Happy Halloween! If you thought “Boo Season” was the official start to the holiday season, the Hallmark Channel wants you to know that you are wrong. According to its calendar, the holiday season began several weeks ago already.
District 205 launched Thrive D205: A School and Community Wellness Partnership in September with guest speaker Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of the book How to Raise an Adult. The event was well-attended and followed up by a PTA sponsored showing of the movie Angst in October. The goal of Thrive D205 is to establish a shared belief system for quality education that embraces whole child development. In so doing, the school and community can work together collectively to help reduce the stress and anxiety levels of students, which have been increasing rapidly in recent years.
A third community engagement event, which will feature a student panel, information session, and feedback opportunity for participants is scheduled for November 18, at Bryan Middle School at 7:00 p.m.
The District would like to thank its community partners: the D205 Public Schools Foundation, the Elmhurst Children's Assistance Foundation, the Elmhurst Commission on Youth, the Elmhurst Rotary Club, the Elmhurst Lions Club, the Elmhurst Public Library, and Elmhurst Presbyterian Church.
The Thrive D205 Steering Committee identified three goals: 1) Develop a homework policy for grades 6-12 by this spring for implementation in 2020-21; 2) Explore the possibility of limiting post-secondary experiences in high school (possible implementation beginning in 2021-22; and 3) Study adjusting start times so that high school students begin their day later. Four Sub-Committees have been formed to support the work: Academic, Community Engagement, Start Times, and Student Services.
The Role of Assessment
When considering factors that increase stress and anxiety in students, one of the areas educators have the most ability to influence is how they assess students. Concerns about equity and growth are certainly critical when looking at assessment practices, but another important issue related to assessment that we must acknowledge is that students have an emotional attachment to their assessment results. The quest for grades can increase anxiety levels among students, and, if at any point they become discouraged and choose to stop trying, the learning stops. Improving assessment will be a major focus of our work in the District going forward.
Eric Sheninger recently posted this video blog on the topic of assessment on Twitter. It is a good primer to spur thought and begin the conversation.
Updated October 28, 2019
You can follow the excitement at our individual school sites on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and you can catch the District action by following us on Facebook or on Twitter at @ElmhurstD205 and our hashtag #IgniteD205. Follow my blog at superchat205.blogspot.com.