February 10, 2022

Public Comment:
District 54 received 17 online public comments and 13 in-person public comments related to COVID mitigations in District 54. Click here to read the February 10 Board Meeting Public Comments submitted online.

Discussion – COVID Mitigation Update:
District 54 provided an update on COVID mitigation strategies in District 54 and the impact of litigation. A court ruling last week indicated that the governor and state agencies do not have the authority to mandate masks for students and staff at school, to exclude students for having symptoms or being close contacts to someone with COVID, or to require vaccination or testing of school personnel. While District 54 was not named in this lawsuit, our legal counsel has advised that we are required to adhere to the court’s ruling and are subject to litigation should we continue to implement those measures.

District 54 will strongly encourage students and staff to wear masks at school and will require masks on buses due to federal transportation requirements. Visitors and volunteers will be required to wear masks (this was not addressed in the court ruling). Other mitigation strategies include

  • Requiring a 5-day minimum isolation of students/staff who test positive for COVID;
  • Notifying staff and parents of students known to be close contacts to positive cases; 
  • Requiring individuals to stay at home if they are sick or symptomatic;
  • Strongly recommending sick or symptomatic individuals and those who are close contacts to positive cases take a COVID test;
  • Maintaining social distancing of 3-6 feet;
  • Offering optional weekly SHIELD testing at schools and drive-up testing;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting; 
  • Encouraging good hand and respiratory hygiene; 
  • Providing KN95 masks to staff members requesting them; and 
  • Offering remote learning accommodations to students and families with medical conditions that may place them at increased risk.

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 remote learning equipment, construction projects, food vendors, fire alarm and sprinkler testing bids, SHIELD testing and salary and benefits 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 January 20, 2022
  • The minutes of the closed-session Board of Education meeting on January 27, 2022
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated January 28, 2022
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for December 2021
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for January 2022
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on July 22, 2020, for which approved minutes already exist

DCAC Report:
Board member Barbara Hengels reported that the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee heard a report today about professional development in School District 54.

PTA Report:
 The PTA is hosting its annual scholarship auction on March 11 at the Belvedere. Ticket orders are due tomorrow, Feb. 11. Click here to access the PTA Auction Ticket Order Form.

New Business: 

  • The Board discussed the 2022-23 Staffing Plan.
  • The Board approved the expenses for board members attending the Illinois Association of School Boards Conference.

The Board adjourned at 8:31 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters, collective negotiating matters, student disciplinary matters and the semi-annual review of minutes of closed-session meetings.