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Brief from the Board Meeting on October 16

Public Comment:
Darlene Schlenbecker, the executive director of planning, research and institutional effectiveness at Harper College, spoke about the college’s referendum on the November ballot. Click here for more information.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on October 14, 2018
  • The retirement, employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated October 12, 2018
  • The treasurer’s reports on cash and investments for August 2018
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for September 2018

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss reflected on the 54 Promise Strategic Plan and highlighted the work completed to date this year. For example, we have implemented a new social-emotional curriculum, launched a student ambassador program at the junior high schools and Lincoln Prairie middle level, started training the Innovate 54 instructional innovation teams, opened creation studios at Churchill and Dirksen and Makerspaces at all elementary schools, and continued to recruit and develop exceptional personnel. We are able to focus on student learning and provide teachers with strong instructional resources because we’ve been fiscally responsible.

Cabinet Report – Leadership Academy:
Assistant Superintendent Pete Hannigan shared an overview, objectives and schedule for this year’s District 54 Leadership Academy. Participants are provided an opportunity to gain the tools, framework and leadership techniques needed to become a leader in District 54. Emphasis is placed on building and sustaining effective learning environments, and improving the overall instructional excellence in District 54. This year 92 individuals applied for the Leadership Academy. Participants are required to attend six sessions throughout the school year, attend at least one day of the District 54 Symposium in June and meet regularly with a District 54 administrator assigned as their mentor.

Cabinet Report – Data Retreats:
Assistant Superintendent Paul Goldberg reported on the data retreats that school administrators and teacher leaders attended this fall. The purpose of the retreat is to analyze their current student learning data and set goals connected to the three District 54 Board Goals. School goals are focused on the whole child, growth and proficiency in math and literacy, and school culture related to our work in positive psychology.

Cabinet Report – English Learner Targeted Assistance Writing Program:
Assistant Superintendent Danette Meyer announced that 130 teachers will implement our 10-week targeted writing program for more than 1,200 English Learners in first through eighth grade. Students meet after school twice a week and study topics aligned with the current science and social studies content. Students build their background knowledge of these topics by watching videos, collaborating with peers, and reading short passages with visual supports. This year the program will be held at 27 schools from October 16, 2018 through January 17, 2019. This program has made a significant impact on increasing the rate of student attainment of English proficiency.

Cabinet Report – Makerspace Implementation:
Assistant Superintendent Erin Knoll provided an update on the implementation of Makerspaces in all elementary schools. Strategic Focus Area 2 of the District 54 Promise strategic plan involves cultivating innovation in learning space and instructional design. This fall all elementary students began receiving 30 additional minutes of time in the learning center, to practice the 4 C’s:  critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. This Makerspace time is designed for teachers to serve as facilitators as students make both high- and low-tech creations.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee: Board Member Barbara Hengels reported that DCAC heard a presentation on student ambassadors, Makerspaces and the mentoring program in District 54.

Illinois Association of School Boards/National School Boards Association: The Board discussed proposed resolutions that will come before the Illinois Association of School Boards for a vote at the November conference. The Board directed IASB delegate Charlotte Kegarise to oppose proposals related to giving school boards the authority to allow arming teachers and a proposal allowing districts to borrow or obtain money without referendum to purchase energy saving equipment. The Board supported proposals related to funding mental health services and student voter registration.

District 54 Education Foundation: Board Secretary Bob Kaplan reported that the Foundation is partnering with the Windy City Bulls on December 14. The evening will include the participation of a number of student groups, including a Special Olympics basketball game at halftime. Click here to buy tickets or for more information.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved a resolution estimating the amount of the 2018 aggregate tax levy at $180,000,000.
  • The Board approved Nicholas & Associates to act as construction manager to oversee the 2019 construction projects.
  • The Board approved a resolution authorizing the release and termination of rights of reverter to the Twinbrook School property. The property was transferred to the Hoffman Estates Park District.
  • The Board approved revisions to Policy 2:140(a) – Communications To and From Board.


  • The School Board congratulated the District 54 recipients of the Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel Awards who will be honored at a banquet on Saturday.
  • Board members expressed their appreciation for the Professional Learning Communities workshop for new employees, the PTA Fall Conference Dinner and the work of our PTAs.
  • The Board also commented on how impressed they were when they visited a Lincoln Prairie class using virtual reality headsets and visited the new learning spaces at Churchill School.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

D54 Parent Educators to host Positive Discipline workshop

The District 54 Parent Educators will host a Positive Discipline workshop on Wednesday, November 14 from 4:30-6 p.m. for parents of children newborn through five years of age.  This free program will discuss setting limits, encouraging desired behaviors, and offering praise and support. Learning about positive discipline can encourage children to grow and learn in a safe, loving environment. This program will take place at the Community Resource Center in the Hoffman Estates Police Department, 411 W. Higgins Road. Children are welcome!

For more information please contact any of the three Parent Educators:

  • Dayne Prochaska, 847-230-1910
  • Jennifer Weisler, 847-230-1904
  • Erin Wolaver, 847-230-1903 (habla espanol)

Workshop Flyer in English and Spanish

Junior Journalist Update from Keller – by Shreya P.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them. 

School is back and rolling at Keller Junior High. It’s pretty nice to see all the familiar eighth-graders walking back into the building, as well as the new faces that are strolling through the halls this year. During school, we are focusing a lot on how to stay positive and happy throughout our day, whether it’s through a smile, chatting with an unfamiliar person, giving positive notes to each other, or even finding gratitude when possible. As Wildcats, we are making the 54 Promise a tremendous opportunity to grow.

During Advisory class this year, we are doing social-emotional lessons that apply to our lives inside, as well as outside of the building. We are really tying in the 8 Keys of Success to our learning. As humans, we all need to learn how we positively think about ourselves and others using one of our keys to success, This is It. It takes so many of those wonderful compliments to throw away one negative effect. The way we feel about ourselves and those that surround us is important because it affects the way we ultimately reflect on our day.

Orange is such a bright and cheerful color that represents the Happiness Advantage. Seeing orange around our building simply makes us smile. As our principal, Mr. Barbini, consistently states, we should “live above the line” and work “together as one.” Have you ever had an insecure moment or felt like you wanted to say something negative about yourself? The Happiness Advantage helps change that mentality by having us think about the positives, as well as incorporating three gratitudes each day. Be optimistic instead of thinking about everything that is going wrong. Try to switch the situation into a positive one and focus on what you can do differently.

A few ways to make the school environment happier would be by giving each other gratitudes, compliments, a kind gesture, or even a simple smile. A cheerful approach could make someone’s day so much better. Telling friends what you appreciate about them would encourage them to tell others the same; then, it’s a chain reaction from there. One positive message can go a long way … keep that in mind!

After reading this, I hope you take away our promise to inspire others, including one way you can impact their lives immediately. Show positivity, give compliments, reach out to someone new. There are many ways to impact this world and it all starts with you!

Junior Journalist Update from Eisenhower – By Sadhika V.

For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them.

“Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.” – the staff of District 54

When we say the Pledge Of Allegiance, we pour our hearts out and promise to our country, we will be our best selves every single day. The 54 Promise is just like our Pledge of Allegiance. The staff and students at Eisenhower Junior High vow to our district, our schoolmates, and education that we will be our best selves every single day and help others be their best.

At Eisenhower Junior High (IKE), we, the students and the staff, try our best to uphold our promise to make our school a safe and supportive space. At IKE, we go out of our way to make each other feel appreciated and loved. The students guarantee an environment where their fellow schoolmates can be themselves and be valued for it. The classroom is a space where each student is confident to take risks and help others do the same. When students are in an uncomfortable or problematic situation, their classmates jump in to support them. Being kind and accepting of everyone is one of our school’s expectations.

The staff and teachers at IKE support each other and the student body tremendously, both academically and socially. The teachers and other staff members ensure a socially comfortable and academically challenging atmosphere in which everyone feels welcome and respected. For instance, if a student is in a difficult time in their life, teachers will try their hardest to understand what they are going through and will help them to their highest extent. Being empathetic and understanding toward their students is the main goal for the staff of Eisenhower.

As you can see, the 54 Promise is very important to all of us at Eisenhower. Each day is spent trying to be our best selves and striving to meet our goals and expectations.

Junior Journalist Update from Frost – By Aishani W.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them. 

Robert Frost Junior High exemplifies the ideal middle school that any student would want to be part of. Frost and its staff exceed the expectation of the 54 Promise and showcase it every day. The 54 Promise is a way for students to show how they can affect other peers in their lives. It’s a way where others can express their commitment to do whatever it takes in order to give support to the district’s families and students. The 54 Promise explains that it is a goal that teachers and the students keep in order to be successful in their future lives. Some goals that District 54 has are ensuring the success of each child, performing in the top 10% of all schools in reading and math, and closing the achievement gap within the reading and math state and local assessments.

My personal belief about the 54 Promise is quite positive. I have a personal goal that I was asked to keep and I am trying my best to fulfill it to the fullest. It it quite hard, especially since I’m in so many extracurricular activities as well as in Discovery with a high workload. One goal that I have for myself is to gain 10 new friends this year. I know that it sounds like a simple goal for a person who has a vivacious and bubbly personality, but most of the time I spend time with the people I know and am close to. I want to stretch out and go past my friendzone into a new group of people that will help me grow not only by academics but as a person as well. The 54 Promise has been affecting my life so much, since it has given me a new purpose to do something that I’m not always comfortable doing. Now I have a reason and a push to actually increase the positivity in my life.

I have also seen others’ lives changed because of this. This year, there has been a tremendous increase of positivity and helpfulness. Everyone tries to make others joyful. There is a vast increase of encouragement that I have noticed since the past year. For example, a couple of days ago there was a lesson that occurred in Advocacy that was very emotional and touching. It reminded me of some of my earlier experiences. When my classmates saw me in tears, they left everything that they were working on and directly came rushing toward me, engulfing me in a hug. This is when I realized how much the 54 Promise affected my life as well as others that I know. They want to see me grow and they always build me up. This is the true power of the 54 Promise.

The teachers and staff also have a huge impact on the students’ lives as well. My geometry teacher is one of the nicest teachers that I have met. She encourages me to try my best and give my full effort as well as teaches me in an effective way. Mrs. Corriveau is the definition of the 54 Promise and fulfills it to the greatest it can possibly be. She will do anything to make sure her students have all the resources needed to be successful in their math careers as eighth-grade geometry  or seventh-grade algebra students.

Another great example is one of the gym teachers here at Frost. He has a great personality and enjoys making people laugh. He encourages all of his students to do their best in everything that they do and to try something new. One thing that I personally have learned from him is to never judge someone from first looks. Last year when he was my gym teacher, I was terrified of him. Eventually Mr. Johnigk created a comfortable environment for me and became one of my favorite teachers because of how he acted with his students. He loves to joke around with everyone and is a very kindhearted being. There are many such teachers as these two that I have described, at Frost. The staff absolutely loves to see the students progress forward and exceed their expectations.

The 54 Promise has not only changed my life but, has affected many of my peers. The 54 Promise ensures student success rates and has spread positivity throughout Frost. The students take care of one another as well as help each other to grow. The teachers demonstrate their kindness and support every day by helping us students grow academically and as people. The gratitude that I have toward all the staff members is nothing compared to what they have done for me. I appreciate the effects of the 54 Promise since it has changed my life for the better.

Junior Journalist Update from Keller by Aditi S.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them. 

Last month we came back to school after a tremendously hot summer spent by going on vacations or just by sleeping in. Such simple things can make a difference in the way we act. We are going to have such a great school year fulfilling the 54 Promise with positive attitudes toward our goals with an easy gesture/act.

This year in Advisory we are going forward by learning about Social Emotional Learning. These lessons help us focus on the way we feel about ourselves. For example, maybe you feel happy or you got into a fight with your parents or friend. In these types of situations, how might we choose to react to our feelings? It could also be the way we live up to the 8 Keys of Success: Integrity, This is It, Failure Leads to Success, Commitment, Ownership, Speak with Good Purpose, Balance and Flexibility. These keys help show that failure can lead to success. Say you get detention; not a big deal as long as you learn from your mistakes and make better choices next time.

The Happiness Advantage is about living above the line by having ownership toward what we do. Also, we are big about being together as one by thinking of doing everything as a group because we know we are not alone. For instance, in our Keller Advisory we did this activity where we had to help our partner figure out how to draw an image on the board without saying the name of the actual thing. This was an opportunity that taught us about proper communication.

Your education will get better when you have a positive attitude toward your work. With an optimistic outlook you won’t have to think about all the negatives or side thoughts. One way to do this is by thinking of something that is makes you feel confident and happy. The best way to have gratitude in your day is to say something encouraging or pay a nice compliment to someone.

Flexible seating in District 54 classrooms helps to ensure student success

Erin DeMars’ sixth-grade class at Muir is hard at work on writing. The students have chosen workspaces around the room that best meet their needs. Some sit on a rug, some sit in low-to-the-ground bucket chairs, some on tall stools, and others in regular chairs. Some students have opted to find a space on their own, while others work alongside a classmate.

As they get ready to move on to reading, DeMars reminds them of the expectations.

“When I say go, you can find a partner and pick a spot where you can stay focused and get your work done,” she says.

Students work in higher chairs

Two students in Erin DeMars’ sixth-grade Muir class sit on tall stools to work on writing.

Students chat quietly while figuring out where to sit and with whom. Some move to the floor, some move to a different table, and some stay where they are. Once they are situated, they work with their partners to read the story and answer questions.

This is one of many flexible seating arrangements that can be found in classrooms throughout District 54 as we work on Strategic Focus Area 2 of our new strategic plan – cultivating innovation in learning spaces and instructional design – to ensure the success of the whole child.

The flexibility lies not only in the type of seats that are available, but also in the freedom for students to choose a situation that helps them do their best work.  

“It’s all really connected to the idea of student engagement — that the learning environment matters,” said Dr. Nicholas Myers, District 54’s associate superintendent and the leader of the new Innovate 54 team which will facilitate and support instructional innovation across the district.

Research has shown that achievement results increased for students when classroom design was adapted to create more engaging and welcoming learning environments. A bright, warm, quiet, safe, clean, comfortable and healthy environment is critical to successful teaching and learning (Barrett & Zhang 2009).

Schools are moving away from classrooms where students sit at desks facing the teacher at the front of the room toward environments that facilitate collaboration, problem-solving and communication and where technology is easily accessible.  

Last year students at Blackwell Elementary School and Addams Junior High were challenged to design their ideal classrooms. Results included a variety of seating options, tables of different heights and different types of learning spaces throughout the room, ideas which many teachers throughout District 54 are exploring with their classes.

“We believe kids should be involved in the design process,” Myers said.   

Student-centered environments
Alwyn and Lilli, two of DeMars’ students, said they used their creativity to design their classroom at Muir. The students began by talking about the best way to focus and be successful around their peers. They discussed what responsible table behavior looked like, and why a student might not want to sit next to a good friend while trying to learn and concentrate.

DeMars said her class talked about what they liked and didn’t like in a classroom, and looked at photos of other classrooms to get ideas. They discussed what they would do if they could buy anything, and what they could do with what they already had. They put all of the furniture in the middle of the classroom and went from there, engaging in thoughtful conversations about how to make sure their learning environment meets everyone’s needs. For instance, it was suggested that they keep a private nook available for someone who prefers to work alone.

“The students really like being part of the decision-making, and the focus I get from them has been amazing,” DeMars said, adding that her students switch seats every day – sometimes more often.

“I’m instilling in them that they need to advocate for themselves, and they know at any moment they can move seats if it’s not working,” she said.

Magali Williams’ fourth-grade class at Muir has been working together to create and refine their student-centered flexible-seating arrangement.

A recent discussion centered on lowering tables. Some students had made the suggestion, but others weren’t sure they liked the idea.

“Let’s think about how we learn. How will lowering tables help us with learning?” Williams asked her students, who shared their thoughts while seated on yoga balls, rockers, wobble stools, a couch and other types of seats.

Students sitting in different types of seats.

Magali Williams’ students discuss the flexible seating arrangements in their classroom.

Research has shown that students take more ownership of their classroom when they have the freedom to choose their seats and to move around if needed, said Williams, who presented a session on flexible seating at the District 54 Professional Development Symposium this summer.

Flexible seating is an ongoing process of teaching students to choose seating that best meets their learning styles, she said.

“It’s not just being comfortable, or that the room looks nice — it’s about them thinking about what helps them focus,” she said. “I told them, this is your classroom. What do you need to make it work for you? They became a focused, engaged, committed community, and they were really reflective about what works for them.”

The students started their flexible-seating journey by setting expectations for the classroom and discussing the importance of selecting a seat – and a location in the room – that will help them do their best work.

The class talked about when a particular type of seat would be best; some students might work best in a different seat for math than they use for reading, for example.

“We have to pick seats that will help us learn, not just be comfortable,” Daria said.

Jaden explained that they tried all of the seats so they could see which one works best for them.

“I didn’t like the spiky ball because it didn’t keep me on track,” he said. “I like the rocker, because I can move, and use a lap tray.”

Mikayla noted that the beanbag chair helps her focus, because she is comfortable but also holding still. Josyah likes the rocker too, saying “if you have trouble staying on task because you’re very active, it helps you focus.”

A learning journey
Nikki Alcock and Heather Davis are both incorporating flexible seating into their math classrooms at Frost Junior High School.

Flexible seating at Frost

A student in Heather Davis’s math class at Frost sits in a beanbag chair to work.

Choices in Davis’ room include standing desks, butterfly chairs, tall chairs, low stools and yoga balls. At the beginning of the year she reviewed expectations with her students and asked them how they wanted to approach the new seating arrangements.

“They wanted a sign-up, so right now students can sign up to start at a different table during their independent work time,” she said.

Alcock decided she wanted to try flexible seating in her classroom after hearing her principal, Scott Ross, present about it. To get ideas for her classroom she looked on the Internet and talked to other District 54 teachers who have been using flexible seating.

“Once you start, it’s really exciting to see all of the options that are out there,” Alcock said. “My 54 Promise is more group work and discussions, and it’s amazing to see how flexible seating fosters that.”

A poster on the wall of Alcock’s room reminds students of the flexible seating expectations, which include staying on task, respecting the materials and not distracting others. Currently she is figuring out what experience will be best for each of her classes, and allowing a small group to choose where they want to sit during independent work time.

“I wanted to include students in the procedure and the purpose of it – that they need to be somewhere they’re going to be most successful,” she said. “How can we be flexible but still be on point for what we need to get done? I was surprised by how comfortable the students were with it.”

One of Alcock’s students, seventh-grader Maddie, said she likes the idea of having alternate seating choices.

“Honestly, I like flexible seating – it makes the room look better, and the sound of yoga mats, stools, etc. is a good change,” Maddie said.

“I would say it is a cool thing to try out for classes,” added another student, Jimmy.

Students sit in flexible seating

Jennifer Sword’s class gets ready to work.

Jennifer Sword rolled out flexible seating this year with her Muir third-grade class as an incentive for quick, quiet transitions. It is now fully implemented with every student having tried all of the available options. She said she has seen her students take ownership of their learning experience.

“During partner math, I saw one student sitting in a scoop seat and one sitting on a yoga ball, and they were trying to figure out how they both could see the paper at once,” she said. “They ended up deciding to sit at a table to work together.”

Sword’s next step, she said, will be to work with her students to design their classroom environment.

“I don’t know if we will get rid of tables entirely, because they have so many opportunities to sit away from the tables now, but we’ll see what they come up with,” she said.  

Click here to check out some social media posts from around District 54 spotlighting flexible seating!

Junior Journalist Update from Mead – by Ananya M.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them. 

Recently, District 54 has adopted a new way of doing things. The 54 Promise: to ensure the success of students academically, emotionally and socially. Every child deserves an education. Not only that, but an education where the child feels their environment is safe, and where they feel challenged with the content they are learning. The student should be able to get help whenever he/she does not understand a concept. Not every child gets the opportunity to be educated, and even if they do get that luxury, it may not be in the most suitable environment. That is why in May of 2018, District 54 decided to take on the challenge to guarantee all students the privileges listed above in the 2018-2019 school year.

Not two months into school, and the effects of the 54 Promise are evident at Mead Junior High. Teachers of various subjects – such as one of the eighth-grade science teachers Mrs. Mijal – have offered to stay after school, or come in early for their students if they are struggling with a topic. They are able to recognize when the class is not able to grasp a concept, and give us these opportunities that would be unwise of us to not take advantage of.

In math class this year, all the kids in my course had to take a back-to-school algebra test within the first two weeks that we got back in school. At the end of last year, we had received a practice packet to help study for this quiz that we were all well aware of. But it was summer vacation. Our geometry teachers could clearly see the outcome of this when grading our tests. Because the overall test results had come back poor, re-teach lessons were offered after school to those who had scored lower than they wished. Once again, this was not mandatory of our math teachers, but out of the kindness in their hearts, they gave us as many chances as they could to see us do well. I didn’t go through the lessons firsthand, but a couple of my friends did, and they said the lessons really helped, and improved their math skills.

“Ms. Falato (one of the math teachers at Mead) was generous with giving the geometry students time on the algebra retake test.  She had also provided a large amount of useful information on the previous study session days that allowed students to perform to the best of their abilities,” says Olivia, a student that retook the test.

Our teachers take time out of their day, go out of their way, to assure that we do well in their class, because all they want is to see us succeed.

Personally I feel the effects of the 54 Promise, and I think that everyone does a little bit, even if they don’t quite realize it. It’s the little things. The staff around school offering us extra help. Letting their students know that they’ll always have someone to talk to around the building. Even if I’ll never need that extra help, or someone to talk to, sometimes just knowing that someone is there for you is more reassuring than actually needing to talk with them.

I love that the district has “created” the  54 Promise. From the time that I was in kindergarten, throughout elementary school and up until eighth grade, my teachers have always wanted the best for me and all my classmates. They have cared for me, and had my best interests at heart. My teachers have followed the 54 Promise, years before it had even been established. District 54 had never really needed to put the 54 Promise in place, because it was always here.

District 54 takeover night at Windy City Bulls to benefit Foundation

The Windy City Bulls will host a District 54 takeover night on Friday, December 14 at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, and a portion of the proceeds from each ticket purchased will be donated back to the District 54 Education Foundation’s Food 4 Thought program. The Foundation is raising funds to provide breakfast programs for students from financially struggling families at all District 54 schools to ensure that they begin their day ready to learn.

The District 54 take-over night will feature District 54 students participating in performances and other on-court experiences before and throughout the game, and a District 54 Special Olympics basketball match at halftime. The Windy City Bulls will host an assembly at the school that sells the most tickets.

Click here for more information or to purchase tickets!


Brief from the Board Meeting of October 4, 2018

Discussion – Innovate 54 Update:
In September, staff members from across District 54 participated in the Innovate 54 professional development session, discussing various topics within the broad area of innovation. Specifically, they heard an overview of the Innovate 54 scope of work and plans for the Discovery Education STEM Leader Corps training this winter; and learned about tight instructional expectations and growth opportunities in District 54. The teams also examined core components to innovation in instructional design including redefining relationships in the classroom, incorporating “deep learning” tasks that extend the learning experience into the real world, and using technology to accelerate learning. Each Innovate 54 team created a school-specific Vision for Innovated Teaching and Learning and developed a communication plan to share the information with the rest of their school faculty.

At the next Innovate 54 sessions in October, participants will focus on technology’s role in augmenting instructional design. Teams will received training on using iPads to document student progress, the district’s new virtual and augmented reality labs, and interactive monitors. They will also spend time discussing Makerspaces and learning space design.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): One request was received and responded to since the last meeting regarding pension salaries for teachers.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session meetings of Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • Resignations, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dates September 28, 2018

New Business: 

  • The Board had the first reading of revisions to Policy 2:140(a) – Communications To and From Board.


  • The School Board thanked the businesses and organizations who continue to donate to the District 54 Education Foundation to support breakfast programs at our schools for students from financially struggling families.
  • The Board also thanked all the participants, volunteers and others who supported the District 54 Run to Read on Sept. 23.
  • Board members also expressed appreciation to the families who attended conferences this week and the staff members for making connections with their students’ families.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:30 p.m. to closed session for appointment/employment matters.