Board Meeting Highlights - September 2015

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on September 28, 2015.


Board Committee Reports

Facility Development

Kimberly Alcantara reported – Committee was updated on completion of 2015 summer construction projects; timing and cost considerations for potential renovation of library spaces at Harper and WJHS; and facility needs if the District were to consider full day kindergarten. The Board discussed school funding and the possibility of prioritizing projects and putting some on hold. Motion was passed to authorize STR Architects after October 1st (provided that legislative action impacting D39's budget does not take place prior to that date) to begin the work necessary to seek bids for improvements of library/technology space at two schools next year. The Committee noted that bid preparation work would not commit the District to a specific renovation schedule; a determination on work to be conducted in summer 2016 is expected in February 2016. Next meeting is Thursday, October 22nd, 8:00 a.m.

Educational Foundation

John Flanagin reported - Attire to Inspire fashion show was successful with proceeds helping fund Gripp Grants. Family Bingo Nights is October 2nd. Registration for Science Olympiad opens October 14 and volunteers to lead classes are still needed. Next meeting is Wednesday, October 21st, 7:00 p.m.

School Finance

John Flanagin reported – Committee discussed tax rate objections – D39 is one of many who have received objections. Discussed plans for updating libraries, carefully considering the pace in light of potential legislative changes. Discussed the implications of offering full day kindergarten, which would require additional classroom space. Reviewed iPad insurance options. Initial discussion of levy took place. Next meeting is Monday, October 12th, 8:00 a.m.


Legislative Update

Kimberly Alcantara reported - awaiting action from Springfield.


Written communications received this month were reviewed.


Announcements from the Superintendent

• Transportation - Bus ridership is up, with 1,367 students opting for transportation, 78 more than last year. Communication efforts helped, as approximately 95% of current riders were registered by the July 1st cut off.

• Composting - Composting is now in all six District cafeterias. Measurement of composting waste will establish benchmarks.

• D39 Partnership with the Illinois Associations for Gifted Children (IAGC) - District 39 has entered into  a partnership with the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. IAGC is a non-profit connected with Northwestern University that offers professional staff development opportunities for teachers.

• Healthy HotSpots! – In alignment with state standards, revised PE/Health curriculum focus on health, fitness, and the building of life-long habits. The District was accepted for the Healthy HotSpots! initiative and will receive on-going technical assistance, resources, and training to support the new curriculum.

• Revised Assessment Calendar - ISBE announced that the PARCC assessment would only be administered during one testing window this spring. As a result, D39 is considering reinstating the spring administration of the Performance Series Reading and Math tests.

• FOIA requests received this month were reviewed.


Information items 

  • Dr. Thrasher – Summer Enrichment Program 2015 – Participation for the Summer Enrichment Program 2015 showed a slight increase from 2014 with 587 students attending one or more of the 133 classes offered at either McKenzie or Wilmette Junior High School. Evaluations, from parent and student, were highly positive. The program remained cost neutral.
  • Mrs. Horowitz and other administrators/staff – 2015-16 CONNECTED Strategic Plan – District's yearly planning cycle was reviewed, which ensures that goals and initiatives are aligned. Changes this year make the Strategic Plan more understandable to stakeholders. Seven sections provide the framework for this year's plan.
  • Mrs. Horowitz, Ms. Buscemi, and Dr. Glowacki – Kindergarten Programming - Historical context for the exploration of kindergarten programming options in D39 was presented. The District is considering extended kindergarten programming for the third time.

Board Action

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

  • Personnel Report dated September 28, 2015
  • 2015-2016 CONNECTED Strategic Plan: Cultivating Growth- Minded, Resilient Students
  • State of Illinois School Treasurer Bond Renewal
  • 2015-2016 Application for the Recognition of Schools
  • Second and Final Read Revised Policy 4:150 Community Use of Buildings

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,

October 26, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.