October 2021

Board Meeting Highlights

October 25, 2021

Complete Meeting Packet

Board Reports

 

Facility Development Committee (FDC) - Mr. Panzica
Mr. Bultemeier reported design plans continue to be developed for the construction projects at Harper, McKenzie, and Romona Elementary Schools.

Mr. Papanicholas of Nicholas and Associates stated Harper designs are at 60% and a third budget checkpoint has been conducted. One more budget update will take place this week at 85% design completion before going out to bid on November 4th. The Harper budget is currently estimated at $3.5M, $280K higher than the original baseline estimate, due to design progressions and current market conditions as the market is trending high.

Mr. Papanicholas reported that McKenzie and Romona construction projects have similar timelines with McKenzie projects going out to bid January 4th and Romona bids going out on January 11th. Additional budget updates for these projects will be provided before the end of the year.

School Finance Committee (SFC) - Mr. Cesaretti
2021 Tax Levy Estimate Review
Mr. Bultemeier provided an in-depth review of the 2021 estimated tax levy. He reviewed the tax levy calendar, background and considerations. He provided a history of CPI over the last 20 years, a key driver of the district’s annual tax levy, and discussed new construction projects that would provide additional tax revenue for the future. He reviewed the estimated amount for new property growth at just above $14M. Based on these considerations and the limiting rate estimate calculation, the levy request is estimated at 1.4% for CPI plus an estimated 2.2% for New Property Growth. District 39’s portion of the average taxpayer’s bill will increase by CPI of 1.4%. Although the District is not required to comply with the Truth in Taxation laws as the levy request is under 5%, the District chooses to remain transparent by publishing notice of a public hearing to be held prior to the regular Board meeting in November.

2021 Supplemental Debt Service Levy
The District has the option to approve a supplemental debt service levy that allows the District to capture the last $20,000 of debt service extension base for the 2021 tax levy. Elizabeth Hennessey of Raymond James will be invited to attend the December Finance Committee meeting to discuss the District's debt service options and any potential debt refundings.

Strategy - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes
2021-2022 Strategic Plan Action Steps Review for Discussion
The administrative team reviewed the identified Action Steps for the 2021-2022 school year. These steps reflect many of the first steps in launching the strategic plan, including several evaluations/audits that are already underway as well as teacher, staff and administrator trainings, academic interventions and learning recovery efforts, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and school climate activities, parent education events, and facility planning. In addition, having completed the Strategic Management Training and Evaluation with the representatives of Consortium for Educational Change (CEC), administration recommended forming a District Strategic Advisory Team as a foundational step in ensuring strategic implementation of the plan. This team will also be responsible for establishing the Key Performance Indicators for each of the Strategic Plan goals.This is recognized by the Board and the administrative team as critical next steps in ensuring success. In addition, the upcoming Board Retreat and self-evaluation is also identified as a key next step.

District Strategic Plan Advisory Team
The District Strategic Advisory Team will review, inform, and evaluate implementation of the Strategic Plan as well as the related annual action planning and performance. The purpose of the D39 Strategic Advisory Team will be to provide input and study progress related to the Strategic Plan in an ongoing way to guide improvements, action plans and progress monitoring, as well as suggest adjustments to planning and next steps.

The D39 Strategic Plan Advisory Team will consist of 30 representative stakeholders from district administration, teacher, and support staff union leadership, parents, educational professionals, and members of the Board of Education. An annual application process to this District Committee will be established by the superintendent.

At least quarterly, and potentially more frequently in the first year, the team will meet to review the annual action plan as well as progress toward accomplishment. The team will help establish and review key performance indicators. Based on these reviews, the team will recommend adjustments to planning, alignment, and refinement of implementation design work, and future action steps. Recommendations made to the superintendent by the D39 Strategic Plan Advisory Team will be communicated via quarterly progress reports to the Board of Education.

Liaison Reports

 

Community Review Committee (CRC) - Mr. Panzica
The CRC met October 12th; new members were welcomed, and rules, past procedures and practices were reviewed. The team discussed topics for the year. The consensus was to focus on Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Members will research specifics and return to the next meeting to narrow the scope and assign sub committees.The next meeting is November 9th.

Educational Foundation - Ms. Stone
The Ed Foundation met on October 19th and celebrated that a previous Gripp Grant, “One Book One District” won an award from Association of Illinois School Library Educators. Current Gripp Grant applications are due Friday, October 29th at 5:00 p.m. Progress was made on the “Silver Lining Project” possibly being displayed at the Wilmette Historical Society. Lab39 status was also discussed. A variety of events are being considered for in-person and for indoor/outdoor occasions. The next meeting is November 17th.

Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) - Mrs. Kim
Members reviewed reviewed the proposed IASB resolutions during the last Committee of the Whole meeting. The resolutions will be voted on at IASB Delegate Assembly in mid-November. Mrs. Kim invited members to submit any additional comments prior to the vote as she will be representing the D39 Board at the Assembly.

Legislative Update - no update

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

 

Fall Events
Each elementary school PTAs has hosted wonderful outdoor fall celebrations for students and families. The partnership and support from these organizations is so appreciated and administration is grateful for these wonderful community building events.

Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Walk Against Hate
Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High School hosted their second annual ADL Walk Against Hate on October 10. Students, staff, and families joined in this walk as an opportunity to move as individuals, families and a community toward a future without antisemitism, racism and all forms of bigotry.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-teacher conferences will be held in mid-November. Parents received an email on Friday with details for scheduling their parent-teacher conferences and the registration portal will open on October 25th.

Individual Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) Results
District 39 received Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) results for individual students who completed the assessment last school year - Spring 2021. These results reflect English Language Arts and Mathematics achievement for the 2020-2021 school year. It is important to note that only individual results were received. The State has not yet released school or district results. During the week of October 25th, students’ paper score reports will be sent home to families. The IAR Spring 2021 Score Interpretation Guide provides information to better understand the reports. Additionally, Pearson has created a Parent Portal that allows families to access their child’s IAR test results digitally. The information in the portal is the same as the reports being sent home. Note: Pearson’s platform only produced a score report for families whose children completed all aspects of the IAR assessment in spring.

Community Review Committee (CRC) Members-at-Large
The Community Review Committee (CRC) serves in an advisory capacity to Wilmette Public Schools District 39 Board of Education to research specific topics that will lead to improvements in teaching, learning or managing the District’s operations. In the fall, the CRC selects one or more topics of interest to the community that its members believe hold the promise of leading to improvements in District 39.

The CRC is comprised of parents, administrators, teachers, and citizens.The Board of Education has a representative who participates in CRC meetings. In accordance with Article III of the CRC’s bylaws, the Board of Education approves the members-at-large. Eileen Richards, Rachel Gold and Gail Schnitzer Eisenberg are the individuals who have been nominated to serve as members-at-large on the CRC this school year.

District Strategic Advisory Team
As the District builds a strong foundation of leadership, collaborative decision-making and ongoing progress review and monitoring for the 2021-26 Strategic Plan, a District Strategic Advisory Team will be assembled. The District Strategic Advisory Team will include a teacher and staff representative from each school as well as administrators, parents, and School Board Members. The purpose of the D39 Strategic Advisory Team will be to provide input and study progress related to the Strategic Plan in an ongoing way in order to guide improvements, action plans, and progress monitoring, as well as suggest adjustments to planning and next steps. The group will formally meet five times this year and one of their first action steps will be to determine the Key Performance Indicators in each of the five goal areas of the Strategic Plan. The first District Strategic Advisory Team Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 18th.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
A commercial FOIA request was received from Heidi Baker of SmartProcure requesting all current employee/staff contact information and work locations.

Strategic Plan Updates

  1. District 39 Strategic Plan: Engage, Empower, Inspire Action Steps for 2021-2022
    The administration reviewed the identified Action Steps for the 2021-2022 school year. These steps reflect first actions taken in launching the strategic plan, including several evaluations/audits that are already underway as well as teacher, staff, and administrator trainings, academic interventions, and learning recovery efforts, SEL and school climate activities, parent education events, and facility planning. In addition, having completed the Strategic Management Training and Evaluation with Consortium for Educational Change (CEC) consultants, a District Strategic Advisory Team (DSAT) was recommended as a foundational step in ensuring strategic implementation of the Strategic Plan.

    The purpose of the D39 Strategic Advisory Team will be to provide input and study progress related to the Strategic Plan in an ongoing way in order to guide improvements, action plans, and progress monitoring as well as suggest adjustments to planning and next steps. The DSAT will be a multi-stakeholder group, including teachers, staff, administrators, parents and School Board Members. This team will function as an advisory team and their first task will be to identify the Key Performance Indicators in each of the five goal areas of the Strategic Plan.

Annual Business

  1. Review the Tax Year 2021 Estimate of Levy
    Mr. Bultemeier presented a review of the estimated 2021 tax levy and the key components that drive the annual tax levy process. The District is required to provide a publicly available detailed estimate of the tax levy prior to Board approval each year.
  2. 2021 Tax Levy Public Hearing Date
    District 39 has a history of taking an optional step of transparency regarding the annual tax levy by holding a public hearing at a board meeting. The 2021 tax levy public hearing will be held on November 15th. The Board is required to approve the notice of a public hearing.

Board Policy Review - Dr. Cremascoli
First Reading of Board of Education Policies 1:10, 1:20, 2:10, 2:20, 2:30, 2:40, 2:50, 2:60, 2:70, 2:80, 2:100, 2:105, 2:110, 2:120, 2:125, 2:130 and 2:140
A review of sections 1 and 2 of the Board Policy Manual are being conducted. These revisions are designed to more closely align District 39 policies to PRESS. D39 policy alignment with PRESS is helpful when working with outside agencies as well as working internally. The revisions continue to be reviewed by the Board attorney, as not all recommendations by PRESS are agreed upon by all legal firms.

Second and Final Reading of Board of Education Policy 7:180
Revisions suggested during the discussion at Committee of the Whole have been incorporated into the second reading of this policy. Specifically, the word “critical” was reverted back to “important” and the phrase in parentheses in the second paragraph was removed.

BOARD ACTION The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

 

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will be held on Monday, November 15, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.

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