Board Meeting Highlights

February 25, 2019

Complete meeting packet




  • Facilities Development – Alice Schaff reported –Several topics were covered: 1) A proposal from Future Green proposed ways to add solar power to reduce energy expenses and emissions. Future Green is a nonprofit initiative of the Illinois Association of School Boards and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. 2) Budget estimates for Harper construction for kindergarten enrichment were presented. The project will go out to bid on March 11 and be ready for Board approval in April. 3) Highcrest (HMS) phase 2 bids will be approved tonight for construction to begin in June. 4) Agreement with Regina to use a baseball diamond behind Romona, and in return D39 gets some free use of the Regina auditorium for performances. 5) Village storm water plan was reviewed briefly. Next meeting is March 11th at 8:00 am
  • Strategy Alice Schaff reported – A brainstorming session of Board members focused on strategic priorities in preparation for the new superintendent. Next meeting is March 11th at 8:00 am. The added topic of the HMS outdoor classroom was presented. In January we learned the priority during HMS construction was to design the basic hardscape and drainage. The garden itself will not be done until spring of 2020 after Learning Commons construction is complete. We are now discussing a phased plan: Phase 2 (next) will focus on planting design, and phase 3 will look at extending the garden to other spaces at HMS. The Highcrest Garden committee will meet again in early March.


  • Community Review Committee – Frank Panzica reported – CRC has completed basic research and is now actively working on the report. Next meeting is March 4th at 7:00 pm
  • Educational Foundation – Frank Panzica reported – Trivia Night was very successful. Science Olympiad open house was held showing a variety of accomplishments including gliders and a roller coaster. Family Bingo night is March 1st, but is already sold out. Next meeting March 20th at 7:00 pm
  • IASB/ED-Red – Ellen Sternweiler reported - IASB is joining three other organizations at a Legislative Summit in Springfield. Upcoming event is the North Cook Division dinner meeting on March 20 focusing on building resilience in students through trauma informed practices.
  • Insurance Advisory Committee – Lisa Schneider-Fabes reported – Committee discussed preliminary changes to premiums and benefits for upcoming plan year. D39 is in Coop 90 and the expectation is for HMO premiums to decrease and for PPO premiums to increase. Committee is recommending approval to move to Coop 90 for dental. Open enrollment begins in April with the plan year beginning June 1.

Legislative Update – Tracy Kearney
A minimum wage bill has passed with an increase to $15 per hour by 2025. Governor Pritzker’s first budget address indicated that increases for education were a priority.  


Announcements from the Superintendent

New Principal at Harper School
With Dr. Sue Kick retiring on June 30th, the District proudly announces Aaron Dubnow as Harper’s new Principal. Mr. Dubnow completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Illinois followed by a master’s in school administration from National Louis University. Aaron began his career in education in D39 teaching 8th grade math, science, and social studies for seven years at Wilmette Junior High. In 2015 Mr. Dubnow was promoted to 5th grade assistant principal at Highcrest where he has had numerous accomplishments including significant improvements to the 4th to 5th grade transition process.

Summer Enrichment Program
Registration for D39’s Summer Enrichment Program is open until March 18th. Some of the popular classes such as Kids in the Kitchen, Sculpture & Ceramics, 3D Printing & Engineering, and Coding are already nearly full, so register soon! 

Strategic Plan Updates

  • Instrumental Music Student Survey Update – Ms. Lee – An improved pull-out schedule for band and orchestra was implemented this year, Students get the same number of rehearsals, but do not miss more than four classes per content area. Students were surveyed and overall results were positive: 89% of students find that they are able to manage completing missed work for classes missed due to a small group lesson; 89% of students report a positive experience with the new scheduling approach; and 72% of students find it easy to reschedule in the event of a conflict. Parents will be surveyed next.
  • 2018-2019 Strategic Plan Updates: Continuing Strategic Initiatives - Ms. Lee - On September 24, 2018, the Board of Education approved the implementation of the 2018-2019 District 39 Strategic Plan.  This executive summary report focuses on mid-year updates of Continuing Initiatives.

Annual Business

  • Summer 2019 Highcrest Phase II Construction Project Bids – Mrs. Crispino – There were many qualified bidders for the HMS Phase II construction, and bids were lower than estimated.All work at Highcrest will begin in June 2019. The special education classroom renovation is scheduled to be completed in August 2019 and the Learning Commons will be completed in November 2019.
  • Addressing E-Cigarette Use in D39 – Mrs. Jackson - As a follow-up to a Board request, this report summarizes efforts D39 has taken this year to address E-Cigarettes (vaping).The health and safety of students is the priority. With a rise in incidents of vaping at Wilmette Junior High during the 2018- 2019 year, the District has become more proactive with improvements to the health curriculum, increased parent education events and communication, and increased monitoring of areas where incidents have happened. The hope is the steps taken this year will prevent further incidents.
  • Cooperative 90’s Dental Plan Agreement – Dr. Glowacki - The Insurance Advisory Committee met on February 4th to review potential plan and premium changes for the new insurance year.  During this meeting, Catherine Loney from GCG, suggested the District consider moving from our current dental insurance plan (Guardian Dental) to Cooperative 90’s Dental Plan (Delta Dental).  The Administration researched this question and recommends that the Board approve a change to the Coop 90’s dental provider.
  • Shared Services with Regina Dominican High School – Dr. Lechner - Regina Dominican High School approached District 39 requesting use of a softball diamond just east of the Romona School playground during after school time for their spring softball season. The season begins early spring and is over by the end of the D39 school year. In exchange for using the field, Regina will make improvements to the diamond and surrounding land, as well as provide field maintenance. Additionally, District 39 will utilize the Regina’s theatre and adjacent spaces free of charge for 16 hours during the school year. This arrangement saves District 39 approximately $6,000 in rental fees for the theatre usage. This 4-year Shared Services Agreement has been reviewed by attorneys.


The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
March 18, 2019 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.