BOARD OF EDUCATION APPROVES NEW CONTRACT WITH ESPA
At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Board of Education voted to approve a new contract with the Educational Support Personnel Association (ESPA).
Highlights of the five-year contract include:
- A 2-percent wage increase (base plus step);
- A three-year retirement incentive of $9,000 (limited to 8 employees per year);
- FMLA benefits for employees who work at least 27 hours per week;
- Stipends and pay differentials for secretaries, program assistants and nurses;
- Clericals moved to PA wage schedule;
- Substitute pay incentive of $5 per hour in addition to contractual pay;
- Pre-approved leave days during the strike will be recognized provided proof of pre-approval by March 23.
"We believe as a group that this contract is a balanced agreement both valuing ESPA members as well as protecting the interests of our citizens," said Board of Education President Lisa Szczupaj at the Feb. 21 meeting. "And ultimately, we are more pleased than anything that this contract will allow us to get back to doing what we want to do, which is ultimately to continue to focus on the children."
Here is a link to the full ESPA contract.
WILLOW BEND EARTH CLUB LEADS PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Willow Bend's Earth Club was chosen to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the Feb. 21 board meeting for their dedication to preserving and improving the environment.
Teachers Mrs. Ewa Pitcher and Mrs. Joannie
Thomas sponsor the club. The Willow Bend Earth Club is as diverse in its activities as it in its
membership. Their focus is preserving and appreciating the Earth, and they do that in many
ways. Their collaboration with "Prairie Pete," a community volunteer, has equipped them to
maintain and expand a patch of prairie adjacent to the school as well as plant a self-sustaining
prairie garden in front of the school.
They are active in recycling. Their current project is collecting dried markers to be returned to the Crayola Corporation to be turned into clean fuel.
The members' distress over observing good food being discarded at lunch has resulted in a
special collection unit for unused food that is delivered to a local homeless shelter. The Earth
Club has touched every part of Willow Bend School and has also had an impact in the Willow Bend community.
STAFF MEMBERS RECOGNIZED FOR EARNING NATIONAL BOARD CERTIFICATION
At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Board of Education recognized three District 15 teachers for earning their certification with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards:
- Stefanie Park, Winston Campus Junior High School, Reading Consultant Specialist
- Katie Dengler, Virginia Lake Elementary
School, Instructional Coach
- Gabrielle Devlin, Jane Addams Elementary School, ESL
National Board Certification is an advanced teaching credential achieved upon successful completion of a voluntary assessment program designed to recognize effective and accomplished teachers who meet high standards.
The teachers all received the "Above and Beyond" pin from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Thompson at the Feb. 21 meeting.
WCJH STUDENT ESSAY WINNERS HONORED BY BOARD OF EDUCATION
The Board of Education honored two students from Winston Campus Junior High who were selected as winners of this year's Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Essay contest titled, "World War I: Remembering the War to End All Wars."
Jillian K., an 8th grade student, was chosen as the Eli Skinner Chapter of the Daughters of the
American Revolution contest top essay winner. Jillian wrote from the perspective of Helen, a young American living in 1914, reeling from the danger of the looming War and living in fear of the potential loss of her father.
Nina D., a 7th grade student, was named the winner of the 7th grade DAR Essay contest. Nina's essay was a tribute to her own great-great-grandfather, who fought for the Austro-Hungarians in 1915.
PRELIMINARY STUDENT ASSIGNMENT PLAN PRESENTED TO BOARD OF EDUCATION
At the Feb. 21 Board of Education meeting, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Dr. Matthew Barbini presented the preliminary 2018-19 Student Assignment Plan, available to view online.
The preliminary plan shows a need for approximately 880 full-time teachers to begin the 2018-19 school year. The plan is subject to change throughout the spring and summer months as students move into and out of the school district before the start of the school year.
The draft Student Assignment Plan has been built upon on a number of assumptions including
class-size targets established by the Board of Education as well as through statutory requirements for students eligible for special education and English Learner (EL) services.
Input from each principal and central office administrators was, and will continue to be, taken into consideration in this important process.
Enrollment will continue to be monitored and the Student Assignment Plan will be adjusted, if
necessary, prior to it being presented to the Board of Education for finalization in October 2018.
BOARD APPROVES DISTRICT'S 2018-19 BUDGET GUIDELINES
The Board of Education voted to approve the 2018-19 budget guidelines as presented by Chief School Business Official Michael Adamczyk at its Feb. 21 meeting.
The 2018-19 budget will be developed to reflect the board's objective to provide for the education
of all students of the district and the board's financial goal: To protect the financial integrity and
fiscal responsibility of the district by developing, approving and operating a balanced budget.
Revenues for the district are anticipated to rise with the increase of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from 0.7 to 2.1 percent. The district could also receive additional funding from the State of Illinois, according to the newly adopted evidence-based funding model. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is still finalizing its calculations and expects to release each district's pro-rata share of additional money beginning in April. Any additional funding will be incorporated into the 2018-19 budget.
On the expenditures side, salary increases for certified, classified, administrative and exempt employees range from 2 percent to 2.27 percent in the 2018-19 school year. Capital expenditures are expected for building repairs and improvements to Frank C. Whiteley, Plum Grove, Conyers Learning Academy and Pleasant Hill. Read the full budget guidelines report.
HOW ARE WE DOING? TAKE SCHOOL LUNCH SURVEY
The District 15 Nutrition Services Team prepares thousands of meals for students each day. In an effort to provide the lunch choices students and families most prefer, we'd like your opinion on the school lunch program.
We appreciate your input by Feb. 28. Junior high students and those in the upper elementary grade levels will take the survey in class before the end of the month.
Please take this brief, five-minute parent survey to indicate the choices you enjoy, what you'd rather not see on the menu, and any new selections you would like to see served.
The school lunch survey for parents is available in the following languages: English Survey