Pieces in place for new school year in Dist. 181
Last updated 8/14/2019 at 3:31pm | View PDF
With the first day of school in Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 set for Friday, Aug. 23, district board members got reports from administrators on readiness for the 2019-20 school year.
John Munch, assistant superintendent of human resources, told the board that the teaching staff, as in years past, has both those with considerable experience and promising young ones.
“It’s nice to have a good mix of experiences coming in as this cohort,” Munch said.
A couple of late resignations were addressed, he noted, and that only one teaching position remained open as of Monday, with interviews already scheduled.
“So we’re in a really good place to start the school year,” he said. “All class sizes are below the class size guidelines, so we’re in good shape there.”
Regarding student achievement, Kathleen Robinson, assistant superintendent of learning reported that teachers will work to balance academic instruction and develop social emotional competencies.
“We’ll look at high-impact teaching strategies and ensure that teachers are trained, and we’re looking at expanding math interventions for students in our elementary schools who are struggling with mathematics,” she said.
Tracy Miller, the district’s new director of assessment, said the use of data and the district’s web-based Mastery Manager tool to gauge student performance is expanding.
“We’re continuing the implementation by training middle school math, science and world language teachers in the creation of assessments within the platform, while elementary educators will be training in administering the assessments,” Miller said.
Mike Duggan, director of facilities, informed the board that the district’s $1.36 million in summer renovations were all but wrapped up.
“We’re finished with the capital projects everywhere, except the doors and hardware. We’re installing them right now throughout Elm, Madison and CHMS,” Duggan said. “The custodial staff is busy trying to get everything ready for next week.”
One of the biggest projects was installation of maintenance-free tile flooring at Oak School.
Board member Margie Kleber remarked about impact of the upgrade.
“Oak School looked fabulous. It is such a huge improvement,” she said. “You guys did a great job.”
Duggan also reported that the district received a rebate of about $23,000 from ComEd for completing the installation of more efficient lighting at CHMS by June 30.
On the transportation front, Mohsin Dada, chief financial officer and treasurer, said 62 families had paid for busing as of Monday’s meeting.
“They’re all fully paid for, which is a big accomplishment,” he said.
He noted that there could be as many as 40 more students using busing, based on those families that qualify. He said concerted efforts have been made to streamline the number of routes.
“We are trying to do everything possible to avoid duplication of routes as much as possible,” he said, saying he hoped to have routes finalized by this week.