May 21, 2018
Present: Board President Greg Robitaille, Vice President Cathleen Albrecht; Board Members: Carol Ducommun, Keith Dronen, Marc Glucksman, Lori Goldstein, Patrick O’Donoghue.
Administrators: Superintendent Paul Sally; Assistant Supt for Finance & Ops Christopher Johnson; Secretary Supt Lou Anne Kelly; Assistant Supt for Curriculum & Instruction Peter Tragos; Assistant Supt for Student Services Timothy Hayes; Principal (Winnetka) Denise Dubravec; Principal (Northfield) Paul Waechtler. Absent: None
A parent raised the topic of increasing kids’ access to gym space after school, for informal usage. They have been in contact with Augie Fontanetta, who is supportive. Dr. Sally and Augie Fontanetta will follow up
Four individuals from the New Trier community spoke to recent incidents of racist graffiti at NTHS this year. Individuals covered the following points/requests: 1) Wanting to ensure that the BOE/Administration deals with this in a way that does not sweep it under the rug nor in a way that creates a political problem, but want to ensure recognition of the hurt it creates and ensure all students feel safe; 2) Reinforce support for the black students in the school; 3) Highlighted work done by a group recently formed (HEROS – Healing Everyday Racism in Our Schools) who are working on comprehensive policy proposal for the community. Currently circulating w/in the community; expect to get recommendation to BOE shortly. Response from Tim Hayes indicating they are working through how to respond. Excited to hear about proposal to come from HEROS group. Board President also reinforced looking forward to the report and expect to review & discuss
Related to above topic, highlighting initiative led by Social Studies teacher, Todd Maxman, “Student Voices in Equity” with mission to “foster a Trevian community that emboldens students to understand privilege and its effects and commits itself to cultivating compassion and equity”. Students set up a project encouraging sharing of variety of perspectives on “what it means to be _________ at New Trier”. Received 110 responses which were displayed on posters, placed in student lounge, raising awareness of situations/circumstances that are visible as well as those that are hard to see. Group is in process of determining what they do next with this. Dr. Sally indicated Administration interest in this initiative
Foreign Exchange Students – several students spoke and reflected on their experiences this past year during their time in the NT community.
New Trier Extension Report (DeDe Kern)
Ms. Kern, Manager of New Trier Extension, shared an update on the community education program. Highlights of report include: 1) Magnitude and breadth of program offerings (500 programs, 67 instructors and 3,799 community members in 2016-17 school year). 2) Improvements made over last few years to streamline the registration process and make it more accessible on-line. 3) NTX is in a healthy financial position in recent years and has been self-sustaining financially. 4) Goals for the future include: raising awareness & generating greater participation; standardizing the evaluation process; increasing professional development & investigating opportunities to partner with teachers/departments for programs and use the new spaces at Winnetka Campus.
Board questions and discussion focused on: 1) Seeking to understand the number of different individuals who participate: students vs adults and district vs non-district participants; 2) Interest in reviewing the PR plan; 3) Confirming that classes are meeting ‘minimums’ required to run the class, they have healthy numbers and very few that sell out and leave people disappointed
Calendar Study Update (Waechtler)
Over past three academic years Hanover Research has surveyed students, staff and parents regarding school calendar. 2017-18 survey and focus groups also sought input on priorities and calendar options
Key learnings: 1) Impact of providing fewer days off in the middle of the year was evident. Stressful for students & staff; 2) Ending the semester before winter break (2015-16) was quite popular, especially with students. Priorities (in order, based on over 2,000 respondents): students not having homework over winter break; students able to manage end-of-semester workload; students having periodic long weekends; calendar similar to sender districts; regularity of weeks without days off to provide continuity of instruction
Calendar options included: 1) Early-mid August start, finals before Winter Break; end in early June; 2) Mid/late August start, finals 1 week after Winter Break; end in early/mid June; 3) Late August start, finals 2 weeks after Winter Break, end in mid-June. Option 2 universally disliked. Administration continuing to evaluate for 2019-20 school year.
Treasurers and Budget Reports: (Johnson): Reflect impact of tax receipt timing Collected 99.3% of revenue to date; received prompt state payment. Expect to end year with small surplus
Consent Agenda (unanimously approved, nothing pulled)
Bill List for April 1-30 2018; Personnel Report (Appointments, Changes of Status, Resignations, Retirements, and Stipends), IASB Annual Dues 2018-19, Prevailing Wage Resolution, Computer Hardware Lease, Technology Network Equipment Purchase, NTESPA Side Letter Agreement, Settlement Agreement
Meeting Length: 1 hr 45 minutes. Observer: Cindy Levine
Next Meeting: June 11, 2018