March 2018

Complete information packet


  • School Finance – Mark Steen reported – The Special Education Transportation Contract was discussed. North Shore Transit was the low one of two complete bids received and evaluated on six criteria. We expect to approve this later tonight. The non-operating funds were discussed, including the debt service fund; this is the third and last year of an abatement in the debt service levy, which is reflected in a negative fund balance of $65,000. The committee discussed whether there were options for further abatement or alternate forms of debt finance.  The committee continued its expenditure review, going through all expenditures category by category - world language, transportation, and food service have been reviewed so far – with no identified area for significant savings. Next meeting is Monday, April 9th at 8:00 am.
  • Strategy – Alice Schaff reported –  Instrumental music was discussed- three options for handling sectionals were reviewed, all involving increase of staff and therefore increased costs; all will be presented this evening. Kindergarten Enrichment was discussed – administration presented an option that would allow kindergarten enrichment to be offered sooner and reduce upfront capital costs. Details on this option will be presented this evening. Next meeting is Monday, April 9th at 8:00 am.
  • Community Review Committee – Ellen Sternweiler reported – Most of meeting was a presentation from a Northwestern University Professor of Learning Sciences about grant funded research involving a student-led STEAM program used around the country and worldwide. The Committee discussed the relevance to D39’s personalized learning goals. Next meeting is Monday, April 9th at 7:00 pm.
  • WCSEA – Ellen Sternweiler reported – The Draft Fiscal 2019 budget, budget calendar, and guidelines were approved. Projected expenditures for Fiscal 2019 were approved. Continued partnership with Avoca for summer special education classes was discussed. Next meeting is May 21st at Marie Murphy. 
  • Parent Teacher Advisory Committee – Lisa Schneider-Fabes reported – Reviewed disciplinary policies, bus safety procedures, procedures for using behavioral interventions, appendices to the 2017-18 Parent Handbook and Transportation Handbook, and made the following recommendations: 1) An annual year-end report on incidences of bullying that gets shared with staff at the start of the school year. 2) For PTO/A events when no administrators are present, administration will create guidelines for handling discipline and a student code of conduct, and add an addendum to the handbook. 3) Regarding transportation, administration will add information in parent handbook related to student conduct on the bus. 

Tracy Kearney reported. This week, Senate was in session and House was off. Both chambers are out of session for next three weeks. The House comes back on April 9th, and the Senate returns on April 10th. 


Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

Go Green Wilmette - All District 39 schools were represented at this year’s Go Green Wilmette event on Sunday, March 11th. Student Green Teams, teachers, administrators and parents included displays of our sustainability efforts, a mini-composting station, and videos of student projects related to sustainability.

New D39 Administrator - Angela DeMay has been selected as the new Assistant Director for Student Services filling the position of Dr. Romy DeCristofaro who was promoted as Interim Administrator for Student Services following the upcoming the retirement of Dr. Denise Thrasher. Recently Angela has been in Barrington District 220. She served as a Learning Behavior Specialist, a Special Services Coordinator, and is currently the Assistant Department Chair of Special Services. Angela received her B.A. & M.S. Ed at Northwest Missouri State University; C.A.S. from National Louis; and is presently earning a Ph.D. from Concordia University. 

June Board of Education Meeting – The June 25th Board of Education Meeting has been rescheduled for June 18th. 


Strategic Plan Updates

  • Kindergarten Enrichment – Ms. Lee - This report is a mid-year update regarding a new 2017 strategic plan goal, but is something the District has considered for nearly a decade. District 39 is responding to broader parent requests for a full-day Kindergarten Program.  The hope is to offer a fee-based kindergarten enrichment program as a first step toward a full-day program. This process is not complete as there will be further exploration of program options and related expenses.  Another update will be presented as early as next month.
  • Instrumental Music - Ms. Lee and Ms. Jackson - This report is also a mid-year update on a  new strategic plan goal with recommendations regarding Instrumental Music. Next steps include finalizing the plan to transition orchestra back to WJHS and identifying specific strategies and resources to improve sectionals. Work will continue on this initiative.    

Annual Business

  • Fiscal Year 2019 Non-Operating Funds Tentative Budget  - Ms. Buscemi - This begins the FY19 budget cycle with a review of the Non-Operating Budget, including the Capital Projects Fund, which is used to pay for costs related to approved construction projects, Debt Service Fund, and  Life Safety fund.  The School Finance Committee has reviewed the tentative budgets.
  • Special Education Student Transportation Contract FY 19-21 Ms. Buscemi - An invitation to bid for special education transportation services was made available to the public January 25, 2018 and the district received three bids.  These bids were evaluated based on six criteria within a matrix and costs.


The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
April 23, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.



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