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President's Message

Message to the Community

collins_Jim.jpgBenjamin Franklin wisely said, "When you are finished changing, you're finished."

We live in an increasingly sophisticated world that requires an increasingly sophisticated education system in order to achieve success. July 1, 2014 marked the beginning of our fourth year under the leadership of Superintendent Dave Pruneau. He and his administrative team have observed and assessed our district and, with the support of the Board of Education, have been working to implement their plan to make education in Elmhurst better than it was the year before. Superintendent Pruneau uses the phrase "Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast." In our case, that means our administration plans to implement change in the right way, by explaining what we are doing, and why, and by listening to the people who do the educating in our district, our teachers.


Another phrase he uses often is: "Everything happens in the classroom." We continue to review and change our curriculum to provide the rigor that will enhance our students’ achievement, prepare them for an ever more complex and competitive world, and give them the tools they need to become productive citizens in our global society.


The Board is continuing its work with our administrative team to establish District Performance Indicators (DPIs), now that changes at the state level (the end of ISAT/PSAE and the beginning of PARCC testing) have upended many of our previously established benchmarks. DPIs are the data points that the Board uses to measure the progress and success of our district. These DPIs are being used to increase accountability for our students’ success.


Please do not interpret this to mean that the Board will use only numbers to gauge the success of our district and our students. The ultimate goal is to prepare our students for a world that requires increased independent thinking, creativity and collaboration. We want to teach our students to read and think critically, as well as provide them with the tools they need to work together to solve complex problems.


This year, we will put a renewed emphasis on implementing a culture widely known as Professional Learning Communities. PLCs are used by some of the most successful schools in the nation. PLCs emphasize student learning. They establish definitive learning objectives for each course we teach, and teachers work together to ensure that every student learns the material for each learning goal. In a well-implemented Professional Learning Community, all children learn, all students are given the support they need to learn what they need to know to succeed in the next lesson, and no child is “allowed” to fail.


We are infusing our District 205 culture with the overarching goal of continuous improvement, providing a better education every year than the year before. We are monitoring our progress and holding everyone accountable for our students’ success. Every student, every day.


And finally, we are implementing new ways to listen to our community. We want to have several serious discussions with our community during this school year. We know that strong community support is critical to building and sustaining a world class school district. Again, Ben Franklin’s words ring true: "An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Jim Collins
President
Board of Education
Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205