By Bob Trott
MACHESNEY PARK - No was the word as members of the Harlem School Board concurred Tuesday, Nov. 12 with the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) on many resolutions to be considered at an IASB Delegate Assembly Nov. 23.
The school board also concurred with the IASB on many “yes” recommendations.
Among recommendations of no from the school board and IASB committee were measures concerning:
* charter schools being required to refund state monies for enrollment of a child when that child leaves;
* lobbying of the state to develop laws, rules and standards that all school board members shall follow, and if broken, shall cause board members to be subject to disciplinary action, including removal from office.
Among measures receiving “yes” recommenations from the school board and IASB were:
* one that would amend language to allow school boards to support mandates for time requirements and appropriate exemptions for Physical Education in Grades K-12;
-a resolution that would call for each local school board to have the right to determine its curricular content, including mandated curriculum from the Common Core Standards;
* a measure calling for objection to the Prevailing Wage Act, which says all Illinois public bodies shall not pay less than prevailing hourly wages for school district work, but there was one dissenter, Board Member George Russell, Harlem's delegate to the Nov. 23 session.
After a fairly-lengthy closed session, the board appointed Aaron Guske technology director for the district. He replaces Paul Sizek, who had served in that capacity for several years and left to take a position in the Chicago suburbs. Guske becomes technology director after serving as Harlem's Information Technology (IT) systems administrator.
Also after the closed session, the board approved a tentative agreement with the Food & Nutrition Services Employee Group, for 2013-16.
In separate action following the closed session, the board voted to expel two students for the remainder of this school year, and transfer them to alternative programs. Parents of the students were offered the possibility of probation agreements with the district, if done so before the end of the work day Wednesday, Nov. 13.
The school board Nov.12 approved a resolution proclaiming Nov. 15 a School Board Members Day to honor citizens who devote so much of their time and energy for the education of Harlem students.
Reading a proclamation of the special day was Superintendent Julie Morris, who said board members do such things as: offer efficient operation of the district's business, adopt public policy, donate countless hours without receiving compensation and have a direct impact on the quality of life within their community.
Members of the board: President Heather Kelley, Vice President Larry Barger, Secretary George Russell, Patti Lawrence, Evelyn Meeks, Travis Turner and Sue Berogan were included on the resolution.
Payment of bills totaling $6,117,064.53 was approved by the board. Reporting other recent financial statistics, including payroll of $5,140,386.79 and payables of $976,677.74, was Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Josh Aurand.
Board President Heather Kelley reported she received two very satisfactory and four satisfactory reports on how the board conducted business at its Oct. 15 regular meeting.
Kelley also reported the board's next policy committee meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m., and regular meeting Monday, Dec. 9, also at 6 p.m. The next education committee meeting is Jan. 23, 2014, at 6 p.m., the board president reported.
Board members approved first and second readings of school district policies Nov. 12.
Board Member Russell reported the next business services committee meeting is Thursday, Dec. 4, at 6 p.m., and Board Member Lawrence reported the next discipline policy review committee session is Jan. 30, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Appointments for Harlem School Board committees for 2013-14, proposed, are:
Policy - Heather Kelley, chairman; Larry Barger, board member; George Russell, board member; Superintendent Morris, Kris Arduino, Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Josh Aurand, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Barb Browning, Dusti Adrian, Leah Krippner, Dani Hopkins, Michelle Erb, Margo Sickele, Director of Stakeholder Engagement Cathy Martin, Heidi Lange, Jeremy Bois and elementary pincipal (rotation cycle);
Business Services - Board Members Russell, Evelyn Meeks and Travis Turner, Superintendent Morris, Assistant Superintendent Aurand and Mindy Schumacher;
Education-Chairman Kelley; Board Members Meeks and Turner, Morris, Assistant Superintendent Browning, Arduino, Sickele, Erb, Terrell Yarbrough and Middle School Principal John Cusimano;
Discipline Policy review: Superintendent Morris, Browning, Arduino, Maple Elementary Principal Becky Girard, Kurt Weigt, Larry Smith, Krippner, Jason Blume, Jeremy Bois, Shari Heller, Sickele, Erb, Brock Morlan, Jerry Harris, Rodney Scott, recently-hired Transportation Director Don West, Heidi Lange, Beth WIlliams and Sharon Carlson;
Public Relations Ad Hoc - Kelley, Board Member Lawrence and Board Member Barger.
Adequate yearly progress
The Harlem School District did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as a district for the 2012-2013 School Year (the AYP Target for 2013 was 92.5 percent of students meet or exceeding standards on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) in the areas of Reading and Math. The district is required by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to regularly update ts District Improvement Plan (DIP) and School Improvement Plans to address these areas, using the continuous improvement planning process.
Board members approved a District Improvement Plan (DIP), including a Rock Cut Elementary School Restructuring Plan and Maple Elementary Corrective Action.
School Improvement Plans (SIP's) were approved for: Parker Center, Loves Park Elementary School, Machesney Elementary, Maple Elementary, Marquette Elementary, Olson Park Elementary, Ralston Elementary, Rock Cut Elementary, WIndsory Elementary, Harlem Middle School and Harlem High School.
Tax Levy resolution
The Harlem School Board Tuesday, Nov. 12, approved the 2013 tax levy resolution and certificate of tax levy resolution.
Also, the following special taxes will be levied, by resolution approved by the board:
* a $1,4 million special tax for Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) purposes;
* $370,000 for fire prevention, safety, energy conservation, disabled access, school security and/or specified repair;
* $3.45 million for the Special Education Program;
* $400,000 for leasing education facilities and/or computer technology purposes.
Surplus Property, Facility Use
Property no longer used by the school district, much of which is computer equipment, was declared surplus by action of the board. Items declared surplus are offered to the public for sale.
A request from Boys Club Baseball to use the Harlem Ninth Grade Campus Gym for pitching instruction on the following dates: Nov. 17; Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; Jan. 5, 12, 18 and 26; Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23; and March 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, was approved by the board.
No price increases
Board members renewed an agreement with Kelley Williamson for fuel and related items for the Fiscal Year (FY) 14 School Year, with no price increases. Also renewed with no price increases was an agreement with DLA Architects for the the FY 14 School Year.
The following have new report cards in the Harlem district: Harlem School District, Harlem High School, Harlem Middle School, Loves Park Elementary, Machesney Elementary, Maple Elementary, Marquette Elementary, Olson Park Elementary, Parker Center, Ralston Elementary and Windsory Elementary.
Harlem's new website says full report card information can be obtained by going to Illinoisreportcard.com.
Superintendent Morris reported the following personnel moves for the district: seven leaves-of-absence, four transfers within the district, three sick leave requests, 37 employments and one new addition. An addendum had one resignation and five employments.