Board Briefs

December 20, 2018

Update on new Wood Oaks STEAM Lab

On December 20th, the Board of Education received an update on the new STEAM Lab at Wood Oaks.

The new lab will consist of 2,070 square feet of space and house the school's Applied Technology program, STEAM electives, and the Broadcast studio. The space was formerly a classroom and the home economics room.

Wood Oaks offers students an array of programs in the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) area. Classes include robotics and robotics programming; 3-D modeling and printing; Engineering and Construction; and Creative Design.

The lab will include flexible seating for students, ample counter space for 3-D printers, a "brainstorming hub," equipment storage, projection systems, and robotics game tables.

The new lab will cost about $600,000, which does not include architect/engineering and other fees, said Dr. Kimberly Arakelian, Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations. Bids for the project will be approved by the Board in March. The project will be completed by fall of 2019.

2018 Tax Levy Approved

The District 27 Board of Education approved the 2018 Tax Levy at the December 20th Board Meeting. 

The tax levy represents the 2017 Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 2.1% and an additional 1.88% for new and/or redeveloped property in the District. The total tax levy of 3.98% is an increase over the previous year's property tax extension for a total dollar amount of $27,483,734.

Key financial assumptions providing the context for the recommendations include the District's equalized assessed valuation (property values,) assessed valuation division by class, new property history, rate of inflation, and other economic factors that are impacting school funding.

District 27 continues to be in a strong financial position. This levy, approved by the Board after the public hearing, is part of a conservative approach to financial planning that allows the District to maintain excellence while seeking to use taxpayer dollars responsibly.

Membership in Insurance Cooperative Approved

The Board also approved continued membership in the Suburban School Cooperative Insurance Pool (SSCIP) for the 2019 school year.

The District has been a member of SSCIP since 1983. The Cooperative provides general, property, auto, school board legal liability, cyber risk liability, and pollution legal liability coverage for the District.