On the Books: January 10, 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, January 10, 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


Chief Financial Officer’s Report

Nicole Stuckert, CFO/CSBO, updated the Board on the state categorical payments the District is scheduled to receive from the State of Illinois. The District did receive their 2016 fourth quarter payment in early January but is still awaiting their first and second quarter categorical payments for 2017, totaling approximately $1.5 million. Mrs. Stuckert also stated that the District continues to look at the efficiency of the District’s Transportation Department and is currently evaluating staggered start times for the district’s buildings. This would allow for the High School and Middle School to have an earlier start time than the Elementary Schools.

West Elementary School Presentation

West Elementary School Principal, Mrs. Kristi Crawford, welcomed the Board of Education to West Elementary. She stated the school started a K-Kids Club earlier in the year in partnership with the Sycamore Kiwanis Club. The club held a Bowling Pizza Party for the students and is planning many more activities for the rest of the school year. Board members were also able to see how the school has infused technology in the building throughout their classrooms. Students in grade 3-5 participate in a 1:1 program in which every student has a Chromebook they can use for their class work. West Elementary is a Title 1 school, which provides some funding to be used towards technology.  The remainder of the funds for the Chromebooks has been provided through the generosity of the Sycamore Education Foundation and the West School Organization.

2017-2018 Academic Year Calendar First Reading

Superintendent Kathy Countryman presented to the Board a draft of the 2017-2018 Academic Year Calendar. The goal of the calendar is to provide instructional momentum throughout the school year. The calendar is designed to continue to have the Friday of Pumpkin Fest weekend off and to use President’s Day as an Emergency Day. This allows for instructional time to be made up earlier, rather than adding time on at the end of the year. The Board will vote on the 2017-2018 Academic Year Calendar during a Second Reading at their next meeting on Tuesday, January 24.

Public Access Channel Update

The Board of Education received an update on discussions that have occurred with the City of Sycamore regarding the District access to the Public Access Channel currently accessible to the City only. During the City of Sycamore City Council meeting, alderpersons were invited to Sycamore High School to tour the SpartanTV Studio and Remote Broadcast Trailer. The next step is for the District and the City to develop an Intergovernmental Agreement. This will be presented at future City Council and Board of Education meetings.

District Goals Mid-Year Review

Kathy Countryman, Superintendent, presented to the Board on the progress of the District’s 2017-2018 Goals. She stated the District will continue to develop Business Partnerships throughout the community.  Some examples include leveraging the opportunities of the Public Access Channel and Kiwanis of Sycamore partnering with our elementary school buildings in partnership with K-Kids.


Upcoming Board Meetings

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at the District Administration Building

Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at the District Administration Building