September 16, 2021

Discussion – Elevate Student Success Overview:

Knowing that the learning needs of every student varies, especially going into a third school year impacted by a pandemic, the district has been strategically planning ways to support students beyond what is offered during the school day. Research shows that an emphasis on grade level instruction and high expectations are the most effective strategies for improving student achievement.

To have the biggest long-term impact for our students, District 54 has created a new afterschool program called Elevate Student Success to support students who need additional assistance in math and literacy. Students in second through eighth grade were invited to attend these small group tutoring sessions with District 54 staff twice a week after school based on their fall MAP results and teacher recommendations.

Elevate will also build on students’ confidence and competence. This investment of additional time and opportunity is needed for some students in order to close any gaps that exist as an outcome of the pandemic.  

Discussion – Operational Update:

District 54 continues to operate from a sound financial position that has been further strengthened by receipt and expected receipt of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds (ESSER). These additional funds have been directed toward providing academic support to students, student social-emotional and mental health support, HVAC improvements and PPE supplies.

District 54 provided an update on capital improvement projects, enrollment and facilities use. The district’s average class size is 22 at elementary schools and 24 at junior high schools. As always, the district continues to closely monitor enrollment and classroom usage at all schools. With that goal in mind, the administration recommends contracting with RSP & Associates to develop an enrollment analysis to best plan for future enrollment fluctuations. 

Public Comment:

District 54 received two online public comments and two in-person public comments related to bullying and to masks. Click here to read the electronically submitted Board Meeting Public Comments for Sept. 16, 2021.

Freedom of Information Act:

District 54 received and replied to five Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board. Click here to access the board memo with specifics of the requests

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

  • The minutes of the regular Board of Education meeting on August 19, 2021
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated August 20, August 27 and September 10, 2021
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for July and August 2021
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for July 2021
  • The administrator and teacher salary and benefits report
  • A contract with R&G Consultants for Medicaid billing services
  • The School Maintenance Project Grant application for 2021-2022
  • The purchase of Sphero Indi and Sphero Bolt robots for elementary school Creation Studios
  • The purchase of digital texts from Learning A-Z and a subscription to TeachTown software
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on February 20 and March 5, 2020, for which approved minutes already exist

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report:

Board Member Barbara Hengels reported that DCAC heard an update on summer activities for students and staff in District 54.

District 54 Education Foundation Report:

Board Vice President Jim Pye thanked everyone who participated in the Foundation’s Lou Malnati’s fundraiser yesterday and those who worked during Septemberfest parking cars. The funds raised from these events help support the Crisis Fund and Food 4 Thought Breakfast Program, among other programs for financially struggling families.

Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Report:

PTA Council President Cheryl Gleason sent in a report thanking District 54 staff for all they have done for students during the pandemic. The PTA is excited to be back in schools to support and engage both students and their families.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved a contract with RSP & Associates for enrollment data analysis and projections.


  • The Board thanked the fine arts staff for facilitating the student concerts at Septemberfest over Labor Day weekend.
  • Keller Junior High School was fortunate to receive another donation from the Rotary Club of Schaumburg-Hoffman Estates, which has sponsored the Breakfast Program at Keller since 2017. 
  • The Virtual Run to Read is next weekend, Sept. 24-27, 2021. People can register at


The Board adjourned at 8:20 p.m. to enter closed session for employment/appointment matters, the semi-annual review of minutes of closed-session meetings, legal matters and collective negotiating matters.