October 2, 2007
RICH TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT 227
COMMUNITY RELATIONS AND LONG-RANGE PLANNING COMMITTEE
OCTOBER 2, 2007
The Community Relations and Long-Range Planning Committee of the Board of Education of Rich Township High School District 227 met on October 2, 2007, in the Board Room at the District Administrative Center, Olympia Fields, Illinois.
Mr. Imoukhuede called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Present: Imoukhuede (Chair), Norwood (Member), Owens (Member 6:40 p.m
Also Present: Brunson, Brookins, Moten (7:00 p.m.), Mr. Hunigan, Mrs. Treichel
Mr. Imoukhuede began with a discussion of the current Strategic Plan. He asked Board members to take the Strategic Plan home and review it and see where we are.
Mr. Imoukhuede brought up the development of a five-year vision for the District. Mr. Hunigan noted that one of his personal goals for the District is the development of a five-year vision. We need to look at a proposal to update the Strategic Plan.
Mr. Brunson noted that no audience members are present at this Community Relations meeting.
Mr. Hunigan reminded the Board members that there was an Olympia Fields Education Commission meeting taking place at the same time as this meeting.
Mr. Imoukhuede noted that he did not agree with having one of our Board members serving as a liaison for another organization. Mrs. Brookins agreed with Mr. Imoukhuede. She noted the Board members had enough meetings to attend.
Mrs. Brookins stated that the District needs to communicate when our meetings are taking place.
Mr. Imoukhuede brought up that the Village of Matteson has a television spot. Anything related to schools can be televised.
Mrs. Brookins mentioned that the District needs to research how it is reaching out to every community.
Mrs. Owens asked that a list be drawn up so that information can be given to all community groups including homeowners associations, parent groups, churches, etc.
Mr. Brunson mentioned that there used to be a group of Key Communicators.
Mr. Hunigan noted that the District is developing a marketing plan. We need to reach out to all groups.
Mrs. Owens mentioned including the District’s website in its communications.
Mr. Imoukhuede asked the District to research the use of electronic textbooks.
Mrs. Brookins asked if the District was considering building a field house and whether it was looking at the purchase of land.
Mrs. Norwood responded that she will have the data on vacant land on Tuesday at the Property Committee meeting.
Mrs. Owens suggested the District research grants for field houses and community centers.
Mr. Imoukhuede mentioned that the Village of Matteson was looking at partnerships for the building of a swimming pool.
Mr. Imoukhuede brought up the scheduling of a Community Forum.
Mrs. Brookins noted that she does not want to see the same format used – the round robin format. She noted there need to be fewer topics so adequate time can be spent with each topic.
Mrs. Owens noted that we need a more experienced facilitator – someone more informed about our District.
Mrs. Moten added that each community has different issues.
Mrs. Owens noted that we need to have a total district forum. Each campus is too protective of its own space. We do need to gather information from each community.
Mrs. Brookins stated that whatever building the forum is held at, that is the group that attends the forum. The Board should have three community forums a year.
Mrs. Owens suggested a neutral place. She suggested maybe having a raffle, door prizes, a reception.
Mrs. Norwood stated it was her feeling that the District should go with three community forums.
Mr. Imoukhuede noted that three forums would be the way to go. Possibly the Board could do all three forums within the space of 2 or 3 weeks. The forums could be listening sessions. The President would make the welcome address, the Superintendent could note where the District is going, and the groups could break up into discussion groups. Let the people tell the Board what they feel about the District.
Mrs. Owens suggested the Superintendent come back to the Community Relations committee with a plan.
Mr. Hunigan noted that he is hearing what the committee members state they are trying to accomplish with the Forum. He noted that if there is no structure, the Forum will not be constructive. The Forum needs to be focused in such a way that there are specific topics. A recorder would write down the ideas that are expressed. The Forums could take place at the campuses.
Mrs. Brookins added the Board could have the Forums in the Auditoriums and the Little Theatre. The people would not need to move to classrooms.
Mr. Hunigan asked what the Committee wants as an outcome.
Mr. Imoukhuede noted that the Committee wants to hear the voice of the people.
Mrs. Owens responded that the Committee needs to know what the community wants for this District for the next five years.
Mrs. Moten stated that we have that information from the last forum.
Mrs. Norwood responded that the Board needs to send a message to the community members that they were heard.
Mr. Hunigan noted that the Board has done this in the areas of technology.
Mrs. Owens suggested that the Board hire Mr. Gatta again to work with the District. She also suggested the District ask the demographer to come back. We need data to support any proposed expansion of the schools.
Mr. Imoukhuede added that it was important to have developers dedicate land for a new school.
Mrs. Moten noted that all this should be leading up to a referendum.
Mr. Hunigan responded that the District needs to change the achievement issue before it talks about a referendum.
Mrs. Owens noted that the District needs money for construction projects from our legislators.
Mr. Imoukhuede added that we need our representatives to help us.
Mr. Hunigan noted that he will work with Mr. Imoukhuede to schedule a series of meetings at the schools. Regarding the construction grant, we are in a new cycle. We received the money for the auditorium.
On another issue, Mrs. Brookins asked where we were regarding including a community service element in our graduation requirements. She also asked about having a student sit on our Board of Education.
Mr. Imoukhuede noted the District already had Board representatives.
Mrs. Brookins stated she was talking about having a student directly on the Board.
Mr. Brunson suggested that a student representative attend the IASB convention in Chicago.
Mrs. Owens noted the Board would have to look into the issue of having a student join the Board at the table. She definitely wanted the community service part in the graduation requirements.
Mrs. Owens brought up a possibility of Board members being involved in an “Adopt a School” concept. Two Board members would be responsible for keeping up with activities at each school and attending school meetings, including PTSO meetings. The seventh individual could attend any of the meetings.
Mrs. Brookins asked to be the 7th person. She stated she would like to rotate PTSO meetings in the District.
Mr. Hunigan noted he liked the concept, but the Board should approach the concept with caution. It is very important for the Board to stay on the balcony. It is hard to stay on the balcony when members are in the schools.
Mrs. Owens responded that this would be just to show interest.
Mr. Brunson noted that Mrs. Owens’ idea had value.
Mrs. Moten brought up the TAB (Teacher/Administrator/Board) meetings. These used to be scheduled with the RTHSEA. Mr. Hunigan will look into this.
At 7:50 p.m. Mr. Imoukhuede adjourned the Community Relations and Long-Range Planning Committee meeting.