"Raising the bar toward a future of excellence!"

February 16, 2004

RICH TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 227

 

MINUTES

BOARD OF EDUCATION MEETING

FEBRUARY 16, 2004

 

 

The Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met in a regular meeting on Monday, February 16, 2004, in the Media Center at Rich South High School, Richton Park, Illinois.

 

Mrs. Owens called the meeting to order at 7:50 p.m.

 

Present: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Absent: Burnette

 

Also Present: Ms. High, Mr. Zaret, Ms. Zaret, Mr. Rabold, Mr. and Mrs. Craig, Ms. Jarmon, Mr. Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. Brazzale, Mr. Smith, Ms. Robin Moore, Mr. Veazey, Ms. Jan Moore, Ms. Cribbs, Ms. Davis, Mr. Brim, Mr. McAlister, Ms. Kingma, Mr. Mekarski, Ms. Rich, Mr. Davis, Ms. Hernandez, Ms. Epstein, Ms. Martin, Ms. Fishman, Dr. Kirkwood, Dr. McDonald, Dr. Knutson, Mr. Tandy, Ms. Panega, Mrs. Treichel, Ms. Renderman (Star Newspapers), and student representatives Bryan Davis (Central), Latoiya Miller (East), Davie Scott (South) and Christian Smith (Phoenix).  

 

 

Recognition of Citizens Pertaining to Agenda Items

 

Mrs. Owens recognized the following citizens:

 

Mark Zaret.  Mr. Zaret thanked Mrs. Lohr for her years of service on the District 227 Board of Education and thanked the Board for the new principal at Rich East, which was about to be approved.

 

David Mekarski.  Mr. Mekarski noted he and Mrs. Kingma were present at the Board meeting to discuss the Amended and Restated Intergovernmental Tax Increment Redevelopment Project Agreement for Redevelopment Project Area No. 1.  This agreement specifically targets the Lincoln Mall Economic Development Project as the Village tries to revitalize Lincoln Mall.  Mr. Mekarski noted that Realty America Group had been retained by Lincoln Mall to sell the property and realized the potential for the property.  They have a vision to make Lincoln Mall an asset which will change the value of the mall from $9,000,000 to over $55,000,000 in less than two years.  He noted that the Board meeting concludes a series of meetings which the Village has had with Lincoln Mall, Realty America Group, and the school districts involved.  He noted the Village was pleased to present the Intergovernmental Agreement which, it feels, will have positive impact on the District. 

 

 

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Mr. Veazey questioned the guarantees the Village and District had that Realty America Group will continue to be involved with Lincoln Mall.

 

Dr. Knutson responded that this question will be addressed when the agreement comes up for vote under Financial Considerations.

 

 

Approval of Consent Agenda

 

Mrs. Owens requested approval of the consent agenda.  Mr. Brunson moved and Mrs. Norwood seconded the following:

 

(04-91)            It is moved that the Board of Education approve the consent agenda items as listed:

 

a.         Approval of the minutes of the Property Committee Meeting, the Regular Board meeting, and the Closed Sessions (I and II) of January 12, 2004, the Personnel Committee of the Whole and Closed Session of January 26, 2004, and the Education Committee and the Budget and Finance Committee of February 2, 2004, as distributed.

 

b.         Approval of payroll and bills payable

 

It is moved that the Board of Education approve the payroll and bills payable dated February 16, 2004, as follows:

 

Payroll

 

Gross Payroll January 23, 2004      1,359,445.28

 

Gross Payroll February 10, 2004    1,140,045.51

 

Bills Payable

 

Education                                           514,391.24

 

Operation & Maintenance                226,505.24

 

Transportation                                   205,873.58

 

 

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Site & Construction                               3,702.18

 

Life Safety                                              6,733.00         

 

Total Bills Payable                         957,205.24

                                                                          

c.         Approval of payroll and bills payable for the Career Preparation Network                                                                                                  

 

It is moved that the Board of Education approve the payroll and bills payable dated February 16, 2004, for the Career Preparation Network as follows:

 

Payroll  

 

Gross Payroll January 23, 2004                  5,260.92

 

Gross Payroll February 10, 2004                5,260.92

 

Bills Payable

 

Education                                              118,203.38        

                                              

d.         Approval of classified and exempt personnel report

 

It is moved that the Board of Education approve the classified and exempt personnel report listing new hires, leaves of absences, promotions, resignations, retirements, terminations, and transfers, as presented by the Superintendent, provided all the requirements of the State of Illinois are met.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-91 carried.

 

 

 

 

Minutes

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Student Representatives

 

Bryan Davis, Rich Central’s student representative, Latoiya Miller, Rich East’s student representative, Davie Scott, Rich South’s student representative, and Christian Smith, the Phoenix Campus student representative, reported on what was taking place at their campuses.

 

Mr. Cohn asked Bryan Davis what the student body at Rich Central was going to do at Rich Central to help students with the Prairie State Achievement Exam.  He asked him to report back at the next meeting with this information.

 

 

Financial Considerations

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a resolution providing for a real estate tax abatement for International Code Council (formerly BOCA).  Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-92)            It is moved that the Board of Education approve the Resolution Providing for Real Estate Tax Abatement for International Code Council (formerly BOCA) of Country Club Hills, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-29.

 

Mr. Cahill noted that this was a revision in an abatement agreement which had been previously approved in December, 2003.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-92 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a Matteson T.I.F. Intergovernmental Agreement.  Mr. Brunson moved and Mrs. Lohr seconded the following:

 

(04-93)            It is moved that the Board of Education adopt the Intergovernmental Tax Increment Redevelopment Project Agreement between the Village of Matteson and School District 227, all as pertains to Tax Increment Finance Areas (T.I.F.) I, II, and IV, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-30.

 

 

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Mr. Jasinevicius moved to table this item until a Budget and Finance Committee of the Whole could be scheduled to discuss the Intergovernmental Agreement in more detail.  Mrs. Owens requested a second.  There being no second, the motion died for lack of a second.

 

After discussion, Mrs. Owens called for a vote on the original motion.

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: Jasinevicius

 

Motion 04-93 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a Master Facility Plan Ad Hoc Committee.  Mr. Brunson moved and Mrs. Lohr seconded the following:

 

(04-94)            It is moved that the Board of Education authorize the creation of a Board Ad Hoc Master Facility Planning Committee made up of the chairpersons of Budget & Finance, Properties, and Long-Range Planning to prepare a plan for the adequate and safe housing of current and anticipated students through Fiscal Year 2010 and to report its findings, recommendations, and plan of action to the Board of Education no later than the June 2004 regular meeting, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-31.

 

Mr. Cahill noted that this committee would address the anticipated growth of students and the repair and replacement of various facilities in the District.

 

Dr. Knutson noted that there would be three school board members on the committee.  Meetings would be posted for the public, and any member of the public would be able to attend.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-94 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a Village of Matteson Impact Fee Hold Harmless Agreement.  Mr. Brunson moved and Mr. Cahill seconded the following:

 

 

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(04-95)            It is moved that the Board of Education approve the Impact Fee Hold Harmless Agreement between the Village of Matteson and the Rich Township High School District 227, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-32.

 

Mr. Cahill noted that, with the population growth, the Village of Matteson felt it was time to help out the schools and, therefore, they passed an impact fee ordinance.  The Village requires the benefitting taxing districts to “hold harmless” the Village in its collection of the fee on behalf of the taxing districts impacted by new residential development.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-95 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a school construction grant entitlement application.  Mr. Cohn moved and Mrs. Norwood seconded the following:

 

(04-96)            It is moved that the Board of Education authorize submission of a School Construction Grant Entitlement application with the Illinois State Board of Education to address the deteriorating state of district facilities, functional obsolescence of the Rich East campus, and the inadequate housing of students from all of the same, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-33.

 

Mr. Cahill noted that this grant entitlement application seeks in excess of $69,000,000 in funds to address the obsolescence of the Rich East campus and to add space to the South and Central campuses for anticipated enrollment growth.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

Motion 04-96 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cahill requested approval of a resolution authorizing legal counsel intervention in Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) cases.  Mrs. Norwood moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

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(04-97)            It is moved that the Board of Education adopt the attached resolution authorizing the District’s legal counsel to intervene on the District’s behalf on all matters pertaining to Property Tax Appeals Board (PTAB) cases, subject to advance administrative review, in accordance with Business Office Memorandum 04-34.

 

Mr. Cahill noted it was important for the District to be proactive regarding PTAB cases.  Without intervention, adverse PTAB decisions would most likely result in large losses for the District.

 

Mr. Cohn stated that the District should remember to set a reasonable budget for the legal fees.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-97 carried.

 

 

Personnel Office Report

 

Mr. Tandy requested approval of an administrative contract.  Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-98)            It is moved that the Board of Education approve the administrative contract of Jeffrey Craig as the principal at Rich East High School beginning July 1, 2004.

 

Mr. Tandy noted that Mr. Craig had gone through four extensive interviews and had done an extremely fine job.  A site visit to Davenport, Iowa, had confirmed that Mr. Craig was the best candidate for the position of principal at Rich East High School.  He recognized the members of the site visit team: Mr. Bean, Ms. Pawluk, Ms. Franklin, Mr. Greenberg, and Mr. Zaret.

 

Dr. Knutson stated he had been a part of the interview process, and that Mr. Craig was very tenacious on student achievement and school improvement. 

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunette, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-98 carried.


Minutes

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Mr. Craig was recognized.  He thanked the Board and district administration for the great opportunity to be Rich East’s principal.  He also thanked the visitation team.  He noted he had a great work ethic and will go the extra mile in his position.

 

Mr. Jasinevicius thanked Mr. Rabold for accepting the interim principalship at Rich East and for the good job he has done.

 

 

Mr. Tandy requested acceptance of a resignation.  Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Cohn seconded the following:

 

(04-99)            It is moved that the Board of Education accept the resignation of Superintendent Brian Knutson effective April 1, 2004.

 

Mr. Tandy and Mrs. Owens wished Dr. Knutson the best.

 

Mrs. Norwood and the rest of the Board stated they would welcome Dr. Knutson back for graduation 2005 so that he could give his daughter her diploma.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-99 carried.

 

 

Mr. Tandy requested approval of new teaching contracts.  Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-100)          It is moved that the President, Secretary and Superintendent be authorized to sign contracts as follows:

 

Part time

 

Rita Guritz                                .49 of Step 1, BA+15 Lane

Gwendolyn Sampson-Walski    .5028 of Step 1, BA Lane

Robert Vaughters                     .38 of Step 1, BA+15 Lane

Kathy Krebs                            .0906 of Step L, MA Lane

 

 

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Sixth Assignment

 

Nancy Spaniak             .1 of Step 15, MA Lane

JoAnn Wayne                           .1 of Step 15, MA Lane

Diane Habas                             .1 of Step 15, MA Lane

 

provided all the requirements of the State of Illinois and the North Central Association are met.

 

Mr. Tandy noted these contracts will help staffing needs, particularly by reducing class sizes.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-100 carried.

 

 

Report of the Director of Teaching and Learning

 

Mrs. Panega stated she had no report at this time.

 

 

Committee Reports

 

Mr. Jasinevicius reported on the Property Committee meeting of January 12, 2004.  Discussion had centered on the dance floor for the Rich South auditorium, enrollment growth in the District, the 20-year facility plan, and justification for the school construction grant.

 

In Mr. Burnette’s absence, Mr. Tandy reported on the Personnel Committee meeting of January 26, 2004.  He noted this had been a closed session on personnel matters.

 

Mr. Cohn reported on the Education Committee meeting of February 2, 2004.  He noted that Ms. Panega and the curriculum coordinators had distributed data on student achievement in math.  He stated that the District is increasing its academic requirements in the areas of math and science.  In addition, the District is getting close to choosing an assessment tool and very close to finalizing the technology plan.

 

Mr. Brunson reported on the Budget and Finance Committee meeting of February 2, 2004.  He

 

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stated that the committee had discussed the Matteson T.I.F. Intergovernmental Agreement.  Mr. Cahill had given a very comprehensive power point presentation.  The Budget and Finance Committee was unanimous in its approval of the Intergovernmental Agreement

 

Mrs. Norwood set a Policy Committee meeting for March 8 at 6:00 p.m. in the District Office.

 

Mr. Tandy, on behalf of Mr. Burnette, set a Personnel Committee meeting for 6:30 p.m. on

March 8 in the District Office.

 

Mr. Brunson set a Budget and Finance Committee meeting for 7:30 p.m. on March 8 in the District Office.

 

Mr. Cahill noted that one of the items on the Budget and Finance Committee’s agenda would be a discussion of the Master Facility Plan Ad Hoc Committee.

 

Mr. Cohn scheduled an Education Committee meeting for 6:30 p.m. on March 15 at Rich South.

 

 

Special Reports

 

Mrs. Lohr reported on the Board Members’ Night of January 29, 2004.  She stated it had been a very enjoyable night, which had been sponsored by the IASA and featured Ms. Gatlin, sister of the Gatlin Brothers.

 

Mr. Brunson reported on the Legislative Breakfast of February 7, 2004.  IASB-South Cook had sponsored the breakfast, and various legislators had been invited for discussion and questions. 

 

Mrs. Owens reported on the Scariano School Law Conference held on January 31, 2004.  She noted that Tony and Judy had attended with her, and they had received updated information pertaining to school law.

 

Mr. Jasinevicius reported on his attendance at a meeting with the City of Country Club Hills on January 31, 2004. He noted that the City of Country Club Hills discussed a development proposal for a casino complex at I80 and 167th Street.  The City of Country Club Hills wants school districts to pass a resolution in support of this development, including the casino. 

 

Mrs. Lohr reported on the Matteson Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Meeting.      She had attended the dinner meeting along with Mrs. Owens and Mr. Burnette.  Mrs. Lohr noted that Dr. Knutson had been recognized for his years of service on the Matteson Area Chamber Board.

 

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Report of the Superintendent

 

Dr. Knutson requested approval of Administrative and Exempt Staff salaries.  He noted the  salaries had been held up until after the teacher negotiations were settled.  These are increases in salaries for the current year.

 

Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-101)          It is moved that the Board of Education accept the Superintendent’s recommendation for the administrative and exempt staff compensation package for 2003-2004 in accordance with memorandum 02-16-04.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as following;

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Owens

Nay: None

Absent: Burnette, Norwood

 

Motion 04-101 carried.

 

 

Dr. Knutson informed the Board that the City of Country Club Hills was asking for the District’s support and possible signing of a resolution in support of economic development, including a casino in the City of Country Club Hills.  Mr. Jasinevicius noted that he supported economic development, but he would like the resolution to leave out the word “casino.”  The Board members discussed whether or not they wished to support Country Club Hills in its pursuit of this economic development, including a casino.  Mrs. Owens asked if anyone wished to make a motion.

 

Mr. Jasinevicius moved that the Board of Education support Country Club Hills in its pursuit of economic development and that it approve a resolution without “casino” in it.  Mrs. Owens requested a second.  There being no second, the motion died.

 

 

Report of the President

 

Mrs. Owens reminded the Board that the next regular Board meeting would take place on Monday, March 15, 2004, at 7:30 p.m. at Rich South.

 

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Mrs. Owens requested a closed session following the Board meeting to discuss student discipline matters and to discuss the appointment, employment, discipline, dismissal or compensation of an employee or officer.

 

 

New Business

 

Mrs. Lohr stated that she was resigning from the Board of Education effective Tuesday,

February 17.  She noted that it had not been an easy decision to make, but that she had been increasingly unhappy with the Board’s philosophy.  She stated she had spent nearly one-half her life as a Board member but felt it was important to step away from her role as a policymaker. 

 

Mrs. Owens responded that the Board certainly appreciated the 28 years Mrs. Lohr had given to the community as a Board member.  She asked the Board and the audience to give Mrs. Lohr a standing ovation in honor of her dedication as a Board member. 

 

Mrs. Owens read the School Code’s rules regarding replacement of a Board member mid-term.  She noted that the Regional Office of Education needs to be notified within 5 days, and the Board needs to appoint a replacement within 45 days.  Mrs. Owens stated that applications should be sent to the District Office, c/o Mrs. Betty Owens, School Board President. 

 

Mrs. Owens discussed the superintendent search.  She noted that the Illinois Association of School Boards had made a presentation to the Board of Education prior to the Board meeting and the IASB will be handling the search.  Ms. Donna Johnson and Ms. Dawn Miller will conduct interviews in the District regarding what staff members are looking for in a superintendent.

 

Mrs. Owens reported on the interim superintendent search.  She noted that applications for the position had been reviewed, and the Board will conduct interviews with candidates on Tuesday, February 24, 2004, at the District Office.  These interviews will be conducted in closed session.

 

 

Recognition of Citizens

 

Mr. Rodney Wilson was recognized.  He noted he is President of the Rich Central Football Booster Club.  He spoke on the article in the sports section of the “Star” regarding the change of

dates for football games because of the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. 

 

Dr. McDonald, Rich Central’s principal, responded that she would be meeting with the superintendent to discuss the situation and working toward resolving the issue.

 

 

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Ms. Robin Moore was recognized.  She noted she is President of the Rich Central Band Booster Club.  There are 100 students at Rich Central in band, and they are projecting 150 students for next year.  She stated that the band program is requesting additional funding for next year. 

 

Dr. Knutson responded that the Budget and Finance Committee would be meeting on March 8 to begin the budgeting process.

 

Mrs. Owens answered that Ms. Moore and the band boosters should put their request for funding in writing, specifically noting the band’s needs.

 

Mr. Fred Veazey was recognized.  He echoed Ms. Moore’s comment about the band.  He also noted he wanted to go back to the regular schedule for football games.

 

At 10:25 p.m. Mr. Cohn moved and Mrs. Norwood seconded the following:

 

(04-102)          It is moved that the Board of Education go into closed session to discuss student discipline matters and to discuss the appointment, employment, discipline, dismissal or compensation of an employee or officer.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-102 carried.

 

 

At 10:55 p.m. Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-103)          It is moved that the Board of Education reconvene its regular Board meeting.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-103 carried.

 


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At 10:56 p.m. Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-104)          It is moved that the Board of Education reconvene its closed session.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-104 carried.

 

At 11:20 p.m. Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Brunson seconded the following:

 

(04-105)          It is moved that the Board of Education reconvene its regular Board meeting.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-105 carried.

 

Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Cohn seconded the following:

 

(04-106)          It is moved that Student “B” discussed in closed session be expelled from Rich Township High Schools until the second semester of the 2004-2005 school year, but that the expulsion be held in abeyance pending attendance at the Ombudsman School and completion of an anger management seminar.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-106 carried.

 

 

Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Cohn seconded the following:

 

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(04-107)          It is moved that Student “C” discussed in closed session be expelled from Rich Township High Schools for the remainder of the 2003-2004 school year.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-107 carried.

 

 

Mr. Cohn moved and Mrs. Norwood seconded the following:

 

(04-108)          It is moved that the Board of Education contract with the Illinois Association of School Boards to do a superintendent search for a fee not to exceed $10,000.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-108 carried.

 

 

Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Cohn seconded the following:

 

()4-109)           It is moved that Dr. Brian Knutson, Superintendent, receive a salary increase of 3.75% for the 2003-2004 year.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-109 carried.

 

Mr. Cohn moved and Mrs. Lohr seconded the following:

 

(04-110)          It is moved that the Board of Education begin its search for an interim superintendent immediately.

 

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Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-110 carried.

 

 

At 11:25 p.m. Mrs. Lohr moved and Mr. Cohn seconded the following:

 

(04-111)          It is moved that the Board of Education adjourn its regular Board meeting.

 

Results of the roll call vote were as follows:

 

Aye: Brunson, Cohn, Jasinevicius, Lohr, Norwood, Owens

Nay: None

 

Motion 04-111 carried.

 

 

 

 

_____________________________________          ___________________________________

President                                                                      Secretary