Residents voice support for all-day kindergarten at River Forest School District No. 90
River Forest School District No. 90 Board of Education met Tuesday, Nov. 1.
Here are the minutes as provided by River Forest School District No. 90:
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE MEETING November 1, 2016
Place: Roosevelt Library Learning Center
Members Present: Mrs. Anne Gottlieb, Mr. Richard Moore, Mrs. Barbara Hickey, Ms. Stacey Williams, Mr. Roman Ebert, Mr. David Latham
Administrators Present: Dr. Alison Hawley, Director of Curriculum and instruction, Ms. Diane Wood, Willard School Principal, Mrs. Karen Boozell, Director of Special Education ,Mr. Larry Garstki, Roosevelt School Principal
Community Present: Alexis Murphy, parent Beth Vlerick, parent Rebecca Kleps, parent Lindsay Hollander, resident Andrea Keeney, resident Sheba Chiplunkar, parent Megan Walsh, parent Megan Keskitalo, resident Li Zhang, parent Ed Miranda, parent Shama Patel, resident Kasey Butkus, parent Stephen Jackson, parent Blerina Valikaj-Stringer, paremt Divya Variyam, parent B. Cohen, parent Gia Colunga, parent Allison Jack, parent
Recording Secretary: Dr. Ed Condon, Superintendent
Mrs. Gottlieb called the Committee of the Whole Meeting to order at approximately 7:00 p.m. and welcomed visitors and invited comments from the audience. A copy of the Speakers' Roster as well as the Attendance Roster is included in the official minutes.
Public Comment Alexis Murphy, 228 Ashland, spoke in favor of a full-day Kindergarten program. She discussed her prior full-day experience before moving to River Forest. She stated that District 90 teachers are impressive and talked about non-academic issues, such as respect and creativity.
Gia Galunga, 730 Forest, stated that she supports full-day Kindergarten. Her child currently attends a private Kindergarten because she believes that a half-day program put children at a disadvantage in comparison to other districts.
Beth Vlerick, 1333 Monroe, spoke in favor of a full-day program. She told the Board that the issue will not go away and wants a more substantive discussion on the topic,
Public Comment (continued) Lindsay Hollander, 742 William, requested a full-day program. She stated that there is broad support for such a program, but would be satisfied with both options, so parents can make the best choice for their families,
Rebecca Kleps, 222 Lathrop, stated that she supports a full-day program. She teachers in a nearby district that provides full-day Kindergarten. She spoke about the extensive amount of homework for half-day students because the full-day program is compressed.
Andrea. Keeney, 710 Park, spoke in favor of a full-day program. She stated that this issue is important for the River Forest community.
Sheba Chiplunkar, 126 Ashland, stated that she supports a full-day program. She expressed concern that her Kindergarten child will not be prepared for a full-day first grade Schedule.
Megan Keskitalo, 8125 Lake, stated her support of a full-day program. She offered several reasons for her position including an overwhelming majority of Illinois School districts offering a full-day program, as well as many mothers in River Forest in the workforce. She requested that Board members make a child-centered decision in support of a full-day program.
Allison Jack, 147 Thatcher, shared her support for a full-day program. She described this as an equity issue and hoped Board members would reopen the matter.
Stephen Jackson, 7204 Oak, stated his support for a full-day program. He said that a half-day program has adverse effects on students compared to students in a full-day program.
Ed Miranda, 224 Lathrop, spoke on behalf of a full-day program and stated that a half-day program is a disservice to both Kindergarten teachers and students.
Megan Walsh, 19 Ashland, stated that she supports a full-day program, with an option for a halfday for families that prefer such a choice.
Blerina Valikaj-Stringer, 46 Forest, spoke on behalf of a full-day program. She expressed concern for her student's transition to first grade. She also talked about how a full-day program would impact the River Forest community and its property values.
Kasey Butkus, 235 Keystone, stated that she supported a full-day program. She expressed her concern about the lack of play time for Kindergarten students and the potential challenges as children transition from a half-day Kindergarten program to full-day first grade.
Divya Variyam, 1425 Jackson, expressed her support for a full-day program. She explained that her family delayed its relocation into River Forest because the District didn't offer a full-day Kindergarten. She stated that a full-day program offers a balance between play and academics.
It was moved by Mrs. Hickey and seconded by Ms. Williams that the Board of Education approve the agenda as presented.
On call of the roll, the vote was as follows: Ayes: Mr. Moore, Mrs. Gottlieb, Mrs. Hickey, Mr. Latham, Mr. Ebert, Ms. Williams Nays: none
The motion carried.
Superintendent Report Madison Street Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District - Dr. Condon updated the Board on the status of conversations with the Village of River Forest regarding the proposed TIF intergovernmental Agreement. The administration continues to talk with River Forest Village administrators to finalize the IGA. Board members asked several questions about the process and directed the District administration to submit their questions to the District's legal counsel while continuing talks with the Village.
Education Committee Mr. Moore asked Dr. Condon and Ms. Wood to provide an update on the Districts equity efforts. They shared the recently adopted Vision for Equity; recent equity initiatives, such as the partnership with the National Equity Project; and a listing of significant accomplishments and milestones.
Communications Committee Dr. Condon and Communications Coordinator, Dawne Simmons, provided an overview of the communications and community outreach function in the District. Ms. Simmons presented the results of a recent communications survey that detailed the preferred method of contact by Survey participants. She also presented an overview of the communications initiatives for 2016-17.
Personnel It was moved by Mr. Moore and seconded by Mrs. Hickey that the Board of Education approve the Personnel Report as presented.
On roll call, the vote was as follows: Ayes: Mrs. Hickey, Mr. Latham, Mrs. Gottlieb, Mr. Moore, Mr. Ebert, Ms. Williams Nays: none
The motion carried.
Adjournment There being no further business to discuss, the Committee of the Whole Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:31 p.m.
Richard Moore, Secretary