October 2018

Board Meeting Highlights

Complete meeting packet




  • School Finance – Frank Panzica reported –Fund balance reserves were discussed; they are needed to avoid financial risk and cover cash flow given uneven revenue payments. The impact of temporarily running out of reserves would be a bridge loan with a high interest rate, which would impact bond rating for future debt. Committee is evaluating if reserve level guideline should be changed and is also considering an upper limit for reserves. The committee began the process of setting the tax levy and looked at assumptions for long term financial projections. Next meeting - November 5th 8:00 am
  • Facilities Development – Alice Schaff reported – Three topics discussed. 1) HMS phase 2 construction - begins next summer and includes Learning Commons and special education classrooms. Budget numbers expected next month. Ad Hoc Garden Committee met to provide advice on the HMS garden. 2) Kindergarten Enrichment – reviewed initial budget estimates for first phase. Harper construction will begin June 2019 and Central in June 2020, with Kindergarten Enrichment becoming available in 2020-2021. 3) Large space AC – authorized a study to evaluate the current AC systems. Next meeting - November 5th at 8:00 am


  • CRC – Ellen Sternweiler – Focus is on what 1-1 learning looks like for younger students. Two subcommittees have been formed; one reviewing current practices and the other reviewing instructional approaches. Next meeting - November 5th at 7:00 PM
  • Educational Foundation – Lisa Schneider-Fabes – Taste of Wilmette brought in $250. Science Olympiad registration begins this week. Gripp grant deadline is October 26. Fashion show in the evening of November 7. Bingo night moves to March 1. Trivia night is February 2. Adding section to website for corporate matching. For the Fine arts project this year the Foundation is considering a photography challenge. Next meeting - November 13th at 7:00 PM
  • Legislative update – Tracy Kearney - There has been a push to override the Governor’s veto of a bill that would have provided a minimum salary of $40,000 for teachers.
  • Superintendent Search Update – Lisa Schneider-Fabes – Harry Rossi and Gary Zablinka from SCHOOL EXEC CONNECT were introduced; they presented findings from focus groups and survey and shared the resulting Superintendent Profile. The Board discussed the makeup of the Stakeholder Committee that will participate in the interview process. All members will need to sign an agreement to maintain confidentiality. It will have 11 members: two from WEA, two from SSU, three administrators recommended by Dr. Lechner, two parents, and two community members. There was discussion of how to select the parents and community members, and the Board voted to have Board members submit suggestions to Dr. Lechner and to offer parents and community members the opportunity to nominate themselves for the committee. Dr. Lechner will organize the nominations for the Board to review. 


Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

National Principals Month - October is National Principals’ Month honoring the essential role of principals in creating quality schools. We cannot thank our principals enough for their passion, commitment, vision, and leadership in our schools.


Strategic Plan Updates

  • 2018-19 Superintendent/District Goals – Dr. Lechner - This action item outlines my goals in support of district initiatives. The Supt’s contract requires annual Board approval. These goals reflect the strategic plan.

Annual Business

  • Review the Tax Year 2018 Estimate of Levy and Approve the Public Hearing Mrs. Crispino – The proposed Levy represents a total increase of 2.1% for CPI plus New Property Growth. There continues to be a significant uptick for new construction in Wilmette, with 45 brand new homes under construction.
  • Fall Housing ReportDr. DeCristofaro - Annually, District 39 conducts a Fall Housing report that captures the number of students attending District 39's schools as of September. 30. This year, 3,549 students are housed in D39 buildings. In addition, we also examine the number of students we have a responsibility to educate. This number is higher than Fall Housing as it includes Early Childhood students receiving itinerant speech at the MEC, students outplaced at therapeutic settings, and students receiving special education services at St. Francis and St. Joseph's. Our fall enrollment number is 3,588 students.
  • Select Student FeesMrs. Cripsino - Some student fees require early approval, as parents need information to make decisions about summer programs. D39 summer programs are to be fiscally self-sustaining.As presented last month, the 2018 Summer Enrichment Program fees continue to cover our expenses so no change in fees is recommended. Connecting Kids preschool tuition is also reviewed annually, including a comparison with other local preschools, private and public. D39 remains competitively low, so no changes are recommended.
  • 2018 Fall Assessment ReportMs. Lee - This 2018 Fall Assessment report is an executive summary of Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) and the State of Illinois PARCC assessment results from spring of 2018.  District 39 students continue to outperform the state average percentage of students meeting or exceeding expectations on the PARCC assessment. The presentation also included achievement results from both MAP Growth and PARCC.


Board member Tracy Kearney removed the following item from the consent agenda:

  • Review the Tax Year 2018 Estimate of Levy and Approve the Public Hearing

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

The item pulled from the Consent Agenda was unanimously approved separately.

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
November 12, 2018 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.





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