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Brief from the Board Meeting on Feb. 7, 2019

Discussion – Innovation Update:

Last spring, the District 54 School Board adopted a new strategic plan, entitled “The 54 Promise.” One focus area involves the cultivation of innovation in learning space and instructional design. Three action steps were defined for this focus area for the 2018-19 school year.

  • Establish Innovate 54 teams of teachers and administrators from each school who will work to deeply embed progressive instructional approaches and foster a culture of innovation across the District 54 community. Innovate 54 sessions have been held throughout the year, including STEM Leader Corps training starting in January through our partnership with Discovery Education. Innovate 54 teachers also have piloted teacher iPads, Future Ready furniture and interactive monitors.
  • Implement an instructional technology plan that includes 1:1 digital connectivity for all students and technology integration that enhances the teaching and learning experiences provided. District 54 has piloted 1:1 student use of iPads in selected kindergarten through second-grade classrooms and 1:1 student use of Chromebooks in selected third- and fourth-grade classrooms. Virtual and augmented reality labs have been established in all of our schools. District 54 is installing interactive monitors in all classrooms at our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie.
  • Reconfigure and update existing learning spaces to align with a shared vision of Future Ready classrooms. District 54 opened its first Creation Studios at Dirksen and Churchill. Mobile furniture, interactive monitors, audio production studios, film production studios and updated lighting have all been introduced as part of this Future Ready renovation to the district’s traditional library spaces. Designs for Creation Studios in junior high libraries include flexible learning and meeting spaces, sound labs for audio production, vision labs for film production, virtual and augmented reality labs and interactive monitors for small and large group instruction, as well as updated furniture, lighting, carpeting and paint colors. Four junior high Creation Studios will be completed this summer.

Based on the successful implementation this year, the administration recommends the following projects for next year.

  • Proceed with full 1:1 device implementation. Students in kindergarten through second grade would use iPads, while students in third through eighth grade would have Chromebooks.
  • Install interactive monitors in third- through sixth-grade classrooms.
  • Renovate the libraries at Keller, Lincoln Prairie and eight elementary schools.
  • Purchase Future Ready furniture for junior highs and Lincoln Prairie.
  • Continue our partnership with Discovery Education.

Some of the projects for future years would include the following.

  • Purchase Future Ready furniture for elementary schools.
  • Install interactive monitors in kindergarten through second-grade classrooms.
  • Renovate the libraries at all elementary schools.
  • Renovate the locker rooms and create fitness centers at the junior high schools.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session School Board meetings on Jan. 17, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Jan. 18, 2019
  • A recommendation to approve RSM US LLP to perform the audit for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2019; June 30, 2020; and June 30, 2021

New Business: 

  • The Board approved revisions to the following policies:
    • Policy 2:250 – E-mail Retention Policy,
    • Policy 2:340 – Care and Return of District Property by Board Members and
    • Policy: 2:350 – Expression of Sympathy.

Announcements:

  • Board members thanked Churchill for hosting the board meeting this evening. They also gave kudos to Churchill Principal Steve Kern for connecting with his students during the days schools were cancelled last week by reading books to them through social media.
  • The Board wished all of the District 54 guidance counselors and social workers a happy School Counselors Week.
  • Board members also shared their appreciation to the Business Operations crews who were out at night shoveling, plowing and salting our lots and sidewalks to keep students and staff safe.
  • The Board also expressed their gratitude to everyone in our elementary schools who are welcoming families during kindergarten registration this week.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:47 p.m.