Summary of the Homer School District 33C
Board of Education Meeting
February 28, 2017
Barb Wilson, President Angela Adolf, Vice President Amy Blank, Secretary
Deb Martin, Member Ed Campins, Member Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member Russ Petrizzo, Member
At the February 28th Board of Education meeting:
- Member Hitzeman presented an overview of the February 21st Finance & Operations Committee Meeting, which included discussions about a bus leasing option, a facility audit proposal and modules to simplify the District’s inventory system and facility rental system.
- Teachers Union representative Cathy Clayton expressed dismay that some payroll checks were delayed February 28th due to an issue with direct deposit. She also reported the Union will host a School Board Candidate Meet and Greet on March 29, 2017, giving residents an opportunity to hear from the seven candidates seeking to serve them. The Meet and Greet will begin at 7 p.m. in the Homer Junior High School cafeteria.
- The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:
Separation of Employment
- Kimberly Hilden – Title 1 Math teacher, Homer Junior High School, effective January 20, 2017
- Jennifer Kohler – Early Childhood teacher, Young School, effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year when her contract ends
- Patrice Ryan – Special Services Coordinator, effective June 30, 2017
- Deborah Brom – Accounting Coordinator, Administration, effective February 22, 2017
- Carol Ziegler – Reading and Math ASAP (After School Assistance Program) teacher, Schilling School, effective February 15, 2017
Letters of Intent to Retire
- Mary Ann Johnson – Family and Consumer Science teacher, Homer Junior High School, subject to compliance with the applicable requirements of TRS and the District’s collective bargaining agreement
Leaves of Absence (Beginning and end dates open to modification)
- Pamela Crowley – bus driver, Transportation, effective February 10, 2017 through April 7, 2017
- Eileen Roe – Media Center Professional, Goodings Grove School, extension of current FMLA leave until April 1, 2017 pending doctor’s approval
- Request to bring current .5 FTE TPI teachers to 1.0 FTE status
- Request to bring current .5 FTE Early Childhood teacher to 1.0 FTE status
- Catherine Fiffles – clerical aide, Young School, effective March 29, 2017
- The Board reviewed and approved a job description for ESY (Extended Summer School Year Principal.
- The Board reviewed and approved a job description for Title 1 Summer School Principal.
- The Board approved a request to dispose of printer/copier equipment.
- Christi Tyler, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented a mid-year budget update. The District continues to demonstrate great fiscal responsibility and is on track with budgeted expenses. In fact, it has spent $654,000 less than this time last year. The State of Illinois remains behind in its payments, however. The State currently owes Homer 33C $1.6 million.
- Michael Portwood, Director of Human Resources, presented enrollment projections for 2017-2018 school year. (View full report here) Based on historical enrollment and birth data, District enrollment is expected to remain fairly steady with four areas to watch:
- Schilling School Kindergarten Center: May see an increase in enrollment, making it necessary to add a 15th section
- Schilling School 3rd grade: May max out at 28 students per classroom, making it necessary to relocate students who are new to the District to another elementary school where seats are available
- Young School: May see a decline in enrollment, causing a reduction in two sections (one in 1st grade and one in 2nd grade)
- Goodings Grove School: May see a rise in enrollment, making it necessary to add two sections (one in 2nd grade and one in 4th grade)
- Kara Coglianese, Superintendent, and Craig Schoppe, Director of Support Personnel, updated the Board on efforts to hire qualified school bus drivers. The District — like so many other school districts across the nation — is struggling to find enough drivers to safely transport students each day. It has had to combine bus routes several times this year, leading to service delays. While parents have been patient and understanding, the District will need to look at solutions for next school year. Options may include signing bonuses for bus drivers, consolidating bus routes and/or altering school hours so drivers can complete multiple routes each day. A letter was sent home to parents in late February.
- The Board approved a proposal from TRIA Architects to conduct a facility audit for $43,035.00. The audit will identify projects and repairs that need to be addressed at each school/building in the next five to 10 years. The goal is to provide a roadmap for the District so that it can budget for repairs (such as HVAC repairs and replacement) and secure the best pricing possible. The audit will begin over Spring Break. The District’s last assessment was conducted in 2002.
- The Board awarded a bid to Midwest Transit to lease 39 71-passenger buses and 16 type C buses for five years at an annual lease payment of $632,039.00. This includes the trade-in of the District’s existing fleet (with the exception of the eight buses it purchased this school year) at a value of $2,231,000.00. All buses (including the eight that the District owns) will be equipped with cameras and GPS software.
- The Board adopted the 2017-2018 District calendar. The first day of school (for students) is Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Teachers will report August 21st and August 22nd for a two-day Teacher Institute. The last day of school will be Friday, June 1, 2018 (if no Snow Days are used). Winter Break will be Friday, December 22nd through Friday, January 5th (with students returning to school on Monday, January 8th. Spring Break will be Friday, March 30th through Friday, April 6th (with students returning to school Monday, April 9th). View calendar here.
- The Board approved the purchase of the SchoolDude Inventory Direct and Facility Scheduling modules at a one-time cost of $3,539.10 and an annual licensing fee of $7,115.55 beginning July 1, 2017. The modules will simplify the District’s inventory system and streamline the way it schedules building usage by outside groups as well as teachers and staff.
The Next Regular School Board Meeting is March 21, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.