October 31, 2017
Dear District 96 Parents and Guardians,
I always love the month of October in schools! October represents a time of great momentum in a school district. The initial introductions and acclimation to a new school year are past and our children and teachers know each other Learning is moving along at a pace where we see change and growth in our students. It is also a great time to stop, reflect and share some of the exciting elements of our school district and school year.
Our students continue to learn from high-quality teachers, support specialists and well-aligned learning materials. This year we updated core resources in few curriculum areas. There are new literacy materials being used throughout every class and grade level. If you are interested in learning more about these resources and tools, I encourage you to visit our Curriculum and Instruction page on the website. Kindergarten students are currently piloting materials from Benchmark Education and Grades 1-8 have adopted core resources from Pearson. In short, these new materials represent reading resources that we believe strongly align to the Common Core State Standards and provide instruction that addresses the varying abilities of all of our learners.
At Hauser Junior High, in addition to new literacy materials in the English Language Arts classes, we also introduced some new materials in Social Studies and Science to address the newly adopted Illinois Learning Standards in those content areas.
New curriculum materials go through a thoughtful and rigorous process of review, discussion and trial use before the School Board “adopts” materials. Teachers also receive professional learning and support in the new program materials to maximize support in meeting student needs. New materials and resources are typically sustained for about 5-7 years, when a review would be conducted to determine if adjustments are needed. In our case, several new selections have been made as we continue to connect and align with the current Illinois Learning Standards across all content areas.
In addition to new learning materials, we continue to focus on what makes our schools welcoming, inclusive, engaging and interesting for all. Ongoing opportunities provided by our teachers for children to connect in ways that support care for self and for others are a focus. The Cougar Connections program supports team and community-building across our Hauser community.
The Illinois State Board of Education will release the district’s report card today. Our School Board will be discussing our performance on the 2016-2017 PARCC assessment and other important measures of achievement at our November 1 Committee of the Whole Meeting. The meeting will be held at Hollywood Elementary School at 6:30 PM. The district report card information can also be found on our district website.
As we change, grow and continue to learn from each other, let me once again say how happy we are to have all of you here in District 96.