July 17, 2020
To all of our SEA Members,
I just wanted to let you know that the leaders of the SEA and SEEO have continued to inform members of the Cabinet various concerns that have been expressed to us from you, our members. We know this is a stressful time for all of us as there are so many questions for which you have yet to receive clear responses.
I can tell you the various subcommittees and field leaders have been working with members of our Cabinet to answer the questions that have been submitted and have focused on the health and safety of not only our students, but you, our educators.
The district FAQ sheet should be coming out next week as the subcommittees near completion of their work. Additionally, the association presidents will be meeting with Superintendent DuRoss and Board President Bob Kaplan to begin the discussion of anything in our contract that will need a ‘memorandum of understanding’ written due to the impact of these new and unusual circumstances that no one ever imagined we would have to face.
Please note, according to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, you will receive the following through December 31, 2020: Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. This is not something we will need to negotiate.
If you were at all hesitant to apply for a virtual teaching position, we would encourage you to do so at this time. It is likely that not just people with underlying health concerns will be needed to fill positions. Unfortunately we do not have the date by which you will be notified if you are selected as a virtual teacher, as there are still families who have not yet registered. Your administrators will be reaching out to them next week.
I thank you for your patience as both associations’ leaderships continue to collaborate with our district. I assure you that we will continue to advocate for the health, safety and wellness of our members.
July 8, 2020
To all of our SEA and SEEO Members,
At this point you have all heard the proposed plan for reopening our District 54 Schools. We thank the district for their willingness to collaborate on the complex plan created for our safe return to in-person instruction. The district had 10 days between the time ISBE and IDPH released their guidelines for safe return to school and the time this plan was in draft form. Many legal considerations and health and safety considerations were included as the district tailored the plan to best fit the needs of all stakeholders. The plan presented to you today follows the overarching guidelines from IDPH, ISBE, and the law in addition to the numerous updates from these groups provided on a near daily basis. Although many aspects of this plan are not contractual in nature, the district continues to include our member voices in the discussion and revision. The district understands our SEA and SEEO members are on the frontlines in our schools and are most equipped to create procedures that are safe and feasible for our students and ourselves. The procedures developed by three committees will fill in the details of the plan that were not provided in the guidance from ISBE and IDPH and are the procedures our members are uniquely equipped to create.
In an effort to be completely transparent, we would like to share the timeline of events that SEA and SEEO have been involved in as well as the next steps that will feature our educator voices.
Saturday, June 27
A draft of District 54’s two models for reopening our schools was shared digitally with your associations’ presidents, Kathy Jesuit, SEEO President, and Lori Mobley, SEA President. They began to prepare questions and bring up concerns prior to the plan being shared with the board, community, and district.
Thursday, July 2
A 3-hour meeting took place with Superintendent DuRoss, Dr. Myers, Dr. Knoll, the District lawyer, two board members, our IEA UniServ Director, our two presidents, and an SEA notetaker
After a presentation by Superintendent DuRoss, Dr. Myers, and Dr. Knoll, the SEA and SEEO asked 11 single-spaced pages of questions and provided additional input and ideas for the plans. Questions were also asked on behalf of various field leaders that were in contact with SEA throughout the summer.
The district was clear that all questions would not have answers at that time, but did the best they could to provide some background to their thinking as well as the supporting guidelines from ISBE and IDPH. The district lawyer explained the legal need for some of the procedures included in the plan and the evolving nature of law in this area that may impact our schools.
Superintendent DuRoss and Dr. Myers reiterated multiple times that the plan does impact the working conditions of our staff as well as the learning conditions of our students. For this reason, they stressed it will be important to collaborate with the two unions as we move forward. The district stressed that the formation and work of the committees will complete the bulk of the work in fine-tuning the plan to be safe for our students and staff as we return to school.
The district acknowledged that conversations will be ongoing with the unions to address changes in working conditions and any issues that affect the contract.
Per the suggestion of union leadership, a subcommittee was created for the Early Learning Center and Special Education, in addition to the Elementary and Junior High subcommittees recommended by the district
Thursday, July 2
Members of the SEA Exec Board were contacted for recommendations of members as well as non-represented members (such as psychologists and OT/PT) to the subcommittees. SEEO President Jesuit contacted the SEEO Exec Board for recommendations as well.
Sunday, July 5 – Tuesday, July 7
The three subcommittees were created and names were submitted to Dr. Myers by noon on July 7. The goal was to provide a voice from each of the impacted areas on each committee.
Tuesday, July 7
Committee of the Whole Meeting
SEA and SEEO leadership and members attended with community members.
Please continue to check the district website for the Board of Education notes from this meeting which include public comments provided prior to the plan as well as the list of attendees.
The plan was shared with the board and the board provided input and asked questions afterward.
Again, it was reiterated that the district will be working in collaboration with SEA and SEEO to fill in the details of the plan with the educators that are on the front-lines in our schools.
Wednesday, July 8
Plans were shared throughout the day with schools. At least one cabinet member attended each building’s meeting.
The final slide of the presentation included the link to add any questions to a document that will be accessible by the district. We encourage you to regularly add to this document as any questions or concerns arise. https://bit.ly/D54ROS This document will allow the district to know what questions they can answer and what concerns need to be addressed as we move forward with the plan. Questions may be addressed by the committees or the district depending on the nature of the inquiry. Some questions may rely on the expertise of our district and IEA lawyers to answer. Superintendent DuRoss has communicated to the two unions that an FAQ document will be created and updated through the lead up to re-entry and throughout the school year so that everyone has the same, consistent answers from the district. Again, we encourage you to submit any questions as they arise. You may submit this survey as many times as needed.
Next Steps for SEEO and SEA
All members are encouraged to share their questions and concerns with the district using the survey form. Although the committees and the district will try their best to think through every scenario imaginable, we know that there are some questions and situations we will not have thought of.
Elementary, Junior High, and Special Education/Early Learning Center committees will meet to discuss questions and concerns as procedures are created to keep all stakeholders safe for the re-entry into schools. Tentative start date of this work is Monday, July 13.
July 17 will be the deadline for parents to enroll students in either in-person learning or in the Virtual Learning Academy. Once all parents have been reached and enrollment numbers are known, staffing decisions will begin to be made for the Virtual Learning Academy. As this Academy will function as another school in the district, it is important that SEA and SEEO have representation at this site to navigate the challenges of its launch.
SEEO and SEA will continue to work with our IEA UniServ Director, IEA Legal, and the district in navigating any contractual issues as they arise in the buildings or in the Virtual Learning Academy. The SEA will also work with the district to create an appraisal rubric for the Virtual Learning Academy teacher.
Our members demonstrated their impressive flexibility last spring as we entered into the world of virtual learning at a moment’s notice. We thank you for your continued understanding, support, and continued flexibility as we enter this new uncharted territory. We acknowledge that health and safety concerns are at the forefront of everyone’s minds and will work with you and the district to ensure all precautions are taken within the given guidelines to keep us safe. As your SEEO and SEA leadership, we commit to support you, our members, every step of the way.
Kathy Jesuit, SEEO President
Lori Mobley, SEA President
Welcome New Teachers!
information from the SEA presentations can be found here.
Dear SEA members,
In light of the Janus case decision we just wanted to take a moment to pass on some information from the IEA. Below are some facts about the group who are sending out emails to “help you” drop your association membership. Please read it so you are well informed. Continue to the bottom for some final words from us.
Subject: Betsy DeVos Just Asked You to Drop Membership
You may have recently received an email from an organization called MyPayMySay. As the email shows, this organization is funded by the Mackinac Center, from Michigan.
Who funds the Mackinac Center? That’s right—Betsy DeVos and her family.
Have a look.
The Mackinac Center is dedicated to privatizing public education and expanding state and national voucher programs. They see your local association and IEA as standing in the way of their profit and political agenda.
And a big part of their strategy is to weaken your local association and IEA to make it harder to get the funding, salaries, benefits, and working conditions you deserve.
The people who sent that email don’t have your best interests in mind.
Learn more at
A strong union benefits YOU
- Illinois teacher salaries are, on average, $11,000 PER YEAR higher than surrounding states with weaker bargaining laws and low membership.
- Over the course of a 35-year career, you make $409,000 more!
- Having a strong state and local association means we can speak out for kids.
- Having a strong state and local association means we can effectively negotiate salaries, benefits, and quality teaching and learning conditions.
Learn more at
We value your membership. We’re proud that you are a member.
So, don’t risk your contract. Let’s let Betsy DeVos and her billionaire friends know that we are stronger together.
 Email from MyPayMySay/Mackinac Center
SEA General Meeting 4-16-18
S.E.A. Ballot – March 19, 2018
Ask your SEA rep for password information to this page.
Do NOT email password information.
Jason Eliasek Scholarship – Due March 12, 2018
Guidelines and Directions | Application Form