August 6, 2020

A recorded video of this board meeting can be viewed on the District 54 YouTube Channel.

Discussion – Fall 2020-2021 Start to the School Year:

District 54 presented its plan for the the fall of 2020. As always, the goals for the 2020-21 school year are to deliver meaningful academic learning experiences for students, to address the social-emotional needs of students and to maintain the health and safety of our students and staff. As District 54 planned for the upcoming school year, we prepared for multiple scenarios while monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases and reviewing the regularly updated guidance from the Illinois and Cook County public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control and the Illinois State Board of Education. 

At this time, District 54 is calling for all students to start school remotely. The first day for first through eighth grade students will be August 24 and the first day for early childhood and kindergarten students will be August 31. All students will be assigned to class lists in their base schools. Anyone logging into the portal on August 10 will be able to see their teacher assignment and class schedule.

Staff will be reporting to schools to facilitate instruction from their classrooms during typical school hours. Curriculum writing teams have been working this spring and summer to ensure an enhanced virtual learning curriculum, which will include the following:

  • A 5-hour instructional day, delivered utilizing a blended learning environment of both live lessons and independent work (2.5 hours for our early childhood students);
  • Teachers engaging with students online every day via Zoom or Google Meet, including time for community building and a minimum of 2.5 hours live lessons (1.5 hours for early childhood);
  • A daily acceleration block for  literacy and math for students needing additional support;
  • Daily support focusing on the well-being of our students; 
  • Students with special needs receiving all IEP services;
  • English learners receiving bilingual support; and
  • Students being assessed for their learning and issued grades aligned to Illinois State Standards and the District 54 Essential Outcomes.

More details about class schedules, how to access technology and school-specific information will be shared during the Virtual Curriculum Night, scheduled for August 19 at all District 54 schools. In the next week, each school principal will be sending information about curriculum night; the start of the school year; and the plan for distributing textbooks, technology and other items to students.

While the district believes the only safe decision at this time is to begin the school year remotely, our goal is still to have students return to in-person instruction (with significant safety modifications) as soon as it is safe and logistically possible to do so. A District 54 Pandemic Advisory Team will monitor pandemic conditions, discuss solutions to stakeholder group concerns and provide ongoing input to the District 54 on next steps, including assessing the viability of returning to in-person learning. We will continue to keep our families and staff informed as we navigate this unprecedented and unpredictable time together.

Public Hearing on the 2020-21 Budget Adoption: No one submitted comments for the budget hearing.

Public Comment: District 54 received 53 public comments for tonight’s meeting. The comments were read in the order received. Click here to read the Public Comments for the August 6, 2020 School Board Meeting.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: Eight requests were received and responded to since the last report to the Board regarding summer site improvement and sealcoating bids, the First Student contract agreement and safety information, magnet program demographic data, transportation expenditures and invoices, parent communications regarding reopening schools, purchasing records and employee names, titles and salaries.

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

  • The minutes of the regular School Board meeting on June 11, 2020
  • The minutes of the Committee of the Whole meetings on July 7 and 22, 2020
  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session Board meetings on July 15, 2020
  • The minutes of the closed-session Board meeting on July 22, 2020
  • The resignations, leaves of absence, retirement, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated June 19, July 3, July 17 and July 31, 2020
  • The treasurer’s reports on cash and investments for May and June 2020
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for June 2020
  • The purchase of property, casualty and liability insurance coverage for 2020-21
  • One-year extensions of the intergovernmental cooperation agreements regarding the use of facilities between School District 54 and the Golden Corridor Family YMCA, the Hoffman Estates Park District and the Schaumburg Park District
  • The purchase of DreamBox software licenses for the 2020-2021 school year
  • The purchase of a one-year site license for FUSE
  • The purchase of technology licensing and support
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on January 10 and 17, 2019 for which approved minutes already exist

District 54 Foundation Report: 
The D54 Education Foundation will be hosting a fundraiser on Sept. 16 in conjunction with Lou Malnati’s restaurants in Schaumburg and Bloomingdale. On that day, 20% of total sales will be donated to the D54 Foundation when you mention the fundraising flyer (located at Money raised is used to support programs for our students from financially struggling families, which is more important than ever during the pandemic.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the COVID-19 Re-Opening Plan Resolution.
  • The Board approved a revised calendar for the 2020-2021 school year, with a start date of August 24.
  • The Board adopted the 2020-2021 budget.
  • The Board adopted a resolution directing the superintendent to being preparing the 2021-2022 budget in tentative form.
  • The Board appointed additional representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2020-2021 school year.

The School Board welcomed new employees and thanked everyone involved in facilitating the virtual induction week this week.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 9:35 p.m. to closed session at for collective negotiating matters.