Board Briefs - May 18, 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 Agendas, Meetings and Minutes section of the District’s website. Official minutes are not posted until approval at the following meeting.
Recognition of District Staff
The Board of Education, President Shelly Camden and Superintendent Mark Cross recognized staff members Maggie Adelman, Matt Etherington, Jeff Grand and Christine Marcinkewicz for reaching 10 years of service in the district. Also recognized was Mary Kate Favia and Ginny Hirhager for reaching 15 years of service and Kristie Miller, Susan Paszkowski and Amy Pollitz for 20 years of service to our students. Thank you and congratulations to these dedicated employees of Cass 63!
Also recognized at the meeting was Concord music teacher Angela Zurawski and former technology assistant Dana Dolehide for receiving the Those Who Excel awards through the Illinois State Board of Education. Congratulations to these two exemplary staff members on receiving this well-deserved honor.
Recognition of Retirees
The Board also recognized retiring staff members Bob Sniegowski and Theresa Murphy. Mr. Sniegowski retired in January after nearly 41 years of service as a custodian at Cass Junior High School, while Mrs. Murphy is retiring at the end of the current school year after 19 years as a speech pathologist at both schools. We wish both the very best as they begin their retirement.
Before and After School Program Discussion
Superintendent Cross presented a proposal and recommendation on Ivy League Kids, a private before and after school care program utilized successfully by a number of other school districts. This program would potentially replace the B.A.S.E. program beginning with the 2021-22 school year. Staffing and managing the B.A.S.E. program has become a challenge for several reasons, and Mr. Cross has been sharing this openly with the Board while getting feedback from parents and staff on how best to move forward.
After discussing the schedule, costs and various benefits of the program, the Board agreed to have Mr. Cross share the details with the staff and parents to get any feedback and answer their questions. A meeting for parents with representatives of Ivy League Kids will be arranged before any recommendation for formal Board approval on June 15.
Updates Regarding Current Health Guidance and PlanningMr. Cross emphasized that while there have been many changes to public health guidance over the past two weeks, none of the changes apply to the school setting. He had stated previously that the district would require masking of all students and staff for at least the remainder of the school term since all students have not had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated but was glad the CDC left this guidance in place.He recommended that the district leadership team and Board take time to review any recommendations related to health guidance that will be in place for the opening of the 2021-22 school term, but that it is too early to make detailed plans in this regard. Also, public health officials, the Illinois State Board of Education and other entities are pushing for the full reopening of schools this fall. This is in line with the district’s expectations as well, but Mr. Cross and the staff will monitor any guidance or mitigation requirements over the course of the summer and will communicate accordingly with parents and staff.
Goal Setting and Strategic Planning
The Board of Education discussed options and potential processes for future goal setting and strategic planning. After some discussion, it was agreed to keep the process simple, involve the necessary input and people at the appropriate time, and to make the goals measurable and something the Board can easily monitor. Mr. Cross will develop some options and timelines for the Board to consider at an upcoming meeting.
In Key Action Items, the Board of Education…
Approved the recommended list of summer maintenance projects, totaling an estimated $106,495.
Approved a transportation services contract to be available for students with special needs, if necessary.
Approved a resolution appointing the school district treasurer and required surety bond.
Approved an intergovernmental agreement between Cass School District 63 and Center Cass District 66 regarding lunch services through Aramark.
Accepted the resignation of Cass physical education teacher Bradley Cardott effective at the close of the 2020-21 school year.
Approved the employment of Cass physical education and health teacher Andrew Petigo and kindergarten teacher Caitlin Finan, effective at the start of the 2021-22 school year.
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