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Brief from the Board Meeting on April 2, 2020

Public Comment:
SEEO President Kathy Jesuit thanked the School Board and the Cabinet for supporting staff during this unprecedented time of virtual teaching.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: 
Four requests were received and responded to since the last meeting related to student seclusion and restraint, retiring staff and references to the word Trump in emails.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on March 5, 2020
  • Resignations, retirement and employment of personnel
  • The staffing plan for the 2020-2021 school year
  • Checks dated March 13 and 27, 2020
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for February 2020
  • A one-year extension of the student transportation contract with First Student, through June 30, 2021
  • The purchase of computer assessment software from Northwest Evaluation Association and the ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages
  • The purchase of four riding mowers from Russo Power Equipment
  • A contract for the purchase of technology equipment, with licensing and support, from CDW-G and Synercomm
  • The purchase of informational text magazine subscriptions from National Geographic, National Wildlife Federation, Scholastic and Time
  • The purchase of literacy instructional materials from Benchmark, Pearson, Scholastic, Handwriting Without Tears and Zaner Bloser
  • The purchase of mathematics curricular materials from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • The purchase of consumable and non-consumable science materials from ETA hand2mind
  • The purchase of world language curricular materials from Wayside Publishing
  • Contracts for 2020 renovations at selected schools to Monarch Construction and Meany, Inc.
  • Contracts for additions at Collins Elementary School and summer 2020 renovations to Riemer Engineering, JAC Masonry, McKinney Steel, Monarch Construction, Metalmaster Roofmaster, Rock Valley Glass, Hartwig Plumbing & Heating, DeKalb Mechanical and Carey Electric
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on September 6, 2019, for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss provided an update on the current work in School District 54 during the school closure. “I’ve never been more proud of the District 54 community – students, parents and staff all coming together asking what more can I do to support others,” he said.

Associate Superintendent Erin Knoll shared information about the District 54 virtual learning platform. Assistant Superintendent Cassie Williams spoke about how the district is supporting students who receive special education students during the school closures. District 54 held an optional Virtual Learning Symposium last week during spring break, attended by 650 employees, to help prepare them to support students online.

Associate Superintendent Nick Myers talked about how District 54 is continuing to support our financially struggling families. On the first week of school closure, the operations team boxed up food pantries and breakfast supplies to distribute to families. District 54 has entered into a partnership with Willow Creek Community Church and High School District 211 to provide food two days a week to families.

Myers also spoke about the new District 54 Education Foundation Crisis Fund. School administrators, social workers and psychologists are reaching out to families to see how we can best support them through this difficult time.

Administration also updated the School Board on how the district is handling operations such as registration, staff appraisals, hiring, assessment and technology support.

New Business:

  • The Board approved revisions to Policy 2:100: Conflict of Interest – Board Members.
  • The Board approved new Policy 2:70: Vacancies on the Board.
  • The Board approved the 2020-2021 fee rates for
    • Consumable materials (remains at $50 per student),
    • Milk (still 25 cents for students),
    • Parent-paid student transportation (remains at $475 for one child),
    • Facility usage (click here for variety of rates) and
    • Before- and after-school childcare facility rental (no change).
  • The Board approved the appointment of Carrie Azab as the principal of the Early Learning Center for the 2020-21 school year.
  • The Board approved the appointment of Dr. Amy Houlihan as the principal of Campanelli Elementary School for the 2020-21 school year.
  • The Board approved the appointment of Priscilla Buchanan as the principal of Fox Elementary School for the 2020-2021 school year.

Board members thanked everyone who is stepping up to care for our community.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:38 p.m.