Held in the Dwight Common School District Library On December 13, 2023 at 6:00 p.m.

Board President Nick Stipanovich called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Lori Bowman; Mark Christenson; Marc Ellis; Tara Hansen (6:04 p.m,); Jaime Mallaney; Nick Stipanovich; Chuck Trainor


Also in attendance: Josh DeLong, Superintendent; Deb Conroy, Secretary; Julie Schultz, Principal; Jennifer Statler, District Office Administrative Assistant


Mrs. Schultz announced that Heidi Hooker had been chosen as the Redbird of the Month.




Drew Smith, Choir Director, introduced the recent ILMEA participants to the Board. Mr. DeLong also announced the names of the State Cross Country finalists, who were unable to attend.


Mrs. Stewart was in attendance to give the DEA Report for this month and thanked the Board for the Christmas breakfast this morning.

Mrs. Schultz’s report stands as read and she also thanked the Board for the breakfast this morning as well as Dennis Dunlap of Country Financial for the Christmas gifts he gave to our staff earlier this month.

Mr. Bennett-Tejes’ report stands as read.
Mr. DeLong reported that the heating system seems to be working very well this year.



Mr. DeLong reported on the following issues:

  1. 1)  The school to home connection and support continues to deteriorate with parents that do not expect their children to take responsibility for their poor decisions or bad behavior. He stated that while it’s a very small percentage, as most of our families are very supportive, that small percentage takes up a lot of administrations time. He believes this is one of many reasons that there is a nationwide teacher shortage.
  2. 2)  He discussed the annual TIF Joint Review Board meeting that he attended. He noted that we still do not have an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Village regarding TIF 3, which is the new old Donnelley’s building. TIF 2 is part of the new housing development on the west side of town. He stated that if we are adversely affected by this new development (such as an influx of new students), we have the right to request funding back from this TIF agreement by using a formula that is tied back to our 1995 cost per pupil expenditure rate.
  3. 3)  He reported that due to a fire in the Village public works maintenance building, almost all of the Village’s vehicles were destroyed and they are borrowing one of our Maintenance trucks and the plow attachment with it.
  4. 4)  He also announced that we had 24 applications for our joint AD position and he plans to start setting interviews soon.


Items for consideration on this month’s Consent Agenda are as follows:

  1. 1)  Minutes of the November 8, 2023 Regular Board Meeting
  2. 2)  Bills
  3. 3)  Approve Resignation, Kyle Henson, Custodian
  4. 4)  Approve Resignation, Dezirae Leonard, Paraprofessional
  5. 5)  Approve Employment, Tasha Nash, Paraprofessional
  6. 6)  Approve Employment, Tammy Stolzenbach, Substitute Teacher


Mr. DeLong presented his final proposal for the 2023 Tax Levy and Extension. The final proposal came in at an increase of approximately $218,000 to the extension over last year’s levy or a rate increase of 2.98%. The tax rate is expected to be 2.97 lower than the 3.01 rate from last year.

Mr. DeLong held the second reading of PRESS Plus Policy 113 updates and discussed those updates with the Board.


Mr. DeLong requested that the February Board meeting be changed to Tuesday, February 13, 2024 due to his attendance at a conference on the 14th.

Mr. DeLong presented the final proposals for Medical, Dental and Vision insurance premiums from Blue Cross, Blue Shield. The final rate increase was 1.98%. He also presented the life insurance rate from Dearborn National. That rate increased this year for the first time in several years from $4.80 per month to $5.22. All rates were approved by the DEA.

After review of our current Executive Session minutes, Mr. DeLong reported that he intends to keep all past Executive Session minutes to remain closed.

Mr. DeLong presented the new contract for copier and printer leases with Proven IT. He noted that the Canon copiers that we have with Proven are working very well, we receive very few complaints about them and their service is very good. This is a 5-year renewal with the price frozen for the first 3 years of the contract, and a maximum 10% increase in years 4 and 5. The contract will begin in the summer when the new machines will be switched out and will run through the 2028-29 school year.

Mr. DeLong discussed an issue with Board policy 7:40, Non-Public School Student Participation and how it has been interpreted in our school district. The policy states that non-public school students are not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities. At some points over the past several years, this policy has not been followed. He asked the Board to decide if they wish to either change the policy or follow it. Changing it would be cumbersome for the administration to track due to extra rules that would need to be followed and tracked on those students regarding the IESA and IHSA. The Board is in agreement of sticking with the current policy language.

Moved by Ellis, seconded by Christenson, to go into Executive Session at 6:33 p.m. to discuss collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees; According to Section 2, subsection c, #2 of the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Roll call. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Moved by Ellis, seconded by Hansen, to exit Executive Session at 6:42 p.m. Roll call. All voted aye. Motion carried.

Moved by Ellis, seconded by Mallaney, to adjourn the meeting at 6:43 p.m. Voice vote. All voted aye. Motion carried.