May 9th Meeting Minutes

Field School PTO Meeting


24 in attendance including 2 Staff Members

Call to order: Meeting Called to order at 7:05 pm

Dr. Laurie Heinz:

This is 3rd year as Superintendent. Most days fun working with great support staff and this parent community. 2nd year of strategic plan 20/20 vision. Strategically we have key objectives in 3 different categories [teaching & learning/social & emotional/facilities & finances].

Teaching & learning objectives:

  • everyone has different levels of readiness, need support for some and enrichment for others. Training our classroom teachers how to reach kids at all of these levels.

  • Standardizing offerings.Schools felt very individually unique when I came to district, but what we offer the children really should be consistent. One of main goals is to make schools more consistent.

  • 4 cs: critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity. New science curriculum has a lot of these as well as inquiry and problem based learning

Social emotional objectives. Beyond Scores. Goal is to produce well-rounded students. Handling disappointment and challenge.

  • Staffing goal: finding quality teachers & retaining them. Fewer teens are getting into college and becoming teachers. Becoming harder each year to find quality teachers and to retain them. Want to provide the right resources and training. We should never be standing still with our methodology.

facilities & finances objectives: Facilities: We did master facilities evaluation and we are needing 32million for health/life/safety and capital improvements…critical infrastructure needs addressing (windows/bricks)

  • Prioritize projects. Another 6 million of work this summer. Moving forward, this will probably be the spending every year for the next few years.

  • Capital projects work: secure vestibule. This remains a goal in the future.

  • : Standardization across schools is a goal. Lincoln has a whole new LRC. 21st century ready. 3 distinct areas: movable furniture, lounge stations, collaborative work areas.

Field School Objectives:

  • LRC Updates, Windows will be addressed here at Field this summer, Hot lunch approved by board.

  • Quest will be the service provider beginning phases of how that will work here and how kitchens will need to be renovated.Q:Will it be ready on first day of school?A:Not certain right now.If not, then it will be close.We hope you participate after all of the discussion and hard work to get this to happen.Quest does provide catering as well, so should be considered for teacher appreciation meals or other catering needs that arise at school

5 year facility plan goes to 2021. In a perfect world, it will be 5 year strategic & a 5 year facility plan. Eventually get to maintenance plan instead of having to do major renovations.

New Board of Education seated on May 1. Typically meet the 4th Monday of every month. Nice to have parents interact and see good things instead of just reacting when you get angered by something.

Curriculum: new science curriculum this year. ELA is being evaluated for next year. The next year will be entirely new curriculum. This is needed ~ our curriculum is outdated. Our curriculum now is on a 5-7 year review process.

New 4 year contract with teachers & TAs. We revamped stipends and changed the step schedule. Now takes 26 years to achieve highest step on scale. We felt we were incentivizing too much and so we re-evaluated, mindfully keeping the idea of retention in mind. Now examining the maintenance contract.

C of C: advanced time this year. Equalized. Hoping kids and parents are pleased with that. Also changed the evaluation criteria. We felt we were casting the net too widely for C of C. Narrowed our reach with the student population a little bit

New teacher eval tool: took 3 years to write it. Ms. Kelly and Ms. Spychalski working hard with these more challenging evaluations.

Thought Exchange: Will have another thought exchange regarding middle school soon. Next year we’ll have a middle school review. Elective offerings and bell schedule will be part of that evaluation. We are excited to learn the thoughts from the parent community.

Watch for report from District 64. Should be distributed to every household.

Questions for Dr. Heinz:

Q: who is deciding on remodel? A: Architects: Design crew and representatives from the school. Remember this is a district facility, so we must consult with the District Architects. We have a vision for the LRCs going forward, so any decisions must be approved by the district.

  • Mrs. Kelly: we will be talking with other schools to get suggestions as well.PTO will be earmarking walkathon money for this LAS renovation.

Q: Will we need to take some of that space for a new classroom? A: I do not think so. We have walked the building often addressing space. The auditorium is underutilized so this would be the first place we would look to create more classroom space. A school like Field might need an addition, but we need to look at what our options are with the current structure. We work under a 5 year plan with facilities. Crowding in our schools will need to be evaluated and we will have to consider changes school boundary lines. This is an unpopular choice to have to make but is necessary. Last year started using a new formula for determining future population of the school to be more accurate in our estimation.

Q: Can you please expand on why our Curriculum is outdated? A: 4years ago we had new ELA standards. We need to be able to address kids at all levels even coming into the earliest grades. Just need to standardize how we approach all students at all buildings. Integration is also being addressed ~ ie: integrating Social Studies and community studies into very early reading materials

Q: Are we teaching towards Common Core? A: CC is a state standard and distinguishes very specific goals. Previous to CC, there was no establishment of specific learning goals, so there was an opportunity for gaps in learning. Like it or not, these are state standards and, yes, we must teach to the standards.

Q: Regarding District 62. Please expand on what is fantastic about this district and where do the security facilities fall in the master facilities plans for District 64. A: Have invested consistently in buildings & maintenance so that their schools are safe, warm & dry. Because they paid attention to their facilities, they have more money to adapt new furniture. We are the only district in the north 40 who do not have secure vestibules. We tested with an independent group to see if they could get into the buildings. They infiltrated every building except Washington. It’s not about the unthinkable acts, it is about knowing who is in the building. This is a priority placement of funds by the Board of Education.

  • What’s the cost?Washington is $800K for the vestibule, new office, new nurses office, C of C classroom and a 4th grade classroom.Cannot give an exact number for just the vestibule.The new architects we have, Studio GC, are in part a result of people who live in the district challenging the numbers that are presented to the board. We are doing as many safety measures as possible.We have the interest of the 4500 kids in the district in mind.

Q: Principal Kelly leaving. How will we replace Mrs. Kelly with someone as quality as she is? A: Same process as when we hired Mrs. Kelly. Lots of different phases with many different professionals and parents and reference checking. Goal is to have someone in place by the end of May.

Q: Do we put too much pressure on the expectations on the principals to attend so many events sponsored by the PTO? A: There is no pressure from the Board… the pressure comes from within. There is a pattern of expecting a lot from administrators.

President’s Report: Next Tues is our official last meeting.

Principal’s Report: Nothing urgent at this time. Mrs. Kelly will give detailed update at next week’s meeting.

New Business:

  • Voted in favor of approving new PTO Board for 2017-2018: Secretary, Hillary Larson; Treasurer, Paul Drakontaidis; VP, Tracy Fragassi; President, Jen Trunco

  • Voted in favor of gifting Yard Signs to PTO members.Signs are yellow & black and read “This Field Family CARES”Cost $800 to gift these to PTO members.

  • Voted in favor of deferring the balance of walkathon money to a fund to be used for LRC improvements.

  • Funds for projector project were around $18K with district input of $5K or $8K, our obligation is approx.. $10 - $13K.We would like to defer the rest of the money to a fund to be determined with the input with our new principal and LAS professional.

  • Teacher Grant Requests were presented.The board is suggesting an award amount for each.We will vote to approve the PTO board recommendations next week.You can read through all grants on the PTO website at

  • Probably have 6-10K to allocate to the grants.

  • Ms. Kelly:ELF grants:The teachers did not apply for any ELF grants this, but they have been asked for in the past and awarded significantly in the past.Just not this year.

  • Hillary:Stand up desks were awarded to all schools in the district.So sometimes it is not school specific.Elf does encourage participation but it is a more rigorous process.

Old Business

  • Tree for Kate was planted.We are going to get a plaque.Reached out to family for wording.

  • Mrs. Kelly:The family communicated they did not want a ceremony.We are looking into any sort of recognition gesture we do school-wide.

  • Screen Free week was great!Thanks to the committee & volunteers.

  • Carol Sales:Discovery Day.Just waiting on Insurance certificates.Volunteers are all set.

  • Fifth grade promotion party coming up May 24th

  • Uncle Pete’s May 19th

  • Field Days:May 24th & 25th.Doing exactly same structure as last year.No rain date so do stations inside if weather is not good.

  • Catherine Gillespie:Q: Installation of projector will happen over the summer? A:All of our steps were accomplished so now it is up to the district to make the installation happen.

Motion to adjourn: Brandy Oomen

Second to adjourn: Susan Smith

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Courtney Goodman, Principal

Christa Donnelly, Assistant Principal

Phone: 847-318-4385


Field Elementary School
707 North Wisner Street
Park Ridge, IL 60068