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Superintendent's Corner

Dr. Shelly Davis-Jones

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On behalf of the Board of Education, I want to thank everyone for your support.  Summer is almost here and I want to encourage you to make sure your child reads over the summer.  Friday June 7, 2019 is the last day of school for students.  I would like to take a moment to reflect on how far we have come and where we are headed.

First, I want to recognize my Board of Education and staff for the dedication, talent, commitment and ethic of care given to each student. Together, we are making a visible difference for our students, families and community.

Over the past year, we have worked hard to ensure our facilities are up to state codes and we are preparing for our 10-year Health Life Safety Review.  We also partnered with Roosevelt University to support Balanced Literacy in all schools and hired Balanced Literacy Coaches for each school for the 2019-2020 school year.  We want our students to love reading and in order for this to happen we must provide a culture climate that supports this goal.  We want to encourage you to make sure your child is reading over the summer and this can be done by taking them to the Calumet City Public Library and the Dolton Public Library. 

All Elementary Schools are supporting our Summer Reading Initiative by providing free books at a scheduled time for you to bring your child to the school to pick up books to read over the summer.  All students participating in our summer school and enrichment program will be given free high interest books at the close of summer school to ensure they have access to reading.

The Middle Schools are proud to launch their new Balanced Literacy Summer Reading Program. Coming home with your child today is the Scholastic Summer Reading Book packet. Use the Activity Sheets provided in the My Book Summer packet as a way to talk with your child about what they are reading. Share any connections that you may to the stories, and ask your child questions about the books. Use the conversations that stem from these books as a window into your child’s world. Enjoy the experience of connecting with your child in a way that promotes learning, conversation, and family engagement.

We will begin a full partnership with Roosevelt University next school year to change the climate culture and promote a district where reading is a priority.  We also pursued initiatives designed to enhance opportunities for our students including piloting 6th graders to continue working with the Schoology program to enhance regular classroom instruction through use of IPADS. Our 6th, 7th and 8th grade students participated in the World Interactive Network Program, (WIN) our college/career readiness program.  The data results indicated that the 7th and 8th grade students need more instructional time through exploratory classes next school year. What this means is instead of having students rotate the course every quarter we need to have the program rotate out twice per school year.  This would give our students more time on task and more opportunities to explore the college and career readiness course path. This is a very important program for our students in middle school and in order to make the connection for high school and college we want to provide our students with more time so they can be successful and begin planning their next 8 years of their future.  I want to thank our WIN Facilitators for their leadership and support and the students for their valuable input and wanting to keep the program for next school year. 

The Spring NWEA Data and the Illinois Assessment Readiness Test, (IAR) are being analyzed and reports will be shared as soon as they are available. We have our work cut out for us but we are inspired to continue to work with our students to improve student growth.  Next year, we would love to see more parents involved in working with their children at home and strengthening the communication with teachers especially with students who are struggling academically.  It takes all of the stakeholders to get involved to see real change in any institution. 

I want to recognize your daily contributions in providing the best experience possible for our children.  Despite the constraints and challenges, we face sometimes, we continue to focus on improvement and we continue to find ways to leverage our resources to support student learning and programs. We were laser focused this year with our data discussions that were conducted and teachers were given access to and use of data for student-level, school-level and district-level decision-making. 

For those of you who are retiring after serving the district for so many years, I wish you the best.  You have contributed immensely to the success of our district.  I wish you great health and happiness during your next life journey.

As I close, please keep your eyes on your child(ren) over the summer.  Make sure you know where they are at all times.  I look forward to their safe return. 

The first full day of school for students is Monday, August 19, 2019 and the Annual Back to School Carnival is Saturday August 25, 2019 from 11am – 3pm at Caroline Sibley School.  Have a great summer vacation and come back next year stronger and ready to do great work!

Thank you for the opportunity to serve in this great school district!

Dr. Shelly Davis Jones

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