Showing posts from August, 2017

Congratulations to D205 Those Who Excel Winners!

District 205 is proud of its seven Illinois State Board of Education Those Who Excel recipients.  

In the Merit category, congratulations go to Jane Bailey, Fischer Principal in the category of School Administrator; Churchville Charge--Amazing Race in the Team Category; Donna Dewar, Fischer, in the category of Student Support Personnel; Sharon Emmi-Iovinelli, Fischer, in the category Classroom Teacher; and Community Volunteer Karen Stezowski.   

Dianne Schiltz, Bryan, Educational Service Personnel, and Cindy Villalobos, Churchville, Early Career Educator received Recognition Awards.  

Thanks for all you do!  Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!

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Project Lead the Way Coming to Elmhurst Middle Schools

Last week in my blog on STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), I referenced that input from Phase I of the Focus 205 community engagement process revealed a strong interest from the community in increasing STEM opportunities for students. 
One major component of the District’s effort to provide ample and rich STEM experiences for students is Project Lead the Way.  According to its website, Project Lead the Way “provides transformative learning experiences for K-12 students across the U.S.  We create an engaging, hands-on classroom environment and empower students to develop in-demand knowledge and skills they need to thrive.  We also provide teachers the training, resources, and support they need to engage students in real-world learning.”
The Project Lead the Way Curriculum consists of Launch (K-5), Gateway (6-8), and pathways in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science at the high school level.
The Gateway program consists of 10 modules:  Design and M…

Thoughts on STEM

When I first became a superintendent in 2010, STEM was the latest and greatest thing.  There were articles about it everywhere.  We need people to go into these fields after all--Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math--so who could argue?  My then-district considered itself innovative, and put asterisks next to "STEM" classes in the high school course catalog.  A canoeing course had an asterisk next to it.  I can't remember if students built them, tried to pilot them in one of our local lakes, or both.  There was a science course that made soap and cleaning products and sold them.  Everybody thought that was cool.  There wasn't anything wrong with either.  Except this.

It wasn't STEM.
The high school had so many plates spinning that it struggled with continuity, connectedness, and coherence.  Without a coherent vision, teachers were unable find purpose in their work.
District 205 recently completed Phase I of a community engagement process called Focus 205.  …

Welcome Back Students!!!!!

Today D205 welcomes the future back to school, as approximately 8,500 students will walk through the doors of our 14 attendance centers.  It is always a joy to be reminded of why we do what we do.  I know that, personally, whenever I am a little down or frustrated, I find a reason to go to an elementary school, and I always feel better immediately.

Throughout the course of the week, School Board President Shannon Ebner, Elmhurst Teachers' Council President Max Schoenberg, and I will visit each building together to welcome our students and employees back for the 2017-18 school year.

There is a genuine buzz in the District on the heels of Dr. Bill Daggett's opening keynote address, new leadership throughout the District, a spirit of collaboration with our teachers, and the coming together of Professional Learning Communities, an innovative mindset, the middle school redesign, curriculum improvements, and a master plan for the District.

I hope we have a good turnout for the Sept…

Dr. Bill Daggett to Visit Elmhurst on August 14

D205 is pleased to welcome Dr. Bill Daggett, CEO and Founder of the International Center for Leadership in Education, to Elmhurst on Monday, August 14.  Dr. Daggett's organization recently celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Model Schools Conference and is noted for developing the Rigor and Relevance Framework.

Dr. Daggett will deliver an opening keynote address to our teachers and will be the featured speaker at an evening community event on the topic Why the Future of Education Is Now.  The presentation will be held in the York High School Commons from 7:00-8:30 p.m. and is free.

D205 administrators have attended the Model Schools Conference each of the last two years and utilizes the Rigor and Relevance Framework as a tool to promote rigorous, interdisciplinary, real-world learning experiences for students.

Dr. Daggett is expected to address why it is paramount that public schools are willing to confront change head on in this rapidly changing society and economy.

Elmhurst D205 Welcomes New Teachers

Today is the first day of a three-day New Teacher Academy in Elmhurst.  The District welcomed 61 new teachers into its family.  I was happy to address the group this morning on creating a culture of innovation to ensure that Elmhurst D205 is indeed A National Leader in Future Ready Learning.

The Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce hosted its 27th annual new teacher luncheon at the Diplomat West.  Thanks to all of the local businesses and organizations who sponsored the event.  It was exciting to share publicly, for the first time, some of the major concepts guiding the development of the District's new Operational Plan.

In addition to some of the necessary housekeeping items such as getting set up with technology and situated in their new schools, the District will facilitate professional learning over the course of these three days on topics such as the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching, Professional Learning Communities, and the Rigor and Relevance Framework.

D205 Annual Administrator Retreat a Success!

The theme of the Elmhurst District 205 2017-18 Administrator Retreat was A Culture of Innovation.  Elmhurst is building the capacity and infrastructure to ensure its place as A National Leader in Future Ready Learning.

The two-day event featured had three objectives:

Administrators will develop a collective understanding of the conditions necessary to ensure a healthy District culture and deepen their individual capacity to lead change in their buildings;Administrators will establish a shared understanding of how innovation will be defined and operationalized to ensure that D205 is a National Leader in Future Ready Learning; andD205 administrators will have the ability to ensure that these important concepts are reflected in their school improvement plans and professional learning activities.
The agenda included IGNITE sessions by our principals, an analysis of District culture, study of Daniel Pink's book Drive, several interactive presentations and group activities, TED Talks, a …

Elmhurst Board Approves Student Achievement Objectives

At its July Board meeting, the Board of Education approved two student achievement objectives for the 2017-18 school year:  Ensure Student Growth Drives a Balanced Assessment System and Increase Student Engagement in All Grades EC-12.  Details are available on the District website at Student Achievement Objectives.

These objectives will drive professional learning and resource allocation decisions for the upcoming school year.

At the meeting I presented information on the District's Operational Plan, which is currently in draft form and will evolve some throughout the fall as the District seeks additional community input on some key elements of the plan.  The Student Achievement Objectives are included in the draft of the plan.

The plan is constructed to ensure that District 205 is A National Leader in Future Ready Learning.  The Vision is All Students Graduate College, Career, and Life Ready.  The Mission is to Accelerate Learning for All Students.  I will continue to blog about …