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Brief from the Virtual Board Meeting on May 21, 2020

Public Comment: No one submitted public comments.

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

  • The minutes of the regular Board of Education meeting on May 7, 2020
  • Resignations, leaves, termination, retirement, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated May 8, 2020
  • Monthly report on cash and investments for March 2020
  • Monthly update of revenues and expenditures for April 2020
  • The 2020-21 Workers’ Compensation insurance policy
  • The voluntary parent-purchased student accident insurance plan for the 2020-21 school year
  • Amendments to the agreements for transportation services for school year 2019-20 with Zum Services and CitiCare Services
  • A contract with Gordon Flesch Company for a districtwide copier lease solution through 2025
  • The purchase of the software licensing and support from GoGuardian and Cisco SMARTNet
  • A resolution requesting free transportation for students due to hazardous conditions for the 2020-21 school year
  • The destruction of verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on October 4, November 1 and November 15, 2018, for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss, as well as associate and assistant superintendents, provided the School Board with an update on current operations in District 54, as well as plans for the summer and the 2020-21 school year.

District 54 is continuing to partner with Willow Creek on Wednesdays and Fridays and with District 211 on Thursdays to provide food to families. District 211 has confirmed that the Thursday food distribution will continue July 16. Plans are still being formulated to extend the partnership with Willow Creek through the summer as well. In addition, the District 54 Foundation has raised more than $26,000 in its Crisis Fund and continues to use those funds to support our financially struggling families.

Remote learning will continue through May 28 and attendance remains high. The lessons include the usual academic subjects as well as social-emotional lessons with a focus on the well-being of our students. District 54 is also focused on the social-emotional well-being of our staff. We asked staff to take a positive psychology survey this month, and 99% of respondents stated that the positive psychology work we’ve done as a district has supported them during this time.

As the district begins planning for next year, there are still many unknowns. The Illinois State Board of Education is expected to issue guidance in consultation with the Illinois Department of Public Health. Potential options being considered include opening all schools, starting the school year virtually, or a hybrid of in-person and virtual instruction.

To prepare for all possible scenarios, District 54 is purchasing personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, infrared thermometers and other safety equipment, as well as additional cleaning products for disinfecting surfaces. District 54 is hosting virtual orientations for the new employees who will be starting in the 2020-21 school year. District 54 will survey staff, families and students in grades 5-8 to determine how best to refine remote learning and further support students and staff.

Superintendent DuRoss also discussed some of the future financial considerations for the district. There have been some savings realized during remote learning, in areas such as substitute pay, insurance and transportation costs. The Consumers Price Index is expected to be only 0.3% in December 2020, which will have an impact on district revenues. District 54 has already deferred some purchases and will bring further considerations to the School Board.

Superintendent DuRoss concluded his report by saying, “Our district has done phenomenal work for the last 10 weeks. We pivoted very quickly and have done everything we could to support our students and their families. Our staff are committed to their students and I appreciate all their hard work.”

President’s Report:
Board President Bob Kaplan praised the Mead Virtual Choir Concert and Mead teacher Rob Hulina.

Foundation Report:
Board Vice President Mary Kay Prusnick announced that the Foundation awarded more than $34,000 in grants to 359 students to participate in extracurricular activities during the 2020-21 school year. She also invited people to sponsor or attend the Foundation’s golf outing, which has been moved to August 10. Register online at d54foundation.org/golf-outing.

New Business:

  • The Board approved an intergovernmental agreement between Schaumburg Park District and School District 54 in regards to the easement adjacent to Collins Elementary School.
  • The Board approved its meeting dates for the 2020-21 school year.

Announcements:

  • The Board congratulated all the eighth-grade students who will be graduating virtually next week and wished them the best in high school.
  • The Board also thanked the retirees for their years of service to District 54 schools and referred everyone to the District 54 Facebook for highlights of our retirees.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8 p.m. to enter closed session for employment/appointment matters.