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Brief from the Board Meeting on March 7, 2019

Discussion – Positive Psychology Update:
As part of our mission of Ensuring Student Success, District 54 has been reviewing and utilizing Shawn Achor’s research on positive psychology to support students and staff since the 2016-17 school year. This year, the District 54 Happiness Trainer Team designed and led a one-day workshop for all staff that addressed the interconnected nature of happiness and success. These lessons continued throughout the school year during interactive staff development sessions at each building. A team of District 54 happiness coaches shared with the Board one such session, focused on defending your own positivity and productivity.

In March, we are once again celebrating #54Happiness Month. At each of our buildings, happiness teams are implementing activities for staff, students and families to sustain, grow and spread positivity. As a result of this work, we have witnessed increased employee satisfaction and collaboration as evidenced by the cultural assessment results, decreased student discipline referrals and increased student engagement in creating a positive school environment.

Discussion – 2019-20 Staffing Plan:
Pete Hannigan, assistant superintendent of human resources, presented the administration’s preliminary staffing plan for the 2019-20 school year.

The first step in determining the staffing plan is projecting the enrollment. To estimate next year’s enrollment District 54 considers the difference between this year’s eighth-grade class and next year’s kindergarten class, but also must consider the number of students who transfer into and out of our district at other grade levels. This number is much harder to predict. The early childhood through eighth grade projected enrollment for 2019-20 is 15,342, which is an increase from the current enrollment. The average class size would remain at 22 students.

District 54 always begins with a conservative staffing plan. If enrollment increases prior to the beginning of the school year, District 54 may shift or add teaching positions to maintain consistent class size averages.

The district is recommending the following reallocation of licensed staff members next year for a total change of one additional teacher:

  • The addition of four general education teachers due to anticipated increases in enrollment;
  • The addition of six special education teachers to support the growing number of students with disabilities;
  • The addition of one resource teacher to support an increase in the enrollment of new English Learners;
  • The reduction of two kindergarten teachers due to kindergarten enrollment uncertainty; and
  • The reduction of four building intervention coaches, one dual language support position and three district coaches.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: Since the last board meeting, two requests were received and replied to regarding roofing replacement, flooring replacement and asbestos abatement.

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 Feb. 21, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Feb. 15 and March 1, 2019
  • A one-year extension of the student transportation contract with First Student
  • A contract for flooring removal and replacement at various district locations
  • The replacement of Titmus Vision Screening Machines
  • The purchase of math, science and literacy instructional materials
  • The release of the minutes of the closed-session meetings on August 9, Sept. 6, Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, 2018 and Jan. 10, 2019.

New Business: 

  • The Board appointed additional representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2018-2019 school year.
  • The Board had the first reading of revisions to the following policies:
    • Policy 2:250 – Public Access to District Records and
    • Police 4:10(c) – Budget Adoption Procedures.
  • The Board appointed Kristine Belt as the assistant principal for Nerge Elementary School for the 2019-20 school year.
  • The Board appointed Allison Schultz as the assistant principal for Aldrin Elementary School for the 2019-20 school year.
  • The Board appointed Jenny Clark as the assistant principal for Hale Elementary School for the 2019-20 school year.
  • The Board appointed Maggie (Horvath) Gibbel as the assistant principal for Fairview Elementary School for the 2019-20 school year.


  • Board members commented on the amazing energy at the Schaumburg Oyanokai Japanese Culture Night at Dooley and at Lincoln Prairie’s All-School Meeting.
  • The board thanked the educators who attended the Rube Goldberg competition at Hoffman Estates High School last month to support the student teams.
  • Board members said they are looking forward to the PTA Auction tomorrow evening.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:09 p.m. to enter closed session for employment/appointment matters and for business matters regarding sale or lease of property.