D200: Meeting Agenda for Wednesday, Sept. 14

Board to adopt FY 2012 budget, approve change order for driveway replacement, discuss sale of surplus stuff at Hubble, recognize Robert Miler and more.

The Community Unit School District 200 will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Wheaton Warrenville South High School to discuss the following agenda items:

Consent Agenda

Approval of surplus assets: The contents of the former are not needed. All schools have taken items they need out of the school. Maintenance staff will remove whatever is left and District 200 will sell or donate it. 

Approval of change order for Lincoln Elementary School: A change order must be processed in order to finish the driveway replacement project at Lincoln Elementary School. District 200 replaced the driveway at Lincoln Elementary School for $297,062.40—which is $42,027.40 more than originally contracted. The changes are due to modifications by the City of Wheaton, unsuitable soils and costs associated with soil dumping.

Approval of AIMSweb software renewal: This web-based system is a benchmark and progress-monitoring system based on direct, frequent and continuous student assessment in reading, writing, math and progress related to instruction. Students in grades K-8 partake in this assessment three times per year. Students performing below the 20h percentile are monitored more frequently. A yearly subscription for the program costs $6 per student; the renewal fee is $48,000. District 200 qualifies for funding through the IDEA Grant.

Approval of minutes: Aug. 24, open and closed session and approval to destroy recordings of closed session minutes prior to April 2010.

Approval of personnel report and supplemental personnel report

Action Items

Adoption of the 2011-2012 budget: The budget has been available for public inspection since Jun. 8. The budget includes changes presented at the Aug. 10 meeting and updates to presented at the Sept. 14 meeting. The budget for Fiscal Year 2012 (beginning July 1, 2011 and ending June 30, 2012) is balanced.

Approval to purchase Genesis Student Information System: Genesis is a student information system is used by parents, administrators, counselors, teachers and students to access and share  information. The total cost for this year is $166,826. The cost will decrease each subsequent year. 

Approval of special committee appointments: The board has assigned board members to work with Dr. Harris as the district works on the 2011-12 Board goals. Barbara Intihar and Ken Knicker will work on the Educational Policy and Parking Lot committee; Ken Knicker and Jim Vroman will work on the Contract Negotiation committee; Andy Johnson and Jim Gambaiani will work on the Finance Policy and Fiscal Dashboard committee; and Joann Coghill and Jim Vroman will work on the Capital Development Plan committee.

Discussion Item

Recognition of Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. Robert Miller: A committee will make a four-pronged recommendation for the district's recognition of Wheaton North Graduate and Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Staff Sgt. . The recommendation includes a perpetuating scholarship that is being explored for future Wheaton North graduates and a commons area named the Robert J. Miller Commons, including a plaque recognizing Miller's bravery and award, circled by six pillars representing the Congressional Medal of Honor. 

The next regular meeting is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12 at Lincoln Elementary School. 

Mark Johnson September 14, 2011 at 03:08 PM
How does District 200 go about selling surplus items? Some districts post a sealed bid surplus sale on their website. $42,027 additional to replace Lincoln Driveway due to disposal of unsuitable soil? Why was that not in the fixed bid? That would go a long way to paying for a teacher for one year. After approving $42,000 increase the Parking Lot Committee is formed? Are these regular or ad-hoc committees, many districts have a committee meeting schedule posted on their website! Students in grades K-8 partake in an AIMSWeb assessment three times per year? Why does Wheaton-Warrenville not notify me of the results? I want to know how my children are progressing! Both annually and year-over-year! And how that compares to the entire district's progress! The budget is balanced, but there was VERY LITTLE discussion of the budget in the board minutes this year! There is a finance policy committee being formed, but what about the actual finances, and what about citizens on these committees not just Board Members? Just because the budget is balanced does not mean the money is being spent wisely. In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 class sizes increased, elementary students in 4th-5th grades have up to 30 children per class, avg 28 (Bower, Emerson, Hawthorne, Johnson, Lincoln, Longfellow, Lowell, Madison, Pleasant Hill, Sandburg, Washington, Whittier, and Wiesbrook)! B team sports were cut from Edison, Hubble, Franklin, and Monroe MIddle Schools the last two years!
Charlotte Eriksen September 14, 2011 at 04:09 PM
Hey Mark, thanks for commenting. I wanted to note that the architects that worked with District 200 did allot for $40,000 in unforeseen costs in their original agreement, if I read the letter correctly. So that may be explained tonight.
Mark Johnson September 14, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Tonight's meeting has additional Consent and Agenda items not listed in the above article. To view a calendar of Consent and Agenda items for past, present, and future meetings, and to view supporting documents about those items that the Board members themselves receive, do the following. On the District 200 website at www.cusd200.org, from the Board of Education drop-down menu, select Electronic School Board, then click on a date in the calendar in the upper right hand corner, then place your cursor over a text item, which causes the text to become underlined (revealing a hidden hyperlink), then click on the text to pull up additional documents. Three comments on that that process. The hyperlinked text should be permanently underlined so it's more apparent the text is in fact a hyperlink. There should be hint on the page to scroll the cursor over text and click to reveal a hyperlink to supporting documentation. The Electronic School Board should be listed on the left side of the Board Meetings page with the Schedules, Protocols, Notices, Minutes and Highlights. The current implementation is hiding valuable information from parents, citizens, and taxpayers. Coupled with the fact that Board members make few comments, have few discussions, and rarely dissent during board meetings (view past records and minutes) going back 10 years, the Board is living up to its reputation as Rubber Stamp 200. The Board seems to Rubber Stamp Administration proposals, rarely questioning.
Mark Johnson September 14, 2011 at 06:01 PM
A short tutorial on the difference between Consent Agenda Items and Action Items. During a Board meeting, Board Members can make comments on Consent Agenda Items, but can't have discussions between each other about them. All the items listed on the Consent Agenda are voted simultaneously, as one block. On the other hand, during a board meeting, Board Members can have discussions amongst themselves about items on the Action Items list. Each item on the Action Item list is voted for individually. Thus, Action Items can receive more scrutiny than Consent Agenda Items. But just because an item is on the Action Item list, does not mean the board will in fact have meaningful discussions about the item. For instance, where is the detailed comparison of the Student Information System proposals. All we see is a cost comparison. How other than the cost comparison is the Board justifying the Genesis purchase? Or how about the committee appointments, why is the Board not asking the public if anyone would like to be on a committee? Many years ago the Board had committees with citizens, and then the current Board came in power, and those citizen appointments vanished. In fact the Board used to have spirited discussions, but now all the members just agree with one another and the Administration. How can the board approve a $140 Million budget with very little discussion of how the money is being spent, and virtually no questions to the Administration. We deserve more effort.


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