November 17, 2022

Levy Public Hearing
District 54 held a Public Hearing on the 2022 Levy, but no members of the public asked to speak.

Public Comment
In honor of American Education Week, SEEO President Kathy Jesuit thanked members of the SEA and SEEO for their commitment to ensuring students in District 54 a high quality education. She also thanked the School Board for all they do to support the students and employees in District 54.

District 54 recognized the following individuals with Above & Beyond Awards.

  • Crissy Hoffman for the significant positive impact she has made on the Link School culture.
  • Jeff Palmer for 10 years of volunteering with the Frost Fluid Power Challenge Club.
  • Lisa Czepiel for her efforts to celebrate Mead’s 40th anniversary through the “We Are One Run.”

Administrative Reports

  • Updates on Area of Focus for the 2022-2023 School Year
    For the 2022-23 school year, District 54 is prioritizing four areas of focus – instruction, supporting social-emotional learning, professional learning communities (PLCs) and leadership. Respectively in each focus area, first trimester work has centered around sustaining rigorous learning environment across the school day and beyond, sustaining a culture of optimism for staff and students, revitalizing the collaborative work of PLCs and the cultural competency of grade and content area teams, and prioritizing both short- and long-term leadership development.
  • Writing Task Force Update
    District 54 places a priority on continually evaluating our curricular resources and instructional practices to ensure students are provided the best possible opportunity to be successful. This fall, a Writing Task Force consisting of 98 teachers, instructional coaches and administrators, representing all schools and grade levels, convened to review curricular resources for our elementary and junior high students. The task force kept in mind numerous factors while evaluating potential publisher material for our students, including, but not limited to alignment to the Illinois Writing Standards, balanced framework and lesson support, structures that are engaging, purposeful, worthy of students’ time and attention and allows for student choice and availability of resources to match the needs of our dual language programs and that are culturally responsive to our student population. After reviewing the Traits Crate Plus and Modes in Focus, Writing Fundamentals and a draft of a writing unit created by District 54 staff, the task force unanimously chose the District 54 curriculum. The task force then began working to create a cohesive writing curriculum for kindergarten through eighth grade. Upon approval of the School Board, staff training on the new materials would occur in the spring.
  • Level Up Leadership Academy
    The goal of the District 54 Leadership Academy is to prepare staff members for future leadership positions in District 54. The Level Up Leadership Academy cohort includes 70 staff members from across all 28 schools and from the Rafferty Administrative Center. Participants attend sessions covering the topics of identifying focus areas for a building, creating strong PLC structures, identifying impact through a larger lens, creating an inclusive school environment, engaging with their community, and personal growth and reflection.
  • Psychology Principles – Happiness Reboot in District 54
    District 54 adopted a positive psychology framework in 2016 to deepen student, family, and community development; to create a happy, healthy, and engaged learning community; and to improve performance and fuel success. Each school has individuals who serve as Happiness Representatives. They participate in trainings each year to review the principles of positive psychology and create plans for their school. This fall, the training consisted of a review of the key concepts of positive psychology and a time of reflection to assess the needs at their schools. A district-level team of administrators and teacher leaders also provides professional development presentations for school teams to use with their staff. The social-emotional needs of our community continue to be a priority for District 54.
  • Veterans Day in District 54
    In District 54 we pride ourselves for having students in school on November 11 to celebrate and honor veterans on Veterans Day.  Veterans Day is part of our curriculum and to commemorate this day further, schools create activities, experiences and unique ways to educate our District 54 students around the significance of this day. Check out our 2022 Veteran’s Day video.

Freedom of Information Act
District 54 received and replied to one Freedom of Information Act request since the last report to the Board related to staff contact information. 

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

  • The minutes of the regular School Board meeting on October 13, 2022
  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session School Board meetings on September 12 and 20, 2022
  • Resignations, leaves, retirements, employment and salary adjustment of personnel
  • Checks dated October 7 and 21, 2022
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for September 2022
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for October 2022
  • The monthly Blue Cross Blue Shield self-funded HMO and PPO medical insurance rates for the calendar year 2023
  • The monthly dental and vision insurance rates for the calendar year 2023
  • Workplace Solutions as the provider of District 54’s Employee Assistance Program
  • The offering of employee-purchased additional life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance for calendar years 2023 and 2024
  • The rates for long-term disability insurance, basic life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance for calendar years 2023 and 2024
  • The continuation with Blue Cross Blue Shield as the excess loss carrier for the district health care plans
  • The authorization for the assistant superintendent of business operations to negotiate a contract for the purchase of electricity for a term of up to three years
  • A resolution authorizing attorneys from Franczek P.C. to intervene in proceedings for assessment year 2022 before the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board 
  • A resolution authorizing attorneys from Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick, & Kohn to intervene in proceedings for assessment year 2021-2022 before the Illinois Property Tax Appeals Board
  • A resolution authorizing attorneys from Franczek P.C., to intervene in tax objection complaint proceedings in the Circuit Court of Cook County for the assessment year 2022
  • The purchase of two Ford F-350XL vehicles and one Ford F-550 from Roesch Ford
  • The purchase of technology licensing and support
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on April 29 and May 6, 2021 for which approved minutes already exist

Report of the Board President
Board President Mary Kay Prusnick announced that several board members were recognized for master board status this fall, including Barb Hengels who was presented with the Illinois Association of School Board’s Legacy Award for 25 years of service.

District 54 Education Foundation Report
Board Member Bill Harper encouraged everyone to order from Lou Malnati’s in Schaumburg on Monday, Nov. 21, as a percentage of sales will go to the Foundation Crisis Fund. He also applauded Foundation Trustee Sue Budak, who offered to match up to $25,000 in donations to the Crisis Fund made by Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, in honor of her late husband, Mark. Donate online at

New Business 

  • The Board approved the 2022 Taxy Levy Certificate and adopted a resolution regarding what amounts to levy for each fund.
  • The Board approved a resolution authorizing the Cook County Clerk to reduce the education levy by 80%, the operation and maintenance levy by 10% and the transportation levy by 10% that is in excess of the limiting rate.


The Board wished everyone a happy American Education Week and thanked everyone for their part in a successful Partnership Breakfast this week.

The Board adjourned at 8:30 p.m.