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Brief from the Board Meeting on April 4, 2019

Discussion Topic – Social Emotional Learning Curriculum Update:
This fall, District 54 implemented a new social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum in early childhood through eighth grade. Students receive weekly social-emotional learning lessons designed to support student needs.

The curriculum was designed by a District 54 SEL Task Force last year, using positive psychology research as its foundation and aligned to the Illinois Social-Emotional Learning Standards. The task force also designed home-school connections, which provide families with information about the lessons so that they can continue the discussions at home.

The task force met this February to reflect on implementation of the curriculum, review a staff survey on the SEL lessons and determine the next steps. The survey results indicated that the curriculum and lessons are high quality, effective and easy to implement. Staff also reported that students are highly engaged and that the SEL skills have supported stronger student-to-student and teacher-to-student connections. The task force is further exploring ways to ensure students use the SEL skills learned throughout the day.

In addition to the weekly lessons, each junior high has a team of Student Ambassadors who attended two leadership-training sessions in order to provide a student voice in SEL implementation. Two ambassadors presented at tonight’s board meeting (pictured above with other presenters) – sharing their experiences at with Mead Meaningful Moments and Frost Pep Assemblies. Student ambassadors facilitate monthly assemblies aligned to SEL themes and meet monthly at their schools to discuss supports needed for their student body. Based on the success at the junior high schools, District 54 will expand the Student Ambassador program to students at our elementary schools in the fall of 2019.

The SEL Task Force will reconvene during the 2019-20 school year to once again reflect on implementation and determine the best way to move forward and adapt to student needs. The task force will also consider ways to provide students and families feedback on the development of SEL skills.

Public Comment:  No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests:
The School Board responded to one request since the last board meeting regarding certified staff retirees. 

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 March 21, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, termination, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated March 29, 2019
  • The contract for site improvement work at 14 district locations to Chicagoland Paving
  • Contracts for interior renovations at various district locations to Monarch Construction, Midwest Masonry, Olsson Roofing Company, Hartwig Plumbing & Heating, DeKalb Mechanical and Meany Inc.
  • The contract for the purchase of technology equipment with licensing and support from CDW-G

New Business: 

  • The Board approved revisions to Policy 2:250 – Public Access to District Records.
  • The Board had the first reading of revisions to the following policies:
    • Policy 4:110(c) – Vehicle Accident Procedures,
    • Policy 4:110(d) – Transporting Students on Field Trips,
    • Policy 4:150 – Environmentally Safe Schools and
    • Policy 4:170(b) – Standardized School Crisis Plan.

The School Board set a tentative date of 6 p.m. Thursday, April 25, to hold a reorganization meeting, which is required to be held between 21 and 28 days after a board election. Mary Kay Prusnick, Bill Harper and Barb Hengels were re-elected on April 2. At the reorganization meeting, these individuals will take the oath of office and then the board will elect officers.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:48 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters and school matters.