The Board presented Above and Beyond Awards to the following individuals:
- 9 students who won this year’s District 54 Battle of the Books competition on April 27 and
- 18 students who won this year’s District 54 Spanish Speech Contest on May 7.
The Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to the following individuals:
- Joaquin Lainson, of Addams, who qualified to compete in the National History Bee on May 22;
- Liliana Zavaleta, of Keller, who was chosen as a finalist in the Scope Magazine “Fabulous First Line Contest;” and
- 17 Mead students who qualified for the 2015 National History Day state competition, including eight who are headed for the national competition in June.
Discussion – Update of District 54’s Dual and Immersion Language Programming:
District 54 has long supported second language programming through the dual language and immersion open enrollment offerings. Spanish Dual Language programs are offered at MacArthur, Enders-Salk, Link, Hanover Highlands, Eisenhower, Keller and Frost. Japanese Dual Language programs are offered at Dooley and Addams. Chinese Immersion is offered at Campanelli.
Last year, District 54 completed a thorough evaluation of the dual language and immersion programs and implemented changes this year to improve the learning experiences for students. Changes include implementing a “two-teacher model” to strengthen the separation of language by time, person, content and location; a reallocation of instructional minutes to better enable students to attain proficiency in both languages; and a fully immersive experience for students during their targeted language instructional blocks.
Future steps include continuing to monitor growth in the target language through the new Standards-Based Assessment & Measurement of Proficiency (STAMP assessment); expanding the resources for the full-day kindergarten program; providing resources to parents to support children in their target language at home; and offering a Language and Culture Camp at all dual language or immersion schools this summer.
Public Comment: No one asked to speak.
Freedom of Information Act: District 54 replied to three FOIA requests since the last board meeting, related to purchase orders, the 2015-16 computer request for proposals and the tabulation for last year’s art supply bid.
- Minutes of the regular and closed-session meeting on May 7, 2015
- Resignations, retirements and employment of personnel
- Checks dated May 1, 2015
- The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for April 2015
- The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for March 2015
- The 2015-16 Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy
- The voluntary parent-purchased student accident insurance plan for the 2015-16 school year
- The purchase of custodial cleaning and paper products for the 2015-16 school year
- The purchase of classroom paper for the 2015-16 school year
- The purchase of the computer assessment software
- The purchase of a van
- A five-year contract to lease district copiers
- A three-year contract for waste disposal and recycling services
- A contract for maintenance inspections of existing athletic equipment at 27 schools for 2015-16
- A three-year extension of the natural gas contract
- The pre-approval for a 2- or 3-year extension of the electricity services contract
- The submittal of safety hazard busing findings for the 2015-16 school year
- An extension on the Thacker/Verde property sale agreement
- The purchase of technology equipment and software licensing for the Juniper networking equipment
- The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on Oct. 17 and Nov. 7, 2013, for which approved minutes already exist
Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andrew DuRoss shared highlights from the 2014-15 school year including the following:
- Opened the Early Learning Center;
- Introduced full-day kindergarten;
- Maintained a balanced budget with no debt;
- Collaboratively achieved our collective bargaining goals by ratifying three-year agreements with SEA and SEEO;
- Received a Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials International for the 18th consecutive year;
- Advocated for District 54 students legislatively by voicing our opposition to bills that would negatively impact the educational programs we offer;
- Prepared for and successfully administered the PARCC assessment;
- Expanded STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) offerings across the district;
- Received U. S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award for Fairview School;
- Celebrated several Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel winners from District 54; and
- Demonstrated districtwide MAP results that show mean growth is at the 94th percentile in math and 96th percentile in reading.
President’s Report: Board President Charlotte Kegarise said the six female members of the District 54 School Board were recognized in honor of Women’s History Month as outstanding elected women in education. She also thanked Past President Bill Harper for his tenure leading the School Board.
District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report: Board Vice President Barbara Hengels reported that DCAC heard a report on legislation affecting education as well as an update on the Early Learning Center.
Foundation Report: Board Member Teresa Huber invited everyone to the Foundation night at the Boomers home opener on May 29. She also reported that the Foundation is looking for golfers, volunteers and sponsors for the golf outing on June 15. More information can be found at http://d54foundation.com.
PTA Report: PTA Council Past President Mikel Eppenbaugh reported that the PTA presented $1,000 scholarships to 11 high school seniors last week and awarded 88 elementary scholarships to District 54 students to attend summer camps and programs, for a total of $22,000. She then introduced the new PTA Council President Sue Budak.
- The Board appointed additional representatives to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2015-16 school year.
- The Board praised the athletes and organizers of the annual Young Athletes/Club Unify Track Meet held at Eisenhower Junior High School last week.
- Board members also thanked those individuals who are retiring from District 54 in June for their years of service to our students.
Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:23 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters and for school matters.