A Brookfield crossing guard stands by as a student crosses at Hollywood and Washington avenues outside of Hollywood Elementary School last year. | FILE

The village of Brookfield and Riverside Elementary School District 96 have finally hammered out an agreement regarding crossing guards the village supplies for Hollywood School, one which will involve no cash payments from the school district.

Village trustees unanimously approved the agreement Jan. 10 with the District 96 school board following suit on Jan. 19, capping an effort initiated by Brookfield Village Manager Timothy Wiberg more than a year ago.

“I do think it’s a very good conclusion,” Wiberg told village trustees. “It really is what we should have been doing, what every government should be doing — day in, day out, year in, year out – so I’m hopeful this will lead to further, whether it’s with District 96 or other governmental bodies that serves Brookfield, that this makes sense of the way we should be operating.”

Wiberg was referring to intergovernmental cooperation in cases where agencies’ responsibilities intersect, such as in the case of crossing guards. While public safety is an essential role of village government, ensuring the safety of students in and around its buildings is also a responsibility shared by public school districts.

Initially, Wiberg suggested that District 96 compensate the village financially for recruiting, training and paying the two crossing guards assigned to Hollywood School during the mornings and afternoons of school days.

District 96 had agreed, reluctantly, in 2014 on a cost-sharing agreement with the village of Riverside, which provides crossing guards at the district’s four schools in that village.

However, school board members were not prepared to pay for crossing guards at Hollywood School given the fact that Brookfield-LaGrange Park School District 95, which also has its crossing guards supplied by the village, does not pay for that service.

However, the village argued, Brookfield is compensated by District 95 in other ways, namely by agreeing to allow the village use of its facilities for recreation department programming.

While there was some resistance on the part of the school board to a similar agreement for District 96, that’s eventually what the final deal reflected. In exchange for crossing guards at Hollywood School, the school board agreed to allow the village to use Hollywood School for recreation programming.

The agreement expires Dec. 31, 2023 and will automatically renew unless either party serves written notice within 60 days to the contrary. According to the terms of the agreement, the village will be able to use a classroom, the outdoor play space and the gym at Hollywood School three weekdays per week during the school year from 4:30 to 7 p.m.

The village may also get written permission to use Hollywood School facilities on non-attendance days and school holidays, and District 96 will also permit the village to use the school during the summer break from June 1 through mid-August from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to host summer camp programming,

The village in exchange will provide a crossing guard at Hollywood and Washington avenues and at Hollywood Avenue and the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad crossing from 7:45 to 8:15 a.m. and from 2:55  to 3:30 p.m. each school day.

One concession Brookfield has made at the request of District 96 is that the village will charge Brookfield resident rates to non-Brookfield residents for District 96 student participation in summer and extended-day programs at Hollywood School.

The non-resident exception does not extend to ordinary Brookfield Parks and Recreation Department programming.

While voting for the agreement, school board member David Barsotti said he was “a little disappointed” it did not extend the Brookfield resident recreation rates for ordinary programs to all District 96 residents who don’t live in Brookfield. 

“I’m glad it’s at least definitely for the kids, or I should say summer camps for the kids, so I’m glad that’s in there,” Barsotti said.

He also suggested reviewing the agreement annually.

“I would like to review this and see how compliance is with this, just to make sure that the village is adhering to this as we expect them to,” he said.