December 10, 2020

A recorded video of this board meeting is available on the District 54 YouTube Channel.

Public Comment:
District 54 received 31 electronic public comments for tonight’s meeting and one of those parents also read her comments in person. All comments were related to District 54’s response to the pandemic. Click here to read the submitted Board Meeting Public Comments for the Dec. 10 Board Meeting.

Discussion – Next Steps for Opening School District 54 Schools:

District 54 provided an update on current public health and operational metrics, as well as updated guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health. District 54 monitors the Cook County public health data, as well as data from the specific zip codes in our district.

District 54 has always been committed to returning to in-person learning when it is safe and logistically feasible to do so. With medical experts predicting a surge due to holiday gatherings and travels, District 54 recommended remaining in an adaptive pause and continuing with remote learning after winter break. On Jan. 11, all staff would return to work in person and some special education students begin on-site instruction. On Jan. 19, students who had previously been enrolled in hybrid instruction would return to the classroom following the same schedule they were on before the adaptive pause (Mondays/Thursdays or Tuesdays/Fridays).

Board members expressed concern about the state requirement to quarantine for two weeks for any staff members and students who would travel over winter break. All board members expressed a desire to bring students back to school as soon as possible, acknowledging that when community transmission levels are high, operational challenges in the area of staffing become a concern.

Discussion – Whole Child, Whole Staff, Whole Community:

Given that the pandemic has taken a toll on the social-emotional wellbeing of many individuals, District 54 highlighted some of the supports in place for our students, staff and families. Some of the resources and supports provided include:

Freedom of Information Act:
District 54 received and replied to two Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board regarding union dues and employee information.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed session board meetings of Thursday, November 12, 2020
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2020
  • Treasurer’s report on cash and investments for October 2020
  • Monthly update of revenues and expenditures for November 2020
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on May 16, 21 and 28, 2019.

Foundation Report: Board Vice President Mary Kay Prusnick announced the Foundation has a virtual giving tree that will be used to support the Crisis Fund for financially struggling families.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the contracts of employment for Superintendent Andy DuRoss; Associate Superintendents Erin Knoll and Nicholas Myers; and Assistant Superintendents Danette Meyer, Ric King and Cassandra Williams.
  • The Board approved revisions to Board Policy 4110(a) – Student Transportation Services
  • The Board had the first reading of revisions to the following policies: 4:10(b) – Budget Review Committee and 4:10(c) – Budget Adoption Procedures.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:49 p.m. to closed session to discuss employment/appointment matters, school matters and collective negotiating matters.