Return to Headlines

02.28.22 Board of Education Meeting Summary

Oswego Community Unit School District 308 Board of Education Meeting
Monday, February 28, 2022
Oswego East High School Community Room

Video Link 

4.1 Recognitions

February PRIDE Winners

Teachers of the Month: Joanna Allen, Sara Duffy, Scott Freischlag, Hillary Wieschhaus

Employees of the Month: Lee Carter, Gayle Figgins

5.1 Public Comment

6.1 Board Member Comments

6.2 Board Committee Reports
Equity Advisory Committee: Update on Envision 308, surveys, dress code, and disparity in discipline data were discussed at the committee meeting. Student rights/responsibilities consider including an area of microaggression, peer-peer aggression.
Finance and Facilities Committee: Committee met in the operations/finance building,meeting included presentations regarding audit and findings. Discussed cash flow of the district, the reasons for the Tax Anticipation Warrants (TAW).

Teaching and Learning Committee: Policy was discussed with feedback provided to the policy committee. Update on Envision 308 was shared. High school discussion of Freshman Orientation enhancements.

6.3 Superintendent's Report

Several Congratulations were offered by Dr. Sparlin:

  • Fine arts students Danielle Donovan, Nathan Frost, Mars Patsch, Alexander Peters, Olivia Raimondi, and Jaime Rasmussen were selected across eight different categories from submitted scholarship portfolios and were awarded almost $2 million dollars in scholarships.  

  • AJ Johnson from OHS advanced to the IHSA Wrestling State Finals and had an 8th place finish and was an All-State selection in the 160 pound weight class. 

  • OHS student Sam Phillips had a 10th place finish in the IHSA State gymnastics tournament on the vault. 

  • OE Boys Basketball team are Regional Champions with their win over Aurora West.  This brings their season record to 32-1. They play Neaqua Valley at OHS Tuesday night at 7pm.

  • OHS Girls Bowling Team finished 3rd in the IHSA State Finals and brought home a State Trophy!  The last time the girls bowling program had a State finish was 1998.  Also, Laney Breedlove took 4th place individually in bowling and was an all-state selection.

6.4 Student Ambassador Reports

Student Advisory Committee plans to meet soon to discuss the student survey results regarding sexual harrassment. Student outreach has increased in communicating with the student ambassadors- invite more students to reach out- student ambassador email links were added to the website Board Member page.

7.1 The Board of Education Election of an Officer for the Position of Vice President

Nominations included Eugene Gatewood and Dominick Cirone. Mr. Cirone declined the nomination. Mr. Gatewood was named as Vice President with a 6-0 vote.

8.1 Community Partnerships- Presentation
Envision 308 Updates regarding the Community Partnerships portion of the strategic plan.  Updates were shared by Michelle Earley, Theresa Komitas, Dr. Heidi Podjasek, Dr. Jadon Waller. 

Survey of students from the student ambassador committee- determined sexual harrassment as a topic for further exploration. A second survey was created on school safety and reporting, student education and mental health. Students participated in Youth-led Participatory Action Research YPAR process to determine the action plan they will create. A staff survey has been disseminated.
Community Partnerships- 

  • SCRC (School-Community Resource Collaborative) organizations meet to determine needs, services in the community. Largest project has been the Food Pantry. 

  • Partnership with Family Counseling Services referral to access services as needed when identified by the school, will offer professional development opportunities to staff, and will be providing group work/programs in the schools. Sliding scale is available for services based on income. 

  • Family Engagement Framework- outlined core beliefs, definition of parent engagement, family engagement umbrella- includes several departments working together. Share events between groups, creating two-way communication between families and the district. Parent Cafes use the Be Strong framework, including values and protective factors. Next Parent Cafe is March 16, 6:30-7:30pm, district website and social media will advertise and include a link to register. 

  • Inform and involve alumni, staff, students, parents and the community. Student DEI Committee- Amplify (upcoming event 4/7 at OEHS 7:30-8:30pm: highlight student stories, experiences through art/speech), newsletters, Community Cafes, social media positive stories.

  • Envision 308- data dashboard provides updates, links, and timelines. Videos are also shared. 

  • Foster Partnerships- list of current partners that offer opportunities on the district website. 

  • Parent education and engagement opportunities to be offered in the future, with an annual listing of courses. 

  • Develop Affinity Groups- in the future develop a group for all stakeholders for community support. Host an alumni event to celebrate our alumni, partner with local businesses. 

Measurement of Success: Administrative Recommendation to “making progress” on the annual report posted on the dashboard. 

8.2 Facility Plans- Presentation

Presented by Dr. John Petzke 

Included in the Envision 308 plan, finance and facilities goals:

  • General Maintenance Update: Review needs for general maintenance for the next 10 years and allocation of funding accordingly. Reviewed the 2015-20 deferred maintenance plan, engaged Kluber Architects to develop the master facility maintenance schedule. Conducted facility feedback meetings with building principals and engineers, now meeting with the Strategic Planning team with the central office operations staff. Future work- prioritize projects with the most urgent needs, with timeline and costs, prior to completing work. Work has been identified as priority types of Mission Critical, Annual or Maintenance Work, or Addition or Improvement to help track where costs are allocated, and appropriate timelines/schedules. 

  • Program Capacity Update: 5 year plan to address physical capacity of the buildings. Currently conducting a comprehensive assessment of district programs and enrollments. Relocation of Central Registration, demographer retained, report on enrollment projections and program facility needs. Identify facility needs- include in the capital project timeline to utilize all district space. Solutions will be developed for space needs.

Measurement of Success: Administrative Recommendation to “making progress” on the annual report posted on the dashboard. 


9.1 Minutes from previous Meeting
9.2 Acknowledgement of Freedom of Information (FOIA) Requests
Motion Passed 6-0


10.1 Financial Statements - from February 10, 2022 Meeting

10.2 Boilers and Chillers Project - from February 10, 2022 Meeting
The chillers at OE need significant repairs, and both the chillers at OE and the boilers at OHS have been identified as being at or near their end of life.  Additionally, the cooling tower at OE needs refurbishing and was part of a larger bid that was rejected at the August 9, 2021 BOE meeting.  It was determined, to be prudent, to add the OE cooling tower refurbishment as an alternate given the intent to replace the OE chillers.  The base bid consists of replacing the OE chillers.  Alternate Bid #2 consists of the OE cooling tower refurbishing and Alternate Bid #3 consists of replacing the OHS boilers. On Tuesday, January 25, 2022 bids were publicly opened and read aloud for the above referenced project. Eight (8) contractors elected to submit a bid.A bid qualification and scope review has been conducted with Helm Mechanical- it was determined they have adequately covered the required work scope for the base bid. There were 2 alternates for the bid.

The recommendation is to accept the base bid and Alternates #1 & #2 from Helm Mechanical in the amount of $2,095,000.00.  The original budget estimates for this project were: Base bid $1,000,000.00, Alt. #1 $80,386.00, Alt #2 $660,000.00


10.3 Bus Trust Lease Agreement - from February 10, 2022 Meeting

Recommended to approve a lease of seventeen (17) vehicles for a five-year term subject to the school district attorney’s approval. 

In July 2017, seventeen vehicles, five (5) 77-passenger, one (1) 30-passenger vehicle, eight (8) 24+3-passenger wheelchair vehicles, and three (3) 21+1 wheelchair vehicles were approved for a five-year term from Midwest Transit and Santander Leasing with an annual payment of $206,823.00 scheduled to terminate on June 30, 2022.  Interest rate: 3.25%

Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc. has submitted a lease offer with a total yearly lease payment of $307,549.00 due upon delivery with four additional annual payments of the same.  Interest rate: 3.45%

10.4 Oswego East High School Pool Rental Agreement

The pool rental agreement that was presented at the December 6th Board of Education meeting has been updated. The contract was sent to six swim teams to solicit interest and one team responded favorably to the terms of the agreement. Delta Aquatics (a newly formed entity/organization- not district owned/operated) will be using the facility on a rental basis.

10.5 Board Policies First Read: Section 2: School Board (2:120, 2:220) Section 3: General School Administration (3:40) Section 4: Operational Services (4:175) Section 5: General Personnel (5:30, 5:125, 5:200) Section 6: Instruction (6:60, 6:135, 6:180) Section 7: Students (7:30, 7:240, 7:250, 7:260, 7:290, 7:310, 7:315) - from February 10, 2022 Meeting

10.6 Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Resource
Last curriculum was purchased in 2005. Needs include updated content, alignment with IL Learning Standards, representing diversity, and content available in print and digital formats.
C3 framework shifts from inquiry to applicability. 

Includes Four areas: Civics, Geography, Economics and Financial Literacy, History.
Pilot process began in Sept, second completed in January/February. 

Pilot #1- Impact Social Studies - used as directed in publication

Pilot #2- District-created Inquiry Units with Impact Social Studies- student choice in projects

Overall the elementary staff feedback preference was #2.
Instruction experience with Impact materials and district-created inquiry was outlined by grade. Students used technology, practiced oral language, student-led research and collaboration. Students demonstrate their knowledge in a way they choose- engagement elevates. Overall very positive outcome.
Public viewing of curriculum content is available at the district office for the next 30 days. Next steps- purchase materials, professional development, create scope-and-sequence for each grade level, and changes to Mastery Connect.

10.7 Junior High Math Curriculum Resource  Presentation

Current resource was adopted in 2014, six year contract has expired- consumables were purchased outside of contract and teacher-created materials were used to supplement. Even newer editions of this resource do not meet the needs.

Consistency is essential at all schools. Math scores have been declining over the past three years. 

Teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, and district staff were involved in the pilot of materials. 

Pilot process began four years ago. This year’s pilot research began in fall with two resources. Presentation of pilot materials to math department, feedback and survey was collected, pilot teachers met for discussion, leading to district administration of selection- Savvas enVision.

This resource aligns with the math framework, is more rigorous than current resources, uses problem-based learning, builds conceptual to abstract thinking. Most important in choice to teachers was differentiation- this source has multiple tools to use for enrichment and intervention. Also important was assessment- this tool uses formative and summative options in several forms. Math framework- tool aligns with the district framework. Professional development includes videos, shares best practices and online training features. Significant digital resources, which can be customized and assigned to students. DEI- differentiation opportunities, evidence of diversity in tasks/problems in text. Critical thinking- the lessons include task choice, STEM projects, and exploration of real situations. Positive student feedback following the pilot. Next steps- curricular resources available to view at the district March 1 for 30 days. Purchase materials in April, if approved. 


11.1 Approval of District Administrator Contract

Motion passed (5-1)

11.2 Approval of Personnel Report

Motion passed (5-1)