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District 54 supporting two school supply drives for students

District 54 is always looking for new school supplies for students in financial need. We are currently supporting the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce Tools for Success school supply collection, which runs through August 2, and the Schaumburg Township “Pack the Bus” campaign, which will be held on August 3.

Hoffman Chamber – Tools for Success

Collection boxes labeled Tools for Success are located at numerous locations in the community, including the District 54 Rafferty Administration Center located at 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg.

Schaumburg Township – Pack the Bus

Schaumburg Township is hosting its third annual Pack the Bus school supply drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 3 at the Target on Barrington and Schaumburg roads in Schaumburg. Donations can also be dropped off through the end of August to Schaumburg Township, 1 Illinois Boulevard, Hoffman Estates, or Cook County Commissioner Kevin Morrison’s Office at 1325 Wiley Road, Suite 141, Schaumburg.

Click here to view a printable version of the Pack the Bus flyer.

Please note these collections are for new items only. Donated school supplies will be distributed anonymously through school personnel to students from financially struggling families.

District 54 releases tentative 2019-20 budget

The District 54 School Board released a tentative version of its 2019-20 budget at its June 20, 2019, meeting. District 54 expects to spend $283,680,418 during the 2019-20 budget year and receive $271,770,202 in revenues.

District 54 developed the 2019-20 tentative budget at this time based on the following parameters:

Revenues

  • Property taxes for levy years 2018 and 2019 are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 2.1% for the 2018 levy and 1.9% for the 2019 levy.
  • Federal aid, state aid and interest income are projected to increase slightly from 2018-19 revenue.
  • Local revenues will remain consistent due to the fee structure approved by the board, which is consistent with the prior year.

Expenditures

  • Salaries for 2019-2020 are based on projected savings from people retiring at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, as well as any raises to returning employees.
  • Benefit costs are projected based on 2018-19 actual expected costs and an increase expected in 2019-20 of approximately 4.5%.
  • There will continue to be a freeze on overall cumulative spending in supplies, purchase services and capital outlay. The only exception is in the Operations and Maintenance Fund, where cost of service increases cannot be controlled, and in the Education Fund for planned textbook or technology adoptions. In addition, in 2019-20 a large addition to budgeted expenditures was due to additional expenditures for Innovate 54 learning modifications and for summer construction.
  • Tuition costs are budgeted the same as 2018-2019, but are highly subject to fluctuation depending on what special education services need to be outsourced.
  • District 54 will issue no new debt and has been debt free since Dec. 1, 2011.

The tentative budget will be available at the District Office from July 1 through August 8, 2019. On August 8, 2019, a public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. in the boardroom of the Rafferty Administration Center, 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg (prior to the School Board meeting that evening). The School Board is expected to adopt a budget at its August 8, 2019 meeting.

To view the detailed 2019-20 tentative budget, click on the budget link in the June 20 Board Brief.

Scipione appointed as new board member

Nicholas ScipioneOn June 20, 2019, the District 54 School Board appointed Nicholas Scipione to the board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Charlotte Kegarise on May 23.

“I am looking forward to supporting and maintaining the tradition of excellence for which District 54 has long been recognized,” Scipione said. “As an educator and father of two young children, future educational opportunities are very important to me. The tradition of excellence to ensure student success for my children and all the students of the district will be my top priority.”

The School Board interviewed 16 candidates during the week of June 10 and chose Scipione from the large group of qualified individuals.

“Nicholas is a passionate supporter of public education with a history of service to our community,” Board President Bob Kaplan said. “He will be an excellent, collaborative addition to the board.”

Scipione has been a science teacher at Glenbard East High School since 2004 and the school’s Science, Technology and Engineering Department chair since 2009. He worked at the Schaumburg Township District Library from 1999 to 2009 and served as a Library Board Trustee from 2009 to 2015. Scipione also serves as a Village of Schaumburg Planning Commissioner, a role he has held since 2015.

Scipione will serve until the next School Board election on April 6, 2021. If he wishes to remain on the board, he must run for the office.

Brief from the Board Meeting on June 20

Call to Order

Public Comment: A District 54 parent and teacher asked the board to examine the structure of the dual language program, so students particularly at the younger grade levels, would be served by fewer staff members.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: Two requests were received and responded to since the last report to the Board regarding the number of Elk Grove students served and purchasing records. 

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 May 16, 2019
  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session board meetings on May 21 and May 28, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, retirement, termination and employment of personnel
  • The 2019-2020 salaries for administrators, supervisory personnel, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, floor time specialists, educational interpreters and crisis intervention assistants
  • The 2019-20 salary parameters for non-represented staff
  • The 2019-2020 salaries for pay grade 1-3 personnel, market-rated personnel and part-time employees
  • The 2019-20 salary rates for the elementary school lunch program
  • The 2019-2020 daily rates for substitutes
  • Checks dated May 24 and June 7, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for April 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for May 2019
  • Prevailing wage rates for the 2019-2020 school year
  • The purchase of a treasurer’s bond for 2019-2020 from Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • The renewal of software licensing and support for the Library Automation System with Follett Software Company, zSpace and GoGuardian
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting on December 14, 2017 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
With the 2018-19 school year over, Superintendent Andy DuRoss highlighted some of the successes District 54 has experienced to date. Our students routinely score in the top 5% on state assessments. A Stanford University study reported that District 54 students experienced 6.2 years of growth in five years. On our staff cultural assessment, 85% reported being highly satisfied and highly engaged.

DuRoss also shared that the focus for the 2019-20 school year will be what he called the 3 P’s:  People, Positivity and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The most important factor in student achievement and social-emotional well-being is the people in our district who connect with our students. The work with PLCs and positivity will support our employees and the children they serve.

DuRoss also reviewed the three District 54 goals.

  • District 54 will ensure the success of the whole child by providing comprehensive approaches and programming, grounded in the belief that each child deserves to be Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported and Challenged.
  • District 54 will perform in the top 10% of all schools as measured by state and local assessments in reading and math growth and proficiency.
  • District 54 will close the achievement gap for ALL students in reading and mathematics as measured by state and local assessments.

The four focus areas outlined in the 54 Promise Strategic Plan support these goals. They are

  • Whole Child Academic and Social-Emotional Success,
  • Innovation in Learning Space and Instructional Design,
  • Exceptional Employees and
  • Facilities and Fiscal Responsibility.

In wrapping up his report, DuRoss thanked Dr. Pete Hannigan, assistant superintendent of human resources, for his 13 years of service to District 54. Today is his last day before moving on to a superintendent’s position in another district.

President of the Board’s Report:
Board President Bob Kaplan also offered his thanks and best wishes to Dr. Hannigan. He also thanked the School Board for the extra time they have given the past month attending graduations and interviewing for the vacancy on the school board.

District 54 Foundation Report:
Board Member Mary Kay Prusnick thanked everyone who supported the Foundation Golf Outing last week. The Foundation raised more than $33,000 at this event.

PTA Council Report:
PTA representatives have been attending classes this month to prepare for the 2019-20 school year.

New Business: 

  • The Board appointed additional representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Board approved the contract of employment for Superintendent Andy DuRoss for the years July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024.
  • The Board approved the 2019-2020 Tentative Budget.
  • The Board adopted the resolution to call for a public hearing on the 2019-2020 Budget at 7 p.m. August 8, 2019.
  • The Board approved the engagement of CBRE as the broker on record to market the sale of the vacant land located at the southwest corner of Thacker Street and Verde Drive in Schaumburg.
  • The Board appointed Tricia Leong as the assistant principal of Frost Junior High school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Appointment of School Board Member:
The Board appointed Nicholas Scipione to the Board of Education to fulfill the remaining term of office for Charlotte Kegarise due to her resignation effective May 23, 2019.

Election of Board Vice President:
The Board elected Mary Kay Prusnick to serve as the Board Vice President.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:08 p.m. to closed session for business matters.

District 54 hosts registration hours during the summer

Parents of children who will be new students at District 54 schools for the 2019-20 school year can register this summer at the District 54 Professional Learning Center, 522 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg (enter through door C1).

Registration will be held June 25 through July 25 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays. We will be closed on Mondays and Fridays (as well as July 4).

Returning District 54 families that need to submit updated registration or residency documentation are also welcome to do so at summer registration.

Parents of new registrants will need to provide a child’s original birth certificate, passport or visa; proof of residency and a few other documents. Please see our registration website for more information.

Parents are also required to pay a consumable materials fee at registration to cover the cost of workbooks, paper, art supplies and other items used by students. Our consumable materials fee is $50 for all students from early childhood through junior high school for the 2019-20 school year.

Parents will also be asked to supply the phone numbers of people to be contacted in emergencies (other family members, neighbors and work phone numbers). Parents can also pay for their children’s transportation at this time. The Transportation Department will be available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Parents wishing to register students new to School District 54 after July 25 should go to their neighborhood school. New student registration will resume at school buildings on August 2.

For more information, call (847) 357-5103.

Junior Journalist Update from Frost – By Aishani W.

April at Frost was a month filled with tests. Some could even call it Academic April. During the Illinois Assessment of Readiness, the teachers really helped with relaxing the students and encouraging them to try their best and not give up.

One such teacher was  math teacher Mrs. Corriveau. Every day since the beginning of the year, she has had a positive attitude toward each and every student and tries to help out their learning in any way possible. So when she gave us gum to chew while we took our tests, we were not surprised because she always tries to make her students feel as comfortable as they can in the learning environment.

Another teacher who showed the key of flexibility through the testing period was science teacher, Mr. Christopoulos. We missed science for a few days due to IAR testing, but Mr. Christopoulos made sure we weren’t missing out on any challenging curriculum and that we understood what we were learning.

April 26 was Fun at Frost Night. I’m sure most of us remember when we first stepped foot in our future junior high, which is exactly how the sixth-graders must have felt. They had fun taking a tour of the school led by the Frost Student Ambassadors. The incoming seventh-graders also had a great time hanging out with their future peers by engaging in games dealing with cooperation. Overall, Academic April has been a blast!

Junior Journalist Update from Eisenhower – By Sadhika V.

Eisenhower’s Play Club recently performed “The Snow White Variety Show.”

The play is a modern, fun twist on the classic tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs starring Eisenhower students as Snow White, Heidi Perbole and the Seven Dwarfs. Ms. Mobley and Ms. Mohammad were the directors and the supervisors of the club with two Eisenhower students as student directors to help the teachers manage the play.

In the play, Snow White appears on a reality TV show a few years after her main story takes place with all-around funny host Heidi Perbole. Full of many twists and turns, this play kept the audience of junior high students, parents and teachers attentive and absorbed.

The Play Club started in the middle of the first trimester and met every Tuesday and Thursday since, learning and remembering lines, testing props, painting sets and working hard to make the final performance spectacular. Auditions were held in October for parts in the play, and students who wanted to help but not be onstage were encouraged to  build and create sets and backdrops.

The play premiered May 3 in the Eisenhower gym for students and teachers, with a separate show for parents later that week.

Schaumburg’s local Garibaldi’s also held a fundraiser to support the Eisenhower Play Club.

Thanks to vigorous practices and dress rehearsals – and with restaurants, students and the school pitching in to help – the club worked hard to make the final night memorable.

Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Michah K.

“Top of show places!”

The cast and crewDuring the month of March, those were most likely the most frequent words said in the gym of Jane Addams Junior High as students worked hard to get ready for Beauty and the Beast Junior. This was a stunning performance presented by many Jane Addams students. Even the stage and set pieces were constructed by students.

“The musical was an amazing learning experience, and I’m forever grateful to Mr. Lundgren and Mrs. Caliendo (the two musical directors) and the entire cast for making it what it was,” said Jordan D., the actress that played Belle.

Mr. Lundgren said if he could do the production again he wouldn’t change anything.

“The musical came out great,” he said.

Members of the castI was fortunate enough to be a part of the wonderful cast that put this all together, and if I could do something different I would do the production for another weekend so I could create more memories with the amazing cast and crew.

The three student choreographers did a fabulous job coming up with all the dances by themselves. Brandon U., who played Beast, said that his favorite part of the musical were the dances. They definitely were a highlight.

The musical took a lot of work, and it was very difficult at times.

“The hardest part of the musical was dealing with the weather,” Mrs. Caliendo said. “Our cast and crew did a spectacular job in making up for lost time. As you know we lost quite a bit of rehearsal time with the Polar Members of the castVortex this winter, but the students stepped up to the plate and worked twice as hard to make it all work! I couldn’t be prouder!”

Everyone who helped out made the show a success. The parents also deserve special thanks because they were the ones who helped sell concessions, drove kids to school at 8 a.m. on Saturdays, and more.

Overall, Beauty and the Beast was very successful. Mrs. Caliendo said she is very proud, and she thanked Mr. Lundgren and all the cast and crew for making the show amazing.

Although Beauty and the Beast is over, Addams’ variety show, Addams’ Got Talent, will be performed Wednesday, May 22 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.  Be sure to come out and see it.

Junior Journalist Update from Lincoln Prairie – By Sophia S.

Stand For The Silent (SFTS) was founded in 2010 by Kirk Smalley to bring awareness to bullying and the devastation it causes. There are many chapters throughout the United States dedicated to fighting bullying and standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Now, Lincoln Prairie is organizing its own chapter.

The fire was sparked after Smalley came to Lincoln Prairie to create awareness about how big a problem bullying is and to discuss his organization. After this, middle level teachers Mr. Natrop and Mrs. Vallone were inspired to start a chapter of SFTS at Lincoln Prairie. They decided to start this chapter with the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders first.

To announce this to the students, they created a presentation similar to the one Smalley gave. Students who were interested in getting involved with SFTS then attended a meeting with Mr. Natrop and Mrs. Vallone to discuss what the students wanted the group to accomplish.

“I like the fact that the teachers are willing to allow the students to shape this as needed,” said Isabella, an eighth-grade student who attended the meeting. “It’s by the students and for the students because we know what we need help with and how to help with it. I hope to see a mature student body and less unnecessary drama. Not only will this be marked by groups and the events that support the cause, but it will be shown in the newly developed mindset and values of the student body as a whole.”

“I like how this SFTS chapter helps the outsiders know how to deal with a situation where bullying is involved,” said Bella, a sixth-grader who also went to the meeting. “With this chapter at LP I hope that everyone can realize and understand the different types of bullying. Overall, I really hope we can learn to spread love to others.”

These sentiments seem to be shared by many others who attended the meeting. With the mission of spreading awareness and kindness to others, many students at Lincoln Prairie are ready to tackle bullying head on. This will contribute to a happier school environment for the students, but more importantly, it will help those who have not yet found their voices to be silent no longer.

Brief from the Board Meeting on May 16

Recognition:
Before the meeting, the School Board honored the following students and staff in the Professional Learning Center with Ambassador of Excellence Awards:

  • Fifteen Mead students who qualified for the 2019 Illinois History Day state competition. Six of these students are going to the national competition in June.
  • Nine Mead and Stevenson students, and their teachers, who were chosen to participate in TECH 2019 at the State Capitol Building in Springfield.
  • Students from Link, Fox, Dooley and Addams for their performance at the Rube Goldberg competition.
  • Dirksen students Kennedy Apple and Taline Abousamra, Eisenhower secretaries Michele Peacock, Julie Raio and Sunita Mani-Sriram, and Community Relations assistant Meagan Kasper, who received Distinguished Service Awards from the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.
  • Ten Dooley students and one Addams student for their performance in Japanese speech contests.
  • A total of 38 District 54 students from many schools who qualified for the state level for Reflections, a PTA writing and fine arts competition, including four students who qualified for the national level.

Call to Order

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests:
Six requests were made and replied to since the last meeting regarding transportation contracts, bargaining agreements and employees, electronics recycling vendor contracts, charter school applications (District 54 has none), the art supplies bid and information on reassigned suspended employees (District 54 has none).

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

  • The minutes of the regular school board meeting on May 2, 2019
  • The resignations, employment, salary adjustment and re-employment of personnel
  • Checks dated May 10, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for March 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for April 2019
  • The 2019-20 Workers’ Compensation insurance policy from United Heartland Company of America
  • The voluntary parent-purchased student accident insurance plan for the 2019-20 school year
  • The contract for the purchase of technology licensing and support from Continental Resources, Edulastic and CDW
  • The resolution requesting free transportation for students due to approved hazardous conditions for the 2019-20 school year
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on Oct. 19 and Nov. 2, 2017 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss thanked everyone for a fantastic school year and shared a video highlighting some of the peak moments from across the district this year. He highlighted how the four focus areas of our strategic plan – whole child success, innovation, exceptional employees, and facilities and fiscal responsibility – are making a significant impact on our students and staff today and into the future.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report: Board Member Barb Hengels shared that DCAC is still seeking applications and will electing officers at its first meeting of the 2019-20 school year in September.

District 54 Foundation Report: The D54 Education Foundation awarded 450 Memorial grants this year to District 54 students. For individuals interested in supporting this work, please golf, volunteer or sponsor a hole at the foundation’s golf outing on June 10.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the appointment of Charlotte Kegarise as the Illinois Association of School Boards Governing Board Representative through the spring of 2021.
  • The Board appointed representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Board approved the expenses for travel to the National School Board Association Conference.
  • The Board authorized Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP to litigate, advise and review employee benefit-related matters on behalf of the district.

Announcements:

  • The District 54 School Board Board members talked about the amazing individuals honored last week at the PTA annual scholarship recognition dinner and the Celebration of District 54 honoring retirees and Ensuring Student Success winners.
  • The board also gave kudos to the staff and students who were part of the Eisenhower Junior High School play and the District 54 Special Olympics Unified Sports Day today.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:36 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters.