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Brief from the School Board meeting on Sept. 21, 2017

Recognition:

  • Mhone and Sang Bogonko, students at Keller and Hoover, received Above and Beyond awards for collecting soccer balls and clothing for schools in Kenya.
  • Maya Corwine, a MacArthur student, received an Above and Beyond award for coordinating with Schaumburg Township to launch the first Fill the Bus school supplies drive.
  • Gerritt Snyder, a Frost teacher, received an Ambassador for Excellence award in recognition of receiving the Service Above Self Award from the Schaumburg A.M. Rotary.
  •  The Board honored the District 54 Special Olympics athletes, coaches and volunteers for their dedication and accomplishments during the 2016-17 school year.

Discussion – Sixth Day Enrollment:

Superintendent Andy DuRoss began the sixth-day enrollment report by talking about the district’s goals and successes. In 2009, District 54 ranked in the 70th percentile in reading and 75th percentile in math on statewide assessments. Currently the district ranks in the 94th percentile in both reading and math.

While the district was making significant academic gains, the district’s demographics were becoming increasingly complex. District 54 currently has 22 percent of students from low-income households and 22 percent of students who are English learners.

One of the primary reasons District 54 has been able to demonstrate gains despite these demographic changes is because District 54 educators take the time to know each student’s academic and social emotional needs to best support students. Today more District 54 students are mastering the foundational skills needed to be successful in high school, college and beyond than ever before. Employees know that they’re impacting lives and they’re motivated to continue that work each day.

Cabinet members outlined the reasons District 54 has been successful. They are as follows:

  • Cultivation of collaborative and collegial relationships,
  • Recruitment, development and retention of high quality staff,
  • Deep implementation of the professional learning communities model,
  • An emphasis on early intervention and
  • Innovative instructional programming.

District 54 staffs our 28 schools with the teaching talent needed to support our innovative programming, instructional models and student enrollment needs.

The sixth-day enrollment report explains enrollment trends in District 54 and their impact on future enrollments and staffing decisions. This year, August 28 marked the sixth day of enrollment, a date District 54 uses because we assume that by this day students new to the district will have completed the registration process and students leaving the district will have informed us of their move. For kindergarten and early childhood students, the sixth day was Sept. 5. Our sixth-day enrollment was 14,939 students in early childhood through eighth grade.

This year, District 54’s enrollment in kindergarten through eighth grade increased by 240 students. Due to the increase and conservative staffing in the spring, the district added five kindergarten classrooms and four elementary classroom positions. The average class size remains at 22.0 students. In addition, the pupil to certified staff ratio is 11:1 as support teachers flood services into classrooms every day to provide small group, targeted instruction. Click here to view more detailed enrollment numbers.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: District 54 received and replied to one FOIA request since the last board meeting, relating to meal pricing.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session School Board meeting on Sept. 7, 2017
  • Resignations, leaves, termination, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Sept. 1, 2017
  • The Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investment for July 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for August 2017
  • The administrator and teacher salary and benefits report or posting to the district’s website
  • The release of the minutes from eight closed-session school board meetings
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings on March 3 and 17, 2016, for which approved minutes already exist

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee (DCAC) Report: Board Member Barb Hengels reported that DCAC heard a report on the 2017-18 projects, as well as upcoming events in the district.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan invited everyone to attend Trivia for a Cause, an event hosted by the Lions and Rotary clubs that will benefit the D54 Education Foundation’s Food 4 Thought Program. Click here for more information.

PTA Report: PTA Council President Jim Sklena thanked the School Board for acknowledging the importance of the PTA and announced that there are hundreds of volunteers working every day behalf of the PTA to support District 54 students.

New Business:

  • Superintendent Andy DuRoss shared a memorandum related to District 54’s physical education practices. Illinois School Code changed in August with the state now requiring three days each week of physical education. District 54 provides one 40-minute period per day of physical education at each junior high and two 30-minute periods per week of physical education at each elementary school. In addition, elementary students engage in daily physical activity during lunch recess, as well as additional morning and afternoon recess scheduled at the discretion of teachers. Teachers also support active learning practices inside the classrooms, such as movement breaks and kinesthetic movement throughout the day. District 54’s physical education program is compliant with all state requirements, as noted recently through a positive compliance review completed last year by the Regional Office of Education.

Announcements:

  • Board members visited data retreats and a number of Happiness Advantage training sessions for staff on Sept. 20 during District 54’s half day institute day.
  • The board talked about how important the Food 4 Thought program is to supporting students.
  • A number of board members attended the Woodfield Area Children’s Organization benefit this month, an organization that supports our students and families.
  • The Run to Read is Sunday, Sept. 24, which raises funds to add books to classroom libraries.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:41 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters and collective negotiating matters.