September 2023 - Board of Education Report

September 2023 - Board of Education Report

A Board Report of the September 11, 2023 Board of Education meeting

This Board of Education meeting was held in the boardroom at 2801 York Road, Oak Brook, Illinois 60523; the regular meeting place. The public can attend Board of Education meetings in person, access an audio livestream of the meeting on the District’s website, or listen to meeting recordings that are uploaded to the District’s website within the meeting week.

District Updates
The Butler School District 53 Board of Education is thrilled to welcome the community back to its schools for the new school year. Students, parents, staff, and administrators — we are delighted to see your faces in our recently-renovated buildings.

Our District’s staff is ready to welcome students back in pursuit of another exceptional year of learning and growth. District initiatives this year include further utilizing personalized learning plans, leveraging learning data to improve our teaching, continuing to implement the Otus gradebook, and much more.

In addition, the District will be enhancing communications sent to the community, as well as transitioning to Parent Square to facilitate even greater engagement from our students’ families.

It’s going to be a great year, and we look forward to working, learning, and growing alongside our students and families.

Oak Brook Education Association and BOE Ratify Collective Bargaining Agreement
Following a highly-collaborative process, an agreement has been reached for a new three-year contract for District teachers. The Board of Education ratified the agreement during the September 11 Board meeting.

During the process of reaching an agreement, the Board dedicated time to understanding the needs of District staff. By evaluating shortcomings of the existing agreement and prioritizing the measures that will retain the District’s greatest assets—our exceptional teaching staff—both groups were able to benefit from the new agreement.

Key items of the agreement include salary adjustments to attract and retain quality educators, measures to encourage extracurricular activity assignments such as coaching, and removing limitations on teachers’ continued education.

In addition to the outstanding collaboration between the Board of Education and the Oak Brook Education Association, the groups enjoyed noteworthy support from Superintendent Dr. Paul O’Malley, District accountant Jerry White, District treasurer Dr. Jerry Brendel, and Business Coordinator Sandi Moore.

The new agreement will last until 2026.

Infrastructure Committee Updates
As students return to school, Phase II of the District’s Capital Improvements Vision project nears completion. Phase III of the project will be put out for bidding in October, giving ample time for preparation ahead of the 2024 summer months.

At Brook Forest Elementary, work in Phase III will include renovations in the basement and the installation of water service for a new sprinkler system. At Butler Junior High, Phase III work will focus on the basement, elevator shaft, and more.

School Reports and Updates on Upcoming Events

Brook Forest Elementary
Principal Andrea Prola updated the Board on news from Brook Forest Elementary. Students will be learning about the geography and culture of Australia during the month of September, and have a heart-healthy focus on water and its benefits to the body.

As the academic year gets underway, students in grades 2-5 will participate in NWEA reading and math assessments on September 12-13. Likewise, students in grade 1 will participate in the NWEA math assessment the same days. Students in Kindergarten will also participate in NWEA math testing in September.

Finally, students and families are invited to Curriculum Night on September 21 from 5:00-8:25 P.M. Additionally, Friday, September 22, and Friday, October 6 will both be early dismissal days. School will end at 11:50 A.M. these days.

Butler Junior High
Butler Junior High is equally excited to welcome students back for the school year. BJH students will participate in NWEA math and reading testing on September 27-28.

Parents are invited to Butler Junior High on September 27 from 6:30-8:00 P.M. for Curriculum Night, as well as a Student Safety presentation.

Finally, eighth graders are already looking forward to the annual Washington D.C. trip. The trip will take place October 5-8.

Student Services Department
The Student Services Department is looking forward to another exciting, empowering year. The new spaces for the Student Services department are being prepared for exceptional learning experiences.

The Student Services Department’s Instructional Learning Classroom (ILC) at Butler Junior High is one of the department’s main focuses. Through this space, the Student Services Department will improve academic, life, vocational, and social-emotional learning skills of all ILC students. Currently, there are five students enrolled in the ILC program, although more are expected to join.

Looking forward, the Department’s goals for the year include supporting the IDEA grant, increasing family engagement, and increasing collaboration between general- and special-education staff to level the playing field for special education, ELL, and 504 students.

District Budget Approved for the 2023-2024 School Year
The Board adopted the 2023-2024 legal budget as recommended by the Finance Committee and the Superintendent. Jim White, the District’s accountant, briefed the Board on the budget, including the following details:

The District is budgeting $14.1 million in operating revenue, mainly coming from property taxes. Property taxes account for 86% of the District’s revenue.

The District’s interest income has risen due to the high-interest rate environment. Interest income remains a relatively small portion of the District’s revenue, accounting for about 2% of income.

The District is budgeting $13.3 million in operating expenditures. Over 76% of that is spent on salary and benefits.

Debt services of just over $1.1 million pay for the bonds the District issues to fund the Capital Improvements Vision project.

The District’s budget remains well within the recommendations of the Illinois State Board of Education and the District 53 Board of Education.

The next budget process will begin in the spring.

District Welcomes New Teachers to Brook Forest and Butler Junior High
The Board approved the employment of Mrs. Julie Boyle and Mr. Kenneth Shum. Mrs. Boyle joins the Brook Forest teaching staff as a second grade teacher with more than 15 years of teaching experience. Mr. Shum joins the Butler Junior High School teaching staff as the FMLA science teacher and building substitute on an as needed basis with experience in middle school science, mathematics and business. 

PTO Welcomes Students and Parents Back For Another Great Year
It may be early, but the PTO is already ramping up for great events and clubs. On Thursday, September 14th, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream in Oak Brook Center will donate 25% of all sales to the PTO. Make sure to mention “Butler School District 53 Ice Cream Social” at the checkout counter!

Clubs at Brook Forest Elementary are already upon us! Mark your calendars for the following clubs:

  • Chess Club - Thursdays, beginning September 21
  • Golf Club - Mondays, beginning September 16
  • Spanish Club - Tuesdays, beginning September 19

Finally, students and families are welcomed to the Brook Forest Book Fair on Thursday, September 28 in the gym during school hours.

The first PTO meeting of the year will take place on Wednesday, October 4. Parents who want to get involved with the PTO should visit the PTO table at Butler Junior High and Brook Forest Elementary Curriculum Nights, or reach out to

Upcoming Board of Education, and Committee Meetings
Education: Committee of the Whole Meeting - October 16, 2023 at 4:30PM
Regular Board of Education - October 16, 2023 at 6:30PM. (Please note that this is the third Monday of the month due to the holiday on Oct. 9)