District 54 Winter Break

Posted Thursday, December 20th, 2012

Winter break for District 54 students begins at the end of the school day on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012. Students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

While the District Offices are open for most of winter break, there are a few days we will be closed. District offices will be closd on Dec. 24, 25, 26 and 31, as well as on Jan. 1.

Superintendent Rafferty’s Letter regarding the Connecticut school shooting

Posted Friday, December 14th, 2012

Dear Parents/Guardians,

By now you may have heard about the tragic school shooting that occurred today at an elementary school in Connecticut. No doubt there will be extensive coverage of this on the news and much discussion about it in our communities in the coming days. Our thoughts and prayers are with those families and that community.

I want to assure you that safety of our students is our top priority and that our schools have comprehensive crisis plans in place to guide us through a variety of emergency situations should the need arise. The plans are reviewed annually with law enforcement and updated when needed. We also hold crisis drills with the students each year so they know what to do in case of an emergency.

I also want to share with you some tips from the National Association of School Psychologists for helping your children cope with news such as this.

What Parents Can Do:

  1. Focus on your children over the week following the tragedy. Tell them you love them and everything will be okay. Try to help them understand what has happened, keeping in mind their developmental level.
  2. Make time to talk with your children. Remember if you do not talk to your children about this incident someone else will. Take some time and determine what you wish to say.
  3. Stay close to your children. Your physical presence will reassure them and give you the opportunity to monitor their reaction. Many children will want actual physical contact. Give plenty of hugs. Let them sit close to you, and make sure to take extra time at bedtime to cuddle and to reassure them that they are loved and safe.
  4. Limit your child’s television viewing of these events. If they must watch, watch with them for a brief time; then turn the set off. Don’t sit mesmerized re-watching the same events over and over again.
  5. Maintain a “normal” routine. To the extent possible stick to your family’s normal routine for dinner, homework, chores, bedtime, etc., but don’t be inflexible. Children may have a hard time concentrating on schoolwork or falling asleep at night.
  6. Spend extra time reading or playing quiet games with your children before bed. These activities are calming, foster a sense of closeness and security, and reinforce a sense of normalcy. Spend more time tucking them in. Let them sleep with a light on if they ask for it.
  7. Safeguard your children’s physical health. Stress can take a physical toll on children as well as adults. Make sure your children get appropriate sleep, exercise and nutrition.

If you have any concerns about the way your child is behaving, call your school psychologist or social worker. During the school day, we have social workers, psychologists and other professionals available to talk to children. Encourage your children to talk to them, if necessary.

You play an essential role in our efforts to keep students safe. Please do not hesitate to contact my office or your principal with any questions.


Ed Rafferty, Superintendent of Schools

PTA scholarships available

Posted Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

The Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs is once again offering one-year $1,500 scholarships to eligible seniors graduating in 2013. There are three types of scholarships:

  • Junior College/Trade School/Vocational School Scholarships for seniors graduating in the upper 50 percent of their class (up to two available);
  • Four-Year College/University Scholarships for seniors graduating in the upper 30 percent of their class (up to five available); and
  • The Bonnie Greenberg Memorial Scholarship for a graduating special needs senior with a current Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The student need not be enrolled in special education classes, but must have a current IEP (one available).

For more information and an application, visit http://pta.sd54.org/highschoolscholarship.

Board appoints new associate, assistant superintendents

Posted Thursday, December 6th, 2012

The District 54 School Board appointed a new associate superintendent and two new assistant superintendents during its board meeting on Dec. 6, 2012. Dr. Nick Myers was named the associate superintendent; Beth Erbach was named the assistant superintendent of student learning; and Dr. Pete Hannigan was named the assistant superintendent of human resources effective July 1, 2013.

These were the first recommendations from Andy DuRoss, who will be the new superintendent on July 1. In describing these three individuals, DuRoss said “They represent what makes District 54 as strong as it is.”

Dr. Nick Myers

Dr. Nick Myers

Myers has been the assistant superintendent of student learning since July 2009. He was originally hired in District 54 as the principal of Anne Fox Elementary School in Hanover Park in July 2005. Prior to coming to Fox, he was a principal, an assistant principal, a dean and a junior high teacher in Cary District 26. He also taught at a Nebraska high school.

“We are proud of the work our district does and that all emanates from the vision you have for our school district,” Myers told the School Board. “We have tremendous talent in this room, tremendous talent in our classrooms and tremendous talent in our leader.”

Myers has a doctorate from Roosevelt University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in education from University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Beth Erbach

Beth Erbach

Erbach has been the principal at Armstrong Elementary School in Hoffman Estates since 2010 and before that was the principal at Fairview Elementary School in Hoffman Estates from 2004 to 2010. She also served as the assistant principal of Collins and Fairview elementary schools for three years and as a special education teacher at Stevenson Elementary School for four years.

“As I move into this next role, I realize there are many important colleagues and coaches who have helped me excel,” Erbach said, thanking many of them before addressing her new staff. “To be an effective principal you must rely on the Department of Student Learning to get your job done. I am looking forward to being part of such an amazing team.”

Erbach has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Northern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in special education from Northeastern Illinois University. She will replace Myers.

Dr. Pete Hannigan

Dr. Pete Hannigan

Hannigan has been the principal at Mead Junior High School in Elk Grove Village since 2010. He was originally hired by the district in 2006 as principal at Dirksen Elementary School in Schaumburg. Previously he served as a principal and building assistant in Palatine School District 15 and as a teacher at Gwendolyn Brooks Elementary School in Aurora.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to working together with our SEA, our SEEO, our nonrepresented staff and everyone across the district,” Hannigan said. “To Cabinet and my administrative colleagues, I’m looking forward to working with you as we continue to meet the high expectations we currently have and exceed those expectations into the future.”

Hannigan has a doctorate in educational administration and a master’s in education from Northern Illinois University. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Aurora University. Hannigan will replace DuRoss.

All three candidates thanked their colleagues, their staffs and their families. They also all thanked Superintendent Rafferty for his support of them during their professional careers in District 54.

District 54 will now search for individuals to fill the open principal positions.

Nominating petitions due Dec. 26

Posted Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

People interested in serving on the District 54 School Board now have until 5 p.m. Dec. 26 to file their nominating petitions for the April 9 election. The original deadline had been Dec. 24.

Individuals may pick up nominating petitions at the District 54 Administrative Center, 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg, during normal business hours, which are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday. Four District 54 board member positions will be on the April ballot, each for a four-year term.

A school board candidate’s petition must be filed in the same office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17 and Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, or between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 26, 2012. The offices will be closed Dec. 24 and 25. No petitions will be accepted before Dec. 17 or after Dec. 26. Candidates’ names will appear on the election ballot in the order in which their nominating papers are received.

In the event simultaneous filings are received at the open of business on Dec. 17, a lottery will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 27 at the administration center to determine the order of those candidates’ names on the ballot.

To be eligible to serve, a school board member must be, on the date of the election, a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years old, a registered voter and a resident of Illinois and the school district for at least one year immediately preceding the election. Elections are nonpartisan and board candidates do not indicate a political party affiliation. Candidates should be aware of financial conflict-of-interest limitations set forth in The School Code.

Further information on becoming a candidate in the April 9 school board election is available by calling Ric King, local election official, at (847) 357-5011.