Frequently Asked Questions
The Board of Education Current Events FAQ includes brief responses to commonly asked questions recently submitted to the LT Board of Education via e-mail (email@example.com) or public participation at Board of Education meetings.
Air Conditioning Efforts
What percentage of LT campuses are air conditioned?
Approximately 20% of classrooms at South Campus are air-conditioned and approximately 40% of classrooms at North Campus are air-conditioned.
What does LT plan to do about AC in the future?
At the August 16 Regular Action Meeting, the Board of Education provided approval for the District Leadership Team to move forward with plans on an approximately $7 million project for Summer, 2022. A portion of this project (approximately $4.5 million) will result in the installation of air conditioning in 42 additional classrooms at South Campus. At the completion of this project, 32% of classrooms at South Campus will be air conditioned.
In addition, the Board of Education and District Leadership Team is currently discussing a 5-year air-conditioning plan to include additional proposed air-conditioning upgrades at both campuses.
In order to provide historical context, LTHS has completed approximately $5.5 million in air conditioning related projects since 2008.
Board of Education Roles
What is the role of the Board of Education?
The Board of Education is comprised of seven members who are elected by residents of the District to serve as your representatives and to oversee the operation of the school district. Board members are elected to four-year terms. State law does not limit the number of terms Board members may serve. Members elect their own officer. Members are charged with establishing policy, reviewing the budget and tax levy, serving as community leaders for education, and continuously evaluating the effectiveness and range of educational programs. Individual members do not serve as entities in themselves, but may act only as a part of a legally constituted body.
Do Board Members get paid?
School Board Members in the State of Illinois are volunteers. They are elected officials, and do not receive financial compensation for their service to District #204.
What role does the Board of Education play in relation to the District Administrative Team?
The Board of Education hires and evaluates the Superintendent of the school district. The relationship between the Board of Education, Superintendent, and District Administrative Team, as well as a listing of the District Administrative Team can be found by clicking here.
COVID-19 and Mask Mandates
Why is my child required to wear a mask in school?
Please note that LTHS is adhering to the mask mandate announced by Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker (August 4), and require universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, effective Thursday, August 5. This also applies to individuals using school transportation (busses, minibuses, vans, driver ed vehicles, etc.). Per CDC guidance, when individuals consistently and correctly wear masks, they protect themselves and others from COVID-19. In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors.
Continuing with in-person learning and providing opportunities for our students to participate in extra-curricular opportunities remains an important goal, and compliance with this order is critical. Failure to comply with the order may subject our district to enforcement actions from IDPH and/or ISBE, which could include a school closure. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305, establishes the Governor’s authority to issue executive orders. An executive order has the effect of law; compliance with it is mandatory. In addition to this Executive Order, Lyons Township High School District #204 has the authority to set rules in regard to both student conduct and health/safety requirements within its schools and to enforce those rules. This authority is granted through Sections 10-20.5 and 10-22.6 of the Illinois School Code. Through the district’s adoption of appropriate COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order on universal masking, masking is required for all students, absent those who have been granted accommodations due to a disability or medical condition, as approved by the district.
Wearing a mask is a basic behavioral expectation for students. If students do not comply, we will follow normal student discipline procedures. We will, of course, begin with a supportive conversational approach, and partner with students and families to ensure compliance. Ultimately, students who refuse to comply with the State of Illinois masking requirement will be subject to discipline.
What is the point-of-care office?
LTHS does not have a “Point-of-Care Office”. There is, however an LTHS Health Office at each campus. Each office is staffed with a full time School Nurse who holds a Professional Educator License endorsed in School Nursing (PEL-SN) and full time ParaEducator. You can learn more about the services provided in the LTHS Health Office by visiting the Health Office Website. Please note the LTHS Health Office at each campus has the ability to conduct “Point of Care” testing by administering the BINAXNow test to symptomatic individuals to assist with COVID-19 diagnosis efforts. Students will not be tested or vaccinated without proper parental consent.
Does LT mandate the COVID-19 vaccine?
No, students are not required to be vaccinated. Per the CDC, vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. To that end, we encourage all eligible students to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. LTHS is hosting its third vaccination clinic on September 15 and will continue to provide these opportunities for our students, staff, and community. Approximately 50% of students have already shared their vaccine card with us, and we encourage all students to share a copy of their vaccine card with the Health Office by emailing a picture or PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note fully vaccinated students do not need to quarantine following known exposure if they are asymptomatic.
Equity and Belonging Efforts
Why did LT hire a Director of Equity & Belonging?
LTHS remains committed to building a community based on a foundation of equity and inclusion where individual dignity is honored and where all individuals know they belong. The hiring of Dr. Jennifer Rowe as the Director of Equity and Belonging is the culmination of years of equity efforts and furthers our commitment to celebrating the diverse school community we have. Dr. Rowe’s work with our leadership team will help to operationalize the LT District Equity Statement which was adopted by the LTHS Board of Education in February, 2021. Dr. Rowe serves on our district leadership team and will work closely with our community and associate schools on a wide range of efforts. These include examining all that we do through the lens of equity and belonging and includes, but is not limited to, working with other district leaders to facilitate professional development for staff, working with human resources to ensure that our District’s hiring practices are equitable, and contributing to LT’s ongoing effort to close the academic achievement gap among students. In addition, Dr. Rowe will be an integral part of the long-term, strategic planning efforts that will occur at LT during the 2021-22 school year. This process will help us define and communicate long-term district priorities, goals, and objectives at LTHS.
Does LT teach Critical Race Theory?
Critical Race Theory is not a framework that is taught in courses at Lyons Township High School. By contrast, it is important to recognize that educators at Lyons Township HS will continue to grow in their skills and in their practices to best support the diverse learners who are entering our classrooms today. Schools like LT are actively working to be more inclusive in the telling of history, presentation of stories and in their implementation of instructional practices and strategies that are more culturally, historically and linguistically responsive. This expectation for teaching and learning can be seen in the new ISBE Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards that were adopted this year.
Lyons Township High School is committed to ensuring that all students are able to realize “Vita Plena,” where all are supported to achieve a true sense of equity and belonging in order to support their best life journey. Our teachers are dedicated practitioners who support the Illinois Learning Standards and the goals set forth from the state surrounding teaching and curricula. Throughout the country, however, concern has been shared about the teaching of Critical Race Theory, which is a theory of inquiry developed for graduate-level law courses to explain the persistent impacts of racism that still exist in American society after the Civil Rights Act. This academic framework centers on examining the systemic nature of racism, in contrast to seeing racism as an act by an individual who wants to intentionally cause harm. It is important to note most school teachers have never been exposed to the foundational principles of Critical Race Theory in their own course of study, and this level of inquiry and application would not be presented or taught as a part of K-12 instruction.
The rich educational history at Lyons Township works to center strong instructional practices that allow for and support social/emotional development, a robust and rigorous academic repertoire with a belief in presenting whole and inclusive histories and instructional pedagogy. These foundations are consistent and support the strong dedication of our instructors and also district leadership.
Resources To Go Deeper:
For individuals who wish to explore further, we have included below a few resources that include additional information regarding Critical Race Theory and the recent Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education.