Board Meeting Highlights

August 3, 2021



2021-2023 Wilmette Education Association (WEA) Collective Bargaining Agreement and Stipend Agreement

Contract negotiations with the WEA began last spring. The tentative agreement was reached on July 26, 2021. The WEA voted to ratify the contract August 2nd. This contractual agreement offers the WEA contractual raises aligning with Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation metric. In addition, returning teachers who worked last school year will receive a $1,000 stipend in recognition for the extraordinary challenges and their exceptional service during the last school year throughout the pandemic. Dr. Cremascoli stated this is a fair and responsible contract, both for the Board of Education and for the WEA, as it values and honors teachers and educational professionals for their dedicated work and significant contributions to students and community, while maintaining the Board of Education’s long-standing commitment to fiscal responsibility and long-term planning. She was very grateful to the WEA and the Board for their partnership and collaboration to accomplish these goals together.

The Board of Education approved the following:

  • 2021-2023 Wilmette Education Association (WEA) Collective Bargaining Agreement
  • $1,000 Employee Stipend for 2020-2021 in Recognition of Extraordinary Efforts Relating to COVID-19 Pandemic and Remote Learning

August 23, 2021

Complete Meeting Packet

Budget Hearing

Dr. Cremascoli opened the budget hearing. The Board approved the FY22 tentative budget at its May 24 meeting. At the public hearing, Corey Bultemeier provided another budget overview, highlighting any changes recommended since May. After Board approval, the new budget is submitted to the Regional Office of Education and State Board of Education. Mr. Bultemeier presented the District 39 Budget.

District 39 continues to serve as the fiscal agent for the Wilmette Community Special Education Agreement (WCSEA). The WCSEA provides a special education financial umbrella for D39 and Avoca School District 37. The Illinois State Board of Education requires WCSEA to follow the same Illinois State budget guidelines that are required of District 39 and all other Illinois school districts. Mr. Bultemeier presented the WCSEA Budget.

The administration requested a permanent inter-fund transfer of $750,000 from the Educational Fund to the Operations and Maintenance Fund. This transfer is to pay for construction projects.

Board Reports

Facility Development Committee (FDC) - Mr. Panzica

Completion of additions and renovations at Romona and McKenzie allows the KEEP39 program to be offered at all four elementary schools for the 2021-2022 school year. Second floor air conditioning at Wilmette Junior High (WJHS) was also finished to allow some relief from the hot weather on the second floor. Mr. Bultemeier highlighted the WJHS courtyards and Romona playground and thanked thePTA/PTO partnerships for their hard work in fundraising for these improvements.

Mr. Bultemeier provided bid estimates and Board approval timelines for projects at each school for the following projects planned for summer 2022 construction: Harper - partial roof replacement, window replacement, replacing boiler and associated piping, and renovation of four bathrooms.

McKenzie - plans to replace 20 year old unit vents. Years ago piping was configured for air conditioning. The decision to install a chiller to provide air conditioning for all classrooms at slightly higher cost than purchasing a chiller to air condition one large space was agreed upon. Romona - Similar to McKenzie, plans are being considered for the boiler replacement and piping needs at Romona so a chiller could be purchased in the future. Window replacement due to the age and deterioration will also be addressed.

Village projects were reviewed - Central Avenue construction is nearly completed. Plans for Thornwood Park stormwater construction design is at 90% and the Village will share the plans with the Board at a committee meeting once they are completed. Thornwood Park construction is expected to near completion in October 2022.

School Finance Committee (SFC) - Mr. Cesaretti
Mr. Bultemeier reviewed the D39 final budget highlighting a summary of changes, which he presented earlier during the budget hearing. He also provided a summary of the WCSEA final budget. He reviewed the annual Tax Compliance resolution, which is an annual review of the District’s contracts and records assuring the tax advantaged obligations are in compliance with federal tax requirements.

Strategy - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes
Building upon the District’s Reopening Plan for the 2020-2021 School year and incorporating updated guidance from the Governor of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), and local health departments, the District prepared and presented the 2021-2022 Return to School Plan at the Committee of the Whole meeting, August 18th. The joint guidance of the ISBE and IDPH acknowledges the educational benefits of in-person instruction and emphasizes the need for full in-person instruction for fall 2021 while providing recommendations and guidance to implement for the safety of students, staff, and their families. The Plan, as detailed through the presentation, will continue to be reviewed, refined, and updated, as well as identified needs throughout the District to implement effective educational services for all students in accordance with health, safety and educational guidelines.

Liaison Reports

Legislative Update - Mrs. Kim
Governer Pritzker recently signed SB 508, effective August 20, which raises tax districts levy based on the prior years adjustment of a decrease due to property tax appeal refunds. A new tax bill has been presented that may repeal SB 508. This new bill would require taxing districts to affirmatiely seek recuperation of lost funds rather than having an automatic tax adjustment. An update will be provided at the next Board meeting.

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

2021 Fall Return to School Plan
The Board approved the District 39 Fall 2021 Return to School Plan and plan information has been shared with families and staff. A Fall 2021 Back to School page has been created, which provides families with links to the Plan, FAQs, and other resources for families. This page is linked to the front page of our District website and will continue to be updated throughout the fall.

First Day of Institute Days
District Institute Days began with New Teacher Orientation and continued throughout the week of August 16, followed by paraprofessional training on Friday, August 20. The first district-wide day was Monday, August 23rd with all staff learning, collaborating, and reconnecting together in their school buildings. On Tuesday, August 24th, the whole district gathered for a district-wide Institute Day. Everyone was excited to reunite and begin the school year in-person.

Summer Construction Update
All summer construction projects have wrapped up and as reported at last week’s Committee of the Whole Meeting, each project was on time and under budget. Administration and staff thanked the construction teams, the business office, and the maintenance and custodial teams for all of their hard work and collaboration throughout the summer to make these projects successful.

Property Tax Appeals
District 39 received notice of several PTAB appeals for the 2020 tax year.

Resolution Establishing Navia Benefit Solutions as the Third Party Administrator of Certain Benefit Plans
District 39 is part of the health/dental insurance cooperative Cooperative 90’s. The cooperative also determines the third party administrator for cafeteria benefits such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), Dependent Care, and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA),etc. Earlier this summer, the cooperative voted to switch third party administrators for these plans. This resolution authorizes the District to move from TASC to Navia as our third party administrator.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
A FOIA was received in June from Diane Schanzenbach requesting MAP student growth summary reports for all schools with grade level detail from Fall 2020-Spring 2021.

Annual Business
Enrollment Update
Each spring the projected staffing plan based upon preliminary student enrollment is shared. Throughout the summer student enrollment is monitored and staffing is adjusted accordingly to ensure the guidelines for class size are met. This year, monitoring class size was scrutinized more intentionally to acknowledge that although this school year is more typical than last year, the pandemic continues. Therefore, most grade levels in most schools have smaller than typical class size, with everyone currently below class size guidelines.

Annual Tax Compliance Notification
District 39 is an issuer of debt (bonds) and as such is required to perform an annual post-issuance tax compliance review. The review has been completed and the District is in compliance with all requirements.

Fiscal Year 2021 Administrator and Teacher Salary and Benefits Report (ATSB)
The ATSB is a required annual report for all school districts. After the report is submitted to ISBE, the information is shared with the Board of Education and posted online.

Board Policy Review - Dr. Cremascoli
First Reading of Board of Education Policy 7:60
Policy 7:60 has been reviewed to ensure it reflects current practice. It was then reviewed by legal counsel to ensure legal compliance.

Second and Final = Reading of Board of Education Policy 7:270
This policy has been updated to reflect current laws and align with best practices. The proposed revisions are a result of legal review as well as suggested revisions by PRESS, IASB policy review service.The main revision is the addition of a section regarding administering medical cannabis.This version reflects suggested edits from first reading.

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

Personnel Report dated August 23, 2021
First Reading of Board of Education Policy 7:60
Second and Final Reading of Board of Education Policy 7:270

The following were adopted:


The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will be held on Monday, September 27, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.