Board Meeting Highlights - September 25, 2017

Complete meeting packet

Board Assignment Reports

  • Educational Foundation – Ellen Sternweiler reported. The Foundation discussed new fundraising and sponsorship ideas. The Attire to Inspire fashion show is this week. New possible venues for some events were reviewed. Marketing committee reported. Gripp Grant proposals are currently being accepted. Next meeting is Monday October 23rd at 7:00 pm.

Legislative Update

Tracy Kearney reported. The Education funding bill was finally passed last month and signed by the Governor. The legislation keeps some of the original language from Senate Bill 1. Chicago Public Schools continues to get $250 million in block grants, and now the state will pay Chicago teacher pensions, just like the rest of the state. The bill also provides for an additional $75 million in private donations to scholarship funds. The bill does not include a property tax freeze, but provides for voters an opportunity to seek property tax reductions at the ballot. Ten percent of voters need to sign to petition to place a tax reduction on the ballot. Other provisions include easier waivers from some mandates and some School Board control over PE requirements.

Information items 

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

  • Future HMS Construction – During 2016-17, D39 conducted a space study at HMS. The primary need identified was additional classroom space. Next, a multi-phase plan was drafted to add classrooms, small group spaces, and a learning commons at HMS.  Phase one adds four classrooms and a secure entry addition to enhance safety and security.  The draft phase one proposal will be presented at the October Board meeting. Final Board approval will not happen until February.
  • Parent Education Opportunities - As part of ongoing efforts toward promoting a culture of empathy, District 39 is hosting some parent education events. On November 7th, parents of Early Childhood – 4th grade can hear Dr. Renee Dominguez, Executive Director of Family Service Center, present on “Navigating Social Conflicts.” Dr. Dominguez returns on November 14th to present on how Social Emotional Learning and Growth Mindset are used in classrooms and at home. In partnership with the WJHS PTO, Dr. Dominguez will provide parent training on these same topics for grades 5-8 - daytime on November 7th and evening on March 1st.
  • September 11th Recognition - September 11, 2001 is a day that our teachers and students recognize annually.  A few examples of activities at the HMS-WJHS campus are: a “gallery walk” to read 9/11 interviews; listening to “My Country ’Tis of Thee” performed by the US Army Soldier’s Chorus with a discussion on how patriotic music brings people together in times of crisis; watching Nickelodeon’s “What happened?  The Story of September 11, 2001.” In addition, students wrote letters to heroes in the community and in New York; The New York Police Department tweeted a picture of police officers and fire fighters holding their letters along with a caption thanking Jackie Zorger’s 6th grade class.  
  • D39 Helps Texas School District - District 39 initiated a community-wide fundraising campaign to help one Texas school district that was extremely hard hit by Hurricane Harvey - Pasadena Independent School District. Pasadena educates 56,000 students, and nearly 77% are economically disadvantaged. Coins are being collected in each elementary school and 5-8 homeroom. Some students are doing a “dollars for chores” project and others are supporting lemonade stands. Our community generously comes together, making a positive impact on this district. Anyone can still contribute and instructions are on our homepage. We will continue collecting through September 29th. 
  • FOIA 

Annual Business

  • Summer Enrichment Program 2017Dr. Thrasher - District 39's 2017 Summer Enrichment Program provided opportunities for 477 students to participate in 106 different session offerings at Wilmette Junior High & Central School. Through careful monitoring of enrollment, the program remains self-sufficient.
  • New Trier High School Freshman SurveyMs. Jackson - Each fall results from the New Trier High School Freshman Survey are presented to the Board.  Results this year went up in some areas, and decreased in others. The report focuses on steps being taken on the 5-8 campus in all content areas to address freshman feelings of preparedness.

Board Action

Board of Education Policies 6:10, 6:50, and 6:60 were pulled from the Consent Agenda to be presented in October as third read.

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:


The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be on Monday,
October 23, 2017 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.