Board Meeting Highlights - December 2015

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on December 14, 2015.



Ms. Buscemi presented the levy report. The District is not legally required to hold a levy hearing, but does so to maintain transparency. The 2015 Levy represents a requested increase of 2.69% over last year’s extension.



Board Committee Reports

  • Facilities Development – Kimberly Alcantara reported. Committee discussed updates and improvement to technology infrastructure in remaining buildings, now that WJHS and MEC are complete. Progress and next steps for Learning Commons at Harper and WJHS were reviewed. Completion of Romona addition was discussed. Authorization was given to move forward with a sustainability audit. Next two meetings are combined with School Finance on January 11 and February 8, both at 8:00 am.
  • Educational Foundation – Tracey Kearney reported. Four fall Gripp grants were awarded. Trivia Night is February 7. They are working on the distinguished citizen awardee for next year.
  • School Finance – Cindy Levine reported. Discussions included the budget calendar, student fees, five-year projections, and technology infrastructure improvements. Next two meetings are combined with Facilities Development on January 11 and February 8, both at 8:00 am.  


Legislative Update

Kimberly Alcantara reported.

No new developments on the state level, but passage of a new national law – Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) - was discussed. This replaces No Child Left Behind. 


 Announcements from the Superintendent

  • PARCC results are now posted on the 2015 Illinois Report Card; individual reports went home to parents. Detailed analysis of the District’s PARCC scores will be presented at the January Board meeting; scores are significantly higher than the state or the PARCC consortium.
  • Kindergarten Registration will be held on January 21st and 22nd with the lottery for morning or afternoon placement held on January 27th. The earlier timeframe will help families plan. 
  • The four-classroom Romona addition is complete and staff will begin moving in over winter break. The official ribbon cutting is January 5th. 

FOIA requests


Information items 

Strategic Initiatives

  • Mrs. Littmann, Dr. Kick, Dr. Welter, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Jackson – 2015-16 EC-8 Strategic Implementation Plan – Building principals and assistant principals reported on the school based implemention of the D39 Strategic Plan. 
  • Mrs. Goldin – Branding – Mission and Logo – The Branding Committee shared a new tagline and mission statement. Launch will occur in conjunction with technology and website improvements.
  • Mr. DeMonte – Technology
    1. Vision and Long Term Planning – This is first report on this topic. The Technology Vision and Long Term Planning Committee met six times this year and defined goals and deliverables as part of a detailed plan effective through the 2018-19 school year.
    2. Infrastructure - With an aging technology infrastructure, and a significant increased use of wireless access, the District’s technology infrastructure needed upgrading. The Board approved Phase I of an update last August and the District made significant improvements at WJHS and the MEC. Phase II was presented, which includes improved connectivity in all other schools, as well as storage, servers, and improved back-ups.

Annual Business 

  • Ms. Buscemi – Five-Year Financial Projections – Updated five-year projections are prepared annually. The projections presented include proposed construction projects and technology infrastructure upgrades, as well as estimated State Budget changes such as the pension cost shift, a property tax freeze, and resource redistribution.
  • Dr. Lechner – 2016-2017 Student Fees – Student fees were reviewed last month. The recommendation is for 2016-2017 fess to remain the same except for adding a 5th grade technology fee for a 1:1 program next school year; this fee is partially offset by a reduction in instructional materials fees.
  • Dr. Lechner – 2016-2017 Draft School Calendar – A draft calendar for the 2016-17 school year was presented. It is aligned with the Township holiday schedules and there are no significant departures from past practice. However, the administration is researching a weekly one-hour early release. This model is common in the region and provides efficient use of teacher time for grade-level collaboration and professional development. A full Board report will address this at the January meeting and calendar approval will be in February. 


Board Action

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

  • Personnel Report dated December 14, 2015 
  • 2015 Levy
  • 2016-2017 Student Fees
  • Technology Infrastructure
  • Support Staff Union Letter of Agreement
  • First Reading Revised Students Policy 7:180 

The following item was tabled for a third read next month.

  • Second and Final Reading Revised Board of Education Policies 2:80; 2:100; and 2:120

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
January 25, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.