March 4, 2021

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

Discussion Topic: Staffing Plan for 2021-2022 School Year:
The first step in creating the District 54 annual staffing plan is projecting enrollment. To estimate next year’s enrollment District 54 considers the difference between this year’s eighth-grade class and next year’s kindergarten class, and also considers the number of students who transfer into and out of our district at other grade levels, which is much harder to predict. In addition, enrollment numbers have fluctuated this year with some families opting for alternative schooling options due to the pandemic.

The projected enrollment in kindergarten through eighth grade for the 2021-22 school year is 14,669 students, which is 330 students lower than last year’s projection. Due to that decrease in enrollment, and in order to be fiscally conservative, District 54 is recommending a reduction in positions across the district.

The focus was on reductions furthest from the classroom, including administrative and coaching positions, as well as support positions at the Rafferty Administration Center. However, the district is also recommending a reduction of some teaching and support positions due to decreasing enrollment.

The district will continue monitor enrollment data throughout the spring and summer. If enrollment changes prior to the start of the school year in August, District 54 will shift teaching resources or add positions to maintain a consistent class average across grade levels at our 28 schools. Additional flexibility may be required to support students who need a virtual instruction option as well.

More detailed information on the 2021-22 staffing plan can be accessed at 2021-2022 District 54 Staffing Plan.

Public Comment:
District 54 received one anonymous electronic public comment and one in-person comment about standardized testing and District 54’s efforts to help students who may have fallen behind during the pandemic.

Freedom of Information Act: 
District 54 received and replied to two Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board regarding student attendance rates and construction management contracts.

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session board meetings on February 11, 2021
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement, employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated February 12 and 26, 2021
  • Treasurer’s report on cash and investments for January 2021
  • The extension of the student transportation contract for school year 2021-2022 with First Student
  • The release of the minutes from the closed-session meetings on August 6, Sept. 1, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10, 2020

Board members thanked Jewel-Osco as well as the District 54 volunteers who organized an efficient COVID-19 vaccination clinic last week.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 7:15 to closed session to discuss employment/appointment and collective negotiating matters.