December 9, 2021

Discussion – Science Curriculum Review:
A 63-person District 54 Science Task Force, which included teacher representatives from all schools and grade levels, met this fall to review curricular resources to update the current science curriculum, which is 13 years old. The task force is recommending Amplify Science, a kindergarten through eighth grade phenomena-based science curriculum, which aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards (adopted by Illinois as the state standards for science).

Students take on the role of a scientist and engineers to solve real-life problems. This curriculum integrates hands-on learning within each unit to help students actively engage and participate in gathering evidence, thinking critically, making observations and communicating their claims.

Upon School Board approval, staff would be trained on the new curriculum in the spring and summer and Amplify Science would be introduced to students in 2022-23 school year.

Public Comment:
District 54 received no online public comments and two in-person public comment related to the mask mandate and a fatherhood initiative.

54 Promise:
District 54 highlighted the work of junior high students who designed apps for the Congressional App Challenge. Click here to watch the Congressional App Challenge Video.

Freedom of Information Act:
District 54 received and replied to two Freedom of Information Act requests since the last report to the Board related to purchasing records and elevator maintenance contracts. 

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session Board of Education meetings on November 11, 2021
  • The minutes of the closed-session Board of Education meeting on October 25, 2021
  • Resignations, leaves, retirement and employment of personnel
  • Checks dated Nov. 19 and Dec. 3, 2021
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for October 2021
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for November 2021
  • A contract for roofing replacements at Hoover Math and Science Academy and the Rafferty Administration Center to DCG Roofing Solutions
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings on May 21, 2020, for which approved minutes already exist.

District Citizen’s Advisory Committee:
Board President Mary Kay Prusnick reported that DCAC heard a presentation about the Science Task Force work.

D54 Education Foundation Report:
Board Vice President Jim Pye suggested that anyone looking to make a charitable donation this holiday season consider the D54 Foundation Crisis Fund to help families in need in District 54.

PTA Report:
Board President Mary Kay Prusnick shared that the PTA Council has their high school scholarships applications available. Click here to access the scholarship application, which is due Feb. 18.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the resolution establishing the Teachers’ Retirement System of the State of Illinois Section 457(b) Deferred Compensation Supplemental Savings Plan program for the benefit of eligible employees.
  • The Board Policy Committee brought the following policies for a first reading:
    • 2:150 – Board Committees,
    • 2:220 – School Board Meeting Procedure, and
    • 5:10 – Equal Opportunity Employment.

The Board adjourned at 7:55 p.m. to closed session for legal, collective negotiating and student matters.