April 28th Special Meeting agenda

I know folks are getting excited (insert alternative adjective as desired) in regards to a Spalding site. Keep your hats on, here are the “action” portions of the agenda for Monday:

  • 7. Reports: New Business
    • A. Suits and Ties Project: Dr. Judy Wiegand
    • B. Youth Assessment Center: Orlando Thomas
    • C. Master Facility Plan: Matt Foster This item has files attached
  • 8. Action Agenda: New Business
    • A. Resolution to Prepare a Final Budget for FY14 and Approval to Hold a Public Hearing on Such Budget on June 9, 2014: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • B. 2014-15 Regular & Special Board Meeting Schedules: Dr. Judy Wiegand This item has files attached
  • 9. Consent Agenda
    • A. 2014-15 Elementary English Language Arts Adoption: Trevor Nadrozny This item has files attached
    • B. K-12 Health Adoption: Cheryl O’Leary This item has files attached
    • C. Acceptance of Contract for Sale of Marquette: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • D. Bid: Auditing Services for FY14, FY15 and FY16: Matt Foster



Suits and Ties was really awesome. If you haven’t seen the video yet, go check it out!


One very interesting thing is that this video has gone viral, and you can find links to it on many many different websites. Reading through the comments on various websites, there is an interesting cross-section of responses; the vast majority give high praise and kudos to those involved. But some take a more cynical approach.


The Master Facility Plan sounds like it might address one of the things I need to vote for the referendum, but unfortunately Unit 4 has chosen not to post the plan at all, so we can’t read it. Hopefully it will be posted later. I don’t get why they don’t post it prior to the meeting. Note the the “District Facility Committee” and the administration “have done a lot of work”, yet there are no minutes or even meeting agendas that would give us a single clue.


Final Budget and obligatory “public hearing”. I always chuckle to myself when I hear about these “public hearings”. Maybe they used to be different, but all the public hearings I can remember last about 30 seconds. I think we need a few classes on “particpatory budgets” – and don’t worry Board Members, I don’t see a “participatory budget” happening in the context of a Board Meeting. At all. *grin*


March 31st special board meeting

The agenda for the March 31st special board meeting has been posted on boarddocs (anyone know of a way to “deep link” it?). The agenda is quite full – I am sure you could find something interesting on it. 🙂 Lots of money changing hands….


Just as a reminder, a Special Board Meeting means that the public is allowed three minutes (each person, each topic) to talk on various agenda items, as opposed to being restricted to the first item on the agenda.


  • 7. Reports: New Business
    • A. Facilities: Dr. Judy Wiegand This item has files attached
    • B. ELA Adoption: Trevor Nadrozny This item has files attached
    • C. Health Adoption: Cheryl O’Leary This item has files attached
  • 8. Action Agenda: New Business
    • A. Administrative Appointments – Assistant Principals at Garden Hills Elementary: Ken Kleber
    • B. Policy 440.03 Update: Food Services – Charging Costs of Meals: Tom Lockman This item has files attached
    • C. Policy 720 Student Welfare – Food Allergy: Tom Lockman This item has files attached
    • D. Westview Change Order #15: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • E. Approval of Robeson/Bottenfield Abatement Change Order #1: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • F. Approval of Robeson/Bottenfield Abatement Change Order #2: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • G. Bid: Kenwood and Robeson Asbestos Abatement: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • H. Bid: Robeson/Bottenfield Student Device Technology: Dave Hohman
    • I. Bid: Robeson/Bottenfield Staff Computer Technology: Dave Hohman
    • J. Bid: Magnet Grant Student Device Technology: Dave Hohman
    • K. Rejection of Bids for Sale of Marquette (203 S. Fifth, Champaign): Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • L. Resolution – Sale of Property at 203 S. Fifth: Matt Foster This item has files attached
  • 9. Consent Agenda
    • A. 2014-15 IHSA Memberships: Orlando Thomas This item has files attached
    • B. Tax-Exempt Lease-Purchase Financing for Two Used 71 Passenger 2015 Blue Bird Propane Buses: Matt Foster This item has files attached
    • C. Revocation of Retirement – John Ayers, Jr.: Ken Kleber
    • D. Resolution to Authorize Reclassification – Ian Tatum: Ken Kleber
    • E. Resolution to Give Written Notice of Reassignment & Reclassification – Theodis (Tony) Maltbia: Ken Kleber
    • F. Resolution to Give Written Notice of Reassignment & Reclassification – Paul Ranstead: Ken Kleber
    • G. Resolution to Give Written Notice of Reassignment & Reclassification – Rachel Maehr: Ken Kleber
    • H. Separation Agreement – Lisa Geren: Ken Kleber
    • I. Release of Certified Staff: Ken Kleber This item has files attached
    • J. Reductions In Force – Certified Staff: Ken Kleber This item has files attached
    • K. Reductions In Force – Classified Staff: Ken Kleber This item has files attached
    • L. 2014-2015 Staffing Requests: Ken Kleber

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BOE meeting tonight, grassroots parent/teacher collabo, other news

Even though the Unit 4 schools are closed today, the BOE is still holding their “special” meeting tonight (“special” as in “every 4th week, a little more audience participation allowed”). Of course, there is Big News in that the Board is expected to disclose which property north of I-74 they intend to purchase for the new location of the high school; per Stephanie Stuart:

“Approval of Option and Contract Purchase Agreements for New High School Site” appears as item 8F on the attached agenda. District administration and board members will be available at Monday night’s meeting for comments/interviews regarding the new site.


A number of community folks, including Tod Satterthwaite, Patricia Avery, Minnie Pearson and Holly Nelson have stood up at board meetings in the past couple of months urging the board (in various tones *grin*) to carefully consider what a site north of I-74 will mean in the long run. There have been many questions about Country Fair, and Matt Foster responded quite thoroughly about why Country Fair would not work at the regular board meeting on Jan 13th. Personally, my issue with the whole thing is a lack of concrete facts, especially looking at the long-term. It seems that nobody knows for sure how much this is going to cost. Holly Nelson has done a good job to project possible transportation costs, but it seems that the Board is convinced those costs do not rule out a site north of I-74. Even MTD cannot tell us how much it will cost to bus students (and anyone else interested in going to school events).


I very much encourage you to attend tonight if you want your voice heard.


Additionally, there is a grassroots effort to bring parents, teachers and students together. From the CP4T facebook page:

“Our initial goal is to find ways to help empower parents with the education of their children. We are hoping to help build the communication between teachers and parents, and find ways to provide resources for parents. “

The next gathering will be February 6 at 6:30 pm, at the Champaign Federation of Teacher’s office located at 2902 Crossing Ct #B (look for the signs for Suite D – it is really close to that).


Finally, in other news:

  • PTA Forum tomorrow, Tuesday, January 28, 6:00 8:00 pm at the Champaign library to discuss transitions to Middle School (ie, from 5th to 6th grade). All are welcome. Sponsored by the South Side PTA.
  • The next (and first, since the other first one was cancelled) Schools of Choice Community Forum will be February 4th, at Barkstall Elementary School (2201 Hallbeck Drive in Champaign) at 6 p.m. All families with incoming kindergarten students are encouraged to attend.
  • Another “Community Conversation” with Dr. Wiegand; Sunday, Feruary 9th, 2:00 – 3:30 pm, at El Centro Romero (St. Mary’s Catholic Church), 612 E. Park St, Champaign.

quick note on Sept 23rd special board meeting

The agenda has been posted; got some interesting items from the RPC about a study on transportation effects of a new high school (I have not read them thoroughly, yet). Also, a “public hearing” on the budget. I would like to hear from folks who have never been to one what you think it is. 🙂 Couple other odds and ends.


I also expect to hear things during public comment about CFT negotiations, and maybe even from Kenwood parents.

June 24th board retreat

This afternoon, the board held a Special Board Meeting dealing with the goals of/for the Superintendent, Dr. Judy Wiegand. Outside of the Unit 4 employees and the Board Members, I think NG staff writer Meg Dickinson, Chuck Jackson and I were the only others in attendance. There was a NG photographer who swung by, so depending on which pictures are made available, you will see that there were about 32-34 people total.

I appreciated that both Board President Laurie Bonnett and Dr. Wiegand made it very clear that public participation was very much welcome and that there would be a free-flow discussion. I like that format a lot; it probably would be a bit more challenging to adhere to that format if more community members (and more vocal ones *grin*) were in the room.

I was only able to stick around for the first hour. I believe that in that first hour, we only covered the first of the five goals outlined in the one public document made available online. Which reminds me, there were a number of handouts available for the public, but I do not know where they are online (maybe they are not posted? Yet) {updated} Documents now posted on BoardDocs – see the full slide deck for more details on what was covered. In that first goal, the Assistant Superintendents and the Superintendent spent a lot of time covering the “Achievement Framework.” I am still trying to wrap my head around it, and I cannot possibly do it justice here. At least, not yet. There was a lot of talk of utilizing more metrics and constant monitoring, of being very intentional and mindful of key waypoints (ie, Kindergarten, 3rd grade, 5th grade, 8th grade), and implementing Common Core with the idea of ultimately making all kids “college ready”.

Also, in a brief chat with the tech guys before the meeting, I learned that the “screen” (the computer monitor to display the various presentations) would be recorded, and Mr. David Hohman tells me that audio is going to be synchronized after the fact. I do not see either online, yet, but will keep my eyes open. My biggest concern, especially in regards to involving everyone who could not make it, is that the audio might be a bit lacking at times; they had technical difficulties with one microphone and ended up passing another one around which sounded a lot different; many times the mic cut out, and sometimes the speaker (ie, from the audience) was not near a mic. I hope the end result is enough for folks to bite into.

More later. I would love to get feedback from board members as well – we will have to see if anyone wishes to share their thoughts.


UPDATE: Vimeo video now available:


June 17th special board meeting video available

David Hohman just posted the June 17th video; it is 38 minutes and I am listening to it now.


More details about special board meeting and board retreat

The agenda for the June 17th special board meeting is up – looks like a ton of things for Bottenfield are being scrutinized (ie, change orders, etc).

  • Approval of Bottenfield General Contractor Bid: $6.3 million
  • Approval of MET Proposal for Inspection Services at Bottenfield: $26.5 thousand
  • Approval of Champaign Telephone Quotes for Bottenfield Elementary School: $136 thousand
  • Approval of Bottenfield Midwest Engineering and Testing, Inc. Contract: $13.4 thousand
  • Approval of Bottenfield Corson Music Price Quotes: $15.6 thousand
  • Approval of Bottenfield Alpha Controls Contract: $48 thousand

Two other things on the Action Agenda; CFT wanting more sick leave and the Midwest Transit Bus lease.

Also, the board retreat is announced at the very bottom of the agenda; not yet on the Unit 4 website:

Board/Administration Retreat: June 24, 2013 at Central High School from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Reminder: the board retreat is open to the public. Hoping more details come out soon.