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August 2, 2007




AUGUST 2, 2007




The Education Committee of the Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met on August 2, 2007, in the Board Room at the District Administrative Center, Olympia Fields, Illinois.


Mrs. Brookins called the meeting to order at 6:08 p.m.


Present: Brookins (Chair), Imoukhuede (Member), Moten (Member)


Also Present: Mr. Hunigan, Mrs. Treichel, Dr. Leak, Mr. Sterling, Ms. Malak, Ms. Freeman, Mr. Abrams, Dr. McDonald, Ms. Washington, Mr. Pfau


Summer School


Ms. Lauren Freeman, Summer School Director for 2007, presented a report on Summer School 2007.  She noted a more comprehensive report will be given at the September 2007 Board meeting.  Mr. Imoukhuede reminded Ms. Freeman that the Board members would like to receive the information prior to the Board meeting. 


Ms. Freeman noted that the budget figures will be presented at the September meeting.  Mr. Hunigan added that he will follow up with Mr. Hampton regarding coding of funds for Summer School. 


Dr. McDonald stated that the Driver’s Education component will be part of the report.


Mrs. Brookins asked Ms. Freeman about discipline in summer school.  She responded that first semester was good.  In second semester, there was a different mood with the students, and there were some discipline issues. 


Ms. Freeman stated that the district used two different transportation systems for summer school.  Mrs. Moten asked Ms. Freeman to look into why there was an increase in transportation costs.  Mr. Hunigan noted that he will get back to the Board on that question.


Ms. Freeman stated that the summer school teachers were wonderful.  There was a problem with so many students enrolling in Algebra and English 9.  She noted she would have appreciated being notified from the campuses that these students would be coming to summer school.


Mr. Imoukhuede noted that District 159 has a different school calendar.  He asked about coordinating our summer school calendar with the foundation school calendars.

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Mr. Hunigan responded that we deal with so many foundation districts that it is difficult to coordinate a calendar with all of them.


Dr. Leak noted that for District 227 to get in a full summer school and give counselors time to input grades, if we try to hold off for another week we won’t be able to get the grades in.  She added that the students were given the opportunity to miss two days.



School Restructuring Plans


Ms. Malak, the Associate Principal for Teaching and Learning at Rich Central, talked about the restructuring changes being made at Rich Central.  Mr. Abrams, the Instructional Leader for Science at Rich East, discussed the restructuring changes taking place at Rich East.  Mr. Sterling, the Associate Principal for Teaching and Learning at Rich South, noted the restructuring changes being made at Rich South.


Dr. Leak noted that nothing has changed in the restructuring plans since the last time they were brought before the Education Committee.  The plans just needed to again be presented within the 45 day window.


Mrs. Brookins mentioned that she would like alternative methods for Keytrain to be explored.  Ms. Malak noted that there will be time to do some exploring regarding Keytrain during the advisory period.


Mr. Abrams talked about the gender specific classes that are going to be offered at Rich East.  He noted that during the Mandatory Meetings at Rich East many parents asked about the classes.  Mr. Abrams noted that only core classes and only freshman classes would be gender specific, i.e., math, science, English, social studies.  Advisories would also be gender specific as well as physical education, which has always been gender specific.  He noted that parents were in favor of gender specific classes.


Mr. Imoukhuede asked for the specific data that led us to adopt these gender specific classes.


Mr. Hunigan noted he will share studies which have been done in other districts.


Mr. Sterling noted that, at Rich South, a random 25 students will be grouped together as a cohort for all their classes. 


Mrs. Brookins asked if four-year plans are being set by the counselors.


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Mr. Hunigan responded that this will be discussed in the Administrative Retreat scheduled for Friday, August 3.


Mr. Hunigan stated that the District will be increasing its numbers in evening school to 125.



English Curriculum


Mrs. Brookins noted that a parent had brought up a concern at a board meeting regarding the use of the “N” word.  She stated that use of this word flowed through the books the students were asked to read.


Dr. Leak handed out a list of novels which the students are given in their various courses.  The Administrative Team will be reading the books to denote which books have the “N” word in them.  She noted that it is her recommendation to set up a commission to look at the books at each grade level.


Mr. Imoukhuede and Ms. Moten were not sure whether parents and students should be part of this commission. 


Dr. Leak noted that the Board could make the reading list a part of the student forum. 



Gifted Students Programming


Mr. Hunigan brought up that one of the foundation schools had requested that its honors and gifted students all be placed at one District high school so the students could go through school together.  He noted this would have to go to the Policy Committee for discussion. 


Mr. Imoukhuede asked about added costs and what benefit the District would see from this change.


Mr. Hunigan responded that it would help us become more consistent with our numbers for our classes.


Dr. Leak added that these students have been together for many years and have their minds set on achievement. 


Mrs. Moten asked about getting data from District 159 students since those students stay together in high school.  She noted this is something the District could consider for next year.

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Mrs. Brookins suggested the Education Committee continue this discussion after the data has been collected.


Mrs. Brookins asked about training of substitute teachers.  Dr. McDonald responded that this will be part of the Administrative Retreat scheduled for August 3.  She will have more information after the retreat.  The substitutes will be trained prior to the start of school.


Mrs. Brookins asked how the students who took the AP classes faired on the AP exams.  Dr. Leak responded that she does not have this data yet.  As soon as it is received, she will share it with the Education Committee.


Mrs. Brookins asked about vocational education.  Mr. Hunigan suggested vocational education be part of the Education Committee’s agenda in October.  There is a new person in charge of vocational education, and she needs to have a chance to orient herself to her position.


At 8:23 p.m. Mrs. Brookins adjourned the meeting.