November 2017

Board Meeting Highlights

Complete information packet


  • Facility Development – Alice Schaff reported– Primary topic was proposed Highcrest construction. Plan is to begin phase 1 this summer, which includes additions for four classroom addition and an office with secure entrance. Next meeting is December 11th at 8:00 AM.
  • School Finance – Frank Panzica reported – Four topics were discussed. The 2017 Financial Audit, the levy, student fees, and the special education bus bid.  Next meeting is December 11th at 8:00 AM
  • CRC – Frank Panzica – Committee is working on identifying the difference between differentiated learning and personalized learning. Next meeting is December 4th at 7:00 PM.
  • WCSEA – Mark Steen reported for Ellen Sternweiller – Committee accepted the financial report. Summer enrichment locations were presented. The function of WCSEA outside of financial partnership was discussed. Next meeting is March 19th at 4 pm at the MEC.

Tracy Kearney reported. SB 851 advanced to the House, but didn’t proceed. It will likely resurface in the January legislative session. This bill would have included a 2-year property tax freeze for the 17 and 18 school years. Districts would still be able to extend levy tied to debt payment or pension obligation. 


Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

  • School Board Members Day - November 15, 2017 is designated as “School Board Members Day” in Illinois. This is the District and community’s opportunity to thank local board of education members for their commitment in providing a local governance voice for your public schools.

  • Parent Teacher Conferences - District 39’s Parent Teacher conferences were held last week and were very well attended among all six schools. Conferences provide an opportunity for families and teachers to discuss student progress and provide students guidance on how to reflect and set goals.

  • Illinois School Report Card - On October 31st, ISBE released all of the Illinois School Report Cards. We have posted District 39’s Report Card on all of our websites. Data involving student achievement, such as PARCC, is included in this report card. As per ISBE requirements, the District’s local achievement data will be presented in detail later tonight. This announcement to the School Board meets the legal requirement that we share the Illinois report and for post it on the District website.  

Annual Business

  • Fiscal Year 2017 Financial Audit – Scott Duenser from Klein Hall CPAs shared highlights from the District’s financial report. For the 16th year in a row District 39 has earned the highest financial rating, “Financial Recognition,” for exhibiting financial stability.  The weighted score was 4.0 out of 4.0.

  • 2018-2019 Draft Student Fees -  Ms. Buscemi - With the exception of a $10 increase to 7th grade instructional material fees, no other increases are recommended.  As discussed at Finance Committee, the $10 increase covers iPad insurance. There is also a practice change proposed for bus registrations. The District will extend the sign-up date two weeks later to July 13th and then have a hard cut off.  After that, anyone who signs up will be added two weeks after school has started.
  • 2018-2019 Solicitation of Bids for Highcrest Addition – Ms. Buscemi - As reviewed at the Facility Development Committee, we are ready to solicit bids for the FY 2018-2019 Highcrest addition project.  The estimated cost of these projects is $5.2M and will be paid from reserves in the O&M Fund. This approval does not approve the final project; the Board has until February 2018 to make a final decision. However, approval is needed to seek bids now.

  • 2017 Fall Assessment Report  Ms. Lee - The 2017 Fall Assessment report is an executive summary of Performance Series and PARCC assessment results from spring of 2017.  Please note that spring of 2017 was the last administration of Performance Series.  District 39 students continue to outperform the State average percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the PARCC assessment.  

  • Long Term Enrollment Projections– Dr. Lechner - District 39’s move-in rate continues to be strong, which balances lower birth rates.  We continue to have the largest enrollment increase from Kindergarten to first grade, with a steady 2-4% increase for each successive grade. The “net” outcome is that overall enrollments are relatively stable.

  • Levy Update – Dr. Lechner – The Board of Education will vote on the Levy in December. This report provides information on the levy process, the District’s past practice, and the potential financial impact if the Board were break from past practice and vote not to increase the levy this year. 


The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

  • Tracey Kearney suggests discussion of a policy or practice regarding written communication to the Board, specifically related to timing and protocol for individual Board members’ responses.
  • Lisa Schneider Fabes questioned whether the District should consider seeking a waiver for the spring administration of PARCC. The Superintendent will explore options. 


The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
December 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.

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