March 18, 2021

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

Discussion Topic – Re-Opening of District 54 Schools Update:
The Illinois Department of Public Health and Illinois State Board of Education released updated guidance to reflect “what we have learned about the transmission of COVID-19 in school settings.”

The guidance supports a return to in-person learning as soon as practical, with a focus on the five essential mitigation strategies that District 54 has implemented consistently this school year: the use of personal protective equipment (including masks), social distancing, contact tracing in combination with isolation or quarantine when necessary, enhanced cleaning, and adherence to handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

The updated guidance also revised some of the previous protocols. The state guidance no longer recommends screenings at school. District 54 will discontinue temperature checks when students arrive at school, effective March 29. However, parents/guardians and employees will still be required to complete the self-screener each morning. Runny nose/congestion, abdominal pain and nausea are no longer considered COVID-19 symptoms per the revised state guidance.

Social distancing is now defined as 3 to 6 feet for students and fully vaccinated staff (6 feet is still required while eating and during PE activities). Close Contacts are still defined as individuals 6 feet or closer to a positive or symptomatic individual for 15 cumulative minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Capacity limits are now based only on the ability to maintain social distancing, rather than a set number or capacity. However, bus capacity is still capped at 50 people.

All District 54 staff will have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated after the district’s second clinic on March 19. Individuals are considered fully protected two weeks after their second vaccination. Therefore, District 54 recommended having principals reconfigure learning spaces after spring break to accommodate students on waiting lists for in-person learning. In instances where the 3 to 6 feet of social distancing guideline allows, students currently on a waiting list would be able to return to in-person learning on April 5. 

Families who have opted for full remote learning will continue to have that option through the remainder of the school year.

Public Comment:
District 54 received one electronic public comment about mask use while outside and zero in-person comments. Click here to read the Board Meeting Public Comment for tonight’s meeting.

Freedom of Information Act: 
District 54 received and replied to four Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board regarding student attendance, a Zoom recording, masonry bid results and district emails.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session board meetings on March 4, 2021
  • Resignations, retirement and employment of personnel
  • A resolution authorizing notice of honorable dismissal to some first-, second-, third- and fourth-year nontenured certificated personnel
  • The rates for substitutes and summer help for the 2020-21 school year
  • The staffing plan for the 2021-22 school year
  • Checks dated March 12, 2021
  • Monthly report of revenues and expenditures for February 2021
  • A contract for masonry remediation at six schools, during the summer of 2021
  • A contract for roofing replacement at three schools during the summer of 2021
  • A contract for site improvements at multiple District 54 locations during the summer of 2021
  • Contracts for interior renovations at 12 schools
  • A contract for sealcoating work at multiple District 54 locations during the summers of 2021 and 2022
  • The purchase of desktop computers, laptops and Chromebooks for the 2021-2022 school year
  • The purchase of updated networking equipment
  • The purchase of literacy instructional materials from Benchmark, a writing program from Scholastic, and handwriting materials from Learning Without Tears and Zaner Bloser
  • The purchase of GO Math! materials from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • The purchase of world language curricular materials from Wayside Publishing
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on September 5, 2019, for which approved minutes already exist

New Business: The School Board approved the following New Business items.

  • The Board approved the 2021-22 fee rates for
    • Consumable materials (remains at $50 per student),
    • Milk (still 25 cents for students),
    • Facility usage (click here for variety of rates) and
    • Before- and after-school childcare facility rental (no change).
  • The Board approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Hoffman Estates Park District regarding the maintenance and replacement of parks adjacent to District 54 schools and the track near Eisenhower Junior High School, as well as the rental costs for the park district use of District 54 buildings.
  • The Board appointed Dia Rizmani as Principal of Dirksen Elementary School for the 2021-2022 school year.

Board members thanked individuals involved with the Equity and Inclusion Task Force, the COVID-19 vaccination clinics and everyone who developed plans to help students return to in-person learning safely.

Closed Session:
The Board adjourned at 7:46 p.m. to closed session to discuss collective negotiating and employment/appointment matters.