Board Meeting Highlights - November 17, 2014

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. Please provide feedback on this new abbreviated format. 

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on November 17, 2014.


Board Committee Reports

Facility Development

Kimberly Alcantara reported. The committee met November 13th and reviewed proposed plans for an addition at Romona, traffic at HMS and a new staging area for drop off, and plans for a learning commons  at Central. Next meeting is Jan 22, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.

Educational Foundation

John Flanagin reported. The committee met November 5th. The deadline for Gripp Grant applications was November 14th; applicants will be notified December 4th. The Fine Arts committee recognized contributions of nine art teachers who worked on the Rack-It project. Central art teacher and art department chair Jaime Berngard was instrumental in this project. The fall appeal letter is going out. Trivia Night is February 7th. Next meeting is December 3rd. 

School Finance

Keith Dronen reported. The committee met November 10th. They discussed increasing memory for new iPads for next year. No fee increases are anticipated for next year. Costs for computer courses, learning commons, and the HMS driveway were reviewed. 


Legislative update

Keith Dronen reported. SB16 may be on the table again. This would reallocate state revenue from suburban districts to downstate districts. The potential loss to District 39 is  $2.1 million. There is also talk of a cost shift of pension obligations from the state to local districts.


Announcements from the Superintendent

School Board Members Day in Illinois was November 15th; District 39’s Board members give hundreds of volunteer hours for the betterment of our schools.

The Romona and Highrest chess teams have had great success. First places were earned for Romona 3rd grade and Highcrest 5th and 6th grades.


Information items 

  • Dr. Palzet presented a follow up report on Computer Science Classes at WJHS.Included were results of a parents survey, which indicated interest in both a web design and visual basic course during the school day and willingness to pay a fee.

  • Mrs. Horowitz, Dr. Thrasher, and Mrs. Flemming presented the Assessment Update: Use of Assessments in District 39 as part of the monthly reporting on assessments beginning last August. This report highlighted the various types of assessments and how they are used in D39.

  • Dr. Palzet presented a report on Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This new biennial survey of learning conditions required by the state will useful for the District in setting administrative goals and school improvement planning.

  • Mrs. Horowitz and Mrs. Flemming presented Gender Discrepancies in Math Performance: Looking More Closely at Younger Students. This closer look is leading the District to develop a small longitudinal study to address the gender discrepancy in math, partnering with one elementary building.

  • Ms. Buscemi presented Additional 2015-2016 Construction Projects. These additional projects, not to exceed $1.2 million, include learning commons and HVAC at Central and work on the Highcrest driveway.

  • Dr. Lechner presented the Long Term Enrollment Projections, which show flat to slightly decreasing overall enrollments for the next five years.


Board Action

The Consent Agenda was unanimously approved including the following:

  • Personnel Report dated November 17, 2014
  • Fiscal Year 2014 Audit
  • Additional 2015-2016 Construction Projects and Solicitation of Bids
  • Residential (No. 14100-01) Property Tax Assessment Appeal Resolution
  • Second and Final Read Revised Students Policy 7:180 Preventing Bullying, Intimidation, and Harassment (renamed Preventing Bullying and Other Aggressive Behavior)

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
December 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.