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At the reorganizational meeting of the District 65 School Board held on May 3, Board President Anya Tanyavutti said, “Starting in August, we’ll have a new committee structure.”

For many years the District 65 School Board has had a Finance Committee and a Policy Committee, with three members of the Board serving on each committee. Following up on a proposal made by Superintendent Devon Horton on April 12, the School Board has expanded the role of these two committees and made some additional changes.

Superintendent Horton said on May 3, “This is a large District. There’s a lot of work that happens, and there are many discussions that we need to have. And this really creates a platform for us to be public with a lot of the discussions and our thinking behind decisions that we’re making. So I know the Board charged me with finding a way to get to be more transparent in communicating. And this is definitely a format which allows us to do that.”

By expanding the role of the committees, Board members will discuss more of the District’s business in public and deliberate on more of the issues in public.

The current Finance Committee will evolve into a Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee. The stated purpose of the committee is “to review and provide recommendations to the Board regarding the budget and issues that impact the budget; the need for maintenance and improvement projects to District facilities and grounds; and, regarding personnel matters, and to establish and review evaluation systems for District administrators. The Committee shall consider and comply with the Board’s duty to bargain in good faith with its employees’ exclusive bargaining representatives and the provisions of existing collective bargaining agreements as relevant and necessary.”

The duties of the committee are listed in more detail below, but they include providing the Board with guidance on financing initiatives to meet the District’s goals; review the District’s budget and financial projections; assist with creating a financial plan for the District; review and recommend cost-saving initiatives; make recommendations for repairs, maintenance, operations, additions and/or improvements to District facilities; and make recommendations regarding the acquisition or sale of the District’s buildings.

The committee will have four members rather than three (as is the case with the current Finance Committee), and it will meet once a month and conduct its meetings in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. It is contemplated that personnel matters will be discussed in closed session in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

The Policy Committee will evolve into a Curriculum and Policy Committee. The stated purpose is “to review and provide recommendations to the Board regarding research program and policy issues, District curriculum.”

The duties of the committee are listed in more detail below, but they include assessing the District’s curriculum to ensure it is aligned with the District’s goals; review efficacy of the District’s instructional programing and curriculum; and make recommendations to revise the curriculum and academic practices for optimal academic performance.”

Three members of the Board will serve on this committee, and the committee will meet monthly and will hold meetings in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

Ms. Tanyavutti said that Joey Hailpern will chair the Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee, and Board Vice President Elisabeth “Biz” Lindsay-Ryan and one other Board member will serve on the committee.

Sergio Hernandez will chair the Curriculum and Policy Committee, and So La Kim and Donna Wang Su will serve on the committee.

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District 65 School Board Committee Descriptions

The descriptions of the committees below are taken verbatim from a memo provided to the School Board for the May 3 Board meeting.

Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee

Pursuant to Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board Policy 2:150, the Board of Education has established the Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee, subject to the following guidelines.

Specific purpose: The purpose of the Committee is to review and provide recommendations to the Board regarding the budget and issues that impact the budget; the need for maintenance and improvement projects to District facilities and grounds; and, regarding personnel matters, and to establish and review evaluation systems for District administrators. The Committee shall consider and comply with the Board’s duty to bargain in good faith with its employees’ exclusive bargaining representatives and the provisions of existing collective bargaining agreements as relevant and necessary.

Specifically, the Committee:

• Reviews and makes recommendations regarding the performance evaluation process for District administrators only upon referral from the Board, the Board President with notice to the Board, or the Superintendent;

• Considers personnel recommendations from administration regarding individual personnel matters only upon referral from the Board, the Board President with notice to the Board, or the Superintendent;

• Gathers data and makes recommendations regarding employee salaries and benefits to be competitive in the job market; and

• Develops and recommends administrator contract provisions during relevant negotiations only upon referral from the Board, the Board President with notice to the Board, or the Superintendent.

• Provides the Board with guidance on financing initiatives to meet District goals;

• Gathers data and reviews District budget, financial projections, and other relevant financial documents and reports;

• Advises the Board on current and projected fiscal health of the District;

• Assists with creating a financial plan for the District;

• Reviews and recommends cost-saving initiatives;

• Makes recommendations on financial proposals or issues with significant financial impact on the District;

• Reviews recommendations for repairs, maintenance, operations, additions, and/or improvements to District facilities or properties;

• Conducts general surveillance of District facilities to review maintenance efforts;

• Reviews and reports on progress of construction projects;

• Tours the District’s entire buildings and grounds annually;

• Assists District administration in preparing the annual maintenance budget;

• Gathers relevant information and makes recommendations regarding the acquisition and/or sale of buildings and property.

Membership: The Committee will consist of four members of the Board of Education appointed by the Board President. Committee appointments are made at the organization meeting of the Board or as soon thereafter as practical. The Board President shall have discretion to change committee members at any time.

Meetings: The Committee will meet monthly. Meeting schedules are set at the beginning of each school year and may be modified as needed subject to the compliance with the Open Meetings Act and Board policy.

The agenda for a Committee meeting, which shall include the date, time, and location of the meeting, shall be posted 48 hours before the meeting on the School District’s website, at the School District’s administrative offices, 1500 McDaniel Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, and shall be subject to the other notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act and Board policy.

Meetings will be held at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Offices and will be open to the public except for matters appropriate for closed session, including to address individual personnel or collective bargaining matters and where otherwise permitted by law, as set forth in the Open Meetings Act. Members of the public shall be afforded time, subject to reasonable constraints, to comment to or ask questions of the Committee. Board policies 2:220 and 2:230 regarding Board of Education meeting procedures and public participation shall govern committee meetings.

Meeting Minutes/Nature of Product to the Superintendent: Committee meeting minutes will be promptly provided to the Superintendent. Minutes of open meeting sessions will be posted on the District website.

Period of Existence: The Committee shall remain in existence at the discretion of the Board of Education.

 Curriculum and Policy Committee

Pursuant to Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board Policy 2:150, the Board of Education has established the Finance Committee, subject to the following guidelines.

Specific purpose: The purpose of the Committee is to review and provide recommendations to the Board regarding research program and policy issues, District curriculum. Specifically, the committee:

• Regularly reviews Board policies and recommends revisions on policies to ensure alignment with the District’s vision, mission, and priorities;

• Researches and reviews policy changes recommended by the Illinois Association of School Boards;

• Establishes priorities regarding policy review and adoption;

• Researches policy issues and provides information and recommendations to the Board;

• Assesses District curriculum to ensure alignment with the District’s instructional goals;

• Gathers data and reviews efficacy of District instructional programming and curriculum;

• Collaborates with District administrators and staff to understand academic needs and create curricular goals; and

• Makes recommendations to revise curriculum and academic practices for optimal academic performance.

Membership: The Committee will consist of three members of the Board of Education appointed by the Board President. Committee appointments are made at the organization meeting of the Board or as soon thereafter as practical. The Board President shall have discretion to change committee members at any time.

Meetings: The Committee will meet monthly. Meeting schedules are set at the beginning of each school year and may be modified as needed subject to the compliance with the Open Meetings Act and Board policy.

The agenda for a Committee meeting, which shall include the date, time, and location of the meeting, shall be posted 48 hours before the meeting on the School District’s website, at the School District’s administrative offices, 1500 McDaniel Ave, Evanston, IL 60201, and shall be subject to the other notice requirements of the Open Meetings Act and Board policy.

Meetings will be held at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Offices and will be open to the public except for matters appropriate for closed session as set forth in the Open Meetings Act. Members of the public shall be afforded time, subject to reasonable constraints, to comment to or ask questions of the Committee.

Board policies 2:220 and 2:230 regarding Board of Education meeting procedures and public participation shall govern committee meetings.

Meeting Minutes/Nature of Product to the Superintendent: Committee meeting minutes will be promptly provided to the Superintendent. Open meeting minutes will be posted on the District website.

Period of Existence: The Committee shall remain in existence at the discretion of the Board of Education.

External Boards and Committees

In addition to the Curriculum & Policy Committee and the Personnel, Building & Grounds and Finance Committee, School District 65 Board members are also appointed as representatives to external boards and committees.

Joint District 65-District 202 Board Committee. This committee meets periodically to discuss student achievement and coordinate work across both districts, as well as plan for the Joint District 65/202 Board Meeting held twice a year.

Park School Advisory Board. Members of both District 65 and 202 Board and administration meet to collaborate efforts, plan and budget for Park school operation.

City School Liaison Committee. Officials of the City Government and representatives of the two School Districts 65 and 202 meet on a regular basis to address community safety, overlapping financial issues, use of resources and better coordination in other fields of community concern.

Ed-Red. This external collaborative advocacy organization works with a diverse membership from districts across the state to promote discussion and action on critical policy issues. The goal of the work is to protect local control and local resources while promoting new opportunities for member districts.

Foundation 65. The District 65 Superintendent and one school board member are designated as Ex-Officio (non-voting) Members of the Foundation 65 Board. Both of these positions are largely observational and intended to provide a communications link between F65 and D65.

Head Start Parent Policy Committee Representative. Board representatives contribute to the planning and direction of the District 65 Early Head Start programs.

Illinois Association of School Boards Delegate. A board representative is appointed the Illinois Association of School Board to vote on major policies established by an annual Delegate Assembly of state school boards.