September 2014

District 39 Board Meeting Highlights - September 29, 2014

Board Committee Reports

  • Facility Development – Kimberly Alcantara reported that discussion at the last meeting focused on how to keep all Early Childhood classes in one building. They also discussed the completed construction and assessed work needed over the next 15 years including roof work, plumbing, and boiler replacements. There was also an overview of proposed learning commons work at Central. The next meeting is October 23 at 9:00 am.
  • Insurance Advisory – Karen Donnan reported that the next meeting is October 21 at 4:00 pm.
  • CRC – Alice Schaff reported that CRC’s topic for this year relates to student drive and motivation and managing anxiety in relation to academic performance. The next meeting is October 6 at 7:00 pm.
  • Educational Foundation – John Flanagin reported on Foundation fundraising: Attire to Inspire, the first ever fashion show, exceeded fundraising goals. Family Bingo night is on October 10th. Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring Taste of Wilmette on October 23 and all proceeds will benefit the Foundation. The Fine Arts committee is working on Rack-It with art teachers at all D39 schools to create creative bike racks for various spots around the village. Science Olympiad will be underway in October. The next meeting is October 8 at 7:00 pm.
  • WCSEA – Cindy Levine reported that the next meeting is November 17 at 4:00 pm. 
  • School Finance – Keith Dronen reported on State of Illinois Treasurer Bond (also an action item) and D39’s resolution to include Section 125 compensation as IMRF earnings (also an action item). Property tax appeals and financing of long-term capital projects were also discussed. The committee also talked about a new 10 year life safety plan and the concept of upgrading learning commons spaces. The next meeting is October 13 at 8:00 am.

Legislative update

Keith Dronen reported that SB 16 is gathering steam. The Senate passed this bill in May; it has not yet been voted on in the House. It provides a new funding formula for suburban and downstate school districts. While it is supposed to be revenue neutral, projections indicate it could impact D39 by about $2.1 million. The House may take this up in the fall session. Other suburban school districts would be affected as well. There are still lawsuits pending regarding SB1, the pension reform bill, so resolution could still take some time.

Information items

  • Written communication received by the Board was reviewed.
  • Announcements from the Superintendent
    • The new bus routes are working well, with just a few kinks still getting ironed out. Laketa Simpson, building secretary at Highcrest, is being promoted to Transportation Coordinator as Rich Farrell is leaving D39.
    • Given all of the technology additions across the township, superintendents and principals agreed that more parent education is needed. Dr. Palzet is leading the organization of a township parent boot camp to help parents better understand how technology is used in the classroom, how they can set limits at home, and the best ways to help their child withIt will be at New Trier High School on Saturday October 25th from 8:30-12 noon. This is open to all township parents.
    • A committee made up of teachers and administrators is being formed to identify ways to improve the daily schedules at Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High. The committee will focus on the amount of time allocated to subjects, as well as the start and end times of school. 
    • By 2016-17, student growth must be incorporated into teacher evaluations. Over the summer, a group of teachers and administrators participated in training to learn about Student Learning Outcomes, or SLOs, which provide a framework for analyzing student data and setting individualized growth targets. The District is in the process of launching an SLOs pilot at WJHS, HMS, and Romona. Next month, there will be a Board report on Student Growth and SLOs.
    • The District received two FOIA requests this month.
  • Dr. Thrasher presented a report on the Summer Enrichment Program, which served 558 students this year.  
  • Mr. Denenberg presented a 1:1 Program update. He reviewed the District’s preparation for the start of school, steps parents had to take, and the deployment over the first few days of class.  
  • Dr. Thrasher presented the Revised Assessment Calendar Update as a follow up to last month’s proposed changes. This report, the first in a series, focused on federal and state mandates.
  • Mrs. Horowitz presented the 2014-15 CONNECTED Strategic Plan update. The plan includes goals in four areas with specific deliverables and measures. Goals areas are: core subject and content, learning, communication, and structural platform. 
  • Dr. Lechner presented the 2014-2015 Application for the Recognition of Schools, an annual approval required to certify that the District is following specific practices.
  • Dr. Lechner presented the policies being reviewed:
    • First Read Revised Personnel Policy 5:185 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
    • Second and Final Read of Proposed Policy 8:70 Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities: Revised Policy 4:150 Rental of Buildings: Revised Community Relations Policies: 8:10, 8:25, 8:30, 8:95, 8:100: Delete Policies: 8:15, 8:22, 8:40, 8:50, 8:105, 8:110.
    • Second and Final Read of Proposed Policy 5:125 Personal Technology and Social Media: Usage and Conduct: Revised Policies: 5:190 Use of District Computer Facilities (renamed Use of District Electronic Networks and Technology Equipment); 6:235 Access to Electronic Networks.

Board Action

  • Approved the Personnel Report dated September 29, 2014.
  • Approved the 2014-2015 CONNECTED Strategic Plan: Developing a 21st Century Infrastructure.
  • Adopted the Resolution to Include Compensation Paid under Internal Revenue Code Section 125 Plan as IMRF Earnings.
  • Approved the State of Illinois School Treasurer Bond.
  • Approved the 2014-2015 Application for the Recognition of Schools.
  • Approved as First Read Revised Personnel Policy 5:185 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
  • Approved as Second and Final Read Proposed Policy 8:70 Accommodating Individuals with Disabilities: Revised Policy 4:150 Rental of Buildings: Revised Community Relations Policies: 8:10, 8:25, 8:30, 8:95, 8:100: Delete Policies: 8:15, 8:22, 8:40, 8:50, 8:105, 8:110.
  • Approved as Second and Final Read Proposed Policy 5:125 Personal Technology and Social Media: Usage and Conduct: Revised Policies 5:190 Use of District Computer Facilities; 6:235 Access to Electronic Networks.


 
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