January 28, 2021

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

Closed Session: The Board entered closed session at 6 p.m. to discuss employment/appointment matters and collective negotiating matters.

Call to Order: The Board entered into open session at 7 p.m.

Public Comment:
District 54 received 19 electronic public comments, one anonymous comment and 16 in-person comments for tonight’s meeting. All comments were related to District 54’s response to the pandemic. Click here to read the submitted Special Board Meeting Public Comments.

Discussion – Next Steps for Opening District 54 Schools:

District 54 provided the School Board with an update since its last meeting. On January 19, District 54 emailed all families to communicate the possibility of up to five full days of on-campus instruction for students, and asking parents/guardians to contact their children’s schools if they wish to change their current enrollment. Based on those responses, 52% of students would participate in on-campus instruction and 48% would participate in remote only instruction for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

District 54 administrators evaluated the on-campus enrollment numbers for each classroom and the space in each classroom to ensure that students could remain six feet apart. In addition to social distancing, other mitigation strategies in place include employees communicating the correct use of masks and regular hand washing, enhanced cleaning protocols, daily symptoms screening and temperature checks, and mandating quarantining and exclusion from school for both students and employees due to COVID-19 symptoms, a positive test and exposure to individuals with symptoms or a positive test. 

Students and staff will no longer need to quarantine for two weeks after traveling, a decision made at tonight’s board meeting which aligns with CDC guidance. Students and staff who experience symptoms after travel would still need to quarantine.

Based on this information, the School Board supported the district’s plan to begin five days of in-person learning for those who made that selection this month starting Feb. 16. This will allow schools to communicate with families and give the district time to restructure bus routes and stops. Until that change takes place, students who are currently in on-campus instruction will also come to school on alternating Wednesdays as previously communicated (Group A on Feb. 3 and Group B on Feb. 10). District 54 families will receive more information from the district and their child’s school about these changes.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:22 p.m. to closed session to discuss employment/appointment matters and collective negotiating matters.