Latest Edition of “Community Connections” Newsletter Available Online
The January 2017 edition of High School District 211’s Community Connections, (en Español) a quarterly update of the District’s Strategic Plan, is now available online. This issue features information on:
– District 211 Provides Property Tax Relief
– District 211 to be Debt Free in 2017
– Upcoming Community Education Sessions:
- SAT Testing Information for Parents
- Dangers of Distracted Driving & Safe Driving Habits
– Community Questionnaire Regarding Vacant Land
Similar periodic updates will continue to be provided to our community, covering a range of topics related to the District 211 Strategic Plan. The complete 2016 Strategic Plan document is available on the District 211 website.
District 211 Superintendent Dan Cates Discusses Schaumburg Property
Article Published in the Daily Herald
By Daniel Cates,
Township High School District 211 Superintendent
Earlier this year, the Township High School District 211 community engaged in multiple forums to exchange information about the District’s strengths, challenges and future direction. Drawing upon thousands of responses, the Board of Education drafted a Strategic Plan articulating District 211’s priorities and course for the coming years.
As public school personnel, we recognize the responsibility and privilege of caring for our communities’ greatest assets – our students. We also have a duty to optimize all resources entrusted to the District.
Among District 211’s assets is a 60-acre parcel of undeveloped land surrounded by established residential neighborhoods on the eastern side of Schaumburg within the James B. Conant High School attendance area. The parcel was purchased in two transactions in the event that the land might be needed to serve as the site of an additional high school. The first portion of 40 acres was purchased in 1966 and a second section of 20 acres was acquired in 1971. Through prudent planning and efficient use of existing resources, an additional high school has not been needed.
One component of District 211’s 2016 Strategic Plan is to determine how the District can maximize the benefit from this land. Board of Education Vice President Robert LeFevre best characterized the District’s parcel of land in Schaumburg as a non-performing asset. Our responsibility is to maximize the effectiveness of our resources and we are seeking ideas about how use of this land may provide long-lasting benefit.
We want to hear from our community members. From now until November 30, the District is inviting ideas about potential uses of the land through a questionnaire available on the District 211 website at http://adc.d211.org/land-use-questionnaire/. From the list of ideas collected, we will begin reviewing their potential impact and benefits.
Through our community engagement initiative, we affirmed many attributes of our local communities and the value of our local school districts. We look forward to receiving many creative ideas that will further benefit our students and communities long into the future.
District 211 2015 – 2016 Annual Report Showcases New Strategic Plan
Each year, High School District 211 produces an Annual Report that reviews programs, presents statistics of interest, and summarizes financial information from the last school year. This year’s Annual Report highlights the 2016 Strategic Plan, which includes the Community Engagement Initiative. High School District 211’s Strategic Plan outlines the direction, priorities, and goals to be accomplished in the coming years. It also serves as a communication tool within the community to define those priorities and goals.
This year’s Annual Report also includes the 2015-2016 Year in Review, featuring academic, extracurricular, and financial information.
At its Sept. 22 meeting, the Board of Education approved the 2015-2016 Annual Report. It is available for viewing on the District website.
District 211 2016 – 2017 Tentative Budget Available for Review
Each fiscal year, High School District 211 creates a budget for the upcoming school year. The tentative budget for the 2016-2017 academic year was approved by the Board of Education at its Aug. 18 meeting, and is available for public viewing on the District website and at local libraries. In accordance with School Code, the budget is available for public review for 30 days, and following a public hearing at its Sept. 22 meeting, the Board will vote to adopt the plan for the upcoming year. All school districts must finalize and approve a budget no later than Sept. 30.
The goal of the tentative budget is to have a conservatively planned and balanced budget, meaning expenditures do not exceed revenues in each of the main operating funds, as outlined by the State Board of Education. The budget also outlines funding for current and future District-wide capital improvement projects. This year’s tentative budget was built on the following parameters:
- A zero percent levy increase from the previous year;
- A decrease in expenditures;
- And no plans to issue debt to pay for capital improvement projects, which are currently in the fourth year of a five-year capital plan.
“The tentative budget is one that aligns with the District’s strategic plan,” said Lauren Hummel, chief operating officer at District 211. “It includes planned budget reductions, includes revenue that reflects the recent approval of a flat levy, and allows the District to optimize its debt management strategies. Most importantly, it supports the needs of students by allocating the majority of our resources to the instructional program of the District.”
Overall, revenue for the 2016-2017 is projected at $242.6 million and is aligned with the District’s strategic priorities. Total revenue is slightly down by .2 percent due to timing of federal aid payments last year and higher than expected budgeted tax receipts for prior levy years. This is uncommon and was not budgeted for this year. Additionally, expenditures are down from last year by 1.2 percent, or $13 million, due to planned budget reductions and a decrease in capital spending.
The District is projected to have expenditures in excess of revenues, or a planned deficit, of $11.4 million due to the planned spending of reserves for capital projects and debt repayment. The final payment on bonded debt will be next year, and the District is working toward being debt free in the future.
“Expenditures for the tentative budget are less than they were in total for the prior year,” Hummel said. “The tentative budget includes the planned use of existing resources to fund capital improvements and required life safety work without the need to issue debt.”
District 211 also plans to use existing reserves to pay down the unfunded liability amount with the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF), which will save the District future employer costs and provides the opportunity of further saving through investment earnings made by IMRF. Overall, Fiscal Year 2017 total expenditures are less than Fiscal Year 2016 expenditure budget.
Despite a decrease in revenue, no instructional programs have been changed or altered, and will continue to expand and improve. Additionally, the District plans to optimize debt management, continue budget efficiencies, enhance academic programs, and budget surplus funds for future capital projects. Future projects include renovation in bathrooms and locker rooms original to the buildings, two kitchen renovations, mechanical equipment replacements, roof replacements at all schools, and outdoor facility replacements.
A public hearing and vote for final approval and adoption of the tentative budget will take place on Sept. 22 at the G.A. McElroy Administration Center, 1750 S. Roselle Rd. To view the proposed budget, please visit the District 211 website.
Community Members Invited to Help Shape District’s Strategic Plan at Upcoming Meetings
Residents of Township High School District 211 are invited to share ideas about the future of District 211 schools at upcoming “The 211 of Tomorrow” monthly meetings. The first meeting will address the “State of the District,” and will take place on Feb. 1 and 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
These two meetings will be the same in content, but will be held in two locations for convenience. Monday, Feb. 1, will take place at Fremd High School, 1000 S. Quentin Road. Tuesday’s meeting, Feb. 2, will be held at Schaumburg High School, 1100 W. Schaumburg Road.
A facilitating team of community and staff members will gather the information at the monthly meetings. Information from community engagement sessions will be presented to the Board of Education and will serve as guiding information in formulating the District’s five-year strategic plan.
For more information about The 211 of Tomorrow, please visit the website.