October 2023 - Board of Education Report

October 2023 - Board of Education Report

A Board Report of the October 16, 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
October is National Principals Month, and we’re recognizing Butler School District 53’s two exceptional principals this month. Dr. Andrea Prola of Brook Forest Elementary, and Ms. Melissa Zaniewski of Butler Junior High have both had immense impacts on the District and have led their respective schools to be recognized by the National Blue Ribbon School Program.

School and Committee Updates

Brook Forest Elementary: 
Brook Forest Elementary’s October cruise ship port-of-call is Romania. The school will be learning about geography, cultures, and facts related to Romania. Celebrations will include special treats from Quest, and a trip to Build-a-Bear with the principal with students selected in a raffle drawing.

The Heart Healthy month for October is Stress Management. Students will have the opportunity to participate in learning activities that support strategies on living a positive lifestyle.

Brook Forest Elementary will also be participating in Global Read Aloud. The themes for this year include a feeling of belonging, kindness, and connections with the local and global community.

Additionally, the Board approved a proposal from Brook Forest Elementary students and Principal Prola to partner with the Hinsdale Humane Society’s Therapaws program. Therapaws visits will occur twice a month for approximately 1.5-2 hours. Therapeutic pet visits have been demonstrated to have stress-reducing effects on participants. Naturally, not all students are as familiar or comfortable with pets as others, so precautions will be taken to ensure a positive, safe experience for all students and staff. 

Looking forward, fourth graders students are hosting a Wax Museum for their families on Friday, October 27th, and Parent Teacher Conferences will take place at Brook Forest on Friday, November 3rd. Please be on the lookout for signup information later this month.

Butler Junior High
Fall MAP testing is complete, and results will be available in Otus later in October. Teachers will meet later this month to review MAP testing results and set goals based on students’ strengths and areas for improvement.

The 8th grade trip to D.C. over October 5-7 was a success. Special thanks go out to John Hamilton for making sure that trip runs smoothly every year.

In October, students will enjoy an outdoor education retreat at Fullersburg Woods, and a trip to the National Museum of Mexican Art in celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos).

Student Services Department
Dr. LaTonya Wilks updated the Board of Education on the Student Services Department (SSD). Professional development and growth is a long-term team goal for the SSD. Currently, staff are going through Crisis Prevention Intervention Training. This training will further address the social and emotional needs of students, and improve the deescalation strategies between staff and students.

The Referral GPS training is also being refreshed. The Referral GPS is a system the Dr. Wilks brought to the District. It provides behavioral health support that parents can utilize for outside therapeutic support.

The SSD is hosting a Child Find Preschool Screening event on November 17th from 9:00 - 12:00 at the Oak Brook Park District. This event for District 53 students aims to streamline the necessary support services and provide early intervention to our youngest learners.

Social workers at both schools continue to collaborate and share resources for Mental Health Fridays, which provides social and emotional support not only to staff, but also to parents and students.

Finally, if you missed the parent IEP bootcamp, the presentation is available for you. If you’d like to see the presentation, please reach out to Dr. Wilks at lwilks@butler53.com

Education: Committee of the Whole
The Education: Committee of the Whole met prior to the Board of Education meeting to discuss Otus, MAP data, and class sizes. The committee had an Otus webinar on the 5th of October to learn more about the platform and what it means for the District.

Looking forward, teachers will be able to upload more information, such as NTSS, to the Otus platform.

District Contracts Four Additional Paraprofessionals
The District has approved the contract for four paraprofessionals through EPIC Staffing. 

Paraprofessionals hired through staffing agencies are trained monthly by staff and closely evaluated to assure that they’re highly competent and meeting the District’s standards.

PTO Updates
PTO directory spots are now available to all PTO members! Parents who are interested can register their family on the PTO website. Registration dues are $35.

Looking forward to a certified-spooky end to the month of October, the PTO has numerous fantastic events planned:

  • The 2023 Trunk or Treat will take place October 27th. The PTO is calling all cars and trucks to decorate their trunks! Help our school's Ghouls and Goblins have a spooktacular Halloween! Sign up on the PTO’s website. 
  • Brook Forest Elementary will have classroom Halloween parties on October 31. Students are invited to wear their costumes to school, look for school info on costume guidelines. Kids will have fun playing games and celebrating the spooky day.
  • Brook Forest Elementary will have a Special Lunch on October 27. Order forms will be going home with students next week.
  • Butler Junior High will enjoy a Special Lunch November 10.
  • The Halloween Sock Hop will take place October 27 at Butler Junior High. Save the date for the after school party. More details will come soon, so make sure to follow the PTO to stay up to date.
  • The Butler Junior High Annual Book Fair is coming on November 9 from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Upcoming Board of Education and Committee Meetings
Infrastructure Committee: November 9, 9:00 A.M.
Finance Committee: November 10, 9:00 A.M.
Education: Committee of the Whole: November 13, 4:30 P.M.
Board of Education: November 13, 6:30 P.M.