Board Meeting Highlights

October 28, 2019 

Complete Meeting Packet

Board Reports

1. Facility Development Committee – Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Facility Development Committee met on Oct. 21. The Committee listened to a presentation from Village of Wilmette representatives that included a review of upcoming stormwater projects and their effect on District 39. The Committee then reviewed details and updated cost estimates for Central Kindergarten Enrichment and Highcrest Phase III construction. The Committee reviewed upcoming and long-range capital projects and landscaping services bids.

2. School Finance Committee – Mr. Cesaretti noted that the Finance Committee met on Oct. 21. The Committee reviewed student fees, received an overview of the 2019 tentative tax levy and reviewed long-term financial projection assumptions.

3. Strategy Committee – Mr. Steen noted that the Strategy Committee met on Oct. 21. The Committee discussed registration options for the District’s new kindergarten enrichment program. The committee tabled a discussion of student assessment review for the Oct. 28 meeting.

4. Liaison Updates – Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Community Review Committee met to discuss timing, workflow and goals for their focus area topic for the year. Mrs. Poehling noted the Ed Foundation is currently preparing for their annual fashion show. The Foundation discussed the timing and deadline for fall Gripp Grants. Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Board reviewed the Resolutions Committee Report and provided direction for her representation during the upcoming Delegates Meeting of the Illinois Association of School Board (IASB). After discussion, the Board endorsed all positions of the IASB except Resolutions 1 and 3 related to firearms in schools. Mrs. Steinweiler will take the Board’s decision to the Triple-I Conference in November.

5. Legislative Update – Ms. Stone noted that she will continue to monitor and appraise the Board of relevate legislation under consideration but had nothing specific to report as of October 28.

Informational Items

1. Internet Safety and E-Rate – Dr. Cremascoli noted that the District participates in a federal E-rate program that affords discounts on Internet Service and technology infrastructure. As part of participation in the program, The District is required to teach Internet safety and have Internet software in place. The District does both.

2. Planning and Coordination with Village of Wilmette – Dr. Cremascoli noted that District administrators have scheduled a follow-up meeting and requested to host a special meeting with the Wilmette Board of Education and Village of Wilmette representatives in November to discuss concerns and mitigation efforts related to student safety, access, project scope, project timeline, contingency plans and intergovernmental agreements for upcoming stormwater construction projects.

3. Property Tax Assessment Appeals – A list of the Property Index Number and the estimated refunds for new property tax interventions at the PTAB and Circuit Court of Cook County this month in accordance with the November 12, 2018 resolution of the Board were provided.

4. Freedom of Information Act Requests – The District received two FOIA requests related to payroll for construction work performed Harper and Highcrest schools in 2019 which were responded to in a timely manner. The District also provided follow-up to a September FOIA request and provided additional documents which were initially omitted due to a search error.

5. 2019-2020 Superintendent/District Goals – Dr. Cremascoli’s goals for the 2019-2020 school year align with the District’s strategic plan and focus on key initiatives for the year: effective integration of technology, student growth through differentiation and personalization, building school culture and community and designing a kindergarten enrichment program.

6. Kindergarten Enrichment Program Update – District administrators provided an overview of KEEP39 – the district’s new, optional kindergarten enrichment program. KEEP39 (Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program) will afford students an opportunity for enrichment and enhancement beyond the high-quality instruction provided through the District’s half-day kindergarten program. Phase 1 of the program will be launched at Harper and Central Elementary Schools during the 2020-2021 school year. The Board endorsed an option to initiate KEEP39 at Harper and Central next school year with plans to expand to McKenzie and Romona in Phase 2 in the following school year, pending the evaluation and success of KEEP39 in Phase 1. Program fees for the 2020-2021 school year have been set at $6,460. Additional registration information will be provided to families in the coming weeks.

7. 2019 Fall Assessment Report – Administrator for Curriculum and Instruction Ms. Katie Lee provided a review of the District’s assessment report for Fall 2019. Ms. Lee reviewed District-wide assessment results for the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA-MAP) test and the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) test. Ms. Lee highlighted successes and opportunities based on these data as well as next steps for the district. 

8. Review the Tax Year 2019 Estimate of Levy and Approve Public Hearing – Dr. Cremascoli noted that the Board will consider adopting the resolution of the estimated Levy for 2019. The levy proposal represents a total increase of 1.9% (for CPI) plus new property growth. A public hearing on the levy will be held on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. in conjunction with the Board’s next regular meeting.

9. Select Student Fees – Administration recommends program fees for the Summer Enrichment Program to remain flat and fees for the KEEP39 kindergarten enrichment program to be set at $6,460. Tuition for the Lechner Early Education Program are recommended to increase by 6% from $4,390 to $4,665. The increase is based on CPI increases for fiscal years 19,20 and 21.

10. 2019 Fall Enrollment Report – Dr. Cremascoli noted that there are 3,555 students currently receiving programming through District 39. Fall 2019 enrollment data for schools is as follows: Central (435), Romona (523), McKenzie (446), Harper (416), Highcrest (823) and WJHS (875).

11. 2019 Landscaping Bid – The Administration recommended approval of a bid from Landscape Concepts Management for landscaping services. Upon discussion from board members, action on this item was tabled pending additional clarification on garden work to be completed. Administrators will review the language and present the bid for approval during the next board meeting.

9. Board Policy Review – The Board initiated a review of revisions to Board of Education policies 5:120, 5:125, 5:130, 5:150, 5:170, 5:180, 5:185, 5:190, 5:195, 5:200, 7:20, 7:180. Additional information on the board policies can be found in on the District website through the link included in the board highlights.

Action Items

1. Consent Agenda – The Consent Agenda was approved including the following items:

  • Approval of the Personnel Report
  • Review the Tax Year 2019 Estimate of Levy and Approval Public Hearing
  • Approve the 2019-2020 Superintendent/District Goals
  • Approve Select Student Fees
  • Approve the 2019 Landscaping Bid
  • Approve as first reading Board of Education policies 5:120, 5:125, 5:130, 5:150, 5:170, 5:180, 5:185, 5:190 5:195, 5:200, 7:20 and 7:180
  • Approve to Release the Executive Session Minutes of June 10, 2019 (Session 1)
  • Approve the Disposal of Executive Session Audio Recordings for April 28, 2015; June 22, 2015; May 22, 2017; October 23, 2017
  • Approve the Bills for Payment including Accounts Payable for October 2019 and Manual Checks for October 2019

Conference Items

1. Old Business -- None

2. News Business – None

3. Good and Welfare – Dr. Cremascoli and board members wished Jon Cesaretti a happy birthday. Dr. Cremascoli announced that Highcrest and WJHS received the designation as Apple Distinguished Schools. In celebration of Principal Appreciation Month, Dr. Cremascoli acknowledged the District Assistant Principals and Principals for their contributions to the education and wellbeing of District 39 students. Dr. Cremascoli also noted that all of District 39’s schools achieved the top 2 designations from the state in this year’s report card. Dr. Cremascoli noted she is especially proud of this accomplishment considering the designation reflects measures of school quality as well as student achievement and are heavily weighted toward student growth.

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 18, 2019 in the Mikaelian Education Center.