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Education

Downers Grove District 58 board to hear details of strategic plan

Proposal includes goals designed to shape district's future

Officials in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will be busy over the next several months charting the district’s future, if the proposed strategic plan is any indicator. The Board of Education is expected to vote on the plan Sept. 17 following a presentation.
Officials in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will be busy over the next several months charting the district’s future, if the proposed strategic plan is any indicator. The Board of Education is expected to vote on the plan Sept. 17 following a presentation.

DOWNERS GROVE – Officials in Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will be busy over the next several months charting the district’s future, if the proposed strategic plan is any indicator.

The Board of Education is expected to vote on the plan Sept. 17 following a presentation.

The presentation comes 10 months after the district launched the strategic planning process by surveying community members about their perceptions of the district and their vision for its future.

The survey was conducted by Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates. The firm presented the board with a report in April that summarized in significant detail the responses of more than 2,400 community members, teachers and students who participated in the district's online survey and 575 people who took part in interviews and focus group discussions.

The plan's goals and objectives were approved in May. Metrics, timelines and other specifics were hashed out over the summer by committees comprised of teachers, administrators and parents.

"It was a very collaborative process," said Megan Hewitt, the district's community relations coordinator. "It was a lot of work. There were a lot of really good, fruitful conversations."

The proposed plan has three goals: focus on learning, connecting the community and securing the future.

Each of the goals features multiple objectives, as well as proposed strategies and timelines to accomplish the tasks.

"We are really excited about the action plans," Hewitt said. "There's so much that we want to do."

For example, the “focus on learning” goal calls for enhancing the rigor of curriculum and outcomes for all students.

An objective associated with that goal is to "establish and articulate a definition of rigor as it relates to preK-8 academic instruction," according to the plan. The plan also assigns individuals and working groups who would be responsible for accomplishing the tasks.

The plan's second goal calls for enhancing communications with the community.

Specifically, the plan seeks to "foster a culture of trust by proactively and openly sharing district processes, decisions and information in a transparent and timely manner." That would be accomplished by reviewing the current communications plan and creating the framework for a new one.

The plan also places an emphasis on improving engagement and outreach to connect the community, staff, administration and school board.

​The plan's third goal focuses on securing the district's future, which would be accomplished by "developing a focused and long-term facility improvement plan that ensures safe, modernized and effective learning environments for all students," the plan states.

Improving school safety and security, installing air conditioning, expanding middle school to include sixth grade and focusing on class size and enrollment projections are elements of the third goal.

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