Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2013, 9:33 pm
Cambridge schools prepare for using $300,000 in bonds
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By Lisa Hammer, firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMBRIDGE — School board members on Thursday night approved selling $300,000 worth of working cash bonds.
Superintendent Tom Akers stressed the action did not mean the district is going to sell the bonds, but only gives the district the flexibility on short notice if it needs to balance any of its funds.
The board also voted not to force administrators to administer the Illinois State Board of Education's "5Essentials" survey based on research by the University of Chicago. The survey asks parents, students and teachers to assess the district's degree of effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and ambitious instruction.
According to the board's resolution, districts that have tried to administer the survey have encountered technology problems, invalid questions and faulty data.Mr. Akers said he believes there is no penalty for not administering the 5Essentials survey this year.
He also reported that Senate Bill 2340 sponsored by state Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) would let the state take over local school districts and replace a local school board with an unelected "Independent Authority" that would assume the taxing authority formerly held by the board. Mr. Akers doubted the proposal would be passed, adding it "hints at the disconnect between the state board and all of us."
"We're all feeling very frustrated, and we're all hit with morale (issues)," he said. "I pride ourselves on (the fact that) we in Cambridge know what's good for us."
Mr. Akers also briefly commented on test scores, saying he was "extremely proud" of the growth that Cambridge students made in recent scores.
Board members also:
— Received information on the Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate training for staff.
— Learned Spanish teacher Kim Jansen has resigned to attend Michigan State University.
— Learnedonly 15 children signed up for a summer child care program, so it probably won't occur.
— Accepted the retirement of high school cafeteria worker Judy Carlson.
— Approved a 2013-14 calendar with an October teacher's institute and a 10-day Christmas break.