Posted: May, 5, 2016 - 2:30pm
Thank You Teachers
I wanted to share what our country’s new Secretary of Education, John King wrote about teachers.
“This week, our nation recognizes and honors you for your tireless efforts on behalf of our students, everywhere from small towns and suburbs, to rural communities and Tribal lands, to big cities. Teachers have one of the most challenging and fulfilling jobs — literally shaping and changing lives. Especially during Teacher Appreciation Week, we celebrate and thank you for the vital role that you play in supporting students and strengthening the future of our nation.
Long hours and hard work go into designing challenging lessons, guiding students through their learning, providing feedback to students, engaging with parents and families, collaborating with colleagues, reflecting on your instruction, staying abreast of research and changes in content and pedagogy, and leading in your schools.
But much of the work you do also is about the intangible — it’s about fostering that almost indescribable, and yet unmistakable, spark between you and your students.
It’s there when you see the potential in every student who walks through your door, even when he may not yet recognize his own gifts. It’s there when you notice and attend to the child quietly sitting in your class, hoping no one will notice that her world has fallen apart at home. It’s there when you offer a listening ear and assistance to the student who has no place to call home, who lacks a support system beyond the schoolyard, or who simply hasn’t found her way yet. It’s there when you feed the child who is hungry, when you check in on the student who has missed school, and when you build your classroom into a safe community that is full of the wonder and joy of learning. You recognize that every child has a unique set of skills and talents to share with the world and you strive to help each of them engage in real, rigorous, and relevant learning that can set them on a path to realizing their potential. You do whatever it takes to be champions of our students and to prepare them for the incredible opportunities and achievements you know lie ahead — if we can provide them with a world-class education.
Each day in your classrooms, you work to ensure ALL of your students make progress toward their growth and mastery goals. Some results of that work are immediate — the look in a child’s eye when she has an “a-ha” moment and grasps a concept, the interest a student shows in his science fair project, or the scholarship a student earns because of a prize-winning essay.
But, a great deal of what you do also is having a much more long-term effect, in ways that may not be apparent right away.
You are helping to empower students with the strong character traits that they will use in their daily decision making. You are inspiring life-long learners, equipping citizens to participate more fully in our democracy, and, most importantly, you are giving students the freedom to choose — making it possible for them to have limitless options for their life paths and careers.
Teaching is the profession that launches every career. Thank you for sharing with your students your passion for world languages, music, literature, math, science, theater, history, and myriad other subjects. Thank you for empowering our youth and for furthering social justice by never being satisfied until every child has access to an excellent education. You are helping your students to develop an appreciation for a diverse society and a desire to create a more just world. Thank you for doing this vital work without expectation for thanks; but know, too, that you deserve it, and that the Obama administration and I are invested in lifting up and honoring teaching. We understand that teacher voice is a crucial part of conversations that impact your classroom and your profession, and we are committed to ensuring you are supported so you can do your best work on behalf of our children every day. We believe strongly that teachers should have a voice in the policy decisions that affect you and your students.”
Please take a moment and thank a teacher for the incredible work they do each and every day.
Yours in Education,
Posted: October, 31, 2017 - 10:13am
2017 Illinois Report Card shows upward trends
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) today released the 2017 Illinois Report Card at http://webprod.isbe.net/ereportcard/publicsite/getSearchCriteria.aspx. The annual Illinois Report Card shows the performance and progress of schools, districts, and the state overall on a wide range of educational metrics. The www.illinoisreportcard.com interactive website will go live on Friday, Nov. 3. The Data Quality Campaign and the Education Commission of the States have praised the Illinois Report Card as comprehensive and easy to understand.
State-level data on the 2017 Illinois…
Posted: September, 29, 2017 - 7:56am
Advanced Placement data show results of state’s focus on equity
SPRINGFIELD – The College Board released non-accountability reports of Advanced Placement (AP), SAT, and PSAT results from Illinois students statewide. State Superintendent of Education Tony Smith, Ph.D., issued the following statement:
“The Advanced Placement (AP) data released by the College Board show increases across the board in the numbers of students taking AP exams and in the percentages of students performing well. The State Board committed to increasing access to AP classes and exams, especially among underrepresented student groups. School teams across the state embraced…
Posted: September, 7, 2017 - 3:07pm
U.S. Department of Education approves Illinois ESSA Plan
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) - The Illinois Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan has been approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Illinois State Board of Education officials say the state’s ESSA Plan incorporates feedback gathered from thousands of online comments and 100 in-person forums and meetings. Under the Illinois ESSA Plan, multiple indicators of school quality and student growth will be collected and examined, and will be used to help schools perform better under a plan that specifically meets their unique needs.
Additionally, the Illinois ESSA Plan…
Posted: August, 9, 2017 - 11:44am
Welcome Back and While You Were Away
Let me be the first to say welcome back, we are honored and happy to serve you and our communities!
I would like to welcome the incoming Freshman Class of 2021! We also welcome our upperclassman and anyone new to Community High School District 117; we truly look forward to ensuring that every student is offered the opportunity to grow and learn in a positive, safe, and engaging environment. Our dedicated and talented staff strives to realize our mission of Igniting the Passion and Discovery of Every Student. We are very proud of our unwavering commitment to student growth…
Posted: August, 7, 2017 - 4:55pm
State Funding for Schools
I want to provide residents of Community High School District 117 information regarding state funding for schools in Illinois for the 2017-18 school year as you may be familiar with this issue through the news media and other sources.
Due to the inequality associated with the current Illinois school funding formula and its significant adverse consequences particularly to school districts with the greatest economic need, the legislature has developed a new funding formula designed with evidence based criteria to equitably support state funding for schools. To date, the legislators…
Posted: May, 31, 2017 - 11:36am
EVERY STUDENT SUCEEDS ACT (ESSA)
ISBE submitted the ESSA State Plan for Illinois to the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on April 1, 2017. On April 10, 2017, ED identified a section of the plan that it considered incomplete. This section included measurements of interim progress for academic attainment, graduation rate, and English Learner proficiency. In the plan submitted on April 1, 2017, ISBE stated that it intends to develop measurements of interim progress based on three-year baseline data and that this data is currently unavailable due to not having three years of data from which to determine a baseline…
Posted: April, 24, 2017 - 10:43am
State Budget Impasse
There is an effort statewide by many in a variety of public and private sectors including educators currently encouraging our state legislators to formulate and pass a responsible and responsive state budget. Below, are some of the consequences and concerns shared by many as a result of the current budget impasse.
All areas of society, including Illinois public school students, have suffered the consequences of Illinois’ financial problems over the past couple decades. For nearly the past two years, Illinois has operated with just a partial budget for education and “stopgap”or band-aid…
Posted: January, 5, 2017 - 11:51am
Community High School District 117 asks the voters at the April 4th Election
The Board of Education passed a resolution (December 8, 2016) that places a question on the ballot of the April 4th, 2017 election. The question asks voters of the District whether all Board Members should be elected At-Large. District residents will have the opportunity to cast their vote regarding this question at the Tuesday; April 4th, 2017 consolidated election.
The reason for the question stems from the current difficulty in sustaining representation from the unincorporated areas of the District. Since at least 1965, it has been required that the unincorporated…