October 2017

Dear District 39 Community,

Here are some D39 updates:

Romona Blue Ribbon award

We got the official exciting news that Romona has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2017. It is wonderful to see Romona recognized in this way, and for the second time! Romona received this award once before in 2006. The students learned the good news during an all school gathering in the gym! I will travel to Washington DC in November to receive the award along with Romona Principal Cindy Anderson and 1st grade teacher Susan Imburgia. A celebration at Romona will take place soon after.


Help for Texas School District

I am so proud of our collective effort to help Pasadena ISD, a Texas school district badly impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Together, we raised $19,700 dollars that will help Pasadena and its families rebuild. Some had classroom activities, others combined with a group of friends for a lemonade stand or bake sale, some brought in money from home, and every little bit helped us reach an impressive total! I’ve been in touch with the Pasadena superintendent, and they are touched by D39’s support and very grateful. This shows what we can do, in a short time, when we all come together. This video will give you a taste of what our students have accomplished.


Schedule Changes

The new school start and end times have been in place for six weeks now. There were some initial issues with buses that are being addressed. In addition, we have had six early dismissal Fridays for grades 1-4. The first week or two saw a little confusion with some students leaving school at 2:15 and others staying until 3:15, but that too has worked itself out. Teachers are using this time in a variety of ways including collaboration, professional development, data analysis, and instructional planning. Parents, students, and staff have all settled into these new routines.


Learning Commons in D39/HMS Construction

With the new Learning Commons open at both McKenzie and Romona, we have five of our six buildings set with these amazing and engaging library/media/technology centers. Our attention now turns to Highcrest where we have long-standing space issues to address.  We are working on a multi-phase plan that will start with needed classroom space and improved security at the entrance. A new Learning Commons will follow. The Board will be reviewing the timeline and costs over the next few months and will vote in February on proceeding with the first phase.  


2017-2018 Strategic Plan

The updated Strategic Plan will be presented at the October Board of Education meeting next week. It contains important continuing initiatives including school climate and positive attendance. In addition, it introduces several new initiatives that will begin the exploration phase: fee-based kindergarten enrichment; D39 instrumental music program; and personalized learning models. Once approved, the 2017-18 Strategic Plan will be posted online. 


Your partner in education,

Dr. Ray Lechner
Wilmette Public Schools District 39

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