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Board Briefs - December 14, 2021

  • The Board Briefs are highlights from the most recent Board of Education meetings. The purpose of the Board Briefs is to provide a timely summary to keep our staff, parents and public informed of the key items that were discussed or acted upon. More detailed information is available under the Board Schedules, Agendas and Minutes section of the District’s website. Official minutes are not posted until approval at the following meeting.

    Discussion Regarding Long-Term Facilities Planning

    The main focus of this month’s Board of Education meeting was related to addressing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) needs at both Concord Elementary and Cass Junior High Schools. After recent meetings with the school district architect and engineer, Superintendent Mark Cross reviewed the main issues and safety items, possible priorities and potential costs for replacement.

    At Concord, 9 of the 11 zones are heated and cooled by HVAC systems that were installed in either 1996 or 1997 and have already exceeded their 20-25 year life expectancy. The remaining two were installed in 2000 and 2004. Concord does not have a central boiler system for heat, but a series of electric or gas-fired units that cover various areas of the building. At Cass, 15 of the 19 zones are heated and cooled by HVAC systems that were installed in 2002 or prior, with the vast majority at or nearing the end of their 20-25 life expectancy. This means that approximately 80 percent of the district’s current HVAC units have exceeded or are on the verge of exceeding their expected life span and will require replacement in the near future.

    The Board discussed in detail the options for funding the work that needs to be done. While some replacements have been made including several single room ventilation units and upgrades on the existing boiler at Cass, the needs for the work that remains will far exceed what the existing budget can cover. The Board will continue these discussions at the January meeting and will also have the Finance Committee discuss the various options and make recommendations for how to fund future projects. The Facilities Committee, which includes two Board members, three community member parents and several staff, will meet in January with the school district architect and engineer to consider the HVAC and safety work that must be completed and make specific recommendations for the Board of Education to consider. It is expected the final recommendations will be determined no later than February 15, 2022.

    Presentation of the Recommended 2021 Tax Levy

    Superintendent Mark Cross presented the recommended 2021 tax levy, as well as the Questions and Answers About Local Property Taxes he provides to the Board and public in the interest of transparency and for anyone interested in learning more about the tax levy and property taxes.

    While the overall levy proposal is a 4.1 percent increase, the school district’s extension is limited to the 2020 Consumer Price Index, or 1.4 percent plus any new construction within the district. The recommended tax levy is unchanged from what was presented to the Board in November. It is estimated that the final extension will be just under $10.2 million, compared to last year’s total extension of just over $10 million, which represents an estimated 1.68 percent increase. 

    In Key Action Items, the Board of Education… 

    • Adopted the resolutions for approval of the tax levy and supplemental tax levy
    • Approved the transfer of funds and tax abatement to pay debt service on certain bonds
    • Approved the Teachers’ Retirement System supplemental savings plan employer participation agreement
    • Approved a statement regarding effective school board governance, communication and cooperation of local school districts
    • Accepted the resignations of Cass Junior High custodian Mark Blend and Concord Elementary Administrative Assistant Maggie Skurzewski
    • Approved the employment of Kayla Briant as long-term first-grade substitute teacher
  • Board Briefs - November 16, 2021

  • Board Briefs - October 19, 2021

  • Board Briefs - September 23, 2021

  • Board Briefs - September 7, 2021

  • Board Briefs - August 17, 2021

  • Board Briefs - August 3, 2021

  • Board Briefs - June 22, 2021

  • Board Briefs - May 18, 2021

  • Board Briefs - April 27, 2021

  • Board Briefs - March 16, 2021

  • Board Briefs - February 16, 2021

  • Board Briefs - January 19, 2021

  • Board Briefs - December 15, 2020

  • Board Briefs - November 17, 2020

  • Board Briefs - October 20, 2020