December 2023 - Board of Education Report

December 2023 - Board of Education Report

A Board Report of the December 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’s Audited Financial Statements Receive Clean Opinion
The auditing firm, Lauterbach & Amen, provided the District with a clean opinion — the highest opinion that the District could receive. It essentially says that there were no issues with internal controls for the District’s finances.

The District's combined fund balances as of June 30, 2023 were $21,937,696, a decrease from 2022’s fund balance of $26,696,008. The decrease is the result of planned spend-down of bond proceeds for the District’s current multi-year Capital Improvements and Vision Project.

Expenses for the year were $16,261,000, 93.2% of which were for instruction and support services.

Adoption of Resolution to Levy Property Taxes for 2023
The Board adopted the Resolution to Levy Property Taxes for 2023, as recommended by the Board of Education, Dr. Paul O’Malley, the District’s Superintendent, and Jerry Brendel, the District’s Treasurer. The levy, which accounts for the vast majority of the District’s funding, requests a total of $12,583,480, which can be further broken down into the following items:

  • Educational funds: $10,456,873
  • Operational and maintenance funds: $1,472,267
  • Transportation funds: $503,339
  • Municipal retirement funds: $12,583
  • Social security funds: $138,418

The District’s capital improvements plans are being paid for with debt service bonds, a distinctly different funding source than levied taxes..

Capital Improvements and Visions Project Bids Awarded
The Board awarded the bid contracts for Phase III of the Capital Improvements and Vision project. The project was put out to bid on October 9. Since then, over 2,000 trade contractors were notified and sent invitations to bid for the project.

Cordogan Clark Associates, the District’s architect, proceeded to do project scope reviews with the companies behind the best bids and reviewed their qualification statements and references before making the final recommendation to the Board.

In addition, the Board approved bid packages for life safety, security, mechanical, and electrical work as recommended by the District’s architect, Cordogan Clark Associates. The additional work includes a new mechanical system, air handling unit pump and chiller replacement, boiler plant, intercom and paging system, refurbished air handling unit at Butler Junior High, and window filament for all first floor windows at both buildings. Also included is the rework of the Brook Forest Elementary School exterior lighting controls, and retrofitting the Building Automation Systems and controls at both schools.

Given the time frame, the Board elected to approve the bid packages recommended by the architect, as the cost to perform the same work is expected to quickly escalate by approximately 20% in the coming months.

District Schools Undergo Security Audit
As a layered approach to safety and security the District has a safety audit performed each year. This year The Regional Office of Education provided this audit. The goal is to improve school safety compliance, build community competence through committed leaders, and increase the District’s community-wide expertise in the prevention of school violence.

The review of the safety and security included a walkthrough of all buildings, discussion with Butler 53 school administration and front office staff, and a review of the procedures, system, process, technology and security equipment.

While the District is in a good position, the Board, administrators, and Superintendent O’Malley will continue to seek improvements to school safety.

School and Student Services Department Updates

Brook Forest Elementary
Brook Forest was the #2 elementary school in Illinois in 2023, making it one of the U.S. News Best Elementary Schools for 2024. The rankings were based on publicly available data points, including state assessments of student proficiency.

Brook Forest Elementary received this honor based upon our school's low student/teacher ratio, high math and reading proficiency, diverse student population, and the experience of our teachers. The District is so proud of this recognition that highlights the. innovation and hard work of our students, faculty and staff.

Upcoming events at Brook Forest Elementary include:

  • 7 P.M. Wednesday, December 13 - Mrs. Marsala will be conducting a Band and Choir Concert
  • Thursday, December 21 - Fifth grade students will be participating in a field trip to the Oak Brook Public Library
  • December 11-20 - During Brook Forest Elementary’s annual Toy and Mitten Tree Drive, students can bring in new mittens, gloves, hats, and scarves to donate, as well as new and unwrapped toys.
  • Friday, December 22 - PTO will be collaborating with teachers to host Winter Parties for students at Brook Forest Elementary.

Butler Junior High
In November, Butler Junior High 6th grade students visited the Museum of Science and Industry to build connections to their unit about the subsystems within the human body. This trip helped our students explore real-life applications of class content.

Butler Junior High students and staff also participated in Feed My Starving Children. As a school we packed 106 boxes, containing 22,896 meals — enough to feed 62 children for an entire year.

Upcoming events at Butler Junior High include:

  • Friday, December 22 - The longstanding tradition of holding the school talent show the day before winter break continues. The school is looking forward to seeing performances from our talented students.

Student Services Department
The Butler Junior High Student Services Team is enhancing its support for students with IEPs. They are selecting a universal social-emotional screener to better understand and address Butler 53 students' needs.

Butler Junior High’s social worker has just completed the Second Step Bullying and Harassment unit with students during their social-emotional learning time during PE. Jeff Bean, a retired police officer, will continue teaching students about online safety.

Butler Junior High’s ELL Teacher is piloting the Imagine Language and Literacy program, and the Early Childhood Special Education team completed the Child Find screening process for identifying children who may require special education services.

Finally, the Board approved the hiring of Keryl ‘Leah’ Carter, a special education teacher, for the 2024/25 school year.

PTO Update

Brook Forest Elementary
Winter clubs: Chess club started the week of December 4, and information on Spanish club, Art club, and Improv club will be distributed through school emails soon.

Butler Junior High
The Hinsdale Central Transition Advisory meeting took place December 10, with 8th grade families joining a group of Hinsdale Central students to learn about class selections, which will be finalized in January.

Thank You Boosters!
A big thanks goes out to our Drama and Music Boosters for their volunteerism and fundraising. The PTO is still looking for sports boosters for each sport. Parents who are interested can reach out to Shika V. if interested.

Upcoming PTO Events

  • February 2, 2024 - The parent social, the PTO’s biggest event and fundraiser of the year, will be Hollywood Nights themed. Come dressed as your favorite character or Hollywood star. More info will be coming soon.

Upcoming Board of Education Meeting

Board of Education: January 8, 2024, 6:30 P.M.