April 2020

Board Meeting Highlights

April 27, 2020

Complete Meeting Packet

Board Reports

1. Facilities Development Committee – Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Facilities Development Committee met as part of the Committee of the Whole meeting held on April 20. Board members reviewed the donation agreement in support of the Central Elementary School Kindergarten Playground. The Central PTA has generously raised $75,000 for construction of the playground, which will be installed this summer. The Committee also reviewed Harper Summer Construction. This construction centers around finishing the new classroom space for kindergarten enrichment and preparing space for the special education Therapeutic Intervention Program to relocate from Central to Harper School next year.

2. Finance Committee – Mr. Cesarettii noted that the School Finance Committee met as part of the Committee of the Whole on April 20. Board members received and discussed a presentation on bond finance from financial advisor Elizabeth Hennessey. Mrs. Hennessey provided an overview of market conditions relative to the impact of COVID-19. The Finance Committee also discussed capital projects, funding timelines and the draft FY21 budget for all funds. Finally, the Finance Committee discussed transportation costs and payments in light of COVID-19 school closures. The Finance Committee discussed the need to provide financial assistance to out-of-work bus drivers as well as considerations of potential transportation refunds to families. A revised bus contract will be considered by the Board in May.

3. Strategy Committee – Mr. Steen noted that the Strategy Committee met as part of the Committee of the Whole on April 20. Dr. Cremascoli recommended the District put on hold the formal strategic planning efforts in light of cancellations due to COVID-19 and restrictions on in-person meetings. The Board supported the recommendation and directed the administration to seek new dates in the fall, focusing on the second quarter after the launch of the new school year.

4. Liaison Updates – Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) has been focused on supporting school districts in implementing remote learning. IASB has clarified remote learning expectations and discussed potential guidance to school districts regarding the summer transition between school years. Ms. Stone noted that state legislature sessions have been cancelled through the end of April. Ms. Stone noted that a bill under consideration – HR6563 – would create funds for districts that are struggling with connectivity and Wi-Fi.

Informational Items

1. Remote Learning Update and Progress – Dr. Cremascoli provided an update on District 39 Remote Learning. Dr. Cremascoli reviewed feedback from the stakeholder surveys as well as the adjustments and improvements the District has made to programming. The District continues to focus on providing meaningful and manageable remote learning experiences that nurture strong, positive connections between students and teachers while emphasizing the most essential learning targets in each grade level or subject area. The District has clarified expectations and strengthened structures in support of consistent communication, collaboration and partnership among stakeholders. District administrators are building plans for the end of the school year while awaiting guidance from the Governor and the State Board of Education regarding operating procedures and summer school opportunities. Dr. Cremascoli reviewed the newly-designed Remote Learning Information Page for parents as well as the ISBE Remote Learning Guidance Document.

2. 2019-2020 School Year Calendar – Dr. Cremascoli gave an update on the calendar for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The District is awaiting additional clarification from the Governor and the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the last day of school in June. Remote Learning will continue through at least June 5, with some opportunity set aside during the week of June 8th for end-of-year activities, progress reporting, classroom and locker clean-out, and final farewells.

3. Student Registration for Next Year – Dr. Cremascoli thanked families that have completed the registration process for the upcoming school year. Currently, nearly 80 percent of students registered have completed the enrollment process. School secretaries will continue to reach out to families who have not finalized their enrollment for the upcoming school year.

4. End of Year Planning – Dr. Cremascoli noted that the District is identifying special ways to honor end-of-year celebrations, particularly those for 4th, 6th and 8th grade students transitioning to new schools in the fall. Building principals will communicate school-specific transition support to families over the next few weeks, including information on school transitions, calendars, item drop off and grade reporting.

5. Summer School Programming – Dr. Cremascoli noted that the District is currently considering what options may exist for District 39 summer school opportunities. District 39 will offer summer school, but the modality and available options have yet to be determined as the District awaits guidance from state education leaders. Dr. Cremascoli said she expects that the District will need to modify the programming that has historically been available to account for social distancing requirements, but administrators remain hopeful that they may be able to offer at least some in-person instruction. Knowing that there will still be restrictions to in-person instruction, the District plans to focus our attention and resources almost exclusively on academic programming this summer.

6. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – Dr. Cremascoli said the District received three FOIA requests since March. Details for District 39 FOIA requests are included in the meeting agenda.

7. Fiscal Year 2021 Tentative Budget – Mrs. Crispino gave a presentation on the tentative fiscal year 2021 budget. When the final budget is presented in August, it will reflect the actual fund balances at the end of FY20. The budget currently reflects a surplus in the Operating Funds prior to Other Uses of Funds for construction projects. The District expects a higher balance at the end of the fiscal year within the Operations & Maintenance budget due some savings from FY20 capital projects and the issuance of bonds. These additional funds projected in the Operating Fund balance will put the projected Operating Fund Balance as a percentage of Operating Fund Expenditures at 48.8% at the end of FY21.

8. Board Policy Review -The Board conducted a second and final read of Board of Education policies 8:10, 8:20, 8:25, 8:30, 8:70, 8:80, 8:90, 8:95 and 8:100.

Action Items

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

Approve the Personnel Report

Approve as Second and Final Reading Board of Education Policies 8:10, 8:20, 8:25, 8:30, 8:70, 8:80, 8:90, 8:95 and 8:100

Approve to Release to the Public the Executive Session Minutes for for May 13, 2019 and August 22, 2019

Approve to Not Release to the Public the Executive Session Minutes for the following dates: June 10, 2019 (Session 2); June 17, 2019; August 26, 2019 (Sessions 1 and 2); September 16, 2019; September 23,2019; October 28, 2019; November 18, 2019; December 16, 2019; January 13, 2020; January 27, 2020 and February 10, 2020

Approve to Dispose of Executive Session Audio Recordings for January 22, 2018; February 24, 2018; February 26, 2018; March 19, 2018 and April 23, 2018

Approve the Accounts Payable for April 2020

Approve the Manual Checks for April 2020

Conference Items

1. Old Business – Dr. Cremascoli gave an update on the Village of Wilmette’s Stormwater Project. The project is proceeding as scheduled and the Village has been able to progress further than expected due to building closures. The District is working in partnership with the Village to expand construction access through the Highcrest parking lot while considering school needs for potential future access in the coming months.

2. New Business – None

3. Good and Welfare – Mrs. Poehling thanked Dr. Cremascoli for taking the time to connect with students remotely. Mrs. Schneider-Fabes thanked the District administrator for surveying families and using feedback to improve remote learning opportunities for students, families and teachers. Ms. Stone thanked District 39 teachers for their creativity and flexibility in providing educational opportunities to students. Dr. Cremascoli thanked the Board of Education for acknowledging and appreciating teachers through a video message.

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18, 2020.
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