October 2018
Dear District 67 Community Member,
 
To keep you informed, we will be sending you the District 67 Board Report on a monthly basis. Please note: These are not the official minutes of the Board of Education. Minutes once approved, all board agendas, packets, and videos can be found here. 
President's Report
Mike Borkowski commented that the Board meeting is being held at Deer Path Middle School in support of the Board’s goal of increasing community engagement. Hopefully, it makes attendance more convenient and it allows us to celebrate the work we have done here – the Haskins 2.0 and our classroom transformation project. It also gives board members a chance to learn more about the current state of our science labs, as we consider upgrading those spaces. The physical environment is only one small piece of the District’s overall Vision.

Mike discussed that for-profit news organizations recently came out with their annual school rankings and noted that we are awesome on some and non-existent on others.
Different rankings look at different factors and weight them differently. Some rankings value test scores and achievement heavily. Others put an emphasis on attendance and extra-curricular activities.  Others include diversity measurements and weight low-income students more heavily. Some use survey results from their subscribers, asking if their subscribers enjoyed their experience at a certain school, as part of their algorithm. When a person starts looking at the details behind the rankings, the vastly different ranks that the same school can achieve starts to be more understandable.

The one thing that all the rankings do have in common is this: they all take their different measures of success and they boil the school down to one number. Mike commented that is NOT how this board, this administration, and this school district thinks. We have a Vision for this District that we strongly believe in, and we remain focused on that. Having said that, metrics are very important. And we DO need to know if we are actually doing a good job. Not only does this Board and Administration need to know that, but our entire community – all our taxpayers, parents, staff, and students – need to know that, as well. So, if the newspaper rankings are not the answer, what is the answer?

Mike suggested a two-part answer to that question: Key Performance Indicators and Communication. Key Performance Indicators - or KPIs as they are often called – are the first part of the answer. How do we as a School Board, as a School District, and as Community define success? We first must define what metrics we care about most – what factors do we believe really move the needle and indicate we are being successful? We then determine baseline data for these metrics, and then we measure those metrics again and again over time. The metrics are closely aligned with our Vision. If we are doing well on the metrics, it is an indication that we are getting closer to our Vision. If we are not, we need to figure out why and adjust accordingly. Mike shared that we are in the midst of doing that work – determining our district’s Key Performance Indicators, obtaining the baseline data, and creating a Data Dashboard to easily show how we are doing. 

The second part of the answer is external communication – communication with our entire community. Mike noted that District 67 has an awesome story to tell. That story is described within our Vision statements, and it is coming to life within our school buildings, our staff, and our student population. Telling our story includes so many things: sharing the Data Dashboard, explaining how differentiation in the classroom is optimal for all students, educating the community on our new Report Card, which includes social emotional well-being, growth AND test scores, discussing why third grade reading is so important, demonstrating how physical environment matters, etc. As that occurs, we look at the news rankings differently.

We constantly rank our District, but we use a different methodology. We rank our District against how close we are coming to achieving our Vision. Mike’s hope is that over time - as we roll out the KPI Data Dashboard and as we tell our story in a proactive, consistent, and engaging manner – the community may come to adopt that view.
Superintendent's Report
Mike Simeck discussed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that has replaced the No Child Left Behind law. Schools will now receive one of four designations from the State of Illinois when the State Report Cards are released on October 31. The levels are Exemplary, Commendable, Under-performing, and Lowest Performing based on a list of weighted measures. This new accountability system will consider the progress of all students, including specific sub-groups (English language learners, special education, racial minorities, low income, etc.) and student absenteeism.

Mike encouraged parents to attend the upcoming Parent/Teacher Conferences. He noted that this is an opportunity to engage with your student’s teacher and learn more about your child.

The District is exploring the use of Thoughtexchange, a discussion and engagement software. Mike commented that this is an interactive feedback system that would assist in receiving valuable input and extending the District’s reach to its stakeholders. The software also provides comprehensive metrics that can be used to guide further questions and decision-making. View video for complete report
Strategic Plan Report
Assistant Superintendent Rebecca Jenkins highlighted key areas of the 2018-19 Strategic Plan, including the digital portfolio for all students, the consideration of science lab renovations for grades 5-8, and the further development of the Personalized Student Portrait (PSP) to include the addition of non-academic indicators such as a student personal statement and goals.  View written report   View video
Board Education Committee
Jeff Folker reported that the Committee reviewed the Foundations and CHAMPS programs and noted that all teachers will be trained on these school and classroom management systems over the next two years. The Committee also heard an overview of the 2018-19 Strategic Plan and reviewed the Staff Professional Development opportunities. Jeff noted that curriculum has been documented and can be found on the website . He commented that Parent University received positive feedback and he thanked the teachers, staff, and parents who participated. The Committee also heard an update on the Center for Talent Development initiative. View video for complete report
North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED )
Suzanne Sands reported that Dr. Kurt Schneider participated in long range planning efforts in Districts 112 and 203. He shared that NSSED is presenting at the Illinois Council of Instructional Coaching. NSSED is assisting the Illinois Education Technology Leaders cohort of districts work toward attaining the Trusted Learning Environment Seal.
Dr. Schneider provided an IDEA Grant update and noted that the NSSED Finance Committee will take a lead role on this issue. Suzanne commented that NSSED is moving to MIDAS Education software to be used for student information, professional learning management, etc. View written report View video
Spirit of 67 Foundation
Suzanne Sands noted that the Thanks for Giving Luncheon was a success. The guest speaker, David J. Flood, http://davidjflood.com spoke about treating others with dignity, respect, and compassion. He also addressed students at Deer Path Middle School this month. Donations, not including the fall event, are $100,000 thus far and district-wide family participation is just over 54%.   View written report View video
Association of Parents & Teachers (APT)
Jeff Folker reported that APT membership is at 90%. The APT sponsored Food Drive will be held in November with many opportunities to contribute and volunteer. He noted that the family directories have been delivered. Jeff highlighted an upcoming 4 th grade fine arts presentation, Barrel of Monkeys .   View written report View video
For More Complete Information:

Next Meeting
Tuesday, November 13, 7:00pm, Administration Center/West Campus, Board Room