The Examiner U-46 News Feed
District U-46 approves expenses, resolutions
By Seth Hancock
The Board of Education in School District U-46 unanimously approved $1.2 million in expenditure items along with a list of itemized bills and several resolutions at its meeting on Monday, July 23.
An update to South Elgin High School’s academy was approved with a total projected cost of $340,382 to come from state and federal grant funds. Included in the cost is between $200,000 and $250,000 for equipment, $50,000 for supplies and $152,146 for technology while the proposal stated that the board already approved $79,180 for equipment purchase as well as a technology purchase.
The update includes a renaming of the academy to the Beacon Academy of Media and Digital Arts as well as a curriculum update. Brian Moran, South Elgin’s principal, said the curriculum change includes making all courses honors classes and adding two AP Capstone courses in seminar and research.
A proposal with Istation costing $305,460, to be paid for by the nation’s taxpayers through Title I funds, was approved. Istation is a “digital learning resource” for literacy intervention according to the proposal.
A three-year license renewal with Jellyvision Lab, Inc. costing $182,700 (education, operations and maintenance and transportation funds) was approved.
The proposal stated: “Given the ever-changing nature of health insurance, the potential for significant personal cost exposure and the complexities involved with available health insurance options, the District has partnered with the Jellyvision Lab, Inc. since 2013 to provide personalized benefits decision support via a virtual benefits counselor, ‘Alex.’… The Alex virtual benefits counselor engages employees in a one-on-one conversation that considers employees’ unique personal situation, explains information in plain language, and helps employees make decisions that are best for them and their families.”
With Ed Tech, a $170,000 expenditure (Title II grant funds) was approved for professional development that would “support implementation of technology in the classroom” the proposal stated.
The board approved a proposal costing $143,496 (operations and maintenance fund) with Team Reil Inc. for a Wayne Elementary School playground project. The Village of Wayne provided about $100,000 for the project.
Also approved was a proposal with Workforce Software costing $72,090 (education fund). The expenditure would go towards a software update for the district’s payroll system.
Approved under the consent agenda were two items not presented at the previous meeting, on June 18, and board member Jeanette Ward inquired about them prior to the meeting.
The first of those items was for building permits for a project at Hanover Park’s Horizon Elementary School for installation of emergency strobe lights and notification for deaf and hard of hearing. The project has an estimated cost of $8,940.
In response to Ward’s question, the district responded: “This was not brought to the Board because policy allows administration to approve construction/capital projects under $50,000.00.”
The second of those items was for occupancy permits for seven projects. The district stated: “All of the items were brought to the Board for approval as Bids with the exception of Sunnydale. This project did not require Board approval. It was under $50,000.00. However, the Board must approve applications for building permits.”
The project at Sunnydale Elementary School, in Streamwood, is for replacement of ceiling, lights and pipe insulation.
The approved itemized bills totaled $28.1 million and board member Phil Costello asked if a $3.9 million item under property purchase and escrow was the final cost to which Dale Burnidge, director of financial operations, said it “was the final payment at the close.” In May, the board approved of a plan to purchase an Elgin property at an estimated cost of $4 million.
Approved was a resolution authorizing the public display of the Fiscal Year 2019 budget as well as setting a date for the public hearing. The budget, which will be under review at an Aug. 6 finance committee meeting, is expected to be presented to the board on Aug. 20 with a public hearing set for Sept. 10, and a vote on final adoption is expected on Sept. 24.
A resolution declaring the need for continued usage of temporary classrooms was approved. The district plans for the use of 13 total mobile units housing 21 total classrooms.
A list of authorized depositories was also approved which include PMA Securities, Inc., the Illinois School District Liquid Asset Fund and JP Morgan Chase & Co.
The board also approved the minutes from three regular board meetings, and U-46 CEO Tony Sanders said the minutes now include a link to the meeting video. Ward noted that one of the minutes, from May 21, did not include the link and Sanders said: “Those minutes were already done and reviewed internally before we had the opportunity to do it.”
At a June meeting, Ward had argued that minutes that were approved that evening were “incomplete” and board member Sue Kerr offered up a compromise going forward to include the video link in future minutes which Ward said was a “great idea.”