On The Books: November 22, 2016

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, November 22, 2016. The Agenda and all supporting documents from this meeting and minutes from previous meetings, can be viewed through BoardDocs.

Turning Back Time Car Show Donation

Turning Back Time Car Show Donation

Representatives from the “Turning Back Time” Car Show presented a donation to the Board of Education.Mike Tritle, Club President, stated that the Car Show’s goal is to raise money and support local community efforts. Students from the Sycamore High School Art Department help to create the design for the official shirt of the show and other publicity materials. In addition to making a donation the Sycamore Art Department, they also donated $1,500 to be used in the District’s Elementary Schools. South Prairie Elementary School’s principal, Kreg Wesley, will meet with with other elementary school principals to determine how to use the donation.

South Prairie Elementary School Update

Kreg Wesley, South Prairie Elementary Principal, updated the board on what has been going on at the school. He stated the school’s Early Act students recently participated in Feed my Starving Children and also held a clothing drive and paper goods for Safe Passage.  Early Act students have also been instrumental in the building by helping to decrease the amount of waste made by students each day during lunch. The school recently switched from disposable to reusable lunch trays, which decreased the school’s lunch waste from five bags a day to two bags a day. Students have also been working on their social problem solving skills.  Fifth graders presented skits on how to deal with peer conflicts.  The school has been celebrating their increase in PARCC scores.

Strategic Design Proposal

Kathy Countryman, Superintendent, updated the the Board of Education on the continuation of discussions the district is having Chuck Schwan, who assisted in both the original strategic design and the update in 2008. They discussed having a one day, large group discussion about the District’s vision.  She stated Mr. Schwan believes the district would only need to have a one day, large group discussion about the District’s vision.  The discussion would also include a half day with Elementary Principals about Mass Customized Learning for Young Learners (MCL4YL). The Board discussed potential dates for February 2017 that could work for these workshop. A proposal for the Strategic Design Refresh will be presented to the Board of Education at an upcoming meeting.

Forecast5 Presentation

Forecast5, the financial advisors for the District, shared with the Board of Education the District’s 5-Year financial forecast, based on assumptions through the use of trend data. From these assumptions, Mrs. Nicole Stuckert, CFO/CSBO, and Mrs. Kathy Countryman, Superintendent, will work with administration to develop a plan to address the deficit, while keeping the mission of the District intact.

2016 Tax Levy Resolution

The Tax Levy is the largest source of revenue for Sycamore and surrounding school districts, as well as the most stable and reliable.  The District’s existing Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) on property is predicted to increase 1% this year, with an estimated $4M in new construction growth.  The Board of Education adopted a 2016 tax levy that asks the County Clerk for a 4.55% increase from the 2015 tax levy extension, but the total increase will be determined by the County Clerk’s Office in late March of 2017.

Upcoming Board Meeting

Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at the District Office

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at West Elementary School

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at the District Office