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Brief from the Board Meeting on Nov. 16, 2017

Public Hearing on the 2017 Tax Levy:
No one asked to speak. The 2017 levy is regulated by the Cook County Property Tax Cap. District 54 can only receive up to the rate of CPI (2.1% in 2017) from existing property owners, and additional funds from new property owners.

Ambassador for Excellence Awards:
The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to 18 students who represented District 54 in the Honors Orchestra at the Illinois Education Association (IMEA) Music Festival held Nov. 4.

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 purchasing records, the custodial cleaning and paper products bid and results from the Illinois Youth Climate Survey.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session School Board meetings on Nov. 2, 2017
  • Resignations, termination and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Oct. 27, 2017
  • The Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investment for September 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for October 2017
  • The purchase of Chromebooks for the 2017-18 school year
  • A contract to provide free and reduced lunch service for the remainder of the 2017-18 school year
  • The 2018-19 holidays for 12-month employees
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings held on April 21 and May 5, 2016, for which approved minutes exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss, SEA President Chery Anderson, SEEO President Kathy Jesuit and PTA Council President Jim Sklena jointly presented the School Board with a token of their appreciation in honor of School Board Members Day, which was Nov. 15.

Cabinet Report – Community Closet/Food Pantry/Partnerships:
District 54 opened a Community Closet at Addams (in 2008) and food pantries at Mead (2011) and Keller (2013) to support students from financially struggling families. Social workers refer families to the closet or pantries, where the families select the food and gently used clothing they need. Both programs are successful thanks to partnerships with individuals, business and organizations who have donated materials and volunteer hours to support District 54 students. The Partnership Breakfast held Nov. 15 honors these partnerships and others who support schools in ensuring student success. This year the local police and fire departments were named Super Partners for their extraordinary support.

Cabinet Report – Wellness Clinics and Benefit Fair:
District 54 annually hosts wellness clinics and a benefit fair for employees. The wellness clinics, held on three dates in partnership with AMITA Health, include flu vaccines, blood pressure screenings, a health risk assessment and other wellness screenings. The various insurance companies and organizations that support benefits in District 54 attended the benefit fair on Nov. 9 to answer employee questions related to their benefit elections.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee (DCAC) Report:
Board Member Barb Hengels reported that DCAC heard a presentation on the Happiness Advantage and the implementation of positive psychology research in District 54.

District 54 Education Foundation:
Board Secretary Bob Kaplan announced that the Windy City Bulls will host a District 54 takeover night on Dec. 20 at the Sears Centre Arena and a portion of the proceeds from each ticket purchased will be donated back to the District 54 Education Foundation. Tickets can be purchased via the Foundation website.

Visions Photography Portrait Studio in Schaumburg will donate 25% of the cost of a portrait package to the D54 Foundation and also provide a 25% discount to people who bring in the flyer through Dec. 15.

Kaplan also thanked the Schaumburg Jaycees for the $300 donation to the Foundation’s Food 4 Thought program.

PTA Report:
PTA Council President Jim Sklena reported that the PTA has collected hundreds of Reflections projects from students and will exhibit them from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27, at the Professional Learning Center. He thanked each school PTA for collecting items for the food pantry at Mead and arranging them into centerpieces for the Partnership Breakfast yesterday.

New Business:

  • The School Board approved a resolution estimating the 2017 tax levy will be $175,466,341, exclusive of debt service. Click here for more information.
  • The School Board approved a resolution authorizing the Cook County Clerk to reduce the education levy by 80%, the operations and maintenance levy by 10%, and the transportation levy by 10% if in excess of the limiting rate.
  • The School Board approved the 2018-19 school calendar.
  • The School Board approved new Board Policy 2:80 – Board Member Code of Conduct.
  • The School Board deleted Board Policy 2:105(a) – Board Member Ethics as the information is now part of Policy 2:80.


  • Board members visited schools this month to present gift books to teachers who have reached the milestone of having 1,000 books in their classroom library.
  • Board members thanked everyone for the notes in honor of School Board Association Day and added that it is a pleasure to serve the District 54 community.
  • The Board complimented the Addams orchestra who performed at the Partnership Breakfast yesterday; and to the staff members who organized the event.
  • Board members said they were thrilled to visit many schools last week for Veterans Day ceremonies.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:58 p.m.