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Junior Journalist Update from Mead – by Ananya M.

Everything we do in District 54 is to fulfill the 54 Promise to ensure student success academically, socially and emotionally. We believe every child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. For their first article of the school year, we asked our Junior Journalists to submit a personal reflection on what 54 Promise means to them. 

Recently, District 54 has adopted a new way of doing things. The 54 Promise: to ensure the success of students academically, emotionally and socially. Every child deserves an education. Not only that, but an education where the child feels their environment is safe, and where they feel challenged with the content they are learning. The student should be able to get help whenever he/she does not understand a concept. Not every child gets the opportunity to be educated, and even if they do get that luxury, it may not be in the most suitable environment. That is why in May of 2018, District 54 decided to take on the challenge to guarantee all students the privileges listed above in the 2018-2019 school year.

Not two months into school, and the effects of the 54 Promise are evident at Mead Junior High. Teachers of various subjects – such as one of the eighth-grade science teachers Mrs. Mijal – have offered to stay after school, or come in early for their students if they are struggling with a topic. They are able to recognize when the class is not able to grasp a concept, and give us these opportunities that would be unwise of us to not take advantage of.

In math class this year, all the kids in my course had to take a back-to-school algebra test within the first two weeks that we got back in school. At the end of last year, we had received a practice packet to help study for this quiz that we were all well aware of. But it was summer vacation. Our geometry teachers could clearly see the outcome of this when grading our tests. Because the overall test results had come back poor, re-teach lessons were offered after school to those who had scored lower than they wished. Once again, this was not mandatory of our math teachers, but out of the kindness in their hearts, they gave us as many chances as they could to see us do well. I didn’t go through the lessons firsthand, but a couple of my friends did, and they said the lessons really helped, and improved their math skills.

“Ms. Falato (one of the math teachers at Mead) was generous with giving the geometry students time on the algebra retake test.  She had also provided a large amount of useful information on the previous study session days that allowed students to perform to the best of their abilities,” says Olivia, a student that retook the test.

Our teachers take time out of their day, go out of their way, to assure that we do well in their class, because all they want is to see us succeed.

Personally I feel the effects of the 54 Promise, and I think that everyone does a little bit, even if they don’t quite realize it. It’s the little things. The staff around school offering us extra help. Letting their students know that they’ll always have someone to talk to around the building. Even if I’ll never need that extra help, or someone to talk to, sometimes just knowing that someone is there for you is more reassuring than actually needing to talk with them.

I love that the district has “created” the  54 Promise. From the time that I was in kindergarten, throughout elementary school and up until eighth grade, my teachers have always wanted the best for me and all my classmates. They have cared for me, and had my best interests at heart. My teachers have followed the 54 Promise, years before it had even been established. District 54 had never really needed to put the 54 Promise in place, because it was always here.