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D205 to Present at IASB's Annual Joint Conference

D205 recently learned that it has been accepted to present at the Illinois Association of School Board's Annual Joint Conference on Education in November 2019.  Commonly referred to as the Tri-I, the Joint Conference is collaborative venture among the IASB, the Illinois Association of School Administrators, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials.

The topic is Engaging the Community on What Matters Most.  The presentation will chronicle the District's journey through the Focus 205 and Future Focused engagement processes, relationships with various professional consultants, decision points, and priorities that resulted in the successful passage of the $168.5M referendum in November.

The exact presentation is in development, but it will include kudos to the D205 community, which has been so passionate and supportive of public education.  This recognition is just one more example of how the district is being recognized as A National Leader in Future Ready Learni…

D205 Launches Behavioral Health Project

On March 11, the D205 Board of Education met to discuss the social-emotional wellness of our communities' children.  Unfortunately, national and local trends indicate an alarming increase the rate of anxiety, stress, and depression in our young that manifests itself in a variety of complicated ways.  While this interferes with a significant number of students' ability to be successful academically, it ultimately impedes their ability to be successful in life when they leave our system.

The Board of Education is unified in its commitment to address this pressing need, and the administration will begin to formulate a comprehensive plan designed to prevent the onset of these troubling conditions, to the greatest extent possible, rather than intervene and triage after the onset of them.

There once was a time, a long, long time ago (sic. I graduate in 1984), when life presented its normal challenges for adolescents, whatever that means.  And it was hard enough then.  You know--boys…

District 205 Accepted to Present at Model Schools

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District 205 learned recently that it has been accepted to present at the International Center for Leadership in Education's annual Model Schools Conference in June.  The topic is Innovation in Schools:  A Systems Approach.

The presentation will feature information on how the District has operationalized innovation and its involvement in the American Association of School Administrators and Successful Practices Network's Innovation and Transformational Leadership Network and Harvard University's Scaling for Impact program and show how its efforts to innovate are connected to the District's Vision--All Students Graduate College, Career and Life Ready.

D205 is focusing on the 6Cs of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, character, and citizenship and utilizing ICLE's Rigor and Relevance Framework to support this work.  District Innovation Teams are working on developing interdisciplinary units of instruction to promote rigor, relevance, and stu…

D205 Accepted into Harvard's Scaling for Impact Program

In December, Keith Collar, Associate Dean for Initiatives and Engagement for the Harvard Graduate School of Education, reached out to me with information on its Scaling for Impact Program:  Strategies to Enhance and Expand What Works in Education.  This week I was notified that D205's application for acceptance into the program was approved!
The D205 team will consist of Mariann Lemke, Executive Director of Research and Program Analysis, and me from the District Office, as well as building level administrators from each grade level:  Hiedi Thomas, Principal, Field Elementary School, Jacquie Discipio, Principal, Bryan Middle School, and Erin DeLuga, Principal, York High School.
The application focused on scaling D205's emphasis on interdisciplinary learning.  Integrated units of study help break down traditional content area barriers and support rigor, relevance, and student engagement.  
Currently, the District is involved in the American Association of School Administrators a…

All-Day Kindergarten Committee Set, To Meet Later This Month

Thirteen community volunteers and two PTA reps will join Board members Jim Collins and Shannon Ebner and District and building administration and classroom teachers to begin planning for implementation of all-day kindergarten in District 205.

The first meeting is set for January 24.  The first organizational meeting will review the All-Day Kindergarten Study and Facilities Master Plan.  The group will the break up into sub-committees:  tuition, early implementation, and curriculum.  Sub-committees will meet regularly, and I will facilitate periodic large group meetings until the committee has developed a recommendation to bring forward to the Board.

The Tuition Sub-Committee consists of Collins, Chris Whelton, Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations, Dr. Jim Woell, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Hawthorne principal Tim Riordan, PTA Rep. Beth Hosler, and community members Cathy Dykes, Maureen Franchi, Shareen Hare, Erin Marani, Kristin Shell, and Helena Turne…

Citizen Reps Selected for Finance Committee

Three volunteers were selected to serve as Citizen Representatives to the Finance Committee to support the D205 Board and administration throughout the process of implementing the Master Facilities Plan.

The representatives are David Lau, Rob Martinelli, and Gordon Snyder.  Lau has a strong technology, STEM and construction background, Martinelli works for Pepper Construction, and Snyder is a Civil Engineer.  Both Lau and Snyder were members of the Community Advisory Team this past spring.


The role of the citizen representatives is as follows:
1) Share expertise and provide input to the Board and the administration on the implementation of the Master Facilities Plan; 2)  Add a community perspective to major decisions that will be made by the Finance and Operations Committee or recommendations that will come from the Finance and Operations Committee to the full Board; and 3)  Help articulate to the community the process and rationale for the decisions that are made throughout the construct…

Master Facilities Plan--It's Go Time!

The D205 Board of Education held a special meeting on December 11 to review the construction timeline and immediate next steps to implement the Master Facilities Plan.  On November 6, voters approved a $168.5M referendum with approximately 62% support.

Representatives for the District's architectural firm Wight and Company, construction manager, ICI, and D205 administration reviewed the timeline and scope of the work.  Much of the meeting focused on a plan for continued community involvement throughout the process.

There will be many opportunities for the community to be involved and give input during each phase of the project.  The first of those will be the All-Day Kindergarten Committee.  There will be three sub-committees associated with this committee:  Early Implementation, Tuition, and Curriculum.  Community input on early implementation and tuition options is important.  The District is also looking for citizens to serve in an oversight capacity on the Finance Committee.  …