District 54 supporting two school supply drives for students

District 54 is always looking for new school supplies for students in financial need. Currently we are supporting the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce Tools for Success school supply collection, which runs through Aug. 4, and the Schaumburg Township “Fill the Bus” campaign, which will be held on August 4 and 5.

Hoffman Chamber – Tools for Success

Collection boxes labeled Tools for Success are located at numerous locations in the community, including the District 54 Administration Center (524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg), the Schaumburg Township District Library, Hoffman Estates Village Hall, St. Alexius Medical Center, area banks and many more locations (click here for a complete list of participating locations).

Schaumburg Township – Fill the Bus

Schaumburg Township is hosting a two-day Fill the Bus school supply drive from 4 to 7 p.m. August 4 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 5 at the Target on Barrington and Schaumburg roads in Schaumburg. A bus has been donated by District 211 and Target has allowed the Township to use the parking lot so that people can easily make donations. For more information, check out this video created by MacArthur student Maya C. or visit the Township website.

Please note these collections are for new items only. Donated school supplies will be distributed anonymously through school personnel.

Individuals are also welcome to donate supplies directly to their neighborhood school starting August 7. Thank you in advance for your support.

Brief from the School Board meeting on July 13, 2017

Discussion – District 54 Elementary Facilities Analysis:
District 54 conducted a review of the projected facility space needs at each of our elementary schools through the 2021-22 school year using enrollment projections provided by the Kasarda Study completed in the fall of 2016. The study predicted an increase of more than 330 students in the next five years.

Classroom space is an issue, particularly at Link, Churchill and Dirksen. Two options exist to resolve issues at these schools – redistricting or completing building additions. Drafts of modified floor plans were provided with the board memo. The district will also closely monitor enrollment growth at Blackwell, Collins, Dooley, Fox and Hale.

The district must also address enrollment growth in self-contained special education programs and develop a plan that provides stable, quality learning environments for all students. One option would be to renovate the former Twinbrook School and open it as a school to house classes for District 54 students with intellectual disabilities and low functioning students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Other options include opening another open enrollment school at Twinbrook, building an 8- or 14-classroom addition at Dirksen to host both general and special education classes and using existing classroom space across the district.

A Committee of the Whole meeting is recommended to be held on August 10 to enable the Board to fully consider and discuss short- and long-term facility needs, and to direct the administration on the steps to take to resolve space issues impacting the schools.  With this direction, the administration would prepare a detailed facilities action plan as a discussion topic for the Sept. 7, 2017 board meeting.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

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

  • Minutes of the regular School Board meeting on June 15, 2017
  • Resignations, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated June 9 and 23, 2017
  • The Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investment for May 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for June 2017
  • The purchase of art supplies for the 2017-18 school year
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meeting on Dec. 17, 2015 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss introduced Darcy Kriha, attorney for the board of education, to present an update on school laws, including training required of school board members, board members serving as mandated reporters under the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, potential new laws on the interrogation of students and other legal matters.

Cabinet Report – Staffing Plan Update:
Assistant Superintendent Pete Hannigan provided an update on the staffing plan approved by the School Board on March 16. The district will add four kindergarten positions, four general education positions and two fine arts positions due to enrollment increases. In addition, due to the increase in the number of students receiving special education services, the district will add six special education resource staff members and one position at the Early Learning Center.

Cabinet Report – Extended School Year (ESY) 2017:
Assistant Superintendent Cassie Williams reported on the Extended School Year program, which is designed for students with disabilities to maintain their growth over the summer. A team of staff determines whether a student meets specific criteria to qualify for ESY based on academic, behavioral, social, communication and other skills. This summer 382 students attended ESY.

Cabinet Report – English Learner Assessment Center Update and Review of Practice:
Assistant Superintendent Danette Meyer reported that 2,634 District 54 students (22 percent) are classified as English Language Learners. This number has increased annually due to the growing diversity in District 54. When a student registers to attend school in District 54, his parents must complete a Home Language Survey required by the state that asks if a language other than English is spoken in the home. In District 54, 56 percent of students have another language spoken in the home.

If the parent indicates that the student received English Learner services at a previous school, District 54 can check the Illinois Student Information System to determine a child’s proficiency. Some students may not need to be assessed. Incoming kindergarten students and others who have not previously taken nationally normed test scores will take the state-mandated language screening assessment (WIDA). The assessment teacher explains the assessment and the results to parents, and shares information about the supports provided at District 54 schools. District 54 has screened 801 students from January 1 through June 5, 2017, and 449 qualified for English Learner services.

Legislative Networking Report: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan reported that the Illinois General Assembly passed a budget by overriding the governor’s veto. Both houses also passed the education funding plan, but this bill has not been delivered to the governor yet.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan reported that the golf outing raised more than $40,000.

New Business:

  • The Board had the first reading of the following deleted and revised board policies:  Student Social Events (Class Parties) – 6:440 (deleted), Parent Notification of Student Absences – 7:70(a) (revised) and Truancy – 7:70(b) (revised).


  • Board members announced that Barb Hengels is celebrating 20 years of service as a board member and thanked her for the impact she has had on thousands of District 54 students. Her family attended the meeting to celebrate with her.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:51 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters, legal matters and business matters.

Brief from the School Board meeting on June 15, 2017

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act: There has been one FOIA request since the last board meeting related to employee database information.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session School Board meetings on May 18, 2017
  • Minutes of the Committee of the Whole meeting on May 18, 2017
  • Minutes of the special open and closed-session School Board meetings on June 1 and 6, 2017
  • Resignations, leaves and employment of personnel
  • The 2017-18 salaries for administrators, supervisory personnel, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, educational interpreters, floor time specialists and crisis intervention assistants
  • The 2017-18 salary parameters for nonrepresented staff
  • The 2017-18 salaries for pay grade 1 through pay grade 3 personnel, market-rated personnel and part-time employees
  • The 2017-18 salary rates for the elementary school lunch program and substitutes
  • Checks dated May 12 and 26, 2017
  • The Treasurer’s Report on Cash and Investment for April 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for May 2017
  • Prevailing wage rates for 2017-18
  • The 2017-18 workers’ compensation insurance policy
  • An insurance benefits consulting contract with Wine Sergi Insurance
  • The purchase of a treasurer’s bond for the period of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018
  • The purchase of Chromebooks
  • The purchase of software licensing and support
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meeting on Nov. 5, 2015 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andy DuRoss reviewed the 2016-17 accomplishments. Our students achieved their growth targets on MAP. The district implemented digital learning successfully within all junior high and middle level classes. We updated the report card for kindergarten through eighth grade. We embedded student growth into the appraisal plan. We adopted a new literacy series. And we developed new social studies essential outcomes aligned to the new state standards.

In addition, we began exploring the research behind positive psychology. While our cultural assessment shows 84.33 percent of staff members are highly satisfied and highly engaged, there is always room for growth. All staff will be trained on August 17 in the work of Shawn Achor, who wrote The Happiness Advantage.

This past week, the District 54 leadership team hosted Todd Whitaker, who wrote What Great Leaders Do Differently. In addition, this summer administrators will read Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why; How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. DuRoss said it’s important to continue to develop great leaders who inspire others who create a culture of high expectations for all students.

Quality teaching and teaming practices set District 54 apart. Professional Learning Community teams consistently ask:  What do we want students to know and be able to do, how are we assessing student mastery, how do we respond when they fail to demonstrate mastery and how do we respond when they have already demonstrated mastery?

DuRoss also shared the projects for 2017-18, which include a strategic planning process to identify goals, priorities and practices to redefine whole child student success, a long-term facilities plan, a digital learning task force to examine Chromebook use in fifth and sixth grade, and more.

Erin Knoll, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, reported that more than 700 teachers have been back in school during the first two weeks of summer vacation, voluntarily attending the annual District 54 Professional Development Symposium last week and summer planning sessions this week, where teachers work as teams to learn and prepare for the upcoming school year.

Board President’s Report: Board President Mary Kay Prusnick announced that the union groups invited the School Board to participate in ACES training on June 20 in Palatine. ACES stands for adverse childhood experiences. All District 54 staff will be trained in this program this fall.

Legislative Networking Report: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan reported that Illinois legislators are expecting the chair of the House and the Senate to call them back to session with a goal of passing a state budget.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan thanked the sponsors, donors, golfers and volunteers who attended the Foundation’s golf outing on June 12.

New Business:

  • The Board approved the appointment of an additional representative to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2017-18 school year.
  • The Board approved the 2017-18 Tentative Budget. Click here to access the budget memo.
  • The Board approved a resolution calling for a public hearing on the 2017-18 budget at 7 p.m. August 10, 2017.


  • Board members expressed gratitude that they were able to participate in the eighth-grade graduation ceremonies with students, staff and families.
  • Board members also praised people who organized and worked at the professional development symposiums in District 54 and the District 54 Education Foundation golf outing on Monday.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

District 54 releases tentative 2017-18 budget

The District 54 School Board released a tentative version of its 2017-18 budget at its June 15, 2017, meeting. District 54 expects to spend $257,807,382 during the 2017-18 budget year and receive $258,285,212 in revenues.

There are several unknowns in the budget at this time due to the fact that the state has not passed a budget yet and is considering several bills that could freeze property taxes and change the education funding formula. District 54 developed the 2017-18 tentative budget at this time based on the following parameters:


  • Property taxes for levy years 2016-2017 are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 0.7 percent for the 2016 levy and 1.5 percent for the 2017 levy.
  • Federal aid is expected to be comparable to 2016-2017 revenue.
  • State aid is expected to remain flat. District 54 does not know at this point what its funding level will be from the state for the current year.
  • Interest income is projected to increase from the previous year because of the federal rate increases.
  • Local revenues will remain consistent due to the fee structure approved by the board, which is consistent with the prior year.


  • Salaries for 2017-2018 are based on retirement projections of 10 employees retiring at the end of the 2016-17 fiscal year, and the effective raise to employees of step and lane changes.
  • Benefit costs are projected based on 2016-17 actual expected costs and an increase expected in 2017-18 of approximately 4 percent.
  • 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.
  • Tuition costs are budgeted to increase 7 percent from 2016-2017, 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, 2017, through August 10, 2017. On August 10, 2017, 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 10, 2017 meeting.

Individual Fund Summary




Education 221,530,367 221,942,227
Operations and Maintenance 19,581,619 18,573,875
Bond and Interest 30,000 0
Transportation 9,697,656 10,287,154
IMRF/Social Security/Medicare 6,892,640 6,952,503
Working Cash 500,965 0
Fire Prevention/Life Safety 51,965 51,623

To view the detailed 2017-18  tentative budget, visit the District 54 Board of Education website at and click on the budget link in the June 15 Board Brief.

District 54 hosts summer registration hours

Parents of children who will be new students at District 54 schools 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 20 through July 27 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays. We will be closed on Mondays and Fridays as well as on Tuesday, 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 fees are $50 for all students from early childhood through junior high school for the 2017-18 school year.

A late fee of $15 will be imposed on any payments received after Nov. 15. The late fee will be increased to $25 if no payment is made by Feb. 1 and to $35 if no payment is made by April 1. Children who qualify for the free lunch program will not be charged this fee.

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 during day hours only.

Parents wishing to register students new to School District 54 after July 27 should go to their neighborhood school. New student registration will resume at school buildings on August 4.

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

Campanelli students participate in STEM Day

All Campanelli Elementary School students participated in the school’s fourth annual STEM Day on May 31.A gooey activity STEM Day was created to help keep students engaged in learning while having fun during the last days of school. Each grade level participated in a variety of science, technology, engineering, and math related activities such as creating 3D images, marble runs and roller coasters, as well as the science of bottle flipping, slime and floating pennies. To continue to develop the Campanelli community, students were grouped with students from different classrooms and rotated through several different sessions.

Enders-Salk sixth graders get visit from special guests

The sixth grade class from Enders-Salk Elementary School got a visit June 1 fromA group photo some special guests wishing them well on their graduation: Officers from the Schaumburg Police Department. The officers answered students’ questions and shared information about what police officers do. The students also had a chance to see the squad cars up close and witness a demonstration with K-9 Majic.

Books come to life at Read Across Hanover

Mosaics, origami, an egg drop and balloon animals were just a few of the activities Three boys prepare for the egg drop challengethat helped bring books to life at Hanover Highlands Elementary School May 31.

During the school’s third annual Read Across Hanover event, inspired by a similar event created by Enders-Salk Learning Resource Teacher Katie Montalbano seven years ago, students rotated to three stations throughout the morning where they read a book and then participated in a related game, activity or craft.

The idea is to get students excited about reading, said Learning Resource Teacher Laura Masters.

“Especially with summer coming, a book doesn’t just have to be a book — it can be a book and an activity,” she said.

For instance, students created balloon animals after hearing the story “Harvey Potter’s Balloon Farm”; planted seeds after reading “Splat the Cat Oopsie-Daisy”; participated in Olympic games after reading “Cheetah Can’t Lose”; created mosaics after reading “The Book of Mistakes”; participated in an emoji scavenger hunt around the school after reading “Where’s Emoji Seek and Find”; made superhero capes and masks after reading ‘Superfab Saves the Day”; and participated in an egg drop challenge after reading “Egg Drop.”

In the afternoon students played book bingo and participated in Battle of the Books.

Blackwell walk raises funds for JDRF

Blackwell students and staff completed their first charitable walk this afternoon. The event Students walk together for JDRFcapped off several weeks of fundraising which brought in a grand total of $5,108 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Hanover Highlands butterfly garden dedicated in custodian’s memory

Family, friends and Hanover Highlands Elementary staff gathered after school May A boy holds a butterfly23 to dedicate the school’s growing butterfly garden in the name of Glenn Markgraf. A memorial plaque was installed in the garden, and painted lady butterflies were released.

A building custodian for 13 years, Glenn spread his love of gardening and the environment to the students and worked closely with the school’s Environmental Club. When the butterfly garden initiative began, Glenn helped out however he could, taking care of the garden throughout the year including over the summer. His love of the environment was also reflected in the school’s composting initiative.