Strategic Plan

Engage, Empower, Inspire

Last year, D39 launched an effort to develop a new multi-year strategic plan for the district. The Board of Education unanimously approved a five-year plan during its September 2021 meeting that gives the district a roadmap that focuses on the most essential, key initiatives while accomplishing collective excellence for our students.

A visual representation of our progress-to-goal for key performance indicators (KPIs) can be found on our D39 Strategic Plan Dashboard.

Portrait of a District 39 Scholar

Strategic Plan Showcase Video

Goal 1: Student Achievement and Growth

GOAL: Ensure a differentiated education that provides a strong foundation of rigorous academic learning


  1. Differentiate instruction and supports to ensure and monitor a strong academic foundation of challenging, meaningful, and growth-oriented experiences for all students.

  2. Implement structured staff collaboration focused on data-informed practices to support rigorous achievement and growth for all students.

  3. Provide differentiated professional development opportunities to support effective, innovative and growth-focused classroom practices.

ACTION STEPS (2022-23):

  1. Implement and solidify the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) process within each school.

        • Form MTSS Building Teams consisting of principals, assistant principals, and other staff members who will ensure fidelity of implementation

        • Provide ongoing training and support to the MTSS Building Teams throughout the year

  2. Engage the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) Committee in accomplishing Year 2 goals.

        • Audit classroom level instruction, assessments, and supplemental interventions for writing

        • Determine a manageable, streamlined administration of the On-Demand writing assessment

        • Strengthen Tier 3 supportive structures by reviewing current practices, identifying barriers/areas of need, and develop a plan to improve how Tier 3 intervention/supports are delivered at each school

        • Review, evaluate, and align available Tier 3 intervention materials/resources according to student needs

  3. Train special education staff (LBS) in research-based reading and math resources/strategies to increase the efficacy of instruction for students with disabilities.

        • All new K-4 LBSs will receive Orton-Gillingham/Wilson reading training

        • LBSs teaching writing will receive additional training in research-based written expression resources/strategies

        • LBSs teaching math will receive additional training in research-based math resources/strategies

  4. Structure data meetings to focus on grade-level and student-level data analysis in order to identify and refer students with intervention needs -support and/or enrichment.

        • At least five data analysis meetings will focus on student progress/growth, collaborative instructional decision-making, and intervention planning

        • The focus of the five analysis meetings will be to review benchmark (e.g., MAP, aimswebPlus) and other assessment data (e.g., tests, diagnostic assessments, etc.) in order to identify students needing intervention or enrichment and create instructional plans

        • Students who are discrepant from grade-level expectations will participate in supplemental instruction targeted to their learning needs

        • Data analysis meetings held after winter MAP testing will identify students who are not “on-track” to meet or exceed their growth goal and teams will identify needed supports

  5. Strengthen primary reading instruction, assessment, and intervention for elementary students by providing more training to elementary teachers of reading on phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.

  6. Engage staff in professional learning focused on understanding student growth and communicating progress with families.

        • 100% of students will engage in setting academic goals and review their goals at least once each semester

        • Goals setting data will be collected from staff at the end of each semester

  7. Create a staff survey on the degree to which professional development opportunities are differentiated and focused on effective innovative, and growth focused classroom practices.

        • At least a 4.5 (5.0 scale) summative rating from a staff survey on the degree to which professional development opportunities are differentiated and focused on effective, innovative, and growth-focused classroom practices.

Click here for 2021-22 action steps.

Goal 2: Supportive Community

GOAL: Cultivate a supportive and inclusive learning community that is responsive to the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of each student.


  1. Implement a consistent and proactive curriculum addressing social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.

  2. Strengthen the sense of belonging, engagement, representation, and agency for students through diverse, welcoming opportunities for community building leadership and student-to-student connections.

ACTION STEPS (2022-23):

  1. Develop and train Foundations Behavior Team at each building to review and analyze school behavior data, identify tier 1 practices, and address common areas with additional strategies in order to improve student behavior.

        • Continue progress monitoring and data collection strategies related to student behavior and make recommendations for implementation.

        • Track the number of students needing behavioral intervention outside of the classroom and the type of interventions used at each building

  2. Develop and implement social emotional systems of support using a districtwide framework and approach.

        • Plan professional development opportunities to engage staff in continued and consistent implementation of explicit SEL instruction and integration of SEL across content areas

        • Administer survey to staff gauging their confidence and ability in teaching SEL

  3. Plan and engage staff in data-focused/informed data meetings at the grade and classroom level in order to identify students with intervention needs in social-emotional skill development.

  4. Identify gaps in student sense of belonging at 5th-8th grade and address needs to improve.

        • Use student feedback and students to develop in-house, flexibly scheduled interest-based clubs sponsored and funded by the school district

        • Examine 5-8 schedules and homeroom advisory structure as it relates to social-emotional learning and sense of belonging. Identify best practices in advisory structure and scheduling, and propose changes to incorporate best practices (connection to Goal 5, #5)

  5. Develop Tier 2 and Tier 3 structure for social-emotional learning.

        • Identify assessments and criteria for tiered supports

        • Identify interventions for tiers and needs

        • Identify progress monitoring tools for students receiving intervention

  6. Develop consistent systems to connect in-school learning and home support for social-emotional learning.

        • Develop a common, shared vocabulary for staff, students, and families around social-emotional learning aligned with social-emotional framework objectives

        • Create parent-facing materials to inform parents on objectives, common grade level SEL vocabulary, and “look-fors” with respect to social-emotional learning

        • Create teacher-facing materials and provide resources to support teachers with implementation of grade-specific curricular objectives, common grade level SEL vocabulary, and “look-fors” with respect to social-emotional learning

        • Create self-assessment/evaluation tools to engage students in communication and self-reporting around their social-emotional growth and development. (“I can” statements, goal setting, self-reporting, something that could report on the progress report etc)

        • Evaluate parent engagement in social-emotional learning and understanding through a brief survey

Click here for 2021-22 action steps.

Goal 3: Professional Community

GOAL: Foster a professional community that values, supports, develops, and retains highly effective staff.


  1. Improve collaborative and shared decision-making structures to strengthen representation, engagement, and agency for staff.

  2. Cultivate a more equitable and inclusive learning community by developing staff expertise to support diverse learners through differentiated instruction and culturally supportive teaching.

ACTION STEPS (2022-23):

  1. Establish a District Strategic Advisory Team that will monitor progress and offer suggestions for strategic goal refinement throughout the year.

  2. Identify opportunities for staff to participate with one another in community building activities to foster connections and increase sense of belonging across the district.

  3. Seek information from staff regarding onboarding, mentoring and support at key moments in their D39 career to identify themes.

        • Staff leaving the district-Exit interviews/surveys

        • Staff focus groups in year 4 of the district (donuts and discussion)

  4. Continue to engage and include staff members on district and/or school committees so voices and expertise are represented and contribute to a collaborative, shared decision making structure.

  5. Implement a building based process to address the immediate/short term needs impacting staff happiness/satisfaction.

  6. Establish meeting norms and review with team members.

  7. Develop a process/procedure that offers all staff and administrators opportunities to share general/specific professional learning needs and priorities.

  8. Provide at least one learning opportunity focused on culturally responsive teaching/cultural competency for all instructional staff.

Click here for the 2021-22 action steps.

Goal 4: Family Partnerships

GOAL: Strengthen partnerships by connecting, collaborating, and communicating with families and communities to advance teaching and learning.


  1. Improve school-home communication through more consistent and effective strategies, especially those focused on communicating student performance, goal-setting, and growth monitoring.

  2. Implement strategies to better support successful transitions from 4th-5th and 6th-7th grades for students and parents.

ACTION STEPS (2022-23):

  1. Build a strategic communications plan for D39 and individual schools to keep stakeholders updated on progress while continuing to build awareness.

        • Include information for parents about SEL and SEL instruction in the schools

        • Include online resource library for mental health support and family reading about supporting SEL at home

  2. Provide monthly, district-wide parent education events to facilitate student social, emotional, academic growth and progress monitoring, while creating a library of these and other informational videos.

        • Plan themes around parent input and social-emotional needs of families and parents

        • Provide access and supporting resources for current and past parent education courses

        • Trial formats including book studies and parent bootcamp

  3. Increase District and school social media followings and interaction.

  4. Begin the redesign process for District and school websites to streamline access to information including information available through parent-teacher organizations at each school.

  5. Increase PowerSchool Parent Portal viewing statistics for report cards.

  6. Evaluate changes made to the 4th to 5th grade transition process, and adjust based on feedback from parents, teachers and students.

        • Send a survey, similar to prior years, with targeted questions based on additional new transition activities

        • Gather feedback from teachers about the new orientation format

  7. Develop a comprehensive transition plan for 6th to 7th grade that accounts for identified areas of need based on student and parent surveys and feedback.

        • Offer drop-in team meetings for parents of students with IEPs for individualized questions

        • Create shorter parent webinars with targeted information on learning path options, understanding student schedules, structures of houses/teams, creative arts classes, WOLVES expectation, lunch, technology specific to WJHS, and parent iPad bootcamp

        • Offer 6th grade hangouts at school in conjunction with PTO, including an opportunity for building tours

        • Create a teacher team to plan the transition experience for students during a time when teachers are on-site

        • Pair buddy classrooms for student-to-student conversations

        • Survey students and parents on their preferred transition activities

  8. Create a 5th to 8th grade academic pathways and class descriptions document to share class information with parents about the grades 5-8 academic process, including class levels, homework expectations, and transition to high school.

Click here for the 2021-22 action steps.

Goal 5: Stewardship of Resources

GOAL: Ensure the effective use of resources to sustain practices that promote growth.


  1. Implement long-term capital planning focused on facility maintenance.

  2. Examine resource allocation practices, including staffing, based on best instructional models and techniques.

ACTION STEPS (2022-23):

  1. Review 5-year capital improvement plan bi-annually, with a focus on facility maintenance and upgrades to sustain practices that promote growth.

  2. Review, plan, and prioritize building-based capital improvement projects to fit within the District’s summer building use and construction schedule.

  3. Design and bid the first projects on the 5 to 7 year construction projects list.

  4. Monitor legislative adjustments related to property tax funding formulas, real estate tax appeal refunds and pension cost shifts to anticipate, consider and plan for potential impact on District 39 availability of resources, incorporating findings into the presentation of the annual 5-year projections.

  5. Identify a process to explore and evaluate class size and staffing patterns across non-homeroom instructional environments at the 5-8 grade level to identify where under/over enrollment patterns may emerge (Connection to Goal 2, #6b).

Note: Action steps 1-4 are regular items on Board of Education meeting agendas throughout the year. Therefore, the information, discussions, and presentations can be found on the district website.

Click here for the 2021-22 action steps.

District Strategic Advisory Team

As we build a strong foundation of leadership, collaborative decision-making, and ongoing progress review and monitoring for our 2021-26 Strategic Plan, we are in the process of assembling a District Strategic Advisory Team. The District Strategic Advisory Team of representative stakeholders will review, inform and evaluate implementation of the strategic plan as well as the related annual action planning and performance. The purpose of the D39 Strategic Advisory Team will be to continuously provide input and study progress related to the strategic plan in order to guide improvements, action plans, and progress monitoring as well as suggest adjustments to planning and next steps.

The D39 Strategic Advisory Team is not a voting body; rather, it will help establish and review key performance indicators (KPIs) to guide decisions on refinement and implementation of action plans. This group will make recommendations to the superintendent regarding adjustments to action plans, implementation and progress monitoring, and will be responsible for reviewing and providing feedback action plans, monitoring accountability in plan progress, and ensuring voice, agency and representation in decision-making. Formation of this group will help support a strong foundation of shared decision-making, ownership, action-planning and accountability.

The D39 Strategic Plan Advisory Team will comprise representative stakeholders from district administration, teacher and support staff union leadership, parents, educational professionals, and members of the Board of Education. An annual application process to this District Committee will be established by the superintendent.

District Strategic Advisory Team (2022-23)

District Superintendent/Facilitator
Dr. Kari Cremascoli

District 39 Representatives (2)

Frank Panzica (Member of the Board of Education)

Goal Champions
Goal 1 - Katie Lee (Administrator for Curriculum and Instructions) and Kristin Swanson (Administrator for Student Services)
Goal 2 - Kelly Jackson (Principal, Highcrest)
Goal 3 - Heather Glowacki (Assistant Superintendent)
Goal 4 - Tony DeMonte (Administrator for Technology, Information, and Safety)
Goal 5 - Corey Bultemeier (Business Manager)

School Administrators (4)
Cindy Anderson (Principal, Romona)
Jackie Brennan
(Assistant Principal, Harper)
Kate Dominique (Principal, Wilmette Junior High School)
Linda Moric
(Grade Level Administrator, Highcrest)

District Parents/Families (4)
Jennifer Marzouk (Wilmette Junior High)
Patrick Parmentier (Highcrest)
Amy Wechler-Ross
Brian Yeh

Wilmette Education Association (WEA) Members (10)
Anne Bishop (Executive Board/Highcrest)
Maggie Donner (Harper)
Stephanie Golden
Maggie Kluck (Romona)
Mary Kate Lubawski
Kyla Marshall (Central)
Christi Nebbia
Colleen Rosen
Sara Salomonsson (Harper)
Maddie Weiss (Central)

Wilmette Support Staff Union (SSU) Members (3)
Stephanie Andrango (Romona)
Michelle McGregor (MEC)
Jody Nelson

Presentation of Strategic Plan

NOTE: This presentation was made during the District 39 Board of Education meeting on Sept. 27, 2021.

Click here to access an archive of District 39 strategic plans.