Elmhurst District 205 board approves all-day kindergarten feasibility study

By MARY STROKA - mstroka@shawmedia.com Published: Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017 5:51 p.m. CDT
District 205 Superintendent David Moyer addresses the Board of Education during a meeting Aug. 8 about approving a consulting contract with Steve Cordogan to conduct an all-day kindergarten feasibility study. — Mary Stroka - mstroka@shawmedia.com

ELMHURST – Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 has initiated an all-day kindergarten feasibility study with consultant Steve Cordogan at the helm.

The Board of Education approved the contract in a 4-1 vote at its Aug. 8 meeting. Karen Stuefen, secretary of the board, voted against it. Chris Blum and Jim Collins were absent.

Kindergarten was a No. 2 community priority based on the ThoughtExchange survey and the Focus205 process, Superintendent David Moyer said.

"It's the timing of the need to link all of our updating facilities with the want for the all-day kindergarten," Stuefen said at the meeting before she voted against the proposed contract.

She said afterwards that she wants to make sure the community will support updating the school facilities.

The study will include a comparison analysis of the highest performing unit school districts in the state, focus group meetings and a survey, and the final report will include cost, staffing and facility implications and a recommendation on next steps, according to board documents.

Board Vice President Margaret Harrell said she wanted the programs the Elmhurst community already offers to supplement kindergarten also to be taken into account in the study.

"I would want to make sure that what is added to this proposal is that there is some work that goes out to assess what is already available in this community," she said.

Board member Kara Caforio asked that Cordogan also find out why districts that decided against implementing all-day kindergarten did so.

"I think that this will be one of the largest transformations in Elmhurst education in a long time," board member John McDonough said.

The contract will not exceed $5,000, according to board documents.

Cordogan has a doctorate from Northern Illinois University in education administration with a specialization in statistical research, and he directed a research, evaluation and testing department focused on school improvement at Township High School District 214 in Arlington Heights from 2003 to 2014, according to his resume.