Summary of Homer District 33C School Board Meeting
November 17, 2015
District 33C School Board:
Meeting Summary Report
Homer School Board
Barb Wilson, President
Angela Adolf, Vice President
Amy Blank, Secretary
Ed Campins, Member
Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member
Debra Martin,  Member
Russ Petrizzo, Member
Tim Rutter, member
Veteran David Kemp from American Legion Post #111 in Orland Park led the Board in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Kemp was among those who participated in Hadley’s Veterans Day Program this year. He read the poem “I am a Veteran” by Andrea Brett.
Dr. Kara Coglianese, recognized members of the Board of Education for their service. Sunday was School Board Members Day in Illinois. To mark the occasion, roses (donated by Old Oak Florist) and personalized cookies (made by Homer 33C bus driver and part-time custodian Tina Kadow) were placed at the board members’ places. The cookies were decorated with the message: “School Boards lead so students can achieve. Thank you for your service to the students, families and employees of Homer District 33C.” In October, the Board received a School Board Governance Recognition plaque from the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) for practicing effective governance behaviors, as identified in IASB’s “Foundational Principles of Effective Governance.” The plaque was shared at the Board meeting.
The Board of Education recognized the Homer Junior High Cross Country Team and Coaches who advanced to the IESA State Meet this past October. The girls placed 12th at State and the boys placed 14th. Special recognition was given to Madison Polinski who placed 2nd at the State Meet, Alexandra Skibicki who placed 14th and Aidan Pajeau who placed 25th. Madison, who completed the race in 11:21, is the fastest runner in Homer 33C’s history. Coaches are Della LaPresti, John Fencl and Kristen Bard.
Mr. Russ Petrizzo, Board Member, presented a recap of the recent Finance and Operations Committee meeting. The Committee reviewed the tentative tax levy, heard an update on the exploration of food service options and discussed the frequency and format of future financial reports.
The second-grade staff, represented by union representative Tammie Ebel and teacher Kelly Mitchell, shared how students are exploring various cultures this month in a special project at all four grade schools.
The Board of Education approved a revised job description for bus drivers and substitute bus drivers.
Ms. Karen Norville, Coordinator of the STEAM AHEAD WITH EXPLORERS after-school enrichment program, presented an update on the program, which recently expanded its offerings to reflect the district’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) program and Preparing Future Ready Students initiative.
Ms. Arlene Siefert, Director of Technology, presented a report on how the district is saving money by converting 500 laptops to Chromebooks using CloudReady. The conversion, which will start with the conversion of 300 laptops by spring (just in time for PARCC testing), is expected to save the district more than $60,000.
Ms. Kathleen Robinson, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, presented a legislative update on Senate Bill 100, which alters how school districts can discipline students. The goal is to diminish the amount of time students are out of school because research shows suspensions and expulsions have an impact on how students perform later in life. To comply with the law, Homer 33C will:

  • Form a Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee (PTAC) to develop policy guidelines regarding student discipline.
  • Provide ongoing professional development to teachers, administrators, school board members, school resource officers and staff regarding school exclusion, justice-system involvement, effective classroom management, culturally responsive discipline, and developmentally appropriate discipline.
  • Limit the number and duration of suspensions and expulsions to the greatest extent practicable.
  • Do away with zero-tolerance policies requiring suspension or expulsion for misbehavior — except for those that are required by federal or state law (such as bringing weapons or drugs to school).
  • Look at each infraction independently of one another and refrain from using progressive discipline.
  • Empower students to problem-solve.

SB 100 takes effect September 15, 2016.
Mr. John Reiniche, Assistant Superintendent for Business, reported the District recently completed its Life Safety walk-through with the Regional Office and that no violations were found.
Mr. John Reiniche, Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented the District’s 2015 Tentative Levy, which will be voted on at the December Board meeting. Highlights of the Tentative Levy include:

  • A recommendation to seek a levy of 2.75 percent — the District’s lowest request in at least five years. Past requests were for 4.98 percent in 2014; 4.96 percent in 2013; 4.99 percent in 2012; and 4.97 percent in 2011.
  • The proposed levy, while less than previous years, is expected to capture all new growth.
  • Once the Tax Cap is factored in, the District is expected to receive a 1.76 percent increase in revenues (or roughly $695,000 in new money).
  • The proposed levy reflects an historic low Consumer Price Index (CPI) of .8 percent.
  • The District will continue to look at ways to control costs and improve efficiencies.

The Board of Education approved a revised memo of understanding to the certified contract.
The Board of Education approved a date change. The Board’s March meeting will now be March 22, 2016 instead of March 29, 2016.
   The Next Regular School Board Meeting is December 15, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.