Dear District 57 Families,
We were proud to have Girl Scout Junior Troop 45689 from Fairview and Lions Park lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance at our School Board meeting last night. We also had the opportunity to recognize the Lincoln wrestling team for its great season, which included eight wrestlers qualifying for the state meet a few weeks ago. We were pleased to honor the hard-working students and their volunteer coaches, Dave Baysingar, Greg Miller, Tom Maddox, and Eric Brouilette.
Here are some other updates from the Board meeting:
Lincoln Staffing Plan – Next year’s sixth-grade class at Lincoln is projected to be significantly higher than this year’s, at 285 students. So we recommended that we go from nine sixth-grade sections to 10 next year, which would mean typical class sizes of 26-32 students (instead of 29-35 if we do not add a section). We presented some staffing options to Board members, and they voted to approve the addition of 2.0 full-time positions for Lincoln. These positions will enable us to lower the sizes of sixth-grade core and Broad Experience classes (art, music, etc.), as well as eighth-grade core classes. We will update the Lincoln staffing plan with these changes and will work to recruit new staff to fill the added positions.
Summer Learning – Dr. Kristin Vonder Haar, assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, updated the Board on the Summer Bridge program, which will be offered for students who need additional math and literacy support. School teams will identify students for the program, and families will be notified in May. Summer Bridge will be offered at Lions Park Monday through Friday, July 11-29. There are currently nine D57 staff members who plan to teach in the program. If we are able to recruit additional staff, we will expand the program to more students who can benefit from the extra support. In addition, the District will offer Extended School Year and Emergent Bilingual Extended School Year for some students who receive special education services. Transportation will be provided and will be free for participating families, as this program will be paid for through federal grants. We will also offer Summer Band and Orchestra for grades six to eight.
Remote Education – The Board voted to follow Administration’s recommendation of discontinuing the remote learning option, effective at the end of this school year. We feel this is the best course of action given the relatively small number of students currently participating in remote learning, as well as the teaching and learning implications and the financial impact.
NSSEO Report – We had the opportunity last night to hear an update on the Northwest Suburban Special Education Organization from Dr. Judy Hackett, superintendent, and Julie Jilek, assistant superintendent of finance. They presented the NSSEO 2022-2023 budget and an overview of special education programs and services that are provided to NSSEO member districts, like District 57. We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with NSSEO. Dr. Hackett is a respected educational leader, and I thank her for being a generous mentor to me in my first year as superintendent. I also applaud Sara Tyburski, D57’s director of student services, for her leadership and for ensuring that our partnership with NSSEO remains strong.
Community Engagement – Board members discussed ideas for future efforts to connect and communicate with the District 57 community. In the fall, they plan to explore incorporating more student voice, plan community tours of Lincoln Middle School as we start to think about the future of that school, survey community members on issues that are important to them and hold a forum for potential Board candidates to answer their questions about running for office. Board members also will regularly attend more school events on a rotating schedule.
Feed My Starving Children Volunteer Event – We have 5 spots left for our D57 Volunteer Event for Staff, Students, and Families on Tuesday, April 26 from 4:30-6 P.M at the Schaumburg location. See the attached flyer for more information, including a link to register.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Mary Gorr
Superintendent of Schools, Mount Prospect District 57