September 17, 2018
Present: Board President Greg Robitaille; Board Members Lori Goldstein, Carol Ducommun, Keith Dronen, Marc Glucksman, Patrick O’Donoghue
Administrators: Superintendent Paul Sally; Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Christopher Johnson; Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Peter Tragos; Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Timothy Hayes; Assistant Superintendent for Special Education Joanne Panopoulos; Principal (Winnetka) Denise Dubravec; Principal (Northfield) Paul Waechtler; Board Secretary Lindsey Ruston.
Absent: Board Vice President Cathleen Albrecht
Public Comment: None
Significant Information Items:
Superintendent Goals (Sally): Presentation of district goals for 2018-19, which had not been done publicly in previous years. Goal is to get into an annual planning cycle, coordinated with the long-term strategic plan (New Trier 2030) in development now. Sally set goals for each of the 6 topics in the New Trier 2030 framework: Student Academic Engagement, Growth, and Readiness; Student Personal Engagement, Growth, and Well-Being; Culture, Climate, and Equity; Leadership Throughout the School; Community Engagement, Partnerships, and Governance; Facilities, and Finance and Human Resources. For example, under Student Academic Engagement, Growth, and Readiness, he set 2 goals related to post-high school programming, one with respect to the changing landscape of selective and highly-selective schools and the other to provide expanded information to students and parents across the entire continuum of post-high school options. In Student Personal Engagement, Growth and Well-Being, he set a goal of having targeted responses to concerns identified in the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, e.g., student use of alcohol, e-cigarettes and technology. See presentation at: https://www.boarddocs.com/il/newtrier/Board.nsf/files/B4Q4CJ830A4E/$file/6.%20C.%20Supt%20Goals%20Presentation.pdf. Board Member discussion focused on importance of transparency in the process, acknowledgment that process may look very different next year after this year’s experience and having New Trier 2030 in place by then, concern about whether deliverables should be more quantifiable. Development of New Trier 2030 strategic plan is in full swing, with stakeholders from various groups on the committee, and input sought from all at: http://www.newtrier.k12.il.us/Homepage/News/STRATEGIC_PLANNING_SURVEY/.
Trustees discussed importance of communicating survey with ALL stakeholders, including those who do not use services of New Trier.
Treasurer’s and Financial Reports (Johnson): Snapshot reports variations from last year are timing-related. Final audited financial report from 2017/18 expected at October BoE meeting. To see reports: https://www.boarddocs.com/il/newtrier/Board.nsf/files/B4LS6B6C707B/$file/7.%20(A.)%20Treasurer's%20Report%20Aug%202018.pdf; https://www.boarddocs.com/il/newtrier/Board.nsf/files/B4LS826CB00D/$file/7.%20(B.)%20Monthly%20Financials%20and%20Summary%20Aug%2018.pdf
Strategic Communications Report (Nicole Dizon, Director of Communications): Presentation on importance of communication and communication goals and strategies with various constituencies, including students, parents, other community members, and alumni. Noted that Community Engagement Committee, formed over 10 years ago to oversee district’s community engagement, looking for new members. Currently publicizing and encouraging responses to survey (see link above under Superintendent Goals).
Voting Items for BOE Members:
FY2019 Budget for 2018-19 School Year (Johnson): Budget required to be adopted each year by September 30. Budget is balanced, with a projected surplus of $781K, largely due to projected property tax revenue for new property being greater than assumed (but less than levy request) at the time the 2017 levy approved November 2017. See Observer Report below for November 16, 2017, BoE meeting for discussion of the 2017 levy approval. Budget’s largest expenditures are for salaries (65%) and benefits (12%). To see budget, what budget supports, and process involved in developing budget: https://www.boarddocs.com/il/newtrier/Board.nsf/files/B4LUF47779E0/$file/6.%20(F.)%20FinalBudgetFY19_091018_Final.pdf. For presentation given to Board on budget, see: https://www.boarddocs.com/il/newtrier/Board.nsf/files/B4LUF277799D/$file/6.%20(F.)%20BudgetPresentation_FY19.pdf. Points made by various Board members in discussion included: hope that just because an expenditure is in budget, should not be spent if ultimately not needed this year (Sally confirmed not a use it or lose it budget); one board member’s concern about always budgeting for maximum tax levy, but also an acknowledgment by same member that operating budget very tight, can’t handle too much squeeze; budget does not show the trade-offs that are made, all the things that are not funded, that are discussed in the finance committee; acknowledgment that this is a rather lean budget, budget process rather stringent, involves many steps. Request made to staff to walk through all the steps of process in detail at a future meeting. Budget unanimously approved.
Security Updates (Johnson): 2nd phase of security updates (exit doors with alarms, access control, lockdown hardware) in amount of $720K approved unanimously. Security consultant coming to November BoE meeting to discuss best practices and other potential improvements.
Consent Agenda: August Bill List; Personnel Report; Reciprocal Reporting Agreements with Winnetka and Northfield Police Departments; Board Policies regarding medical marijuana and registration/ID requirements for visitors; adjusted school calendar for testing; ISBE Compensation Report; Paper Bid. Nothing pulled, unanimously approved.
Next Meeting: October 15, 2018
Meeting Length: 2 hrs
Observer: Mary Lawlor