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Happy Summer!

As I complete my first year, I am amazed at all we have been able to accomplish.  At the June Board meeting, the administrative team presented an update on the progress of our Strategic Plan. It’s an impressive record, reflective of the hard work of our teachers, staff and administrators who collaborated to reach this year’s key areas of focus. These included the development and implementation of our new STEM curriculum and the Advanced Learner’s Program (ALP) as well as our Teacher Evaluation and STEM-focused clubs. We also began reviewing options for the most effective use of instructional time (Student Scheduling review), the English Language Arts (ELA) curriculum and our construction planning (Master Facility) process. In the Fall, we will present our 2016-17 goal areas that align with the Strategic Plan and reflect our progress to date.

In this newsletter, I hope you enjoy learning more about what is happening in District 69, highlighted by the following features:

  • Q & A with our new, highly talented administrative team members
  • Construction Planning: It Takes a Village!
  • Community Schools Welcomes All
  • Exploratories Program Encourages Creativity

During the final weeks of school, I had the opportunity to judge the Edison Science Fair, join the 5th grade students at iFly for their physics-based field trip, chaperone 8th grade students at the Holocaust Museum and enjoy a traditional Nepalese dish with our 2nd grade students during WIN. I am so proud of the authentic educational opportunities that we are able to provide to our students, and the efforts that our teachers make to create engaging and learning experiences.

Even though School is closed for summer, our teachers are using the time to improve their craft. In June, we offered 20 different professional development opportunities – ranging from Science and Technology to Social/Emotional Learning, Special Education and Balanced Assessment that directly link to the goals set forth in  the Strategic Plan. We also launched three new committees: SB100 (Student Discipline), Advanced Learners Implementation and Student Instructional Time – Schedule Review. It certainly was a busy month!

Last week, teachers and administrators participated in a three-day Teacher Evaluation and Student Growth “train the trainers” Committee where they planned professional development activities focused on effective teaching practices for their colleagues that will be held throughout the year. Later this month, we are offering a Best Practices in ELA training and our Eureka Math Summer Institute.

We are also looking forward to the District 69 “Wednesday on the Green” on August 17 where families can gather on the Skokie Village Green, between the Village Hall and Library, at 7:00 p.m. to enjoy the sounds of Chicago Soul Revue. If you would need Back to School information I encourage you to visit the District Web Site (Families – Register a Student).  Here you will also find School Supply lists.

Finally, it’s always fun to watch our buildings being readied for the new school year, which is not too far off!  Lincoln Junior High hallways and stairwells will have a fresh coat of paint and the math classrooms will have more functional and flexible furniture to support instruction. Plans are underway at Edison to extend the front driveway to create adequate space for bus drop-off and pick-up. This work should be completed by Thanksgiving. In addition, our network infrastructure is being completely upgraded and student technology devices are being refreshed.

This is an exciting time in the District and I look forward to welcoming families back on August 24th.

Margaret Clauson