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Brief from the School Board meeting on August 10, 2017

Discussion – Student Growth in Teacher Appraisals:
A District 54 team of administrators and teachers shared the district’s plan to incorporate student growth in teacher appraisals with the goal of providing students with the best learning environment. The Illinois Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA) requires all public school districts to include student growth data as a component in teacher appraisal. PERA required student growth data to constitute a minimum of 25% of a teacher’s summative rating beginning in the 2016-2017 school year and a minimum of 30% of a teacher’s summative rating beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Professional Practices in the areas of Planning and Preparation, Classroom Environment, Instruction and Professional Responsibilities constitute the remaining percentage of a teacher’s overall summative rating.

District 54’s plan relies on a collaborative process where teachers and their evaluators work together to identify two appropriate assessments for use in determining Student Growth, to set Student Target Growth expectations for the assessments used and to review assessment results to determine a teacher’s corresponding Student Growth Rating. This collaborative partnership is crucial in ensuring that our appraisal process supports teachers in continually refining and improving their instructional practices to best serve the students.

Public Hearing on 2017-18 Budget Adoption: No one asked to speak.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: District 54 received and replied to three FOIA requests since the last board meeting, relating to financial records, art and paper bids and purchasing records.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session School Board meeting on July 13, 2017
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated July 7 and 21, 2017
  • The Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investment for June 2017
  • Approval of the Medicaid billing agent
  • The purchase of property, casualty and liability insurance for 2017-18
  • Continuation of District 54’s membership in the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, the Consortium for Educational Change, the Greater O’Hare Area Regional Business Association, the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce, the Midwest Principals’ Center, the Schaumburg Business Association, the Illinois Association of School Boards and the National School Boards Association
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings on Jan. 21 and Feb. 4, 2016, for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss announced that District 54 schools will be opening as scheduled on August 21, with early childhood and kindergarten students returning on August 28, despite the uncertainty in state funding for education in Illinois. District 54’s fiscal stability and responsibility, evidenced by the balanced operating budget presented to the School Board tonight, allows school to start on time.

He thanked employees at the Rafferty Administration Center who have worked hard all summer to ensure we are ready to welcome our students on August 21. All staff will return by August 17, when we host our first August institute day. DuRoss said he is excited to host all staff on August 17 for a Happiness Summit, a presentation focused on creating a school community that recognizes the importance of positive psychology to strengthen our core mission of Ensuring Student Success.

District 54 has been recognized by District Administration Magazine as a national District of Distinction for its Targeted Assistance Program (TAP), a 10-week program that supports English Learner students in developing their writing skills.

Cabinet Report – Language and Culture Camps and Target Language Workshops:
Assistant Superintendent Danette Meyer provided an update on summer programming for students in District 54’s dual language and immersion programs. This year 365 students participated in the one-week language and culture camp in the target languages of Spanish, Japanese and Chinese at their elementary school sites. In addition, 104 students participated in a half-day target language summer workshop from August 1 to 4 at their elementary school. Children entering grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 were selected for the small-group workshop based on their English proficiency assessment scores.

Cabinet Report – Crisis Planning and Prevention:
Community Relations Executive Director Terri McHugh gave a brief overview of the District 54 standardized school crisis plan, as well as the training and drills that are designed to enhance the safety of District 54 students and staff should a crisis occur. District 54 works closely with the local fire and police departments to evaluate and update our plan, and to conduct our drills in order to best protect and prepare students and staff.

Cabinet Report – Induction Week:
Assistant Superintendent Erin Knoll shared that this week District 54 held its annual induction week for all newly hired teachers. Sessions include an overview of the Professional Learning Communities, time with principals to understand school operating procedures, curriculum workshops – including some focusing on our English Learner, dual language and special education programs, meetings with the Schaumburg Education Association Board to learn about supports for new hires, an overview of the appraisal process and information about our mentoring program.

Cabinet Report – Summer Professional Development:
Assistant Superintendent Knoll also spoke about summer professional development for existing staff. We held the 7th annual Professional Development Symposium in June, with more than 80 sessions presented by District 54 staff to District 54 staff. Teams of school staff also attended grade-level and content-area classes at Mead this summer to plan lessons and develop common assessments. In addition, three Quantum Learning classes were offered to staff this summer, focusing on the neuroscience behind the understanding of concepts and teaching staff how to create an engaged learning environment.

Cabinet Report – Special Education Institute:
Assistant Superintendent Cassie Williams announced that the 6th annual Special Education Institute will be held on August 15 and 16 and almost 200 staff members are registered. On day one, Tim Kowalski, a speech/language pathologist and international speaker, will share strategies related to social and academic difficulties often seen in students diagnosed with or suspected of having high functioning autism. On day two, Dr. Christopher Watson will present Dr. Ross Greene’s Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) model, which provides a compassionate understanding of kids’ behavioral challenges and a proactive, positive and effective approach for reducing challenging behavior, improving communication and repairing relationships.

Cabinet Report – Summer Construction Update:
Assistant Superintendent Ric King shared an update on various construction projects completed this summer, on time and within budget. Projects included the installation of external cameras, a redesign of the main entry at eight schools, tuckpointing, new cabinetry, parking lots repaved or resealed, new carpeting and more.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan reported that the D54 Education Foundation is raising funds for District 54 students over Labor Day weekend at Schaumburg’s Septemberfest. You can support the Foundation by parking your car for $5 at Collins School on Sept. 2 and 3. The Foundation is also participating in Not-for-Profit Day on Sept. 4 at the festival. Purchase slices of pizza from our partner, Jet’s Pizza, and the profits will support District 54 students.

PTA Report: PTA Council President Jim Sklena announced that the PTA Council has approved its budget for this year and has hundreds of volunteers ready for school to start.

New Business:

  • The Board approved a settlement agreement.
  • The Board adopted the 2017-18 budget. District 54 expects to spend $257,807,375 during the 2017-18 budget year and receive $258,285,212 in revenues. The detailed budget can be found on our BoardDocs website.
  • The Board adopted a resolution directing the district to prepare the 2018-19 budget in tentative form.
  • The Board deleted Board Policy 6:440 – Student Social Events (Class Parties).
  • The Board approved revisions to Board Policy 7:70(a) – Parent Notification of Student Absences and 7:70(b) – Truancy.


  • Board members said they were thrilled to attend New Teacher Induction sessions this week and the Multicultural Parent Advisory Committee gathering today.
  • The Board also thanked Schaumburg Township and MacArthur student Maya C. for spearheading a two-day school supply drive – Pack the Bus – in partnership with the Target on Schaumburg Road and District 211, who donated the bus.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:36 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters.