News

October 15, 2020

A recorded video of this board meeting will be available on the District 54 YouTube Channel once it has finished uploading.

Discussion – Re-Opening of District 54 Schools Update:
District 54 provided the School Board with an update as some special education students returned to school earlier this month and more students will return next week as we begin the on-campus model. As we prepare to welcome students in-person, while also continuing to maintain students in a full remote setting, our priorities remain connecting, supporting and engaging.  

Teachers will continue to focus on a balanced instructional delivery model prioritizing support for students within small groups based on each child’s need within each academic area. Class sizes for in-person instruction will be 8 to 12 students, with 52% requesting in-person and 48% requesting to remain remote only. Buses will have an average of 13 riders per bus.

District 54 will closely monitor state and county health metrics, as well as tracking the number of students and staff in each building testing positive for COVID and in quarantine. This information will be updated each day school is in session and shared on a COVID dashboard, which will be posted to our website Friday at sd54.org/reopeningd54.

To help teachers transition to the new instructional model, with some students learning remotely and others in the classroom, an all-district webinar was conducted yesterday. District 54 is also offering staff an opportunity to participate in Self-Care for the Virtual Educator, a webinar focusing on mental, physical and emotional well-being so that staff can bring their best self to the table for their students. 

Teachers will continue to plan tomorrow, when District 54 provides an asynchronous day of learning for all students based on the book I Am Human by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds.  The book, I Am Human, is a book about embracing empathy and the potential of each day. This book and the activities for the day will encourage us to make good choices by acting with compassion and having empathy for ourselves and others. The social-emotional lesson activities will focus on being The Best Version of Me! Students will be able to select activities that support their social-emotional well-being. Each school will have a Padlet where students can share a picture, post or video of their work from the day. 

Public Comment:
District 54 received four public comments for tonight’s meeting (one in person and three submitted online). Click here to read the submitted Public Comments for the October 15 Board Meeting.

Freedom of Information Act:
District 54 received and replied to four Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board. The requests regarded dates, minutes and members of the pandemic advisory committee, procedures and policies related to complaints of harassment and discrimination, information about wireless telecom antenna on district property and information related to students with IEPs. 

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

  • The minutes of the regular Board of Education meeting on Oct. 1, 2020
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Monthly reports on cash and investment for August 2020
  • Monthly update of revenues and expenditures for September 2020
  • Checks dated Oct. 9, 2020
  • The purchase of supplemental digital texts from Learning A-Z and Scholastic
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on March 21 and April 4, 2019, for which approved minutes already exist

Board President Report: President Bob Kaplan said he is looking forward to hybrid learning starting Monday. He thanked the PTA for inviting the board to the Regional Dinner by Zoom on Oct. 5.

Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB): The Board discussed several resolutions being considered by the IASB delegate assembly.

Foundation Report: Board Vice President Mary Kay Prusnick reported the Run to Read raised more than $32,000 for the Foundation Crisis Fund.

PTA Report: PTA Council President Cheryl Gleason invited everyone to attend the Fall General Meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 22 via Zoom. The evening will include a presentation by keynote speaker Devin C. Hughes called “Building a Happier Culture at Home.” Devin will share tangible and practical strategies that we can apply to get on the highway to happiness. Details can be found at sd54.org/spu.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the district’s membership in the National School Boards Association for the 2021 calendar year.
  • The Board approved a resolution estimating amounts for the 2020 levy exclusive of debt service. 

Announcements: Sherry Madej was nominated for the Illinois Association of School Board Holly Jack Award for her service to the District 54 School Board.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:13 p.m.