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District U-46 to vote on various expense items


By Seth Hancock
  The Board of Education in School District U-46 will be voting on over 15 proposals, totaling $5.6 million in expenditures, at its upcoming meeting on Monday, Aug. 6. The items were presented on July 23.
  The largest item costs $1.7 million, to be paid by the nation’s taxpayers through Title II grant funds if approved, for professional development through Discovery Education for “newly adopted mathematics resources, as well the rollout of 1:1 devices in the high schools,” according to the proposal.
  The proposal continues: “The Digital Leader Corps is a three year continuous improvement system, where teacher leaders and administrators will receive ongoing professional learning, instructional support, and will develop Learning Labs within the schools to foster the development of effective technology use in the classrooms.”
  A three-year contract renewal with Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, Inc. for employee benefits would cost $839,234 (education, operations and maintenance and transportation funds).
  “The full range of services provided includes basic life insurance offered to full-time employees, which is paid by the District; voluntary employee-paid supplemental life insurance for employees, spouses and dependent children; claims administration of the district’s self-insured disability plan and an insured long term disability insurance plan,” the proposal states.
  With Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., the district is requesting an expenditure totaling $830,431 (tort fund) over five years. Sedgwick is the district’s liability and workers compensation claims manager, and the district is self-insured up to $850,000.
  Related is a contract renewal proposal totaling $630,452 (tort fund) between Continental National American ($358,640), for the district’s property insurance policy, and Safety National ($271,812), for the district’s excess workers compensation policy. U-46 will bump its self-insurance in workers compensation from $850,000 to $1 million. The proposal states: “This increase is being sought due to a high number of large losses that have already been incurred between the years 2009-2011, and a loss over $860,000 from 2013, all above the current retention.”
  The district is asking for $529,161 ($424,331 from education fund, $104,830 from Title II grant funds) with Renaissance Learning for the Star 360 student progress monitoring system for students identified as needing special services.
  A $304,050 expenditure (education fund) with Northwest Evaluation Association would go towards MAP testing, which is given to all second through eighth graders and select students at other levels.
  Two proposals with the College Board would go towards AP exams ($184,556, education fund) and PSAT exams ($127,335, education fund). The PSAT exams are given to seventh through 11th grade students.
  Regarding the AP exams, the proposal states: “School District U-46 will pay for one AP exam for each student enrolled in an AP course during the 2018-2019 school year. Students are not required to take the test and participation is voluntary.”
  Two proposals with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt would go toward professional development for reading classrooms ($119,638 Title II grant funds) and the Cognitive Abilities Test ($52,665, education fund). Cognitive Abilities Test is given to all second through sixth graders as well as students applying for gifted programs, including high school engineering academies.
  A three-year contract renewal with Hanover Research would cost $136,020 (education fund) which, according to the proposal, would provide “a variety of research services, survey options, and analytical reports.”
  With Van Acker & Associates, the district is asking for $63,720 (IDEA Part B grant funds) for consultancy services. The proposal states: “The consultant will lead the work in establishing a district-wide behavioral system and provide technical assistance to teachers and para-professionals who are working with students with emotional disabilities to decrease inappropriate behaviors and provide opportunities of engagement in positive interactions to provide students access to learning.”
  A proposal with LTI, The ACTFL Language Testing Office costing no more than $52,000 (education fund) would pay for language proficiency tests that would allow students to earn the state’s seal of biliteracy.
  The district is asking for $39,100 (education fund) for a contract renewal with TurnItIn which “provides teachers and students an electronic submission platform where students can receive immediate feedback from a combination of  the feedback feature and within the platform from peers and  teachers,” the proposal states.
  With TaJu Educational Solutions, the district is asking for a $27,000 expenditure (Title II grant funds) for professional development for reading teachers. The proposal states: “The coaching model with TaJu is tailored to provide first and second-year teachers with in-class training, small group professional development, and access to coaches on a daily basis via email.”
  The board will also vote on the Fiscal Year 2019 Northern Kane County Regional Vocational System budget which is in balance with $1.8 million in expenditures and revenues.

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