Board Meeting Highlights - October 24, 2016

Complete information packet


Facilities Development Kimberly Alcantara reported – Committee had a presentation from Ingersoll Rand on performance contracting. This included a detailed overview of proposed projects, covering the impact on facilities, financials, and sustainability as well as project metrics and recommendations. The administration will review the presentation and report and give the FDC and the Board recommendations on how to proceed, especially for projects already on the maintenance schedule. STR provided update on meetings with stakeholders at Romona and McKenzie regarding renovations for library commons spaces. Although still in draft phase, both plans include flexible space that could be used for classrooms if needed. A preliminary budget is expected at the November FDC meeting. Bidding expected in January. Vote on final plans and budgets expected at the February Board of Education meeting. Dr. Lechner proposed a space study for Highcrest to evaluate efficient use of space and synergies with future library commons. Committee discussed internal learnings from the renovations already completed at Central, Harper and WJHS. Next meeting is November 7th at 8:30 AM.

Educational FoundationDr. Lechner reported – Very successful fashion show and Bingo Night, with both events meeting their financial targets. The Fall Appeal is about to go out. Science Olympiad will be launched soon; the District is taking over the competitive portion and more detail is in the student fees report. Gripp Grant applications are due Friday. Next meeting is November 16th at 7:00 PM.

School Finance – John Flanagin reported. The committee reviewed and discussed the 2016 Tentative Levy on the Board agenda. There was a report on the 1:1 Program and some changes that will be rolled out. Student fees were reviewed including Summer Enrichment, Connecting Kids, and Science Olympiad, as well as athletic fees and credit card fee options. Committee looked at assumptions for long range projections including expectations for a property tax freeze and potential redistribution at the state level. Next meeting is November 7th at 8:00 AM.

Legislative update - Kimberly Alcantara reported.
There is a ballot issue on November 8th that could impact school districts – the Safe Roads Amendment. If approved, it would prevent transportation funds from being used for any other purpose. This may limit local taxing bodies, including school districts, from transferring dollars from transportation funds to operating funds. Even if it passes, there is question about whether it should apply to local school districts or should they be able to handle their finances locally. 

The school funding reform commission continues to meet. Discussion continues regarding alternative funding distribution. There is agreement that additional education funding is needed, but finding sources for new revenue is problematic. The education budget approved last June covers the rest of the year, but spending authority for the remaining budget expires on December 31. There is an expectation that a new funding formula may be proposed by spring.

Unfunded mandates have been enacted that impact school districts. It is an extensive list; representative samples include extensive reporting on assessments, student residency disputes, asthma action plans from parents, as well as teacher institute days every two years to train on ADA in the school environment.


Announcements from the Superintendent

SWANCC Grants - Thanks to Lisa Winter, all six D39 schools received grants from the Solid Waste Agency of North Cook County (SWANCC) totaling $1,200 toward the purchase of reusable soup cups. This is one more step to reduce garbage and our collective carbon footprint.

Preschool Vision and Hearing Clinic - Each Fall, District 39 partners with the Village of Wilmette to conduct a Preschool Vision and Hearing Clinic. This year, Village Nurse, Dianne Bader with District 39 nurses Mary Norkett & Mary Ann Roche screened 37 preschoolers on a Saturday morning. This services helps local nursery schools meet the state mandate of screening children ages 3-5 attending a preschool program.

Candidate Forum - On the evening of October 4th Wilmette Junior High partnered with the League of Women Voters of Wilmette to host a candidate forum featuring 9th District US Congressional candidates Jan Schakowsky and Joan McCarthy Lasonde. Seventh graders read questions submitted by social studies students.

Beyond Diversity Seminar - Six staff members from HMS and WJHS participated in the Beyond Diversity Seminar hosted at New Trier. This was a two-day workshop aimed at giving participants the opportunity to enter into courageous conversations about race, as well as relationships within the school community.  We look forward to drawing on the experiences and knowledge gained. This work is tied to the D39 strategic plan on school climate and creating a culture of empathy. 


Strategic Plan Updates

2016-2017 Superintendent/District GoalsDr. Lechner – Annually approved by the Board of Education, these goal areas, with deliverables and measures, are based on the D39 Strategic Plan.  

Annual Business

Select Student Fees Ms. Buscemi - A handful of student fees require early approval, as parents need information to make decisions about summer programs. As reviewed at the SFC, summer programs are to be fiscally self-sustaining. Reinstatement of the fee for BASIC and slightly increased enrichment fees will reduce the fiscal deficit reported last month for the summer programs. Connecting Kids preschool tuition is reviewed annually as well; this fee review compares charges made by other local preschools, private and public and D39 remains competitively low. The Department of Curriculum and Instruction is taking over the competitive portion of the Science Olympiad Program; a fee structure is needed. Administration recommends using the same fees the Foundation charged last year.

Establish the Tax Year 2016 Estimate of Levy and Hearing AnnouncementMs. Buscemi – D39 is adopting the resolution of the estimated levy for 2016. The proposed increase, for all funds, is 3.40% over last year’s levy.  With CPI at 0.7%, the bulk of the proposed levy increase is for new construction in Wilmette; there has been a significant uptick in new home building in the community. The Public Hearing on the Proposed Levy is scheduled to immediately precede the regular December 12th meeting of the Board of Education.

2016 Fall Assessment Report - Ms. Lee - This report is an executive summary of D39’s Performance Series and PARCC assessment results from spring 2016. Also included is the 2017 spring assessment schedule.  Parents with students in grades 3-8 will receive their child’s PARCC scores at the end of the month. In addition, statewide PARCC scores will be posted by ISBE on October 31st.

Fall Housing ReportDr. Thrasher - As of Sept. 30, 2016, District 39 has 3648 students housed in D39’s six buildings. This is a slight decrease from fall 2015.


Dispose of Executive Session Audio Recordings was pulled from the consent agenda to review the dates. This was voted on separately and passed. 

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:



The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
November 14, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.