PROGRESSING TOGETHER

Progress in Excellence through High Standards and Academic Rigor
  • Providing robust learning environments centered around each child's unique needs, gifts, and background.  

  • This means fostering an environment where the skills and confidence to bring those talents to life can flourish.  

  • This means creating an environment that considers each child as a whole person in the context of their family, our community, and the world.  We have to consider too, if we set the right goals when the 2016 5-year strategic plan was launched

Videos

 

  • Algebra for All push/detracking of 8th grade Algebra-- Consistent high algebra standards expanded to three middle schools

    • Algebra for All year one outcomes (2018)  demonstrating program impact on the growth of black students and girls while maintaining the outcome growth of white students.

Progress in Excellence through School Culture and Climate: Social Emotional Learning and Racial Equity in Education

Children’s long-term success is closely tied to both academic and social-emotional well-being. Educational equity and social emotional learning are both closely tied to one another as they emphasize and rely on acknowledging and educating the whole child.  District 65 has invested in making strides in these areas.  In the role of Board Leadership I and my colleagues have made it an expressed priority to review policy through the lens of racial/ethnic educational equity. As such, we've prioritized and encouraged administration priorities of the following:

  • Providing trainings and supports for educators, administrators, and staff to apply an equity lens to their scope of work - Beyond Diversity (BD) and Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity (SEED) training and Culturally Responsive teaching and the Brain Professional development: As of summer 2018, most of D65 educators and staff completed these trainings: Beyond Diversity and Culturally Responsive teaching and the Brain Professional development.

  • Providing and supporting Parent/guardian and community member participation in equity trainings and workshops: Seats have been opened  to allow parents, guardians , and community members to join BD and SEED (parents and community members joining  BD and SEED  impacts the skill and content of our larger community conversations about racial educational equity and in turn our schools climate.  )

  • Discipline and dress code policies and procedures: We’ve encouraged the revision of both our discipline and dress code policy, procedures, and trainings to be in closer alignment with our values for restorative justice and social emotional learning and less oriented towards punishment, criminalization, and  body-shaming to elevate restoration, learning, relationships, and equity.

  • Anti-racist school climates: Additionally at my request the Board will be discussing how we are creating a culture and climate of anti- racist schooling in order to protect children from the emotional harm of racism at our December 17, 2018 Regular Board meeting.

  • Executive Director for Black Student Success and Equity Instructional Coach: The nearly budget neutral added positions of the executive director for Black Student Success and Equity instructional Coach have corrected a historic lack of investment of administrative oversight of the experience of Black children in the District.  The positions were announced in response to the coordinated calls from our community and our Board in support of a vision that I shared in 2016.

  • In my tenure and with my support our Board also passed a transgender policy in 2016 and in collaboration with stakeholders D65 administration developed supportive procedures to accompany the policy and ensure our gender non-conforming students and families experience our schools as trans affirming spaces in Fall 2018.

Progress in Excellence through Fiscal Responsibility and Stability​

I have been a member of the District 65 Finance Committee since May of 2017.  

  • We've preapproved a balanced budget and remained in accordance with our Board resolution regarding

    • referendum dollars and

    • any increases in  programmatic expenditures have been in relation to referendum priorities.  

  • New finance team leadership has overseen several cost-saving measures (employee benefits, refuse management, contact bid negotiations, etc.).

  • I look forward to initiating early discussions prior to 2021 regarding how to maintain balanced budgets from 2021-2024 and beyond as an entire community. District 65 has been fortunate to have had the fiscal capacity to provide a wide range of educational opportunities and supports in our schools. Today, District 65 faces revenue and expenditure challenges that require a strategic response.  As an engaged community with a transparent process, we can plan for a fiscally responsible and stable future while prioritizing what we value most—high quality education for every child.

Progress in Excellence through Community Engagement & Collaboration

Education is a community process, and schools should represent our highest and most inclusive values.  

  • I believe in the expertise and commitment inherently embedded in our schools via our passionate and dedicated District 65 educators (teachers, staff, and administrators).  

  • Additionally, caregivers, parents, and guardians are children’s first and most important teachers, and, as such, educating the whole child requires an engaged and trusting partnership between family, community, and school.

    • We've added Board cafes to our Board responsibilities to be more available to constituents.

    • I've stayed in touch consistently with my Board liaison schools!

    • Inclusion of the work of the D65 Green Team on Finance committee agenda to discuss costs off set by the parent-driven initiatives.

    • I have participated since the founding of the African American, Black, and Caribbean parent group of D65 work with the goal of building access for families to the district and give the district access to hearing and learning from ABC parents.

  • Increased collaboration between all stakeholders, including DEC, Administration, and the Board

    • Joint opening day emails 2017 & 2018

    • Institute day opening remarks

    • Participation in Teachers Union Reform Network (TURN)

    • Participation in Interest Based Bargaining training

  • Practicing values of transparency, inclusiveness, and shared accountability

    • Full board participation of a retreat focused on restorative justice practice

    • Consistent board agreements and practices adopted in December 2017

Excellence in HOW Policy is made

I believe our policies should represent our highest ideals and that can't be done without informed stakeholder input. I believe it's important to consider not just WHAT is done, but also HOW it is done. How one works represents one's values. My values are for policy making in a transparent, informed, and inclusive way so that we dismantle barriers of access to public education.  

 

I committed to building greater transparency and inclusiveness into Board policy making practices.  I am proud of both what we've done as a Board, and also how we've done it. That does not mean course correction and reflection was not necessary, and when it has been, it's been noted and requested.  

  • As part of Board Leadership we have planned and held three retreats in alignment with the Open Meetings Act to build trust and agreed upon practices in alignment with Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) standards for high functioning Boards in connection with our district leadership to ensure considerations if purview were included.  

  • I have also encouraged the definition of our Boards equity lens through the adoption of a an equity impact assessment tool and glossary. To be clear and inclusive as a Board and as a community, the questions we are considering and the terms we're using must be clear and accessible.  

  • I and my Board colleagues have consistently inquired about and requested stakeholder input to explore content and potential impact of policy-making before voting and as a result have seen enriched and had more practically applicable proposals (i.e. dress code revisions, discipline and transgender policy revisions, Algebra for All, early childhood task force participation).  

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© 2016 Anya Tanyavutti. Site design: MPD

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A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website: 
www.elections.il.gov or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.