Board Meeting Highlights - December 15, 2014

Board meeting video


Levy Hearing

Ms. Buscemi presented the 2014 Levy at the hearing prior to the regular meeting. The total requested levy is 2.71% or $1,322,266 over the prior year's extension. This is made up of 1.5% CPI plus new property growth. 


Board Committee Reports

Educational Foundation
John Flanagin reported. The committee met on December 3rd to vote on recommendations for Gripp Grants. Five grants were awarded to Romona, Central, and WJHS totaling $4,100. Trivia Night is February 7th – tickets available online January 7th. Next meeting is January 14th at the MEC at 7 pm.

School Finance
Keith Dronen reported. The committee reviewed insurance benefit consultant and auditor request for proposals. Assumptions regarding five-year projections were discussed. Other items discussed included the FY 16 budget calendar and the levy. The bus contract was reviewed and transportation fees for next year were discussed in light of the possible additional bus route. Next meeting is Feb 9th at 8:00 am.



Legislative Update

Keith Dronen reported. There was legislative news right before Thanksgiving when a Circuit Court Judge ruled that SB1 was unconstitutional. The decision will be reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court.


Announcements from the Superintendent

  • Final recommended safety and security improvements are being implemented. The last change is hardware that locks from inside the classrooms. After winter break HMS and all elementary schools will have been upgraded.  WJHS is scheduled for summer 2015.
  • D39 websites are in need of review and update. Parents and staff will be surveyed to help determine the scope of work needed.  The District is also beginning the process of creating a District dashboard, and looking to update the D39 “brand” with a new logo and/or mission statement. Together, these projects will improve the “look and feel” of D39.
  • Based on feedback from the last BOE meeting and from the WEA, the District will be doing more curriculum planning before moving ahead with a coding class. The target is to have a viable option in the fall.
  • Student fees will be reviewed in the next few months. Possible increases to consider are transportation and lunch. Other fees are expected to remain constant. 



Information items 

  • Cathy Fleming presented the report on the Physical Education/Health Curriculum Writing Project. PE teachers worked on a curriculum review last summer and are now working on developing skill assessments that measure growth over time as a way to promote healthy habits and activities that can last a lifetime.
  • Dr. Thrasher, Ms. Flemming and Mr. Denenberg presented the December Assessment Update, which included the broad impact of PARCC on the District as a whole. The report highlighted technology needs, testing accommodations, teacher training, and scheduling.
  • Mr. Denenberg presented Keyboarding Material Review. The current program was developed in 2008 and D39 is beginning the process of updating materials to provide a stronger program that will improve differentiation and interactivity. A committee has been formed; recommendation will be in spring for 2015-16.
  • Mr. Denenberg presented the Technology Plan Update, which included goals and outcomes; the plan will be finalized in 2015-16 for implementation in 2016-17.
  • Ms. Buscemi presented the Five-Year Financial Projections. The School Finance Committee reviewed these projections. They include the proposed pension cost shift, state funding reductions, and planned capital projects. The District is projected to maintain fund balances through FY 2020 above the Board established 30% reserve threshold.
  • Ms. Buscemi presented the Student Transportation Survey Report. This year District 39 made bus route changes to improve timeliness and a plan was developed to communicate these changes to parents. Parents of riders were surveyed and the majority felt that transportation was as good or better than last year. Many positive responses indicated the District communication tool was successful in guiding messaging regarding transportation changes. The report’s recommendations for improvement included adding a route and considering an increase to transportation fees. 


Board Action

The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved including the following:

  • Personnel Report dated December 15, 2014
  • 2015-2016 School Calendar
  • 2014 Levy
  • Financial Auditing Firm Contract
  • Residential (No. 1412-01) Property Tax Assessment Appeal Resolution

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
January 26, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.