Friday, November 9, 2012

USD 383 Board of Education

Nov. 7, 2012
Kathy Dzewaltowski, observer

The school board planned to have a public hearing on the topic of senior release, but no members of the public stepped forward to address the board on the topic.  However, over 300 parents had completed an online survey about senior release, with the majority of respondents favoring the continuation of senior release.

Keith Noll, Director of Maintenance, presented the board with information about building improvements that have been completed using either capital outlay funds or bond funds.  The completed items included a new bus lane for Amanda Arnold, new playground fencing at Ogden, a new roof on portions of MHS and also at Woodrow Wilson, and new playground equipment and drainage improvements at Northview.

The board discussed a request for proposals (RFP) for a facility analysis for MHS East Campus.  Projects planned for the building as part of the bond projects had been re-prioritized, with the main focus being to create a secure exterior envelope and improvements to the gym, and with the understanding that the building needed additional work than what had been outlined in the bond.  Beth Tatarko thought the facility analysis should consider whether the district should continue to invest in using the building for educational purposes and to take into account the cost of continuing to do so.  Other board members expressed similar thoughts, with Pete Paukstelis' wondering about the cost comparison between renovating East Campus and building a new school, and Leah Fliter's wondering about the possibility of moving 9th graders to the expanded West Campus.  Walt Pesaresi, who serves of the district's Facilities and Growth Committee, explained that the committee's thinking had been that constructing 2-3 new elementary schools may be a more immediate need, and the facility analysis would help determine what should be done to East Campus to get it through the next 15-20 years, and by then, a second high school might be needed.  Board members were in agreement to table the RFP to allow administration to make the changes discussed.

The board approved 5-2 to close lunch for sophomores and to keep lunch open for juniors and seniors beginning with the 2013-14 school year.  Paukstelis and Pesaresi dissented.

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