School Board Capsules

Here’s what’s going on at District 205

The Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 Board held a regular meeting on September 24 at the District 205 Center, 162 S. York St. Board members Margaret Harrell and Christopher Kocinski were absent from the meeting.

• Public hearing for budget approval

Immediately before the regular meeting, the board held a brief public hearing regarding the district’s 2019-20 budget. Christopher Whelton, the district’s assistant superintendent for finance and operations, gave a presentation during the public hearing. Whelton said the latest figures show what he called “almost a break-even” 2019-20 budget, with revenues projected at about $132.3 million and expenses projected at $132.5 million. The budget indicated an operating deficit of about $180,000.

Whelton noted that when a recent bond issuance is included, the 2019-20 budget indicates total revenues of about $216 million and total expenditures of about $161 million. The bond issuance is related to the approval of the November 2018 referendum to borrow money to pay for upgrades to district facilities. Whelton said the 2019-20 budget features an increase in 10 certified staff positions over the 2018-19 budget. He said the district’s certified staff members have increased from 615 in the 2012-13 budget to 704 in the 2019-20 budget.

There were no public comments during the budget hearing. The board then adjourned and returned to the regular meeting. There were also no comments during the regular meeting.

Board members voted 5-0 during the regular meeting to approve a resolution adopting the 2019-20 budget. Board president Kara Caforio stated the board had discussed the budget in prior meetings. She said that approving the resolution to adopt the budget was a formality.

The board also voted unanimously to approve a transfer of about $1.3 million from the district’s education fund to its debt service fund. District 205 Superintendent David Moyer described the transfer as a routine procedure to pay for technology leases.

• Superintendent’s goals established

Board members voted unanimously to approve the superintendent’s annual goals for the 2019-20 school year. Caforio stated that the board and Moyer agree to two or three specific goals for a school year no later than Oct. 1 of that school year. The two annual goals for the current school year are: (1) overseeing the implementation of the district’s operational plan and ensuring all outcomes are met; and (2) leading the behavioral health steering committee to develop an action plan to help reduce the stress and anxiety levels of students.

Moyer and the board will review progress toward the attainment of the goals in January. The board will rate Moyer’s progress toward attaining the goals as either satisfactory or unsatisfactory as part of his evaluation by June 1, 2020.

• Compensation for admin assistants discussed

The board voted unanimously to approve changes to the district office administrative assistant compensation. The district’s current base rate of $17.88 per hour for its administrative assistants in the district office has remained unchanged since 2015. The board’s vote raises the base hourly rate to $19, effective Oct. 1, 2019. A new category of positions in the district office will have a higher base rate of $20.50 an hour. Those positions require a higher degree of specialization and training. Neither the board nor district officials stated how many administrative assistants work in the district office.

• Purchase of The Abbey considered

Moyer stated near the end of the meeting that the Elmhurst Park District Board had authorized during its Sept. 23 meeting an initiation of a formal conversation with District 205 to develop an intergovernmental agreement leading to the school district purchasing The Abbey from the park district. The Abbey is located at 407 W. St. Charles Road, just west of York High School. Moyer said that it is expected that the site will be part of a permanent solution to the district’s transition center program. Moyer said that finalizing an agreement with the park district, purchasing the property, and developing and occupying the site will be a multi-year process.

• Crossing guards discussed

Moyer also discussed during the meeting the issue of crossing guards outside of the district schools. He said the district has an agreement with the City of Elmhurst to provide crossing guards. The city provides crossing guards and determines where they will be stationed. Moyer said that the district has at no time providing crossing guards. He added that he does not recommend the district provide them. Moyer said that if the district did provide them, there would be several requests to place them at various locations. Moyer said he did not know how the district would be able to manage those requests.

The board will hold its next regular meeting on Oct. 8.