The most exciting day of the year commenced when we opened the doors of our schools Aug. 25. More than 400 faculty welcomed more than 3,300 students into their new classrooms with new books, pencils, paper and supplies. The excitement was contagious as our students were high-fived by teachers and greeted with warm smiles and joyful hellos.
To prepare for the new year, the School District 45 staff worked diligently over the summer to develop new initiatives and curriculum to challenge every student. Last year, both staff and students engaged in a year-long Strategic Planning Process to develop goals and objectives for student success in 2015. The focus of the plan is on "Meeting Student Needs" – the driving concept behind all we do.
As we designed the process to drive our future activities and events, the students creatively named the plan "The 45 Drive."
The plan includes five priority goals:
Goal 1: Develop a districtwide comprehensive curriculum that is horizontally and vertically aligned to ensure student achievement and growth.
Goal 2: Provide and sustain access to current technology to purposefully and comprehensively support student success through innovative teaching and learning practices.
Goal 3: Recruit and retain highly qualified staff to meet the changing needs of our student population.
Goal 4: Embrace our diverse populations while addressing the needs of all students to optimize learning and growth.
Goal 5: Provide all stakeholders with facilities that are safe and that maximize student learning now and in the future.
More than 80 staff, parents, administrators, students, teachers, and community members participated in the development of our top priorities. Our School District 45 leadership team is now charged with the specific tasks, and we are held accountable for the results.
In addition, we will continue to implement the outstanding programs we have in the arts, music, athletics and community service. In 2014, our students raised more than $21,000 for the cure for pancreatic cancer. This year, our students will be raising money to build two new playgrounds for two of our elementary schools.
We have an exciting year ahead of us as we are committed to the children of the School District 45 community. As the year progresses, stay tuned as I will bring the events inside the classroom to you in this column. Our classrooms are filled with the joy of learning, and we are ready for success – meeting student needs to reach their full academic potential.
Anthony J. Palmisano is the superintendent for School District 45, DuPage County.