Summary of the Homer School District 33C
Special Board of Education Meeting
September 21, 2017
    Deb Martin, President      Elizabeth Hitzeman, Vice President      Karen DeFilippis, Secretary
Adam Briner, Member  Kevin DeSchaaf, Member  Christine Marcinkewicz, Member  Russ Petrizzo, Member                                                                                     
At the September 21st Special Board of Education meeting:

  • The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:

Employment Recommendations

  1. Mark Blend – 1.0 FTE custodian, Hadley Middle School, effective October 10, 2017
  2. Zach Schmidt – assignment change from 0.5 FTE custodian at Young School to 1.0 FTE

custodian at Schilling School, effective October 2, 2017

  • Communications/Public Relations Manager Charla Brautigam presented an update on Ross School, the one-room schoolhouse at the entrance to Hadley Middle School and Homer Junior High School. The District is making progress on saving the school. Roofing materials have been donated and delivered by Filotto Roofing and Richards Building Supply Company. Staff members Phil Ackland, Ed Malley and Bill Kocanda have volunteered to install it. John Hoffman, husband of Butler clerical aide Mary Lynn Hoffman, has volunteered to scrape and sand the interior walls in preparation of paint. Joe Pearson, husband of Schilling teacher Stephanie Pearson, has volunteered to check the school’s furnace. Fundraising efforts continue to repair/replace exterior doors and siding; restore windows; and refinish the hardwood floors.


  • Human Resources Director Michael Portwood presented a fall enrollment report and housing update. Kindergarten enrollment is up significantly, rising from 339 youngsters last year to 411 youngsters this year. The increase is 21 percent higher than anticipated, compelling the District to add three sections of kindergartners. This increase has been unprecedented and is higher than past trends. The District is seeing an increase in students attending under affidavits. This means their parents are not homeowners themselves, but declare they live with another family in the District. The District has discussed moving to an on-line enrollment process next year with annual residency checks. Administrators are working with the District’s attorney to create a more rigorous enrollment process.

Overall, Homer 33C saw a 2.6 percent increase in enrollment. The breakdown is as follows:

  • 411 kindergartners – up from 339
  • 355 1st graders – down from 364
  • 380 2nd graders – down from 390
  • 410 3rd graders – up from 408
  • 414 4th graders – up from 397
  • 397 5th graders – down from 451
  • 455 6th graders – up from 423
  • 431 7th graders – down from 438
  • 429 8th graders – up from 425

As of September 7, 2017, the District’s enrollment was 3,682 students — 47 more than last
school year.

  • Rob Grossi, financial consultant, presented two options for funding $10 million in facility audit repairs: Debt Certificates and Alternate Revenue Bonds. Debt certificates (which were used to build Young School) are written promises to be paid back using operating funds. Alternate revenue bonds are special general obligation bonds that pledge a specific revenue source, such as impact fees, for repayment. One advantage to alternate revenue bonds is that the cost of borrowing (interest) is lower. Another advantage is that if something catastrophic happens and the borrower cannot repay the bonds, it can extend the tax levy (raise taxes) to cover the debt. That is not an option with debt certificates. Services would need to be cut to generate the necessary cash.

  • The Board expressed concerns with ensuring that the repayment should be the complete responsibility of the District and not rely on any taxes to its community. The Board discussed the two options and felt that going with Debt Certificates aligned with the community values. A final vote won’t be made until January, 2018.


  • The Board approved a $10 million Facility Plan outlining projects it will tackle first from the Facility Audit. Projects include:
    • District-wide
      • Installing security cameras at entry doors
    • At Homer Junior High
      • Standardization for automation controls
      • Replace unit ventilators
      • Install new DDC control system
      • Replace gym roof top units
      • Rekey existing locksets
      • Remove carpeting
      • Generator
      • Replace air-handling units to provide cooling
    • At Hadley Middle School/Administration Center
      • Standardization for automation controls
      • Unit ventilators
      • Economizer system operation
      • Install new DDC system
      • Recommission DDC control
      • Fire alarm panel
      • Replace pipe insulation
      • Rekey locks
      • Generator
      • Replace cabinet heaters
    • At Goodings Grove
      • Standardization for automation controls
      • Universal Network Controllers
      • Divider curtain in gym/cafeteria
      • Replace cabinets, counters and sinks
      • Upgrade fire panel
      • Remove carpeting
      • Playground site prep and replace equipment
      • Roof repairs and maintenance
      • Contact ComEd about bus loop on adjacent lot
    • At Schilling School
      • Recommission DDC controls and replace Jace
      • Rekey existing locks
      • Upgrade UNC
      • Test floor slab for moisture
    • At Butler School
      • Provide water filtration system
      • Upgrade UNCs
      • Rekey existing locksets
      • Replace chiller unit
      • Replace pumps, valves and piping
      • Replace countertops
      • Upgrade the Jace system
      • Roof replacement
    • At Young School
      • Upgrade the UNCs
      • Rekey existing locks
      • Replace vent and cap shingles on roof
    • At Transportation
      • Ventilation
      • HVAC
      • GFI panel
      • Reconfigure/build office
      • Salt dome
      • Fire Alarm panel

The list, which represents a fraction of projects included in the $36.6 million Facility Audit, was compiled by a Facility Audit Sub-Committee that prioritized items based on 1) safety of students and staff; 2) security; 3) aesthetics. There were other smaller items in the audit. They will be addressed and paid for with existing operating funds.

  • The Board reviewed and approved a job description for HVAC personnel


  • The Board approved a recommendation for one 1.0 FTE HVAC personnel

The Next Regular School Board Meeting is September 26, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.
A Budget Hearing will be held prior to the Regular Meeting at 6:45 p.m.