October 2016

Dear District 39 Community,

Here are some D39 updates:

2016-2017 Strategic Plan

The full Strategic Plan was presented at the September Board of Education meeting and can be found online. One part of the plan deals with school climate.

School climate is primarily about creating a culture of empathy, respect, and inclusiveness. We are tackling this topic together with our Community Review Committee (CRC), which is focusing this year on interpersonal relationships and safety. Within our Strategic Plan we address how to refine our efforts in improving school climate. Goals for the year include creating a D39 public equity and diversity statement, facilitating a community forum to discuss issues related to diversity, and engaging stakeholders on differentiating between social conflict and bullying. We will also explore a better way to share information that can help students transitioning schools.


Learning Commons in D39

The start of this school year included the opening of two more Learning Commons in D39 at Harper and WJHS. Construction of both happened over the summer and was completed on time and under budget. The students in both schools are already making good use of the many creative spaces and features of these new library, media, and technology centers. With Central’s completed last year, we have three schools remaining. Next summer’s construction will include Learning Commons at both Romona and McKenzie.


Mindset Revolution

District parents recently had the opportunity to attend an informative and interesting evening. Dr. Jo Boaler and Cathy Williams from Stanford University spoke on teaching mathematics for a growth mindset. They shared brain research supporting the concept that making mistakes and struggling with a problem is good and actually makes the brain grow. They emphasized that students need to be encouraged to believe that intelligence can be developed. The implications of a growth mindset are profound. If you were not able to attend, the handouts  are available online.


Your partner in education,

Dr. Ray Lechner
Wilmette Public Schools District 39


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