November 2023 - Board of Education Report

November 2023 - Board of Education Report

A Board Report of the November 13, 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.

Board Reviews 2024 Tax Levy Presentation
The Board adopted a resolution regarding the estimated amounts necessary to be levied for the year 2023. Under the Truth in Taxation Law, the District is required to determine the official amounts necessary to be levied for a given year at least 20 days ahead of the official adoption of the aggregate tax levy. 

The District will have a public levy hearing prior to the regularly scheduled meeting on December 11, 2023. An announcement for the public levy hearing will be made in a local publication no later than December 4, 2023.

About the District’s Tax Levy
The levy process occurs once a year, and is absolutely vital for Butler School District 53. Property taxes from the levy account for roughly 90% of the District’s revenue, and requesting the right amount is critical for paying administrative costs, paying salaries, and ultimately providing students with an outstanding education.

The aggregate levy is the total amount that the District requests from the County Clerk’s office. The Property Tax Extension Limitation Law (PTELL), passed in 1991, limits the amount of property tax funding that a school district can receive.

The aggregate extension is the total amount of funding that the District receives from the County Clerk’s office. The aggregate extension is approximately the previous year’s extension, multiplied by the CPI increase, which is typically around 1-2.5%. While inflationary effects have subsided, they are not back to ‘normal’ level. As a result, the CPI is expected to exceed 5%, which is the cap for how much the District can receive, as established by PTELL.

District Academic Performance Continues to Impress
The District’s Annual Student Achievement and Performance report illustrated the numerous indicators and trends of academic proficiency, school quality, and student success. The District has outperformed all the historically designated comparable schools considering ELA and Math comprehensively.

Highlights from the report include:

  • ELA proficiency on the IAR is reported at 80% for the District, as compared to 35% for the State.
  • When comparing combined Math IAR, the District is well positioned in the top tier of similarly situated districts with 74% of students performing at or above expectations.
  • IAR Math proficiency District-wide is reported at 72% as compared to 27% at the State.
  • Science achievement consistently measured at 92% proficiency.
  • ISBE has designated Brook Forest Elementary School and Butler Junior High School as Commendable schools, having no underperforming student groups.

Moving forward, the District will continue to cultivate an environment of growth and academic excellence, while also combatting recent increases in chronic absenteeism. Overall, the data convincingly substantiate the academic health of the District.

Board Approves Renewal of Strategic Plan
The Board approved the renewal of the District’s strategic plan. The District last rebooted the strategic plan when Superintendent O’Malley came to the District five years ago. It was a comprehensive process taking dozens of criteria into consideration, and the District has accomplished each of those points since that time.

Of the numerous points the strategic plan addressed, Dr. O’Malley noted the adoption of the Otus system. The implementation of this system will provide significant assistance for personalizing the student learning experience and driving increasingly impressive academic results in the District.

Demographic Study Confirms Projected Growth for District
A demographic study of the District's enrollment area was completed. The study confirmed the findings of a previous study conducted prior to Phase I of the Capital Improvements and Vision project. 

Despite some demographic shifts and aging trends in the broader area, the study suggests that District enrollments are expected to slowly increase, rebounding from the slight decline during COVID-19. The report also recommends periodic updates using live birth record counts and geocoded student data for more accurate enrollment projections.

School and Student Services Department Updates

Brook Forest Elementary: 
Principal Andrea Prola updated the Board on Brook Forest Elementary’s recent activities and upcoming events.

  • Brook Forest Elementary students enjoyed a presentation on how to become a bully-free school by professional speaker and BMX rider Matt Wilhelm. Special thanks to the Butler 53 PTO for sponsoring this event!
  • The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is an assessment that measures reasoning skills with different types of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal questions. Students in 2nd and 4th Grade classrooms will take the CoGAT assessment during school hours on November 15, 16, and 17. Parents can contact Brook Forest Elementary’s school psychologist, Taylor Harris, with questions.
  • Brook Forest Elementary will be hosting Mindfulness Night on Wednesday, November 15 from 5:15-6:30 P.M., and students in grade levels 2 & 3 will have their evening musical performance at Brook Forest on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 P.M.

Butler Junior High
Principal Melissa Zaniewski updated the Board on recent and upcoming events for Butler Junior High students.

  • The Butler Junior High newspaper, featuring articles written by students, is available for parents to view online.
  • Retired Officer Jeff Bean met with all students during the first quarter to discuss online safety. Parents can view a video from Jeff for a recap of what he discussed and to learn about topics they can discuss with their children at home.
  • Congratulations to the following Butler Junior High students for being accepted to and taking part in the 2023 ILMEA District 1 Junior Music Festival November 4th:
    • Gayatri Gaddikeri, Soprano, Junior Chorus
    • Ivanka Guo, Soprano, Junior Chorus
    • Amira Kapadia, Trumpet, Junior Band
    • Vedika Kotwal, Soprano, Junior Chorus
    • Kyle Lin, Saxophone, Junior Band and Junior Jazz Band I
  • At the 2023 Chicagoland 4x5 Show, Butler Jr. High took first place in both the 2D Traditional Media and 3D sculpture categories. The school had a group of students recognized for Honorable Mentions for the 2D Traditional Media category as well.
  • The Math Team kicked off their season with a 2nd place finish at the Fenwick competition. The team scored 211 points, missing 1st place by only 4 points.

Student Services Department
Given the current enrollment and to effectively plan for new enrollees, Butler School District 53 special education team has determined that Brook Forest Elementary is in need of a full-time-equivalent teacher. Brook Forest will mirror the Instructional Learning Classroom (ILC) Model currently in place at Butler Junior High. The Board of Education A comprehensive presentation on the Workload Plan was given by the Student Services Department.

Having dedicated teachers at Brook Forest and Butler Junior High for the 2024-2025 school year will allow the dedicated resource teachers to provide more instruction in the general education setting. In turn, this creates an overall least restrictive continuum model of instruction at both District schools.

The Workload Plan makes recommendations on the workload of the special educators employed by Butler School District 53 so that all services required under students’ individualized education plans (IEPs), as well as all needed ancillary and support services, can be provided at the appropriate level of intensity.

The Workload Plan outlines components to consider when evaluating workload responsibilities. It is not intended to quantify the components of workload. The plan is intended to help key stakeholders examine the factors contributing to the workload of the special educators.

PTO Updates
Brook Forest’s Halloween Class Parties and Trunk or Treat events were a big hit with students. Thank you to all the parents who volunteered with these special events. At Butler Junior High, the Halloween Sock Hop and Annual Book Fair were great successes. Thanks to everyone who helped organize these events and purchased books.

Looking forward, the Parent Social has been scheduled for Friday, February 2. This is the biggest event of the year. This year’s theme is Hollywood — parents are invited to dress up as their favorite Hollywood icon. More information will be distributed soon.

The Hinsdale Central Parent Transition Advisory is open to all and current 8th grade families who want to learn more about Hinsdale Central High School. A panel of former Butler grads and Hinsdale Central students will be offering suggestions and advising 8th graders and parents on class selections, activities, and other student topics. This event will take place on Sunday, December 10 at 1:00 P.M. in the Oak Brook Library meeting room.

Finally, the PTO is still looking for volunteers for the:

  • Sponsor Committee
  • Golf volunteers
  • The 2025 Carnival Committee

Parents who are interested in learning more or getting involved can contact the PTO at or visit the PTO’s website,

Upcoming Board of Education Meeting
Board of Education: December 11, 6:30 P.M.