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Brief from the Board Meeting on Jan. 17


  • The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to Mead student Isabella Libke and Link student Oliver Libke who performed in the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker this year.
  • The Board presented an Above and Beyond Award to Sharon Stenger, a second-grade teacher at Dirksen School, for the extraordinary efforts she has taken to support one of her students with leukemia.
  • The Board also recognized eight District 54 students whose artwork was selected for the STR Holiday Card in December.

Discussion – Health Curriculum Implementation Update:
A revised health curriculum was implemented across all grade levels in the fall of 2018. The new health curriculum is aligned to the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health, as well as to District 54’s focus on “supporting whole child academic and social-emotional success.”

During the 2017-18 school year, a 50-member task force identified Health World Education as the set of resources District 54 would use to support planning and delivery of instruction. The task force reviewed lessons to ensure they supported the physical and emotional well-being of students by focusing on lifelong wellness, problem solving, communication, responsible decision-making, cooperation, teamwork, and the connection between the brain and body.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests (FOIA):
District 54 responded to four FOIA requests since the last report to the Board related to documents and training on the use of student restraint and time-outs, the salary and terms of elected officials, paper and janitorial bids and RPZ devices.

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

  • The minutes of the regular School Board meeting on Dec. 13, 2018
  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session School Board meetings on Jan. 10, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Dec. 21, 2018 and Jan. 4, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for November 2018
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for December 2018
  • A recommendation to accept the audit/comprehensive annual financial report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018
  • The purchase of English Learner Resource Newcomer curricular materials from Heinemann Publishing.
  • The destruction of the verbatim records from the closed-session board meeting on July 13, 2017, for which approved minutes exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss shared three #WeAre54 videos. Click on each name to watch the videos about Instructional Coach Rosie HernandezBlackwell Student Bobby Larson and the District 54 Help Desk.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee:
Board Member Barb Hengels reported that DCAC heard a presentation about the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program in District 54.

District 54 Education Foundation:
Board Secretary Bob Kaplan thanked everyone who attended the Windy City Bulls event, which raised more than $6,000 for the Foundation. He also thanked Comcast for a $5,000 donation, which will cover the cost of registration for 12 schools in the upcoming Rube Goldberg competition.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the expenses for of board members who attended the Those Who Excel Awards and Illinois Association of School Boards Conference.
  • The Board approved the Addams Junior High Work Plan for School Improvement.
  • The Board approved revisions to the following policies:
    • Policy 2:150 – Board Committees,
    • Policy 2:240(a) – Policy and Administrative Procedure Development and
    • Policy 2:240(b) – Policy and Administrative Procedure Review.
  • The Board Policy Committee brought revisions to the following policies for a first reading:
    • Policy 2:250(a) – Email Retention Policy,
    • Policy 2:340 – Care and Return of District Property by Board Members and
    • Policy 2:350(a) – Expression of Sympathy.
  • The Board authorized Kriha Law LLC to litigate special education-related matters on behalf of District 54.
  • The Board appointed William Musselman as the assistant principal for Addams Junior High School for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Board appointed Lisa Grant as the assistant principal for Eisenhower Junior High School for the 2019-2020 school year.


  • Board members were excited to attend the District 54 Special Olympics Pack the Stands Night at Frost last week and the Einstein holiday party in December.
  • The board thanked Muir staff and students for honoring them during the school’s gratitude assembly in December.
  • Board members attended the SEA/SEEO event at Feed My Starving Children last night and thanked the unions for inviting them.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:25 p.m. to closed session for school matters.