Board Meeting Highlights - January 2015

District 39 has revamped its format for Board Highlights. The goal is to bring you true highlights, rather than all the detail of each Board meeting. You will continue to find a link to the entire Board packet, so those interested can see each item that was presented. In addition, the video of the entire Board meeting is posted as soon as possible. 

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on January 26. 2015.


 Public Hearing – Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) Waiver

Dr. Lechner opened the hearing to seek Board approval to submit a waiver request for the state mandated KIDS assessment designed to provide information about children’s competencies in kindergarten. Ms. Lee presented the KIDS Waiver Application report. District 39 already has an established early childhood program, comprehensive system of assessments, and parent/teacher education and communication that parallels the intent of KIDS, making the state assessment unnecessary and time consuming. Several other districts are also seeking a waiver including Glencoe, Winnetka, Barrington, Sunset Ridge, and Mundelein.


Board Committee Reports

  • CRC
    Alice Schaff reported. Based on a survey of parents, teachers, and students CRC is looking at several areas: importance of non-cognitive skills, school start times, and homework guidelines. Next meeting is February 2nd at 7:00 PM at the MEC.
  • Educational Foundation
    John Flanagin reported. The Foundation announced the distinguished citizen for 2015, which will be awarded on April 30 at Michigan Shores: Sydney Martin, a D39 alum who is a survivor of the rare blood disease Langerhan’s Cell Histiocytosis (LCH), creator of Syd Rocks, a line of rock necklaces sold to raise funds for LCH research, and one of the founders of the non-profit Giving Rocks Foundation. Tickets will be available online. The third annual Trivia Night is February 7th and is sold out. 


Announcements from the Superintendent

  • Based on D39’s ability to keep school open in cold weather, the District is reviewing cold weather practices. A Board report will come in February. 
  • A technology survey has opened for parents, students, and staff. It will help us learn more about how technology is used for learning. Results will be reported in the spring.
  • The three-year contract with North Shore Transit is ending, and the School Finance Committee will discuss a two-year extension. 


Information items 

§Mr. Denenberg  & Mrs. Naumowicz - 1:1 Learning Update. Several students who serve as “iGurus” demonstrated technology and described how they help both students and staff. The report also covered 1:1 communication with parents and plans to continue the iGuru program next year. 

§Dr. Thrasher - January Assessment Update. This is the last in a series of reports on assessment practices and includes a recommended calendar. The mandated PARCC assessments created a challenge of balancing assessment with instruction. The revised testing calendar eliminates the spring Performance Series for 3rd-8th grade students who are not demonstrating learning difficulties.

§Ms. Buscemi - Preliminary Student Fees. The School Finance Committee will consider three fee increases this year: Connecting Kids Preschool tuition, lunch, and transportation. The District will likely recommend no increase to iPad fees. The February Board meeting will include a first draft of the proposed fee schedule; final approval is in March.

§Dr. Palzet - Early Morning Response to Intervention (RtI) Pilot. Last year the Board was informed about a new RtI pilot that offered an extra period of study for students needing support. Highcrest’s before school RtI program began last the fall.

§Dr. Thrasher - Student Services Improvement Plan (SSIP). This is the first year the Department of Student Services has developed its own improvement plan. Input was gathered by every member of the department through vision and goal planning sessions, surveys, and after-school SSIP meetings. The plan includes specific goals and deliverables.  


Board Action

The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved including the following:

§Personnel Report dated January 26, 2015

§2016 Fiscal Year Budget Calendar and Resolution

§First Read Revised Personnel Policies 5:10, 5:20, 5:30, 5:40, 5:80, 5:90, 5:120 and New Policies 5:35, 5:60, and 5:70

The Application for Waver of Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) was approved. 

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
February 23, 2015  at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.