D181 continues to build brighter future

Academic achievement, safety, and social-emotional learning focus of efforts in 2023

As the final bell rings on the 2023-24 calendar year, District 181 celebrates a year of remarkable achievements and success. Over the past year, I have seen our students grow and shine in various areas, from the stage to the classroom and everything in between. I’m immensely proud of our students, staff, and those who have joined us in making District 181 a premier learning environment.

We are proud of our continuous efforts of finding new ways of enhancing our students’ learning and overall experience. Our efforts have resulted in impressive academic outcomes on the state assessment and our ranking on multiple platforms used to evaluate schools.

According to the Illinois Assessment of Readiness targets, we are one of the highest-performing elementary districts in the State.

Last school year (2022-23), 78 percent of our students were proficient in English language arts (state average 35 percent), 74 percent were proficient in math (state average of 27 percent) and 82 percent were proficient in science (state average 52 percent) on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness.

All D181 schools ranked in the top 20 schools in Illinois on The U.S. News & World Report Rankings, and our district continues to rank among the best school districts by all other rating organizations.

We also received accolades for our efforts in ensuring the success of all students. In the last year, two of our schools were recognized for their focus on student performance and the staff’s level of collaboration. Prospect and The Lane have both been recognized as Model Professional Learning Communities at Work schools, and we are confident that we’ll be announcing other schools in the near future. This sort of achievement, plus all of the others, would not have been achieved without the deep commitment of our outstanding staff and elite administrators. We are also thankful for our board members, who have been critical thought partners, a source of stability and unwavering in their support.

We are keenly aware of the importance of providing a safe and welcoming atmosphere. To this end, we have strengthened our comprehensive safety protocols and practices throughout the district and continue to look for more ways to enhance our efforts. The D181 Foundation and PTOs have been amazing partners in helping us in our Social Emotional Learning for Academic Success efforts. Every school has focused on lessons and activities that bring kids together and encourage kindness.

I look forward to continuing our partnership with our terrific parents and communities next year. I hope the following two weeks are filled with joy, family and relaxation.

We send our best wishes for a joyful holiday season and a happy new year.

— by Dr. Hector Garcia,