Board Meeting Highlights

November 15, 2021

Complete Meeting Packet


Mr. Bultemeier explained the levy calendar process noting the 2021 Levy taxes would be paid in 2022 and impact the Fiscal Year 2023 budget. The 2021 levy is based upon several variables including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the value of new construction, the county multiplier, and the Limiting Rate calculation. CPI is 1.4% and the District’s Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) is estimated at $1,934,402,611. However, when the County Clerk extends the taxes, the taxes will be against the actual 2020 EAV plus new property growth, which is estimated at $14.05M. The total requested levy is $58,875,301. The District 39 portion of the average taxpayer’s bill would increase by CPI rate of 1.4%. The Cook County Clerk determines the final levy extension amount.


Facility Development Committee (FDC) - Mr. Panzica
Summer 2022 Projects Update
Mr. Papanicholas of Nicholas and Associates stated the construction document for Harper Elementary is at 85% and the all-in cost for the project is just above $4.4M. The pre-bid meeting was held November 9 with the bid opening set for November 23. He stated the end design, project timing, and budget all finished well.

Mr. Papanicholas reported construction documents for Romona Elementary are at 50% and the first budget assessment would be conducted at the end of the week. McKenzie Elementary construction documents are at 60% with budget assessment due on November 30. Both Romona and McKenzie projects will go out to bid at the end of January. Mr. Papanicholas noted he was working with vendors to keep up with supply chain issues but for now everything is good.

School Finance Committee (SFC) - Mr. Cesaretti
Mr. Bultemier stated Baker Tilly will present the audit report at the next committee meeting on December 6. The statistical information for the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report comes from an outside firm and Cook County. Cook County has had staffing challenges, which caused a delay in receiving the information.Therefore, the information will be presented at the next committee meeting. Mr. Bultemeier reviewed a draft summary of revenues and expenditures by fund. The Operating Funds total for July 2020 was $41.7M and the Operating Funds total for June 2021 was $35.7M with the operating expenditures fund balance at 56.96%.

Mr. Bultemeier shared a budget-to-actual differences spreadsheet. He noted there were a huge number of operational decisions made last year due to the pandemic, especially in regard to substitutes and long-term substitutes. He reviewed budget categories that came in under budget such as, salaries and benefits, KEEP39 tuition, lunch fees, supplies and materials for Educational Fund, Special Education tuition, student fees and utilities. Categories that came in over budget included replacement taxes, transportation, technology, purchased services, capital outlay and federal and state aid.

Along with the financial audit presentation by Baker Tilly at the December committee meeting, Elizabeth Hennessy of Raymond James will present debt refunding options along with District 39 financial projections.

Strategy - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes
2021 Fall Achievement Data from Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP)
The District received fall achievement data from NWEA MAP which was presented by Katie Lee. The benchmark data provides a baseline achievement for the school year as well as a historical reflection of trend data since the assessment was first administered. Student achievement levels have remained consistent, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Strategic Plan Goals and Action Steps align with areas for improvement in student learning, curriculum, and instruction.

Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR)
Katie Lee presented the IAR assessment results from spring of 2021. The results were just received within the past week so the results presented were very preliminary and embargoed by the State. The data is reflective of the 2020-2021 school year and will be publicly released on December 2 when the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) releases school report card data.

The IAR state assessment is issued once a year at the end of the school year and is a measure of district accountability and student achievement at a single point in time. The state is still processing the data and once the data is released the administration will share the information with teachers to identify focus areas. The first IAR assessment was administered in spring of 2019 prior to the pandemic, as a replacement to the previous state assessment of PARCC. The IAR was not issued in 2020 due to the pandemic, and the 2021 school year is still recovering from the effects of the global pandemic. While on MAP, student achievement is maintained as relatively consistent throughout the pandemic, the IAR shows mixed results with some grade levels performing better through the pandemic than state recovery needs may have suggested, while other grade levels show some learning recovery needs similar to those recognized on this measure throughout the State. Participation rates are not yet available and several aspects of data analysis that can be helpful to districts in evaluating needs have also not yet been released.

District 39 students consistently perform higher than national peers and the assessment demonstrates how students maintain that high achievement. There were notable areas to monitor for improvement, such as in written expression. More information will be shared once additional data are released.

Liaison Reports

Community Review Committee (CRC) - Ms. Stone
The committee approved its topic for study which is Social Emotional Learning (SEL). Specifically, the topic is, Building a Cohesive and Responsive Social and Emotional Learning Environment Across the District Through Strengthening Parent Teacher Communications and Increasing Parent Understanding of and Engagement in Specific Social Emotional Learning Instruction. The committee divided into four subcommittees: current parent and community understanding of SEL; learning and observing what local area districts are doing; researching national trends in SEL; audit the CRC report from 2014-2015 Cultivating Growth Minded, Resilient Students.

Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) - Mrs. Kim
The Illinois Joint Annual Conference will be held November 19-21. Mrs. Kim along with Ms. Stone and Dr. Cremascoli would be attending on behalf of District 39.

Legislative Update - Mrs. Kim
President Biden signed into law $1.2 Trillion infrastructure bill which will improve the nation’s aging roads and bridges, upgrade the electrical grid, and expand access of broadband internet. For schools this means more money for broadband internet and devices, clean energy school buses, competitive grants to schools for energy efficiency improvements and alike. Illinois will likely receive $1.7B. Of that, $100M will go to expand internet broad band coverage across the state and $1.7M to improve drinking water including lead pipe removal.

Illinois has two bills pending related to COVID-19. An amendment to the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act which prohibits discrimination against anyone for their conscientious refusal to participate in a particular form of healthcare services contrary to their conscience. Language has been inserted that states it is not a violation of the law for an employer to take any measures or impose any requirements intended to prevent contraction or transmission of COVID-19.

HB2778 is a school employee Benefit and Wage Protection Bill passed by the House and Senate. This bill will require districts to provide unlimited COVID administrative days for all COVID related absences such as quarantining and testing so employees do not have to use benefit time. This bill will also provide paycheck protection for hourly employees in the event of school closure.

HB1975 relates to prevention of child abuse and aims to educate teachers and school staff on how to identify warning signs that a teacher may be sexually abusing a student.

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

School Board Members Day
November 15th was designated as School Board Members Day in Illinois. Dr. Cremascoli thanked Board members for their commitment as elected officials in providing a local governance voice for public schools. The Board’s leadership and countless hours of volunteer work were honored and appreciated.

District Strategic Advisory Team
The District Strategic Advisory Team will host its first meeting on November 18th. This team will provide guidance and support to inform implementation of the strategic plan. Work will focus primarily on development of key performance indicators that will help monitor and evaluate District progress.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
District 39’s Parent-Teacher conferences were held last week. Each year, these meetings provide a wonderful opportunity for parents to connect with teachers regarding their child’s curriculum, progress, and growth. Teachers work hard to ensure these are meaningful and informative conferences for all involved.

Staff Event
In celebration of fall, the District hosted a fun staff gathering after hours last Monday. Teams from each school competed in a friendly game of Family Feud while connecting and enjoying the company of colleagues. Congratulations to Central School for being crowned the D39 Family Feud Champions.

Township Vaccination Clinic
Friday, November 12th, D39 staff assisted in hosting the first of two New Trier Township vaccination clinics for students ages 5-11. Approximately 1,000 doses of vaccine were administered. A second dose clinic for these individuals will be held in three weeks. A second clinic is planned to serve another 1000 students before winter break.

Job Openings and Substitute Needs
District 39 continues to be in daily need of school substitutes. The District is looking for qualified substitutes for teachers, paraprofessionals/teaching assistants, nurses, and food staff. A communication to all District families was sent on November 11th encouraging anyone interested to apply online.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The District received a FOIA from Marcell Kentre requesting most recent Transportation RFP and Beverage (Milk/Water/Juice) RFP documents. Another FOIA was received from Bernadette Soto of the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters requesting executed contracts between District 39 and AAA Lock & Key, Haldeman Homme/Anderson Ladd Inc., and Stalker Sports Floors for FY2020 including any correspondence, disclosure documents identifying general contractors/subcontractors, and schools where work was performed.

Annual Business

  1. 2021 Fall Enrollment Report
    Mr. DeMonte stated annually, District 39 provides a Fall Enrollment report that captures the number of students attending District 39's schools as of enrollment on October 1st. There are 3,345 students educated in D39 schools this year. In addition, the number of students the District has a responsibility to educate is also examined. This number is higher as it includes early childhood students receiving itinerant speech at the MEC, students outplaced at therapeutic settings, and students receiving special education services at St. Joseph and St. Francis. District 39 Fall Enrollment total is 3,394 students. Mr. DeMonte will provide a detailed report at the next Board meeting regarding trends, projections and birth rates.
  2. 2021-2022 Spring/Fall Assessment Data Presentation
    1. Spring 2021 Illinois Assessment Data Presentation
      Grade-level (IAR) assessment results from spring of 2021 were received by the District on Monday, November 1st. The results (reflective of the 20-21 school year) provided were preliminary and very limited, and embargoed by the State.This data will not be released publicly until December 2nd when the Illinois State Board of Education releases its school report card.
    2. 2021 Fall NWEA MAP Assessment Data
      The 2021 Fall NWEA MAP Assessment report is an executive summary of Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment results. These data provide a baseline of achievement for the school year as well as a historical look at fall assessment data since the District began administering this assessment. This assessment is administered three times a year in fall, winter and spring and is a computer adaptive assessment issued to 2nd - 8th graders in Reading and Math.
    3. 2021 Fall Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Data
      The Fall SEL Data report is a summary of the data gathered from the DESSA (Devereux Student Strengths Assessment) for grades PK-2nd grades and MESH (Mindsets Essential Skills and Habits) for grades 3-8 assessments throughout the month of October. These assessments measure the development of social-emotional competencies in students, and also give a snapshot into student perception of the school climate and environment. The report pinpoints areas of strength and areas of focus with respect to social-emotional skill development

Board Policy Review - Dr. Cremascoli
Second and Final 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
Second read policies were presented to the Board for final approval.

Mr. Panzica suggested Policy 2:60 relating to removal of a Board member was lacking in identifying actions to remove an elected local official from office. After much discussion, members agreed to table Policies 2:40, Qualifications of a Member of the Board of Education; 2:50, Board Member Term of Office; 2:60, Board Member Removal from Office.

BOARD ACTION The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

Personnel Report dated November 15, 2021 Second and Final Reading of Board of Education Policies 1:10, 1:20, 2:10, 2:20, 2:30, 2:70, 2:80, 2:100, 2:105, 2:110, 2:120, 2:125, 2:130 and 2:140

Adopt the 2021 Tax Levy

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will be held on Monday, December 13, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.