Dear District 57 Families,
The School Board held a brief special meeting this morning at the Administration Building and via live stream for the purpose of voting on the District's application for an Illinois School Board of Education (ISBE) School Maintenance Grant. Board members approved our application to request $50,000 from this fund, a dollar-for-dollar matching grant given to districts throughout the state. If we are approved, we will apply the funds to the purchase and installation of a new chiller at Fairview. This project, part of our long-term Master Facilities Plan, is an essential replacement of old equipment and is already slated for spring/summer 2022. You can view this morning’s Board Meeting by clicking here
I am also reaching out today in celebration of National Principals Month! Throughout October, we recognize and thank our amazing principals: Danielle Dillon at Westbrook, Dan Ophus at Fairview, Katie Kelly at Lions Park, and Paul Suminski at Lincoln. Serving alongside them and providing invaluable support are our assistant principals: Karl Anderson at Westbrook, Una Durkan at Fairview, Elise Dean at Lions Park, and Randy Steen and Susannah Wade at Lincoln. All of these leaders work incredibly hard each day to make our schools the best they can be and to provide guidance and support to students and staff. Their leadership has been especially important over the past year and a half, and I know our entire community thanks them for their commitment and the valuable role they have played.
Finally, I want to share that this afternoon, all District 57 Staff participated in powerful professional learning on the topic of trauma-informed practices, led by Dr. Doug Bolton, a clinical psychologist, school psychologist, and former school principal who is highly regarded for his work supporting schools and school districts to implement research-based practices aimed at supporting mental health. We know that the incidence of mental health issues in children has risen at alarming rates in the past several years, and the impact of COVID-19 puts many students at even greater risk. Schools have a unique opportunity to provide the support necessary to build student resilience so that they can not only cope effectively with the demands of school but build the foundation for a lifetime of improved health and mental health outcomes. Drawing upon research from brain science, social sciences, education, and 30 years of practice within therapeutic school settings, Dr. Bolton’s engaging workshop today has helped our D57 Team to see students’ complex mental health issues through a lens that is both simple and empowering. Today, we explored practical interventions that create connected, regulated and trauma-informed school communities that build resilience in students and reduce the impact of mental health issues in our schools. In addition, understanding the unique challenges of coping with a pandemic in schools can empower us to not only cope with this current crisis ourselves but also guide our students through this uncertain time. Dr. Bolton’s expertise will help us in our aim to create a school community that is not only a port in the storm for students and staff but can also be a springboard for developing student resilience that will help them cope with challenges in their lives long after the coronavirus is gone.
I hope families enjoy the half day of school today and the day off on Monday for Indigenous Peoples Day. Students and staff are working hard and have earned the break! Have a great weekend.
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools
Mount Prospect District 57