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.

District 39 is currently in the planning stage as it prepares to begin implementing the elements of this plan.

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 (2021-22):

  1. Audit classroom level assessments for Reading, Writing, Math in order to identify any gaps/needs.

  2. Audit classroom level instruction (teaching strategies/tools) in order to identify any gaps/needs.

  3. Audit supplemental interventions (teaching strategies/tools) in order to identify any gaps/needs.

  4. Engage administrators in learning/training about Harvard’s Data Wise Improvement Process to improve how they facilitate staff data meetings, analyze students' data in order to better target instruction, and improve collaborative conversations.

  5. Train Learning Behavior Specialists (LBS) in Orton-Gillingham or Wilson Reading Strategies to increase efficacy in reading instruction for students with disabilities.

  6. Complete an evaluation, review, and analysis of special education programming and services to identify areas of strength and need with the assistance of Atlantic Research Partners.

  7. Continue data meetings with improved structure and focus on grade-level and student-level data analysis in order to identify and refer students with intervention needs - support and/or enrichment - in reading and math.

  8. Strengthen primary reading instruction, assessment, and intervention for elementary students.

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 (2021-22):

  1. Audit school- and classroom-level positive behavior systems and assessments in order to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

  2. Investigate district-wide positive behavior systems in order to make recommendations for implementation.

  3. Investigate methods of progress monitoring and data collection related to student behavior and make recommendations for implementation.

  4. Identify the number of students needing behavioral intervention outside of the classroom and the type of interventions used.

  5. Develop and implement social emotional systems of support using a district-wide framework and approach.

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

  7. Partner with Community Review Committee (CRC) to research best practices to engage and communicate with parents in support of social emotional learning (SEL) and programming within our schools.

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 (2021-22):

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

  2. Examine the school/work calendar to create a professional development/training framework that can serve as a workable plan that takes into consideration factors that impact implementation.

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

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

  5. 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.

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 (2021-22):

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

  2. Provide district-wide monthly parent education events to facilitate student social, emotional, academic growth and progress monitoring.

  3. Develop a comprehensive transition plan for 4th to 5th grade that accounts for identified areas of need based on student and parent surveys and feedback.

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 (2021-22):

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

  2. Review process for prioritizing building-based capital improvement projects.

  3. Develop cost estimates for projects in the next 5-7 years, leading to a prioritized project list with estimated completion dates.

  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 five-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.

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 (2021-22)

District Superintendent/Facilitator
Dr. Kari Cremascoli

District 39 Representatives (2)

Erin Stone (Vice President of the Board of Education)
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)
Kate Dominique (Principal, Wilmette Junior High School)
Aaron Dubnow
(Principal, Harper)
Holly Harper-Kelly
(Assistant Principal, Central)
Linda Moric
(Grade Level Administrator, Highcrest)

District Parents/Families (3)
Jie Li (Romona/WJHS)
Amy Wechler Ross
Brian Yeh

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

Wilmette Support Staff Union (SSU) Members (5)
Caroline Cerrone (Executive Board/Harper)
Herman Andrango, Jr.
Stephanie Johnson (Romona)
Michelle McGregor (MEC)

Valerie Morse
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.