Summer is coming to a close and we’re quickly approaching the start of the 2022-23 school year. Mark your calendars for Back to School Night, which will be held August 15 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm for all elementary schools. Liberty Junior High will host their Back to School Night on August 16 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. We hope to see you there!
In curriculum news, we adopted McGraw Hill Wonders 2020 as our updated Reading/Writing resource, which you can read more about on page 2 of the Back to School Newsletter. Last year, District 111 adopted Twig Science as our elementary Science resource. Teachers throughout the district have been using this resource to engage students in being the scientist; to design, research, plan, and do experiments. Twig Science aligns with our reading, math, and social science lessons so teachers can connect learning across the curriculum. Social-emotional learning (SEL) has been a focus in District 111 for several years. Social emotional-learning is the process through which young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, show empathy for others, set and achieve personal goals, and establish supportive relationships. There are five broad categories of social-emotional learning: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. District 111 has adopted Second Step, an SEL resource, that focuses on building the skills students need to be supportive, positive members of their community.
Our student services department had eight special education staff members complete the Certified Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist (ASDCS) intensive training program this summer. Additionally, many of our special education staff worked in collaboration with Easter Seals on classroom set ups utilizing a checklist, which helps to ensure that the most important evidence-based practices for children with special needs are in place at the start of the school year. We are also in the process of updating our furniture in special education classrooms.
This past year we launched our Multilingual Literacy Website - the link can be found on the Teaching and Learning Department page on the district website. This is a great place to find resources and activities to support reading in multiple languages. There will be monthly raffles as well as a link to Unite for Literacy where children and their families may enjoy stories translated and read in many languages.
In technology news, the district website has been updated to better serve the community. The new website is responsive and adjusts automatically for a wide range of devices, allowing our stakeholders to visit the website on whatever device they prefer. We are also deploying Windows 11 to all our staff and student devices. All devices will be enrolled in Autopilot as well for faster deployments.
The start of school is quickly approaching and I am looking forward to another productive year for District 111. In closing, I would like to invite our families to join us at the Back to School Rally on August 27 at Burbank School. It’s a family friendly event and a great way to celebrate the new school year. As always, great things are happening in District 111!
Dr. Franzy Fleck