Board Meeting Highlights

April 25, 2022

Complete Meeting Packet


Presentation of Fiscal Year 2022 Amended Budget

Staff Recognition - Dr. Cremascoli
Dr. Elizabeth Gibbs, Curriculum Coordinator
The Doctor of Education in Literacy program at Judson University prepared Elizabeth Gibbs to make substantial contributions to the profession as a writer, speaker, teacher, leader, and researcher. For her dissertation, Dr. Gibbs conducted a survey study with colleges and universities in the state of Illinois to answer her research question, “How do secondary teacher preparation programs define and include instructional support for disciplinary literacy?” She shared her research and successfully defended her dissertation, “Disciplinary Literacy and Teacher Preparation: The Impact of Definition and Instruction Disparities'' on January 13, 2022. In her defense, Dr. Gibbs shared the discovery of a disparity between the definitions used for disciplinary literacy and content area literacy and whether a difference between the two is acknowledged by instructors across university colleges. Without a concrete definition and intentional disciplinary literacy practices in teacher preparation programs, preservice teachers will not be fully prepared for their discipline-specific classroom instruction. Liz hopes to continue leading in the field of literacy as a writer and researcher. Presently, she has submitted a commentary article to the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literature regarding the findings of her study and the impact they have on the field of literacy and teacher preparation. The Board of Education recognizes and congratulates Dr. Elizabeth Gibbs on the significant accomplishment of earning her doctoral degree.

Board Reports
During the April 11 Committee of the Whole the following committee discussions took place.

Facility Development Committee (FDC) - Mr. Panzica 
The first stage of the Harper asbestos abatement project took place over spring break and went well. The remaining asbestos abatement will be conducted in the summer. HMS flooring bid was also discussed.

School Finance Committee (SFC) - Mr. Cesaretti 
Mr. Bultemeier reviewed the FY22 Amended Budget presented earlier.

Mr. Bultemeier presented Student Transportation Fee options for the 2022-2023 school year.
The District’s regular transportation contract with North Shore Transit (NST) expires at the end of this school year. School codes allows a one-year contract extension, which was approved at the March Board meeting. Mr. Bultemeier asked members for guidance regarding an increase and amount for transportation fees. He provided a 10-year history of transportation fees for reference. A review of recent ridership statistics was provided along with three proposed fee options for consideration.  
Members agreed that the proposed options were not ideal. As a shared service, members agreed the goal of keeping fees manageable to maintain ridership and to continue to increase transportation fees annually to share and cover rising costs of transportation services. Members agreed Option 2 would help cover North Shore Transit’s increase in fees and established a longer term goal of setting transportation fees to cover 75% of the overall total cost. Option 2 proposed roundtrip fees at $695 and $415 for one-way.

Strategy - Mrs. Schneider-Fabes - no report

Liaison Reports

Community Review Committee (CRC) - Mrs. Hart 
The committee reviewed and edited the Social Emotional Learning report. The report will be finalized over the next few weeks to present to the Board at the May 23 Board of Education meeting. The committee discussed membership for the coming school year. New officers for 2022-2023 school year will be elected at the final meeting in June.

Educational Foundation - Mr. Cesaretti 
The “Cheers & Beers” fundraiser will be held on April 29th. The Foundation has decided to not continue with Lab39 as the Foundation’s core mission is the support of programs and services district-wide.  They aim to continue support  Gripp Grants and to fund other educational projects. Teachers Sarah Samborn and Lindsay Shea provided a presentation that recapped innovative spaces funded through Gripp Grants. 

Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB)  - Mrs. Kim
IASB became a founding member of the Consortium of State School Boards Association (COSSBA), which met on April 10th. IASB has a new podcast series, “Inside IASB,” which will feature Illinois school district leaders discussing board leadership and education topics.

Legislative Update - Mrs. Kim
Information was provided on many bills that passed both houses recently. HB 3296 requires all grades 6-12 school districts to adopt and commence implementation of career exploration and career development activities in accordance with a postsecondary and career expectations framework by 2025: HB 4256 allows a school district to waive the evaluation requirement of any teacher whose performance was rated as either "excellent" or “proficient" for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years only: HB 5193 provides safety education instruction on safe gun storage in the home: SB 3893 regarding increase in substitute teacher work days (120 from 90) for any one licensed teacher: SB 3936 establishes a school safety tip line state police can receive tips from the public regarding potential self-harm, potential harm or criminal acts directed at school students, school employees, or schools: HB 5214 requires school districts to provide interpreters for parents in IEP and 504 plan meetings: HB 5488 provides that a middle or high school student shall be permitted by a school board at least one school day-long excused absence per year to engage in a civic event: HB 4365 codifies ISBE emergency rules that allow for reimbursement for residential placements for students with significant special education needs even if the provider is not ISBE-approved: HB 5127 allows school districts 40 days to reorganize after an election, instead of the current 28 days.

Information Items

Written Communication

Announcements from the Superintendent - Dr. Cremascoli

Celebrate Music Students Accomplishments
The WJHS Symphonic Band has been selected to participate in the 2022 University of Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival which will be held on Friday, May 6, 2022 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign, IL. Only five other Jr. High school bands across the state of Illinois were selected for this honor. 

Reflections Celebration on May 19  
The annual Reflections Event, a District celebration of career milestones and retirees, will be held in-person this year on May 19 at Michigan Shores Club.  

Read for Refugees
District 39 was proud to sponsor a student-led initiative called “Read for Refugees,” which took place district-wide last week. Students participated in a variety of reading activities in and out of school in support of this project and a fundraising page with the Red Cross was established. All donations were completely optional and went directly to the Red Cross and efforts in Ukraine. A goal of raising $5,000 was set through reading. Through the hard work of students and the generosity of parents and community at large, the goal was surpassed with a total of $6,443 raised. 

Solar Panel Grant
Central, Harper, McKenzie, Romona, and WJHS have been awarded a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation as part of its K-12 Solar Schools program. This grant supports the installation of a 1 kW system, which will include an online dashboard that will show real-time electricity generation. The main purpose of these systems is to help teachers instruct about science, math, technology and the environment as the students will see how sunlight is converted into electricity. Highcrest Middle School was a previous recipient of the grant and already has the system installed.

Professional Development for 5-8 Grade Staff on Apr 22, 2022
A professional development day was held for 5th through 8th grade staff last Friday. The keynote speaker was Sara Ahmed, a teacher, curriculum specialist and author of “Be the Change.” Staff then spent time engaged in collaborative and reflective discussions and learning about Social Emotional Learning Competencies. The afternoon included a showing of Race to Be Human and guided discussion around all of these topics.  

Elementary School Conferences April 21-22, 2022
Elementary schools hosted spring parent-teacher conferences on April 21st and 22nd allowing families and teachers another wonderful opportunity to connect and nurture home-school partnerships. Conferences were offered remotely as well as in-person. Remote conferences provide the opportunity for more parents as well as both parents the ability to participate. 

COVID Mitigations Review 
There has been a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases reported last week and this week, as evident on the COVID-19 Metrics page. Administration continues to closely monitor any potential within-school connections, and are prepared to adjust mitigation strategies as needed or recommended. The review of metrics and off-ramp progress last week caused a pause on further mitigation reductions. In addition, targeted mitigation adjustments have been implemented at WJHS. In accordance with the Reduced Mitigation Plan, a continued review of local and regional metrics over the next two weeks will guide targeted adjustments to mitigation strategies and reconsider the final steps in the off-ramp plan in two weeks on May 3rd.
SHIELD testing continues to be offered weekly; however, with low participation rates and inconsistencies in SHIELD representative availability on Saturdays, the District will reduce testing to two-days per week. Testing continues to be held at WJHS on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, and will hopefully continue through the end of the school year. 

Outdoor Shade Structures
During the pandemic tents were rented to provide an outdoor space for students and staff to maximize fresh air. Learning from this experience, administration explored ways to provide a permanent solution to utilize opportunities for outdoor education. ESSER funds, were used to purchase shade structures for Central, Harper, McKenzie, Romona, and Highcrest. These will be placed on top of existing concrete or blacktop. Wilmette Park District has plans to place a pavilion in the Community Playfields behind the Learning Commons at WJHS, which students will have access to during the day. Installation of shade structures will occur in late summer or early fall.

Central Roof
A section of the roof at Central has had water leaking down into the offices. A repair/fix was attempted, but the leak remained. Two corings of the roof were taken down to the deck below the roof. Both showed water sitting on the deck and within the roofing system.The vendor that took the corings suggested replacing this roof section, about 11,000 square feet, this summer. A proposal has been prepared to replace the 11,000 square feet of roof for about $227,000. STR Architects (D39 architectural firm) sent a roofing expert to physically inspect the situation. They recommended a scan be conducted of this section and another section of the roof to investigate the severity of water penetration of the roofing system. The scan should occur, weather permitting, next week.  

2022-2023 Board of Education Meeting Calendar
The 2022-2023 Board of Education Meeting Calendar has been established and reviewed. The meeting calendar was presented for Board approval. 

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The District received FOIA requests fromWalter Keats requested documents on District-wide student enrollments and projections for the next 5 years and the FY2011-2012 Annual Statement of Affairs: Jeffrey Zach requested all email/written correspondence between Janice Zach and/or Gia Conti and Wilmette School District teachers, administration and/or staff from February 2021 to present: Katarzyna Lapinski requested all information relating to the governing board of education blanket surety bond, Surety Liability Insurance Policy and Errors & Omission; and if applicable the following: Duty of Care policy, General Obligation Bonds, long term bond for school board, crime policy, risk management policy, ACORD #s 125, 126, 127, 128 including the insured amount of the policy; Certificate of Liability, Faithful Performance Bond, Fidelity Bond, Public Employee Dishonesty Policy, public Employee Blanket Bond, Statutory Bond, Official Bond, power of attorney for surety bond company, blanket bond power of attorney for the surety bond company, oath of office:Brandon Lessgo requested a list of employees last names, school name and total sick days accrued as of April 1, 2022: John Klingner requested curriculum materials created by organizations "Advocates for Youth" and/or "AMAZE"

Annual Business 


  1. Highcrest Middle School Flooring Bid
    The District requested proposals for flooring work at HMS. At the April 14th bid opening two bids were received with the lowest bidder coming in at $177,395. The project covers over 26,000 square feet of flooring in classrooms, offices, hallways, and the cafeteria area.  
  2. Student Transportation Fees - Mr. Bultemeier
    The costs of regular transportation services have risen rapidly leading to the  committee meeting discussion to raise student transportation fees. The Board voted to approve an increase in transportation fees for the 2022-2023 school year. The rates for roundtrip will increase from $575 to $695 and from $333 to $415 for one-way transportation. The fee increase is expected to cover the entire cost of North Shore Transit’s increase for the next school year.

Board Policy Review 
  1. Second and Final Reading of Board of Education Policies 2:230, 4:15, 4:110, 5:30, 5:90, 5:100, 5:190, 5:200, 5:280, 6:15, 6:20, 6:30, 6:50, 6:60, 6:110, 6:120, 6:135, 6:150, 6:160, 6:190, 6:235, 6:280, 7:10, 7:20, 7:40, 7:50, 7:60, 7:70, 7:100, 7:140, 7:180, 7:190, 7:200, 7:210, 7:220, 7:240, 7:250, 7:260, 7:290, 7:305, 7:340, 7:345
    Suggested edits from first reading have been highlighted in yellow.

The Consent Agenda was approved including the following:

Personnel Report dated April 25, 2022
Approve Student Transportation Fees for 2022-2023
Approve the Administrators’ 2022-2023 Contractual Salary and Benefits
Approve the Board of Education 2022-2023 Meeting Calendar
Approve as Second and Final Reading Board of Education Policies 2:230, 4:15, 4:110, 5:30, 5:90, 5:100, 5:190, 5:200, 5:280, 6:15, 6:20, 6:30, 6:50, 6:60, 6:110, 6:120, 6:135, 6:150, 6:160, 6:190, 6:235, 6:280, 7:10, 7:20, 7:40, 7:50, 7:60, 7:70, 7:100, 7:140, 7:180, 7:190, 7:200, 7:210, 7:220, 7:240, 7:250, 7:260, 7:290, 7:305, 7:340, 7:345
Approve to Release the Executive Session Minutes of December 6, 2021
Approve to Maintain as Confidential the Executive Session Minutes of September 27, 2021; November 8, 2021; November 15, 2021; February 14, 2022; February 28, 2022
Approve to Dispose of Executive Session Audio Recordings for October 28, 2019; November 18, 2019; December 16, 2019; January 13, 2020; January 27, 2020; February 10, 2020; February 24, 2020; March 16, 2020; April 20, 2020, April 27, 2020

Board Action
Approve Bid for Flooring Project at Highcrest Middle School
Adopt the Fiscal Year 2022 Amended Budget for Wilmette Public Schools District 39

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education Meeting will be held on Monday, May 23, 2022 at 7 pm at the Mikaelian Education Center.