February 9, 2023

Public Comment
No one asked to speak.

Black History Month Video
In School District 54, we embrace the diversity of our community and strive to create an environment in our schools where everyone feels safe, welcome, cared for, heard, supported and like they belong.  We know that education can strengthen communities. 

With that goal in mind, our 28 District 54 schools have created activities and other opportunities for all students to learn about influential African-Americans during Black History Month and throughout the year. Although it’s only Feb. 9, click here to watch a video to see a sample of how schools are celebrating and hear from our students about the importance of celebrating the diverse world in which we live.

The School Board presented Ambassador for Excellence Awards to the following students in honor of their performances at the 7th annual Heritage Japanese Language Speech Contest sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago in January.

From Dooley Elementary School:

  • Viviane Ayaka Jean – Japan Information Center Award
  • Lena Ota – JIC Award
  • Meisa Hasegawa – JIC Award
  • Mia Betters – Japan America Society Award
  • Mia Shimazu – 3rd Prize
  • Amy Snow – 4th Prize

The following Dooley alumni also competed at the speech contest:

  • Ryuji Matsuda from Keller – Japan Information Center Award
  • Lena Oshiro from Frost – First Prize
  • Yumi Chinen from Frost – Japan Information Center Award
  • Rina Hasunuma from Mead – Japan America Society of Chicago Award

Administrative Reports – Staffing Plan for 2023-2024 School Year
District 54 presented the School Board with a tentative staffing plan for the 2023-2024 school year based on projected enrollment at this time of 14,065 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. This is 373 fewer students than this year, leading to a recommended reduction of nine general education classes next year. With the reduction, the average class size would be 21 students.

Although our overall enrolment is down, the needs of our students continue to grow in complexity. To meet those needs, District 54 recommends adding three English learner resource teachers, 1.5 special education teachers, 1 intervention teacher and five district level behavior coaches who will support all 28 schools.

The next steps in the staffing plan are to continue to monitor enrollment for next year and to focus on recruiting the next exceptional employees to serve our students.

Freedom of Information Act
Five Freedom of Information requests were received since the last report to the School Board related to bid tabulations, emails of retiring staff and employee pay information. 
Consent Agenda
The School Board approved the following items on the Consent Agenda.

  • Minutes of the special open and closed-session Board of Education meetings on January 26, 2023
  • The destruction of the verbatim record of the closed-session school board meeting held on August 4, 2021, for which approved minutes already exist
  • Resignations, leaves, retirements, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated January 13 and 27, 2023
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for December 2022
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for January 2023
  • A recommendation to not award a contract for 2023 roofing replacements and to re-bid the project with a change in scope
  • Approval of a contract for the installation of Interactive Flat Panels to Carey Electric.

President of the Board of Education Report
Mary Kay Prusnick announced that District 54 received its 25th Meritorious Budget Award, recognizing the district’s commitment to strong fiscal management and transparency.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee (DCAC) Report
Board Member Barb Hengels shared that DCAC heard a presentation on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program in District 54.

District 54 Education Foundation Report
Board Member Bill Harper announced that the Foundation is asking everyone to show some love to the community by donating to the Crisis Fund. All donations made through Valentine’s Day will be matched by Foundations Trustee Sue Budak. Another upcoming fundraiser for the D54 Education Foundation is a Windy City Bulls takeover event on March 21. Visit the Foundation website at for a link to purchase tickets.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Report
Mary Kay Prusnick reminded everyone to purchase tickets for the PTA Auction on March 10.

New Business 

  • The Board approved the minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on January 19, 2023.
  • The Board Policy Committee brought the following policies for a first reading:
    • 2:150 – Board Committees
    • 4:10(c) – Budget Adoption Procedures
    • 4:110(a) – Student Transportation Services
  • The Board approved new Board Policies 4:15 – Identity Protection and 6:170 – Title I Programs.
  • The Board approved revisions to Board Policies 4:60 – Purchasing Authority and 7:70(b) – Truancy.

Board members spoke about the positive climate, school culture and amazing students and staff they interacted with during their visits to District 54 schools.

The Board adjourned at 7:52 p.m. to enter closed session for the semiannual review of minutes of closed-session meetings, employment/appointment matters and school matters.