Board Meeting Highlights - February 24, 2014

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on February 24, 2014.

Announcements from the Superintendent

  • This year 55 students from WJHS participated in the DAR essay contest. They wrote as if they were a boy or girl during the American Revolution. Students who placed 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in both 7th and 8th grades were recognized. The two essays tied for 1st place in 8th grade were read. WJHS teachers Erin Schwarz, Stephen Boeckman, and Jodi Macauley were recognized for coordinating this contest.
  • On February 18th, D39 participated in a professional development day, focused on Social Emotional Learning, with all of the New Trier Township schools.
  • The Regional Office of Education has approved D39’s calendar adjustments to accommodate two of the four snow days; students will attend school on March 18th (Election Day) and April 25th (former teacher institute day). This will impact the spring K-4 conferences; these conferences will be shorter than in the past and will be optional. Every parent that needs a conference will have one. The last day of school is scheduled for Friday, June 13th.
  • Districts across Illinois have a “compliance visit” from ISBE every four to five years. ISBE will be visiting D39 in March. Similar to an audit, ISBE brings a team to review policies, procedures, and practices. This typically takes three full days and results in a written report indicating areas for improvement. Our last compliance visit was seven years ago.
  • In December, the Federal CDC released guidelines for managing allergies in school.  These were modeled after the work done in D39 more than a dozen years ago; there is an acknowledgment on page five. The guidelines are available on the D39 website.
  • Two years ago the D39 Foundation set a goal of raising $110,000 for high priority enhancements in the newly renovated WJHS science wing. Foundation president Kim Ratkin, joined by other Foundation members, proudly presented a $55,000 check to D39 for the second and final installment of this goal. She acknowledged the efforts of WJHS teachers Steve Galligan and Debbie Clark.

Information items

  • Mr. Denenberg presented the Highcrest 6th Grade 1-1 Learning Update. The report highlighted the positive impact on the educational experience for the sixth grade pilot students and staff. It detailed how five goals are being met. Two students shared their experiences. In addition, three teachers talked about how they utilize iPads in PE/Health, Spanish, and as an LBS. The report also included a discussion of fee options. In March, the Board will be asked to consider an expansion of the 1-1 learning program that would entail a full sixth and seventh grade roll out in 2014-15.
  • Dr. Palzet presented a report on D39’s Research Partnership with the University of Chicago. The District was in the process of developing a longitudinal study of D39 graduates and reached out to the U of C. Through this partnership, research will gain meaningful information on how D39 graduates are doing at three important points in life – end of freshman year in high school, end of freshman year in college, and two years post college.
  • Ms. Buscemi presented the 2014-15 Proposed Fee Schedule. It recommends keeping all fees at their current levels, with the exception of a technology fee related to expansion of the 1-1 learning initiative. The Board will vote on the fee schedule at the March meeting.
  • Dr. Clauson presented the Second and Final Read of Revised Policy 7:50 School Admissions.

Board Action

  • Approved the Personnel Report dated February 24, 2014.
  • Approved as Second and Final read of Revised Policy 7:50 School Admissions.



The next Board of Education meeting will be on Monday, March 24, 2014 at 7:00 P.M. at the Mikaelian Education Center.