During the Dec. 12 regular meeting, the Proviso Township High Schools District 209 school board voted on a series of financial and policy proposals that board members had been debating over the last few months. 

Board members voted unanimously on a teacher contract, the details of which had not been released by Dec. 19.

The board also voted to authorize changes to the district’s nepotism policy that would prevent anyone related to, or in business with, a sitting board member from working in the district for as long as that board member is in office, among other revisions. 

The changes, introduced last month by board member Ned Wagner, who heads up the board’s Policy Committee, had provoked some debate among members, with board President Theresa Kelly and member Della Patterson arguing that the changes were unnecessary and could possibly discourage potential qualified candidates from applying to work in the district. 

During the Dec. 12 meeting, Kelly said that while she understands the intention behind the policy change, she was worried that the district might “miss out on people who can make a strong, positive impact on students.” 

“How would one know who is truly related to anyone? How would we [prove] that? Through ‘he say, she say,’ or word of mouth? DNA test? How do we know who is related to whom?” Kelly said. “If one is denied employment because it has been speculated that they are related to a board member, then that could result in legal action against the district.” 

The board voted 6 to 1 in favor of the changes, with Patterson voting against the measure. 

Website redesign search hits snag

D209’s effort to redesign its website, along with the websites used by each of its three high schools, has slowed somewhat after district officials decided not to accept any of the three bids that came in during the request for proposals process. 

Three companies —  Americaneagle.com, Edlio LLC, and West Interactive Services Corporation — put in bids on the redesign project, which officials estimated could cost anywhere between $70,000 and $120,000. 

Tracy Avant-Bey, the district’s director of information technology, said she and other district officials didn’t believe that the range of companies was a “good representation of the services that are available.” 

Avant-Bey added that the three vendors’ costs “were vastly different.” She said the district has contacted other vendors that might be interested in applying. 

“Each of the [three bidders] had software that did different things and we want to make sure that we have software that fits in our environment,” she said. 

During a regular meeting in October, district officials said that a vendor could be hired by early November. According to Supt. Jesse Rodriguez, the target date for securing a vendor has been changed to sometime in February. 

In October, district officials said they expected the new sites to be fully functional by May 2018, but that target date could also be pushed further out. 

CONTACT: michael@oakpark.com  

One reply on “D209 approves nepotism policy, teacher contract”