November 2019

Board Meeting Highlights

November 18, 2019


Complete Meeting Packet


2019 Levy Public Hearing

1. Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Audit – Mr. Scott Duenser from Klein Hall Associated gave a presentation on the District’s Audit. The independent audit found that District 39’s financial statements accurately describe the district’s financial position and all of the district’s operational activities during fiscal year 2019. District 39 received an unmodified clean opinion and earned the highest financial rating, “Financial Recognition,” for exhibiting financial responsibility with a perfect score of 4.0/4.0.

2. 2019 Levy – Mrs. Ellen Crispino gave a presentation on the 2019 Levy. The estimated levy represents an increase of 1.9 percent plus new property growth, estimated at roughly $38 million. District 39 taxes are approximately one-third of the tax bill, therefore the projected increase for District 39 is 0.7 percent of the total tax bill.

3. Resolution Authorizing a Supplemental Deb Service Tax Levy – The Board reviewed and discussed an annual resolution that allows the District to levy for its bond payment obligations.

Board Reports

1. Facilities Development Committee – Mrs. Sternweiler reported that the Committee met on Nov. 11 and discussed the language included in the District’s landscaping bid. The bid includes language reflective of the fact that all vegetable gardens in D39 schools are handled differently and will be supported with the landscaping services. Mrs. Sternweiler also noted that the Board scheduled a meeting at 7 p.m. on Dec. 2 to meet with Village of Wilmette representatives regarding the impact of stormwater construction projects on D39 schools.

2. Finance Committee – Mr. Cesaretti reported that the Committee met on Nov. 11 and received a detailed presentation on the audit. The Board finished its expenditure review, which has been completed over the past two years and shows that the District is being managed in a fiscally responsible manner. The next step will be to focus on the ongoing review and communication of selected metrics and benchmarking these metrics against other districts and our own historical trends. The Board will continue to use these metrics and benchmarking data to facilitate Board review and discussion as well as to improve transparency and communicate the District's financial status in meaningful ways to our community members. The Committee also discussed the levy and proposed student fees.

3. Strategy Committee – Mr. Stein reported that the Committee met on Nov. 11 and discussed future strategic planning efforts. The Board is eager to initiate a new strategic planning process; the Board will review additional information on the preliminary planning process in the coming months. Mr. Stein also reported that the District will have an independent organization review its special education programming and services.

4. Liaison Updates – Mrs. Poehling noted that the Community Review Committee met on Nov.4 to further discuss its topic of study for the year: Strengthening Partnerships Between Parents and Schools. The committee discussed potential survey questions and further defined subtopics for its topic of study. Mrs. Sternweiler noted that the Joint Annual Conference takes place this weekend on Nov. 22-24 and that IASB will vote on resolutions related to gun control in schools. Ms. Stone stated that she will continue to keep the Board informed as legislation impacting the schools makes its way through the judicial system.

Informational Items

1. School Board Members Day – Dr. Cremascoli noted that Friday, Nov. 15 was School Board Members Day. Dr. Cremascoli thanked the Board for their leadership, hard work and commitment in providing a local governance voice for Wilmette Public Schools.

2. Parent Teacher Conferences – Dr. Cremascoli noted that this year’s parent teacher conferences were well attended among all six schools. She acknowledged and thanked all teachers for their hard work in preparing for and hosting conferences and parents for their partnership and support.

3. Illinois State Report Card – Dr. Cremascoli announced that the Illinois State Board of Education released Illinois School Report Cards on Oct. 31. The report cards provide data on student academic growth and achievement along with other indicators of school quality such as school and district finances, climate survey and student attendance. A link to the report cards can be found on the District 39 website.

4. 5Essentials Survey – Dr. Cremascoli noted that District students, faculty and parents will have the opportunity to participate in the annual 5 Essentials survey in December.

5. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – The District received one FOIA request related to information about student vaping data in District 39.

6. 2019 Landscaping Bid – Dr. Cremascoli noted that the Administration will recommend approval of a landscaping bid in the amount of $46,632 to Landscape Concepts Management for D39 landscaping services for the year.

7. 2020-2021 Draft Student Fees – Dr. Cremascoli noted that school fees for the 2020-2021 school year will be presented for approval at the December board meeting. The Administration recommended two changes to student fees – an increase of $10-30 for select athletic programs to cover increasing costs and no increase to the instructional material fees; however, rather than charging parents small fees during the year for items such as assignment notebooks, musical recorders and magazines, District 39 is in process of evaluating the possibility of including those items (approximately $10-15) in the Instructional Materials Fee to save parents time and operate more efficiently.

8. New Trier Township Eighth Grade Survey Report – Mrs. Kelly Jackson gave a brief presentation on the annual New Trier Township Eighth Grade Survey data which focused primarily on connections made in school and preparedness in the area of academic process skills such as time management and balancing school and life.

9. Board Policy Review – The Board conducted a second reading Board of Education Policies 5:120, 5:125, 5:130, 5:150, 5:170, 5:180, 5:185, 5:190, 5:195, 5:200, 7:20 and 7:180. Due to late suggested changes by Board members, the policies will be read for a third time and voted on for approval at the next regular board meeting.

Action Items

1. Consent Agenda – The Consent Agenda was approved including the following items:


Approve the Personnel Report
Accept the Fiscal Year 2019 Financial Audit
Approve the Resolution Authorizing a Supplemental Debt Service Tax Levy to Pay the Principal of and Interest on Outstanding Limited Bonds of the District
Approve the 2019 Landscaping Bid
Approve the Bills for Payment including Accounts Payable for November 2019 and Manual Checks for November 2019


2. The 2019 Levy was adopted. The total aggregate levy amount is $55,949,911.


Conference Items

1. Old Business – Mrs. Schneider-Fabes noted that the Board discussed the practice of recording Committee of the Whole meetings during the Nov. 11 Committee of the Whole meeting. The Board will pursue audio recordings of COW meetings as soon as the January meeting.

2. New Business – None.

3. Good and Welfare – None.

The next meeting of the District 39 Board of Education will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, December 16, 2019 in the Mikaelian Education Center.
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