Grundy Reporter

Grundy Reporter

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Morris School District 54 Board met Oct. 21

By Noddy A. Fernandez | Dec 9, 2019

Meeting 05

Morris School District 54 Board met Oct. 21.

Here is the minutes provided by the Board:

District #54 Boardroom – Morris Grade School Cafeteria

Members Present: Members Absent:

Mrs. Bogard Mrs. Cap Mr. Hitchcock

Ms. Hiller Mr. Stevens Mr. Sikora

Mr. White

I. Determination of Quorum – Call to Order

President, Jerry White called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Roll call was answered as indicated, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

Others present were: Shannon Dudek, Marie Stover, and Lisa Beeler

II. Approval of the Agenda

III. Public Recognition

A. Board Participation Program - None

B. Comments from Employees and Public - None

C. Board Hearing - Mr. Kyle Sorg appeared before the board members present to apologize for his actions that had him banned from school properties. Mr. Sorg requested the board to reconsider this matter and to allow him back on to school property. Mr. White thanked him for addressing the board. Mr. White informed Mr. Sorg that the board would discuss this matter further in closed session and he would be notified of their decision by Dr. Dudek.

IV. Consent Agenda

a. Approval of Minutes (September 16, 2019 Budget Hearing and Regular Meeting minutes)

b. Approval of List of Bills (October 2019)

c. Approval of Financial Report (September 2019)

d. Approval of Payroll Report (September 2019)

e. Approval of Minutes and Financials of PTO (September 2019)

f. Approval of Financials of the Student Activity Fund Accounts (September 2019)

g. Approval of Minutes and Financials of the BBC (September 2019)

Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Bogard to approve the Consent Agenda Items.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

V. Committee Reports

A. Finance - Mr. White, Mr. Stevens,Mrs. Bogard, Mrs. Cap, Dr. Dudek, Mrs. Mills, and Mrs. Beeler were in attendance at the finance committee meeting held in Dr. Dudek’s office. Tammie Beckwith Schallmo from PMA Securities was also present for the meeting until 5:40 p.m.

PMA Financial Presentation

Tammie presented a slide show to show the refunding options available for the 2010B Bonds and the 2005 Bonds that could be available to the district in the future. There is a possibility that the district could lock in some savings on bonds due to the current rates being so low for both taxable and tax exempt refunding. The 2010B Bonds could have a 12 percent savings and the 2005 Bonds could have a 6 percent savings. This refunding will not extend the debt service. PMA will continue to watch the market and will notify the district if and when a resolution would make sense for refunding the bonds.

Administrative Building

Dr. Dudek meet with the architects recently to revisit the portable classroom project. The architects came with plans and pricing. This included a stick built building that would cost approximately $810,000.00. There are many requirements necessary for building a portable or stick built building for students to be placed in, which increases the costs. Now the architects have made plans for an administrative building to go in the same area to be more cost effective. Having an administrative building would potentially open up four classrooms in the building. Rental income, alternative revenue, and/or TIF could be used to fund this project. The architects will be finalizing the plans and the costs, then this could be before the board for action as early as December.


The board and the teacher's union are in negotiations, and the meetings have been positive and productive. They have gone over many items, but plan to discuss finances and benefits at the next meeting scheduled for November 5, 2019.

B. Policy – None

C. Curriculum - None

D. Parent - Teacher Advisory -


The meeting began at 5:00 p.m. Mr. Raffel introduced himself and stated that the purpose of this committee was to update and collect parent input. The following individuals were present: Stephanie Lines, Heidi Scalf, Misty Alvarez, Amber Boyle, Adrian McKerrow, Laura Streit, Denis Bach, Crissy Burgess and Lisa Beeler.

Assessment Updates

Mr. Raffel explained that the students take IAR and MAP tests. The IAR is a state test that shows are students are around the average. The MAP test is for benchmarking and shows student growth. The district makes curriculum decisions based on the data collected from the MAP tests. Mr. Raffel distributed some example tests results and reviewed them. These results will come home at report card time for students who took them last year.

Curriculum Updates - Phonics

Phonics was an area that students were weak in. Teachers researched a variety of curriculums available and also visited Saratoga. The district then purchased Fundations to be used in grades K and 1, with the hopes to expand it to 2nd grade and even possibly 3rd grade in the future. Mrs. Lines recently attended the training for Fundations and loves the building skills and the ways it utilizes the different sensories of learning. She is very excited to use this program and for the future to see the results. Mr. Raffel said parents may not see vocab lists going home at the beginning of the week and having a test on Friday in the future. He also said that there are sub committees that are looking into choosing two science books to do an in depth pilot of to ultimately purchase in March of 2020. The math sub committee also meets next week. The social studies sub committee is going to look at standards and what is needed to get for the 2021-2022 school year.


The majority of the group had not discussed E-Learning before. Minooka schools planned to roll out a plan for this to be implemented, but the new state guidelines prevented this from happening. The group gave suggestions like starting an E-Learning sub committee or sending out a technology survey like Minooka High School. The group also listed some positives and concerns to having E-Learning days in our district. Some positives included implementing a flipped classroom concept. The major concerns tracking that the work is completed and students educational needs being met at home.


The districts current photo contract ends this school year, so they are going to start investigations into new companies. A committee will be formed to conduct interviews. Mr. Raffel asked the group what was important to them in regards to school photos. The majority wanted good customer service, inexpensive options and online or digital options.

Parent Group Updates: PTO/BBC

The PTO is continuing to grow, there were 20 people at the last meeting. The group is offering babysitting and holds meetings at a variety of times. The BBC is starting to build up members too. The BBC is looking into having a golf outing as a new fundraiser. The next PTO meeting is on October 3 and the BBC meeting is on October 28th.

Your Turn

None, the next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2020.


The meeting ended at 6:04 p.m.

E. Shared Services – None

VI. Action Items

A. Resolution of Intent: Resolution declaring the intention to issue #2,175,000.00

Working Cash Fund Bonds for the purpose of increasing the District’s Working Cash Fund, and directing that notice of such intention be published in the manner provided by law. This is the yearly process to sell working cash bonds to pay for salaries and benefits begins this evening. In order to begin this process, a resolution declaring an intent to issue bonds is required to sell the bonds. The BINA hearing will take place on November 18th at 6pm.

Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Hiller to approve the Resolution declaring the intention to issue $2,175, 000.00 Working Cash Fund Bonds for the purpose of increasing the District’s Working Cash Fund, and directing that notice of such intention be published in manner provided by law.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

B. Morris SD 54 PRESS Plus 5 Year Review, Policy Issue 100, and Policy Issue 101

This is the second and final reading for these policies, they were approved as part of the consent agenda at last month’s meeting. Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Hiller to approve Morris SD 54 PRESS Plus 5 Year Review, Policy Issue 100, and Policy Issue 10. Mrs. Cap noticed there was a policy regarding bussing missing from the website. Dr. Dudek said he would look into that.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

C. Employment

Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Hiller to approve the employment of Alina Thanadabouth, Nicole Kurtenbach, and Yvonne Sargent as paraprofessionals and also Bob Broderick as a part-time custodian at Morris SD #54.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

D. Food Safety Plan

Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Bogard to approve the Morris SD #54 Food Service Safety Plan. This plan was developed by Chris Lines in May 2011 to be used at our school. The program follows USDA guidance on developing a food safety program based on the process approach. The plan was revised on October 2019, so school board action is required to finalize the plan.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

VII. Communication

A. Superintendent’s Report - E-Learning: Instructional coaches and administrators are preparing an E-Learning platform, and we’re moving forward with presenting a plan to the ROE and the school board at the November school board meeting. The ROE must approve the plan, and then, we’d present it to the school board for approval. We are working with other school district personnel to create a rigorous plan that will take the place of a school day in the event of weather or school emergency. Recently, we distributed a survey to our community to learn the wi-fi access for our students. We will develop a plan that will meet the needs of all students.

$15.00 Minimum Hourly Wage for School District Employees We’ve been working on developing a plan to compensate our employees that make below the $15.00 hr threshold that is required by 2025. Many school districts have created a “ramp-up” in salary for their employees, and we are working on one for our district. The following salaries/dates are required over the next five years, so we want to make sure we’re prepared for the change. Here are the salaries/dates we must meet. Currently, the minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour. Under the new legislation, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 by January 1, 2020 and to $10 on July 1, 2020. The minimum wage will then increase by $1 per hour each January 1 until it reaches $15 per hour in 2025.

FY20 Current Financial Report Mrs. Jill Mills will present the first quarterly finance report. During her report, you will receive status of expenditures, revenue, State distribution, and other pertinent financial information. Mrs. Mills was unable to attend the meeting because she needed to finalize some information and send it in for the upcoming audit.

B. Administrative Report - Principal Report - Mr. Raffel

● I have started a program entitled “Coaching for Leaders.” It helps educational leaders use the coaching model to lead people and help them improve as professionals. It has had a big impact on me both professionally and personally. Thank you for the opportunity to be apart of this program.

● We have completed Benchmark Testing and had our Data Days for each grade level. We have identified students for Interventions and they have begun this rotation. I am happy to report that we are slightly above the national norms in both Reading and Math for grades 3rd-8th in NWEA MAP Testing.

● We had an ELA Curriculum Meeting on September 24th with K-8 grade teacher reps. We had a Math Curriculum Meeting on October 10th with K-8 Teacher reps. The Board Curriculum Committee met on October 17th.

● I attended a freeSchool Law Update Conference on October 1st put on by Hodges and Loizzi. We will be sure that we are keeping up with the required laws and discuss possible changes at the Policy Committee Meeting.

● The Science Curriculum Committee has begun an in-depth pilot of two finalists for a textbook adoption. I will keep the Board updated on the progress and we hope to have a recommendation to you by the March Board Meeting.

● The Kindergarten Teachers finished the State Required KIDS Assessment on October 15 and 16.

● The Admin Team has begun Teacher Evaluations. The PERA Joint Committee will meet later this month.

● I will not be at the October Board Meeting due to the Illinois Principals Conference in Peoria, IL.

Associate Principal Report - Mrs. Boe

● On 10/2 myself along with Molly Kaminski had the unique opportunity to go on a manufacturing tour of Grundy Co. We visited Dresden, Costco Meat plant, and LyondellBasell. This was offered to area educators to give us insight at the job opportunities that are offered here in Grundy County. It was a neat opportunity to meet other local educators, and see what opportunities are available for our students right here in Grundy County.

● I was able to meet with the Kindergarten and 1st grade teams in regards to their Fundations training they attended in September. I am happy to report that they all reported how beneficial the training was and that they were excited to bring what they learned back to the classroom. I am excited to watch Fundations grow this year at the K/1 level and will continue to keep you updated on the progress.

Special Populations Director Report - Mrs. Stover

Special Education

● We are continuing to have students move-in to our district with IEPs. We are monitoring the number of students that we are providing Speech-Language services. Roughly 20 percent of our student population are receiving speech services or speech interventions.

● Our Special Education staff has shifted to the Fastbridge system and are continuing to progress monitor students. We are continuing to learn the ins and outs of Fastbridge.

● Several teachers and administrators participated in the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) training on October 8th. Our district is continuing to look at ways that we could have more staff trained in CPI.

English Language Learners

● Ms. Larson attended the Bilingual Directors conference at the end of September. Highlights of the meeting were:

○ Identifying “Multilingual” learners (mo longer ELs)

○ Screening multilingual learners

○ Utilizing Title III and Evidence Based Funding monies

○ Providing services

○ Compliance with multilingual learners

Morris Community Preschool

● Morris Community Preschool had a beautiful day at Heaps Pumpkin Farm!

● We are planning our family Halloween party on October 31st.

● Our Preschool for All classrooms are almost at capacity. We have many students on the waiting list for our program.

Dean Report - Mrs. Dransfeldt

Discipline Report - (September 6th-October 11th)

1 In School Suspensions (ISS)

0 Out of School Suspensions (OSS)

4 After School Detentions

1 Saturday School Detentions

Proactive Safety Measures:

● Held a practice fire drill w/o fire department on 10/2/19.

● Completed the mandatory Fire drill on 10/9/19.

● Completed the mandated Lockdown drill on 10/18/19.

Athletic Director Report - Mr. Anderson

7 new members to Braves Booster Club increasing total number to 12. Next meeting Monday 10/28 5pm

Fall regular sport seasons have concluded and banquets are taking place to celebrate their accomplishments and contributions to the programs!

● Softball A team record 13-5

○ Finished 2nd in the IVC

○ Defeated Coal City twice, who ended up going to state

■ MVP - Abby Hougas

■ Most Improved - Sydney Walker

■ Coaches Award - Elaina Vidales

■ Devin Shemberg pitched 50.2 innings and only walked 5 batters!

● Softball B team record 6-4

○ It was absolutely wonderful being able to have a B team as well. They went 6-4 on the season and got some wonderful experience to build up our program.

● Baseball A team record 13-3

○ IVC 2019 Champions! First time in Morris Grade School History!

○ 1st seed in the IESA Regional, Lost in Semifinals

○ Awards Banquet was celebrated on Oct. 7th

■ MVP - AJ Zweeres (640 Batting Average!)

■ Most Improved - Austin Sukely

■ Coaches Award - AJ Franzetti

● Baseball B team record

○ The boys on the B team posted a 1-7 record and were able to gain some invaluable experience to help build the program for the future

● Soccer

○ Season record was 2-11. It was definitely a building season and I think the players resilience is worth highlighting. Despite all the adverse results, they kept showing up with the right attitude and put forth their best effort which was enough to have some close games and 2 wins!

■ MVP: Ivan Escatel

■ Most Improved: Adan Mondragon

■ Coaches Award: Aric Huettemann

● Cross Country (XC)

○ XC has had multiple successes throughout the regular season including many of our athletes making new personal records throughout the season

■ At our home XC meet on Sept. 16, the Morris Braves had 27 personal records (PRs) on our team. T.J Rzasa took 1st in boys and Kensi Martin took 1st for girls. The MCHXC team came out to show their support as well. It was a great night for the Morris Runnin Braves!

■ At the Saunemin Invite. Multiple personal records made and 12 medalists!! Great Job!

■ Amazing day for the Morris Braves at the Yorkville Fox Trot invite. Makensi Martin took 1st and Danica Martin took 4th out of 120 runners for JV. Our JV girls made history and brought homea 3rd place trophy out of 27 teams. We had 31 PRs from our runners! Great Job! Go Braves!

○ XC will be competing in the IESA sectional Saturday Oct 12, banquet on Oct 23, then State Oct. 19

● Girls Basketball is off and running with 17 on the 6th grade team, 7 on 7th grade and 11 on 8th grade.

● Boys Basketball tryouts are set

○ 6th - Oct 23-24

○ 7th - Nov 4-5

○ 8th - Oct 21-22

● Girls Volleyball will be taking a field trip to NIU to watch their college volleyball game and talk with players after the game

Activities and Clubs have begun to hold elections and tryouts

Recent Purchases

● Additional Cheer Uniforms due to numbers and incline mat to practice cheer tumbling Concessions/Admissions taken in - $2300.85

BBC, MAA, VFW, City of Morris, Morris High School, Morris Tomahawks have agreed to split the cost for new scoreboard at Roth Field. Roughly $1000.00 each. Details of purchase are still being discussed.

C. Board Communication - Dr. Dudek congratulated Mrs. Bogard for receiving and being recognized for a teaching award.

VII. Executive Session -

Motioned by Stevens, seconded by Bogard to enter into closed session to discuss a lease of property owned by the school district, student discipline, litigation, personnel matters, or the selection of a person to fill a public office at 6:29 p.m.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

VIII. Return to Open SessionMotioned by Stevens, seconded by Hiller to return to open session at 7:00 p.m. All were in favor, None opposed

IX. Action as a Result of Closed Session - None

X. Adjourn

Motioned by Stevens, seconded byBogard to adjourn the board meeting at 7:01 p.m.

Aye: Mrs. Cap, Mrs. Bogard, Ms. Hiller, Mr. Stevens, Mr. White

Absent: Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Sikora

Motion Carried

Jerry White Jim Hitchcock

District #54 School Board President District #54 School Board Secretary

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Morris School District 54 Board