Annually, the District 54 Board of Education approves a variety of projects aligned with our mission of Ensuring Student Success. These projects guide our work and support our staff in meeting the district’s student achievement goals. A complete list of this year’s projects can be found at http://sd54.org/board/mission.
Progress is monitored on a regular basis at both the individual school and district levels. The midyear status report on several of the key projects is highlighted below.
Early elementary students continue to experience significant gains in reading with the second year of successful implementation of the K-2 Literacy Plan and Assessment Package.
Our English Language Learners have been making substantial progress with the instructional program improvements that were instituted last year. Due to the progress that our students are making, District 54 was selected as one of only 10 districts across the country to participate in a best practice research study conducted by the United States Department of Education. The findings will be made available for other districts to replicate.
A new interactive social studies curriculum is being taught in kindergarten through sixth grade. Students are excited, more engaged with the content, and better able to understand and apply their new learning in real-life situations.
New opportunities for students to participate in art, music and physical education enrichment activities are taking place in all 21 of our elementary schools. Students are being provided with supplemental classes which allow them to explore, learn about and further develop specific areas that may be of interest. Feedback from students, parents and staff has been extremely positive.
To keep pace with the ever-changing world of instructional technology, hardware and software upgrades have been initiated in all 27 schools. The final roll-out will be completed by early spring.
The online communication tool which will enable parents to view their children’s grades will be fully operational in all six of our junior high schools by the end of February. Parents and students will be able to monitor assignments and class grades in real time.
To continue to strengthen the district’s commitment to being transparent, a web-based system for creating, posting and storing Board of Education meeting information and supporting documents is now available on our website.
An additional school boundary change recommendation will be part of the annual staffing plan, which will be presented at the first school board meeting in March. Impacted families have already been notified. The changes to school boundaries that have occurred over the past two years have helped to balance and stabilize student enrollment across the district.
The PTA, YMCA, other local community agencies and District 54 have been working together to support and promote the Healthier Communities Initiative. Healthier hot lunch alternatives and planning for increasing the number of schools that plant vegetable gardens are only two of the many changes that are beginning to occur.
To augment the internal monitoring process of the district’s progress, we participate in an annual independent benchmarking study. This helps us evaluate our progress in comparison to other school districts across the state. Results from this year’s benchmarking study indicate that District 54 continues to make strong and steady gains in every area. Over the past several years, our district has moved to being in the top 9% when ranked against all other school districts in Illinois.
The results indicate that our students continue to make remarkable progress. The positive outcomes we are seeing each year can be directly attributed to the leadership of our Board of Education; the outstanding teachers, support staff and administrators who work in our district; and the ongoing support that we receive from our parents and community.