January 14, 2021

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

Public Comment:
District 54 received 23 electronic public comments for tonight’s meeting and six in-person comments. All comments were related to District 54’s response to the pandemic. Click here to read the submitted Board Meeting Public Comments for the Jan. 14 Board Meeting.

Discussion – Next Steps for Opening District 54 Schools:

District 54 provided updates on the return to in-person learning for families who chose the hybrid model of instruction for their children this fall. Schools welcomed back some of our special education students this week and will begin in-person learning for other students next week.

On Feb. 1, District 54 will begin to expand the hybrid in-person model. Special education students in our instructional classroom program will be able to attend school in person five days a week. This aligns with the Illinois State Board of Education guidance encouraging prioritizing in-person learning for students with the most complex needs. The maximum class size would be 10 students, while also following six feet of social distancing guidance.

District 54 will also be changing the schedule for general education students on Feb. 1, adding an additional day of instruction on alternate Wednesdays. Students in Hybrid Group A will attend school on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday the week of Feb. 1, while students in Group B attend on Tuesday and Friday. The following week, Group A will attend on Monday and Thursday, and Group B will attend Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday the week of Feb. 8. This would provide students five full days over two weeks. Students will continue to participate in remote learning on days they are not attending school in person.

District 54 is continuing to explore options for safely offering increased in-person learning days by surveying parents and analyzing enrollment numbers. We need to survey families first because we cannot finalize our plans until we know how many students will attend in person.

Throughout the pandemic, families will continue to have the choice to keep their children in full remote instruction.

Freedom of Information Act:
District 54 received and replied to four Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board regarding employee contact information, staff absentee information, board member terms, emails and expense reports and Pandemic Advisory Committee 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, December 10, 2020
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Dec. 18, 2020 and Jan. 1, 2021
  • Treasurer’s report on cash and investments for November 2020
  • Monthly update of revenues and expenditures for December 2020
  • Filing the Audit/Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings held on June 11, 12, 13 and 20, 2019 for which approved minutes already exist

Foundation Report: The Foundation continues to focus this year on the Crisis Fund created to help families facing financial challenges during the pandemic. Visit if you would like to contribute to the fund.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved Nicholas & Associates to act as construction manager to oversee 2021 internal renovation work.
  • The Board approved revisions to Board Policy 4:10(b) – Budget Review Committee and Board Policy 4:10(c) – Budget Adoption Procedures.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:05 p.m. to closed session to discuss employment/appointment matters and collective negotiating matters.