Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Superintendent's Report to the Board - August 18, 2015

Facilities Summer Projects Update from Ota Dossett
We had the most aggressive summer of construction and renovation projects in recent memory. The weather and several issues outside of our control delayed many of the projects. We apologize to teachers, principals, and buildings whose rooms were not ready for you to prepare for the first day of school.

Dr. Williams Elementary:
Central HVAC = Completed 2 weeks late - construction continues all year

Leal Elementary:
Main Office carpets = Completed on schedule

King Elementary:
Roof replacement = Not complete - several weeks behind schedule

Thomas Paine Elementary:
Driveway/Parking Lot = Completed on time

Yankee Ridge Elementary;
Window replacement = Completed 3 weeks late

Urbana High School:
Tuckpointing/Sealing = On schedule to be done in 2 weeks
Kitchen/Commons = On schedule - Work continues all year
Library carpeting = Completed on schedule

Opening Day Institute
We had a successful start to the school year. The entire staff was welcomed by the Urbana High School Tiger Marching Band. Speakers included 2015 UHS Graduate, Abram Washington, and the Director for the Center of Education in Small Urban Communities, Dr. Bill Trent. The remainder of the day focused on professional development about restorative practices, curriculum, and assessment.

First Day of School
The first day of school for K-9 students (½ of Kindergartners) on Wednesday, August 19! UECS has Parent Orientation on Wednesday, August 19; EC-12 (other ½ of Kindergarteners) attend school on Thursday, August 20. All students are in attendance on Friday, August 21.

King, Thomas Paine, and Dr. Williams are all having Open House/Back to School activities tonight. UECS has New Parent Orientation/Open House tomorrow (August 19; 3:30-5:30PM). UHS has an Open House for 9th Grade and Spanish Speaking families from 6-7PM and a general Open House from 7-8PM (August 19). UMS has a Family Curriculum Night on August 24 (6:30-8PM). Yankee Ridge has a Back to School Night on August 27 (6-7:15PM). Leal is having grade level parent nights: K (tonight, August 18); 1st (August 25 - 6:30-7:30PM); 2nd (August 24 - 5:30-6:30PM); 3rd (August 27 - 5:30-6:30PM); 4th (August 25 - 5:30-6:30PM); 5th (September 1 - 5:30-6:30PM); and a school-wide Ice Cream Social (August 26 - 6:30-7:30PM).

Celebrations
Congratulations to UHS Art Teachers, Susan Gleason and Jill Lagerstam, who collaborated with two teachers from CUSD4 to write a Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation Collaborative Grant, which will allow students from both districts to spend a day at Krannert Art Museum and then collaborate to create their own artwork that was inspired by their trip to the museum. The grant was for $2700.

Congratulations to Beth Gatsche, Assistant Principal of Gerber School, for being named the Cunningham Children’s Home Employee of the Quarter.

Congratulations to Alicia Burge, UHS Science Teacher, who was named one of the 40 Under 40, by the News-Gazette’s Central Illinois Business Magazine.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Superintendent's Report to the Board - August 4, 2015

Centralized Registration:
We had over 75% of returning families register during Centralized Registration at UMS last week. We received several positive comments in person and on social media about the process and customer service. Families who were out of town and could not attend Centralized Registration will have to register at their child(ren)’s school(s) during regular business hours (7:30AM-4:30PM). The School Based Health Center held a “Walk-In” clinic during Centralized Registration that was very successful and allowed families to take care of physicals and immunizations without an appointment.

Back to School:
Opening Day for Teachers and Staff will be on Monday, August 17, 2015 at Urbana Middle School. We have a full day of professional development that starts with an address by a 2015 Graduate of UHS, Dr. Bill Trent, from UIUC, and music from the Urbana Marching Tigers.

School starts for K-9 students (½ of Kindergartners) on Wednesday, August 19. UECS has Parent Orientation on Wednesday, August 19; EC-12 (other ½ of Kindergarteners) attend school on Thursday, August 20. All students in attendance on Friday, August 21.

Human Resources and Professional Development:
I would like to welcome Katherine Barbour, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources and Professional Development, to her first Board meeting in her new role. She and her department members have been working hard all summer to support principals with their summer hiring and to prepare for our district’s New Teacher Orientation, Unified Professional Development August Day, Substitute Recruitment Fair, Substitute Orientations, New Employee Orientations, and Opening Institute Day.

Summer Construction Update:
Ota Dossett will provide a full update at the August Business Meeting, but we will say that several projects are behind schedule. Ota has been sharing regular updates with building staff. Ota and his district and building staff are working hard to get rooms ready for teachers and students.

Celebrations:
August 7, 2015 - Reception for the naming of the Dorothy Vickers-Shelley Library at Booker T. Washington School; 4PM - 6PM

August 8, 2015 - Celebration of the renaming of Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr. Elementary School; 1PM - 3PM

August 13, 2015 - Piato’s Lunch Buffet to support King School Backpack Program (accepting donations and school supplies from lunch through close)

August 15, 2015 - CUSF Flapjack Fundraiser; Applebee’s in Champaign; 8AM - 10AM (Family Friendly)

August 15, 2015 - Laugh-A-Palooza Fundraiser for the Greg Chew Theatre Scholarship; Mike and Molly’s in Champaign; 7PM - Midnight (Not appropriate for youth)

Board of Education Vacancy Update

At the August 4, 2015 Board of Education meeting of Urbana School District 116, the BOE discussed the selection process and timeline to fill the vacancy on the Board representing Sub-District #4 (West Central).

The applications are due on Friday, August 7 at 4PM. Information and application can be found at http://www.usd116.org/district/board-of-education/

Board members Fisher and Patten will screen all written applications based on the criteria established by Board Policy and Illinois School Code. The district will issue a press release with the names of all eligible applicants on Friday evening or Monday morning.

All applicants will be invited to an "Applicant Forum" moderated by the League of Women Voters. This public forum will take place in the USD116 Board Room (205 N. Race St., Urbana) on Wednesday, August 12 at 7:30PM. Audience members will have to opportunity to submit written questions, and questions will be solicited via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Board of Education will interview all eligible applicants in closed session on Thursday, August 13, 2015. The Board will deliberate and discuss after the interviews, but no action will be taken on August 13, 2015.

The Board will take action at their Business Meeting on August 18, 2015 to appoint an individual to the BOE to represent Sub-District #4 (West Central) until the next election in April, 2017.