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District 54, Schaumburg Park District to host annual Multicultural Event May 6

Schaumburg School District 54’s Department of Language and Culture Two adults and two children at the 2016 multicultural fairis excited to be hosting our annual Multicultural Event in collaboration with the Schaumburg Park District on Saturday, May 6, at the Community Recreation Center (CRC). The purpose of the Multicultural Event is to celebrate the diverse cultures in District 54 and the surrounding communities. Students and their families have the opportunity to experience and showcase their cultures through performances, crafts, games, and food.

The event will take place at the Community Recreation Center from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The Community Recreation Center (CRC) is located at 505 Springinsguth Road, Schaumburg. Parking is available at the Schaumburg Park District and Hoover Elementary School. During this free event, students and families can participant in games, crafts, and activities that represent countries around the world. There will also be food available to purchase. Food vendors will accept cash.

For more information, please see the flier below.

Multicultural Event Flyer 2017

We look forward to seeing you at the Multicultural Event on May 6!

School Board recognizes 43 student artists at reception April 20

The School Board honored 43 student artists at a reception on April 20. These artists were chosen to have their work on display in the Board Room at the Rafferty Administration Center for one year. Thank you, students, for sharing your talents with us! 

Click here to view the slide show featuring all of the artwork.

Board Brief for the School Board meeting on April 20, 2017

Recognition:

  • Keller student Joe Sternbauer received an Ambassador for Excellence Award after earning his Eagle Scout badge for upgrading the community garden at Keller Junior High School.
  • Five MacArthur students received Ambassador for Excellence Awards because their team took second place in their division at the Quest Academy Chess Tournament in February.
  • Five students in the Dooley Japanese Speech Club received Ambassador for Excellence Awards due to their performances at the Japanese Speech Contest at the Japan Consulate in Chicago in March.
  • Eight Eisenhower students received Above and Beyond Awards because they were on the winning team in District 54’s Math Competition held in March.
  • Rosemary Adams received an Above and Beyond Award for the many years she has volunteered in the classrooms at Lakeview and Churchill elementary schools.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act: There have been two FOIA requests since the last board meeting related to construction and maintenance records, and the athletic equipment and bleacher inspection bid.

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

  • Minutes of the regular school board meeting on April 6, 2017
  • Resignations, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated March 31, 2017
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for February 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for March 2017
  • The purchase of classroom furnishings
  • A contract for summer moves at four schools
  • A contract for safety and maintenance inspections of existing athletic equipment and bleachers
  • A three-year extension of the natural gas contract through 2021
  • The renewal of software licensing and support for the District 54 Library Automation System
  • The purchase of social science materials
  • The purchase of computer assessment software
  • A proclamation recognizing May 2 as National Teacher Day
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings held on Sept. 15 and Oct. 1, 2015, for which approved minutes already exist

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report: Board Member Barbara Hengels announced that Ming Shelby, District 54’s Quantum Learning Instructional Coach, presented to DCAC on the engaged brain in the classroom and at home.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Member Teresa Huber announced that Memorial Grant applications for children from families facing extenuating financial circumstances are due May 1. Click here for more information.

New Business:

  • The School Board approved the appointment of representatives to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2017-18 school year.
  • The School Board approved revisions to the following board policies:
    • Employee Benefits for Employee Groups Not Covered by Negotiated Agreements – 5:410
    • Student Absences and Homework – 7:370
    • Prohibition of Electronic Communication or Entertainment Devices and Cellular Phones – 7:390
    • Supervision of Students – 7:400
    • Interrogation of Students – 7:410

Announcements:
Board members thanked Teresa Huber and Peggy Brothman for their decades of service to the District 54 students, staff and community, first through the PTA and then as board members. Teresa and Peggy are stepping down from their positions this month.

“I have never worked on a board that has been so collaborative,” Board President Charlotte Kegarise said. “No matter what’s going on in our lives when it’s all about children this board never skips a beat. They always come together and do the right thing for our students.”

Superintendent Andy DuRoss also thanked Teresa and Peggy.

“You have sacrificed countless hours of time away from your family to volunteer your time to do what’s best for the students and staff,” he said. “Saying goodbye is sad, but we really want this to be a celebration of your time in the district and what you’ve done. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Adjournment: The School Board adjourned at 7:37 p.m.

Seeds sprout in ELC class

Last month during the farm unit at the Early Learning Center, students in Room 121 A pumpkin plant with a white stem and yellow leavesbecame farmers and planted their choice of pumpkin or zinnia seeds. The students noted the difference in the shape and sizes of the seeds, and returned after spring break to find that that the seeds had sprouted into bright green plants! Several pumpkin seeds had fallen into a sensory table containing dirt, which was left covered during the break. These seeds had sprouted as well, but they had white stems and yellow leaves. The students learned that in sunlight is needed in order for a plant to create the green pigment chlorophyll.

Enders-Salk families go ‘Wild About Learning’ at reading and writing night

Enders-Salk Elementary School was transformed into a jungle April 12 for the school’s three students show their Celebrate Reading and Writing booksannual Baldy Bash Celebrate Reading and Writing Night! The theme was “Wild About Learning,” and students received passports filled with activities they could complete with their families. This included hunting for jungle animal books in the library, reading jungle poems, getting jungle tattoos, spotting the Baldy the Eagle mascot, sharing the Celebrating Reading and Writing book they had created, designing snake bookmarks, creating animals on the computer, listening to a student presentation on saving the manatees, and working on a 40th anniversary commemorative art project.

Blackwell School celebrates School Library Month

Blackwell School is celebrating School Library Month! Staff decorated their doors with A girl holds her 'If I Were a Book, My Title Would Be..." project, which is A History of the Hawksa super hero/book theme, and students and staff are creating posters that illustrate the sentence “If I were a book, my title would be…” Students’ posters are on display in the front hallway, while staff posters are in the library so students can try to guess which one their teacher created!

Fox Environmental Club helps raise awareness about storm water pollution

Students from the Anne Fox Elementary School Environmental Club, along with A group shot of the Environmental Club members outsideHanover Park Village Engineer Karen Daulton Lange, recently stenciled storm drains to raise awareness about storm water pollution. The “no dumping – drains to waterway” message was stenciled near open drains in the school parking lot and on nearby streets. Jamie Nelson, the Environmental Club’s staff leader, reached out to the Conservation Foundation who provided the paint and stencils.

District 54 parents participating in district’s adult ESL classes

Parents from schools throughout District 54 are taking part in the district’s free winter/spring English as a Second Adults taking notes during an activityLanguage classes at Frost Junior High, Blackwell Elementary School and Eisenhower Junior High. During the classes, which meet once a week for eight weeks, participants engage in communicative activities centered on a broad range of topics.

In one recent activity the group did a vocabulary walk-around for different household problems. The parents looked at pictures and wrote down on a sticky note, either in English or in their own language, what was wrong in each picture. Afterwards the parents talked about the problems and how they would call an electrician, plumber, etc. for help.

The parents also have completed speaking assignments on the computer by watching a video of their teacher asking them a question and then recording and reviewing their response to the question.

“They are extremely engaged in everything we do and are so willing to learn it all,” said Frost Spanish teacher Rosa Acostruiz, who coordinated the winter/spring 2017 sessions and is teaching the class at Frost. “It’s also great to see them work together and help each other out.”

Earlier in the school year the district offered fall/winter adult ESL classes at Hanover Highlands and Nerge elementary schools.

Muir student council collects items for District 54 Food Pantry

The Universal Student Council students at John Muir Literacy Academy recently ran their first food drive to
Two students putting items in a donation box for the food drivebenefit the District 54 Food Pantry, and it was a great success. Student Council members orchestrated the advertising of the drive through posters and scripts for afternoon announcements. They encouraged each classroom to decorate their own collection box to generate further excitement about the drive. In all, 24 boxes of food were collected in a little over a week to help stock our district food pantry and serve our community.

Superintendent’s column: Investing in education early generates long-term results

When District 54 broke ground on the Early Learning Center in 2014, we were laying more than Andy DuRoss speaks at the ELC grand openingthe foundation for the building. We were also building a foundation for the more than 700 students who attend classes in that building each year.

Decades of research have shown that a high quality early childhood education leads to future success in school and in life, both academically and socially. Many students come to school from backgrounds that do not provide the experiences required for children to develop basic skills and be ready for kindergarten. A rich, age-appropriate early childhood program can help close those gaps.

District 54 joins the National Association for the Education of Young Children each April in celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families during the Week of the Young Child, which is April 24 through 28 this year.

The Week of the Young Child began in 1971 to focus public attention on the needs of young children (birth through age 8) and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs. In School District 54, we recognize those needs.

Our Early Learning Center serves children ages 3 to 5 who have been identified as needing special education services due to a disability, as well as children who have been identified as at-risk. At-risk factors can include delays in speech/communication, intellectual processing, social-emotional development, etc. Environmental factors such as low income, non-English speaking household and family structure are also considered when identifying whether a child is at-risk.

We also provide services to families with children ages 0 to 3. Prevention Initiative offers parent-child interaction opportunities and child development information through weekly personal visits facilitated by our Parent Educators. The Parent Educators also facilitate a variety of parent-child classes at four Community Resource Centers.

Investing in Early Childhood education and a high quality learning experience for our youngest and most at-risk learners generates long-term benefits and returns to students enrolled in the program as well as to the community. Multiple studies conducted over more than 40 years indicate quality early childhood education results in a narrowing of the achievement gap, increased brain development, lower retention rates and special education placements, and an increased development of both academic and social skill acquisition for children participating.

Three kindergarten students play with blocksAfter opening the Early Learning Center in 2014, we asked “What more can we do to support our youngest learners?”

In August 2015, we began offering a free, full-day kindergarten program at all of our elementary schools. While some districts charge for this program or offer full-day kindergarten at select schools, we once again looked to the research and felt it was imperative that we offer this option to all of our students.

Research consistently indicates that students in a full-day kindergarten program achieve at higher levels academically than students in a half-day program. A full day of learning early in life can help improve a student’s reading, writing and math skills and provide a strong foundation for future learning. When teachers have more time to teach, they can provide a strong foundation, as well as acceleration opportunities for students.

Research also supports social-emotional benefits from participating in a full-day kindergarten program. Students in full-day programs have more time to become acclimated with the school, staff and peers. They exhibit more independent learning and classroom involvement. Students enrolled in the full-day program also attend physical education, music and art classes, visit the learning center weekly, eat lunch and go outside for recess – all activities that allow for interaction with their peers.

If you have a child who will be 5 years old by Sept. 1, 2017, kindergarten registration has begun. If you have already registered your child, or you child is not quite old enough to start school, there are many things you can do at home to help your child prepare for school. The most important things you can do are talk with your child, listen to your child, read with your child and respond to your child’s natural curiosity. Working together our families and our schools can prepare our youngest learners for future success.

Have your children benefitted from attending our Early Learning Center or full-day kindergarten program? I would love to hear from you. Drop me a note at AndyDuRoss@nullsd54.org or connect with me through Twitter – @D54Supe. We will also be sharing photos and stories featuring our youngest learners this month using the hashtag #woyc17.