On the Books: April 11, 2017

On the Books News Image

On the Books provides a recap of the Sycamore Community School District 427 Board of Education meeting  that occurred on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. The Agenda and all supporting documents from this meeting and minutes from previous meetings, can be viewed through BoardDocs. If you would like to receive a notification for when On the Books is ready for viewing, please sign-up for our District Communications

Spartan Senate Report

Sycamore High School Senior Class President, Jacob Madden, updated the Board on recent Spartan Senate activities. He stated Spartan Senate has been working on a survey that will go out to parents, students, and teachers in regards to student life, curriculum offerings, the way classes are weighted, and off campus lunch opportunities. In addition, the survey will ask about ways to change the school day schedule to better accommodate the changing environment of student’s lives.

Sycamore High School Report

Sycamore High School Principal, Mr. Tim Carlson, gave his annual report to the Board of Education. He explained one of the major initiatives this year is teaching the importance of being a positive Digital Citizen and having a positive Digital Footprint. In addition, he explained how the school’s Agriculture Department has been revitalizing the woods and metals shops over the past two years. Mr. Carlson also expressed his gratitude to the citizens and businesses within the community for building excellent partnerships with the High School.

Assistant Principal, Mr. Steve Balster, explained to the Board of Education how the school is implementing the new Social and Emotional Learning Standards through messages throughout the building. Dean of Students, Mr. Nick Reineck, over the past three years, SHS has implemented more restorative justice measures in regards to student discipline. This new systematic approach has limited exclusionary discipline measures to the greatest extent possible. The restorative justice measures implemented at SHS have resulted in a 40% decrease in total number of suspensions and a 61.4% decrease in total number of days missed by students due to out-of-school suspensions over the past three years.

Excellence in Education Award

The Board of Education recognized four staff members for being nominated for the DeKalb County Excellence in Education Award. These staff members are Ms. Sarah Frankiewicz, Ms. Deb Wheeler, Ms. Carol Untch, and Ms. Dawn Cavanaugh. The Excellence in Education Award was created in 1999 by former Sycamore Community School District 427 educator, Yvonne Johnson, to highlight those making a positive difference in our schools. This endowment fund is managed through the DeKalb County Community Foundation.

Agriculture Academy Presentation

Sycamore High School Agriculture teachers Ms. Kara Poynter and Ms. Brandi Burgess presented to the Board of Education about the School’s Agriculture Academy. The Agriculture Academy provides an opportunity for high school students who are interested in a career in Agriculture but are unsure of what those careers may look like. During the semester, students build portfolios and their business network through job shadowing opportunities and career exploration field trips. Trips have included visits to the Caterpillar plant in Peoria, Midwest Groundcovers Nurseries, Soldier Field to observe Turf Management, and Ideal Industries, among many others throughout the Midwest region. Students who successfully complete the Ag Academy earn both credits from Sycamore High School and Kishwaukee College.

Sports Boosters Presentation

Sycamore Sports Boosters President, Susan Mizgalski, presented to the Board an update on the organization. The Sycamore Sports Boosters is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to enhance the District’s Athletic Programs. She stated the organization’s primary revenues come through concession sales, memberships, and fundraisers, with the bulk of their expenses going towards enhancing the District’s Athletic Programs by providing $70,000 a year to be used on equipment, supplies, and uniforms at both Sycamore High School and Sycamore Middle School.

After giving an overview of the organization, she introduced a committee who gave a presentation to the Board of Education on a Capital Improvement Project they would like to donate to the District. Sports Boosters are currently evaluating ways to replace the aging scoreboard at Engh Community Field. They are looking to replace the scoreboard with a Multi-Purpose Video Wall that will come at no cost to the School District or taxpayers. This new video wall will allow for the Boosters to partner with the District’s SpartanTV student group.