The new District 230 website was scheduled to go live this week and preliminary comments before the launch were encouraging.
“It’s a completely different look,” District 230 spokeswoman Carla Erdey said. “Someone had described it to me as all grown up. I was excited to hear that.”
Aside from the look, Erdey said the idea was to make it easier for residents to use.
“You can find information a lot more readily,” she said. “It’s a much more sophisticated look. There are a lot of graphics and a lot more video and photo integration. We know that people communicate in different ways not just print and text.
“We’ll have really big and bold pictures because we think it’s important to highlight the faces of our students and staff. There will be an improved search function and staff directory so you can find the contact information of a staff member more easily.”
Access to the site is at district.d230.org.
The 2013 budget was amended at the board of education meeting last Thursday the district saved $350,000 due to lower replacement salaries and not replacing three staff members after 24 staff members retired and received back payments from the state.
They put that money to wipe out a $1.5 million debt to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund 5+5 program, for non-certified support staff with a minimum of 20 years of certified service and a minimum age of 50.
“That program was at a 7.5 percent interest rate,” Board President Richard Nogal said. “Since the state made another tardy payment and some funds were available we thought it would be prudent to retire that debt that had a high interest rate.”
Assistant Superintendent of business Steve Langert said by paying off the debt now the district will save close to $500,000.
Heading to San Diego
Erdey and Superintendent James Gay will give a presentation on the district’s S4 Initiative, also known as Successful Schools, Successful Students, Monday at the National School Public Relations Association in San Diego.
The initiative started in 2009 and had programs and seminars that hit hard on preparing students for the real word via talks with people in various occupations.
“Various superintendents and [public relations representatives] from around the country and Canada come together and share the best practices and what’s going on,” Erdey said. “Dr. Gay and I will share our stories about the S4 Initiative so that others can learn.”