Fields: We can't stay here

Community Voice

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
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(Photo provided)
Stan Fields is the superintendent of School District 100 in Berwyn.

On March 25, 2009, the South Berwyn School District 100 Board of Education adopted the district’s vision statement: D-100 would rank within the top 25 percent of districts in Illinois as evidenced by state testing.

The approval of this bold, audacious goal by board members Dawn Rinehart, James Swicionis, Anthony Harris, Joanne Zaworski, Carol Frankovic, Elizabeth Pechous and Joanne Zendol set the foundation for aggressive implementation of several well researched, proven best practices in D-100.   

Full day kindergarten: All kindergarten students attend school full-time to facilitate improved academic achievement, emotional maturity and closing the achievement gap facing many of our students.

Co-teaching model: Students identified with special learning needs are included with their peers, rather than segregated in separate classrooms, to meet their needs in the least restrictive, ideal learning environment.

Smart technology: 179 classrooms are equipped with smart technology to facilitate differentiated instruction.  

Health, wellness initiative: In partnership with Aramark, D-100’s food service provider, we offer a high nutritional value breakfast, lunch and dinner (limited availability), as well as fitness focused physical education programs for all students. The HealthierUS School Challenge has recognized D-100 achievement, with six schools designated as Gold with Distinction status and two schools designated as Silver status.

1:1 program: All kindergarten through eighth grade students are issued a wireless device, tablet or laptop, to facilitate differentiated instruction and extend learning time beyond the school day. D-100 has been recognized as an Apple Distinguished Program and hosted tours from over 100 school districts and organizations. 

Preschool: 250, 3 and 4-year-old children receive high quality preschool programs funded by the district. The benefits of high quality preschool have been well documented for all students.

With limited resources and increasing enrollment, D-100 has made significant progress towards our top 25 percent goal. And although we are very proud of the numerous awards and recognition we have received, there is considerable opportunity ahead of us.

Regrettably, we reject the applications of over 200, 3 and 4-year-old children annually for our preschool program because our class size requirements of 28 in kindergarten through second grade prohibits staff from adequately meeting the needs of all children; overcrowded classrooms district wide require students to be force transferred from their home school; and all six elementary schools are in various stages of disrepair, including leaking roofs, unreliable and inadequate power and erratic climate control. 

The D-100 School community deserves better, we can’t stay here!

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