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Brief from the Board Meeting on August 9, 2018

Discussion Topic – Supporting the Needs of the Whole Child:
District 54 has always put the success of the whole child at the forefront of our work. This year, that commitment is spelled out as a new board goal: “District 54 will ensure the success of the whole child by providing comprehensive approaches and programming grounded in the belief that each child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.”

We will continue that work this year with a variety of programs designed to support the whole child.

  • Positive Psychology:  Last year, all District 54 staff were trained in the positive psychology work developed by Harvard researcher Shawn Achor, outlined in his book The Happiness Advantage. This fall, all staff will continue training in positive psychology. In addition, we will provide books for each District 54 family to help parents and children learn about the happiness principles together.
  • Social Emotional Learning: This fall, every student in District 54 will participate in our new Social Emotional Learning curriculum. Although this has long been incorporated in lesson plans, for the first time we have a consistent district curriculum aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards to ensure that all of our children are prepared with the skills and dispositions needed to be successful.
  • Adolescent Support:  Numerous studies have noted the increase in adolescent depression nationwide. This fall, District 54 will introduce six areas of focus throughout our junior highs and in grades 6-8 at Lincoln Prairie to better address the needs of our adolescent students.  These areas are Be Your Best Self, Bully Prevention Month, Kindness Month, Digital Citizenship, Happiness Month and Celebrating Service Month.
  • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Although District 54 has been utilizing systematic behavioral intervention for more than 10 years, we are always seeking improvement. In the fall every student will participate in a Universal Screener to help teachers and administrators identify students in need of greater social-emotional support.
  • School Safety: District 54 is adding two additional School Resource Officers this year. These officers play a key role in supporting crisis drills, providing feedback on ways to enhance security and assisting in difficult situations.
  • Supporting the Community: District 54 maintains food pantries at two schools and a clothing closet at a third school to support our financially struggling families. This year three additional schools (Muir, Eisenhower and Lakeview) will have a food pantry and closet within the school, as well as after-hours counseling services provided by the Kenneth Young Center in conjunction with our staff.
  • Healthcare Professionals: Every school in District 54 has full-time, certified staff to support students with their social-emotional needs. District 54 social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors and behavior coaches meet with students on a regular basis, or as needed, to provide them counseling support.

Discussion Topic – STEM Leader Corps Training:
One strategic focus area in the new District 54 strategic plan involves cultivating innovation in facility and instructional design. This fall, “Innovate 54” teams of teachers and administrators from each school will meet monthly to study the principles of 21st Century Learning and innovative teaching practices emphasizing student development of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical-thinking skills.

These teams will participate in STEM Leader Corps training provided by Discovery Education. The training includes two curricular supplements – Streaming Plus and STEM Connect. Streaming Plus provides online resources across all K-12 curricular areas. STEM Connect will enhance our core curriculum by guiding students through applying their knowledge and skills to real-world challenges.

Public Hearing on 2018-19 Budget: No one asked to speak.

Public Comment:  No one asked to speak.

FOIA Requests:  One request was received and replied to since the last meeting regarding current collective bargaining agreements and information about District 54 employees.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session meetings on July 12, 2018
  • Resignations, leaves of absence, retirement, employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated July 6 and 20, 2018
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for June 2018
  • The purchase of property, casualty and liability insurance coverage for 2018-19
  • A contract for security improvements at 30 District 54 locations to Prospect Electric Company
  • A recommendation to reject all the bids for security film at 30 District 54 locations and re-bid the project
  • A recommendation to request authorization from the Illinois Department of Transportation for approval of two additional safety hazard busing findings for the 2018-2019 school year
  • District 54’s continued 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
  • Destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on January 19 and February 2, 2017 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:  Superintendent Andy DuRoss spoke about the many learning opportunities for students and staff this summer. Students participated in STEM Camp, Camp Creative, District 54’s Virtual Learning University, Special Education Summer School, Culture Camps and Target Language Instruction. Hundreds of staff members participated in Induction Week, the District 54 Special Education Institute, Yearlong Planning Sessions and the annual Professional Development Symposium.

District 54 Education Foundation Report: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan encouraged everyone to support the Foundation’s upcoming fundraisers by parking at Collins School on Sept. 1 and 2 and to visit the nonprofit tent on Sept. 3 at Schaumburg’s Septemberfest.

Parent Teacher Association Report: PTA Council President Jim Sklena thanked the district for the use of its facilities for PTA meetings and trainings. He invited everyone to the fall general meeting on Oct. 11, which will include a presentation in conjunction with Schaumburg Parent University.

New Business:


  • Board members said they were moved by the generosity of people in our community who donated to and volunteered at the Pack the Bus school supply drive last weekend at the Target on Barrington and Schaumburg roads. They also thanked Schaumburg Township for organizing the event and District 211 for donating the bus.
  • The Board thanked all the new staff who attended induction week this week, as well as the employees who supported the new staff.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 9:45 p.m. to closed session to discuss employment/appointment matters, business matters and legal matters.