District 117 extends Ptacek’s contract through 2020

By Ryne Turke on February 19, 2015 at 12:15am

District 117’s superintendent is staying put for the foreseeable future.

The contract for Steve Ptacek, which was unanimously approved by board members, will extend through 2020 at $155,100 a year.

In other business, the Vision 117 project took a big step forward after board members agreed on the bond proposal from PMA Financial Network. Ptacek says PMA will first conduct a feasibility study to analyze sales tax revenue. This process will give District 117 an idea of how much money will be brought in from the sales tax and how it can be used as a revenue source towards bonds.

Board members also accepted the RFQ proposal for an architect on the Turner project. In order to obtain the top candidates, a committee of community members with construction background will decide the top three architectural candidates. After hearing presentations from each of the candidates, the board will vote on the best option.

That wasn’t the only committee approved during last night’s meeting. A committee of community members, board members and administrative staff will soon start the processes of re-redistricting the boundaries of District 117. Ptacek talks about what this committee hopes to achieve.

“Our Franklin students haven’t had a home school since it was closed and the schools near Franklin don’t have enough room to take in those students,” says Ptacek.

“The district hasn’t gone through a boundary process in anyones memory. This is a very important process for the community, so we will develop scenarios, get public input and grade those scenrios. This will be very similar to how we did the building process with District 117.”

Ptacek hopes to have the process done by next fall.

Ptacek took some time discuss what Governor Bruce Rauner discussed in his budget speech yesterday. Ptacek says there are still a lot of questions regarding funding for school districts.

“We’re anxious that he talked about money being put in for General State Aid,” says Ptacek.

“Now $300 million isn’t up to the predicted $550 million that it would take to get school districts back to 100 percent GSA with no proration though. We are hoping that communication to increase GSA will occur, so we can start getting some of the funds we need back into the district.”

District 117 officials met with 8 Points Charter this month for a school evaluation. Ptacek highlighted that 8 Points, along with all the elementary schools in the district, are all under the same review at this time.

A new policy allows District 117 to punish students for cyber bullying, even if  it happens outside of school. The policy can only be acted on if the cyber bullying causes an adverse impact within the school.