due to an increased number of students requiring bilingual services, District 54 is recommending the addition of one Chinese immersion teaching position, two dual language teaching positions and 2.5 dual language support staff positions.
District 54 is recommending the reduction of 25 special education paraprofessional positions. Staff members will be recalled based on seniority when positions become available.
Discussion – Review of Fee Rates:
In the fall of 2014, the Student Fee Committee met to collectively review the fees for before- and after-school programs, consumable materials, facility usage, milk, parent-paid transportation, open enrollment transportation and extracurricular activities. This committee recommended rates through 2019, with the understanding that an annual update review by administration would occur. The administration is making the following recommendations for the 2016-17 school year:
- No increase to the consumable materials fee ($50 per student);
- An increase of 5 cents to the cost of a carton of milk (25 cents per carton for students and 30 cents for adults);
- No increase to the parent-paid transportation fee (the rates would be $475 for one child, $600 for two children and $700 for three or more children if paid by July 15);
- No fee for extracurricular activities (sports, music, etc.);
- No increase in facility usage fees other than the annual adjustment due to custodial costs; and
- An increase only in the full-day and summer facility rates charged to the YMCA and the Schaumburg and Hoffman Estates park districts for the before- and after-school programs, but not to the morning and afternoon rates on school days.
The proposed fees can be found in Discussion Memorandum #018-15/16, Review of Fee Rates. The above recommendations must be approved by the School Board.
Discussion – Digital Learning in District 54:
This fall, District 54 convened the Junior High Digital Learning Task Force, consisting of 107 junior high teachers and administrators, and charged them with exploring the potential use of Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education. Several task force members piloted a class set of Chromebooks this year. Staff feedback highlighted the Chromebook and Google Apps as a strong resource for student collaboration and engagement.
Adopting this technology will enable District 54 to enhance the delivery of our curriculum and student mastery of essential learning outcomes, while better equipping students with the digital learning skills needed for success in high school and beyond. District 54 is committed to cultivating “blended learning environments,” where teachers use an appropriate mix of print and digital resources to support student learning.
Pending board approval, orientation sessions will be held in August for students and parents. Students will also complete a series of digital citizenship lessons during the first two weeks of the school year. An optional $25 Chromebook Insurance package will be made available to parents to safeguard in the event a student Chromebook is lost or stolen. In addition, District 54 secured a grant to provide home Wi-Fi access for our low-income families.
Staff will also have numerous training opportunities during the spring, including a Digital Learning Symposium this summer.
Implementation of this initiative can be done within the financial parameters of the district’s current technology replacement cycle budget. The Chromebook is significantly less expensive than the iPad or the PC laptops the district currently uses and the Google Apps platform is free.
Public Comment: No one asked to speak.
Freedom of Information Act Requests: District 54 received two FOIA requests since the last board meeting for documents related to backflow devices and testing, and physical education policies and procedures.
- Minutes of the regular school board meeting on Feb. 18, 2016
- Resignations and retirements of personnel
- Checks dated Feb. 19, 2016
- The Board praised the student work at the annual Mead History Fair today; an internet safety presentation for Addams students; and a PBIS assembly at Eisenhower with the new Windy City Bulls.
Adjournment to Closed-Session: The Board adjourned at 8:23 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters, legal matters and the semi-annual review of minutes of closed-session meetings.