January 2023 School Board Meeting Minutes


The regular meeting of the Board of Education of School District 165 was held in the Cafeteria of Carbondale Community High School, 1301 East Walnut Street, Carbondale, Illinois, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.

Upon roll call, the following members were present:

Linda Flowers                         Christopher Swims 
Lana Galan                             Francis Tsung 
Wendell Pohlman                   Julie VanWinkle 
Steven Sabens

Also present were:

Daniel Booth                           Mandy McKee 
Ray Toliver, Jr.                       Terica Doyle 
Ryan Thomas                          Alejandro Ruiz 
Ethan Graham

President Sabens declared a quorum present and the regular meeting of January 19, 2023, was called to order.

Approval of Minutes: Motion by VanWinkle, seconded by Swims, to approve the minutes of the regular scheduled meeting of December 15, 2022. Roll call: Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung and VanWinkle voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Old Business—None

Public Comments:

Audience Member: An audience member introduced himself as an incoming community health care worker who would be working at the school and said he was there to help in any way he could.

Karen Knodt: Karen Knodt asked if individuals would be allowed to address the Board regarding the Strategic Plan. President Sabens said yes, anyone can address the Board during the public comments. He said comments should be limited to five minutes each.

Walter Green: Walter Green addressed the Board regarding his concern of the percentage of African American Special Education Students.  He asked the number of African American Special Education Teachers the district had, and if there was a connection between the number of students in Special Education and the number of teachers. President Sabens requested Mr. Green to contact Mr. Booth regarding the statistical data information he was interested in. Mr. Green then asked if it was true that students who are in in-school suspension receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Mr. Booth said the students in in-school suspension receive the required nutritional components.

M. Stalls: M. Stalls addressed the Board regarding concerns she had about continuing racial disparity, the school climate, the need for more pictures of children of color to be displayed on the campus; the ratio of children of color in athletics. President Sabens requested Ms. Stalls to contact Mr. Booth to discuss her concerns. Ms. Stalls then asked if students in in-school suspension receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Mr. Booth said yes, they receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Ms. Stalls said she felt that was over punishment. She said the student was being punished enough by being in in-school suspension, and they should not be further punished by not allowing them to have the same lunch as students that are not in in-school suspension.

Ebony Crimes Ebony Crimes: addressed the Board regarding concerns she had with the way disciplinary action is handled.  She said that she has two students at CCHS.  She asked why the administration could not pick up the phone and call the parent when a disciplinary matter occurs, instead of sending a letter home. She said that the principal emailed her daughter’s teachers advising them they could contact her by email.  She said no one did.

Dr. Dolleen York-Anderson: Dr. Dolleen York-Anderson addressed the Board regarding a grant funded Renew, Restore and Reinvest Program called Fresh Start through the Restorative Justice Program in Carbondale. She said children are referred to the program by the State’s Attorney. She said in addition to restorative practice services, they will also offer tutoring, on-line GED services, and mentoring.

FOIA Requests: The Board received a listing of the 2022-23 FOIA Requests received to date.

Payment of Bills: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to pay the remaining bills for the month of December 2022; and, those available for payment for the month of January 2023. Roll call:  Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle and Flowers voted yes. Nay, none.  Motion carried.

ESSER II & III Grant Expenditures: The Board received an update on the ESSER II & III Grant expenditures.

Principal’s Report: Mr. Thomas reported on:

∙FBLA Conference 
∙National Honor Society January 23, 2023 
∙Multicultural Festival February 2, 2023 
∙Eighth Grade Parent Night Planning

Superintendent’s Report: Mr. Booth reported on the following:

Construction Updates
The cafeteria project is on target and should be completed the end of January.

The pole barn and weight room/storage projects began the first week of September and should be completed the end of January.

The maintenance shed interior work has begun and should be completed in two to three weeks.

The roof replacement project began the first week of January and is estimated to be completed in four to six weeks.

The Walnut Street entrance project will begin in the coming weeks. The Walnut Street entrance will be closed until the project is completed.

The stadium storage project began the beginning of January and should be done in three weeks.

Metal Detectors
The metal detectors arrived, and training took place December 19 and 20, 2023.  At the present time, employees are learning to work the machines and perfect the sensitivity levels. Each morning the metal detectors are set up, but they are turned off so that students can get used to seeing them and walking through them.  The next phase will be to use them at the bus entrance for one bus at a time.  The district will continue to communicate progress with the school community as we move forward.

Strategic Planning Progress
The following updates will be given to the Board on the strategic plan:

February: Goal Three Action Plan Update 
March: Goal Four Action Plan Update 
April: Goal Five Action Plan Update 
June: Year End Strategic Plan Update

2023 Love Your Heart Contest: Motion by VanWinkle, seconded by Pohlman, to approve the 2023 Love Your Heart Contest.  Roll call: Pohlman, Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers and Galan voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Member Leaves Meeting: Member Tsung left the meeting at 6:36 p.m.

Member Returns to Meeting: Member Tsung returned to the meeting at 6:38 p.m.

Strategic Plan: Goal Two Action Plan Update: Copies of the Strategic Plan: Goal Two Action Plan Update PowerPoint presentation were distributed to everyone in attendance at the meeting.   Ryan Thomas conducted the presentation. 

Goal 2: Promote an environment that is respectful, innovative, inclusive and supportive.

Goal 2: Strategy 4 focuses on improving overall behavior referrals, tardies, and attendance. The Strategic Plan Goal 2 Team created an Annual Action Plan for the 2022-23 school year in June 2022.  To date, the team has implemented the Terrier Time Advisory Period, devised and communicated school-wide goals, and rewarded students with weekly, monthly, semesterly and yearly school-wide   incentives. In August 2022, the team selected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and set targets for each KPI to assist in gauging the effectiveness of the Annual Action Plan. The following is a breakdown of the Goal 2 Action Plan:

Strategy 4: Advance student life skills, address student social emotional needs, and improve student behavior and Attendance.

●Terrier Time 
∙Develop a plan where teachers will check in with every student at least once per week to have a conversation about behavior and attendance. 
∙Create/develop information to share in Terrier Time. 
∙Develop a system to support/mentor teachers in the implementation of Terrier Time.

∙Develop a process to utilize PBIS incentives within the Terrier Time Advisory Period and throughout the school. 
∙Develop a process to reward students on a monthly, quarterly and semester basis.

∙Investigate effective surveys for students, staff and parents to share perceptions about student safety and social emotional needs. 
∙Develop a student/parent safety and social emotional needs survey. 

Goal 2 Key Performance Indicators: 
∙Attendance: Percentage of students meeting or exceeding the CCHS target attendance rate of 91%. 
∙Tardiness: Percentage of students with three or fewer tardies each quarter. 
∙Student Behaviors: Percentage of students with five or fewer behavior referrals per semester. 
∙In-School Suspension: Number of in-school suspension issued. 
∙Out-of-School Suspension: Number of out-of-school suspensions issued.

Strategic Plan: Goal 2/Team Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)/Semester 1 Data:

Goal: 75% of students have 91% rate or better 
Currently: 70.8% of students have a 91% rate or better 
9th Grade: 72% 
10th Grade: 72% 
11th Grade: 70% 
12th Grade: 69%

Students with Five or Fewer Referrals
Goal: 82.5% 
Total: 86.6% 
9th Grade: 84% 
10th Grade: 84% 
11th Grade: 90% 
12th Grade: 89%

Students with Three or Fewer Tardies
Goal: 76.3%-First Quarter 
Total: 79.6% 
9th Grade: 78.8% 
10th Grade: 81.9% 
11th Grade: 78.3% 
12th Grade: 79.5%

ISS (In-School Suspension)
Goal: No target set; baseline year 
Total: 619 (2021-22 school year: 2011) 
9th Grade: 240 
10th Grade: 194 
11th Grade: 93 
12th Grade: 92 
Unique Students: 173

OSS (Out-of-School Suspension)
Goal: No target set; baseline year 
Total: 59 (2021-22 school year: 87) 
9th Grade: 23 
10th Grade: 20 
11th Grade: 8 
12th Grade: 8 Unique Students: 50

School-Wide Terrier Time Goals/Semester 1 Data

Goal: 75% of students have a 91% rate or better 
Currently: 70.8% of students have a 91% or better 
9th Grade: 72% 
10th Grade: 72% 
11th Grade: 70% 
12th Grade: 69%

Goal: 5,700 
Total in 2022-23: 2,691 
Pace: 33/Day; 5,606 Total 
9th Grade: 1,070 
10th Grade: 766 
11th Grade: 457 12th Grade: 406

Goal: 7,500 
Total in 2022-23: 4,248 
Pace: 50.5/Day; 8,850 Total 
Before the New Clocks: 1st Quarter Tardies/Day: 53.8 
After the New Clocks: 2nd Quarter Tardies/Day: 46.9 
9th Grade: 1,435 
10th Grade: 1,025 
11th Grade: 950 
12th Grade: 838

GPA (Grade Point Average)
Goal: 70% of students have a 2.75 or better 
Currently: Average Semester 1 GPA: 2.87 
Currently: 60.5% of students had a 2.75 or better in 2022-23 Semester 1 
9th Grade: 58% 
10th Grade: 61% 
11th Grade: 52% 
12th Grade: 64%

Following the presentation, President Sabens requested input from the Board.

Secretary Dr. Flowers said the district needs to be more inclusive and supportive. She said if 1/3 of the tardies are first hour, the district should work with those students to determine the reason they are late. She said, “Do we give the students who are removed from school and in in-school suspension the same lunch; no, we don’t”. She said in prison everyone is treated the same whether they were charged with a misdemeanor charge or a federal charge.  She said she would like to know the gender and racial data of the statistics.

Vice President VanWinkle said she felt good about the action plan; however, she said with some policies we have unintended consequences.

Member Tsung said the KPI’s are the dashboard. He said he would also like to see race and gender information added to the dashboard.  He said we need to address the issues from both sides to determine the root causes. He said to look at the issues happening deeper at home and in the community.

Mr. Booth addressed Ms. Crimes regarding her public comments on the lack of communication she received from the school. He asked her if Assistant Principal Mark Albertini texted her regularly regarding her daughter.  She said, “Yes, he texts me all the time.  Mr. Albertini is the best.”

Mr. Booth said the big picture is the context behind the data. He said yes there are gaps; however, it is not due to race.  He said the issues are societal and what the students are dealing with at home and in the community.  He said the top three reasons for disciplinary referrals were tardies, failure to put away cell phone, and failure to be out of an assigned area. He said the district is continually trying to improve the personal pathway for students to have a productive future. He said the community can help by making their students attend school ready to learn, to be on time, and to follow the rules.  Mr. Booth advised the audience the PowerPoint presentation would be posted on the school district website under the Strategic Plan icon Friday morning and to contact him with any questions or concerns they may have.

President Sabens thanked Mr. Booth and his team for all their work on the action plan. He said he wanted to reiterate that the information was a great first step, but certainly not the end.  He said finding the root cause of issues, communication with our teachers, and continuing to dig comprehensively to come up with solutions to help us work towards our goals.

President Sabens said the meeting would recess five minutes before continuing on.  Karen Knodt stood up and said, “I thought you said we were going to be allowed to comment on the Strategic Plan”?  President Sabens said, “no, you misunderstood what I said.  The time to make comments to the Board is during the Public Comments portion of the meeting.”

Meeting Recessed: The meeting recessed at 8:06 p.m.

Meeting Reconvenes: The meeting reconvened at 8:17 p.m.

Robinson Transportation Contract Extension: Motion by Pohlman, seconded by Flowers, to approve the two-year 2023-24 and 2024-25) contract extension with Robinson Transportation Company as presented.  Roll call: Sabens, Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan and Pohlman voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

Media Center Furniture Proposal: Motion by VanWinkle, seconded by Tsung, to approve the proposal received from Stiles Office Solutions for media center furniture in the amount of $65,780.94 as presented.  Roll call: Swims, Tsung, VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, and Sabens voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

IASB PRESS Issue 110 Board Policy Manual Updates-Second Reading/Adoption: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to approve the IASB PRESS Issue Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens and Swims voted yes. Nay, none. 


Employment of 2022-23 Extra-Duty Personnel—None

Employment of 2023-24 Science Teacher—None

Employment of 2023-24 Special Education Teacher—None

2022-23 Volunteers—None

Executive Session: Motion by Swims, seconded by Flowers, to go into executive session to discuss information regarding the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees (5 ILCS 20/2(c)(1)); and, to adjourn the Board of Education meeting immediately following the executive session.  Roll call: VanWinkle, Flowers, Galan, Pohlman, Sabens, Swims and Tsung voted yes. Nay, none. Motion carried.

The meeting recessed at 8:02 p.m.  The executive session convened at 8:29 p.m. The executive session adjourned at 9:04 p.m. President Sabens stated no action was taken while in executive session.

Closing Comments—None

February Board Meeting: The February Board of Education Meeting is Thursday, February 16, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.