Front Entrance of MHS

News and Notes

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

February 13, 2024

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.

Mid-Year Review

The MHS Building Leadership Team presented to the School Board a mid-year review of progress being made on strategic goals from the District 120 five-year plan. The goals ranged from increasing the graduation rate and increasing participation in athletics and activities to expanding equitable access to advanced courses and implementing robust multi-tiered systems of support.

Facilities Plan Update

The Finance and Facilities Committee presented an update to the School Board on plans to renovate the MHS facilities. The updated plan takes into account growth assumptions for the next 25 years, revolves around flexibility and takes into account community input received in October 2023. The Board supported the plan, but is not expected to consider approval  until its March meeting.

Three-year Transportation Renewal - Board Approved

The District 120 School Board renewed its contract with Lakeside Transportation for three years. The contract includes cost increases of 9 percent for the 2024-25 school years, 8 percent for the 2025-26 school year and no more than 9 percent for the 2026-27 school year.

Property Tax Appeal Board Resolution - Board Approved

The School Board approved a Property Tax Appeal Board resolution to ensure Lake County knows who District 120’s legal representative will be for any tax appeal cases.

Shared Service Compensation Parameters - Board Approved

The Board adopted the Shared Service parameters for evaluating potential compensation for any new or existing Shared Service administrator. The parameters also outline the role of the Shared Service Committee.

Revisions to Teacher Evaluation - Board Approved

The School Board ratified the certified evaluation plan including two revisions. First, retiring teachers are no longer required to be evaluated in their final two years of employment. Secondly, teachers hired after July 1, 2023 are eligible for tenure after three years instead of four if they receive a proficient rating while those in the four-year tenure track will remain on that timeline.

 

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

January 23, 2024

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

January 23, 2024

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

The District 120 School Board met in a combined meeting with the Mundelein District 75 School Board to discuss its shared services program and address common matters of business. The boards came to a consensus on language in the superintendent’s evaluation process to avoid duplicating work; they discussed the pay philosophy for shared service employees; discussed how consultants could help them research the process of finding the next superintendent, and both boards approved BWP & Associates to lead the search process. Superintendent Kevin Myers reminded the two Boards about the unique opportunity they have in Mundelein to work together for the benefit of all the students. He also thanked the four members of the Shared Services Committee: D120 Board Members Tom Ouimet and Linda Vecchie and D75 Board Members Eric Billittier and Emily Karl.

Board Attorney Agreement - Board Approved

The School Board approved an agreement for the services of legal firm Franczek P.C. which has experience in K-12 school districts throughout the state.

 

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

December 5, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

December 5, 2023

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.

Referendum timing 

The Board agreed to not place a referendum on the March 2024 ballot, agreeing by consensus to wait until the November general election. The Board’s Finance and Facilities Committee recommended waiting until November, citing a need to provide more time for public input and to further refine the proposed building projects. The delay would not impact the timing of the facilities improvements. Work would begin in the spring of 2025 if a referendum succeeds anytime in 2024. The Board also announced that it decided not to sell its Village Green property, but to keep it as an asset for future growth.

CTE and Career Pathways presentation

MHS staff along with 10 students presented an update on the Career and Technical Education program and discussed experiences with Career Pathways programs. Staff outlined five objectives and correlating strategies that expose students to a range of college and career options, allow them to explore career pathways, and help to make their education experiential. The benefit of adding an internship coordinator position at MHS was highlighted as students talked about finding internship positions in a number of fields from education to healthcare.

Transportation Agreement Board Approved

The Board adopted an intergovernmental agreement with Elementary School District 75 for transportation. District 75 will provide limited mid-day transportation services for MHS students and District 120 will be responsible for all costs of transporting MHS students.

Registration Fees Board Approved

Registration fees will remain the same as now for the 2024-25 school year. The Board voted to keep the fees at the current rate ($250 for early registration; $275 after May 1). These fees covered instructional materials and textbooks, charges and deposits for use of school property, some field trips, charges or deposits for uniforms and equipment for sports or fine arts, charges for some class supplies, graduation fees, school records fees and school health services fees.

Job Description Board Approved

The Board approved a job description update, changing the title of Accounting Manager to Accounting Supervisor and combining two positions into one. The job duties have been changed to reflect the new responsibilities.

Tax Levy Additional Resolution Board Approved

When the Board adopted its estimated 2023 aggregate tax levy in November, a specific resolution for the Tort Immunity Fund was inadvertently left out. While this did not impact the total amount of the levy, the Board adopted the levy resolutions a second time on Dec. 5 to assure both transparency and compliance. 

 

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

November 7, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

November 7, 2023

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.

2023 Tax Levy Adoption - Board Approved

Following a Truth in Taxation Public Hearing, the Board of Education adopted its estimated 2023 aggregate tax levy. The District will levy for a 7.41 percent increase to ensure it captures any new tax revenue generated from an estimated $17.5 million in new property throughout the district. Because of the tax cap, the actual extension will be about 6.1 percent higher than last year when it is determined next spring. The projected tax rate will be $2.45, less than the 2022 rate of $2.51 and only slightly higher than it was 10 years ago ($2.42 in 2013). This tax rate projects to a $66 increase for the owner of a $300,000 home.

2024-25 Course Guide - Board Approved

The Board adopted the 2024-25 course guide - a description of all courses offered at MHS. District administration recommended expanding advanced placement (AP) and dual credit opportunities as well as expanding the Career and Technical Education program. The modifications are designed to better meet the academic needs of our students.

School Report Card

District administration provided an overview of the 2023 School Report Card that was released by the Illinois State Board of Education. MHS received an overall score of 80.82, on the high end of the Commendable category and just a few points shy of the Exemplementry Category. Administrators explained how the building and district goals are leading MHS to be recognized as one of the top high schools in Illinois.  Another contributing factor is the coordination of programming between MHS and feeder districts 73, 75, 76, and 79.  This coordination may positively impact future Report Card data since ninth-grade on-track scores are an indicator of graduation rates.

Resolutions Committee Triple I Delegate - Board Approved

Board members discussed resolutions that will be considered by the State Board of Education and provided the D120 delegate, Board Member Mark Ponce, their input on how to best represent opinions of the D120 Board.

 

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

October 10, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

October 10, 2023

 

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.

2023 Tax Levy - Board Approved

The Board of Education adopted its estimated 2023 aggregate tax levy resolution. The Board will levy for the full amount possible in order to capture any new tax revenue generated from an estimated $17.5 million in new property throughout the district.  A public hearing to approve the proposed property tax levy will be held on Nov. 7.

Student Presentations

A group of 11 MHS students, along with MHS Principal Alexandria Rios Taylor, presented an overview of the Board-approved Strategic Plan. Students shared anecdotes and procedures explaining how the strategic plan has fostered student growth, achievement, and identity. Through the student’s own stories, the Board heard not only what students learned, but how they learned.

Textbook Adoption - Board Approved

The Board voted to approve the adoption of a textbook to be used for Honors English 3. “The Lords of Discipline,” by Pat Conroy will inform student writing in telling a cohesive story. The text also offers insights and perspectives many students may have  limited experiences with.

Triple I Delegate - Board Approved

Following School Board approval, Board Member Mark Ponce will continue as the appointed delegate to the Illinois Association of School Board (IASB), representing District 120.

Joint Board Meeting

The Board canceled its regularly scheduled Jan. 9, 2024 board meeting and added a special board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. This meeting is expected to be a joint meeting with the School District 75 School Board, pending the approval of the District 75 School Board.

 

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

September 12, 2023

 

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

September 12, 2023

 

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.

2023-24 budget - Board Approved

The School Board approved the 2023-24 budget following a public hearing prior to the regular Board meeting. The budget, which received tentative approval in August, includes a balanced operating budget. 

Updated Board Policy - Board Approved

The Board adopted the updated version of Board Policy #7:180, which addresses bullying and harassment. Changes in state law added new language to the policy that required Board approval including a requirement that the district must report any incident of alleged bullying to parents/guardians within 24 hours after they are made aware of it.

eLearning Program - Board Approved

The Board approved the District 120 eLearning program, as mandated by the state for districts which may use eLearning during the school year. The approval allows for the option of eLearning, but doesn’t mandate its use.

Technology and Facilities updates

The Board received an update from both the Technology Department and the Maintenance and Facilities Department about work done over the summer. Cyber security was at the forefront of technology improvements. The department also installed new IP (internet protocol) speakers in the classrooms that will be an important tool in emergencies. The Facilities Department continued its critical work maintaining the school’s aging infrastructure. The work included maintenance on boilers, chillers, exhaust systems and classroom univents.

Long-term Facilities Plan Discussion

The Finance and Facilities Committee updated the Board on its ongoing efforts to plan much-needed improvements to the D120 facilities. The committee is working with architects and engineers to find ways to address critical needs  such as infrastructure updates, expanded cafeteria/commons areas and additional open spaces at MHS.

Special Education Considerations - Board Approved

Following a discussion of special education programs for District 120, the School Board authorized Superintendent Kevin Myers to make decisions on behalf of the Board in regards to future planning. District 120 is part of the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL).

 

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

August 8, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

August 8, 2023

 

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.

Tentative budget - Board Approved

The School Board approved the tentative 2023-24 budget which includes a balanced operating budget. The tentative budget will be posted on the district website prior to a public hearing and final approval in September.

Intergovernmental Agreement - Board Approved

The Board agreed to an intergovernmental agreement between the District and the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The agreement is needed in order to receive state reimbursement for Medicaid.

Special Education Transportation Bid - Board Approved

The Board of Education approved the bid from CitiCare Transportation for Special Education transportation services at $52 per route. Since both Districts 75 and 120 use the same company for Special Education Services they benefit by getting a lower rate per route. The Board’s action follows approval of the bid by the District 75 Board, which approved the bid in July.

Approval of Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The Board approved updates and new job descriptions for 17 different positions. The changes reflect the new positions and added responsibilities from a recent organizational chart update. Many of the positions are shared services roles between District 120 and Mundelein Elementary School District 75.

Teaching and Learning Report

In presenting a comprehensive review of goals for the 2022-23 school year, the MHS leadership team reported positive results for improved attendance rates, AP test scores and earned honors credits. The report also Showed our positive results from our effort to increase staff diversity, add more support programs for students and increase the number of substitute teachers.

Athletic Code

District staff members presented an updated Code of Conduct for MHS athletics and competitive clubs and activities. The updates were made with the participation of faculty, coaches, administrators, parents and students. The code updates include an appeal duration, a defined statute of limitations, a parent code, and specified sanctions for all rules that are restorative as opposed to punitive.

PRESS Policy 4:60 - Board Approved

The School Board approved PRESS Policy #4:60, with language that reflects raising the competitive bid threshold for school districts from $25,000 to $35,000. The updated language reflects the inflationary changes since 2008, the last time the threshold was raised.

PRESS Policy 112 - Board Approved

The Board approved the adoption of PRESS Policy #112. Besides some basic language updates, the updates included mention of the appropriate administrator, confirming the D120 educational philosophy and removing outdated language regarding parent nights.

 

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

July 11, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

July 11, 2023

 

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.

Food Management Service Agreement - Board Approved

The School Board voted to renew its contract with Quest Food Management Services, Inc. Quest currently provides quality food services for MHS.

Textbook Adoption - Board Approved

The Board approved two textbooks following the second reading and discussion. “Comparative Government: Stories of the World,” endorsed by the College Board, presents a conceptual and thematic instructional approach for teaching AP Comparative Government. In the second book for AP LIterature students, “How to Read and Why,” author Harold Bloom explores the pleasures and benefits of reading well.

Organizational Chart Update - Board Approved

The School Board  approved an updated organizational chart that better reflects a shared services system. The new chart is designed to make the District more collaborative, efficient and accountable in a model that’s long-sustaining. The updated chart was approved by the District 75 School Board in June.

New and Updated Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The Board approved six new job descriptions and an updated description for one current MHS position. One of the new positions, executive assistant to the Directors of Facilities, Maintenance and Construction, is a shared services position with Mundelein Elementary School District 75.

Joint Conference Expenses - Board Approved

The School Board approved the estimated cost of $5,191 for seven Board members to attend the Illinois Association of School Boards Annual Joint Conference in Chicago. Three Board members will also attend a pre-conference session at an estimated cost of $901.

 

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

June 6, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

June 6, 2023

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.

Budget Amended - Board Approved

Following a public hearing, the School Board adopted the amended budget for Fiscal Year 2022-23. The amendments include updates on federal grants as well as some additional revenue from interest income. The amended budget remains balanced.

Construction Management Service Contract - Board Approved

The Board approved the move to appoint David Zaremba, Director of Facilities and Grounds at District 75, and Kevin Quinn, Director of Maintenance and Facilities at District 120, as in-house construction managers for upcoming building projects in both districts beginning in July. This move increases the district oversight on projects while decreasing the costs.

Administrative and Confidential Employees Compensation - Board Approved

The School Board approved increases for administrators and confidential employees for Fiscal Year 2024. The move includes 5 percent increases, varying by employee, based upon the rate setting CPI for the district’s levy. Over the past three years, District 120 has averaged a 2 percent increase, falling behind other area school districts in a competitive market for administrative talent.

New Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board voted to reclassify two current shared-services positions in the Facilities and Maintenance Department. The move will add additional supervisory responsibility to a pair of positions, saving money by not having to outsource work and improving the efficiency of electrical and mechanical maintenance at both District 120 and at District 75.

Shared Services Model - Board Approved

The Board approved a declaration and agreements to continue its Shared Services model with Mundelein Elementary School District 75. The agreement includes three priorities: aligning work between the two districts, reallocation of resources for efficiencies and cost savings; and maintaining a positive environment for both school communities. Since 2018, the Shared Services model has saved the two districts more than $9 million while improving communications between District 120, District 75 and other feeder districts including Districts 76 and 79.

Grant Application - Board Approved

The School Board approved the D120 Consolidated District Plan (CDP). The District is required to have an approved CDP each year in order to submit an application for any of 12 federal grants. The CDP provides an overview of how the District intends to utilize funds allocated from various grants.

Equity Leadership Team

The District 120 Equity Leadership Team (DELT) presented its equity action plan that was developed in response to the results of the equity audit conducted during the 2021-22 school year. The plan highlights areas of improvement within district programs and the community. The multi-year equity action plan is due to be implemented in August.

Textbook Adoption, First Reading

District administrators presented two new supplemental textbooks as a first reading toward adoption beginning in the 2023-24 school year. One is a textbook for AP Comparative Government students,  and the other is a textbook for AP LIterature students. The books will be on display at the East District Office for 30 days and the Board will consider adopting them at its July 11 meeting.

Chief School Business Official retires

Andrew Searle, the Chief School Business Official for District 120, attended his last School Board meeting on June 7. After 10 years, Searle will be retiring at the end of June. Cathy Johnson, who has been working alongside him for several months, will take over the position on July 1. The Board thanked Searle for his service to the District.

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

May 9, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

May 9, 2023

 

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.

Board Reorganization - Board Approved

Peter Rastrelli, Ed.D, was elected by fellow board members to continue as the President of the District 120 Board of Education. The vote came during the Board’s reorganization on May 9. Linda Vecchie was voted in as vice president and Tom Ouimet as secretary.  The reorganization follows the spring election in which four board members were re-elected to office.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board approved job descriptions for the new position of Career Exploration and Internship Coordinator and for the Assistant Superintendent of Specialized Services. The Career Exploration position will be responsible for establishing a systematic approach for student career exploration and internship placement. The Specialized Services position was updated to reflect that the position will no longer supervise the Applied Arts Department.

Textbook Adoption, final reading  - Board Approved

The Board of Education officially adopted three new supplemental textbooks to be used beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Two are English textbooks, for freshmen and sophomores and one World Language book for Advanced Placement Spanish students. None of the books is on the American Library Association’s banned book list.

Regular Board meeting calendar - Board Approved

The meeting times and dates for regular School Board meetings will continue unchanged for the next 12 months. The School Board agreed to continue meeting at 6:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the East District Office, 470 N. Lake Street. Special meetings may be added with advance public notice. All meetings are posted here on the Board’s website.

 

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

April 4, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

April 4, 2023
 

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.

Transferring Funds - Board Approved

The School Board authorized the transfer of $249,500 from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Debt Service Fund to cover the district’s payment on outstanding debt certificates. The transfer is already in the district’s budget. These certificates will be paid off completely by Dec. 1, 2023.

Staffing Position Approval - Board Approved

The School Board approved the addition of a chairperson for the Department of Fine and Applied Arts. Since the retirement of the department chair last year, three different administrators have covered the position by committee. The new full-time administrator will be centrally located at the high school and will be certified to teach.

Textbook Adoption, first reading 

District administration presented three new supplemental textbooks for adoption beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Two are English textbooks, for freshmen and sophomores and one World Language book for Advanced Placement Spanish students. None of the books is on the American Library Association’s banned book list. The School Board will consider adopting these books at its next meeting on Tuesday, May 9.

 

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

March 7, 2023

District 120 Board Meeting Notes

March 7, 2023

 

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.

Accepting Donations - Board Approved

The Mundelein Educational Support Association (union for certified and classified staff members) contributed $300 to the Student Assistance Fund supporting students’ access to extracurricular and co-curricular opportunities. The funds will be used to allow participation in sports, clubs and activities for those students who might not otherwise be able to afford the associated costs. Per board policy, the Board of Education must approve gifts to the district.

Staffing Proposal - Board Approved

The School Board adopted the staffing plan for the 2023-24 school year, adding two more staff members to Mundelein High School and one additional staff member at the Transition Center. 

Approval of Fiscal Impact Analysis - Board Approved

The School Board approved a contract to hire Johnson Research Group (JRG) to conduct a joint fiscal impact analysis of the Ivanhoe housing development. The contract will be a joint venture between School District 120 and Fremont Elementary School District 79, with each paying one half of the $60,000 total cost. The analysis will focus on potential impacts on school finances from the proposed 740-acre Ivanhoe Development recently annexed into Mundelein. While both school districts hope to be able to receive impact fees from the developers, the impact fee formula is controlled by the Village of Mundelein. 

 

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

February 7, 2023

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

February 7, 2023

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.

Mid-Year Playbook

Mundelein High School administrators presented an update on the activities taking place to prepare for the second semester. The group reported meeting 10 of 11 goals so far for 2022-23. The presentation addressed programs and strategies to continue improving graduation rates, participation in athletics and activities, the tiered system of student supports and the attendance rate. They also reported an increase in honors credit for freshman biology and English.

Accepting Donations - Board Approved

The District 120 School Board accepted two donations. The first was a $5,000 donation from an unnamed community donor to the Student Assistance Fund. The second was $400 from Ken Umbdenstock for the Special Olympics Basketball team.

Student Activity Fund Account - Board Approved

The School Board voted to create a new Student Activity Fund Account for Mundelein High School. The account will be managed by student organizations under the guidance of a staff member for educational, recreational or cultural purposes. The account will allow for donations from community members and high school staff. The funds will be used to allow participation in sports, clubs and activities for those students who might not otherwise be able to afford the associated costs.

Guidelines for New Clubs and Activities - Board Approved

MHS building administrators and the Mundelein Education Association membership have agreed to guidelines for the creation of a new club or activity and the School Board adopted the guidelines. One change is the removal of a statement saying the Board of Education must approve club pilots. The building administrator will now be responsible to approve club pilots.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board approved new and revised job descriptions. The description for the Department Chair of the Science Department was revised. The Board added an administrative assistant for the Facilities/Maintenance/Construction Department. This position will be a shared service position, shared with School District 75.

 

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

January 10, 2023

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

January 10, 2023

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.

Long-term Facilities Plan / Referendum - Board Approved

The District 120 School Board on Tuesday evening voted to place a $175 million capital improvements referendum question on the April 4 ballot. This would pay for a renovation and expansion of Mundelein High School, some areas which have not been upgraded since it first opened in 1961.

While the project is expected to cost about $225 million, District 120 currently has $50 million in building funds that must be spent by the summer of 2025.

After revising its Long-term Facilities Plan in November, the Board determined it does not have the right kind of spaces at MHS, creating limitations for academics, activities and athletics, and leading to sub-optimized scheduling and long days/off hours for facility use. Some areas of the building are not equipped for modern high school needs.

Priorities in the plan include expanding athletic facilities, renovating performing arts venues and modernizing food service areas. The project also includes enhanced/expanded Career and Technical Education spaces;  larger common areas; consideration of mental health and wellness; and improved building performance.

 

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

December 6, 2022

District 120 School Board Meeting Notes

December 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.

Long-term Facilities Plan

The District 120 School Board reaffirmed its commitment to the long-term Facilities Plan it adopted on Nov. 1 and set some priorities for future building improvements. Priorities in the plan include: expanded athletic facilities; showcasing performing arts venues; modernized food service; and updating and expanding the parking lot. The Board discussed funding options, but made no official decisions in regards to funding. 

Actual Tax Levy - Board Approved

The District 120 Board of Education held a Public Hearing on its 2022 Tax Levy and then voted to adopt it. The property tax levy 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. The district’s operating tax rate of 2.26 is currently the second lowest among Lake County high school districts.

Medline Tax Abatement Resolution - Board Approved

The School Board passed a resolution to implement a tax abatement it agreed to in 2019. Now that Medline’s new facility is on the tax rolls, the abatement will begin. The agreement calls for a 52 percent abatement of taxes to each of three taxing districts: Fremont Elementary School District; the Village of Grayslake; and School District 120. The abatement will last for 15 years or until Medline reaches a total benefit of $10 million.

Job Descriptions - Board Approved

The School Board approved revised job descriptions for five positions and added job descriptions for two new positions. The new positions include a second payroll clerk and a building secretary at the MHS Wellness Center. Like the current payroll clerk, the position will be a shared service role with School District 75. This position allows both districts to have a backup position in payroll as well as provide more effective service for each district.

Schuler Scholar Program Update

Melissa Muth-Martinez, Schuler Scholar School Director at MHS, presented an update to the Board on the program, which has been at MHS since 2016. The Schuler Scholar Program focuses on helping first-generation students of color, and/or low income families help in getting into and succeeding at highly selective colleges. MHS currently has 45 scholars and has had graduates in the program who have attended Washington University, Johns Hopkins University, and other schools. The program incurs no cost for MHS, but provides free coaching, mentorship, and college counseling among other services to its students.
 

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

November 8, 2022

District 120 School 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

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

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

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