January 2017

Board Meeting Highlights - January 23, 2017

Complete meeting packet

Board Assignment Reports

Facilities Development – Kimberly Alcantara reported – Committee was updated on projects underway or being planned for 2017-18. Design meetings are complete for the new learning commons at Romona and McKenzie. Bidding has gone out and results will be back for the February Facilities Committee meeting. There was an update on the Highcrest space study, which is still in preliminary stages. Rental agreements were reviewed. A preliminary list of capital projects for each building was presented. Next meeting is the morning of February 13th following the School Finance Committee. 

Community Review Committee – Tracy Kearney reported – CRC is moving through their exploration of school climate. Two of the three subcommittees are working on this topic and the other is conducting an audit. The two on topic are finalizing survey questions, which will be presented to the administration in February and then go out to the community. Next meeting is February 6th at 7:00 PM.

Educational Foundation – Frank Panzica reported – The Educational Foundation is in the middle of their annual campaign and hoping for more donations. Details are being completed for the February 4th Trivia Night; this very popular event sold out in a record one minute. The Foundation is sponsoring the annual science fair open house on February 11th. The big event this year is the April 27th celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Distinguished Citizen’s Award. The Foundation is honoring 10 Everyday Heroes –staff members affecting every day life in D39. The event is on April 27th.

School Finance –  John Flanagin reported – The committee talked primarily about performance contracting for capital improvements. This is an ongoing discussion with Ingersoll Rand. Potential payback periods for lighting upgrades were reviewed. Discussion also included heating and air conditioning options and Ingersoll Rand’s assumptions about energy costs. There is a regulatory issue that has been discussed with attorneys. When these options were first considered, there was a master contract certified by the State Board of Education. Other districts had gone through the qualifying process. However, the State Board has not renewed this certification, simply because of ongoing issues in Springfield. So, plans are on standby. Lawyers believe the District could still adopt the contract for heating and air conditioning work, but they are not as confident about lighting upgrades. Separately the committee concluded that the payback period is too long to move ahead with lighting upgrades. Next meeting is February 13th at 8:00 AM. 

Legislative Update

Kimberly Alcantara reported. Senate Bill 500 passed both chambers and is waiting for the Governor’s signature. It requires lead testing in schools, which D39 has already done.

There is a budget compromise currently being discussed. There are no guarantees, but negotiations will continue. A two-year property tax freeze is one of the key elements. It also provides potential relief from some mandates. Related to pension reform, it includes a modified cost shift for TRS employers regarding employees who, after July 2018, are at an annual salary of $180,000 or more. The employer would be responsible for the pension costs including a portion of the unfunded liability associated with the salary in excess of the $180,000. Salaries part of existing collective bargaining agreements would be exempted until the contracts expire. Provisions related to the school funding formula call for freezing General State Aid at current levels. 

Information Items

Written Communications

Announcements from the Superintendent

Board Meeting April 25, 2017 – The Board of Education meeting scheduled for Monday, April 24th is being moved to Tuesday, April 25th. This change is aligned with the Cook County canvassing deadline from the April election. Three outgoing Board members will be honored at the April meeting.

Fiscal Year 2018-19 CPI – The 2016 Consumer Price Index has been published at 2.1%. This figure is the basis for employee salaries in D39, and should be used for the 2017 Levy. There is pending legislation in Springfield to implement a two-year property tax freeze. This freeze, if passed, would impact the levy for 2017 and 2018.  However, D39 has planned for a possible freeze in its financial projections.


Strategic Plan Updates

  • 2016-2017 Strategic Plan Updates: Continuing Strategic Initiatives and Annual Business - Ms. Lee and administrators – This report is the first of two providing mid-year updates on the Strategic Plan. Tonight’s report concerns Continuing Strategic Initiatives and Annual Business.  Next month we will have a mid-year update on new strategic initiatives.
  • System of Assessments for Student Growth: Part 2– Ms. Lee - This report presents notable features of two recommended assessment systems:  NWEA MAP and eduCLIMBER. The District is ready to move forward with NWEA MAP; this would mean all of the NT sender schools use the same assessment plan, providing an opportunity for collaborating on a township growth model.  

Annual Business

January Special Education Child Count – Dr. Thrasher - District 39 supports 506 students with IEPs. This is an increase from January 2016 with growth in students supported by specific learning disabilities, other health impairment, and developmental delay. Across the District, 13.81% of students receive special education services, which is comparable to State averages, but high for D39.  Families moving into D39 appear to be seeking our programs for kids with special needs.

Fiscal Year 2018 Student Fees – Ms. Buscemi - As reviewed at the SFC, instructional fees are remaining the same, except for Grades 5 and 6, which will include a $10 increase to cover insurance for the iPad program.  All student activity fees such as athletics, music, summer enrichment, and before school care have been increased slightly due to labor cost associated with the new Wilmette Education Association contract, as well as to reflect a portion of the credit card processing fees. The District will no longer charge credit card fees for lunch, or any of the student activity fees.

2017-18 School Calendar – Dr. Lechner - Based on input from the Board of Education last month, the recommended calendar provides for the first day of school after Labor Day. After tonight’s Board approval, ISBE gives the final approval.

Board Action

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

Pulled from the Consent Agenda and approved separately:

Tabled for the next meeting:

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
February 27, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.

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