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U-46 approves expenses via unanimous vote

By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved two expenditure items totaling over $700,000 at its meeting on Monday, Sept. 25.
  By 6-0 votes, board member Phil Costello was not in attendance, the board approved a $68,000 proposal with Language Testing International Inc. to purchase Assessment of Performance towards Proficiency in Language (APPL) tests and a $648,133 proposal for a five-year contract with Defined Learning, LLC to purchase the Defined STEM resource. Both will come from the education fund.
  According to the proposal, the APPL test “qualifies students to earn the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy” and “can also be used to inform instruction.” It also stated: “Students who earn the State Seal of Biliteracy receive an official designation on their high school diploma.”
  Board member Sue Kerr asked if this would be the first year students can earn the seal, which Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent of secondary schools instruction and equity, said “no, we had students also earn” the seal last year.
  Regarding the Defined STEM resource, the district proposal said it will “provide an enriched, high quality experience that empowers all graduates to be competitive members of the global society” and “advocate for and utilize systems and resources that promote operational excellence, efficiency and accountability.”
  The administration said that if the district chose so in the future, it could end the contract without penalty before the five years is up.
  Board member Traci Ellis asked if it includes coding and design to which Suzanne Johnson, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, said “it could… but overall most of them are not heavy on coding components.” She added on design the focus is architecture and engineering.
  Board member Jeanette Ward, noting that Johnson stated career clusters could start in kindergarten, asked: “Just so the public doesn’t get confused, when you spoke of career clusters as early as kindergarten you don’t mean that kindergartners need to pick their careers, you just mean you’re giving kindergarteners the opportunity to see what careers might result?”
  Johnson said: “Correct, thank you for clarifying that.”
  The board also approved unanimously a resolution for the continued usage of mobile classrooms, a list including 13 total units and 21 classrooms, as well as $9.9 million in itemized bills.
  In the itemized bills, Ward asked about a $1,000 payment to Villa Olivia Country Club which the administration said was a “down payment to reserve Villa Olivia for the Principal for a Day Luncheon,” and that it is reimbursed.



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