March 2024 Board of Education Report

March 2024 Board of Education Report

A Board Report of the March 11, 2024 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

Zaniewski Earns ISBE Award of Special Recognition
The District is proud to share the news that Melissa Zaniewski, Principal of Butler Junior High School, received an Award of Special Recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education’s Those Who Excel Awards program for her connection within the Butler School District 53 community and making a positive impact.

The awards celebrate teachers, administrators, teams, volunteers, and school support personnel who have made lasting impacts on the students, families, and fellow educators in their school communities. Well done and congratulations, Ms. Zaniewski!

Thank You, Butler 53 Staff
The District’s Staff Appreciation and Retirement Dinner took place February 29. It was an opportunity to recognize the outstanding dedication and service our staff provide the District, students, and families.

Some notable milestones recognized at the dinner include the following:

5 Years

  • Catherine Myers
  • Melissa Russell
  • Sandra Morris
  • Dr. Paul O'Malley

10 Years

  • Nina Angelillo
  • Jen Brauer
  • Robbie Philipp
  • Shelley Rokos

20 Years

  • Patti Meyer
  • Melissa Zaniewski

25 Years

  • Jen Janis
  • Nettie Griffin

Senior Leaders Entering New District Roles Under Strategic Plan
At the February 12 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved the Strategic Plan for the coming five years. The Strategic Plan will support the District’s updated mission to create pathways for each student to maximize their full potential. Further, the Strategic Plan aligns with the District’s vision to promote a nationally recognized school community that is proactive in transforming the learning environment and providing an individualized world-class education.

Having approved the Strategic Plan, the District is immediately commencing the implementation of key transitional elements. Given that one of the goals is to develop and retain multi-talented staff, the Implementation Plan includes moving personnel to accommodate professional growth trajectories, as well as highlighting specific skill sets to achieve our goals.

Several senior leaders throughout the District will be entering new roles, effective July 1, 2024, as part of this plan:

Zaniewski Appointed to Director of Student Learning & Staff Innovation
Ms. Melissa Zaniewski has been appointed Director of Student Learning & Staff Innovation. In this role, Ms. Zaniewski will dedicate her time to provide leadership and vision in the ongoing planning, implementation, development, direction, review, and evaluation of the district’s curriculum and instruction programs and staff professional development and growth.

This position will report directly to the Superintendent and be a member of the administrative team. Having a single person dedicated to this important work will strengthen the continuum of learning across all grade levels and support personal and professional growth for our esteemed faculty and staff members who have made our District one of the best in the state of Illinois.

Prola’s Contract Extended Through 2026-27 School Year
Dr. Andrea Prola's contract as principal of Brook Forest Elementary was extended through School Year 2026-2027. Dr. Prola has shown her commitment to the climate and culture of our school district, a skill set she has promoted across both buildings. The District is thrilled to retain her.

Hamilton Appointed Principal of Butler Junior High
Mr. John Hamilton has been appointed the next Principal at Butler Junior High School. During his tenure with the District, Mr. Hamilton has developed a strong rapport with his colleagues and proven himself as an administrator. In his new position as Principal of BJH, he will carry on the high standards expected within the school and across the District.

District to Fill BJH Assistant Principal Role
Finally, these staffing changes will leave the Assistant Principal position at BJH vacant, so the District will soon begin the process of finding a strong leader to fill that role.

District Staffing Updates
In addition to District leaders entering new roles, the Board approved two new hires for the 2024-25 school year. Fitore Gjemnica will join the District as a psychologist, and Nishat Ali will join BFE as a classroom teacher.

Additionally, BJH social worker Kim Bayer announced her intent to retire at the close of the 2027-28 school year.

School and Student Services Department Updates

Brook Forest Elementary

  • Attendance Plan Implemented: With the school year beyond 100 days in, the BFE attendance team is assessing absences and implementing procedures based on a student’s percentage of absences.
    • If a student has 5% absences, parents will receive a letter informing them of the fact, with no further interventions at the time.
    • If a student has 7% absences, parents are informed that their child will complete a check in form with their child’s teacher at the end of each day. The classroom teacher monitors the check in form with the student each day.
    • If a student has 10% absences, they are considered chronically absent. Parents are then informed that their child will complete a Tier 3 Attendance Success Plan with parents and classroom teacher. The plan will be monitored by the school attendance team.
  • The attendance team is Julie Denson, Taylor Harris, JoAnn Cikowski, and Dr. Andrea Prola. Data will be collected and reported to the administrative team and Dr. O’Malley to evaluate the procedures and outcomes of the plan.
  • 5Essentials Survey: Butler School District 53 parents, teachers, and students will have an opportunity to participate in the 5Essentials Survey administered by the Illinois State Board of Education. The survey window is open until March 29, 2024.
  • Illinois Assessment of Readiness: Students in Grades 3-5 will complete this State assessment at school during the week of April 8th. Parents can access Video Individual Score Reports (Video ISR) through the Parent Portal. These videos, always unique to your child, break down the information in their ISR and direct you to resources your child may benefit from. These Video ISR’s can provide topics to discuss with your child’s teacher and areas that can be focused on for continued academic growth.

Butler Junior High

  • NAMI to Visit BJH: Professionals from DuPage County National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) will be on-site to present to 8th graders. Students will be participating in ”Ending the Silence 101,” an evidence-based presentation about mental illness designed for junior high audiences. Students will learn about warning signs, facts, and statistics, and how to get help for themselves or a friend. The presenter will provide resources to use in case of a mental health emergency and will spend some time answering questions at the end.
  • Student Online Safety: Officer Bean’s quarter three visit focused on the importance of students involving their parents in their online world. Nearly every student at Butler acknowledged being in a group chat. Officer Bean discussed ‘’see something, say something’’ and the importance of reporting inappropriate or offensive media activity.
  • Students to Participate in National Spanish Exam: The National Spanish Exam (NSE) is a standardized assessment tool sponsored by the AATSP (American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese) used to recognize student achievement and to promote language proficiency in the study of Spanish. BJH students will participate in this year’s NSE on March 19.

Student Services Department
Professional development remains a priority for the Student Services Department (SSD). Recent professional development initiatives include staff ( including reading and math interventionist, school psychologist, Sped. Teachers, and ELL teachers) participating in the aimswebPLUS intervention training during Teacher Institute Day this past Friday.

  • aimswebPlus is a tool for teachers and educational teams who utilize the MTSS process and special education contexts
  • aimswebPlus offers nationally normed, skills-based benchmark assessments and progress monitoring across reading and math content areas.

Additionally, Case Managers (Special Education Teachers) participated in a full-day training to enhance their knowledge of developing compliant IEPs.

PTO Update
The PTO has five board vacancies for the 2024-25 school year. The following positions will be open:

  • President
  • VP for Butler Junior High
  • Community Liaison
  • Recording Secretary
  • Treasurer

Parents who are interested or are looking for a fun, rewarding way to get involved can find more information on the PTO website.

Upcoming Board of Education Meetings
Board of Education: 6:30 P.M. Monday, April 8, 2024