Board Meeting Highlights - September 2016

Below are highlights from the District 39 Board of Education meeting on September 26, 2016.

Complete information packet

Board Committee Reports

  • Strategy CommitteeMark Steen reported – The committee discussed some of the items later on this agenda. The major step forward was the identification of three different groups or stages of strategy initiatives.
  • Community Review CommitteeMark Steen reported - Committee divided into groups, identified leaders and work streams.
  • Educational FoundationKimberly Alcantara reported - Final details for the Attire to Inspire event were discussed; the event went very well. Science Olympiad, Gripp Grants, Bingo Night and Trivia Night were also discussed. In addition, discussion focused on communications efforts to ensure the community is aware of the Foundation’s work. 

Legislative Update

Kimberly Alcantara reported. In Springfield, an evidence-based school funding model appears to be taking hold with a bipartisan funding commission meeting every two weeks. Goal appears to be for funding to follow students, with low income students first; lost revenue to a school system would occur only if enrollment drops. There are rumblings about increasing income tax and freezing property tax simultaneously. In pension reform discussions indicate a cost shift to local districts could be likely after new funding formula is organized. The Every Student Succeeds Act, the new federal accountability model, includes four factors  – proficiency defined by PARCC, student growth with a model not yet determined, ELL growth, and a state adopted measure with Illinois looking at student attendance. Regarding PARCC, ISBE said PARCC will be replaced by the SAT in high schools. There is a continuing effort from Dr. Lechner and other superintendents to have the option for a different assessment tool in K-8. 

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

  • Summer Writing - Each summer teachers collaborate to improve and update curricula. This year science and English language arts (ELA) were the focus. Highcrest teachers aligned curriculum maps to the Next Generation Science Standards; 5th grade developed common science assessments and 6th grade added the engineering practices to their maps. In writing, teachers from every grade level aligned new materials to the ELA curriculum maps.  Learning targets for each unit of study were identified, teaching & online resources were added, all of which are now linked to the maps. This same process will be applied to reading curriculum materials during this school year, as we prepare for reading implementation next year.
  • 5 Essentials - The Illinois State Board of Education will administer the Illinois 5 Essentials Survey this year.  Teachers, students, and parents will be able to complete the survey from November 16 through January 16, 2017.  As a minimum, the State requires Districts to participate every other year. This survey provides school districts with information on school culture and climate. The data is included on the Illinois State Report Card the following year. Results will be shared next spring.
  • Mindset Revolution Parent NightThis Thursday, we are pleased to welcome Stanford University’s Dr. Jo Boaler & Cathy Williams to speak to parents about what it means to teach math for a growth mindset.  Parents will learn how math can be reinforced so children grow confidently as mathematical thinkers. This event is at Wilmette Junior High School at 7:00 PM.  We have 585 registered guests and registration is closed.
  • FOIA  

Strategic Plan Updates

  • 2016-17 District 39 Strategic PlanMs. Lee - This report provides District 39’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2017, which has been revised to make it easier for readers to understand. It is divided into three types of strategic items: new initiatives, ongoing initiatives, and annual business. The Board’s Strategy Committee had input. 

Annual Business

  • New Trier High School Freshman SurveyMs. Jackson - The New Trier High School freshman survey is an annual report, now in its 7th year.  The results are a validation of the supportive work that is going on throughout D39. The report gives direct feedback from 2015 WJHS graduates, as we continue to prepare students for the rigors of high school.
  • Summer Enrichment Program 2016Dr. Thrasher - 551 students attended the 2106 Summer Enrichment Program, selecting from 132 classes. Parent feedback was again very positive. There were two changes this year: online enrollment and fee payment, and elimination of tuition for the BASIC classes. Although the SEP program is cost neutral, transportation revenue continues to be less than expenditures, noting a loss of $16,401.

Board Action

The Second and Final Read of Revised Policy 7:70 was pulled from the consent agenda. The Board voted to table this policy for the next meeting.

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:


The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
October 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.