SEA side with Chery 9-29-16

Happy Fall!!

  • There have been some questions about whether or not we can share lesson plans, common assessments, etc., YES, YES, YES! It is also more than ok to divide and conquer in your PLCs. (having a few members of the PLC split up the workload – one creates the low level plans, one the mid-level and one the high level) Not only is it ok, it IS ENCOURAGED!! According to our district office administrators, this is what makes us great – sharing the wealth of info and ideas we have. Set up a folder in sharepoint today and start loading it up so all may find these items. Send ideas and plans to other buildings. You can tailor them to your building and your class but why reinvent the wheel when we don’t need to. COLLABORATION IS THE KEY!!!
  • Health insurance (THIS Fund) contributions – just in case you were wondering what this deduction was for J

o   (5 ILCS 375/6.6)

o   Effective July 1, 1995, all active TRS members, including substitute and part-time teachers who are not employees of a state agency covered by the state employees’ health plan, are required to make contributions to the Teachers’ Health Insurance Security (THIS) Fund.

Contribution Rates

Contribution Type 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
TRS Contributions  
Member TRS retirement contribution 9.40% 9.40% 9.40% 9%
Employer TRS retirement contribution 0.58% 0.58% 0.58% 0.58%
Employer TRS contribution on federally-funded salary 35.41% 33.00% 36.06% 38.54%
THIS Fund Contributions        
Member THIS (insurance) contribution 0.97% 1.02% 1.07% 1.12%
Employer THIS (insurance) contribution 0.72% 0.76% 0.80% 0.84%


  • I have been asked to several buildings to learn about how PLCs are running nowadays and to hear about some inconsistencies from building to building and even from grade level to grade level within a building. If you would like to “weigh in,” please contact me; I would love to come over for a chat and gather more info and take suggestions on how to fix this issue.


That’s it for this week. If you need assistance from me, don’t hesitate to contact me.


PS – did you know that Dr. Seuss invented the word, “nerd?” Makes sense to me!!

SEA-side with Chery 9-22-16

Hello! I hope everything is going as you would like today J


  • Care to confront – if you have an issue with a colleague, go to them FIRST before heading into the building admin’s office. It is better to talk it out and come to some kind of mutual agreement (even to agree to disagree) then one or both of you ending up with a reprimand in your file. Be professional and talk to that person and not behind their back. Nervous? Have your building rep help you, or your building mentor or even another staff member. You need to work together all year – try to make the working relationship what it should be – collaborative, cooperative, respectful and peaceful.
  • Please invite our wonderful para-pros (SEEO) to supported ed meetings and to any meeting if you are making plans that involve specific students. It is part of their contract to be invited and SEA does not want to violate the SEEO contract. If there is no way they can attend, please, please make sure they are kept informed. Our para-pros spend much of their time one on one or in small groups with the kids and they need to know the expectations and have great insight on them. Ask for their input and pass it on to the parents as well. We are in this together!!!
  • SEA will soon be on FACEBOOK and Twitter – I will send you more details as we “login”.
  • And finally – please remember to take care of yourself. Get outside when you can, take a walk, watch a great movie, do something that is just for you.


Have a great day and an even better weekend!



  1. No one really knows who invented the fire hydrant because the patent was burned in a fire!

SEA side with Chery 9-8-16

  •  Can’t find IEP info? Teachers should have access to IEPs on infinite campus. Psychs should inform you of 504’s and also give you copies of the 504’s. Nurses also should give teachers care plans, at least info that you need to have as their classroom teacher. Remember HIPA laws prohibit us from getting some information. When you look at your rosters in infinite campus, the students have blue stars next to their name with special information and a “document” icon that might indicate an IEP or other paperwork. Checking with the CST coordinator at your building is a good resource as well. It is your responsibility to “know” your kids.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Share resources with others in your PLC and your department all across the district. Contact someone who teaches the same course or book at another building and share ideas with each other. District 54 is FULL of resources of all kinds including people – talk to your coaches, mentors and tech coaches. The item you need is out there. We are all in this together.
  • Care to confront – if you have an issue with a colleague, go to them FIRST before heading into the building admin’s office. It is better to talk it out and come to some kind of mutual agreement (even to agree to disagree) then one or both of you ending up with a reprimand in your file. Be professional and talk to that person and not behind their back. Nervous? Have your building rep help you, or your building mentor or even another staff member.

That’s it for this week. Here’s hoping the week finishes strong for you. IF you get a chance – answer the question below either by sending the info to me here in district or with the email address after the question.

Have a wonderful day!!



PS – Record’s Day – the Friday before the last day of school or the day after the students are done? Don’t know what records day is? Ask a colleague.

No rationale, yet, just your vote – “Friday before” or “day after” – choose one and send it to me if you want. Send to my home email

SEA side with Chery 9-1-16

Hello! I hope MAP testing is going well. Here are this week’s topics.

  • Base salary x 26 and compare to the lane and step you believe you belong. Problems? Contact Sally Skalany 5020 or Diana Peters 5035 – please be patient if they don’t return your call or email right away – the first pay could have errors – we all make mistakes – the new salary schedule is attached.
  • SCORE grant information attached – it is for early career staff (10years experience or under) and SEEO please buddy up with a veteran staff member if you like. Deadline is September 26, 2016 and notification of winners by the middle of October. Please use the link below to find out more – you can actually see some grants that were awarded from years past to get ideas J Talk it up in your buildings and get those great ideas flowing – please include your paras – they can apply as well!!
  • Jr High staff and Chromebooks – you are not “on call” 24/7 – yes, your students will email you all the time with questions. You do not need to answer them – if we didn’t have the Chromebooks you wouldn’t be expected to answer their email at all hours and that has not changed just because we added this new piece of technology. It’s up to you to decide when you stop answering emails but if you begin the year by answering every single one that comes in at all hours, you will set that as the norm and Dr. Myers said that is NOT the expectation and it is not wise. If you have concerns, please share them with me and I can get further clarification.
  • Urban grant information
  • Those jr high staff members who have fall student teachers – please contact your tech coaches – your student teachers should have logins for the Chromebooks – if you have questions or need help, contact Carolyn Lejman.
  • The School board relations team is looking for 2 more jr high reps. Eating dinner and having great discussions with a board member every other month is the basics. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Anjum Poonawalla.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me. Have a great rest of the day and an even better weekend.


PS – did you know that in Alaska it is illegal to wake a bear to take its picture? It begs the question…why would you? Yikes!!!

SEA side with Chery 8-25-16

CONGRATULATIONS! You have almost made it through your first week!!! I hope you all had a chance to see the PowerPoint from the SEA/SEEO yesterday. If you have questions, please contact me.


  • You should be checking the portal to make sure you have all your degrees listed and that you’re being compensated for them – has your address changed? Your name?  Any changes in contact info? Are all your sick days correct in AESOP? Any personal business you did not use last year should have changed over to sick leave for this year. Making sure that all of this information is correct is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! Check the portal periodically to see that everything is correct. (There is a link to the portal on the  district’s SharePoint page)
  • Licensure update – you should have received an email from Pete Hannigan about recertification. The original system is still in place. PD can be entered at any time during the renewal cycle up to the time of renewal.  Teachers with advanced degrees can take a reduction in the amount of PD owed for the remainder of the renewal cycles through 2018. (120 for bachelors/80 for masters/40 for doctorate) There are no more reductions for advanced degrees for anyone whose first full 5 year renewal cycle began July 1, 2014 or after. You cannot pay for your license until April of the year that it expires.  Principals should continue to send CPDU forms to their employees. J Read through the attachment Pete sent and if you have questions, contact me  (6005) or Diana Peters @ 5035. Those that did not renew this past June (and should have) please do it immediately!!!
  • After you pay for your license through ISBE, please make sure the payment clears. We had a member who was notified that his payment never cleared so he paid again and now ISBE contacted him and he paid twice! They are going to take care of him but please make sure you are tracking payments like this – just a word to the wise! (Thanks, Chris!!)
  • Jr High staff – please remember that the Chromebooks are the property of the school district and, just like our laptops and desktops, they can see what you are searching for in any browser at any time. They will not spend time looking at what each staff member is doing 24/7 but if concerns arise they can. Please remain professional as we add this great new piece of technology into our classrooms. By the same token, let’s share with each other the wonderful websites, techniques and uses for the Chromebooks.


If you need me, call me. I will continue visiting more buildings next week. If you are doing something you want me to see, or you just want me to come over, call me or email me. I would love to see what is happening J



PS – did you know that the Wednesday staff development was an item that the union bargained for? Without that staff development, we would all be looking outside the district for our 120 hours of professional development and possible paying for those as well. KUDOS to the team bargained that into our contract!!


S-E-A side with Chery Nov. 22, 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


SEAside Nov. 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!!