Parents as Partners

October, 2019

Big picture

Dear District 15 Parents,

As fall officially shows itself, I hope your child is feeling settled with new friends and teachers and is feeling engaged and excited about learning.

This month, my “Walk & Talks” have taken me out to many of our schools to engage with students, teachers, staff and administrators. As you can see by these photos, I’ve particularly enjoyed watching Lincoln's school musical, attending a Virginia Lake pep rally and talking about leadership skills with students at Kimball Hill!

Superintendent Walk & Talks

Home-School Connections in the Fall

As I said in my inaugural newsletter, developing strong partnerships with our parents is an important goal for all of us in D15. My hope is to establish a dialogue with you, our parents/guardians, as our educational partners. Fall brings with it two important opportunities to connect about student learning, on a District-wide level and individually, too!

At the District level, each fall schools across Illinois share achievement data with their communities through the School Report Cards, published by the Illinois State Board of Education. The report cards offer a glimpse into student growth, achievement and areas where we can focus our efforts in the future.

At its October meeting, the Board of Education reviewed key indicators about student achievement and growth along with engagement levels. According to the state’s designations aligned with the Every Student Succeeds Act, D15’s performance has improved since 2018, with 18 of our schools noted as “exemplary” or “commendable” and one as underperforming. The report cards for 2019 will be released October 30. I invite you to review the report for your school and D15 overall.

On an individual level, parents are strongly encouraged to participate in annual parent-teacher conferences, which are held by appointment on November 25-26. Conferences are an important opportunity for you to focus exclusively on your child’s progress. Your monthly school newsletter next week will include tips to help you make the most of your conference time.

#ThankaPrincipal October 25

Each fall, we have an opportunity to shine the spotlight on our school leaders who wear so many hats serving within our schools. They build strong connections with families to support each student’s social emotional and academic growth. They work collaboratively with teachers to build warm and nurturing environments for teachers to teach and students to learn. And they oversee ongoing operations at the school to ensure each day goes smoothly.

On Friday, October 25, we will be celebrating Principal and Assistant Principal Appreciation Day in D15 as part of the nationwide Principal Appreciation Month. I invite you to tweet (#ThankAPrincipal), email or phone your school administrators on Friday to thank them for the big and little things they do each day for your child and school.

Trunk-or-Treat Family Fun tomorrow

And speaking of administrators. . .our D15 team will be handing out treats at iCompete’s Trunk or Treat event this Friday, October 25 at Falcon Park! Please join us for this safe, family-friendly, community event. Children will trick-or-treat from car trunk to car trunk in the Falcon Park parking lot from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Our Wizard of Oz team hopes to see you there!

Community Partnerships have real impact

As we enter the season of thanks, I want to extend our appreciation to Northwest Community Healthcare for donating $4,000 for the purchase of fresh fruit for our summer breakfast program. This summer, District 15’s Nutrition Services team served 13,669 meals and 8,500 servings of fresh fruit to our students at select locations. We thank them for their partnership in ensuring students receive nutritious meals all year long.

Can you help us accelerate our Professional Development?

As I wrote last month, D15 is committed to providing professional development to our teachers. Several times per year, teachers step out of their classrooms to become students themselves, learning how to deliver new curricular that will increase their knowledge and improve student outcomes. A current focus of our PD includes differentiation within the math block; Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning; and Fountas & Pinnell Classroom, which is our new literacy curriculum -- all important to the success of our schools. But none of it is possible without substitute teachers and as a district, we struggle to fill substitute openings daily.

That’s why we are asking you to consider attending our own substitute teacher training and licensure session on Friday, November 8. The State of Illinois recently established a new substitute license, which now is available to anyone who holds an associate’s degree or above. You’ll leave signed-up and ready to substitute in our district! District 15 offers competitive compensation rates of $55 for a half-day and $110 for a full-day. I encourage you to please consider learning more about the training by viewing our online flyer, and registering online. Your help will allow us to meet our ambitious PD goals, which will directly impact student learning.

In closing, I want to thank you again for your support as I continue to learn more about CCSD15--its strengths and opportunities for improvement. I am committed to establishing two-way dialogue, and welcome your thoughts, comments and ideas.

In my next newsletter, I look forward to sharing with you a new roadmap, which will guide our work through the 2021-22 school year, as well as highlights of our mission, vision, values and strategic direction over the coming years. The Board of Education is expected to complete its review of this “refresh” to our plan and the metrics associated with our strategic plan at the November meeting. I am excited about the direction we are headed and hope you will be as well. Stay tuned!

Happy Halloween!

Your partner in education,

Dr. Heinz

CLA Motor/Sensory Room Dedication!

Conyers Learning Academy Motor/Sensory Room Dedication
Donate to the one-five Foundation

Thanks to the one-five Foundation donors for making the motor/sensory room a reality! Your support makes a difference in the lives of District 15 students.