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April 18, 2023 Board Meeting

Regular meeting of the Freeport School District Board of Education

April 18, 2023

The Board received numerous Reports that will be detailed in the Board Meeting Minutes:

Superintendent’s Report

Spotlight: Celebrations & Recognitions 

CONGRATULATIONS to our Rising Stars basketball players, Raniyah Shirley & Elijah Richmond!

The Rising Stars are selected by the sports media panel from area media broadcasters and coaches. The panel decided on players from the entire Rockford Register Star readership area within Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, and Stephenson Counties or the Nic-10, Big North West, and the NUIC conferences. These athletes competed with teams of their peers on Saturday at Rock Valley College.


Three FHS students won awards at the annual Regional Juried High School art show at Highland on Wednesday. Delaney Schulz won 2nd place, Harmony Statdfield won 3rd place, and AJ Evon won the best of school recognition award. We are very proud of our art students!  Go Pretzels! CONGRATULATIONS to these talented students!


New Student Enrollment 2023-2024

New student enrollment opened last week and we have 28 new students already enrolled. This is an improvement over the previous years' numbers for this time. We have an ad on the electronic billboard on West Street and will be doing some in-district advertising as well. 

ESSER II and III Update

An updated spending report was provided with a focus on 2023 as those funds end in September of this year. The board will be provided with the updates. A high level report will be made available on our website under the Business & Finance Department.

School Code: Section 10-20 9a (c)

Section 10-20 9a (c) of the School Code requires that no public high school shall withhold a student’s grades, transcripts, or diploma because of an unpaid balance on the student’s school account. The code also requires that each school district report to the State Board of Education the total amount that remains unpaid by students due to this prohibition.

ISBE will collect this data via the fiscal year 2023, FY 2024, and FY 2025 Annual Financial Report.  School districts are required to catalog and report unpaid fees from students that result from the high school's inability to withhold student grades, transcripts, and diplomas. The total amount will be reported in the AFR on the Audit Questionnaire tab, Part C - Other Issues #22

Power Surge

Kudos to Technology Director Tom Elzen and his team for handling a major power surge the night of April 5th. Working diligently through the night and with the customer service of our providers, the issue was resolved and seamless for staff and students. To avoid this in the future, some updated equipment has been ordered. 

Threat Assessment Next Steps


  1. FPD/FSD Collaboration.

  2. Contract with ROE 4 to Train 50+ FSD Staff on Threat Assessment.

Employment History Review and Parental Notification of Sexual Misconduct 

Effective: 7/1/2023 This public act is a trailer bill to Faith’s Law, amending various sections of the School Code, and adding two new sections that require public and nonpublic schools to conduct a new employment history review process and procedures for notifying parents regarding sexual misconduct between an educator and the parent’s child. The Act creates Section 22-94 of the School Code that lays out detailed requirements for  public schools, nonpublic schools, and independent contractors to conduct an employment history review prior to hiring an applicant to work in a position involving direct contact with children or students. It also creates Section 22-85.10 of the School Code, which requires the governing body of each school district, charter school, or nonpublic school to implement a procedure to provide  notice of an alleged act of sexual misconduct between an educator and student to the parent or guardian of the student and notice of when any formal action is taken relating to the employment of the alleged perpetrator following an investigation of sexual misconduct. For more information on Faith’s Law, please see our previous alert.

Information Reports

Annual Finance Audit

Provided in detail FSD’s annual comprehensive report.  The auditor began by stating the comprehensive report goes above and beyond what public school districts are required to do. This report is available on our website under the Business & Finance Department.

Monthly Report

Dr. Patrick McDermott provided the monthly financial report through the end of March 2023.

New Job Description; Job Coach Step Program

Asst. Superintendent for HR Chris Shockey, presented a new this new job description. The Northwestern Illinois Association’s Secondary Transition experience Program (STEP) which is housed in Freeport High School, continues to provide structured and supervised employment opportunities for students with Individualized Education Plans. The STEP Job Coach will provide the STEP Coordinator with assistance in planning and preparation, completing paperwork, and will be a liaison between the FSD, employers, and employees.

Elementary Security Camera Solution Quote

In order to move forward with the Board's direction to secure the schools, surveillance camera solutions were sought to extend camera coverage to the elementary buildings. A quote for $337,528.87 was submitted for all the items listed on the attached quote, including installation. If we approve the agreement before April 27th, the company will waive the $3,184.56 shipping charge.

We had estimated a cost of about $315,000 when this was presented to the board, so it came in a little higher than anticipated. We will use capital projects funds to get this started, and look into amending the ESSER grant to try to cover this. We also have remaining life safety funds to cover much of this too, if there is not enough room in the ESSER grant.

ELA Curriculum Implementation

The expectation of new English arts implementation is to use the materials and instruction with integrity. All areas of phonics, phonemic awareness, writing, grammar, whole group reading instruction will be required. The manner in which teachers accomplish allows for autonomy. In other words, the teacher still makes choices about the lesson plan. However, all components of literacy should be present and observable. Guided reading using Dr. Richardson’s work may be used K-4 instead of the guided reading materials, however. De-implementation of previous curriculum and instruction is just as important as the implementation plan. Adding a curriculum and instruction plan without removing any resources or materials not only makes sense but actually causes extra stress for teachers. Letting go of previous supplemental materials will enable you to fully embrace the new materials and instruction that the committee came to consensus on. Implementing the new ELA curriculum with integrity will enable the committee to decide effectiveness as well as whether we need any supplemental materials. To ensure a smooth ELA curriculum implementation, a communication plan and professional development plan will be articulated and shared with stakeholders. Ample opportunities to learn and practice using the new materials will be provided for teachers with coaching.


Took Action in Favor of the Consent Agenda:

  • Freeport School District and CareerTEC Bills

  •  Personnel Report, April 18, 2023

Took Action in Favor of the Following Previously Presented Item(s

  • ELA Curriculum Proposal

  • Elementary Security Camera Solutions Quote

Committee Reports

Curriculum  by Board members Charlene Williams, Pastor Williams

Equity by Board member Martha Furst

The public is always invited and encouraged to attend Freeport School District Board of Education meetings. ​The next scheduled regular meeting will be publicized.  Meetings are held at the FSD administrative office, located at 500 E. South St and can be accessed virtually. Information on joining the meetings can be found here.