Here’s what’s going on at District 205

By Chris Fox

For The Elmhurst Independent

The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board held a regular meeting on June 16. Six of the board’s seven members participated in the meeting, which took place remotely, with the board and staff members communicating online. Board member Christopher Kocinski was absent from the meeting, which lasted about 2 hours, 30 minutes.

One night before the regular meeting, the board remotely held a committee-of-the-whole meeting. All seven board members participated in the June 15 meeting, which also lasted about 2 hours, 30 minutes.

York NMS finalists recognized

The June 16 regular meeting included recognition of the nine members of York High School’s Class of 2020 who were named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program. The program honors academically talented students in the United States. Students must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level. The Class of 2020 students from York who were named as finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation are: John Devine, Timothy Hradil, Aaron Ludkowski, Dylan Mahoney, Kol Rollins, James Sampson, Allison Splitstone, Matthew Splitstone and Paige Szipszky.

Teacher recipients of Shining Star Award honored

The board also named four District 205 teachers as recipients of the district’s Shining Star Award. The honorees included Jennifer Leban of Sandburg Middle School, Laurel Strejc of Bryan Middle School, Maria Regan of Churchville Middle School and Angela Stern of Conrad Fischer Elementary School.

Survey discussed

The June 16 meeting included a discussion of the results of a recent survey of students, parents and staff members regarding remote E-learning during the last two months of the 2019-20 school year. All K-12 schools in Illinois have been closed to on-site instruction since mid-March because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (See separate story on pg 1 of this issue.)

Salary adjustments approved

Board members voted unanimously during the June 16 meeting to approve salary adjustments for the district’s non-union employees for the 2020-21 school year. The board has traditionally awarded an amount equivalent to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The recommended CPI increase for the 2020-21 school year is 1.9 percent, with the exception of some administrators who are receiving higher increases. Superintendent David Moyer, for example, will receive an increase of 2.9 percent. Six administrators will receive increases of 2.73 percent. Additionally, food service employees will receive increases of 3.5 percent to bring the district in line with updated minimum-wage laws.

Purchase of technology equipment approved

The board also voted unanimously during the June 16 meeting to approve the purchase and allocation of funds not to exceed $418,000 for items including 70 interactive 75-inch flat panel displays, 70 adjustable mobile carts, 220 Apple iPads, cases and licenses. The board discussed the purchase in more detail during its committee-of-the-whole meeting on June 15. The 75-inch interactive flat panel displays will be used in classrooms to replace aging projector systems across the district. The 220 Apple iPads will be used by kindergarten students. Those iPads could be utilized if remote E-learning is in place during the upcoming school year.

Committee to prepare for 2020-21 school year

Moyer noted during the June 16 meeting that the district has established a planning committee to prepare for the 2020-21 school year. Moyer said the district has received no formal guidance from the state of Illinois. He said that people are curious and need information about the upcoming school year, and if it will begin with in-person instruction or remote E-learning. Moyer said the district is hoping to provide some communication to the public regarding the start of the 2020-21 school year in early July. The district’s first scheduled day of classes for the upcoming school year is Aug. 19.

Board bids farewell to departing employees

At the end of the June 16 meeting, board members recognized several district employees who are leaving the district. The board recognized Erin DeLuga, who is leaving her position as York’s principal to become the principal of Lake Zurich High School. The board also recognized two York assistant principals—Ryan Doherty and Melissa Moore—who are also leaving the district. Matt Collins, assistant director of special education at York, is another departing employee who was recognized by the board. The board also saluted Mark Cohen, who is leaving his position as the assistant superintendent for human resources to become the superintendent of Mokena District 159. Before becoming District 205’s assistant superintendent for human resources, Cohen served as the district’s first assistant superintendent for innovation and growth.

Retirees recognized

The board also recognized Michael Volpe, who is retiring after serving for about one year as the district’s interim assistant superintendent of student services. Additionally, the board recognized David Smith, who is retiring from his position as the district’s executive director of technology. Smith, who participated in the remote meeting, noted that he lives in Elmhurst and that his children have attended District 205 schools.

The board also saluted Ellen Walsh, the executive assistant for the superintendent, who is retiring after 25 years at the district. Walsh began her service in the district as an assistant librarian at Field Elementary School. She has worked in the district office for the last 13 years.

Caforio: ‘Summer of uncertainty’ means no break for admin.

At the end of the June 16 meeting, board president Kara Caforio thanked Moyer and the rest of the district administration for their work to prepare for the 2020-21 school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Caforio noted that the district’s administrators would normally enjoy a summer break. She stated they would not get much of a break during this summer of uncertainty.

Property taxes collections reviewed

During the committee-of-the-whole meeting on June 15, Chris Whelton, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, reported that earlier in the day the district received about $27.4 million in property tax collections. Whelton stated that on June 1, the district received about $34.75 million in property tax collections. On May 13, the district received about $2.1 million. As of June 15, therefore, the district had received about $64.27 million in property tax collections, which is about $2.4 million more than the district had received at the same point in time one year ago.

Whelton stated that the COVID-19 pandemic did not have an impact on the district’s May and June property tax collections. Board member Jim Collins stated that the purpose of the June 15 meeting was to make sure the district had money in its checkbook before the district committed to writing any big checks. Collins added that about 85 percent of the district’s revenues come from property taxes. He said he was a little surprised that this year’s revenues were not down from last year, especially after DuPage County allowed taxpayers to defer their first installment to Sept. 1, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board will hold its next regular meeting on July 14.

 

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