411 on 67 - 4.12.23
template for District 67
April 12, 2023
Dear District 67 Families,
I am excited to share a message below from Vail Kieser, Director of Teaching and Learning. Following the end of our reading curriculum resource pilot program in March, Vail has reviewed our data, sought feedback, and is looking forward to making a resource recommendation at the upcoming April 25, 2023 Board of Education regular meeting.
Over the last two years, I am incredibly proud of the work that the District 67 team has done to engage in a comprehensive and thorough investigation into the science of reading, best practice, and the role of standards, assessment, and instruction. On top of that, it was important to define our core literacy beliefs and determine how our reading resource would serve in developing our students’ Portrait of a Learner competencies. At the end of the day, we have 1,600 students that we are fortunate to serve and every single educator in this District shares the same goal: we want to help our students learn and grow!
There were serious questions that we wanted to understand about the current Lucy Calkins Units of Study curriculum. We determined that while Units of Study offered choice and differentiation in a workshop model, it lacked foundational skills, standards connections and assessments, among other things. Based on all of the input from staff and research, this resource does not meet our needs to provide academic excellence for our students. It is my belief that moving forward, we will be able to incorporate all of these components rather than having to choose between them.
At the April 25 Board of Education meeting, I will not recommend continuing with the Units of Study moving forward for the 2023-2024 school year. I plan to recommend Amplify CKLA for students K-5 and Amplify ELA for grades 6-8. With all of our research, data, and feedback from staff and students, Amplify will provide what we are seeking for academic growth. In fact, I was thrilled with how many staff and students felt energized through this process and saw that immediate growth while using this resource.
"In just the four weeks that we have been using this resource, I have seen students’ confidence increase exponentially. The systematic teaching of phonics skills has led to increased confidence which has, in turn, led to increased success and participation in literacy activities.” - D67 Teacher
Here is just a small snapshot of some of the data that was collected that makes me feel confident in moving forward with Amplify. Out of four points in each category, Amplify consistently scored the highest of the three new resources and compared to Units of Study.
We also asked our students, "What did you learn from participating in the pilot program?" Here's what they had to say!
- "I feel more confident about gathering information faster and it stays in my brain longer.” - 8th Grade Student
- “I love all the acting and writing that we got to do. I loved reading stories with my whole class.” - 4th Grade Student
- “Reading isn’t just about reading what’s on the page, it’s about understanding what the words are saying.” - 1st Grade Student
As I’ve shared before, there is not one single resource that will meet all of our needs. However, I am confident that with this recommendation, a robust learning plan in place, and an open mind about the possibilities, we will see incredible results for students!
Pending Board approval on the 25th, we would set in motion the ordering of materials, having digital access to materials, and securing our professional learning plans for the remainder of the year and moving forward.
With this recommendation, I am excited about the possibilities ahead for our students and staff. This rigorous process helped to inform a critical decision for kids and we are very fortunate to have such an incredible process to involve all stakeholders including our families. We look forward to our continued partnership for student success moving forward!
Joint Statement From Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 Board of Education President Suzanne Sands and Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Board of Education President Jenny Zinser
At a joint meeting held on April 11, 2023, the Lake Forest Elementary School District 67 and Lake Forest Community High School District 115 Boards of Education approved a new 5-year contract for Superintendent Dr. Matthew L. Montgomery. The contract will be equally split between District 67 and District 115.
Dr. Montgomery has completed two years of his current three-year contract (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2024) and, in that time, has executed the goals and objectives set forth by the Boards at the time of his hire:
Developing a plan for full in-person learning including how learning loss will be assessed and addressed in the 2021-22 school year
Providing a 100-day work plan outlining the approach that would be taken to know, engage, connect, and communicate with the people, programs, partners, and community cultures that support Districts 67 and 115
Addressing critical administrative personnel vacancies and performance concerns in a timely manner
Collaborating with the Boards to create, refine, and assess the Districts’ strategic plans
Optimizing the District 67 and 115 shared services model as outlined by the recommendations from the Joint Shared Services Optimization Committee
In rapid speed, Dr. Montgomery has collaborated with staff, students, families, and residents to set the direction of our Districts with our Portrait of a Learner as well as researching and developing strategic plans for each District in partnership with the community. He has reignited the District 115 facilities master planning work, conducted a detailed assessment of the shared services model, made significant strides in updating and aligning curriculum with state standards and community expectations, and is now on the path to lead our Districts into an exciting next chapter.
Even with all of this progress, we recognize that we still have significant work to do. Under Dr. Montgomery’s leadership, our Districts have thoughtfully and expeditiously laid a foundation and created a framework to identify objectives and action plans aimed at achieving our desired academic outcomes. The continuity and stability of Dr. Montgomery’s leadership will better position us to activate the strategic plans created in partnership with our community.
Each year, the District 67 and District 115 Boards gather to review issues related to shared services. During these meetings last year, the Boards discussed the importance of continuity and the positive impact of steady, collaborative, and focused leadership. It was then that the two Boards jointly decided to work toward an extension of Dr. Montgomery’s contract.
We deeply value Dr. Montgomery’s dedication, hard work, and engagement with the community, and believe that this contract extension will allow our Districts to continue to thrive and progress under his guidance. We are grateful to our community for your ongoing support of our schools. We look forward to continuing our work together with our community to achieve great things for our students.
A full recording of the April 11, 2023 Joint Meeting of the District 67 and District 115 Boards of Education may be found on the Board of Education pages (District 67 and District 115) of the shared District website.
We have received questions regarding the status of the District 115 bond referendum vote that took place during the April 4 Lake County Consolidated Election.
All April 4 Lake County Consolidated Election results remain “unofficial.” The Lake County Clerk’s office continues to count mail-in and provisional ballots. The last update was provided by the Clerk’s office on Friday April. At that time, votes in favor of the referendum were ahead by 97.
The County Clerk will release final results no sooner than Tuesday, April 18. We will update our school community when official, final results become available. For the moment, we remain cautiously optimistic about a positive outcome and appreciate your patience.
Rock the Spirit: April 29
Don't Delay - Purchase Your Tickets for Rock the Spirit
The VIP Backstage is nearly sold out! General Admission Tickets are selling fast too. Don’t delay! Buy your Tickets to Rock The Spirit Today! Join the fun with live music, food, open bar, amazing raffle and auction items and priceless student experiences! All funds raised go right back to enhance student educational and cultural experiences in our District 67 Schools!
Bring your Spouse or a Friend–What a DEAL!
Tickets are $100 each or 2 for $180. This discounted promotion will end April 20th! For info and to purchase tickets, visit https://spiritrocks2023.givesmart.com (Ticket price includes open bar, food, and entertainment–really, what a deal!)
Sponsorship opportunities are also still available.
APT School’s Out Food Drive - May 1-5, 2023
Please join the District 67 APT for the School's Out Food Drive to benefit North Chicago Community Partners. Donations will be accepted from Monday, May 1 to Friday, May 5 at all of our District 67 Schools.
The following items for your school may be dropped off in your school lobby:
- Cherokee: Canned Mixed Vegetables, Bagged Pinto Beans, Vanilla Extract, Peanut Butter or Jelly
- DPM 5/6: Cereal Boxes, Individual Snack Boxes, Baking Soda or Baking Powder, Peanut Butter or Jelly
- DPM 7/8: Mac & Cheese Cups, Juice Boxes, Cooking Oil, Peanut Butter or Jelly
- Everett: Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Chocolate Chips, Peanut Butter or Jelly
- Sheridan: Apple Sauce, Granola Bars, Canned Corn, Rice, Peanut Butter or Jelly
One in four children in neighboring communities experience food insecurity and are left without regular meals (normally served at school) over the summer months. To help these students, District 67 works with North Chicago Community Partners (NCCP), a local nonprofit supporting our neighboring youth in North Chicago School District 187. Each week, about 75 families visit NCCP's Family Care Closet, a respectful school-based food pantry available to area families. Your donation of food matters!
Join us to help sort the food after school on Friday, May 5, 3:30pm at CROYA.
Community of Learners is Still Accepting Students!
Community of Learners is Lake Forest School District 67's early childhood preschool program for students ages 3-5 year-olds residing within the District 67 school boundaries.
Want to Learn More?
The Community of Learners Preschool program is an inclusive environment that allows children to learn, explore, and interact with other children in the Lake Forest community. Watch the video below to hear from our current students – and a graduate of the program – about what they like best about Community of Learners!
DPM Geo Bee
Congratulations to Vivian J., 8th grade, the winner of the 2023 Deer Path Middle School Geography Bee. Congratulations also to Eric F., 7th grade, who is the DPM runner-up, and all participants in the 2023 DPM Geography Bee: 6th graders, Tommy H., Anders J., Alyssa P.; 7th graders Charles D. and Johannes T.; 8th grader Paul H. Great job!
D67 Summer Offerings - Registration Now Open
Please sign up for Summer Offerings through RevTrak until May 5, 2023, when registration will close. You may register by clicking here. After a class is full or after May 5, whichever comes first, families interested in signing up for summer offerings will need to join our waitlist. We will fill subsequent openings on a first come, first serve basis.
Deerpath Community Park Improvement Project Groundbreaking Ceremony
Our DPM administrative team was honored to be included in last week’s Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Deerpath Community Park Improvement project!
"This is a transformative project for Lake Forest," said Mayor George Pandaleon at the Groundbreaking Ceremony. "There are so many young children and families who will benefit from the project for years to come, including the many new families who have moved to Lake Forest in the last few years."
You can learn more about project updates by visiting the City of Lake Forest's website.
Celebrate Our D67 Retirees!
We are excited to kick off a 411 series celebrating this year's retirees. This year, our “graduating class” of 7 talented teachers and staff members represent a total of 140 years of service. Together, they have taught and supported thousands of students during their careers. Each 411, we will share several of their profiles. Please join us in thanking and congratulating them!
Don't Miss the Next FAN Events
It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs
Featuring Mary Louise Kelly, Co-host of NPR's "All Thing Considered" and Heidi Stevens, Chicago-based writer and Director of External Affairs for the University of Chicago’s TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health
Apr 17, 2023, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
New Trier High School, Northfield Campus, Cornog Auditorium
7 Happ Rd., Northfield, IL 60093
NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Ever since she became a parent, Mary Louise Kelly has said “next year.” Next year will be the year she makes it to her son James’s soccer games (which are on weekdays at 4 p.m., right when she is on the air on NPR’s All Things Considered, talking to millions of listeners). Drive carpool for her son Alexander? Not if she wants to do that story about Ukraine and interview the secretary of state. Like millions of parents who wrestle with raising children while pursuing a career, she has never been cavalier about these decisions.
James and Alexander are now seventeen and fifteen, and a realization has overtaken Kelly: her older son will be leaving soon for college. There used to be years to make good on her promises; now, there are months, weeks, minutes. And with the devastating death of her beloved father as well as a surprising turn in her marriage, she is coming to grips with the reality every parent faces: Childhood has a definite expiration date. You have only so many years with your kids before they leave your house to build their own lives.
It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs, a chronicle of Kelly’s eldest child’s final year at home, of losing her father, as well as other curve balls thrown at her, is not a definitive answer―not for herself and certainly not for any other parent. But her questions, her issues, will resonate with every parent, especially with mothers, who are judged more harshly by society and, more important, judge themselves more harshly.
Soul Shift: The Weary Human's Guide to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Path to Joy
Featuring Rachel Macy Stafford & Shefali Tsabary, Ph.D.
Apr 27, 2023 07:00 PM
Zoom registration link: www.bit.ly/StaffordFANSponsor
Living in a time of isolation, instability, and information overload comes at a great cost to our happiness and well-being. As we struggle to keep up with endless demands on our time, energy, and attention, we neglect the very things that make us feel most alive. We fail to grasp what really matters to us.
In Soul Shift: The Weary Human’s Guide to Getting Unstuck and Reclaiming Your Path to Joy, New York Times bestselling author and celebrated motivational speaker Rachel Macy Stafford guides us on a journey to remember and reconnect with what truly delights and fulfills our hearts. Throughout this shame-free, hope-filled guide, you’ll follow the guidance of your soul through eight key areas of discovery—self-worth, forgiveness, authenticity, and more. As you gain valuable awareness, you’ll be able to shift how you respond to life’s challenges, replacing depleting habits with growing presence and healing joy.