A Message from Superintendent Dr. Don White
Dear District 181 Key Communicators,
Please note that we are holding a Special Board meeting on Tuesday, July 8 at Elm School (6:30pm). The meeting agenda is focused primarily on personnel, including the staff changes I outlined in my message to you, sent July 1. You can view the agenda on BoardDocs beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday. We invite you to tune in via podcast and to watch for the Board Summary to be postedon July 9. You can learn more about accessing the meeting audio on our website.
I wish you and your family a happy4th of July!
Don White, Ph.D.
Board docs is up. Check out agenda under executive session. They are talking about a board vacancy. I bet Jill V quit after the last meeting. What a huge loss. Very sad news if it is true.
I hope it's Nelson. If Jill V that would be a shame, but all elected officials should stick it out despite public criticism, just as others have in the past unless they don't regularly attend meetings in which case they are not doing their jobs.
This is an elected position that requires time to be taken away from family. People will only take so much. It is obvious it is Jill. She, unlike some others, did not abuse her position of power or do anything intentionally. She deserved more respect.
7:29 -- Agreed, but so have past and current members who are abused by fellow board members and the public.
The more interesting issue will be who is picked by the board to fill the empty seat, assuming there is one. Let's hope it is one if the parent advocates who has been active, engaged and attended many meetings and knows the issues.
Do they need an election? Or does the board pick someone?
Just read superintendent's report. The cost neutral/$10k savings achieved by creating a new position that has nothing to do with curriculum, promoting Schneider and not looking for an experienced, highly qualified Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum is not worth the harm that is going to be inflicted on our students and teachers.
Board Policy 2:070 states in part:
Whenever a vacancy occurs, the remaining members shall notify the Regional Superintendent of Schools of that vacancy within 5 days after its occurrence and shall fill the vacancy until the next regular Board of Education election, at which election a successor shall be elected to serve the remainder of the unexpired term. However, if the vacancy occurs with less than 868 days remaining in the term, the person so appointed shall serve the remainder of the unexpired term, and no election to fill the vacancy shall be held. Members appointed by the remaining members of the Board to fill vacancies shall meet any residential requirements as specified in The School Code. The Board shall fill the vacancy within 45 days after it occurred by a public vote at a meeting of the Board.
Immediately following a vacancy on the Board of Education, the Board will publicize it and accept résumés from District residents who are interested in filling the vacancy. After reviewing the applications, the Board may invite the prospective candidates for personal interviews to be conducted during duly scheduled closed meetings.
Immediately following the candidate interviews, the Board will appoint the person with the highest number of votes to the Board of Education."
JV should resign, given her demonstrated insensitivity to students with special needs.
Public criticism is one thing. Verbal personal and public attacks are another. What a loss. Now look who we have left to run the show for the next 3 years. Oh and by the way, why would anyone who is qualified sign up for this kind of treatment. Those who are ultimately hurt?? The students.
2:05 -- Not everyone thinks last weeks public comment was wrong. Public officials cannot hide behind the excuse that they are giving up family time to serve on the BOE. All public officials need to be aware that what they say and do behind an executive session shield is subject to scrutiny and may be publicly criticized. Let's not forget that the oversight entity -- the Attorney General -- said the BOE violated a law. Criticism of what was said during the opened exec session was therefore appropriate. But most important of all is that I share 10:18's concern about the SPED insensitivity shown during that exec session, but it is insensitivity shown by all of the board members who were present, not just the one who made the comment. Not a single board member said that those statements were wrong and that's a pretty tough thing to wrap my head around as a SPED student's parent. Not much understanding of D181 SELAS values shown by the board members towards our SPED students. It's NEVER ok for a teacher to hit a child and if this really happened and Schuster or the administrators overseeing Special Ed did nothing, or the BOE did nothing, then there should
be multiple resignations announced on Tuesday.
to 7:50am - There was less than a handful of parent advocates at the last meeting - not much of a choice for a new board member to be chosen from
2:54- Couldn't agree with you more. There is NEVER an excuse for a teacher to hit a student - special ed or otherwise. Where I teach all special ed teachers and general ed teachers who work with special ed students who might exhibit physical behaviors are given CPI training - which is non-violent crisis intervention training. It starts with teaching how to avoid totally or diffuse a potentially physical situation with a child and also teaches nonviolent restraint measures. Perhaps if we still had a special education department in D181 complete with a full time Director or Asst. Super in charge who was not splitting his time managing the entire District curriculum more attention could be given to appropriate supports for teachers in these situations and appropriate response by Administration and/or BOE when a teacher hits a student.
I have been trying to get this point across to Dr. White - that the current structure supporting special ed since Pam Kazee left does not seem to be working for special ed parents. I do not have a special ed child so I don't think it is as impactful coming from me. If there are Blog readers out there with Special Ed students in the District who feel this way you should contact Dr. White directly and let him know because he is not really hearing it. If the current structure is working well, then no need.
I couldn't agree more with the comment posted by Ms Quinones. She is absolutely correct - Special Ed services are not working in this district. I know this because I am a parent of two children with special needs, and the PPS administrator and teachers at the school are not competent, and they are clearly not being monitored by the administration. I have called and emailed Kurt Schneider several times and have never received a response. I did speak with Christine Igoe, but now she is gone and it looks like no one will replace her anytime soon. To think Dr. Schneider will be running Special Education and curriculum is just absurd. It will never happen.
I am considering a lawsuit, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I angry and tired of my children waiting around for services.
8:50- I am so sorry to hear this is the state of things in special education in D181. I urge you to please call Jean Duggan and set up a meeting with Dr. White - or at least send him an email before the July 8 meeting.
I met with him last week, and while I'm not sure we see eye to eye on everything, he seems genuine in his interest to learn about what is working and what is not in this District. He needs to hear from special ed parents because I get the impression he has not.
I was just looking at the food expenses on board docs. One caught my eye. Lunch for 10 on 5/8/14 from Dr. Schneider at the Embessy Suites Basil Restaurant at the Il Includes Conference for $190.17.
Wasn't this a private conference that Dr. Schneider was paid a speaking fee to attend? So why are we the taxpayers paying for lunch for him and his social justice pals?
Looks like the agenda for tonight's meeting was changed to remove any discussion on a board vacancy. Hope that means that JV is not resigning, but, disappointing that Nelson is still refusing to give up his seat so someone can regularly fill it with an actual body.
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