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Brief from the Board Meeting on Feb. 20, 2020

Discussion – Social Science Task Force Update:
The District 54 Social Science Task Force – composed of 60 teachers, support staff and administrators representing all elementary and junior high schools – met this fall to review curricular resources to evaluate if they aligned with the District 54 Board Goals, the Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science and state curricular mandates. The Illinois Learning Standards for Social Science are designed to produce graduates who are civically engaged, socially responsible, culturally aware and financially literate.

The task force recommends the purchase of the Pearson myWorld Interactive curriculum for use in kindergarten through eighth grade. Pending approval, staff training sessions would be held at each school this spring and professional development classes would also be available to all staff this summer focused on the integration of these new resources for the 2020-21 school year.

In a world where Siri and Alexa can tell us what happened in history, this thematic approach is going to bring us back to why it matters that we even know what happened,” Mead Teacher Julie Morrison said.

Public Comment: No one asked to comment.

Freedom of Information Act Requests:
Seven requests were received and responded to since the last report to the Board regarding attendance zone maps, sign language interpreter pay scales, copier lease and maintenance agreements, contracts to provide content filtering software and guidelines for student devices, employee information, and the 2019 custodial cleaning and paper products bid.

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

  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session Board of Education meetings on Jan. 9 and Feb. 6, 2020
  • The minutes of the regular Board of Education meeting on Jan. 16, 2020
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement, termination, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated Jan. 17 and Jan. 31, 2020
  • The treasurer’s reports on cash and investments for December 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for January 2020
  • Authorization for the assistant superintendent of business operations to negotiate a one-, two- or three-year contract for the purchase of natural gas
  • A contract with Asset Control Solutions, Inc. to conduct an assessment and reappraisal of the district’s fixed assets and property
  • A four-year contract with Lauterbach & Amen, LLP to perform actuarial services
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on August 9, 2018 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss shared two #WeAre54 videos, highlighting the people in District 54 who make this a special place to learn and work. This month we featured Link Library Resource Teacher Kim Chiero and Hoover fourth-grade student Amelia Jablonska. Click on each name to watch the videos.

Board President Report:
Board President Bob Kaplan applauded everyone associated with the History Fair at Mead Junior High School this week, including the student participants, staff and guest judges.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee (DCAC) Report:
DCAC heard a presentation on the social science task force report and whole child profile, which District 54 is creating for every student.

District 54 Education Foundation:
The annual golf outing is June 8. If anyone is interested in golfing or sponsoring the outing, please visit

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Report:
PTA Council President Jim Sklena announced the slate of officers for the PTA Council next year, which can be found at The election will take place at the PTA Auction on March 16 at the Stonegate. Auction proceeds benefit the high school scholarship and elementary summer grant programs. In other news, 32 student projects advanced in the PTA Reflections fine arts and writing competition.

New Business:

  • The Board approved an amendment to purchase and sale agreement for the Thacker property.
  • The Board approved revisions to the following policies:
    • 1:40 – Non-Discrimination of Students and Employees,
    • 1:60 – Prohibition of Sexual Harassment,
    • 1:70 – Standard District Complaint Investigation,
    • 5:390 – Smoking and Use of Tobacco Products or E-Cigarettes,
    • 5:50 – Drug and Alcohol-Free Workplace and
    • 5:90 – Abused and Neglected Child Required Reporting (DCFS).

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:23 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters, school matters and the semi-annual review of closed-session meetings.