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District 54 Winter Break Hours

Winter break for District 54 students begins at the end of the school day on Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 6, 2014.

While the District Offices are open for most of winter break, there are a few days we will be closed. District offices will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 26 and 27, as well as on Jan. 1.

District 54 appoints Erin Knoll as assistant superintendent

The District 54 School Board appointed Erin Knoll as the new assistant superintendent for teaching and learning during its board meeting on Dec. 5, 2013.

Knoll has been the District 54 director of literacy since 2007. Prior to that she was a reading recovery teacher, literacy coach and teacher in District 54 since 2003. She also taught in Elgin District U-46 for six years before coming to District 54.

“It is truly an honor to be part of such a remarkable district,” Knoll said. “This appointment means so much because I have the joy of working with amazing staff across the district.”

Knoll has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and a bachelor’s degree in education, both from National-Louis University. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership from National-Louis.

Knoll will be replacing Beth Erbach, whose current title is assistant superintendent of student learning. Beth will be moving to the position of assistant superintendent of district improvement, a position that will be vacated in June 2014 when Karen Hindman retires. These changes are effective July 1, 2014.

Hindman was hired by District 54 in July 2006 as assistant superintendent of special services. She became the assistant superintendent of district improvement in July 2008. Prior to working in District 54 she was an executive director, principal, assistant principal and teacher in Palatine School District 15.

“It’s bittersweet because we will be losing someone we love, who is part of our family,” Board Vice President Charlotte Kegarise said. “But I can’t think of anyone more qualified to fill those shoes.”

Knoll thanked her husband, the School Board, administrators, her instructional team, teachers, support staff and every employee in District 54.

“It literally takes each and every person to achieve the amazing student growth we have achieved,” she said. “I will remain dedicated to working collaboratively with everyone in the district.”

District 54 wins financial reporting award

District 54 has once again received the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International’s Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for excellence in the preparation and issuance of its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Only 87 other school districts across the nation (9 others in Illinois) have received the award for more than 25 years. District 54 has received the Certificate of Excellence for 41 years. The award was received for the CAFR report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.

“District 54 is privileged to have received this prestigious award year after year,” said Ric King, District 54’s assistant superintendent of business operations. “It not only confirms our consistency in providing superior financial reporting, which further enhances our fiscal credibility, but it also reinforces our dedication and commitment to our students, and our community.”

The Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Program was designed by ASBO International to enable school business officials to achieve a high standard of financial reporting. The award is the highest recognition for school district financial operations offered by ASBO.

District 54’s collaborative process “a model” for other districts

By Superintendent Andrew DuRoss

Schaumburg School District 54’s Board of Education recently convened a representative committee of key district stakeholders to identify priority steps to ensure students leave District 54 with a solid foundation for future success in high school, college and career settings. Specifically, this committee closely examined the district’s current practices and reality in the areas of curriculum, instruction and assessment. These areas lie at the heart of our work with students and are central to ensuring our students demonstrate measurable levels of academic growth.

District 54 has long placed a focus on differentiating instruction to meet the needs of the children entrusted to us. The district’s curriculum is driven by clearly-defined learning outcomes written for all subjects and grade levels. A variety of assessment tools are used to measure student proficiency levels, and assessment results are utilized to better enable teachers to know each child by name and need. Intervention and enrichment structures have been implemented in all of our schools to better enable teams of teachers to accelerate the learning of all students in our system. Our consistent pattern of academic success is truly the result of the collaborative processes at work in each of our schools. These processes see teams of teachers working in concert to deliver the district’s rigorous curriculum in an engaging way for each student.

This fall, District 54 teachers and students have been fully immersed in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Adopted as Illinois’ State Learning Standards in 2010, the CCSS have raised the bar for expectations for our students and identify a clear set of competencies essential for college- and career-readiness. Our teachers played the lead role in examining and revising our district’s curricular, instructional and assessment practices to ensure tight alignment with the CCSS. The result has been the development of a truly rigorous curriculum, anchored by assessment measures that require students to think critically and explain their reasoning for developing solutions to complex problems.

District 54 has also implemented structural changes to best provide supports to our students in attaining mastery of the Common Core State Standards. Each of our schools has established set times of day for literacy and math acceleration. Students needing additional time and support to master content and skills are provided this assistance in a small group setting during acceleration periods. Students who have demonstrated mastery of specific content and skills are provided powerful enrichment experiences during this time. District 54 has also added enrichment coaches at each of our elementary school sites as we continue to emphasize the need for all students to demonstrate significant levels of academic growth. At the junior high level, math classes have been lengthened to ensure our students are provided strong initial instruction that includes opportunities for small group, differentiated support for all learners.

In order to continue to support our teachers with implementing our curriculum effectively, a wide range of professional development experiences have been provided to staff across the district. Last May, the district facilitated intensive staff development sessions for all grade-level teams on the instructional shifts associated with delivering a curriculum truly aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Over the summer months, teachers from grade-level teams from all schools in the district came together for staff development sessions focused on planning for the successful rollout of our revised curriculum this fall. District, as well as building-based, staff development opportunities have been provided this fall to further support teachers with implementing this important work. Additionally, the district has invested in instructional coaching supports in the areas of literacy and math to ensure our teachers receive job-embedded professional development supports that directly connect to improving instructional practices in each of our classrooms.

This past September, District 54 was invited to present our ongoing work in curriculum, instruction and assessment related to full implementation of the Common Core State Standards to the Illinois State Board of Education. This presentation concluded with the president of the Illinois State Board of Education describing District 54 as a “model district for other school districts to look towards in the state of Illinois” related to our collaborative processes and tight focus on student learning.

Our work in refining our curriculum, instruction and assessment practices is never finished. However, our foundation in these areas is exceptionally strong. District 54’s commitment to collaborative processes, tapping into the considerable talents of our teacher leaders, and supporting teachers with strong professional development have all been key elements of our work. Most importantly, District 54’s staff is committed to the belief that ALL children can and will learn. This core belief continues to drive our district forward as we strive to ensure the success of each student entrusted to us.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 847-357-5036. For a full text copy of District 54’s mission and goals and a video message explaining these documents, please visit http://sd54.org/board/mission.

En Espanol

El proceso de colaboración del Distrito 54 ‘Un modelo’ para otros distritos

Por Andrew DuRoss

La Junta de Educación del Distrito Escolar 54 de Schaumburg recientemente convocó a un comité representativo de las partes interesadas del distrito para identificar las medidas prioritarias que aseguren que los estudiantes salgan del Distrito 54 con una base sólida para un futuro exitoso en la escuela secundaria, la universidad y los entornos profesionales. Específicamente, este comité examinó de cerca las prácticas y la realidad actual del distrito en las áreas de currículo, la instrucción y la evaluación. Estas áreas se encuentran en el corazón de nuestro trabajo con los estudiantes y son fundamentales para asegurar que nuestros estudiantes demuestran niveles medibles de crecimiento académico.

El Distrito 54 ha puesto siempre un enfoque en la instrucción diferenciada para satisfacer las necesidades de los niños que se nos confían. El currículo del distrito es impulsado por los resultados del aprendizaje claramente definidos por escrito para todas las materias y grados escolares. Una variedad de herramientas de evaluación se utilizan para medir los niveles de aptitud estudiantil y los resultados de la evaluación se utilizan para facilitar que los profesores conozcan a cada niño por su nombre y necesidad. Estructuras de intervención y crecimiento se han implementado en todas las escuelas para facilitar, a los equipo de profesores, la aceleración del aprendizaje de todos los estudiantes en nuestro sistema. Nuestro patrón consistente de éxito académico es realmente el resultado de los procesos de colaboración trabajando en cada una de nuestras escuelas. En estos procesos vemos equipos de profesores que trabajan en conjunto para ofrecer un currículo riguroso del distrito de una manera atractiva para cada estudiante.

Este otoño, maestros y estudiantes del Distrito 54 han estado totalmente inmersos en la aplicación de las Normas Comunes Estándares del Estado (CCSS). Adoptadas como Estándares de Aprendizaje del Estado de Illinois en el 2010, las CCSS han elevado el nivel de expectativas para nuestros estudiantes y han identificado un conjunto claro de competencias esenciales para la Universidad y el grado de preparación para la carrera. Nuestros maestros jugaron el papel principal en el examen y revisión de las prácticas curriculares, instrucción y evaluación de nuestro distrito para asegurar el alineamiento estrecho con las CCSS. El resultado ha sido el desarrollo de un plan de estudios verdaderamente riguroso, anclado por medidas de evaluación que requieren que los estudiantes piensen críticamente y expliquen su razonamiento para el desarrollo de soluciones a problemas complejos.

El Distrito 54 también ha puesto en marcha cambios estructurales para brindar mejor apoyo a nuestros estudiantes a alcanzar el dominio de las Normas Comunes Estándares del Estado. Cada una de nuestras escuelas ha establecido momentos del día para la alfabetización y la aceleración de matemáticas. A los estudiantes que necesitan tiempo adicional y apoyo al contenido principal y las habilidades se les proporciona esta ayuda en un grupo pequeño durante los períodos de aceleración. A los estudiantes que han demostrado dominio de los contenidos y habilidades específicas se les proporcionan experiencias poderosas de enriquecimiento durante este tiempo. El Distrito 54 también ha añadido entrenadores de enriquecimiento en cada una de nuestras escuelas primarias para seguir haciendo hincapié en la necesidad de que todos los estudiantes demuestren niveles significativos de crecimiento académico. En el nivel de secundaria, las clases de matemáticas se han extendido para asegurar que nuestros estudiantes reciban una fuerte instrucción inicial que incluye oportunidades para grupos pequeños y apoyo diferenciado para todos los estudiantes.

Con el fin de seguir apoyando a nuestros maestros con la implementación eficaz de nuestro currículo, se han proporcionado una amplia gama de experiencias de desarrollo profesional para el personal de todo el distrito. En mayo pasado, el distrito facilitó sesiones de desarrollo profesional intensivo para todos los equipos de nivel de grado en los turnos de instrucción relacionados con la entrega de un currículo verdaderamente alineado a las Normas Comunes Estándares del Estado. Durante los meses de verano, los maestros de los equipos de nivel de grado de todas las escuelas del distrito se reunieron en sesiones de desarrollo profesional centrándose en la planificación para la implantación exitosa de nuestro currículo revisado para otoño. Oportunidades de desarrollo del personal se han proporcionado este otoño a nivel Distrito, así como a nivel de edificio para apoyar a los profesores en la implementación de este importante trabajo. Además, el distrito ha invertido en el entrenamiento de instrucción para apoyar las áreas de lectura y matemáticas para así asegurar que nuestros maestros reciben desarrollo profesional integrado que apoya y conecta directamente con las mejoras de las prácticas de enseñanza en cada una de nuestras aulas.

El pasado septiembre, el Distrito 54 fue invitado a presentar los trabajos en curso del currículo, instrucción y evaluación en relación con la implementación completa de las Normas Comunes Estándares de la Junta de Educación del Estado de Illinois. La presentación concluyó con el presidente de la Junta de Educación del Estado de Illinois describiendo al Distrito 54 como un “Distrito modelo para que otros distritos escolares echen un vistazo al Estado de Illinois” en relación a nuestro proceso de colaboración y el enfoque estricto sobre el aprendizaje del estudiante.

Nuestro trabajo en el perfeccionamiento de nuestras prácticas de plan de estudios, la instrucción y la evaluación nunca termina. Sin embargo, nuestra fundación en estas áreas es excepcionalmente fuerte. El compromiso del Distrito 54 en los procesos de colaboración, el uso del talento considerable de nuestros maestros líderes, y el apoyo a los maestros a través de un fuerte desarrollo profesional de todos han sido los elementos clave de nuestro trabajo. Lo más importante, es que el personal del Distrito 54 se ha comprometido a la creencia de que todos los niños pueden aprender y aprenderán. Esta creencia central sigue impulsando a nuestro distrito hacia adelante en nuestra lucha por asegurar el éxito de cada estudiante que se nos confía.

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, no dude en ponerse en contacto conmigo al 847-357-5036. Para obtener una copia del texto completo de la misión y objetivos del Distrito 54 y un mensaje de video que explica estos documentos, por favor visite http://sd54.org/board/mission.

In English

District 54 celebrates 90/90 schools

District 54 began its weeklong celebration of American Education Week by honoring the 19 schools who met our 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).

The following schools performed at or above 90th percentile in both math and reading:

  • Addams,
  • Aldrin,
  • Collins,
  • Einstein,
  • Hoover,
  • Lakeview,
  • Lincoln Prairie,
  • Link and
  • Mead.

The following nine schools performed at or above the 95th percentile in both reading and math:

  • Armstrong,
  • Blackwell,
  • Churchill,
  • Enders-Salk,
  • Fairview,
  • Hale,
  • MacArthur,
  • Muir,
  • Nerge and
  • Stevenson.

Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) are state-aligned computerized adaptive tests that accurately reflect the instructional level of each student and measure growth over time. The assessment adapts to the student’s ability, accurately measuring what a child knows and needs to learn. In addition, MAP tests measure academic growth over time, independent of grade level or age. Most importantly, the results educators receive have practical application to teaching and learning.

For more information, click here.

District 54 celebrates American Education Week

District 54 staff, students and community members will celebrate American Education Week Nov. 18-22 with a variety of activities.

The NEA has chosen the theme of Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility. This theme calls on all Americans to do their part in making public schools great for every child, so that they can grow and achieve in the 21st century.

American Education Week began 92 years ago. As veterans returned home from fighting in World War I, our country was looking for a way to support our war heroes and at same time generate increased awareness of the importance of receiving an education. Given the high illiteracy rate in our country at that time, it became readily apparent that something needed to happen to alleviate this problem.

Representatives from both the American Legion and the National Education Association began working together to address this problem and generate greater support for public education. The first American Education Week observance occurred in 1921, cosponsored by both organizations. Within a few years, the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and other national organizations joined the effort.

In District 54, schools have invited parents into the classroom for an up-close look at what a typical day is like for their children.

District 54 also invites its partners from all 27 schools to a celebration of these relationships on Nov. 20. Six partners will be honored as Super Partners:

  • Marcy Traxler, Alexian Brothers Health Center
  • Northwest Community Hospital
  • Hoffman Estates Park District
  • Hoffman Estates High School
  • Jeff Yao
  • Culture Center of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago

District 54 thanks all the partners, parents, students, staff, School Board members and everyone else who contributes to our mission of Ensuring Student Success.

Veterans Day in District 54

District 54 schools are open on Veterans Day and many of our schools are using the opportunity to thank our veterans and share their stories with students.

Dirksen School will have a flag-raising ceremony at 8:45 a.m. Nov. 11 and a musical celebration at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at the school. The Nov. 11 ceremony includes Boy Scouts presenting the colors at 8:45 a.m., followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence. First- and second-grade students will then sing America the Beautiful. On Nov. 12, first- and second-graders will perform several patriotic musical numbers in the school gym.

Dooley fifth- and sixth-grade students will present a Veterans Day program at 7 p.m. Nov. 11 at Addams Junior High School, 700 S. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg. Highlights of the program include A Tribute to the Armed Services, in which the students sing the song of each military branch. Also, students have studied the poem In Flanders Fields and will perform the words to a beautiful melody. All veterans are invited to spend Veterans Day with students and families who want to show their appreciation for their service to our country. Veterans from the American Legion in Schaumburg and VFW have been invited. Veterans interested in attending can RSVP to Dooley’s music teacher, Rhonda Conrad, at (847) 0357-2191 or rhondaconrad@nullsd54.org.

Lakeview School will present a Veterans Day program titled “America: Our Home” at 9:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. Nov. 11 in the school gym, 615 Lakeview Lane in Hoffman Estates. The Lakeview Chorus will provide a musical performance and other students will give speeches honoring our veterans and our country. The keynote speaker this year will be Officer Tony Hernandez from the City of Park Ridge Police Department who is a U.S. Air Force veteran. Lakeview families have been encouraged to invite veteran family members to attend this special program in their honor. Veterans will be seated in a reserved section and will receive a special acknowledgement during the program! Other veterans in the Hoffman Estates area are also welcome to attend. For more information, call Lakeview Veterans Day Committee members Mrs. Meyers, Mrs. Holloway or Mrs. Pickup at (847) 357-6600.

MacArthur School, in Hoffman Estates, invites students’ family members who are veterans to celebrate them in two assemblies on Monday, Nov. 11. The students introduce their veteran family members and the students sing patriotic songs and make cards thanking them for their service.

Nerge Elementary School in Roselle adopted a U.S. troop through AAUSS Project Frontlines. A collection drive will be held Nov. 4 through 15. Families are asked to donate books, beef jerky, toothpaste, toothbrushes, dental floss, crackers, dried fruit and many other items toward a care package. Nerge is also creating a picture wall honoring friends and family members currently or past serving the military.

Stevenson third- and fourth-grade students will honor our veterans and country during a special program at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 11 in the school gym, 1414 Armstrong Lane in Elk Grove Village. The show will last about an hour. For more information contact music teacher Rachel LaPorte at RachelLaPorte@nullsd54.org or (847) 357-5200.

Board honors teachers with 1,000 books

The District 54 School Board plans to visit eight teachers across the district this month to praise them for filling their classroom libraries with more than 1,000 books.

A significant body of research states that the more children read the better readers they become. As part of our district’s Literacy Task Force, we learned that experts recommend that every classroom should have 1,000 books in order to meet the wide range of abilities and interests of the children. With this in mind, we embarked on a campaign to fill the bookshelves in each of our rooms.

Although District 54’s SuperKids: Powered by Books Committee raises funds to buy books for teachers, many of the teachers being recognized have assembled these large classroom libraries on their own – by purchasing the books themselves, scouring garage sales, purchasing Troll and Scholastic book orders, receiving some as gifts, etc.

These teachers listed below join 237 other District 54 teachers who had previously been recognized for achieving this milestone – for a grand total of 245 teachers.

Aldrin

  • Candi Kuczynski

Hanover Highlands

  • Renee Whittenhall

Lakeview

  • Jackie Molzahn
  • Tracy Wenig

MacArthur

  • Estela Herrera
  • Tracy Murphy

Stevenson

  • Kristi Clements
  • Jen Traub

Superintendent’s Article – Committee sets course of action for District 54 students

By Superintendent Andrew DuRoss

Last school year, a representative committee of District 54 teachers, parents, administrators, support staff and community members came together to redraft the district’s mission, vision, commitment and goal statements. The work produced by this committee set a clear course of action for the School District 54 learning community as we strive to ensure the success of each of our students.

In developing our shared vision, or desired future state, this committee worked collaboratively to identify five critical areas for system-wide focus: Student Learning; Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Professional Learning Communities; Family and Community; and Fiscal Responsibility. The first key area of our vision, Student Learning, reads: “To realize the true potential of each student, we will enhance the academic growth, cultural understanding, and social and emotional development of all students. As a result of this collaborative effort, our students will meet college- and career-readiness standards to excel in a global society.”

In order to take purposeful and strategic steps towards making this portion of our vision statement a reality, the committee identified ten specific actions the District 54 learning community will take to support the success of our students including:

  • Set, monitor and surpass rigorous, specific goals for achieving individual growth. Students take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment three times each year. Within a week of taking the test, our students meet with their teachers and set personal targets for growth. We believe all of our students can grow academically, and that it is our collective responsibility to ensure that this growth takes place.
  • Take ownership of their learning by engaging in timely interventions and enrichment. District 54 has taken purposeful steps to provide students with daily opportunities for differentiated instruction intended to accelerate learning for all. In each of our 27 schools, students in need of additional time and support to master grade-level appropriate skills and concepts are provided daily small-group instruction, while students who have demonstrated understanding of core curricular content are provided daily enrichment experiences. The goal-setting process all of our students engage in, coupled with the instruction provided during daily acceleration periods, enable our students take ownership of their academic growth.
  • Develop critical and creative thinking through inquiry-based learning. As District 54 works to equip each of our students with the skills needed to be successful in college and careers, a focus has been placed on designing learning experiences which require students to solve complex, real-world problems. Our inquiry-based science curriculum is a good example of this. In addition, the various Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs operating in the district, including the pre-engineering program Project Lead the Way; FUSE; Girls in Engineering, Math and Science (GEMS) and the rocketry clubs all require our students to ask questions, to think for themselves, and to challenge information that they receive.
  • Challenge themselves to advance their leadership skills. Every student has an opportunity to be a leader either during the school day or through extracurricular activities. It is our goal to empower each of our students with enriching learning experiences that will equip them to provide successful leadership at the college and career level.
  • Cultivate effective communication skills. Children in District 54 classrooms are taught to communicate effectively through both written and oral communication. With District 54’s full implementation of the Common Core State Standards for English language arts, these communication skills take on an even heightened level of emphasis in our curriculum.
  • Engage in cooperative and service-learning opportunities. Each school offers opportunities through clothing drives, food drives and other events that support people in our community, our nation and even the world.
  • Use evolving technology as a tool to compete in a global environment. District 54 classrooms are equipped with computers, tablets, whiteboards, video projectors and many other technology tools. Students are learning how to use the technology and, more importantly, how the technology can enhance their learning.
  • Embrace and highlight the value of diversity. District 54 is a minority-majority district, meaning less than 50 percent of our students are Caucasian. In this way, our school district reflects the world in which our students will live and work. One of our jobs in District 54 is to teach students the value of this diversity and how much we can learn from different cultures.
  • Treat everyone with courtesy, dignity and respect by demonstrating ethical and responsible behavior. District 54 schools all follow the Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports framework. Although the exact words may vary from school to school, all students are taught to Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe whether on the bus, in class, in the hallway or in any other situation at school.
  • Practice a lifestyle that promotes health and wellness. District 54 is a partner in Schaumburg CAN, which stands for Community – Activity – Nutrition. Through our health curriculum, physical education curriculum and many clubs and activities, we encourage students to adopt a healthy lifestyle.

I am proud of the District 54 students who are committed to student learning and to the teachers, support staff, administrators, parents and community members who support them. Together we can and will help our students reach their full potential.

If you have any questions about the Student Learning vision statement, please don’t hesitate to call me at (847) 357-5036. Also, please visit our Mission and Goals website at http://sd54.org/board/mission to view a video in which I further explain our Student Learning vision.

En Espanol