Juliette Low Student Presents Case for ‘Hands-On’ Science to the Board of Education

At the May 22, 2017, board meeting, Marco Hervas, a fourth grade student at Juliette Low, made a presentation to the board about the importance of providing ‘hands-on’ science experiences to CCSD59 students.

Marco’s presentation included the reasons why he feels these type of experiments are important, suggestions on how to implement them, different categories of lessons, and resources that can be utilized for sample experiments. He even included lesson plans with goals, understandings, student objectives, and learning activities.

Marco said his hope is that the district will recognize the importance of the experiences he outlined, so that exploration days will be implemented each month.

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2017-18 Budget Update Presented to the Board

During the board meeting on May 22, 2017, the board of education reviewed the tentative budget for 2017-18 for the first time. The budget includes many considerations for the upcoming fiscal year, including:

  • Various school construction projects, including a new addition to Devonshire Elementary designed to promote safety and the addition of classrooms.
  • Construction of a new Administration Building/Commissary at the old Lively School site which will commence in August.
  • Friendship Junior High classrooms will be remodeled this summer to provide individual entries to the classrooms and lessen sound disruptions inside the classrooms.

These projects, combined with the normal, routine capital improvement projects, will cost an estimated $24.7 million in the 2017-18 fiscal year.

To best meet the needs of students and staff members, additional resources are being allocated for curriculum and support. This includes the student technology refresh cycle, year two of the plan to update classroom learning spaces at all three junior high schools, and the hiring of additional staff. Additionally, for the 2017-18 school year, student transportation contracts have increased 35% for regular education services and 10% for special education services.

To offset the costs of some of the construction projects, administration is recommending the issuance of working cash fund bonds. The goal is to keep the debt rate consistent to the community, even with the additional debt obligation.

On June 12, 2017, the board of education will be voting to allow administration to put the FY18 tentative budget on display.

Board Views District Focus Update

As the district focus continues to evolve, the board was presented with an update on the status of the district focus elements aligned to the district’s strategic plan for the 2016-17 school year.

Members of the senior leadership team highlighted information and actions aligned to the main focus elements for 2016-17, including:
  • Learning Maps & Outcomes
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Instructional Practice
  • Student Growth & Reporting
  • Professional Learning
To view the slides of the presentation, click here. To see the full district strategic plan, click here.
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