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Pruneau: New school year brings many changes at District 205

Community Voice

Welcome to the 2014-15 school year. This is an exciting time for Elmhurst School District 205. We recently welcomed 95 new teachers and 11 new administrators. Our new educators are dynamic and knowledgeable, with a passion for our mission: Making a Positive Difference for Every Student, Every Day.

The opening of school is very different this year. York High School began on an earlier date (Aug. 15) than the middle and elementary schools (Wednesday). This split schedule was developed in response to parents of elementary and middle school students, who wanted school to begin a little later, as well as to parents of high school students, who would like to see first semester exams finished by winter break.

We’ve gone Google

Another big change took place when District 205 consolidated its multiple Google Apps environments into one, with Microsoft email, calendars and contacts also migrating to Google.
This decision followed months of discussion with staff and administrators, including consultation with 35 members of a Google Apps Task Force. Additionally, teachers and students involved in the Mobile Learning Initiative pilot reported positive results and were strongly in favor of simplifying and strengthening the use of Google Apps for teaching and learning.

The new Google domain is, which encompasses all staff and students in grades six to 12.  Benefits include one ecosystem for creation, communication and collaboration within and outside of school; access from anywhere, on any device; and cost savings on servers, storage and licensing.

Students, parents and staff were notified of this decision last spring and our Technology Department worked on the migration all summer.

Summer projects

Summer always brings a flurry of activity in our Buildings and Grounds Department and 2014 was no exception. Major renovation of the Bryan and Sandburg middle school building envelope (masonry restoration, window and door seals, etc.) was completed, as was a new roof on the Sandburg gym. Churchville’s two gyms received updated lighting fixtures that have improved brightness and will save money.

Two Media:scape labs were installed in the York Learning Commons, courtesy of the District 205 Foundation. Band Boosters donated a storage building; solar panels were installed on the roof of the Aquatic Center; and 138 new lockers were added. More importantly, York now has a safety vestibule at its main entrance, with locking doors and card controlled access.

Dave Pruneau is the superintendent of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205.

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