Board Meeting Highlights

May 24, 2021
Complete Meeting Packet

Student Recognition
Principal Kelly Jackson recognized Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High School students for their accomplishments this year.

Mrs. Jackson introduced Elaine Xu, 6th grader, who won 1st place in the Scripps Spelling Bee, 1st Place in the D39 Spelling Bee, 1st Place in the North Cook ISC Spelling Bee, and 4th place in the 11th Regional ISC Scripps Championship.

Mrs. Jackson introduced Avni Arora who won 1st place in the ADL’s First Amendment Freedoms Essay Contest. She placed first among hundreds of submissions from across the Midwest. She won a $5K scholarship for her essay. Avni shared her essay via video.

Mrs. Jackson recognized National Latin Exam Award students. On March, 19 WJHS students chose to take a remote, extra-curricular, fee-based test in Latin. Of those 19 students, 16 received awards and 12 received medals. She announced the Summa Cum Laude, Maxima Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Cum Laude award winners.

Mrs. Jackson noted in addition, on April 21st the WJHS Certamen Team won 1st Place in State Competition. The team were challenged by competitors from the Western and Chicago Regions to take the win.

PTA Playground Donation Recognition - Romona PTA
Dr. Cremascoli introduced Romona Principal Cindy Anderson to announce the playground donation. Principal Anderson introduced former PTA President, Kimberly Newman, current PTA President, Paloma Samotny, and Vice Presidents Lauren Litchfield and Jacki Krashin. Lauren Lithcfield reported on the PTA’s fundraising goals toward replacing playground equipment at Romona School.

Principal Anderson noted the committee, staff, and students worked three years to raise money for the playground. She thanked Board for supporting the Romona PTA fundraising efforts.

Board Reports

Facility Development Committee (FDC) - Mr. Panzica
Summer 2021 Construction Project Update
Mr. Papanicholas of Nicholas and Associates updated members on KEEP39 construction at Romona and McKenzie Elementary schools. Construction has gone well due to the streak of good weather. Projects are anticipated to be under roof by June to begin interior build work through summer.

Updated Five-Year Capital Projects Summary
Mr. Bultemeier presented the five-year capital projects list for review. The spreadsheet was updated to reflect the typical inflation of 4% in construction industry annually. Inflation adds approximately $1.7M - $1.9M per year to construction costs.

Review of Potential Summer 2022 Construction Projects
Mr. Bultemeier introduced the detailed list of potential construction projects for the summer of 2022. Updated cost estimates will be provided in June. The Board will need to approve project design costs in August with final approval of projects in January/February of 2022. Mr. Bultemeier presented the projects for Harper, McKenzie, and Romona which include Life Safety work, replacement of boilers, unit vents, roofs, and possible air conditioning.

Park District Bathroom Access and Proposed IGA
Dr. Cremascoli reported the Wilmette Park District requested the Board’s consideration of an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that would grant access to the exterior bathroom at the junior high school. The identified bathroom is located at the back of the building near the back blacktop and has exterior access only. The park district will make improvements to this bathroom to provide access for its patrons and park visitors. The park district agrees to clean and maintain the bathroom.

Romona Playground Donation Agreement with Romona PTA
Mr. Bultemeier stated the Board committed to contributing $30K to the playground project if Romona PTA was able to meet their fundraising goals.The Romona PTA has accomplished their goal and has entered into a contract to install a new playground.

School Finance Committee (SFC) - Mr. Cesaretti
Special Education Transportation Services Contract Extension
Mr. Bultemeier reported outsourced transportation contracts are typically renewed every three years. District 39 is in the third year of the busing contract with North Shore Transportation. Illinois School Code allows a two-year contract extension. In recent years there would be a rise in ridership based on student population. During this year of the pandemic with schools being closed, the District only paid for actual services. The two-year contract extension allows for 3.3% increases for each year. Driver shortages continue and busing companies are having to increase pay to attract drivers. Other considerations for bus companies include increase in liability insurance, lost revenue due to pandemic, and reducing the amount of new buses being purchased. North Shore is requesting a clause be added to the contract with the option to either pay 80% of normal routes and they would keep their employees on the payroll or pay 37% of normal routes and they would have the ability to furlough employees in the event that schools close again.

Fiscal Year 2022 Draft Budget Review
Mr. Bultemeier provided an overview of the budget process. Tentative budgets are presented in June along with approval of a public hearing on budgets to be held in August. Budgets are approved at the August Board of Education meeting and filed with state agencies in September.

Mr. Bultemeier stated the Operating revenues are mainly obtained through property taxes. He noted CPI for the 2020 tax levy is 2.3%. He reviewed other revenue sources such as fees, and state and federal aid.

Mr. Bultemeier reported on operating expenditures with largest expenditure being salaries and benefits. The administration and the Wilmette Education Association (WEA) are currently engaged in collective bargaining, therefore salary increases are unknown at this time. Staffing is driven by enrollment and while administration's plans for a return to full in-person education for the 2021-2022 school year, place holders for extra staff are being held in the event COVID-19 continues to dictate staffing levels.

Mr. Bultemeier reviewed operating funds revenues and expenditures by category for Educational Fund, O&M Fund, Transportation Fund, IMRF/SS Funds, Working Cash and Tort Funds.

Mr. Bultemeier explained the Board’s philosophy regarding maintaining a fund balance minimum of 40% and peak of 65%. The state requires school districts to maintain a reserve fund balance minimum of 25% to ensure the highest rating in this category. Maintaining a 40% fund balance allows a cushion of reserves for unexpected issues. He also noted state funding is received sporadically and having 40% reserves covers cash flow issues when funding is irregular.

Strategy - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes
Strategic Planning Core Team Liaison Report The Strategic Planning Team held four meetings which consisted of an orientation meeting and three data retreat meetings.

During the orientation meeting, all the members of the team engaged in article discussions on topics such as Trends in K-12 Education, Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, Effective Teacher Professional Development and Essential Components of Data-Based Problem-Solving Approaches.

The Data Retreat Meetings focused on the perceptual data gathered from the stakeholder groups; three data reports: Working and Learning Environments, Student Achievement and Growth, and Finance, Facilities and Technology; then review and discussion. All materials have been uploaded to the Strategic Planning Process webpage. The team was to conduct a SWOT analysis which identifies Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. The CEC consultant, Arlana Bedard, will consolidate contributions from the team and provide a draft of the SWOT analysis.

Stakeholder groups are providing feedback and input, which will be reviewed before moving to next steps during the Setting Directions meetings.

Liaison Reports

Community Review Committee (CRC) - Mrs. Kim
The CRC meeting was devoted to reporting on and discussing data retreat meetings in conjunction with the CEC strategic planning.

Educational Foundation - Mrs. Kim The committee recognized the work of outgoing members and seated new board members. The committee watched the Educational Foundation’s “Silver Lining Project” video which celebrated special moments during this pandemic year.

Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) - No report

Legislative Update - Mrs. Kim SB 2109 passed in Senate and moved to the House, which would require school board members and administrators to complete a course of instruction on the adoption of trauma informed school standard beginning in 2022 on an annual basis.

Bills are in circulation regarding sex education curriculum. An earlier version of SB 818 mandating sex education courses in grades K-12 was amended to strike such language. The bill requires any school districts choosing to teach sex education be required to follow national guidelines on sexual education. All instruction would have to meet a variety of new standards. The bill has moved to house for consideration.

SB 508 is in the House and provides if school districts or any taxing district has to give a tax appeal refund then the following year the aggregate levy will be increased by a supplemental levy to recapture the property tax revenue lost by the taxing district. Additional progress of this bill will be provided.

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent

Metrics Team Update
the District 39 Metrics Reopening Advisory Team met for their final meeting of the year. The group met in person and the contributions of each team member were honored and celebrated. This team of teachers, administrators, parents, doctors and specialists have provided invaluable guidance and support throughout this school year, and the administration is incredibly grateful for their contributions. The D39 Metrics Dashboard and full weekly report are available online. This is the final report of the year; however, the online dynamic dashboard data will continue to be updated through the end of the school year.

Vaccine Access for Children Ages 12-15
The Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine has been approved for children 12 years of age and older. Administration worked with community partners to ensure broad communication of this approval as well as vaccination clinics through New Trier Township Vaccination Clinic at the Northfield Campus of New Trier High School. There has been significant interest in these vaccine opportunities as appointments were quickly filled, even with expanded appointment times. Administration will continue to seek opportunities to offer clinics within the Township and encourage those who are interested to access appointments available through the Cook County Department of Public Health. At this time, the Board has discussed and does not anticipate creating policy in the near future that would mandate students to be vaccinated; however, the District will continue to follow the guidance set forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education.

Planning for the 2021-2022 School Year
Administration continues to plan and hire for the 2021-2022 school year. While the mitigation protocols that will be required of public schools for reopening in the fall progresses, administration plans for a full return to in-person learning and will incorporate layered mitigation efforts, as needed.

Current families of students in the Enhanced Remote Learning Program have been surveyed. Responses received thus far indicate nearly all are preparing to return to full in-person schooling in the fall. Eight families have indicated a desire for continued remote learning based on individual circumstances, four of whom indicate significant medical needs. However, many of these indicate the need will depend upon vaccine approval for their child. Administration continues to evaluate needs and programming options as plans develop for the upcoming school year.

Reflections: A Celebration of Career Milestones and District 39 Retirees
District 39’s Reflections Celebration is scheduled to be held virtually on Wednesday, June 9th. The annual event honors retirees as well as teachers and staff who have reached career milestones.

End-of-Year Celebrations and Graduation
A very special 8th grade graduation celebration will be held on June 8th. There will be two ceremonies organized by students’ homeroom classes. The ceremony will be held outdoors at New Trier Northfield campus.

Freedom of Information (FOIA)

Strategic Plan Update
SWOT Analysis Review and Discussion - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes
The Strategic Planning Team held four meetings which consisted of an orientation meeting and three data retreat meetings.

During the orientation meeting, all the members of the team engaged in article discussions on topics such as Trends in K-12 Education, Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, Effective Teacher Professional Development and Essential Components of Data-Based Problem-Solving Approaches.

The Data Retreat Meetings focused on the perceptual data gathered from the stakeholder groups; three (3) data reports: Working and Learning Environments, Student Achievement and Growth, and Finance, Facilities and Technology; then review and discussion. All materials have been uploaded to the Strategic Planning Process webpage. The team conducted a SWOT analysis which asks that Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats that were identified collaboratively. Survey feedback is being analyzed and will be discussed with the Core team to provide next steps.

Annual Business
Fiscal Year 2022 Draft Budget - Mr. Bultemeier
The 2022 draft budget and budget timeline were reviewed. An explanation of the Operating revenues by source was provided noting the majority of revenue is obtained through property taxes. The CPI rate for 2020 is 2.3%. The largest portion of Operating expenditures is salaries and benefits. The administration and teachers’ union are currently engaged in collective bargaining so salaries are unknown at this time. Staffing is driven by class sizes and building needs. Administration continues to retain placeholders in the event COVID-19 dictates staffing for the fall.

FY22 Operating funds summary with estimated total revenues of $67,468,204 and expenditures of $65,993,296. Expected surplus is projected at $1,474, 998. $5.9M including $5.1M for construction projects and $0.8M for debt certificates. The June 2022 fund balance is estimated at $27.8M (42.13% of expenditures).

2021-2022 School Calendar - Dr. Cremascoli
As the end of the school year approaches, school districts have to file their final attendance calendar. Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) allowed school districts five Remote Learning Planning Days for the 2020-2021 school year. District 39 utilized these days throughout the year and the final calendar needs to be adjusted to reflect these calendar changes. The last day of the school year is June 10th, an early release day.

2021-2022 Student/Staff Plans - Dr. Glowacki
This annual report highlights initial plans for staffing and planning for the next school year. Current plans are for a typical school year of in-person instruction. Plans are subject change pending recommendations and guidance from federal, state or local government agencies. Student registration is monitored weekly through the summer so grade level sections can be added if needed. A planned initiative to support social emotional learning for the next school year following the past pandemic year includes having one social worker and one psychologist at each school.

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:


The next Board of Education Meeting will be held on Monday, June 14, 2021 at 7:00 PM at the Mikaelian Education Center.