DeKalb school district completes safety audit

An overview will be provided at Tuesday’s school board meeting.

On Tuesday, March 15, the DeKalb School District 428 Board of Education unanimously voted to approve the addition of two mobile classrooms, which cost a total of $281,000 for the first year.

DeKALB – The DeKalb District 428 school board plans to take a look at where the district stands with promoting the safety of students and staff.

At Tuesday’s meeting, school district staff will deliver a safety audit presentation to the board, according to documents released ahead of the meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the district’s Education Center, 901 S. Fourth St.

School board members have been seeking an audit of the district’s efforts to promote safety for the upcoming school year.

The district had the study conducted, in part, because of public input provided by some parents who called into question the need for additional school resource officers.

The safety audit comes on the heels of the DeKalb City Council agreeing last month to provide two additional SROs under an amended agreement between the city and District 428, bringing the total to five.

In a related development, the district’s student code of conduct is under consideration.

The 21-page-document highlights the responsibilities, practices and expectations of students, parents, teachers and school administrators.

The student code of conduct also addresses the behavioral and social-emotional supports, behavioral interventions and disciplinary components. The document provides a matrix outlining different types of behaviors and varying levels of consequences.

School officials have said the student code of conduct needed to be updated for the upcoming school year.

Also at the meeting, a proposal to increase the substitute employee pay rates and minimum wage for the 2022-23 school year will be reviewed.

The change was submitted by the district’s director of human resources to support staffing needs.

The hourly rate increases are meant to align to the State of Illinois minimum wage requirements, effective Jan. 1, 2023, according to school board documents. All hourly positions are adjusted to start at at least $13.00 per hour.

But to remain competitive, district staff is recommending the same rates from the 2021-22 school year for daily substitute teachers, substitute nurses and annually employed substitutes, according to school board documents. To that end, substitute teachers, substitute nurses annually employed substitutes will earn an hourly rate of $65, $70 and $70, respectively.