Board Brief for Jan. 19, 2017

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): There has been one FOIA request since the last board meeting related to purchasing records.

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

  • Minutes of the regular board meeting on December 15, 2016
  • Resignations and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Dec. 9 and 23, 2016 and Jan. 6, 2017
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for December 2016
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for November 2016
  • The Audit/Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meeting held on June 18, 2015, for which approved minutes already exist

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report: Board Member Barbara Hengels reported that DCAC learned about upcoming Schaumburg Parent University classes for January through May. DCAC also heard a presentation about District 54 student discipline philosophy and policies, including a discussion of PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports).

Schaumburg Township Elementary School Foundation Report: Board Member Teresa Huber announced that the foundation has received a number of donations for Food 4 Thought from businesses, individuals and organizations. Their goal is to be able to provide breakfast for all students from financially struggling families.

PTA Report: Superintendent DuRoss reported that the PTA is preparing for its auction on March 10 at the Stonegate Conference Center. The auction funds summer camp scholarships for elementary school students and college scholarships for high school students who attended District 54 schools. The college scholarship applications are due on Feb. 3. Also in February, the PTA Nominating Committee is seeking nominees for next year’s Executive Committee by Feb. 2. Visit for more information.

New Business:

  • The School Board approved the appointment of an additional representative to the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee.
  • The School Board had the first reading of revisions to Board Policy 7:285 – Food Allergy Management Program.
  • The School Board approved a new board policy: 2:125 – Regulation of Travel, Meal and Lodging Expenses. The Policy Committee will be sharing a resolution related to this policy at a future school board meeting.
  • The School Board approved revisions to the following policies: 5:60(b) – Expense Reimbursement for Employees’ Attendance at Professional Meetings and 2:120(b) – Board Conferences, Conventions and Workshops.


  • Dooley Elementary School hosted the Japanese Consul-General yesterday. Dooley students and staff shared information about the Japanese-English Dual Language program at their school.

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

District 54 receives its 20th Meritorious Budget Award

For the 20th year in a row, School District 54 has received a Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International for its 2016-17 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.

Muir School partners with Willow Creek Care Center to meet needs of students and families

From mentors and school supplies to snack packs for weekends and breaks, students and Muir WCCC snack packsfamilies in need at Muir School are benefiting in a variety of ways from the school’s growing partnership with Willow Creek Care Center in South Barrington.

“It’s phenomenal, the resources they have and are willing to share,” Muir Principal Carolyn Allar said. “They understand there’s a need, and they want to do anything they can to meet those needs. It’s a passion of ours as a school team to see what we can do to meet students’ social and emotional needs. It’s when our students’ needs are met that academics can take place.”

A crucial aspect of the partnership is that Muir serves as a connector between its families and Willow Creek. Not only do Muir staff members work to raise awareness of the resources available for families through the Care Center – such as food, clothing, home repairs, and legal and financial services – they also help to arrange services for families who are unable to get to the Care Center.

“What’s powerful about this partnership is we are able to bring this support to families, rather than them having to seek it out,” Allar said. “We really wanted to take that obstacle out of the way. In a community, the school is a home base. They can get here, and they are comfortable here.”

Muir staff knows the families and their needs and can advocate for needed supports. In addition, families who may not feel comfortable asking for assistance elsewhere have approached staff about receiving support, Allar added.

“We know their stories, and we are able to help them maintain their dignity while getting the help they need,” Allar said.

If a family has a need that cannot be met directly through the Care Center, such as low-cost dental care, the Care Center tries to connect Muir with another resource for the family.

“It is such a pleasure to partner with Muir,” said Nicole Burt, Director of Operations for the Care Center. “We’re inspired by the commitment of the Muir faculty to their students and their families. Their work goes way beyond the classroom to provide care and support.”

The partnership began with a focus on meeting the most pressing needs of Muir families. In the spring of 2016, Willow Creek volunteers delivered weekend food packs to Muir every other Friday to send home with students from financially struggling families. This year the food packs are being sent home once a month and prior to long holiday breaks, said special services teacher Lisa Garza, Muir’s liaison for the partnership with Willow Creek.

Students from High School District 211’s work program help assemble the packs, which also include notes about how to access the Care Center. Muir staff distributes the packs, often with help from Willow Creek volunteers.

This summer Muir and Willow Creek Care Center hosted a back-to-school fair at Willow Creek, with bus transportation from Muir, to help raise awareness of the resources available through the Care Center. All 200 Muir families who qualify for the free lunch program were invited to attend the event, which included dinner, haircuts, games and a variety of activities. Every student was provided with a backpack filled with supplies, and every family received a voucher to shop at the Care Center’s clothing store.

This school year Willow Creek Care Center began sponsoring the Kids Hope mentors who visit Muir. The volunteer mentors visit Muir once a week during recess or lunch to talk, play games or read with their student. There are currently four mentors who visit with Muir students, and the hope is to increase to 10 for next year, Garza said.

“It’s really just giving our students an opportunity for another positive relationship in their lives,” she said. “All of our kids who have mentors really look forward to their visits.”

In general, the Care Center is open to supporting Muir students and families in any way they can. For instance, when Allar and Garza mentioned earlier this year that the school was in need of games for students to play during indoor recess, the Care Center donated multiple games for every class.

“We are so very grateful for their partnership,” Allar said. “We are just in the early stages now, and we are confident we will look at adding opportunities and broadening the reach.”

School District 54 recognized Willow Creek Care Center as a Super Partner at the 2016 Partnership Breakfast in November for its support of Muir students and staff. In addition, as a thank-you for all of the support they are providing families, Muir is planning to have school staff volunteer at the Care Center on a regular basis. Garza currently volunteers in the center’s Kid Zone, which provides free child care for families accessing services.

“The mission of the Care Center is to provide services to help meet immediate needs and offer long-term solutions for a more stable future,” said Care Center Director Josie Guth. “We’re committed to partnering with great organizations, such as Muir, to help support the needs of our community.”

Illinois offers 5Essentials Survey

Teachers, parents, guardians and students across Illinois are encouraged to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, to share their thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness and help guide school improvement.

The 5Essentials Survey will be administered online on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education. The survey identifies five indicators that can lead to important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. Research has shown that schools strong on these indicators are 10 times more likely to improve student learning. The five indicators are effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environments and ambitious instruction.

All District 54 parents are encouraged to take this optional survey – whether your child is in an early childhood program, elementary school or junior high.

If parents have more than one child at a school, you can complete one survey for each child. However, only one parent or guardian per household may participate in the survey. Parents with children enrolled in multiple schools may take the survey for each school.

The state is not providing hard copies of this survey; however, our schools will make computers available to parents. Call your child’s school if you are interested in taking the survey at a District 54 school.

If at least 20 percent of our parents complete this survey, a parent supplement will be generated. The parent data will not be reported on the State Report Card. We are hoping to meet the target this year in our schools.

To take the parent survey, please visit by January 30, 2017. When searching for your school’s name, remember to look up the full name (for example, look under J for Jane Addams Junior High School, not A for Addams).

Student Survey – for 6th through 8th grade
The state is only allowing students in grades 6 through 12 to take the survey. Students are required to take the survey at school and will be given time in District 54 during the week of Jan. 9.

Teacher Survey
Most District 54 teachers will be asked to take the survey on Jan. 11. The State Board of Education is only administering the survey to certified teachers whose primary responsibility involves teaching students for the majority of the school day and year. The state will be emailing staff a unique username and password.

The identities of anyone taking a survey will be kept completely confidential and survey responses will not be linked to any individual. More information can be found online at

District 54 to hold kindergarten registration on Feb. 9

District 54 will hold kindergarten registration for the 2017-18 school year on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. 237Registration 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 in the District 54 Early Childhood program and will be going to kindergarten next year you do not need to register your child again. 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, 2017, is eligible to enroll in kindergarten in 2017. District 54 follows the Illinois regulations and does not admit students whose birth date is after Sept. 1.

224District 54 offers online registration to expedite the registration process ( However, parents or guardians will still need to visit their school to present documentation. Parents or guardians can visit their neighborhood school and fill out these enrollment forms by hand if they prefer.

Registration Procedures
The registration packet for new students includes the following documents:

  • Student Enrollment Form,
  • Family Census Form,
  • Proof of Residency Form,
  • Home Language Survey and
  • Invoice for Consumable Materials Fee.

Additionally, the parent or legal guardian must provide the following information to complete the enrollment process.

  • Proof of immunizations
  • Birth Certificate (original with seal). Official birth certificates are issued by the county clerk in the county in which the child was born. Hospital certificates are not acceptable.
  • Proof of residence (details listed below)
  • Phone numbers of people to be contacted in emergencies (neighbors, other family members and work numbers)

Consumable Materials Fees
Parents or guardians are required to pay a $50 consumable materials fee by check or money order for each child to cover the cost of workbooks, paper, art supplies, and other items used by students.

Proof of Residence
Parents, guardians or people asserting legal custody of new students must provide documented proof of their residence within the boundaries of School District 54.

They must provide a copy of at least one of the following documents:

  • the most recent real estate tax bill for residence showing owner as the taxpayer,
  • a signed lease for the residence including a beginning and end date,
  • a closing statement for the purchase of the residence, or
  • District 54 Form 891, Letter of Residency in Lieu of Lease, from the owner of the residence indicating the duration of the student’s stay there, plus a signed lease, closing statement or tax bill from the owner of the residence.

They must also provide a copy of at least two of the following documents reflecting a home address within District 54 boundaries:

  • Illinois driver’s license,
  • gas or electric bill,
  • Public Aid card,
  • voter registration card,
  • home/apartment insurance certificate,
  • Illinois automobile registration,
  • telephone bill or letter from telephone company, or
  • receipt for local city vehicle sticker where applicable.

Anyone asserting legal custody over a student, who is not the student’s parent or legal guardian, must complete a signed and notarized statement at the time of registration.

For those students who may qualify for special education services in the district, the parents may be referred to our Special Education Department.

The registration process takes about 30 minutes. Parents will fill out entrance materials, and will be given physical examination forms and general school information. More information and some of the registration forms can be found on our website at

District officials can better plan for kindergarten placements if they get most of the registrations on Feb. 9, so parents are urged to register their children for kindergarten on that date. For transportation/boundary questions: call (847) 357-5104.  For general questions: call (847) 357-5043.

Open Enrollment Fair scheduled for January 25, 2017

A goal of the School District 54 Board of Education is to provide options for parents in the selection of Chinese Immersion Phototheir 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 25, 2017. 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. 25, 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. During the 2017-18 school year Campanelli, in Schaumburg, will offer 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 Ivette Rivera-Weigle 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 director, at (847) 357-5028.

Cougar Council promotes unity

Campi Cougar Council December MeetingAt Campanelli Elementary School, students from grades three through six meet biweekly as the “Cougar Council,” identifying school-wide needs and planning events or activities to promote school unity. 

One student from each class is chosen by vote to represent the homeroom class. The fifth- and sixth-grade representatives also have a “buddy classroom” in kindergarten through second grade that they are responsible for representing.

After meeting for the first time in October, students collaborated to plan Campanelli’s first Veteran’s Day Assembly.  The event was a big success, as the school honored military veterans and donated household items to the Veteran’s Exiting Homelessness Program through Military Outreach USA.

Currently, Cougar Council members are working to promote a “positive feeling” school-wide. They are starting with improving school spirit. Members are asking classes which spirit days they would like to have, and will schedule Spirit Days for the year at their first meeting in January.

Being on Cougar Council helps the members grow as leaders while improving the school environment for all Campanelli students. 

One student says, “It’s neat that as representatives, we can collaborate to help other students as well as ourselves.”

District 54 Winter Break

Winter break for District 54 students begins at the end of the school day on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016. Students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.

While the District Offices are open for most of winter break, there are a few days we will be closed. District offices will be closed on Dec. 23, 26 and 30, and on Jan. 2.

Board Brief for Dec. 15, 2016

Recognition – Ambassadors for Excellence:

  • The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to 20 students who participated in the annual Special Olympics Illinois/Unified Champion Schools Youth Activation Summit in November.
  • The School Board also recognized six District 54 students who were part of the state-wide Youth Activation Committee that planned the Summit and gave all of the presentations.
  • The School Board honored Chery Hinchey, a teacher at Mead Junior High School, for receiving the 2016 SPARK Teacher of the Year Award from the Chicago Metro History Center.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): There has been one FOIA request since the last board meeting related to the names and email addresses of retiring teachers and administrators.

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

  • Minutes of the regular and closed-session board meetings on December 1, 2016
  • Resignations, leaves, employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated November 25, 2016
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for November 2016
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for October 2016
  • The purchase of the Benchmark Advance, Benchmark Adelante and Pearson myPerspectives literacy curricular resources.
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings held on May 21 and June 4, 2015 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Andy DuRoss wished the District 54 community a happy holidays, adding that he is looking forward to the great work the district will do in 2017.

PTA Report: PTA Council President Sue Budak announced that the PTA Council hosted a Reflections show on Nov. 30 to highlight the 304 student projects submitted. Of those, 107 projects advanced to regional level. The Illinois PTA and the Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs both have scholarship applications available.

New Business:

  • The School Board approved revisions to the following policies: Assignment of Students to Schools – 7:30 (a) and Student Behavior – 7:190.
  • The School Board approved a second amendment to the contract for the sale of the Thacker Street and Verde Drive Property to DRH Cambridge Homes, Inc., extending the feasibility period to Jan. 20, 2017.


  • The Board thanked the Business Operations employees who gave up their weekends and evenings to clear the parking lots and sidewalks of snow to keep students and staff safe.
  • Board members recognized the staff who organized the basketball tournament earlier this month, and the students who played in the games.
  • The Board praised members of Mission Church and staff from Fox and Hanover Highlands elementary schools for their generosity at the Holiday Gift Mart in support of our families.
  • Board members added that the principal emails to families these past few weeks have been filled with news of charitable activities conducted by District 54 students and staff to support each other and the community at large.

Adjournment: The School Board adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Safe from the Start to host positive discipline program Jan. 11

On Wednesday, January 11, Safe from the Start will host a free program in District 54 focusing on positive discipline. The program is for parents of children from newborn to five years of age, and will take place in Rooms 105 and 106 at District 54’s Professional Learning Center, 520 E. Schaumburg Road, from 5-6 p.m. January 11. Child care will be available.

Young children learn self-control, self-help, ways to get along with others, and family and school expectations when parents and teachers of infants, toddlers, or preschoolers are continuously involved in setting limits, encouraging desired behaviors, and offering praise and support. This presentation will offer information about disciplining in a positive way that encourages children to grow and learn in a safe, loving environment.

Click here to view the event flyer in English.

Haga clic aquí para ver el volante del evento en español.

For more information about the program, contact any of District 54’s Parent Educators: Dayna Prochaska at 847-230-1910, Erin Wolaver (habla espanol) at 847-230-1903, or Jennifer Weisler at 847-230-1904.