D205 Referendum Passes with 61% Support

D205 voters Tuesday approved a $168.5M referendum with 61% support.  The measure supports a Master Facilities Plan to coincide with the life of the bonds that will build two new elementary schools, result in safety and security upgrades, space for all-day kindergarten at neighborhood schools, future ready learning spaces, and individual projects at all 13 sites across the District based on need.  For example, some schools will receive central air, others flood remediation, and others auditorium upgrades.  The needs of the Transition Center are expected to be addressed through a combination of referendum dollars and intergovernmental cooperation.

The average annual tax impact on a $500,000 home is an increase of $150 above the current rate.  Bonds from this project will extend through the year 2043.  Details on the plan are available on the D205 website.

I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to voters who once again demonstrated their support for education in Elmhurst.  Hundreds …

School Report Cards Available Soon

The State of Illinois is expected to release the new school report cards by the end of October.  This year the report cards will look different to reflect changes in the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act).  ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, which was in place since 2002.

The new system includes a growth component and other measures, which differs from previous school report cards that focused solely on attainment measures based on annual standardized testing.  Under the new system, schools are placed into one of four categories.  All of District 205 schools received a "Commendable" rating.  The top category is "Exemplary."  The two lowest categories are "Underperforming" and "Lowest Level."
The District has produced a Power Point with a voice over to help parents understand some factors to consider when deciphering all of the various types of school rating systems that a…

Elmhurst Chamber Endorses Nov. 6 Referendum

Recently, the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors voted to officially endorse District 205's November 6 referendum.

In a press release dated October 1, 2018, the Chamber Board indicated that its endorsement is based on three significant District needs:

Replace outdated facilities with construction at 103-year-old Lincoln Elementary School ($32.5M) and 87-year-old Field Elementary School ($29M), along with expansion and renovation of Edison Elementary School ($18.1M) and Bryan Middle School ($12.5M);Install Health Life Safety and Entrance Security upgrades at District 205’s nine other student buildings (five elementary schools, three middle schools, high school and early childhood education center), as included in the project plans above; andRepair and renovate the nine student buildings listed above as a result of long-deferred maintenance due to a budget limitation of $1.5M per year related to the State of Illinois’ 1990 property tax cap of the lesser of the Cons…

State of the Schools Scheduled for September 17

The second annual State of the School presentation is scheduled for Monday, September 17, in the York Commons at 7:00 p.m.

The program will feature celebrate recent District accomplishments, highlight successful new programs, and present information on the November 6 Referendum.

Exciting videos and student presentations will be interspersed throughout the evening.

A second major event is slated for September 24.  A Community Finance Night is scheduled at Lincoln Elementary School at 7:00 p.m.  Building tours will precede the presentation beginning at 6:00 p.m.  A video featuring the state of the facilities across the District will be included in the presentation.

Multiple dates have been established for building tours at Lincoln, Field, and Jackson Elementary Schools and Churchville Middle School.  These will be posted shortly on the District home page, the Master Facilities Plan link, and through social media.

Tours of other school schools are available upon request and can be arrang…

Congrats to D205 Those Who Excel Winners!

Seven D205 people or teams will be recognized at the Illinois State Board of Education's annual Those Who Excel education awards program in Bloomington on October 20.

The Conrad Fischer PTA and Fischer administrative assistant Jon Monique Manuel will receive Excellent awards in Team and Education Service Personnel categories.

Heather Bolur (Classroom Teacher--Bryan), Alison Dondlinger (Community Volunteer), Megan Enke (Early Career Educator--Sandburg), and Dr. Michelle Thompson (Administrator--Emerson Principal) will receive Merit Awards.

Anna Robins (Student Support Peresonnel--Madison) will receive a Recognition Award.
On September 7, Board President Kara Caforio, several Cabinet members, and I visited the schools and surprised our award winners (embarrassing them whenever possible!).  Award winners will be recognized at the November 13 Board of Education meeting.

On behalf of D205, we are proud of you!  We appreciate everything you do everyday for students!

With Emerson Principa…

D205 Selected for National Innovation Network

Recently, District 205 learned that it is among 40 districts from across the nation selected to participate in the inaugural Innovation and Transformation Leadership Network, a partnership of the American Association of School Administrators and the Successful Practices Network, an arm of the International Center for Leadership in Education.
Dr. Bill Daggett and Ray McNulty from the Center and the AASA's Mort Sherman are teaming up to facilitate the work, which will take place over the next year and include virtual support, on-site visits, and large group meetings.  Ultimately, the District team will develop an Innovation Action Plan for the District.
Members of the team include Dr. Mark Cohen, Assistant Superintendent for Innovation and Growth, Jim Collins, Chair of the Board's Learning and Teaching Committee, Field Elementary School Principal Heidi Thomas, Sandburg Middle School English Department Chair Frank Dahlman, and me.
D205 defines its culture as a highly collaborativ…

D205 Board Unanimously Elects to Put Referendum Question on November Ballot

The D205 Board of Education Monday unanimously voted to place a question on the November 6 ballot asking voters to weigh in on a proposed $168.5M facilities project that would include upgrades to all schools across the District.

If the referendum passes, the annual tax impact on a $500,000 home would be $150.

A yes vote by the community would result in the following facilities improvements (note, this list is not comprehensive):

New Lincoln and Field Elementary Schools (Lincoln is 103-years old, Field is 87-years old);Safety and security upgrades at all schools including renovations of the main entrances where indicated;Expansion/renovation of Edison Elementary School to increase space in the District to accommodate All-Day Kindergarten, future enrollment increases, and help transition students during construction of Lincoln and Field Schools;Future Ready Learning spaces at all schools to support STEM programming such as Media Center upgrades, Project Lead the Way, Maker Spaces, and Ca…