All-Day Kindergarten Committee Set, To Meet Later This Month

Thirteen community volunteers and two PTA reps will join Board members Jim Collins and Shannon Ebner and District and building administration and classroom teachers to begin planning for implementation of all-day kindergarten in District 205.

The first meeting is set for January 24.  The first organizational meeting will review the All-Day Kindergarten Study and Facilities Master Plan.  The group will the break up into sub-committees:  tuition, early implementation, and curriculum.  Sub-committees will meet regularly, and I will facilitate periodic large group meetings until the committee has developed a recommendation to bring forward to the Board.

The Tuition Sub-Committee consists of Collins, Chris Whelton, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Dr. Jim Woell, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Hawthorne principal Tim Riordan, PTA Rep. Beth Hosler, and community members Cathy Dykes, Maureen Franchi, Shareen Hare, Erin Marani, Kristin Shell, and Helena Turne…

Citizen Reps Selected for Finance Committee

Three volunteers were selected to serve as Citizen Representatives to the Finance Committee to support the D205 Board and administration throughout the process of implementing the Master Facilities Plan.

The representatives are David Lau, Rob Martinelli, and Gordon Snyder.  Lau has a strong technology, STEM and construction background, Martinelli works for Pepper Construction, and Snyder is a Civil Engineer.  Both Lau and Snyder were members of the Community Advisory Team this past spring.

The role of the citizen representatives is as follows:
1) Share expertise and provide input to the Board and the administration on the implementation of the Master Facilities Plan; 2)  Add a community perspective to major decisions that will be made by the Finance and Operations Committee or recommendations that will come from the Finance and Operations Committee to the full Board; and 3)  Help articulate to the community the process and rationale for the decisions that are made throughout the construct…

Master Facilities Plan--It's Go Time!

The D205 Board of Education held a special meeting on December 11 to review the construction timeline and immediate next steps to implement the Master Facilities Plan.  On November 6, voters approved a $168.5M referendum with approximately 62% support.

Representatives for the District's architectural firm Wight and Company, construction manager, ICI, and D205 administration reviewed the timeline and scope of the work.  Much of the meeting focused on a plan for continued community involvement throughout the process.

There will be many opportunities for the community to be involved and give input during each phase of the project.  The first of those will be the All-Day Kindergarten Committee.  There will be three sub-committees associated with this committee:  Early Implementation, Tuition, and Curriculum.  Community input on early implementation and tuition options is important.  The District is also looking for citizens to serve in an oversight capacity on the Finance Committee.  …

D205 Referendum Passes with 61% Support

D205 voters Tuesday approved a $168.5M referendum with 61% support.  The measure supports a Master Facilities Plan to coincide with the life of the bonds that will build two new elementary schools, result in safety and security upgrades, space for all-day kindergarten at neighborhood schools, future ready learning spaces, and individual projects at all 13 sites across the District based on need.  For example, some schools will receive central air, others flood remediation, and others auditorium upgrades.  The needs of the Transition Center are expected to be addressed through a combination of referendum dollars and intergovernmental cooperation.

The average annual tax impact on a $500,000 home is an increase of $150 above the current rate.  Bonds from this project will extend through the year 2043.  Details on the plan are available on the D205 website.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to voters who once again demonstrated their support for education in Elmhurst.  Hundreds …

School Report Cards Available Soon

The State of Illinois is expected to release the new school report cards by the end of October.  This year the report cards will look different to reflect changes in the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).  ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, which was in place since 2002.

The new system includes a growth component and other measures, which differs from previous school report cards that focused solely on attainment measures based on annual standardized testing.  Under the new system, schools are placed into one of four categories.  All of District 205 schools received a "Commendable" rating.  The top category is "Exemplary."  The two lowest categories are "Underperforming" and "Lowest Level."
The District has produced a Power Point with a voice over to help parents understand some factors to consider when deciphering all of the various types of school rating systems that a…

Elmhurst Chamber Endorses Nov. 6 Referendum

Recently, the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors voted to officially endorse District 205's November 6 referendum.

In a press release dated October 1, 2018, the Chamber Board indicated that its endorsement is based on three significant District needs:

Replace outdated facilities with construction at 103-year-old Lincoln Elementary School ($32.5M) and 87-year-old Field Elementary School ($29M), along with expansion and renovation of Edison Elementary School ($18.1M) and Bryan Middle School ($12.5M);Install Health Life Safety and Entrance Security upgrades at District 205’s nine other student buildings (five elementary schools, three middle schools, high school and early childhood education center), as included in the project plans above; andRepair and renovate the nine student buildings listed above as a result of long-deferred maintenance due to a budget limitation of $1.5M per year related to the State of Illinois’ 1990 property tax cap of the lesser of the Cons…

State of the Schools Scheduled for September 17

The second annual State of the School presentation is scheduled for Monday, September 17, in the York Commons at 7:00 p.m.

The program will feature celebrate recent District accomplishments, highlight successful new programs, and present information on the November 6 Referendum.

Exciting videos and student presentations will be interspersed throughout the evening.

A second major event is slated for September 24.  A Community Finance Night is scheduled at Lincoln Elementary School at 7:00 p.m.  Building tours will precede the presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m.  A video featuring the state of the facilities across the District will be included in the presentation.

Multiple dates have been established for building tours at Lincoln, Field, and Jackson Elementary Schools and Churchville Middle School.  These will be posted shortly on the District home page, the Master Facilities Plan link, and through social media.

Tours of other school schools are available upon request and can be arrang…