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Board Brief from the Board Meeting of Nov. 1, 2018

Discussion – Social-Emotional Learning Update:
This fall District 54 implemented a new social-emotional learning curriculum in early childhood through eighth-grade classes designed by a District 54 task force. The weekly units include lessons on fairness, honesty, relationships, school culture and more. The task force also created home-school connections, communications sent by the principals so families can continue discussing the topics at home. The SEL Task Force will reconvene in February to reflect on and refine the new curriculum.

The District 54 Student Ambassadors also began meeting this fall. These student groups, from the junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie middle level, attended a full-day leadership training and are now taking the lead on facilitating assemblies and providing a student voice at their schools.

Discussion – Innovate 54 Update:
District 54 hosted its second Innovate 54 sessions on Oct. 23 and 24 to discuss best practices in the use of instructional technology as a tool to accelerate student learning. Participants also were able to test Zspace augmented reality devices, virtual reality devices, interactive touch monitors and iPads.

In the afternoon, school teams examined the concept of “future ready” learning environments to encourage creativity, communication, collaboration, critical thinking and problem solving. Two classrooms at each school will be configured with “future ready” furniture over winter break, providing us the opportunity to discuss how this furniture works to support our instructional goals.

The District 54 administrative team participated in a STEM Leadership session this month, facilitated by Discovery Education, to learn more about the importance of STEM-based education and how to best support teachers with integrating it into instruction. All Innovate 54 members will also received STEM Leader Corps training.

Discussion – State and District Assessment Results:
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) mandates school districts to administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) to students in grades 3 to 8 to evaluate student proficiency in English/language arts and math. ISBE has determined that students scoring a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale have demonstrated proficiency. The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) is an alternative assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities. In 2018, District 54 had 65 percent of students meet proficiency targets in English/language arts and 57 percent meet targets in math (compared to 37 percent and 32 percent respectively for the state of Illinois).

ACCESS is an English language proficiency assessment administered to English-learner students in kindergarten through 12th grade. In 2018, 676 students exited the District 54 bilingual program based on their scores on the ACCESS test.

The Illinois State Report Cards were released on Oct. 31 with new indicators of success. Schools are no longer judged simply on proficiency scores, but also on academic growth, progress of English learners, chronic absenteeism and the percentage of students participating in a climate survey. Based on these indicators, schools are designated as exemplary, commendable, underperforming and lowest-performing. Schools in the two lowest designations will complete a Work Plan for School Improvement and receive support through IL-EMPOWER.

ISBE has selected a new vendor to provide the literacy and math assessments in 2019. The new assessment would be similar to the PARCC assessment in terms of rigor and alignment to Illinois Learning Standards. However, the goal is for the new assessment to be computer-adaptive by the year 2021.

Public Comment:
A Schaumburg resident thanked his former teachers and principal, and also thanked current District 54 employees who have supported his daughter at Collins and Frost.

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

  • The minutes of the regular board meeting on Thursday, October 18, 2018
  • Resignations, leaves and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated October 26, 2018
  • The Blue Cross Blue Shield self-funded HMO & PPO Medical Insurance Rates for the calendar year 2019
  • The Delta Dental and Vision Service Program insurance rates for the calendar year 2019
  • Workplace Solutions as the provider for the District’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • A resolution electing exemption from certain provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Awarding a contract for window replacement at Enders-Salk Elementary School during the summer of 2019
  • The proclamation in recognition of American Education Week 2018 and International Education Week 2018, both being celebrated November 12-16, 2018

New Business: 

  • The Board had the first reading of revisions to Policy 2:150 – Board Committees, Revised.


  • The Board thanked Goebbert’s Pumpkin Farm for donating more than 500 pumpkins to Lakeview Elementary School.
  • School Board members were excited to participate in JumpStart’s Read for the Record by reading to Early Learning Center and kindergarten students.
  • Board Member Ken Van Dyke earned his first level Master Board Member status and members Barb Hengels, Charlotte Kegarise and Mary Kay Prusnick maintained their Master Board Member status.

The Board adjourned at 8:13 p.m. to closed session for appointment/employment matters.