August 18, 2022
Dear Dr. Olson and Members of the Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board of Education,
On behalf of the League of Women Voters Park Ridge, we respectfully submit this letter to be
read during public comments at the meeting of the D64 Board of Education on August 18, 2022.
LWV is a non-partisan organization committed to support and enhance citizen participation in
government decisions, including those made by local governmental bodies. We strongly adhere
to the principle that a healthy democratic government depends upon the informed, active
participation of citizens.
First, we would like to thank the Board and district administrators for your continued
commitment and service to our community’s children. Secondly, we voice our strong support for
the collaborative decision-making process outlined in Operating Principle #4 of the D64
Board of Education Operating Principles. These principles highlight the district’s commitment to
engage in a thorough and participatory process when making key decisions. Specifically, the
• We will define the objective
• We will provide opportunity for input from persons affected by the decision
• We will gather all pertinent facts concerning the situation
• We will allow time for reflection throughout the process
• We will organize and analyze collected data
• We will encourage consideration of multiple solutions and their implications
• We will provide a plan to implement decisions
We trust that these principles will be honored in the decision-making process throughout the
coming academic school year, and we appreciate the Board’s decision to abide by these
principles by defeating Action Item 22-07-6 at your meeting on July 21st.
With respect to the ongoing discussions of student behavior and the potential adoption of an
SRO program, we would like to draw the Board’s attention to another portion of the district’s
published policies and how it intersects with state law. In the Board Policy Manual, section
2:150 calls for three standing Board committees, including a Parent-Teacher Advisory
Committee and a Behavioral Interventions Committee. In accordance with that policy, as well as
state law SB100, a standing Parent-Advisory Committee should be in place to annually review
and revise school policy guidelines on student discipline. During July’s meeting, several Board
members expressed the desire to involve SROs in student discipline matters. If that is the intent,
any such disciplinary policy changes should be subject to committee review before adoption by
the district. In accordance with democratic principles of participatory government, the LWVPR
encourages the formation of these two collaborative committees, bringing together
representatives from both the parent and teacher communities to help guide these changes.
Finally, in accordance with the position of the U.S. League of Women Voters (developed
through careful, comprehensive study), we encourage the district to prioritize essential student
support services and mental health professionals when allocating funds. We urge D64 decision
makers to promote a safe, positive learning environment using evidence-based, trauma-
informed practices, implemented by professionals trained in social work, counseling, psychology, and nursing. Investment in healthy school environments is urgently needed to keep kids safe, reduce disciplinary incidents, and improve student achievement.
The LWVPR is committed to supporting healthy democratic processes in our community. We
look forward to continuing to partner with community school districts to educate residents about
important policy issues, and we thank you all for your commitment to our community’s young
people. Guided by strong district leadership and supportive, evidence-based practices, our
children have the ability to thrive.
Julianna Lopez de Philbrook
The League of Women Voters Park Ridge
November 18, 2021
Dear Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 Board of Education,
The League of Women Voters Park Ridge is aware that the annual meeting of the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) is this weekend and there are several proposed resolutions being voted on. We are submitting this written public comment to be read aloud at tonight’s D64 board meeting in light of your discussion on 10.21.21 about the IASB recommendations. We remain proud to be considered a trusted resource in Park Ridge and feel strongly that our positions go on public record.
In short, we believe it is urgent that gun violence protection action is increased. We are opposed to guns in schools. We are grateful that you will be sending our D64 delegate to vote against Resolution #2 which allows school employees to carry firearms on school property. The presence of concealed weapons in a school setting would be very detrimental to learning environments.
However, we are greatly disappointed that you are sending our delegate to also vote against Resolution #15 which promotes stronger gun storage laws in homes with students under the age of 18 years. Current law already requires safe gun storage if a minor under the age of 14 may gain access. We believe that any and every child living in this community should not be able to gain access to a firearm and bring it into our schools.
Glen Ellyn SD 41 got it right when they submitted their rationale to the IASB Resolutions Committee for review.
Plans for preventing mass shootings are well documented and a culture of secure gun storage is possible. The League of Women Voters Park Ridge agrees with the position of the League of Women Voters Illinois which aims to keep our schools safe. We believe it is within your purview to protect the health and safety of our student citizenry and it is important to vote to limit accessibility of handguns and semi-automatic weapons in our community.
Please reconsider your position regarding Resolution #15.
The League of Women Voters Park Ridge Board
September 10, 2018
Board of Education Park Ridge Niles School District 64
164 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, Il 60068
Dear Board of Education Members of School District 64,
My name is Mary Upson, and I am the president of our Park Ridge chapter of the League of Women Voters. Our members have been observing the District 64 board meetings over the last three months. The topics generating the most community interest currently are the concerns regarding the Special Education Program and the potential School Resource Officer pilot program.
Frequently these items are placed late in the agenda, after topics that have generated less attention. As these meetings run later than any other board in the community – usually past 10 p.m. – people who want to hear about or speak on these issues have to wait a very long time or are unable to hear the discussion or participate at all because they have family and work commitments.
The board has acknowledged that there is friction among different stakeholders about these matters and has expressed a desire to promote a greater sense of trust and cooperation. We commend you for this and have a simple suggestion that may help. The League of Women Voters of Park Ridge respectfully requests that items that have attracted increased community interest be moved higher on the agenda at future meetings, as both the city and park district of Park Ridge do. Parents and other taxpayers would have more direct access to information and a better opportunity to weigh in on important matters.
Mary Upson President, League of Women Voters of Park Ridge