Frequently Asked Questions
Alumni here--during my time at Pennoyer there were very few fundraising opportunities (seems to be the same situation now from what I hear from current students). Fundraisers we did have seemed to use money for unnecessary things that didn’t benefit the e
Most fundraising in Illinois Public School Districts are facilitated by a District recognized booster club, parent organiziatio or foundation that is a usually a 501c (see Board Policy 8:90 https://www.pennoyerschool.org/boe/board-policies/section-8-community-relations/8-90-community-relations-parent-organizations-and-booster-clubs), such as the Pennoyer PTC. Currently, The Pennoyer Board of Education recognizes 2 organizations that do various fundraisers.
- The 8th Grade Parent Committee
- The Parent Teacher Council
Additionally, the Board must follow Board Policy 8:80 when accepting gifts, both monetary and physical:
Currently, the 8th Grade Parent Committee raises funds to defray the costs of 8th grade field trips, activities and special events. The Pennoyer PTC raises funds for student activities such as student dances, picnics, student incentives, and for specific equipment and programs.
The PTC did provide Pennoyer with a donation for a playground, however, the majority of the playground was funded by the Preschool for All Grant. Additionally, the PTC has helped fund a new sound system for plays and musicals, new desks for the middle school students and teacher wish list requests.
To fundraise for the specific items you mention (fire alarm system, approximately $340,000 and $1,375,000 for replacement of plumbing, masonry and construction for replacement of water fountains in the original building areas) we would need a foundation or parent group to help with this effort. Pennoyer does not currently have a foundation, which would be a separate entity and registered 501c and need to fall under the guidelines Board Policy 8:90. The Pennoyer Board of Education would welcome the formation of a Pennoyer Foundation which could help in raising funds for the school.
The Pennoyer library is currently staffed for the remainder of this school year and students are able to visit the library and check out books. If we are unable to staff the library next year, we will be seeking parent volunteers.
Can you please show us calculation for 9.2 million for renovation of our school? How we come with this number and why in 3 month we increase from 7.9 million to 9.2 million$
Please refer to our documents and handout section of the referendum tab on the Pennoyer Website. The estimated work numbers were provided in February of 2021, the Board has figured 9% in inflation as the majority of the construction work would not happen until summer of 2024 as it is too late to go to bid for this summer. Additionally, in the November of 2023 referendum, the Board removed the flooring and casework projects, but have decided to put those back in.
We would need our architects and engineers to draw up the plans for the majority of the work, however, we do have plans ready for the fire alarm system, the remaining HVAC and the middle school bathrooms. Those three projects alone would require at least 5 - 6 weeks to complete and would need to be done in the summer when students are not here. We are too late to go out to bid this summer for those projects. We would be looking at doing the projects during the summer of 2024 and possibly starting prep work as early as March of 2024 in areas (such as outside) where it would not impact the students' learning. It is possible some projects would need to be scheduled the summer of 2025, depending on supply chain. We have had a rooftop unit for our recent HVAC project, which was ordered in October of 2021 that is still not complete because it is waiting for a computer chip from China. We are hoping to get it in March.
During parent meeting we hear the question about hiring Union company for construction project for school improvement if we pass referendum. The main message was that is preferable but not required to be completed by Union workers. If we are hiring local
All Illinois public school districts are bound by Illinois Labor Laws, which include the prevailing wage law. Any project or service over $25,000 is required to go through the bid process as outlined in 105 ILCS 5/10-20.21. The District must award the bid to the lowest and most qualified.
Please check the Cook County Clerk’s website https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/your-voter-information to find out if you are registered to vote, where your polling place is, and where and when early voting occurs in your community. If you are not registered to vote, and are eligible to vote, you may register at your polling place on election day, April 6, with two pieces of identification https://www.cookcountyclerk.com/service/election-day-registration-and-voting.
If Art and Music are no longer offered and Physical Education reduced, will grades still be on the report card?
Art and music will be taught by the classroom teachers and will provide grades for these subjects. Students will still have Physical Education, however, elementary students will not have it every day as they do now. Grades will still be provided.
If board members are up for re election this year on the referendum ballot, why have parents not been told why they are seeking re election?
Suburban Cook County holds school board elections every 2 years during spring elections. Any registered voter in the Pennoyer District can run for school board. Suburban Cook County Schools do not facilitate school board elections or put candidates on the ballot and cannot legally endorse/support candidates. Additionally, the County does not inform the school district of which individuals are running for school board. It is up to the individuals running for a school board position to run their own campaign. For more information on school board candidacy and elections, please visit the following websites:
You can find a complete list of school board candidates here:
In a previous question, you said "The Pennoyer Board of Education would welcome the formation of a Pennoyer Foundation which could help in raising funds for the school." What would that look like, and how would someone get it started?
Board Policies 8:80 and 8:90 (links below to the policies), allow the Board to work with outside organizations that support the school. These organizations are typically organized as a 501c3, non-for-profit organization. Please see the link below that provides step by step instructions on how to apply for 501c3 status.
Should enough taxpayers in the Pennoyer District be interested in such a study and another area school district consent in participating, the Board would consider this. To date, the Pennoyer Board of Education has not received any requests on this matter from their constituents or other school districts.
Is there any way for community members to get involved and help out, other than voting? Are there any upcoming fundraisers where volunteers are needed, or something along those lines?
The Pennoyer Parent Teacher Council is always looking for volunteers. You can connect with them through the Pennoyer website at:
Or contact our Principal, Adam Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should we go to deficit in budget to - 60% to receive help from federal budget and don't try to sacrifice the life of working families who hardly meeting the family need's during this recession in economy.
Unfortunately, the federal and state governments do not provide funds to school districts who are in deficit spending. Under Illinois law, school districts who are in deficit spending have limited opportunities to make budget reductions before the Illinois State Board of Education assigns a financial oversight committee to make the reductions for the District.
In 2020, Pennoyer was awarded a $50,000 Illinois State Board of Education School Maintenance matching grant to bring the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR) and Nurse’s Bathroom up to ADA standards.
We do keep current with grant opportunities and apply for the ones that Pennoyer qualifies for.
Why does Pennoyer have a "Director of Student Services"? Salary data shows this position paid $89,000. You employ a social worker. Why can't the principal and social worker handle the job of "student services"?
The Director of Student Services requires a specific skill set and certification to oversee all special education services, programming and staff, Preschool for All, English language services programming, staff and immigrant services, McKinney-Vento homeless services, Multi Tiered System of Supports, and student health services. The Director of Student Services is also the administrator for Pennoyer’s tuition based Structured Learning Program which is available to students within the Leyden Area Special Education Cooperative and provides additional income for Pennoyer’s special education programming. Additionally, in the past 6 years, Pennoyer has seen an increase in students that access and require these programs. Providing such programs on site at Pennoyer reduces the amount of students who are “outsourced” to costly therapeutic day schools. The Director of Student Services holds both special education and school administration certification.
Why does Pennoyer have a Director of Technology and a Technology Support Technician? According to 2021 salary data, the Director of Technology made over $108,000. Having two people handling the technology needs of a small school seems like poor use of fun
The Director of Technology oversees all technology for the District. This includes the management of: the technology budget, servers and network infrastructure, Internet connectivity, phone systems, account management, educational software, printers, testing platforms, A/V systems, building security, student data privacy compliance, and student and staff devices. Providing these services in house provides significant cost savings when compared to outsourcing to a third-party IT company that the District had previously used prior to 2017, saving over 122k a year. Having a Director of Technology in house not only provides for more efficient maintenance and troubleshooting of our critical systems and essential devices, the position is also intune to our students and staff's needs, providing a strategic vision for the District's technology and to provide long-term technology planning and resources to best support education at Pennoyer.
Pennoyer has approximately 700 student and staff devices that operate in the building daily. The Technology Support Technician position provides daily management, repairs, and general support to students and staff who use these devices. This position also supports other classroom and school systems such as classroom interactive displays, printers, visitor management systems, student educational platforms, and general IT support. Pennoyer has historically had this position to provide classroom technology support.
Information shared on the public Pennoyer Facebook is limited due to student and school security and privacy. Parents of Pennoyer students receive a “digital” backpack on Wednesday and Fridays as well as a Principal’s Newsletter that includes information about upcoming events and student highlights and celebrations.
As per Illinois Statute, a public school district must employ a superintendent. Pennoyer employs one superintendent and one principal. The superintendent is responsible for all state reporting requirements, budget and financial requirements, and the oversight and day to day operations of Pennoyer’s business office. The Pennoyer superintendent also serves as the District’s Chief Financial Business Officer.
The principal is responsible for day to day operations of the school, including all student matters (safety, curriculum, programming, activities, assessments, etc) and the faculty (hiring, evaluation, scheduling, professional development, etc).