News

August 11, 2022

A video recording of tonight’s board meeting will be posted to the District 54 YouTube Channel when it has finished processing.

Public Hearing on the 2022-23 Budget
No one asked to speak.

Recognition
The Board recognized Assistant Superintendent Ric King, Executive Director of Business Operations Steve Miller and Accounting Supervisor Helen Reynolds, as well as two former members of the accounting team, Mohsin Dada and Bill Harkin, for their part in ensuring that District 54 received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International for 50 consecutive years. District 54 was recognized this summer by ASBO for being the first district in the world to receive this certificate for 50 years.

Discussion Topic – District 54 Crisis Prevention and Response
The safety of our students and staff is the top priority in School District 54. We specifically state in one of our goals that each child deserves to be Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported and Challenged.

Each year, District 54 and the local fire and police departments that serve our schools review the District 54 crisis plan and discuss how to best prepare schools to prevent and respond to a variety of crisis situations. A key part of the plan revolves around the protocols and supports we have in place to decrease the risk of students engaging in harm to themselves or to others. We promote kindness and respect. We have a universal screener and a social-emotional survey to identify students who need extra support. We have mental health professionals at every school and PBIS teams who develop intervention strategies for students who need support. We talk to students and staff about reporting concerning behaviors.

We provide a variety of training opportunities and drills, to ensure our staff are informed and feel empowered to make the best decisions depending on the situation. District 54 also continues to provide security enhancements to our facilities, including secure entryways, locked exterior and interior doors, security cameras, protected glass and panic buttons. More information is available in the Crisis Memo.

Public Comment
The Board received one online public comment regarding air quality and no in-person public comments. 

Freedom of Information Act
District 54 received and replied to six Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board related to First Student, purchasing records, seizure training for employees, transportation contracts, district complaints and printer/copier contracts.

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

  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session Board of Education meetings on June 2, 2022
  • The minutes of the regular Board of Education meeting on June 9, 2022
  • Resignations, leaves, termination, employment, re-employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated June 17, June 24, July 1, July 22 and July 29, 2022
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for May and June 2022
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for June 2022
  • The purchase of property, casualty and liability insurance coverage for 2022-2023
  • The retainment of Lauterbach & Amen to perform the actuarial support required for financial reporting and disclosure purposes
  • A lease contract with Gordon Flesch Company for office and library copiers
  • The purchase of technology licensing and support for the Classkick learning platform and Dell laptop computers
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on the following dates, for which approved minutes already exist: Dec. 10, 2020 and Jan. 7, 24 and 28, 2021

Cabinet Report – Enrollment and Staffing Update
Although school does not start until August 15, District 54’s current enrollment is 14,662 students in kindergarten through eighth grade, compared to last year’s sixth day enrollment of 14,738. Due to fluctuations in enrollment numbers this summer, District 54 adjusted the staffing plan at specific grade levels and schools. 

District 54 welcomed 141 new teachers this summer, due to openings created by retirements and resignations. In addition, District 54 grew its active substitute pool from 247 to 370 individuals through an active recruitment campaign this summer, streamlining the application process and offering professional development opportunities for District 54 substitutes. 

Cabinet Report – Health and Safety Update
For the past two years, District 54 has made adjustments to its mitigation strategies related to COVID-19 with a focus on keeping our learning environment safe, while also allowing us to continue to return to more typical routines in our schools.

Today, the CDC revised its recommendations regarding COVID, and the District 54 protocols shared this evening align with these updated recommendations.

  • Students and staff members who test positive for COVID will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms or from their test date if the individual is symptom free.
  • As always, staff and students are required to stay home when they are ill. Extended mandatory 5-10 day quarantines are no longer required, and individuals may return to school when their symptoms subside.
  • The CDC is no longer recommending that close contacts to positive cases quarantine if they are symptom free. While we will continue to identify and report positive COVID cases in our schools, we will no longer call families of close contacts. However, any family with a unique medical situation may contact their school principal to request notification if their child has been a close contact to a known COVID case.
  • The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education also continue to encourage school districts to provide free testing for students this school year. District 54 nurses have COVID-19 rapid tests, which will be available to all students upon parental request. District 54 has also coordinated with SHIELD Illinois to offer weekly surveillance testing to students (note – this testing is only available to students in grades 1-8). Students opting into SHIELD testing will be given a monthly testing kit with four test vials and biohazard bags. They will take the test at home and return them to a collection bin at their school once per week. A third party will pick up these bins and take the test samples to a lab for processing. Results will be available to parents and our administrators within 24-48 hours. 
  • Due to the changes to our testing protocols, District 54 will no longer be providing drive-up testing at the District Office this school year.
  • District 54 will continue to provide staff and students with the option to wear masks throughout the school day.
  • The Illinois State Board of Education continues to require districts to provide remote learning for students unable to attend school due to testing positive for COVID. Classroom assignments and resources will be distributed to students at home due to illness through their classroom teacher – as was done for students out sick for any reason before COVID. Upon parental request, District 54 will provide remote access into classrooms via Zoom for students who are out due to testing positive for COVID.
  • Additionally, Governor Pritzker signed legislation in April requiring school districts to provide paid leave to educators who are required to stay home due to COVID and District 54 will adhere to this state mandate.

Cabinet Report – Summer 2022 in District 54
Summer continues to be an active and engaging time for students and a growth opportunity for staff. Throughout the summer, 3,016 students participated in one or multiple District 54 summer camps (54 Fitness League, STEM Academy, Camp Creative, Drone It Up, Instrumental Music and Language/Culture Camps) or Extended School Year offerings. District 54 also developed the Summer Learning Quest – an online educational platform that extended student learning beyond the school year. 

In addition, more than 1,200 employees attended one or multiple professional development offerings including the 11th Annual District 54 Professional Development Symposium, Summer Year-Long Planning Classes and New Teacher Induction Week. 

Cabinet Report – ACCESS Results for 2022
Illinois school districts must annually assess the language proficiency of all students identified as English learners (EL) using the ACCESS assessment. District 54 students again demonstrated high levels of growth in English development with 432 or 15.5% of EL students meeting the criteria for English proficiency. This is an increase of approximately 114 more students than last year and is significantly more than the state’s preliminary rate of 6.1% of students meeting proficiency criteria. 

Superintendent’s Report – Plan of Action for 2022-23
Superintendent Andy DuRoss highlighted District 54’s Action Plan for the 2022-23 school year as it aligns with the following focus areas:

  • Long-term leadership development,
  • Sustaining rigorous learning environments for all students,
  • Revitalizing Professional Learning Communities and
  • Supporting Social-Emotional Success.

Board President’s Report
Board President Mary Kay Prusnick highlighted various opportunities for community involvement through District 54 committees.

D54 Education Foundation Report
Board President Mary Kay Prusnick encouraged everyone to support the District 54 Education Foundation by parking their cars at Collins School or visiting the Foundation food booth on Nonprofit Day during the Schaumburg Septemberfest celebration over Labor Day weekend.

New Business 

  • The Board adopted the 2022-23 Budget.
  • The Board adopted a resolution directing the superintendent to prepare the 2023-24 Budget in tentative form.
  • The Board approved a short-term substitute training agreement with the Schaumburg Education Association and the Regional Office of Education.
  • The Board approved a revised Memorandum of Understanding with the Schaumburg Education Association (SEA) and the Schaumburg Educational Employees Organization (SEEO) providing continued paid administrative leave days due to required COVID-related absences from work. 
  • The Board approved revisions to Board Policy 6:230(b) – Textbook, Instructional and Library Media Center Material Inspection or Reconsideration.
  • The Board discussed District 54’s participation in ED-RED.
  • The Board approved District 54’s membership in the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce, Schaumburg Business Association, the Midwest Principals’ Center and the Illinois Association of School Boards.

Adjournment
The Board adjourned at 9:50 p.m. to enter closed session for employment/appointment matters and for the semi-annual review of minutes of closed-session meetings.