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District 54 to hold kindergarten registration on Feb. 8

District 54 will hold kindergarten registration for the 2018-19 school year on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Registration will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at all elementary schools. Parents should go to their neighborhood school to register their child, even if they are applying to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. (Lincoln Prairie is not a neighborhood school). If your child is currently enrolled at the District 54 Early Learning Center and will be going to kindergarten next year you do not need to register your child at this time. District 54 offers a free full-day kindergarten program at all of our elementary schools, although options are available for students to attend a half-day program.

A child whose fifth birthday falls on or before Sept. 1, 2018 is eligible to enroll in kindergarten in 2018. District 54 follows the Illinois regulations and doesn’t admit students whose birth date is after Sept. 1.

To expedite the registration process, families are encouraged to begin the registration process online prior to Feb. 8.  If you have a student currently enrolled in District 54, you can register through your Parent Portal account.  Families new to District 54 can register through our online registration link. In either case, parents or guardians will still need to visit their school to present the required documentation and sign documents to complete their student’s registration.

Click here to visit our Registration page for details, including the list of required documents. 

District officials can better plan for kindergarten placements if they get most of the registrations on Feb. 8, so parents are urged to register their child for kindergarten on that date. For transportation/boundary questions, call (847) 357-5104. For general questions, call your neighborhood school.

Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Daniella P.

When I think of Jane Addams I think of the extracurricular activities. There is Media, STEM, Chorus, The Wheel, Art, Music, and Band. Media teaches students about Photoshop and more. STEM shows students how to go far in life and create amazing things with your two hands. Chorus lets students express themselves with their voice. The Wheel has three educational electives in one: art, media, and music. In art students can express themselves through paper and the teachers always remind them of that. Piano and ukulele are musical instruments we do not just learn about but also play in music. Last but not least, there is band. Addams’ band is music to your ears. The instructor and students know what they are doing when they say they do. I am very privileged to have a school that offers these electives, and I am sure that if I ask any student everyone in this school can say so. That is why I asked three students their opinion on the electives Jane Addams offers. I chose Jai W.,Mikayla M., and Bella H.

The first person I interviewed was Bella H.

Daniella: What do you think of the electives here at Addams?

Bella: I think that they are good because they cater to everyone.

Daniella: What is your favorite elective and why?

Bella: My favorite is band because I love playing music and I get to do it constantly.

Daniella: How do the electives help you succeed in your education and in your everyday school life?

Bella: I think it helps because electives can be a time that you can relax and talk to you friends.

Daniella: Why did you pick your electives?

Bella: I picked my electives because I wanted to see what different things were and I love to play music.

The next person I interviewed was Mikayla M.

Daniella: What is the most exciting thing about Media?

Mikayla: My favorite thing about media is you can just express your creativity through film and editing.  It gives you opportunities that some subjects in school don’t usually have.

Daniella: Why do you think the electives here are important?

Mikayla: I think that it gives children more freedom to show who they are outside of a normal classroom environment, and experience new things.

The last person I interviewed was Jai W.

Daniella: Why did you chose Chorus for your elective?

Jai: I chose chorus as an elective because I started to love singing when I was 6. I have loved singing ever since then so, I picked chorus as an elective.

Daniella: What is something that sticks out the most from these elective classes?

Jai: Something that sticks out to me is the different genres of music that we learn about and the fact that everyone gets a chance to have a solo/trio/small group.

Daniella: Would you recommend your elective to new students coming next year?

Jai: I recommend chorus as an elective because if students next year like to sing, then chorus would be a good elective. Chorus helps students express themselves through their voice.

District 54’s Junior Journalists are seventh- and eighth-grade students from each of our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie School who write monthly stories about their building for the District 54 website.

Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Abby W.

The Addams boys basketball season recently came to an end, and different sports are filling their place.

We are really excited to start getting into the winter sports. There are many options students can choose from such as volleyball and wrestling. Students can also do an intramural sport if they aren’t ready to be on a team.

We can’t forget about our awesome clubs and events that are happening as well. Our debate team recently started their first battle and the chess club is starting up too. Most importantly, the school play recently started and they are working on their roles and their jobs.

Junior Journalist Update from Mead – By Ella S.

A Mission to Mars heat shieldOne new and very special part of the Magnet curriculum this year includes a teamwork and engineering challenge called “Mission to Mars.” In the “Mission to Mars,” students are transformed into Mars Exploration Engineers, who are faced with specific criteria and constraint challenges in the process of colonizing Mars.

“Mission to Mars I” focused on getting to Mars safely and in a timely manner. “Mission to Mars II,” which began in December, has been just as exceptional as part I. Now that the Magnet Mars Exploration Engineers have successfully landed on Mars, they are working on making Mars habitable and hospitable.

“I’ve never had this much fun and challenge in science before. This has really pushed Magnet to the next level,” said Maya, a Magnet student. “So far, my favorite challenge has been Mission to Mars II Level 3. In this level, we designed a heat shield out of basic materials to protect our ‘eggstronauts’ when entering the Martian atmosphere. To test them, our teacher put them over a Bunsen burner for a minute, and we tested whether the heat shield safely protected the egg (that the egg didn’t crack from the heat, and was still raw after). Some teams’ heat shields actually caught on fire! Their ‘eggstronauts’ did not survive.”

The Magnet crew and Mr. Pfeifer, the Magnet science teacher at Mead, were excited to report on their awesome findings as they finished up “Mission to Mars” before winter break.

District 54’s Junior Journalists are seventh- and eighth-grade students from each of our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie School who write monthly stories about their building for the District 54 website.

Dirksen donates toys to Alexian Brothers

Dirksen's student ambassadors and staff with toys that students donatedLast month the student ambassadors at Dirksen organized a toy drive for Alexian Brothers Women and Children’s Hospital, creating posters to encourage students to bring a toy to brighten the holidays of families in the hospital. Students were excited to give back and help people who are having a difficult time, and the ambassadors delivered holiday cheer along with the toys.

Junior Journalist Update from Addams – By Ryan K.

In preparation for the school musical, actors have been auditioning, and the backstage crew is gathering. This year, “Peter Pan Junior” is the musical, and the roles have already been filled. The backstage crew is starting to gather and distribute the jobs among the group. Students who wanted to be involved with the play, yet not actually acting in the play, are able to choose from a variety of jobs that will all help bring the play together in the end. The stage crew can choose from manning the spotlights that will keep the crowd’s eyes on the characters, or painters who will liven up the background. There are even jobs for people who want to help whitewash the old props, so that the painters will have something to paint on. The roles that the students were able to choose from had a wide range, with all of them just as important as the others.

It’s amazing to see that all the students have come together to create something. One of the more important jobs is the set movers. They have to move and carry props when they are swapping scenes. They have to be there for the actual play, up on the stage in the dark, carrying these heavy items. Then of course the actors are amazing, too, because without them there would be no musical.

Musical performances will be on March 16 at 7 p.m., and on March 17 at 1 and 7 p.m. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it!

District 54’s Junior Journalists are seventh- and eighth-grade students from each of our junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie School who write monthly stories about their building for the District 54 website.

District 54 recognized as model Professional Learning Community

School District 54 has been recognized as a model Professional Learning Community (PLC) for its sustained success in raising student achievement. PLCs are schools and districts in which educators recognize that the key to improved learning for students is ongoing, job-embedded learning for the staff who serve those students.

District 54 was one of 13 districts in the United States and Canada to be selected as a 2017 model PLC based on strict criteria, including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. As a recognized model PLC, District 54 appears on, a website to share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools.

The District 54 PLC journey began in the summer of 2005, when all administrators read Whatever It Takes and attended staff development on PLCs. The first step to forming collaborative teams is having all staff members involved in drafting the mission, vision, collective commitments and goals. A Board Goals Committee was created during the 2006-07 school year to write such a document, which continues to be updated.

The new mission became the foundation for the next steps. A Goals Communication Committee was formed to ensure that all staff members, parents and students were aware of the new mission, vision, collective commitments and goals. The mission of a school district is essential to its success – however, that only holds true if all stakeholders understand and embrace that mission. As part of this process we also adopted three goals for the district. One of these goals was that “At least 90% of all students will meet or exceed standards in reading and math as measured by both district and state assessments.” As more of our schools have met, or are on their way to meeting this goal, they have participated in audits which have shown that District 54 is succeeding in providing PLCs that have positive impacts on students and staff. Each audit offered some suggestions for improvement which staff has embraced to better support students.

District 54 is the largest elementary school district in the state of Illinois featuring a diverse collection of 28 schools. Prior to the implementation of PLC principles, there was tremendous variance in schooling experiences for students across the district. PLCs have been instrumental in bringing the entire school system into focus and in providing students with the educational experiences they truly need in order to be successful. Today, more than ever, District 54 is living up to its credo of “Ensuring Student Success.” PLC implementation has been the number one factor in our success, and District 54 continues to focus on collaborative processes with 10 successful years of PLC implementation. District 54 continues to be recognized as an All Things PLC district, one of 13 in the United States, and has been visited by many districts from across the country and around the world for our cross-cutting work in the areas of PLCs, School Improvement Processes, STEM, Dual Language, Inclusion, and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.

On the web site,, District 54 details how it has achieved success through three PLC concepts:

1. Monitoring student learning on a timely basis.

District 54 administers the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to students in kindergarten through eighth grade three times each year in mathematics and reading. This adaptive, computerized assessment precisely identifies a student’s strengths and areas where he needs further assistance. Teachers receive immediate feedback (within 24 hours), allowing them to provide appropriate instruction for each child. By administering MAP three times each year, we can measure a child’s growth over the course of the year. The results help us tailor instruction to the individual student, and also provide data for the school and the district to evaluate programs and curriculum.

2. Creating systems of intervention to provide students with additional time and support for learning.

In 2008 District 54 adopted its Response to Intervention (RtI) plan. The key to RtI is simple: If we provide quality instruction, with all of our personnel supporting all children, and do this early, we will meet our District 54 goal of getting all students to grade level in reading and math. Each school has set two 30-minute intervention and extension blocks each day (one or two periods for junior high students) for every grade level. During this time, students across a grade level are regrouped based on the instructional needs identified by the data from common assessments and from other reliable data. Students in need of additional support work with teachers in small group settings who have the training and expertise to accelerate learning for our most struggling learners. Students who have mastered the identified skill receive extension from gifted or classroom teachers.

3. Building teacher capacity to work as members of high performing collaborative teams that focus efforts on improved learning for all students.

District 54 dismisses students 30 minutes early every Wednesday so that staff can have additional time to meet to monitor student progress, develop common assessments and discuss appropriate interventions and enrichment. In addition, each school was charged with creating a master schedule that allowed for team collaboration.

Collaborative teams in District 54 focus on the four key questions of the PLC.

  • What do all students need to know and be able to do?
  • How will we know if they learned it?
  • How will we intervene for students who don’t learn our essential outcomes?
  • How will we extend for students who already know our essential outcomes?

District 54 is one of only 13 districts listed on the website, In addition to being listed as a district, there are five District 54 schools on the site as well: Enders-Salk, Hanover Highlands and Muir elementary schools and Eisenhower and Keller junior high schools.

Click here to visit District 54’s page on the All Things PLC website. 


District 54 receives its 21st Meritorious Budget Award

For the 21st year in a row, School District 54 has received a Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International for its 2017-18 annual budget.

The Meritorious Budget Award is conferred only to school systems that have met or exceeded the Meritorious Budget Award Program criteria. Developed by ASBO for school districts, the MBA criteria guide school business officials toward a quality school budget presentation by enhancing the school business officials’ skills in developing, analyzing, and presenting a school system budget.

Since its inception, the program has gained the distinction of being a prestigious award recognized by accounting professionals; bond counsel; underwriters; securities analysts; bond rating agencies; educational, teacher and citizen groups; and federal and state agencies.

Meritorious Budget Award 2017-18

District 54 Open Enrollment Fair scheduled for January 24

A goal of the School District 54 Board of Education is to provide options for parents in the selection of their child’s school. In addition to the neighborhood school, School District 54 has developed programs at several district schools, which it can now offer as choices.

District 54 invites parents to its annual Open Enrollment Fair on Wednesday, January 24, 2018. The fair will provide parents with information on eight elementary schools in the district:  Blackwell, Campanelli, Dooley, Enders-Salk, Hanover Highlands, Lincoln Prairie, Link and MacArthur. Each school houses a unique program and School District 54 anticipates a few openings at each site next year.

You do not need to arrive early to get a spot at one of the schools. While applications are available on Jan. 24, names will not be chosen that evening. In addition, people who cannot attend the event can still apply for their children to attend one of our open enrollment schools.

The fair will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. at the District 54 Professional Learning Center, 522 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg. Superintendent Andy DuRoss will give a short presentation, after which parents will have the opportunity to visit each school’s booth and learn about each site in greater detail. Representatives from each school will discuss open enrollment opportunities and answer questions. A short description of each school is listed below.

Blackwell Elementary School:  Blackwell, in Schaumburg, offers sign language as a mode of communication. Students learn signing from their teachers and communicate with both traditional oral and sign language. Blackwell also houses the District 54 program for students who are hearing impaired. Supporting this communication theme, a full production lab is installed at Blackwell so students can participate in video production projects and classes. For more information, call Principal Jillian Sagan at (847) 357-5555.

Campanelli Elementary School:  A Mandarin Chinese immersion program began in August 2011. The goal of this program is for students to communicate effectively in Chinese as well as develop a deep understanding of the Chinese culture. Campanelli, in Schaumburg, now offers the Mandarin Chinese program in kindergarten through sixth grade. For more information, call Principal Amy Christie at (847) 357-5333.

Dooley Elementary School: Dooley, in Schaumburg, started its Dual-Language Japanese Program and Early Instrumental Music Program at the beginning of the 2001-02 school year. Students in kindergarten through sixth grade currently have the option of learning Japanese and English together in this dual-language setting. In addition, early instrumental music (violin) is available to primary students at Dooley. Individuals can sign up for the Dual-Language Program only or the Dual-Language and Early Instrumental Music programs together. For more information, call Principal Beth Erbach at (847) 357-6250.

Enders-Salk Elementary School:  Dual-Language Spanish kindergarten classes started in 2000 at Enders-Salk in Schaumburg. Currently, the school offers dual-language in kindergarten through sixth grade. The goal of this program is for students to communicate effectively in both languages by the time they exit the school at the end of sixth grade. For more information, call Principal Michael Henry at (847) 357-6400.

Hanover Highlands Elementary School:  Dual-Language Spanish kindergarten classes started in 2004 at Hanover Highlands in Hanover Park. Currently, the school offers dual-language in kindergarten through sixth grade. The goal of this program is for students to communicate effectively in both languages by the time they exit the school at the end of sixth grade. For more information, call Principal Faith Rivera at (630) 736-4230.

Lincoln Prairie School:  Lincoln Prairie, in Hoffman Estates, is a community school founded on the premise that students learn in a variety of ways. Lincoln Prairie is the only District 54 building housing children from kindergarten through eighth grade. Students are grouped in multiage classrooms, working with teams of teachers on integrated curriculum. Project Development Time, in which students choose learning projects offered by staff, is a popular activity. Parent participation is an expectation at Lincoln Prairie. For more information, call Principal Amanda Stochl at (847) 357-5955.

Link School: Dual-Language Spanish kindergarten classes started in 2009 at Link, based in Elk Grove Village. Currently, the school offers dual-language in kindergarten through sixth grade. The goal of this program is for students to communicate effectively in both languages by the time they exit the school at the end of sixth grade. For more information, call Principal Quinn Wulbecker at (847) 357-5300.

MacArthur International Spanish Academy:  The original Dual-Language School in District 54, MacArthur, in Hoffman Estates, has been offering a full dual-language Spanish program with students progressing through sixth grade in their dual-language class for 21 years. Kindergarten students will learn Spanish and English from classroom teachers who are fluent in each language. For more information, call Principal Heidy LaFleur at (847) 357-6650.

People interested in viewing the programs in action can visit the schools. Dates will be set after the fair, so that groups of interested parents can tour the school together. Call each school to make an appointment. For more information call Terri McHugh, community relations executive director, at (847) 357-5028.

Schaumburg Parent University to present concussion prevention and treatment workshop

Schaumburg Parent University will host a workshop on Thursday, January 11 entitled “Concussion Prevention and Treatment.” Dr. Shaun O’Leary, the head of Northwest Community Hospital’s Neurosciences Center, will speak to parents and athletes about the dangers of concussions. In an hour-long format with a Q & A session to follow, he will discuss the detection, diagnosis and treatment of concussions. This presentation is for adults, as well as children in sixth grade and older. The program is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. January 11 at the District 54 Professional Learning Center, 522 E. Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg.

Schaumburg Parent University (SPU) is designed to involve more parents in the life of the school, to strengthen family relationships, and to improve parenting skills that will ultimately result in improved student success academically, socially and emotionally.

For more information about SPU, including details about how to register for a workshop, click here.