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Brief from the Board Meeting on August 8, 2019

Discussion: District 54 Cabinet members reviewed the District 54’s Strategic Plan, The 54 Promise, and connected priority action steps that are being taken this year with the district’s outlined goals of ensuring whole-child success, performing in the top 10% and closing the achievement gap.

To ensure whole-child academic and social emotional success, District 54 plans to

  • Continuously evaluate and prioritize Professional Learning Communities;
  • Continue to implement and refine social emotional learning lessons and practices at all grade levels;
  • Expand the Student Ambassador Program to grades 3 through 8;
  • Administer a social emotional learning survey to enable the district to best meet the needs of each child;
  • Provide trauma responsive training for all staff;
  • Convene a social studies task force to evaluate current practices and materials; and
  • Design and implement problem-based learning units.

To cultivate innovation in facility and instructional design, District 54 plans to

  • Provide iPads or Chromebooks to each student in kindergarten through eighth grade;
  • Continue the training and work of the Innovate 54 teams from each school;
  • Facilitate sessions for all teachers to build capacity around the concept of instructional innovation in District 54;
  • Change all Innovate 54 teachers’ classrooms into Future Ready Classrooms;
  • Open Creation Studios at Frost, Addams, Mead and Eisenhower; and
  • Expand Makerspace offerings to include coding in kindergarten through sixth grade.

To ensure District 54 continues to be staffed with exceptional personnel, District 54 plans to

  • Prepare new hires to successfully implement the District 54 mission of ensuring student success;
  • Implement a structured process for new administrators with a focus on developing exceptional leadership from every seat;
  • Conduct ongoing leadership team development that connects leaders to each other and the strong practices taking place in our schools;
  • Further implement positive psychology with a focus on emotional intelligence, resilience and self-care;
  • Expand on professional learning opportunities at each building and districtwide; and
  • Continue District 54’s Aspiring Leaders Cohort to develop the leadership capacity of our teachers.

To sustain facility and fiscal responsibility, District 54 plans to

  • Finish renovation and expansion work at Link and Mead;
  • Open Creation Studios at Mead, Addams, Frost and Eisenhower;
  • Complete capital improvement projects including a roof replacement Keller, construction of a new parking lot at the Early Learning Center, etc.; and
  • Create secure entries at MacArthur, Fox, Aldrin, Armstrong, Collins, Blackwell and Hale over winter break.

Public Hearing on the 2019-20 Budget: No one asked to speak.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: Three requests were received and responded to since the last report to the Board regarding the FOIA officer contact information, the payroll and contact information for the temporary fence at Link School and the collective bargaining agreements and contact information for employees. 

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

  • The minutes of the special, open and closed-session board meetings on June 11, June 12, and June 13, 2019
  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session school board meetings on June 20, 2019
  • The resignations, employment, re-employment and salary adjustments of personnel
  • Checks dated June 21, July 5, July 19, and August 2, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for May and June 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for June 2019
  • The purchase of property, casualty and liability insurance coverage for 2019-20 from Liberty Mutual
  • The purchase of technology licensing and support
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meetings held on January 18, January 25, and February 1, 2018, for which approved minutes already exist.

President of the Board’s Report:
Board President Bob Kaplan reported that the district is excited to welcome new teachers to the district this week and is looking forward to welcoming students on August 19. He thanked board members and others who volunteered at the Pack the Bus school supply drive on August 3, including Schaumburg Township for organizing the event and District 211 for donating the bus.

District 54 Foundation Report:
Board Vice President Mary Kay Prusnick announced that Schaumburg’s Septemberfest is the Foundation’s second biggest fundraiser of the year. They are looking for volunteers to park cars on August 31 and Sept. 1 at Collins, and to serve food during the nonprofit day on Sept. 2. If you’re interested in volunteering, email

New Business: 

  • The Board adopted the 2019-20 budget. Click here to access the budget memo.
  • The Board directed the superintendent to prepare the 2020-21 budget in tentative form.
  • The Board awarded a contract to John D. Kasarda to prepare an updated demographic study and enrollment projection report for District 54.
  • The Board appointed Mary Kay Prusnick to serve as the IASB Governing Board Representative for the district until the spring 2021.
  • The Board appointed an additional representative from the community to serve on the District Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the 2019-2020 school year
  • The Board approved the district’s membership in the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, the Greater O’Hare Area Regional Business Association, the Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce, the Schaumburg Business Association, the Midwest Principals’ Center, the Illinois Association of School Boards and the National School Boards Association for 2019-20.
  • The Board approved the district’s membership in the Midwest Principals’ Center from Feb, 2020 through January 2021
  • The Board brought revisions to the following policies for a first reading:
    • 4:140(b) – Waiver of Fees for Low Income Families,
    • 4:170(c) – Emergency Closing of Schools (Prior to the Beginning of the School Day),
    • 4:170(d) – Emergency Closing of School(s)(When School is in Session) and
    • 4:170(e) – Building Access Security.


  • Board members thanked all the new staff who attended induction week this week, as well as the employees who supported the new staff.

Closed Session: The Board adjourned at 8:50 p.m. to closed session for business matters and school matters.

Return to Open Session

Further Discussion and Possible Action on Matters Considered in Closed Session:

  • The Board approved the sale of its property at Thacker Street and Verde Drive to Swanson & Associates.

District 54 releases tentative 2019-20 budget

The District 54 School Board released a tentative version of its 2019-20 budget at its June 20, 2019, meeting. District 54 expects to spend $283,680,418 during the 2019-20 budget year and receive $271,770,202 in revenues.

District 54 developed the 2019-20 tentative budget at this time based on the following parameters:


  • Property taxes for levy years 2018 and 2019 are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which was 2.1% for the 2018 levy and 1.9% for the 2019 levy.
  • Federal aid, state aid and interest income are projected to increase slightly from 2018-19 revenue.
  • Local revenues will remain consistent due to the fee structure approved by the board, which is consistent with the prior year.


  • Salaries for 2019-2020 are based on projected savings from people retiring at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year, as well as any raises to returning employees.
  • Benefit costs are projected based on 2018-19 actual expected costs and an increase expected in 2019-20 of approximately 4.5%.
  • There will continue to be a freeze on overall cumulative spending in supplies, purchase services and capital outlay. The only exception is in the Operations and Maintenance Fund, where cost of service increases cannot be controlled, and in the Education Fund for planned textbook or technology adoptions. In addition, in 2019-20 a large addition to budgeted expenditures was due to additional expenditures for Innovate 54 learning modifications and for summer construction.
  • Tuition costs are budgeted the same as 2018-2019, but are highly subject to fluctuation depending on what special education services need to be outsourced.
  • District 54 will issue no new debt and has been debt free since Dec. 1, 2011.

The tentative budget will be available at the District Office from July 1 through August 8, 2019. On August 8, 2019, a public hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. in the boardroom of the Rafferty Administration Center, 524 E. Schaumburg Road in Schaumburg (prior to the School Board meeting that evening). The School Board is expected to adopt a budget at its August 8, 2019 meeting.

To view the detailed 2019-20 tentative budget, click on the budget link in the June 20 Board Brief.

Scipione appointed as new board member

Nicholas ScipioneOn June 20, 2019, the District 54 School Board appointed Nicholas Scipione to the board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Charlotte Kegarise on May 23.

“I am looking forward to supporting and maintaining the tradition of excellence for which District 54 has long been recognized,” Scipione said. “As an educator and father of two young children, future educational opportunities are very important to me. The tradition of excellence to ensure student success for my children and all the students of the district will be my top priority.”

The School Board interviewed 16 candidates during the week of June 10 and chose Scipione from the large group of qualified individuals.

“Nicholas is a passionate supporter of public education with a history of service to our community,” Board President Bob Kaplan said. “He will be an excellent, collaborative addition to the board.”

Scipione has been a science teacher at Glenbard East High School since 2004 and the school’s Science, Technology and Engineering Department chair since 2009. He worked at the Schaumburg Township District Library from 1999 to 2009 and served as a Library Board Trustee from 2009 to 2015. Scipione also serves as a Village of Schaumburg Planning Commissioner, a role he has held since 2015.

Scipione will serve until the next School Board election on April 6, 2021. If he wishes to remain on the board, he must run for the office.

Brief from the Board Meeting on June 20

Call to Order

Public Comment: A District 54 parent and teacher asked the board to examine the structure of the dual language program, so students particularly at the younger grade levels, would be served by fewer staff members.

Freedom of Information Act Requests: Two requests were received and responded to since the last report to the Board regarding the number of Elk Grove students served and purchasing records. 

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

  • The minutes of the regular and closed-session school board meetings on May 16, 2019
  • The minutes of the special open and closed-session board meetings on May 21 and May 28, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves, retirement, termination and employment of personnel
  • The 2019-2020 salaries for administrators, supervisory personnel, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, floor time specialists, educational interpreters and crisis intervention assistants
  • The 2019-20 salary parameters for non-represented staff
  • The 2019-2020 salaries for pay grade 1-3 personnel, market-rated personnel and part-time employees
  • The 2019-20 salary rates for the elementary school lunch program
  • The 2019-2020 daily rates for substitutes
  • Checks dated May 24 and June 7, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for April 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for May 2019
  • Prevailing wage rates for the 2019-2020 school year
  • The purchase of a treasurer’s bond for 2019-2020 from Liberty Mutual Insurance
  • The renewal of software licensing and support for the Library Automation System with Follett Software Company, zSpace and GoGuardian
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting on December 14, 2017 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
With the 2018-19 school year over, Superintendent Andy DuRoss highlighted some of the successes District 54 has experienced to date. Our students routinely score in the top 5% on state assessments. A Stanford University study reported that District 54 students experienced 6.2 years of growth in five years. On our staff cultural assessment, 85% reported being highly satisfied and highly engaged.

DuRoss also shared that the focus for the 2019-20 school year will be what he called the 3 P’s:  People, Positivity and Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). The most important factor in student achievement and social-emotional well-being is the people in our district who connect with our students. The work with PLCs and positivity will support our employees and the children they serve.

DuRoss also reviewed the three District 54 goals.

  • District 54 will ensure the success of the whole child by providing comprehensive approaches and programming, grounded in the belief that each child deserves to be Healthy, Safe, Engaged, Supported and Challenged.
  • District 54 will perform in the top 10% of all schools as measured by state and local assessments in reading and math growth and proficiency.
  • District 54 will close the achievement gap for ALL students in reading and mathematics as measured by state and local assessments.

The four focus areas outlined in the 54 Promise Strategic Plan support these goals. They are

  • Whole Child Academic and Social-Emotional Success,
  • Innovation in Learning Space and Instructional Design,
  • Exceptional Employees and
  • Facilities and Fiscal Responsibility.

In wrapping up his report, DuRoss thanked Dr. Pete Hannigan, assistant superintendent of human resources, for his 13 years of service to District 54. Today is his last day before moving on to a superintendent’s position in another district.

President of the Board’s Report:
Board President Bob Kaplan also offered his thanks and best wishes to Dr. Hannigan. He also thanked the School Board for the extra time they have given the past month attending graduations and interviewing for the vacancy on the school board.

District 54 Foundation Report:
Board Member Mary Kay Prusnick thanked everyone who supported the Foundation Golf Outing last week. The Foundation raised more than $33,000 at this event.

PTA Council Report:
PTA representatives have been attending classes this month to prepare for the 2019-20 school year.

New Business: 

  • The Board appointed additional representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Board approved the contract of employment for Superintendent Andy DuRoss for the years July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024.
  • The Board approved the 2019-2020 Tentative Budget.
  • The Board adopted the resolution to call for a public hearing on the 2019-2020 Budget at 7 p.m. August 8, 2019.
  • The Board approved the engagement of CBRE as the broker on record to market the sale of the vacant land located at the southwest corner of Thacker Street and Verde Drive in Schaumburg.
  • The Board appointed Tricia Leong as the assistant principal of Frost Junior High school for the 2019-2020 school year.

Appointment of School Board Member:
The Board appointed Nicholas Scipione to the Board of Education to fulfill the remaining term of office for Charlotte Kegarise due to her resignation effective May 23, 2019.

Election of Board Vice President:
The Board elected Mary Kay Prusnick to serve as the Board Vice President.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 8:08 p.m. to closed session for business matters.

Brief from the Board Meeting on May 16

Before the meeting, the School Board honored the following students and staff in the Professional Learning Center with Ambassador of Excellence Awards:

  • Fifteen Mead students who qualified for the 2019 Illinois History Day state competition. Six of these students are going to the national competition in June.
  • Nine Mead and Stevenson students, and their teachers, who were chosen to participate in TECH 2019 at the State Capitol Building in Springfield.
  • Students from Link, Fox, Dooley and Addams for their performance at the Rube Goldberg competition.
  • Dirksen students Kennedy Apple and Taline Abousamra, Eisenhower secretaries Michele Peacock, Julie Raio and Sunita Mani-Sriram, and Community Relations assistant Meagan Kasper, who received Distinguished Service Awards from the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.
  • Ten Dooley students and one Addams student for their performance in Japanese speech contests.
  • A total of 38 District 54 students from many schools who qualified for the state level for Reflections, a PTA writing and fine arts competition, including four students who qualified for the national level.

Call to Order

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

Freedom of Information Act Requests:
Six requests were made and replied to since the last meeting regarding transportation contracts, bargaining agreements and employees, electronics recycling vendor contracts, charter school applications (District 54 has none), the art supplies bid and information on reassigned suspended employees (District 54 has none).

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

  • The minutes of the regular school board meeting on May 2, 2019
  • The resignations, employment, salary adjustment and re-employment of personnel
  • Checks dated May 10, 2019
  • The treasurer’s report on cash and investments for March 2019
  • The monthly update of revenues and expenditures for April 2019
  • The 2019-20 Workers’ Compensation insurance policy from United Heartland Company of America
  • The voluntary parent-purchased student accident insurance plan for the 2019-20 school year
  • The contract for the purchase of technology licensing and support from Continental Resources, Edulastic and CDW
  • The resolution requesting free transportation for students due to approved hazardous conditions for the 2019-20 school year
  • The destruction of the verbatim records of the closed-session school board meeting held on Oct. 19 and Nov. 2, 2017 for which approved minutes already exist

Superintendent’s Report:
Superintendent Andy DuRoss thanked everyone for a fantastic school year and shared a video highlighting some of the peak moments from across the district this year. He highlighted how the four focus areas of our strategic plan – whole child success, innovation, exceptional employees, and facilities and fiscal responsibility – are making a significant impact on our students and staff today and into the future.

District Citizens’ Advisory Committee Report: Board Member Barb Hengels shared that DCAC is still seeking applications and will electing officers at its first meeting of the 2019-20 school year in September.

District 54 Foundation Report: The D54 Education Foundation awarded 450 Memorial grants this year to District 54 students. For individuals interested in supporting this work, please golf, volunteer or sponsor a hole at the foundation’s golf outing on June 10.

New Business: 

  • The Board approved the appointment of Charlotte Kegarise as the Illinois Association of School Boards Governing Board Representative through the spring of 2021.
  • The Board appointed representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Board approved the expenses for travel to the National School Board Association Conference.
  • The Board authorized Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn LLP to litigate, advise and review employee benefit-related matters on behalf of the district.


  • The District 54 School Board Board members talked about the amazing individuals honored last week at the PTA annual scholarship recognition dinner and the Celebration of District 54 honoring retirees and Ensuring Student Success winners.
  • The board also gave kudos to the staff and students who were part of the Eisenhower Junior High School play and the District 54 Special Olympics Unified Sports Day today.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:36 p.m. to closed session for employment/appointment matters.



Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs announces 2019 scholarship recipients

The Schaumburg Township Council of PTAs is proud to announce its 2019 scholarship recipients:

The Bonnie Greenberg Memorial Scholarship

  • Rylee Benson (Churchill/Eisenhower/Hoffman Estates)

Four-Year College/University Scholarship

  • Alyssa Brand (MacArthur/Collins/Frost/Conant)
  • Kelly Guagenti (Stevenson/Mead/Conant)
  • Rashini Jayawardena (Hanover Highlands/Campanelli/Mead/Schaumburg)
  • Cassidy Leno (Dirksen/Frost/Schaumburg)
  • Rajat Mittal (Collins/Campanelli/Mead/Conant)
  • Jaylen Patel (Nerge/Mead/Conant)
  • Kathryn Sklena (Churchill/Eisenhower/Hoffman)

Each student received a one-year, $1,000 scholarship at the annual STC Scholarship Recognition Dinner May 8. The recipients are all seniors in high school who once attended a District 54 school.

Three Mead projects advance to National History Day Competition

Six Mead Junior High School students have qualified for the National History Day competition June 9-13 in College Park, Maryland.

  • Abhay P., Soham G. and Sean Y. qualified in the Exhibit category for their project “Breaking Barriers in Basketball: The 1963 Loyola ‘Game of Change.’”
  • Anirudh C. and Akhilraj C. qualified in the Documentary category for their project “The Chicago Typhoid Fever Epidemic of the 19th Century: How Sickness and Death Can Lead to Change.”
  • Ella S. qualified in the Website category for her project “The Radium Girls: Ottawa’s Shining Women.”

The following four projects by Mead students also earned Superior Ranking at the State History Expo.

  • Anisha A., Brisa B. and Maya J. for their exhibit “The Tylenol Murders: How Seven Deaths Changed America’s Medicine Safety Forever”
  • Dhruv P., Yashas M. and Krish M. for their exhibit “Instigating A Racial Movement: The Springfield Race Riots of 1908”
  • Anmay G. for his documentary “The Sears Tower: A Monument for a Dying Company”
  • Shivshankar P. and Sreedevi P. for their documentary “The 1968 Democratic National Convention Riots: The Power of Protest”

The theme this year was Triumph and Tragedy in History. Students choose a historical topic related to the theme, conduct research, analyze and interpret their sources, and then draw a conclusion about the significance of their topic. Students can present their work as a research paper, an exhibit, a performance, a documentary or a website.

District 54 students, staff receive INSPRA Distinguished Service Awards

District 54 is proud to announce the following recipients of Distinguished Service Awards for 2019 from the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA):

• Kennedy Apple and Taline Abousamra, sixth-grade students at Dirksen Elementary School, won an award in the Student category.

• Meagan Kasper, administrative assistant for the District 54 Community Relations Department, won an award in the Support Staff category.

• Michele Peacock, Sunita Mani-Sriram and Julie Raio, secretaries at Eisenhower Junior High School, won an award in the Team category.

• Superintendent Andy DuRoss won an award in the Administrator category.

The statewide Distinguished Service Awards program honors individuals and groups who have consistently gone above and beyond on behalf of their schools and whose efforts have enhanced education and conveyed its importance to the community at large.

Kennedy A. and Taline A.

Student winners with their certificatesDirksen has a new sound lab in its library this year, and one of the first projects students worked on was researching and creating a podcast of their choosing. After the project ended, Kennedy A. and Taline A. asked their library media teacher if they could create a regular podcast for Dirksen. This is not a club or a class activity, but a student-created communication with a teacher serving as a mentor.

The girls presented a proposal for a podcast with community announcements, such as upcoming school events and information on extracurricular activities. After finding that the podcast wasn’t reaching the audience size they envisioned, Kennedy and Taline created new material to attract more listeners. They added interviews with teachers and students, with thought-provoking questions. They incorporated interactive segments to engage listeners. For example, if students complete a survey saying they listened, the girls mention them during the podcast. Students are also encouraged to share questions they have for the school during their library time. Taline and Kennedy will research the question and share their findings with all. Kennedy and Taline spend countless hours of their free time working on their planning document. They also skip lunch and recess twice a week to record and edit each episode.

Meagan Kasper

Meagan with her certificateSince Meagan Kasper was hired as the community relations secretary in January 2018, she has taken District 54’s communication efforts to new heights.

Although graphic artist isn’t in her job description, Meagan has a natural eye for good design and has developed or redesigned many flyers, programs and brochures. She even co-facilitated a class on designing with Canva for other support staff at the District 54 administrative center.

While always focused on her work, Meagan makes time to build relationships and enhance morale, so district administrators asked her to co-lead the district’s Happiness Team. Meagan leads the monthly meeting for more than 100 employees. She starts each meeting with activities that enhance relationships between departments.

Meagan is also committed to fostering partnerships. For example, she organized the Schaumburg Parent University Summer Camp Expo, reaching out to organizations, promoting the expo and staying late to ensure the event was successful. When asked to take notes for the District 54 Education Foundation’s golf committee, she took her involvement to the next level by also procuring numerous donations. These activities are beyond the expectations of her position, but she happily tackles these challenges to support the families we serve.

Michele Peacock, Sunita Mani-Sriram and Julie Raio

The three secretaries with their certificatesThe secretaries at Eisenhower Junior High School in Hoffman Estates have established strong relationships with staff, students and parents to best support student learning and well-being.

The secretaries are usually the first people that students, families and staff encounter when they enter a school, and often the first people our new families meet. Eisenhower’s secretaries are known as the office queens because they give each patron the royal treatment. They have the talent of turning a challenging circumstance into an opportunity to build a positive relationship. They approach each situation by first being active listeners, and then communicating in a supportive manner to ensure all individuals feel heard and respected.

The Eisenhower secretaries keep students at the center of their work. They mentor students who need additional social or emotional support, and are often sought out by students looking for a personal connection with an adult at school. They make connections with these students and consistently demonstrate that they care about them unconditionally. One secretary bought a winter jacket for a student who could not afford one. Another bought two of the students she mentors graduation gifts. Even when the students leave Eisenhower, they will often see these secretaries cheering them on at high school.

Superintendent Andy DuRoss

Andy DuRoss with his certificateWhether talking to a parent, meeting with a teacher, or engaging with students while visiting schools, District 54 Superintendent Andy DuRoss prioritizes building relationships to enhance communication.

One of the biggest impacts a superintendent can make is enhancing the district’s culture. In 2017, DuRoss brought the positive psychology principles outlined by Harvard Researcher Shawn Achor to District 54. This training demonstrates how happiness and optimism fuels performance and leads to success. When DuRoss talks about student success, he is not just speaking about academic success but social and emotional success as well. He is committed to the happiness of his students and employees.

In 2018, DuRoss invited parents, community members, administrators, teachers and support staff to serve on the District 54 Strategic Plan Task Force. The district adopted new goals and four focus areas: innovation, whole child success, exceptional employees and fiscal responsibility. From this work, District 54 launched an innovation task force and rolled out a new social-emotional learning curriculum. Under DuRoss’ leadership, the positive culture in District 54 continues to thrive and student achievement continues to grow.

INSPRA honored all District 54 recipients during its annual Distinguished Service Awards luncheon on May 10 in Bolingbrook.

Brief from the Board Meeting on May 2

The School Board recognized 24 students from throughout the district who were finalists in the 2019 Spanish Language Speech Contest held on May 2. Students in third through eighth grade had the opportunity to submit videos in two categories: native Spanish speakers and Spanish as a second language speakers. Finalists were invited to the contest at MacArthur School on May 2, where judges gave them awards for first through third place.

Public Comment: No one asked to speak.

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

  • The minutes of the regular school board meeting on April 18, 2019
  • The minutes of the special reorganizational board meeting on April 25, 2019
  • The resignations, leaves and retirement of personnel
  • Checks dated April 26, 2019
  • The purchase of Chromebooks for the 2019-20 school year from Dell
  • The purchase of software licensing and support from Dell, CDW-G and Synercomm
  • A proclamation recognizing May 7 as National Teacher Day.

New Business: 

  • The Board appointed representatives from the community to serve on the District Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the 2019-20 school year
  • The Board approved a revised scheduled of board meeting dates for July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.


  • Board members Charlotte Kegarise and Mary Kay Prusnick visited our 22 elementary schools on April 30 to deliver a book to the school libraries in recognition of Charlotte’s 25 years of service on the School Board.
  • Board members also congratulated the students who participated in the District 54 Battle of the Books Tuesday and the Spanish Speech Contest today, and thanked the staff members who supported them in these endeavors.

Adjournment: The Board adjourned at 7:20 p.m.


District 54 teams selected to present at TECH 2019

Teams of students from Stevenson Elementary School and Mead Junior High School will represent School District 54 at TECH 2019 on May 7 at the Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.

  • Teacher Justin Gross and his Stevenson students – Cordelia B. (fourth grade), Leonidas C. (fourth grade) and Diya P. (sixth grade) will present Mission to Mars: A Cross-Curricular, Cross-Grade Level STEM-Based Experience.
  • Teacher Julie Collier and her Stevenson students – Angelina B. (sixth grade), Sonia P. (sixth grade) and Mya S. (sixth grade) will talk about Blue Screen Productions: Making Movies to Demonstrate Learning Across the Curriculum.
  • Teacher Tom Pfeifer and his Mead students – Ella S., Sreedevi P. and Maya J. – will share Present Outside the Classroom Science Fair Projects Gone Viral!

Mission to Mars – Stevenson
Students work on a Mars project
The Mission to Mars project began as a Discovery Education STEM Connect lesson in which students used technology to develop solutions for landing humans on Mars. Fourth-grade students researched and designed their own spacecraft utilizing a variety of materials in their classroom, while sixth-graders designed habitats that could sustain life on Mars. Throughout the process students participated in cross-grade Google Meet sessions to share their learning, ask questions and give advice.

“By allowing our students to showcase their unique learning experiences, they begin to take ownership of their education and realize that what they are doing goes far beyond the classroom walls,” Gross said. “Our students are identifying real-world problems or tasks and are working collaboratively, across grade levels, to solve them. It has been inspiring to watch students take on different leadership roles because what they are learning genuinely interests them and they are motivated to make a difference.”

Blue Screen Productions – Stevenson
Students work on a blue backgroundCollier and her students will show how creating movies enabled students to apply communication, critical thinking, collaboration and creativity skills, also known as the 4Cs, while demonstrating mastery of content. Films created by the students included book trailers to hook readers, horror movies to review challenging math tasks and an anti-bullying public service announcement created in partnership with the production crew of Elk Grove Village Television. Sixth-graders are currently helping students in the school’s special education classrooms create personalized videos to remember their time at Stevenson.

“Our students fully embraced the district’s focus on innovation this year and the impact on learning is quite remarkable,” Collier said. “Sixth-graders utilized our classroom technology in a wide range of learning experiences that prompted further inquiry.”

She said the most impressive technology-based creations were student-produced movies.

“Working in teams, students lived out the 4 C’s as they completed their projects,” Collier said. “As educators, we strive to build an environment where students take the lead. I’m so proud of these students for taking ownership for their learning.”

Science Fair Projects Gone Viral – Mead
Pfeifer and his students will show how they publicized their scientific investigations via individualized websites and engaging podcasts, providing an opportunity to communicate and collaborate with a virtual audience.

“Students use their Chromebooks to not only communicate their scientific findings locally, but also globally,” Pfeifer said. “They are able to navigate the various platforms that are offered by Google Apps for Education to spread their scientific ideas through multiple mediums.

“Students can learn through multiple platforms including videos, slides presentations, podcasts and the internet. The digital world is literally at their fingertips. Instead of being the science sage on the stage I am their navigational guide on the side.”

Click here to check out the Mead podcast series!

Legislators and the public are invited to TECH 2019, during which 115 teams of students and teachers from schools throughout Illinois will demonstrate how technology is being used in the classroom to increase student engagement. TECH 2019 is presented by Illinois Computing Educators, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to leadership in education through technology. For more information about TECH 2019, visit