By Chris Fox

For The Elmhurst Independent


The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board held a meeting on April 24 at the District 205 Center, 162 S. York St. Commissioner Chris Blum was absent from the meeting, which lasted about three hours.


Accomplishments recognized

  • The board honored the 15 York High School students who were awarded All-State recognition from the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA). The students performed at the All-State Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festival at the ILMEA All-State Convention Festival in Peoria in January.
  • The board also honored the York High School mock trial team, which participated in the Illinois State Bar Association High School Mock Trial state competition in Champaign in March. The York team, which included eight students, tied for second place at the state competition.


Students testify about conditions at Lincoln

The public comments segment of the meeting featured remarks from several students at Lincoln Elementary School. The students listed several problems with the school building, which is over 100 years old. The children referred to problems with ants, mice and spiders, as well as messy bathrooms with clogged and leaky toilets. The students also mentioned poor security cameras at the school, as well as bad air quality. The students spoke as the board and the district are engaging the community and seeking feedback about the district’s master facility plan.


Officers elected

At the end of the public comments, the board conducted its reorganization for the upcoming year. The board voted unanimously to elect Kara Caforio as the new board president. She replaces outgoing board president Shannon Ebner. Margaret Harrell will continue as vice president, while Karen Stuefen will continue as secretary.


Plan to replace all district telephones approved

Board members voted during the meeting to approve the expenditure of up to $47,000 to replace all of the district’s phones with new Cisco Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) phones. The total cost for the new phones, plus other charges, including engineering services, is estimated at about $42,700. The approval of $47,000 in spending allows for a 10-percent contingency. Additionally, the board approved monthly recurring costs of $7,700, before taxes and fees, that will be incurred by entering into a 36-month agreement with Jive Communications, Inc., for voice services, beginning on or after July 1, 2018.


Purchase of Chromebooks approved

The board also approved the expenditure of up to $330,000 to pay for the purchase of 820 Lenovo 500e Chromebooks, which will be used by York freshmen and incoming transfers. The Chromebooks cost $308 each, producing a total expense of about $250,000. The additional costs include warranty coverage, iPad cases for kindergarten and first-grade students, and 50 Aver computer storage/charging carts. Each computer cart costs $620. The carts will be provided to each classroom of students in kindergarten, first grade and second grade.


Board okays purchase agreement for equipment

The board also voted to approve a three-year, $1 buy-out, lease purchase agreement for computer, server and storage equipment not to exceed $1.54 million. The agreement calls for three annual payments of about $530,000 each in fiscal years 2019, 2020 and 2021. The deal includes the lease of 315 laptop computers for staff, as well as 1,240 Dell 5190 Chromebooks for students in grades 2-5, and 840 iPads for students in kindergarten and first grade. The deal also includes 103 Dell desktop computers and 103 Dell Precision Tower 3620 computers with monitors, as well as about $150,000 in infrastructure hardware.


New director of communications hired

The board voted unanimously during the meeting to approve the hiring of Beverly Redmond as the district’s executive director of communications and community relations. The approval includes a start date of July 1, 2018. Redmond’s annual base salary will be about $115,000. She will replace Melea Smith, who is retiring.


The board will hold its next meeting on May 8.



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