Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on November 21, 2013

Posted Friday, December 6th, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Please click here for the Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on November 21, 2013.

Board Brief for Dec. 5, 2013

Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

Public Comment:  No one asked to speak

Freedom of Information Act Requests: District 54 received one FOIA request since the last meeting related to contracts and payments for lobbying state government.

Consent Agenda: The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of the regular meeting on Nov. 21, 2013
  • Resignations, retirements and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated Nov. 29, 2013
  • Acceptance of the monthly update of revenues and expenditures for November 2013
  • Acceptance of the Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investments for October 2013
  • The purchase of three 2014 vehicles

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andrew DuRoss thanked all the students and staff for a fantastic start to the school year and wished everyone a happy and prosperous 2014.

Board President’s Report: President Bill Harper wished everyone a happy holiday and new year.

Foundation Report: Board Member Teresa Huber asked everyone to mark their calendars for Mardi Gras on Feb. 28 at the Stonegate in Hoffman Estates. The Foundation is looking for volunteers for the evening.

PTA Report: PTA Council Second Vice President Lisa Guagenti reported that PTA has begun planning for its annual auction, which will be held March 14 at the Stonegate. The Special Projects Proposals are due by 3 p.m. tomorrow, Dec. 6, to the Council. Ninety-five District 54 projects have been selected to move on to the district level in the Reflections program.

New Business:

  • The Board approved the appointment of additional representatives to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2013-14 school year.
  • The Board appointed Erin Knoll as assistant superintendent for teaching and learning for the 2014-15 school year.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:16 p.m.

Minutes from the November 7, 2013 Regular Board Meeting

Posted Friday, November 22nd, 2013 by kcanary

Please click here for the Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on November 7, 2013

Board Brief for Nov. 21, 2013

Posted Thursday, November 21st, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Public Hearing on the 2013 Tax Levy:

No one asked to speak. The overall levy of $163,551,245, exclusive of debt service, is 1.7 percent higher than the 2012 final extended levy of $160,817,350. District 54 has been debt free since December 2011.

Recognition:

The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to the following individuals

  • Eight students who represented District 54 in the Honors Orchestra at the Illinois Education Association (IMEA) Music Festival held Nov. 2;
  • Instructional assistants Brenda Hauck and Michelle Gustafson, who won a $900 SCORE grant from the Illinois Education Association for the breakfast program at Campanelli School;
  • Keith Lange, a teacher of the visual impaired, who received the Illinois Association of Blind Students Teaching Excellence Award on Oct. 26;
  • Maggie Williams, a fourth-grade teacher at John Muir Literacy Academy, who was selected as a Featured Educator by WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment); and
  • Representatives from District 54, the Village of Schaumburg and the Schaumburg Township District Library who received the Governor’s Hometown Award for organizing the Schaumburg Recycling Event in the spring of 2012.

Public Comment:

The Schaumburg Township District Library Executive Director Stephanie Sarnoff presented a proclamation honoring School District 54 for its collaborative efforts with the library and its dedicated service to the families in our community.

Freedom of Information Act Requests:

The district received one request since the last meeting related to personnel information.

Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session meetings on Nov. 7, 2013
  • Employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Nov. 1 and 15, 2013
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for October 2013
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for September 2013
  • The purchase of the eFinance Plus financial software system
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on April 19, May 3 and May 17, 2012, for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andrew DuRoss thanked all District 54 staff members for their flexibility as many teachers have been attending grade-level trainings on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee: Board Member Barbara Hengels reported that DCAC reviewed the first draft of a revised report card, which is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. A new report card will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year.

Legislative Networking Committee: Board Secretary Karen Strykowski reported that legislators will be invited to school events, Budget Committee meetings and the next Legislative Networking Committee meeting so that the district could better connect with our local legislators and help them connect with our students and staff and learn more about District 54.

Foundation Report: Board Member Teresa Huber asked everyone to mark their calendars for Mardi Gras on Feb. 28 at the Stonegate in Hoffman Estates.

PTA Report: PTA Council Second Vice President Lisa Guagenti reported that the Stevenson PTA received the Outstanding Unit Award for the Northwest Cook Region at the annual dinner in October. Last night, the PTA Council held a judging and reviewing of 265 Reflections projects, 70 more than last year. The Special Projects Proposals are due on December 6 to the Council.

New Business:

  • The Board approved the Certificate of 2013 Tax Levy and adopted a resolution to file the certificate with the Cook County Clerk.
  • The Board approved a resolution directing the Cook County Clerk how to reduce the various fund levies if the 2013 extended levy is in excess of the limiting rate.
  • The Board approved an agreement with ECRA Group, Inc. to provide District 54 with a Collaborative Research and Information Service Solution (ECRISS). Illinois School Code now mandates school districts to design and implement performance appraisal systems for employees that incorporate student academic growth. ECRA will work with District 54 and its staff to design the best possible model.
  • The Board appointed Judy Gurga as principal for Fairview Elementary School for the 2013-14 school year. Judy had been serving as acting principal of Fairview since the school year began.

Announcements:

  • Board members recognized teachers this month who have reached the milestone of having 1,000 books in their classroom libraries.
  • Board members also reported that District 54 held its annual Partnership Breakfast yesterday and thanked all the businesses, governments and organizations who partner with District 54 to support of our schools, our staff and our students.
  • On Monday, the School Board honored the 19 schools that met the board goal which states that “each school will perform at or above the 90th percentile (top 10% nationally) in meeting individual student growth targets in reading and math as measured by Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).”

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8 p.m.

Minutes from the October 17, 2013 Regular Board Meeting

Posted Monday, November 11th, 2013 by kcanary

Please click here for the Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on October 17, 2013

Board Brief for Nov. 7, 2013

Posted Thursday, November 7th, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

Discussion – STEM Programming in District 54:

District 54 has continued to support the implementation of promising science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs that develop the college- and career-readiness skills of our students. Beginning with the roll-out of Project Lead the Way last fall, STEM opportunities for students have expanded to include a partnership with Northwestern called FUSE, rocketry clubs at all 27 schools, and a new STEM curriculum at Hoover and Nerge schools. Each of the STEM-based experiences in District 54 aligns with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Ten District 54 students demonstrated some of the projects they created in the following STEM programs.

  • Project Lead the Way – All five junior high schools, Lincoln Prairie School, Campanelli, Nerge and the Hoover Math & Science Academy offer Project Lead the Way courses to sixth- through eighth-grade students. This pre-engineering curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, creativity, innovation and real-world problem solving.  Coursework includes automation, robotics, mechanical systems, energy transfer and computer control systems.
  • FUSE – This program, developed by the Office for STEM Education Partnerships at Northwestern University, engages students through hands-on, inquiry-based challenges. Challenges are available in the areas of robotics, electronics, biotechnology, graphic design and app development. This fall FUSE studios were opened at Addams, Keller, Lincoln Prairie, Hoover and Nerge. In January additional studios will open at Mead, Frost and Eisenhower.
  • Rocketry – Through a partnership with the Siemens Corporation, students at all 27 schools have an opportunity to join rocketry clubs. The clubs use activities from the NASA Rocketry curriculum, culminating with building a model rocket to launch in the spring.
  • Math & Science Academy STEM Explorations – Hoover and Nerge began implementing STEM Explorations this year, a 90-minute block of instructional time each week. First- and second-graders use the Engineering is Elementary curriculum developed at the Boston Museum of Science to increase student interest in and confidence about engineering. Third-graders explore a NASA rocketry curriculum and fourth-graders mimic engineering design through the LEGO robotics curriculum. Fifth- and sixth-grade student use the FUSE curriculum, as mentioned above.

Public Comment:  No one asked to speak

Freedom of Information Act Requests: There have been two requests since the last meeting related to tax increment financing districts and payroll records.

Consent Agenda: The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session meetings on Oct. 17, 2013
  • Resignations, leaves, salary adjustments and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Oct. 18, 2013
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield Self-Funded HMO and Blue Advantage HMOI medical insurance rates for calendar year 2014
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO Self-Funded medical insurance rates for calendar year 2014
  • The Delta Dental and Vision Service Program insurance rates for calendar year 2014
  • The long-term disability, life, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance rates for calendar year 2014
  • Workplace Solutions as the provider of the district’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • A resolution electing exemption from certain provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
  • A proclamation in honor of American Education Week Nov. 18 to 22

New Business:

  • The Board approved the appointment of an additional representative to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2013-14 school year.

Announcements:

  • Board members were pleased to welcome U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth to Addams Junior High in October. They also praised the District 54 Common Core math and literacy task forces for the work they’re doing.
  • Superintendent Andy DuRoss announced that Nov. 15, 2013, is School Board Members Day. He acknowledged the hard work, dedication and commitment of the seven District 54 board members.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:23 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters.

Minutes from the October 3, 2013 Regular Board Meeting

Posted Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013 by kcanary

Please click here for the Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on October 3, 2013

Board Brief for Oct. 17, 2013

Posted Thursday, October 17th, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Recognition:

The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to the following individuals

  • Nerge students Ashlyn Lawrence, Gwendolyn Stanton and Taylor Sulimowski who won the Roselle Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Poster Contest in their age groups; and
  • Kelly Allen, a fourth-grade teacher at Link Elementary School, and Connie Ernst, a fourth-grade teacher at MacArthur International Spanish Academy, who received more than $1,000 worth of classroom supplies and resources in the OfficeMax “A Day Made Better” contest.

Public Comment: The father of two Nerge students told the School Board he was happy he moved here seven years ago and thanked the Board, the teachers and everyone in the district for the quality education his children have received.

Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session meetings on Oct. 3, 2013
  • Resignations, leaves, retirements and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Oct. 4, 2013
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for September 2013
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for August 2013
  • The purchase of technology equipment
  • The purchase of instructional materials for FUSE (a science, technology, engineering, arts/design, and math exploration program)
  • An application for the Illinois State Library Grant for 2013-14
  • The acceptance of the 2013 Illinois State School Report Cards, which are now available online at http://sd54.org/schoolreportcards/
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on April 5, 2012, for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andrew DuRoss thanked Assistant Superintendent Karen Hindman for leading 27 school teams through an in-depth analysis of student data with the goal of understanding each student’s needs. Using this data, all school teams create a school improvement plan, which they have begun presenting to district administrators this week.

DuRoss thanked all the parents, teachers and students who attended the student-led parent conferences last week. He also thanked Math Director Jim Vreeland and Literacy Director Erin Knoll for their continued leadership of the literacy and math task forces. Staff members have an opportunity to offer feedback on changes to the curriculum this year and Erin and Jim have already made some changes to support our staff members who are working directly with students.

State Sen. Dan Kotowski will visit Keller Junior High School tomorrow, which will give the district an opportunity to showcase the program and to talk to him about some of the funding issues we’ve experienced over the past few years.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee: Assistant Superintendent Beth Erbach reported that DCAC learned about the child sexual assault and abuse awareness and prevention curriculum required by the new Erin’s Law in Illinois. They also received an update on the district and state assessment results from 2013.

Foundation Report: Board Member Teresa Huber said the deadline for employees to apply for a project grant or minigrant is Oct. 18. Click here for more information. She also thanked everyone who attended the wine tasting and the fundraiser at Potbelly Sandwich Shop.

PTA Report: PTA Council President Mikel Eppenbaugh reported that the PTA has been busy this fall. The Council sponsored the Run to Read in September and held its Fall General Meeting in October. At the meeting, the PTA approved its audit, adopted its budget, elected its nominating committee and heard a presentation from Associate Superintendent Nick Myers and a team of teachers about District 54′s implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The District 37 Fall Conference Dinner will be held on Oct. 21 at the Cotillion in Palatine.  Finally, a Spend the Cash Proposal Form is available online. Any PTA member in District 54 can submit a proposal for a special project that upholds the mission and values of PTA and benefits all District 54 students.

New Business:

  • The Board approved a resolution estimating the 2013 tax levy will be $163,551,245, exclusive of debt service. A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 21, 2013, at the Rafferty Administration Center. Click here for more information.
  • The Board approved a resolution expressing opposition to the proposed North Schaumburg Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District.
  • The Board appointed a community representative to serve on the Advisory Council for District Initiatives for a three-year term beginning with the 2013-14 school year.
  • The Board approved the following policies:
    • 6:60 – Basic Instructional Program,
    • 7:220 – District-Provided Transportation Behavior – Student Suspension.

Announcements:

  • Board members praised the Common Core presentation at the PTA General Meeting.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned to closed session at 7:45 p.m. to discuss employment/appointment matters and legal matters.

Board Brief for Oct. 3, 2013

Posted Tuesday, October 1st, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Call to Order:  The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m.

Discussion – 2013 State and District Assessments:

Assistant Superintendent Karen Hindman presented the 2013 state and district assessment results. In 2013 the Illinois State Board of Education changed the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) so that 20 percent of the questions on the reading and math tests contained items written and aligned to the Common Core State Standards. In 2014, 100 percent of the questions will align with the Common Core State Standards.

The state also increased the ISAT grading scale in 2013. The new performance levels make it more difficult for students to meet proficiency on the ISAT reading and math tests. They also better align with the more rigorous Common Core State Standards and help schools prepare for the new PARCC (Partnership for Readiness of College and Careers) assessments, which will replace the ISAT during the 2014-15 school year.

The new performance levels also better align with those of the Prairie State Achievement Exam administered to high school juniors in Illinois and therefore provide more accurate information about how prepared our students are to meet college- and career-readiness benchmarks.

These changes have resulted in a smaller percentage of our students meeting or exceeding standards. In 2013, 77 percent of District 54 students met or exceeded standards in reading and 80.9 percent met or exceeded standards in math. This does not mean that our students or teachers are any less capable than they were in previous years.

Rather, Illinois is raising the bar. The adjustment is needed to better inform administrators, teachers, parents and students of students’ progress toward college- and career-readiness.

These changes have led to only six District 54 schools making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act. AYP for 2013 is defined by the state as 92.5 percent of students meeting or exceeding standards in both reading and math on the ISAT, an increase from 85 percent in 2011 and 2012.  If a school has a subgroup of students, 92.5 percent of that subgroup must meet or exceed standards. A subgroup is defined as at least 45 students in one of nine categories (based on race, limited English proficiency, students with disabilities and economically disadvantaged students). In 2014, AYP will be 100 percent.

Our district embraces the higher expectations for our students. While any standardized test score is just one indicator of student performance, we study these results and use them to help us tailor our instruction and support our students.

We also study the results from the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which we administer three times each year. MAP is a computerized, adaptive assessment that measures each student’s academic performance and growth in reading and math as compared to other students at the same grade level across the nation. In 2013, 30 percent of students doubled their expected growth in reading and 31 percent of students doubled their expected growth in math.

District 54 has a goal that each school will perform at or above the 90th percentile (top 10 percent nationally) in meeting individual student growth targets in reading and math as measured by MAP. As a district, our student growth was in the 94th percentile in reading and 95th percentile in math.

All Illinois school districts will be releasing the annual Illinois State Report Cards at the end of this month. Illinois has mandated these report cards for years so parents and community members can learn how the students at that school perform on the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) administered in March each year. This year the report cards will have a new look that will be online and interactive, and will provide additional information such as school awards, special programs and data on how schools’ results are improving over time.

For a more detailed look at District 54 assessment results, click here to read the board memo.

Public Comment:  A parent asked if it were possible for her son to be transferred to a different school in the district and whether the Board would consider changing the procedure for parents requesting a transfer to another school.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: There have been two requests since the last meeting related to sealcoating work and vendors for physical education supplies and equipment.

Consent Agenda: The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda:

  • Minutes of the regular meeting on Sept. 19, 2013
  • Resignations and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Sept. 20, 2013

New Business:

  • The Board approved the appointment of additional representatives to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2013-14 school year.
  • The Board had the first reading of the following policies:
    • 6:60 – Basic Instructional Program,
    • 7:210 – Student Suspension or Expulsion from School and
    • 7:220 – District-Provided Transportation Behavior – Student Suspension.

Announcements:

  • Several board members read to kindergarten students today at part of Read for the Record, a national literacy campaign.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:57 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters and for business matters.

Minutes from the September 19, 2013 Regular Board Meeting

Posted Monday, September 30th, 2013 by Terri McHugh

Please click here for the Minutes of the Regular Board Meeting on September 19, 2013.