Letter to the Editor: D181 Superintendent Previews 2012-13 Year

Dr. Renée Schuster welcomes District 181 families to the new year with a letter to the editor.

As superintendent for Community Consolidated School District 181, I am happy to welcome our students, staff, families, and community to the 2012-2013 school year. There is much to look forward to in the months ahead, including new curriculum, community engagement, and Year 2 of the @d181 Initiative.

During this school year, our District Strategic Goals are focused on Student Growth, Common Core Curriculum, Opportunities for Community Engagement, Responsible Finances, and Employee Excellence. Visit our website to learn more about our SCORE Goals and how they will be put into action.

Please read on to learn about exciting District news for the 2012-2013 school year:

  • Writing Curriculum and Balanced Literacy - During the 2011-2012 school year, we piloted a new writing curriculum, which resulted in improved technique and subject knowledge for the students in the pilot classrooms. All students will be instructed using the new writing curriculum this school year. In addition, our teachers will focus their professional development on Balanced Literacy, which includes instruction in writing, reading, assessment, word study, and listening and speaking.
  • Mathematics and Common Core - CCSD 181 students continue to excel in mathematics, with over 98% of our students meeting or exceeding state standards in this subject. We will begin accelerating our mathematics curriculum to align with the Illinois Standards for Common Core Curriculum and challenge even more students with above-grade level curriculum. Our goal is to increase the number of students who successfully complete Algebra I by the end of Grade 8.
  • Community Engagement - The Board of Education is planning community engagement meetings starting this fall that will focus on strategic planning and educational programming for advanced learning. We invite the entire community to participate in this important discussion. Meeting details will be announced soon!
  • Balanced Budget - We ended Fiscal Year 2012 with a pre-audit surplus of over $575,000. Our proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2013 is balanced. In related news, we recently learned that District 181 has once again earned a “AAA” bond rating from Standard & Poor’s, putting District 181 among the top 2% of bond-rated districts in the United States.
  • Mobile Technology – The @d181 Initiative Committee completed an action research project on the impact of mobile technology on student learning. Visit our website to access the @d181 Initiative Report. Preliminary results were promising, as the team saw demonstrated increases in both student engagement and student achievement. The @d181 Committee is planning a second year of action research on the impact of mobile technology on the teaching and learning process. Stay tuned for further updates on this exciting work.

Our vision is to be a school district where all children experience success and grow in excellence. I am confident that we will continue to excel in making this vision a reality for our students as we prepare them for the future.


Dr. Renée Schuster, Superintendent


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