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Later this month, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) will be releasing the 2018 School Report Cards. The School Report Cards offer information on topics like standardized test scores, demographics, and finances.

Along with the impending release of the School Report Cards, ISBE has notified the District that Central Middle School has been designated as “underperforming with targeted support.” This designation comes as a result of PARCC test scores for two student subgroups at Central: English Learning students and Students with an Individual Education Plan (IEP). We are excited for the opportunity to utilize ISBE resources and continue our improvement. 

The underperforming designation provides us with additional funding from the state that help our improvement plan. The District has already begun working on the improvement process internally.

There is no doubt the information provided in the School Report Cards is useful, but the District values more than just PARCC scores. The information we value tells the story of District 146 and demonstrates how our schools enrich the education and lives of each student. We are excited to tell you that story through a new public dashboard.

On our dashboard you will find information about our social/emotional curriculum that helps shape the whole child. Also included is data on our English Language Learner students and our inclusive teaching styles, which highlight the District’s pride in our diversity. We also highlight our award-winning students, clubs, programs, and departments.

Screenshot of Dashboard

You can find the District’s dashboard by clicking here. I invite you to look over the data, strategies, and objectives we provide. There are many links to documents, videos, and photos embedded within the dashboard that illustrate our story in ways the State Report Card cannot. The Dashboard is a living tool that will continue to evolve as we update it with new data, ideas, and strategies for success. I hope you find the information as valuable as we do. If you have any comments after viewing the information, I would love to hear from you. 
Posted by superintendent  On Oct 19, 2018 at 10:39 AM
  
Last spring, I met with the District’s PTA/PTO officers and other parents to discuss school safety. We talked about many of the measures we have in place in our schools to maintain a safe learning environment. The parents who attended the breakfast were appreciative of our efforts, and also offered great feedback. 

One suggestion was to better communicate our common terms to our families, particularly when it comes to lockdowns. Here are the most frequent terms we use to categorize and communicate emergencies within the buildings.

Lockout 
A lockout is declared when there is a potential external threat to the buildings, students, or staff. In this case, we deny any entry into the school, but normal activities within the school continue as planned. A lockout may be declared if there was a local robbery close to one of our buildings, or the like. 

Hold-in-Place/Soft Lockdown
Terminology may vary by building depending on local first-responder and building Incident Response Team preferences.
These terms refer to situations that require students and staff to remain in their classrooms, but normal in-class activities continue. Soft lockdowns may be called if an ambulance is called to the school for an adult or student. To allow easy passage, students and staff must remain in their classrooms.

Lockdown/Hard Lockdown 
Terminology may vary by building depending on local first-responder and building Incident Response Team preferences.
A lockdown/Hard Lockdown is declared during a situation that potentially threatens the safety of students or staff. During a lockdown, everyone must remain in place and be prepared to engage in an emergency plan. Police are called for assistance during a lockdown.

These terms are also available on the District website. You can click here to review this webpage.

Keeping our children safe and maintaining a safe learning environment is always our first priority. As our greatest partners, we encourage you to monitor social media accounts, report strangers on campus, and inform us of any threats or concerns about school safety. Together, we can keep our schools safe.

Have a great year!
Posted by superintendent  On Sep 24, 2018 at 12:01 PM
  

At the beginning of the school year, I invited you to take part in a survey regarding a potential Parent University program. I wanted to gather information on possible topics and the best time and place to host these events. We had a wonderful response, and I want to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey. 

In addition to the topics we offered, many thoughtful suggestions and comments were submitted in the survey. This affirms that our families crave involvement in their children’s education. After reviewing the survey results, I am surprised at how evenly the responses are distributed. There are so many topics that families want to learn more about.

With the survey results in mind, our administration team and I have been working on the best way to make this information and interaction available to our families. Through our work and discussions, our thinking has evolved in terms of Parent University “classes.” Instead, we think it will be more beneficial to add a parent component to the things we already do as a District.

At both a district and school level, we have since hosted events that encourage parent engagement and education. Some events are being tested at certain buildings prior to being offered at others. These events and activities include:

  • Breakfast with the Superintendent with discussions regarding the upcoming full-day kindergarten program. 
  • English classes for parents who have a first language other than English.
  • Reading and Math Enrichment Nights showcasing what and how students are learning, and encouraging parents to take part in the process.
  • Side-by-Sides that invite parents into classrooms to experience part of their child’s school day.
  • Ready for Kindergarten parent classes for those who have children from birth to five years old.
  • Student-led conferences with parents and teachers to set individual, class, and family goals.

Next year, a parent component will be included in each School Improvement Plan. The District will continue to host events like Breakfast with the Superintendent and other town-hall-style meetings where parents can learn about specific topics and ask the administration questions. 

Ultimately, the richest relationships we can foster are those between the parent, student, and teacher. The District is committed to continuing our efforts to involve, engage, and educate parents, and we look forward to improving this partnership.

Posted by superintendent  On May 03, 2018 at 11:25 AM
  

Last month, I invited families and community members to breakfast to talk about full-day kindergarten and the construction tied to it. Here is a summary of the information presented at the breakfast.

All four of our elementary schools will have additional space constructed. The projects at Fulton and Memorial are smaller and will go to bid in March. The projects at Kruse and Fierke are scheduled go to bid in April or May.

Space being added to each building to accommodate full-day kindergarten includes:

  • Fulton: Two kindergarten classrooms with restrooms, a music room with storage, and outdoor storage for playground materials. 
  • Memorial: A new kitchen and cafeteria, additional resource space, and a PE office. 
  • Kruse: Four kindergarten classrooms with restrooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, and additional resource space. 
  • Fierke: Three kindergarten classrooms with restrooms, a kitchen and cafeteria, and additional resource space. 

Construction will be complete for the 2019-2020 school year. The District has been working on plans to temporarily house the full-day kindergarten program for the 2018-2019 school year

Please click here for answers to some frequently asked questions regarding the full-day kindergarten program.   

The District appreciates the support and encouragement of our families as we build a brighter future for our students. Please feel free to contact me at superintendent@district146.org with any questions or concerns. 

Posted by superintendent  On Feb 23, 2018 at 8:05 AM
  
District 146 schools will be in session for the Veterans Day holiday. We schedule classes on this day to offer our students an opportunity to learn about and contemplate the sacrifices that have been made for our freedom. 

Some of our schools hold ceremonies to give students the opportunity to show their gratitude to local veterans through song, video, and small tokens of appreciation. In many instances, students also have the opportunity to visit with our local veterans following the ceremony, getting to know more closely those who have fought for us. 



Some of our schools will also be raising money for organizations benefiting veterans and creating thank you cards to be delivered to veterans’ homes. All of our schools, however, will reflect on the importance and meaning of the holiday.

The lessons our students learn during our Veterans Day activities will last a lifetime. District 146 looks forward to honoring our veterans for the sacrifices they have made.
Posted by superintendent  On Nov 06, 2017 at 10:40 AM
  
Please click here to see past blog posts from Dr. Stawick.
Posted by superintendent  On Nov 02, 2017 at 12:21 PM
  
 
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