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November 6 Nearly Here

District 205 has asked the voters to express their opinion on its proposed long range Master Facilities Plan. A question on the ballot asks voters if they will support a $168.5M referendum that will result in improvements at all 13 campuses and a permanent home for the District’s Transition program. The impact on the taxpayer is an average annual increase above the current amount of $150 on a $500,000 home.

The District 205 website features detailed information on the proposal, including several videos chronicling the District’s current facilities challenges. The plan includes a new Lincoln and Field School, safety and security upgrades across the District, Future Ready Learning spaces at all schools, an all-day kindergarten option at all local school elementary campuses, flood remediation at affected sites, and school specific upgrades at all schools, including air conditioning at Jackson and Jefferson and major improvements to the York Auditorium.

Be sure to vote! 

School Report Cards Available Soon

This year school report cards will look different to reflect changes in the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Act, known as ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act). ESSA replaces the No Child Left Behind Act, which was in place since 2002.

The new system includes a growth component and other measures, which differs from previous school report cards that focused solely on attainment measures based on annual standardized testing. Under the new system, schools are placed into one of four categories. All of District 205 schools received a "Commendable" rating. The top category is "Exemplary." The two lowest categories are "Underperforming" and "Lowest Level."

The District has produced a video to help parents understand some factors to consider when deciphering all of the various types of school rating systems that are prevalent across the country. In addition, specific information on the school reports will be sent directly to parents when the report cards are released.

A recent Chicago Tribune article sheds some light on the new state report cards as well. 

Parents with questions about the new report card are encouraged to contact their principal.

District 205 Selected to National Innovation Network

District 205 has been selected to participate in a National Innovation and Transformational Leadership Network, a joint venture by the American Association of School Administrators and the Successful Practices Network, a branch of the International Center for Leadership in Education.

The kick-off meeting was held this past Sunday. The District’s Innovation Team, comprised of Learning and Teaching Committee Chair, Jim Collins, Assistant Superintendent for Innovation and Growth, Dr. Mark Cohen, Field Principal, Heidi Thomas, and Sandburg English Department Chair Frank Dahlman, worked on a draft “GPS Statement,” and studied key elements important for successful innovation in public schools.

The goal for year one is to pilot interdisciplinary units of study at each grade level span across the District.

Manufacturing Open House

This past week, York hosted an open house to launch its Manufacturing Pathway, which will be implemented beginning with the 2019-20 school year. District and high school administrators, teachers, and Board members welcomed local business leaders who will form a local council to support the program. Approximately 25 area manufacturing leaders were present and participated in a two-way dialogue to identify mutual needs and strategies to work together effectively and support students.

The Manufacturing Pathway is one aspect of a comprehensive plan supporting the District vision of ensuring that all students graduate college, career, and life ready. Other pathways and programs are under development at York, including a Business Incubator program, which will also launch next year. A Medical Careers Lab will be constructed to support Bio-Medical and other related health careers if the referendum is successful.

Updated October 31, 2018

You can follow the excitement at our individual school sites on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and you can catch the District action by following us on Facebook or on Twitter at @ElmhurstD205 and our hashtag #IgniteD205. Follow my blog at

Posted by: Kate Allt Published:10/31/18
Audience: Superintendent and Superintendent