CCSD21 to form advisory board to oversee new student-based health center

November 2, 2023

Topic: Updates

At least eight individuals will be tapped for an advisory board for Community Consolidated School District 21’s student-based health center, according to a discussion that took place during the October meeting of the board of education.

That number could trend higher, though, as the district continues to take steps – including formalizing its relationship with Advocate Health Group – toward opening the center in April 2024.

The board would primarily advise, make recommendations and provide community support and feedback regarding the operation of the center, according to Superintendent Dr. Michael Connolly. He outlined the prospective appointees could include school administrators, school health professionals, medical professionals, parents with healthcare experience, local health department officials, clergy, municipal leaders, youth service agencies, parents, and even students. Parameters on advisory board members are dictated by the Illinois Administrative COde that governs such types of facilities.

Board member Arlen S. Gould suggested potential representation from municipal communities, but agreed that doing so could beef up the total number of board members.

“While trying to maintain the optimal number of members on this board in order to make this advisory group successful in its purpose, it is our goal as a district to have representation across all of the communities we represent,” added Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.

Bill Harrison, vice president of the board, suggested staggered terms of one to two years, as well as establishing a maximum number of representatives, should the need fluctuate.

The 3,000-square-foot student-based health center is set to occupy the first floor of the district’s Community Service Center and Administrative Office, with initial plans to service the district’s students, teachers and staff.

In the coming weeks, the district is likely to approve its contract with Advocate and the bids for construction, which would then be slated to begin by the end of the year.