From the Superintendent
Dear Forest Ridge School District 142 Families,
We look forward to a year full of wonderful opportunities for our children. Forest Ridge Elementary School District continues to show continuous improvement in all aspects of academic performance. Last year, each of our schools was named as an “Academic Improvement School” as defined by parameters established by the Illinois State Board of Education. As we continue the rigorous work of curriculum alignment and implementation, we seek to improve the learning opportunities for all of our children.
The district assesses student performance through a variety of methods. Students participate in the Measure of Academic Progress, the Illinois Standards Achievement Test, and district and local assessment processes. The Measure of Academic Progress provides evaluation of individualized student learning to inform instruction. The ISAT provides comparative data relative to our performance within the State of Illinois. Local assessment determines progress on established individual learning targets. As we move forward in the Response to Intervention Model, we will add an additional measure, AIMS Web, to ensure that our struggling learners have targeted instruction to ensure a high quality learning experience in our schools that effectively prepares each child for a future of learning. In addition, through a comprehensive evaluation of our gifted program, we will continue to develop opportunities that support high level learning.
As part of our strategic plan, we identified a need to further support our families. Our before and after school program has completed its first successful year of operation. We will continue this initiative in order to best meet the needs of our working families. The addition of our activity bus schedule provides further opportunities for students to be involved in our co-curricular and extra-curricular offerings.
Early childhood education is the necessary precept to a solid foundation of learning. At Ridge School, we will continue to explore international relationships to ensure high quality educational programming for our early childhood and kindergarten programs. Through a relationship with the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Education in China, administrators and teachers will explore collaborative learning opportunities. An expansion of these relationships will provide further international experiences for our school district. Our birth through three and our pre-kindergarten programs assists parents in the process of providing developmentally appropriate activities for their children. An increased number of families are taking advantage of these program offerings.
Hille Middle School has been again awarded the Social Emotional Learning Standards Grant. While continuing to show significant academic progress and achievement, the school has focused on helping students develop pro-social behaviors. In this way, the school addresses the ‘whole student’. Curriculum and instruction is evaluated in order to ensure relevance and rigor. Data is used regularly to inform teaching and learning.
Kerkstra School continues to show noteworthy academic achievement. Last year, the teachers participated in pilot RtI strategy development to ensure that the needs of all students were being met. In addition, through their involvement with Rotary International and the Early Act Club, students participated in philanthropic efforts that were of great benefit to the larger community. Students are provided a full differentiated curriculum.
Foster School continues to show academic improvement in all areas of the curriculum. Over this past summer, many of the Foster School teachers have done extensive work in the area of curriculum, instruction and assessment in order to further enhance learning within the school environment. Differentiated methods are employed to ensure that teaching and learning are effective. Again, a focus on helping students learn appropriate social behaviors has been primary to school improvement efforts.
Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142 provides a wealth of opportunities for our families. Each of our schools draws from the strength of our district and from each of its sister schools, our families, our community and our constituents. As we move forward in this school year, we look forward to continuing positive relationships with our families and our community to ensure high quality schools. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at (708) 687-3334.
Dr. Margaret W. Longo
Superintendent of Schools