September 17, 2020

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

Discussion – Update Regarding the Pandemic Advisory Committee Work:

On June 23, 2020, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) working partnership with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released initial guidance for the reopening of schools this fall. This guidance placed a priority on providing in-person instruction with significant safety modifications including the wearing of masks, symptoms screening, social distancing parameters and quarantine procedures for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and English Learners.

District 54 will begin a partial return to in-person learning for students in some of our special education programs the week of Sept. 28. We have examined the needs of the students in those programs and based that hybrid model on those needs. Students would attend in person two mornings a week, and participate remotely the rest of the school week. Families will have the option for full remote learning. More specifics will be shared with families next week.

District 54 is also reaching out to families of students who are newcomers to the United States this year and need support as English learners. Students will come to school for 1:1 instruction provided twice a week by a bilingual resource teacher.

District 54 strongly believes that students need to return to in-person instruction as soon as it is safe and logistically possible to do so. Any reentry plan will be subject to change based on local health conditions and revised guidance provided from the state and Cook County Department of Public Health. In addition, classes may need to toggle back and forth between remote, hybrid and in-person instruction based on local health conditions and staffing availability.

Reentry metrics and models for returning to in-person learning are some of the issues being discussed at Pandemic Advisory Committee, which meets next on Sept. 29. An update on the District 54 Reopening Plan will be presented to the Board on Oct. 1.

Public Comment:

District 54 received 90 public comments for tonight’s meeting (one in person and 89 submitted). Click here to read the Public Comments from the Sept. 17, 2020 Board Meeting.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: 

One request was received and responded to since the last report to the board regarding staff contact information. 

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

  • The minutes of the Committee of the Whole meeting on Sept. 1, 2020
  • The minutes of the closed-session Board of Education meeting on Sept. 1, 2020
  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on Sept. 3, 2020
  • The resignations, leaves and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Sept. 11, 2020
  • Treasurer’s report on cash and investments for July 2020
  • Monthly report of revenues and expenditures for August 2020
  • The posting of the administrator and teacher salary and benefits report
  • The renewal of the Medicaid billing services contract
  • The purchase of GO Math! materials
  • The release of minutes from the following closed-session meetings:
    • March 7, August 8 and November 14, 2019
    • January 9, February 6, February 20, March 5, April 16, May 21, July 15 and July 22, 2020
  • The destruction of verbatim records of the closed-session board meetings on February 21 and March 7, 2019, for which approved minutes already exist

Foundation Report: Board Member Mary Kay Prusnick reported that the Foundation raised $762.97 at its Lou Malnati’s fundraiser yesterday and encouraged people to continue to support the Crisis Fund by signing up for the D54 Virtual Run to Read Sept. 25-27 –

PTA Report: Board President Bob Kaplan read a report from PTA Council President Cheryl Gleason. She expressed gratitude to District 54 staff for going above and beyond to support children. 

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:12 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters.