Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Report to the Board of Education - April 19, 2016

Superintendent’s Report to 
Urbana School District #116 
Board of Education
April 19, 2016

UHS Debate Team

The meeting started with a presentation by the UHS Debate Team, who discussed the successes and lessons of their inaugural season.  

Board Meetings on YouTubeRemember that all Board Meetings are broadcast live on UPTV, Channel 6. They are also posted on the USD116 YouTube Channel within a few days of the meeting.

May 17, 2016 Business Meeting at Yankee Ridge SchoolThe May 17 Business Meeting of Urbana School District #116 Board of Education will take place at Yankee Ridge Elementary School in the Library at 7:30PM. The agenda will include a tour of the school, the Elementary Fine Arts Report, and further discussion about the planned renovations of Yankee Ridge.

ISBE Federal and State Monitoring AuditOn April 15, 2016, we received the Audit Report from the Illinois State Board of Education Federal and State Monitoring visit. There was one audit adjustment required in the amount of $3,419 in the Special Education Personnel reimbursement (which is a $1,288,000 reimbursement). There were no written responses required, and the ISBE staff were appreciative of the cooperation and efficiency of USD116 staff.

Summer Youth Employment Program 2016 - Community CoalitionThanks to the generosity of the Community Coalition and a grant administered through Illinois State University (Care4U), UHS students will once again participate in a Summer Youth Employment Program during the summer of 2016. UHS Coordinators, Ms. Tammy Newton and Ms. Amanda Perez are working on placing students. Our hope is to have between 25-40 students participate this summer.

Washington School Bid InformationAt the March 15, 2016 Business Meeting of the Board of Education, the BOE passed a resolution to dispose of Washington School (1102 N. Broadway). In their resolution, the BOE established a minimum bid of $450,000.00. Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 6, USD116 will be publishing the sale notice in the News-Gazette and on our website. By state law, that notice must run for three consecutive weeks. There will be a tour for interested parties on April 28 at 10AM. The opening of the closed bids will be May 11 at 2PM. Questions regarding the bid should be directed to Carol Baker at 384-3642 or by email at

2015-2016 Professional Development UpdateIn addition to District Institute Days, Staff Development Days, and Building-Level Professional Development time, the Office of Human Resources and Professional Development has provided approximately 240 hours of after school professional development through over 60 course offerings on a wide variety of topics. In each the fall and spring semesters, approximately 100 administrators, teachers and staff registered to participate. 

New in January 2016 - Online Professional Development

  • In January, we began engaging educators with online professional development opportunities through Google Classroom. Teachers are more invested in taking ownership of their professional growth when given the flexibility to engage in learning on their own time and at their own pace.
  • We have 6 book study groups and 3 technology groups currently offered through Google Classroom.
  • Typical attendance rates have more than doubled (book groups going from 10 participants to close to 30). 
  • Krannert Art Museum
    • Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 “Fear No Art: A KAM Journey”
    • In this course, participants explored permanent collections and current exhibitions at KAM, and critiqued visual artifacts by using Visual Thinking Strategies, an inquiry-based approach that relies heavily on questioning, analyzing, and problem solving. 
  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
    • Fall 2015: “A 1984 Exploration: Aesthetic Theory and Theater”
    • Spring 2016: “A Midwinter Night's Exploration: Aesthetic Theory and Theater”
    • This course used the performances of 1984 and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at KCPA to help participants explore how aesthetics and perspectives in fine arts can enhance one’s development, teaching, and critical thinking within an educational framework.
  • Office for Mathematics, Science, and Technology in Education (MSTE) at UIUC
    • Spring 2016: “Engineering Design and Renewable Energy”
    • This course will help teachers bring renewable energy and engineering design to their classrooms.
  • EdCampCU - A connected and collaborative model of professional development
    • June 18, 2016: USD116 will be hosting an EdCampCU day of learning
  • The Mindful Teacher Foundation
    • Fall 2015 and Spring 2016: “Mindful Teacher, Mindful Kids”
    • This course is dedicated to providing mindfulness training for the benefit of teachers and students in our local schools.