August 20, 2019 Board Meeting


1.     Meeting is Called To Order

2.     Pledge of Allegiance

3.     Roll Call

4.     Action by Consent

4.1           Approval of June 18, 2019 Regular Board meeting board meeting minutes

4.2           Approval of June 18, 2019 Executive Session meeting minutes

4.3           Approval of August 2019 bills

4.4           Approval of September 2019 payrolls

4.5           Approval of Treasurer’s Report for June and July 2019

4.6           Approval of Activity Fund report for June and July 2019

4.7           Approval of Workshop, Conference and Travel Reimbursements for employees and elected public officials.

4.8           Approval of Classroom, Extracurricular and Charity fundraisers- Nothing to approve to date for 2019-2020

4.9           Approval of Appendix II – Stipend Assignment Agreements

5.     Public Comment, Correspondence and Announcements

6.     Reports, Updates and Informational Items

6.1          Northwest EPA RemediationI think we should lead with the conversation on the remediation to occur at Northwest. By the time the agenda has been posted, I will have posted an invite with a Q&A. I am uncertain of the feedback or attendance for the meeting, but for school related responsibilities, I would be prepared to address questions. For those questions related to contamination or remediation process, I would need to defer to someone from the EPA. From the community members and neighbors I have spoken with there seems to be a general understanding amongst the community that multiple locations throughout LaSalle will require remediation. Those that have expressed questions, the general feedback was to eliminate or at least paint the backstop.

6.2           Administrative Report

6.3           Superintendent’s Report

                                                   i.        The annual audit, at least the on-site portion, was completed at the end of July. There will be some areas to which the central office will need to clean-up practices. Much of this entails a very complex budget where the reliance on state and federal expenditures require additional reporting practices and adherence to spending and monitoring that are not required with local funds. In all, the new state model has been very resourceful for the district, but from accounting and reporting perspective there has been a significant increase in workload. We should prepare to hear from our auditor, Bill Newkirk, in September.

                                                  ii.       Soccer - I think it is an appropriate time to start the discussion on the feasibility of opening up fall soccer. Fewer students are participating in football, and those that would play soccer are not playing football anyway. There are logistics to work out, but a number of the conference teams are offering soccer, it would make sense to start having a discussion, and that would leave us with a few months to make a decision. I would forecast this would be  a co-ed sport to start.

                                                 iii.       Facility Planning – After two feverish years of renovations, the buildings are progressing. There are a few more areas to address at Lincoln this year. As part of Title I, we have an approved grant to add cabinetry to the Lincoln cafeteria for art storage, and cleaning. When the locker room project is bid, we will have the opportunity to address the performing arts room. Further, with a healthy budget for the kitchen, we can complete the cabinetry in the serving room. For Northwest, the gymnasium has end wall pads added to the Title I budget. There has been worked performed to the south entrance, but that section needs be further addressed. As we address the outdoor learning space, we could look to redevelop the elevated patio as an outdoor learning space in its place. At some time, the sign out front of Northwest will need removed. The lead time on the locksets for the primary wing is roughly 12 weeks, and our purchase agreement has yet to be approved by the vendor. Those classrooms can be brought up to the current keying system with the lock replacement.

                                                iv.       Preschool Silver Award

6.4           Presentation of Recommended Additions, Deletions and Modifications of Board of Education Policy Numbers (Press Issue 101): 5:35, 5:40, 5:130, 5:180, 5:310, 5:180, 5:310, 6:40, 6:110, 6:340, 7:170 – This is the first reading of PRESS Policy Issue 101 and it is about the least impactful that I have come across. A vast majority of the policy is footnote, case law updates, or changes to the five year review. Although not so much addressed here, policy changes or additions regarding the legalization of marijuana are likely to be a significant addition as the process continues.

6.5           Strategic Plan I am sharing the latest BOE version of the Strategic Plan. The plan is reviewed by the Board annually, and there has been modifications and additions since the original. Overall, I still believe most items are relevant, and some areas have progressed more than others. The last all-inclusive review was a major restructuring, and the timeline to schedule the next major revision would be FY21 or FY22. The last language revision (2017) added the entirety of the Human Resources section. At the present, I would recommend a more exclusive language for safety and security, and a feature of recognition/reward/scholarship for students. What is added should feature a reduction in another component.

7.     Action Items

7.1           Approve the first reading of the tentative budget and establish the budget hearing date for September 24, 2019 - I will have a quick budget presentation to accompany the notes. From the revenue side, there are three major funding structures for all Illinois schools. They are: Local (vast majority of local sources is the tax levy), State (primary state revenue is the EBM dollars), and Federal (primarily Title grants and NSLP). Ideally, school districts want a strong local funding source. This would be the case for school districts that have a strong EAV. For LES #122, the revenue stream is most highly dependent on state dollars. For us, we are growing ever more dependent on state dollars. As such, the budget is tied closely to the fiscal health of the state. The EBM has been very considerate to the district in terms of funding the past two years. I caution not to get too far out front. So far, the new revenue as an expense has been very calculated. Before an expense is carried out, we should have received the revenue allocation and grant submission. This means, in many cases, we are operating with revenue projections from the previous year.


While state funds have been very inconsistent in the previous years, the new state formula looks promising. From a revenue perspective, I will outline how the new formula breaks down and continues to add resources for students. Over the past three years, there has been a planned attempt to maximize the return value on dollars spent, and this has created a surplus in the fund balances. This year, the proposed budget in the Education fund (10) operates as a deficit. Primarily the deficit originates by a combination of a decrease in revenue from an EAV decline, and a lower TIF revenue stream. On the expense end, we deviated from the staffing plan by hiring a fifth Kindergarten teacher. In addition, the attempt is made to dig out from the albatross or better known as the technology lease. Finally, we are hit with an 80% funding rate in transportation. There are some numbers that are difficult to project, as usually, they are: substitutes, insurance on a year to year basis, and our special education population, especially those that cannot be served in district. Board Goal: 3

7.2           Approve the transfer of $79,459.73 from the Education fund to Debt Service to cover the technology lease payment – In its inception, the technology lease served its intended purpose of jump starting the integration of technology. However, it was never meant to be a constant renewal. As of now, some of the equipment that is still owed upon is past its service history or is obsolete. Starting this year, the recommendation is that the borrowed money is starting to be paid back. As such, we need to make the transfer to Debt service to make the installment payment. Board Goal: 3.a.vii.

7.3           Approve the District Risk Management PlanThe BOE last approved this on September 20, 2016, and it was the first certified plan the district approved. Over the past two years, the plan has been reviewed with no changes. The Risk Management Plan requires a review yearly, which is addressed. The Risk Management serves as an avenue of approved expenditures of the TORT fund. For our district’s purposes, we tread very lightly on the approved expenses. Although there is a number of approved expenses for salary allocation, the use of TORT for salaries is used in the following amounts Admin 7% of salaries and Supt. 5% of salary. Custodians are also a 10% coverage. For the purpose of the tax levy, TORT is an uncapped allocation, but our history of use has been coordinated and very frugal. The Risk Management Plan is listed as an action item as the new BOE can approve as this is the first time it will be approved by the current Board. In subsequent years, we do not need to approve the plan unless the allocation of salaries within the plan changes.

7.4           Approve the evaluator list for certified staff evaluations - This is an annual action item. The legislation requires all staff evaluations to be completed by a certified evaluator. All five of the administrators are certified. The action item formally recognizes the five as district evaluators. I am including our LEASE directors as well. Teaching staff, by contract, cannot be evaluated by LEASE personal, but social workers, school psychologists, and school counselors can be. Board Goal 2.a.

                                          i.         Brian DeBernardi

                                         ii.         Jon Fox

                                        iii.         Julie DeFore

                                       iv.         Derek Kilmartin

                                         v.         Mary Mauck

                                       vi.         Stephanie Huffmann – LEASE

                                      vii.         Julie Smith-O’Brien – LEASE

7.5           Approve the evaluator list for principal evaluations - Again, an annual action item. We are approving evaluators of administrators. Board Goal 2.a.

                                          i.         Brian DeBernardi

8.     Adjourn to Executive Session

8.1           For the discussion of information related to appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel. 5 ILCS120/2(c)(1) – I would like to discuss the employment of Amy Deverteuil. Amy completed last year as Ms. Ziel’s long-term substitute, and will start the year as a long-term substitute for Mr. Shaver. I would have Jon complete an intent to employ for August, but we need to wait until at least September. Amy accepted and then resigned from a position at Putnam County this summer. That process needs to clear itself first. For transparency purposes, Diane has a contract that expires at the end of this year. I will be renewing this, but I need to address her current language. Diane is classified as a non-exempt employee. Her contract lists her as ordinarily an 8 hour day. An 8 hour day for her is not ordinary any longer. The district has benefited from the EBM, but as a product the reliance on district reporting has seen an overwhelming increase.

9.     Possible Action After Executive Session –

9.1           Approval of Retirements – By contract language, the Board can limit the number of approved retirements to two or less per year. My recommendation is to approve those issuing their retirement notice. There is a small grouping who are submitting soon as a cluster for this contract. There will then be a window before the next group is eligible. Robin Clary has submitted her retirement request. Robin meets the qualifications for retirement and can justifiably implement contract language. There is a possibility upon retirement the district may have to pay an excess cost with the new credible earnings cap. Robin was initially a part-time staff member whose service credit accumulated. As the need for a full-time staff member grew, her part-time status increased to full-time. Our inadvertent need could cause an inflation of credible earnings upon retirement. In addition, Karen Sudaj and Lori Tipton have submitted.

The motion will be ”To approve the retirement request of (name of employee) under the conditions set forth in the employee’s collective bargaining agreement for 2018-2021”

                                          i.      Robin Clary

                                         ii.       Karen Sudaj

                                        iii.       Lori Tipton

Approval of Resignations –

                                          i.         Raymond Bailey, and all other positions held in district – accepted a position at Waltham

                                         ii.         Brian Shaver – accepted a position at L-P

                                        iii.         Lindsey Olszewski – accepted a position at Oglesby

                                       iv.         Laura Younger

9.3           Employment of Recommended Personnel-

                                          i.         Elizabeth Bailey – Teacher (5th grade)

                                         ii.         Madyson Toynton – Teacher (Math & Science)

                                        iii.         Brandy Cattani – Teacher (5th grade)

                                       iv.         Kathleen Somolski – Teacher (5th grade)

                                         v.         Araceli Escatel – Teacher (Kindergarten) – contingent on successfully obtaining license in December

                                       vi.         Amanda Rockey – School Guidance

                                      vii.         Wendy Lauer – Paraprofessional

                                     viii.         Leticia Felix-Delgado – Paraprofessional

                                       ix.         Madison Heiser – Special Education

9.4           Approve Administrative Contracts – Contracts are for a single year FY 20. These contracts were planned to be accepted at the February meeting when Jon Fox and Julie DeFore were approved. Delay was caused with uncertainty of Derek’s and Mary’s future goals. As is, both will be with the district in FY 20. Mary is applying for principal positions, and Derek is in the process of completing his doctorate. I would like to float the idea of renaming Derek’s title in FY 21 to keep him as long as possible. It does not change anything else in the contract or his workload, but increases his market within district. Salary increase is consistent with Superintendent and Principals at 2%.

9.5           Approval of request for discretionary leave – Although I am not surprised, the timing of the notice is rather delayed. In March 2019, Julie Kelly requested a leave of absence from February 14 through the end of the FY20 teachers work year, no later than June 1, 2020. She is unable to return to start the year, and needs at least six additional months off. There is no continuity to the position with a return at that time. I have proposed, and I am recommending a year-long unpaid leave. This will exhaust her options for leave.

The motion will be ”To approve Julie Kelly for unpaid discretionary leave for a period of the FY20 teachers work year not to exceed June 1st, 2020”

10.  Adjournment