Front Entrance of MHS

News and Notes

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

November 8, 2022

The District 120 Board of Education values communication and transparency. We will be publishing “District 120 News & Notes” after our regular Board of Education meetings and if/as other opportunities arise in order to keep our community informed and connected. News & Notes will focus on actions taken and highlights from administration presentations.

Shared Services Update 

The District 120 and District 75 Boards of Education met to review their declaration and reaffirm their support of the shared services model that began in 2018. The benefits of the shared services model include financial efficiencies and staff efficiencies. The number of staff employed under the shared services model has grown from 12 to 27. By the end of fiscal year 2023, the two districts are projected to have saved more than $9.1 million from the sharing services. Those savings continue to be reinvested back into programs that benefit students and improve student achievement.
 

Peter Rastrelli, Ed.D., Board President
On behalf of the District 120 Board of Education
 

News and Notes November 1, 2022

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

November 1, 2022

The District 120 Board of Education values communication and transparency. We will be publishing “District 120 News & Notes” after our regular Board of Education meetings and if/as other opportunities arise in order to keep our community informed and connected. News & Notes will focus on actions taken and highlights from administration presentations.

Tax Levy - Board Approved

The District 120 Board of Education adopted its 2022 estimated property tax levy which sets the amount of property tax dollars that can be levied by a taxing district. Combined with an increase in the total value of property in the district, the levy will keep the school district’s tax rate about the same as last year. A Public Hearing on the Tax Levy will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the beginning of the Board’s monthly meeting.

Long-term Facilities Plan - Board Approved

The District 120 School Board adopted its revised long-term Facilities Plan, setting some priorities for future building improvements.

The facilities plan is not a specific blueprint for building renovation, nor a contract, but a flexible plan that will evolve based on future choices. The new plan would expand athletic facilities, showcase performing arts venues and modernize food service at the high school. The conceptual plan allows for future changes as the Board works through budgeting, cost identification and construction issues.

The top priorities identified in the plan include:  increased multi-purpose space throughout; expanded cafeteria space; expanded performing arts spaces; expanded physical education/athletic spaces; enhanced/expanded spaces for Career Training;  consideration of mental health and wellness; and improved building systems and infrastructure.

Proposed School Calendars Board Approved

The School Board agreed to adopt proposed school calendars for the next two years. While these initial calendars are subject to change, it does provide parameters and some key dates for future planning. Highlights for the 2023-24 calendar include a starting school on Aug. 16, a Monday-Friday Thanksgiving break and final exams ending on May 24. The 2024-25 calendar includes a start day of Aug. 14, a Wednesday-Friday Thanksgiving break and final exams ending on May 23. Graduation would be held on May 19 in 2024; the 2025 graduation date is TBD.

Wellness Programs

The MHS Wellness Center was the focus of the Student Service Department’s presentation to the Board of Education. The Wellness Center, the newest addition to the high school, is a safe, calm environment with certified staff on hand and confidential consultations available. The Wellness Center team presented an overview of its supports in place as well as social-emotional groups and other wellness initiatives building wide.

2023-23 Course Guide Board Approved

The School Board approved the course selection guide for 2023-24. The guide provides a description of all courses offered at MHS. Improvements to the guide include restricting the ways in which students can earn honors credits and increasing career pathway opportunities for students.

Superintendent Evaluation program - Board Approved

The Board of Education agreed to purchase one-half the cost of a $2,195 superintendent evaluation program called SuperEval. The web-based program is considered an effective and efficient tool for evaluating the work of the superintendent. The one-time cost would be split evenly with School District 75. The District 75 School Board approved the program in September.

Resolutions Committee Board Approved

The Board of Education discussed and voted to direct Board Vice President Mark Ponce, the District 120 delegate to the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), to vote on resolutions on behalf of the Board. The IASB delegate committee will meet during the Triple I Conference in November.


Peter Rastrelli, Ed.D., Board President
On behalf of the District 120 Board of Education

 

News and Notes October 11, 2022

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

October 11, 2022

The District 120 Board of Education values communication and transparency. We will be publishing “District 120 News & Notes” after our regular Board of Education meetings and if/as other opportunities arise in order to keep our community informed and connected. News & Notes will focus on actions taken and highlights from administration presentations.

Master Facilities Plan

The Board of Education on Tuesday reviewed an updated Master Facilities Plan which, if approved, could lead to major renovations and improvements to Mundelein High School.

After an overview by the Board’s Finance and Facilities Committee, consulting architectural firm Wight and Company walked through a plan that would expand athletic facilities, showcase performing arts venues and modernize food service at the high school.

Such a project would be paid for, in part, by the district’s capital improvement bonds, most of which must be used by July of 2025.

Next month the Board will consider adopting the revised Master Facilities Plan, originally adopted in 2017. The Finance and Facilities Committee and the Architects explained to the Board that the Master Facilities Plan is not a specific blueprint for building renovation, nor a contract, but a flexible plan that will evolve based on future choices.

Assumptions used to develop the plan included:  increased multi-purpose space throughout; expanded cafeteria space; expanded performing arts spaces; expanded physical education/athletic spaces; enhanced/expanded spaces for Career Training and Transitions;  consideration of mental health and wellness; and improved building performance.

“We’re reimagining what education will mean in Mundelein for the next 20, 30, 40 years or more and what it means to our community for that period of time,” said Chief School Business Official Andrew Searle.

Board President Peter Rastrelli told the Board this project would be about more than just structural improvements to an aging high school.

“We envision it being the gem of Mundelein,” Rastrelli said. “We want our grade schoolers to look forward to coming here and our graduates to be proud when they return for a visit. We want our building to be familiar to our community and for our community to be enriched by our building.  We want it to be reflective of our cherished diversity and our focus on inclusion and equity.”

IASB Delegate Selection - Board Approved

The School Board voted unanimously to name Board Member Mark Ponce as its delegate to attend the Illinois Association of School Board’s (IASB) Delegate Assembly on Nov. 18. He will vote on resolutions, hear from IASB officials, and vote on IASB officers.


Peter Rastrelli, Ed.D., Board President
On behalf of the District 120 Board of Education

 

News and Notes September 6, 2022

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

September 6, 2022

The District 120 Board of Education values communication and transparency. We will be publishing “District 120 News & Notes” after our regular Board of Education meetings and if/as other opportunities arise in order to keep our community informed and connected. News & Notes will focus on actions taken and highlights from administration presentations.

Annual Budget - Board Approved

The School Board approved a balanced 2022-23 school year budget with a slight surplus. While the budget includes a 3.85 percent increase in expenditures to $44.05 million, it is matched by $44.1 million in revenues. The revenues were boosted from both state and local sources. District 120 will receive an increase of $123,000 from its main source of state revenue and about $1 million from corporate personal property replacement tax. The Board also saved about $100,000 when it selected a current administrator to fill the department chairman vacancy.

Engineering Services - Board Approved

The Board has been in the process of reviewing its long-term facility needs. As part of this effort, we have interviewed and selected a new architect of record (Wight & Company), and are in the process of reviewing and updating our Master Facilities Plan. To complement both the services we will be looking to our architect for and our own internal capabilities, we have searched for, and selected an Engineering services firm. Besides overseeing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection work, this firm may be involved in master planning, energy auditing, space renovations and special projects in the future. The engineering  firm selected and approved at the September 6 meeting is Elara Engineering

Substitute Compensation Increase - Board Approved

The School Board appreciates the individuals who make themselves available to serve as substitute teachers. The Board voted to accept the administration’s recommendation to increase compensation for substitute teachers from $133 per day to $150 per day ($75 per half day). It is the first increase in pay for substitutes in 10 years. The number of available substitutes is low and neighboring districts recently addressed the challenge of finding subs by increasing their pay. The goal is to not only attract more substitutes but to retain current subs who are familiar with the students and the district.

MHS Grading Policies

A team of administrators and teachers at Mundelein High School has been working to review our grading practices to understand how we can be most effective in giving students information about how they are demonstrating progress toward learning goals and what guidance can help teachers to be consistent, fair, and equitable in grading. The updated policies are designed to ensure grades at MHS accurately communicate what students know and are able to line up to clearly articulated learning targets. The work of an MHS Grading Committee has provided three acceptable alternatives to the traditional 100-point grading system that will  better reflect a student’s demonstration of level of knowledge and skills.

Specialized Services Department

MHS has been working to develop career pathways for students for some time and students are expected to greatly benefit from the  recently approved State of Illinois Postsecondary Workforce Readiness Act. The career exploration framework in place at MHS will provide guidance to students, families and educators so that by the time a student is preparing to graduate, they will be able to make an informed decision about a career or college. By creating pathways and helping students find their passion, school administrators expect kids to be more knowledgeable about their opportunities, more families saving money and more students finding jobs in their field of study.

Peter Rastrelli, Ed.D., Board President
On behalf of the District 120 Board of Education