Anderson’s Announcements

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I would like to thank all those who contacted legislators to help get ESSA passed by both the House and Senate and then signed by President Obama. This is a great victory!!! I have attached an info sheet for you to peruse if you want to see some of the changes. More info here…

I have attached the election results from Monday’s elections.  Congratulations to all who ran. I am happy to see so many getting involved and letting their voice be heard. WOOHOO!!!

I would like to wish you all a wonderful relaxing winter break. I hope you enjoy the time you get to spend with family and friends and the memories that will be shared and created.
Blessings of Peace – Chery and the Anderson Family
PS –
Holiday Past
The original ball lowered in Times Square on New Year’s Eve back in 1907 was made of iron and wood and decorated with 100 light bulbs.

Holiday Present
The modern New Year’s ball is made of Waterford crystal, covered with 696 light bulbs, 96 strobe lights, and 90 rotating pyramid mirrors.

I hope your New Year’s sparkles as much!!!


PPSS – I am turning off my cell phone at 5pm tomorrow evening and will not check messages until Jan 3rd.  Please leave messages (if you need to) either on my voicemail or through email; I will pick them up and get back to you when we return in January. I am spending time with my parents and I promised my dad I would not “work” over the holidays. I NEVER argue with my dad!! Thanks for understanding.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy Thursday!

Getting close – I hope all is going well and that we will all be able to leave in only about a week’s time with all our plans completed and be able to relax over winter break. You are wonderful and deserve the time to relax.

v  Don’t forget Monday’s election for our IEA-RA reps – these members will represent us at the Illinois Education Association’s Representation Assembly and vote on issues on your behalf.

v  We could still use a few ballot counters on Monday at the DO at 3:30 – the more members we have counting the less time it takes. Please consider helping. If you still don’t know whether you will have the time today, just show up and head upstairs to the room behind the Board Room to help. Thanks J

As always, if you have concerns, questions or even suggestions for me, please contact me. If there is something going on in your building that you would like me to see or just spread the word, please let me know. Let’s highlight the great things you all do every day – the joys of being an educator!!

Have a fabulous Thursday and Friday and then a great weekend!


PS – Children laugh about 400 times a day, while adults laugh on average only 15 times a day. We definitely need to laugh more!!


Thursday, December 3, 2015

Wow – hard to believe we are in December and beginning our second MAP test session. Best of Luck to you all and to your students. I also hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Break and found time to relax and regenerate.

*If you are interested in purchasing a tree for the holidays, please take a look at the attached flyer from the Foundation. What a great way to support the district.

*Remember to update your CPDUs often so you can stay current.

*Check AESOP occasionally to make sure you have a full 5 subs chosen – sometimes they get hired or decide not to sub anymore.

*We need ballot counters at the DO on Monday December 14th beginning at 3:45. If you are interested reply to this email or contact Mark Fletcher or Kara Zielinski. You can add in to common ground in Domain 4! More hands make work light…and fast J

*If an issue arises between you and fellow staff member, please try and settle it without your administration. Care to Confront! Have your building reps help. The last thing anyone wants is to be called into the principal’s office to settle a dispute. Make the effort – you need to be able to work together on every issue even if it means agreeing to disagree.

*Have a wonderful Thursday and Friday!!



Monday, November 23, 2015

Good Morning All –

Just wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a wonderful  Thanksgiving this week and hope that you enjoy our mini-break.

As you go through the next 2 days, please take the time to thank your colleagues for everything they have done for you. We are all in this as a team working towards the same goal and we need to treat each other with respect as we go forward together!! Everyone has ideas, strategies and techniques to bring to the table, honor each of them with an open mind and thoughtful consideration. Care to confront when issues do arise and settle them as professionals together.

I am so thankful for each of you – I am honored to serve you in any way that I can and am grateful when you make suggestions for me and the organization. Your suggestions only move us forward as a stronger union.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends.



Chery Anderson

School District 54

SEA President

Schaumburg Illinois


Thursday, November 12, 2015
Hello! I would like to extend a thank you to all of our military veterans, their families and friends. I am so grateful for your sacrifice and courage you exhibit each and every day. Words are never enough. I was out and about yesterday and was lucky enough to see several wonderful presentations and assemblies honoring our military heroes. It was awe inspiring – you should all be very proud of the work you put forth. BRAVO!!
·         Tomorrow is the end of the 1st trimester so I also wanted to thank you for all the hard work you have done to help your students grow and work towards the goal of being college and career ready. Take a few moments in the next few weeks and reflect on how far they have come and just how far you will be able to take them. With your expertise and creativity, I know each and every child will reach the goals they have set and you have set for them. Share your success with each other and celebrate even the smallest of steps J YOU ARE ALL INCREDIBLE and I am grateful for each of you every day.
·         SEA wants to hear from YOU!  In the coming months, your building rep. will be contacting you to schedule a short (5-15 minute) One on One conversation.  This short meeting is to gather data from our members to help make SEA a member driven organization.  We want to know what is important to you and how we can support you in the future!  The collected information will help us develop a plan for the coming year and ensure we are representing the voice of our members at the district level.
Your rep. will be asking each member the following questions:
1.      What are your top 2-3 interests, issues, or concerns?
2.      What is your biggest challenge of working in the district? (Or, what is the hardest part of your job?)
3.      What role does the union play in your life? What changes would you make in order for the union to best meet your needs?
If you are uncomfortable providing this information with your name attached, you may provide your opinions anonymouslyOur goal is to hear from 100% of our membership and find out what matters most to SEA.  We thank you in advance for finding the time to meet with your rep. and look forward to hearing your input!
·         The PERA committee (which consists of equal members of SEA members and Administrators) has been meeting to finalize our plan for Student Growth in our appraisal system. When the plan is complete we will have staff development/training on what the expectations will be for every member. It’s looking good  J
·         Concerns and questions can be directed to me in any of the below ways – never hesitate to contact me. If I can’t answer your question, I will find someone who can. I usually try and let you know that I have received your question/concern ad give you some kind of timeline, if possible, on when to expect and answer.
o   school phone 6005
o   School email
Congratulations on a great 1st trimester!!
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Hello All – what a great weather week!! I hope after school is out each day, you could get outside to enjoy some of it. I would love to hang onto this a little bit longer but alas this is the Midwest and….well, let’s not think about it.
·         Don’t forget to get over to the Tavern this month if you can and enjoy the discount that they have to offer. I’ve been in twice already!!
·         There is the Benefits Fair coming up soon – take a look at your employee access page to see which medical plan you currently have and if you want to make a change. The fair is November 12th from 2:30 – 5:30 at the PLC. At the board meeting tonight Ric King will review the costs for 2016. Also keep in mind that if you have single coverage, you will be paying 4.5% of the premium beginning in January per our contract agreement.  Family coverage will be reduced to 40.5% per our contract agreement as well. You have until November 24th to make changes in your plans.
·         We all need to be mindful of using sick/personal days. We often ask “what is the district doing to solve the sub issue?” there is not much they can do except begin being more restrictive when approving days. In reality we have a hand in this as well. Make sure to take days when you really need them and not just to get “ahead of the holiday traffic.” Yes, that was a statement someone made to me. I said “no, please don’t do that. That is an inappropriate use of sick days.”
·         Interested in attending the IEA-RA? (Illinois Education Association Representative Assembly) It is a great chance to see democracy in action and be a voice for SEA at the state level.  It will be held in Rosemont this year on April 14-16th.  Subs for delegates and delegate expenses will be paid for by the Region and SEA.  Nomination forms are due to Kara Zielinski at Enders-Salk by November 17th.
·         For those that are retiring soon, please consider joining IEA retired. You will continue to benefit from the many member services that the IEA/NEA has to offer but also they will keep you covered if you decide to sub in the classroom. They will also protect you if somewhere down the road someone tries to sue you – yes, I know – not nice to think about but it is the reality – not sure when we became the bad guys. Contact me if you are interested in signing up for IEA retired before the price goes up.
·         Also for those retiring soon, check out the language below for you:
Eligibility: In order to be eligible to receive the Retirement Insurance Benefit under Article XXII employees must:
have completed at least fifteen (15) years of fulltime employment in District 54;
and be eligible to receive a retirement annuity through the Teachers Retirement
System of the State of Illinois.
District Contribution to TRS Premium (Post-Retirement)
The District shall reimburse the retiree the cost of individual TRS health insurance plan at the TRS HMO Managed Care Insurance Plan rate (per TRS guidelines) up to age 65 or Medicare eligible, whichever comes first, with an annual increase capped at  5%  or  CPI,  whichever  is  lower,  after  the  effective  date  of  the  teachers retirement depending upon the retirees years of full time employment with District 54, as follows:
Retirees with 15 to 19 years of full time employment with District 54 shall be reimbursed fifty percent (50%) of the rate;
Retirees with 20 to 24 years of full time employment with District 54 shall be reimbursed seventyfive percent (75%) of the rate; and
Retirees with 25 plus years of full time employment with District 54 shall be
reimbursed one hundred percent (100%) of the rate.
If you have questions regarding this section, please contact me.
Attached are 3 flyers for opportunities offered by the IEA/NEA. Contact me if you are interested.
o   Toxic Stress on Students and Trauma – informed education forum – Professional development 2 clock hours. More info and RSVP on flyer
o   Ethnic Minority and Emerging Leadership Training – November 20, 21 and 22 in Springfield. Contact me, if you are interested in attending. More info on flyer.
Have a fabulous rest of the week and an even better weekend.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Dear SEA members,
                It has been a busy month with observations beginning and activities in full swing. I want to thank those members that have asked me to visit – I have had so much fun and have learned many things about our community, our schools and the teachers and support staff that teach every day.
·         AESOP – please remember how your preference list (Favorite 5) works when you put an absence in… your assignment will be visible to the subs on that list whose skills match yours first*, then to the remainder of your preference list, then to subs whose skills match yours as well as the subs on your building’s preference list, then to the general sub pool with a teaching or substitute certification.  Remember, the substitutes on your preference list must be numbered 1-5 and be available on the date of the absence or they will not get the notification email.  In the event that your absence is created less than 24 hours before it starts, Aesop will make the assignment immediately visible to all qualified subs.
o   *For me, it would only contact those on my preference list if they had a music endorsement.
·         New directions on how to enter Professional Development hours are now on our webpage.
·         Village Tavern Flyer attached – They are giving anyone with a district ID a 20% discount on their own meal for the entire month of November in honor of American Teacher week. You do not need the flyer. If you do a carry out order they will give a 20% discount on the most expensive meal. If you show your card and get the discount, they will also give you a raffle card (free of charge) to fill out. At the end of the month, they will hold a drawing (presence at drawing not necessary) and 5 staff members from district 54 will receive a $20 gift card for the Village Tavern.  Great thanks to them and their support not only for our community but for the school district that educates the students in that community!!
·         Please be mindful of taking days off. I know that the days are yours to take but please use them wisely and appropriately. The sub situation is not just an issue here in our district but for all area districts. The district has opened up the sub pool to all who have a bachelor’s degree and hold a sub certificate (not a teaching license) but it does take time to screen all the candidates.
·         Please read through the superintendent’s council notes for October. There are many items that will help you through the school year as we continue forward.
·         Attached are also the special elections results from Lakeview and Stevenson if you want to see them.
·         The principals rotate schedules every year so those that have specials on Mondays one year won’t have them the next year on a Monday (elementary staff)
·         The trainings for Common Core are only twice a year and I know that some of you lose your plan time on the days that they schedule these trainings. These are necessary trainings and even though are inconvenient for some are vital to our instruction.
As always, if you have questions for me, please don’t hesitate to call me – I am beginning to be pulled out of my office more and more and am doing my best to answer everything you ask or at least acknowledge that you have contacted me. If I miss your message somehow, please send it again. Sometimes it does take a few days to find the answers and get a solution. Thanks for your patience!
Have a wonderful rest of the week – Sad day for Cubs fans but don’t worry – we WILL get them next year!!
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Good Morning! I hope everyone had successful conferences and great evening events. It’s hard to believe that we are already half way through October.
  • Please remember to check the employee access center to make sure your salary is correct along with your benefits. (type in your ID number and the last 4 digits of your SS#)  And speaking of benefits, the benefits fair is approaching.  It has been set for November 5th @ the PLC – more info to come. Please remember that the benefits language for our contract has changed and that those who chose single coverage will now be paying 4.5% of the total cost and those who chose family will only pay 40.5%. I will have the dollar amounts very soon.
  • AESOP is the site to check how many sick days and personal business days you have so far.
  • There is a building rep meeting on Monday, so if you have questions and concerns, please speak to your rep before the end of that day.
As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me. I am here for you. I have been learning so many different things about every school. Keep the invites coming, I love being in the buildings. If you would like me to come and just “hang out” and answer questions, drop me a line.
You are all so amazing. I am proud to represent you every day!
Happy Thursday – Chery
PS – Did you know our brain uses the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb? Amazing! (Did you ever have one of those “dim” days?)
Chery Anderson
School District 54
SEA President
Schaumburg, IL
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Happy October! I don’t know about you but I love this weather but Fall is my season!!
Onto business:
·         First, thank you for all you did during the month of September. I know how difficult it was to deal with changing schedules with MAP, in some cases punting while you figured out how to move your afternoon plans to the morning and vice versa. You are all SO amazing and I am pleased to represent you every day.
·         I had many questions regarding the dues breakdown for this year so I had Heidi post it on the webpage under “member resources.” If you have any questions, please let me know.
·         AESOP – please remember how your preference list (Favorite 5) works when you put an absence in… your assignment will be visible to the subs on that list whose skills match yours first*, then to the remainder of your preference list, then to subs whose skills match yours as well as the subs on your building’s preference list, then to the general sub pool with a teaching or substitute certification.  Remember, the substitutes on your preference list must be numbered 1-5 and be available on the date of the absence or they will not get the notification email.  In the event that your absence is created less than 24 hours before it starts, Aesop will make the assignment immediately visible to all qualified subs.
o   *For me, it would only contact those on my preference list if they had a music endorsement.
·         Kelsey Ammentorp and her committee finished going through all the membership info on Tuesday and it went very well. We reviewed 1260 files making sure your contact info was correct, you had the correct amount for dues and you were placed at your current building. We will again be taking $10 for the FCPE (Fund for children in public education) in May. Those that did not get the opportunity to sign up or want to give to this very worthy cause will have the opportunity in April and May when we have out annual fund drive. The FCPE fund allows us to participate in the democratic process to elect candidates whose political platforms favor children and education that mirrors our own missions and beliefs. I will remind you of this fund in April and May.
·         Every year we donate 1 dollar per member to a charity. This year our funds will be sent to a local chapter of Easter Seals. This was decided at our building rep meeting last week. It does change from year to year and we always try to help a group locally. (we will round up and donate $1300 this year)
·         Lastly, if you have new staff members in your building who you think are not receiving this message, please forward it to them and also ask them to send me their school email address so I can add them to the mailing.
Have a wonderful Thursday and Friday and an even better weekend!!
Gratefully yours,
PS – In Rhode Island, you may not sell toothpaste and a toothbrush to the same customer on a Sunday…I wonder who monitors this???


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Happy Thursday – I hope all is going well.  Enjoy!

  • If you are having an issue at your building, difficult conversations may have to be had. We need to all try to work these out with together first because we work with each other every day. If you have an incident or an uncomfortable mishap; please follow the procedure below:
    • Talk to the person involved and try to work out your differences,
    • Talk to your building rep and see if they can help (if necessary your building rep will contact me) If the issue is with your rep, contact me,
    • Talk to the principal and see if they can help – if you want your rep with, please ask them to help you – if they cannot, contact me and I can come in and help.
  • After speaking with Pete Hannigan in HR, he will ask the principal to resume filling out the CPDU forms for every building meeting including full days and half days – if you never received one for last Wednesday or the first 2 days in August, you should very soon. Questions? Contact me.
  • Ever wondered what the deduction “THIS” is on your paycheck? I did, so I called payroll and they told me that it is a state required health insurance tied to TRS and stands for “Teacher Health Insurance Security.” We pay 1.07% and the district pays .80%. Check out the TRS website for more info.
  • Our approved 403b provider can provide you with information on a 403b and a new debt forgiveness program for some staff – see your building rep for info. They have the contact info for the company and the individual who can help you.
  • Are you planning a special event in your classroom or doing a great new lesson? Think about inviting your SEA president to come over and watch you and your students in action. I would LOVE to see what you are doing, working on, accomplished, etc. Let me know where and when to be there and I will do everything I can to make it. I have meetings scheduled after school most days but some of my time during the day is open to come and see you and your students!!
  • As always, check out our webpage, to see updates on what’s happening in and around our school district.

Thanks – enjoy the day and look forward to a beautiful weekend!!


PS – Did you know that in Athens, Georgia, it is still illegal to read a book to your friends after 2:45 am?  Who knew?