Board of Education Briefs – March 7, 2016

Highlights from the March 7, 2016
District 66 Board of Education meeting

Formation of Community Advisory Group (CAG)
The Board of Education is establishing a Community Advisory Group (CAG) in order to engage our community members so that a variety of voices and perspectives are considered in the decision making process at Center Cass District 66.

The membership of the CAG will be comprised of 25 – 35 community members, teachers, the superintendent, building principals, and board of education members.

The CAG will serve two vital roles in their capacity as an advisory group:

  • To serve as advisors to the school board members by reviewing, assessing, and reporting on issues that are identified by the Board of Education.
  • To serve as ambassadors of District 66 to the district-wide community so that more residents are apprised of and a part of the success of our District’s goals.

The CAG will meet quarterly with potential sub-committees working as needed. The BOE will identify topics for the CAG to study and will then listen to the input from this group. The two initial topics that the CAG will study are 1) community engagement, and 2) facility development that is aligned with student achievement. Both of these study topics come directly from the District’s 2014-19 Strategic Plan.

Facility Master Plan
A Facility Master Plan is a dynamic building-by-building “road map” for future facility improvements across the district.
Wight & Co. provided an in-depth presentation for the Board of Education on their progress on the Facility Master Planning process. To date, the Facility Needs Assessment has been updated and a Visioning Session was held with teachers and administrators from each of the schools. Please click here for more information and to view the presentation. The Facility Master Plan will be the centerpiece of the Community Connection event on March 21 from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Prairiview Elementary School.

Recognition/Celebration
The Board of Education publicly recognized the outstanding success of the Lakeview Jr. High Spartan Showcase that took place on March 2, 2016. Erika Myers, Jake Little, Liz Schwenkel, Becky Foellmer, Jessica Everaert, Joy DeFors, Kristy Mixon, Tiffany Hitt, Shannon Hayes, and Joyce Wilson were recognized for their significant commitment of time and talent that made this event possible.

Professional Development
Karen Onorato, Shannon Hayes, Jake Little, and Dr. Arnold participated in a district assessment at a high-performing suburban school district. The district assessment was led by Mark Van Clay of CEC on February 17-19, 2016. These teachers were commended for their efforts to participate in this type of professional development in conjunction with taking the additional time to plan for their students while they attended the district assessment. Mrs. Onorato and Mrs. Hayes shared their views of this assessment.

Special Education/Summer School Update
Director of Student Services, Kim Liles, presented on the following topics:

  • Special Education Trends
  • Future Early Childhood/Pre-K Needs
  • Reinventing Summer Enrichment Classes
  • Targeted Summer School Classes

Mrs. Liles stated that we currently have 18 students enrolled in the Early Childhood program, 10 three-year-old Pre-K students, and 16 four-year-old Pre-K students with a wait list and a growing need to expand. A proposed timeline was provided with an expanded Early Childhood/Pre-K program to take effect in August 2017. The Board of Education suggested we consider whether or not this expansion could take place as soon as the 2016-17 school year. Currently there is a waiting list, however it may be necessary to complete a survey of interest for the 2016-17 school year. Click here for the Early Childhood presentation.

Mrs. Liles also reviewed a survey from 182 parents who shared feedback regarding our Enrichment Summer School program. Some suggestions included STEM, foreign language, and keyboarding. An increase in fees will be required to cover the additional costs. Our Enrichment Summer School program is scheduled for June 6th through June 24th, provided we do not use any emergency closing days.

Targeted Summer School for reading and math will be June 27th through July 29th. Mrs. Liles would like to see this expanded to sixth and seventh grade students next year.

Shared Services
Dr. Arnold shared with the Board the need to create new partnerships between District 66 and neighboring school districts, cooperatives, and/or local municipalities.

TEAM 66 Request
The TEAM 66 Education Foundation was granted the use of Elizabeth Ide School grounds for the purpose of hosting a community circus in September, 2016.


The public is welcome to attend any Board of Education Meeting. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview Elementary School, 699 Plainfield Road, Downers Grove, IL.

Upcoming Meetings:

March 21, 2016: Center Cass Community Connection, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at Prairieview
April 11, 2016: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
April 25, 2016: Committee of the Whole Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
May 9, 2016: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
May 23, 2016: Committee of the Whole Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
June 13, 2016: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview
June 27, 2016: Committee of the Whole Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Prairieview