Posted: August, 8, 2016 - 7:44am
It is my pleasure and honor to once again welcome back all of our Community High School District 117 families! We are excited to provide our students with high quality programing that promotes all forms of personal growth. I would like to extend a special welcome to our Freshman Class of 2020!
While you were on summer break, the District was working hard to improve our learning spaces and infrastructure so as to provide the best possible environment for learning. I’m certain you will notice and appreciate some of our improvements.
I want to share with you a message from the 2016 Illinois Teacher of the Year Kim Thomas. I think her message is appropriate for this time of the year and embodies our newly developed mission statement, Ignite passion and discovery in all students. Enjoy.
Live + Laugh + Love = Learn
Teaching and math share a common denominator – they center on relationships.
Of course, in math the relationships are between numbers …positives, negatives, addition, division, etc., and you have to find the satisfactory solution before moving on to the next problem. Teachers of any subject understand the correlation of success and building relationships with our students, parents, colleagues, and the community. I want to share my approach to building strong relationships that demonstrate all the good things going on in classrooms across Illinois.
The teaching profession is filled with diverse angles. Some are acute while others are obtuse. The degree of each angle is irrelevant. It is the “mathlicious” approach I take that makes me who I am as a teacher. I just completed my 10 x 2 + 3 year teaching in Peoria. This is the most challenging era to be an educator. Policies, evaluations, and assessments are ever-changing; the constants in education are the love and dedication we have for kids.
I live what I teach every day. It is up to me to ensure my enthusiasm and passions for teaching are contagious for my students as well as other educators. We are all in this together, and our goal should be to make sure that the time students spend with us will be one of the best fractions of their day.
Laughter should be in everyone’s lesson plans. It is so important for kids to be happy. Beginning my class with a cheer for someone or something upbeat always puts a positive parabola on my students’ faces. My cheers are very simple and fun – I just spell out a kid’s name, and then say something great about them. I never made the cheerleading team, but now I am head cheerleader in my classroom!
The word “love” makes even the toughest kid rethink a decision. My students know I am their math mom. Moms have to correct their children, but still love them. One parental contact can transform a child’s education path, and talking is powerful and free! Parents deserve our commitment to keeping them informed.
Teachers are the length, width, and height of education. It is not easy to be a teacher, and that’s why teachers are three-dimensional super heroes. Please continue to add to your passion. Subtract the “I can’t” and multiply by “I can.” Divide by the love you have for kids, and this will equal an educational celebration.
I believe Mrs. Thomas’s message represents the beliefs and values of educators in Community High School District 117. We are intentional with our professional practices and believe in developing, and maintaining strong, positive relationships with our students, parents, and community. We look forward to another great school year.
Yours in Education,
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…
Posted: November, 28, 2016 - 1:59pm
Positive Power of Our Schools
The holiday season should be a positive, sentimental and enduring time filled with family gatherings and friendship. Unfortunately, too often, this idyllic time is not enjoyed by our students or families but rather represents a time of struggle both financially and emotionally. Compounded with the unprecedented negative rhetoric of recent political campaigns and the ongoing pockets of civil unrest, in our country, our students may be even more vulnerable.
That is why it is critically important to reaffirm the strength and positive power of our schools. Community High…
Posted: September, 30, 2016 - 12:00am
Far Too Common!
On September 29th, the national evening news reported once again on a tragic school shooting at Townville Elementary School in South Carolina. The threats of violence in schools and society are becoming far too common and sadly, in my opinion, creating a new “normal”. While Community High School District 117 encounters threatening situations occasionally, it never becomes easier for parents, students, staff or our greater community to accept. These threats of violence are senseless and require immeasurable resources on the part of our schools and communities. We take these…