Dear District 39 Families,
I hope you and your children are enjoying the 2010-2011 school year. District-wide, everything is off to a smooth start! The level of activity in our schools has increased since those first few days; classrooms are busy and after school activities are up and running.
If you attended or listened to our Board meeting this week, you will know that District finances remain the top priority. Highlights of the Board meeting are again posted on our website. One of my strategic goals for the year is to present a balanced budget draft to the Board at its June 2011 meeting. Toward that end, the administration has had a series of meetings to identify program costs. As we work toward a balanced budget, we will look at ways to enhance revenue and consider cuts we may need to make.
The Board approved the District’s new strategic plan this week. It will guide the District for the next five years. The plan is based on the CRC’s model of CONNECTED learning for the 21st century. You can download the entire strategic plan from our website. This first year focuses on professional development, providing a foundation for the rest of the plan. Also in this first year, we will be reviewing our curriculum maps, integrating SMART Notebook lessons, and addressing infrastructure needs.
I am happy to report some good news! Wilmette Junior High School has been honored as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. This is the second time WJHS has received this award – the first was in 1991. It is quite an accomplishment! This year, there are only 304 Blue Ribbon Schools nationwide. Congratulations to Principal Dave Palzet, the WJHS staff, and to the amazing WJHS students and parents! The official presentation of the award takes place in November and we will hold a local celebration at WJHS soon after. This is the third Blue Ribbon for a D39 school in the last four years!
More good news came with the “hot off the press” October issue of Chicago magazine that rated elementary schools in the Chicago area. While this may not be a comprehensive scientific assessment, we can certainly be proud of our showing. All six of our schools were in the top 15 elementary schools in suburban Cook County!
This weekend, please join your District 39 Educational Foundation for some family fun at the Kelly Miller Circus in the field behind the Mikaelian Education Center, 615 Locust Road. Tickets for the 2:00 pm and 5:30 pm shows on Saturday, September 25th are available on the Foundation’s website and at the MEC. You can call the Foundation at 847-853-3939 with any questions. On Saturday, remaining tickets will be sold at the circus box office starting at 9:00 am. Proceeds support the Gripp Grant program and other enrichment programs in District 39 schools. Come out at 9:00 am on Saturday to see the elephants raise the circus tent. I hope to see you there!
Your partner in education,
Dr. Ray Lechner, Superintendent
Wilmette Public Schools District 39