From the Superintendent
Dear Parents and Community Members,
Welcome to Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142. The mission of the district is “to maximize the unlimited academic and behavioral potential of each student in a caring, but demanding, child-centered learning community.”
The district serves approximately 1,600 students in four schools: Ridge Early Childhood Center serves birth-kindergarten, Lee R. Foster School and Kerkstra Elementary School serve first through fifth grades, and Jack Hille Middle School serves grades sixth through eighth.
Our goal in achieving our district’s mission is to provide a well-rounded, rigorous, challenging, and engaging curriculum for every child to prepare them for school and beyond in the 21st century workplace. As a result, we are continuously refining our curriculum to teach students to be collaborative, critical thinkers, and problem solvers.
The Forest Ridge Board of Education believes that “Children Always Come First!” For a school district to successfully provide opportunities for excellence, a mindset of continuous improvement, coupled with a strong system of support and accountability for its educators is paramount.
Student progress and achievement is a central focus for District 142. The district assesses student performance through a variety of methods including, but not limited to: Measure of Academic Progress (MAP), the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT), AIMSWeb, and district and local assessments. The Measure of Academic Progress occurs three times per year and provides evaluation of individualized student learning to inform instruction in the classroom. Local assessment data determines progress on established individual learning targets.
The district is committed to creating a sustainable, systemic plan for curriculum, instruction, assessment and technology that creates 21st century learners. Thus, our goal is to set an overall vision for where the district is headed by changing the culture to allow students to learn in a way that actually impacts their ability to be prepared for the future. Such work comes from a systemic district vision that is created collaboratively. Through strategic planning for curriculum and instruction, we will explore connections between the way students use technology for learning and instructional techniques that engage them in authentic learning. As a result, technology, curriculum, and instruction take an integrated approach to enhance learning in the classroom. Last year, a technology audit was conducted and several of our parents participated in planning sessions to create a vision for integrated technology usage in our schools. This work continues this upcoming year, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you.
All of our families and community members are valued members of the school community and bring a variety of perspectives to the educational table, and we believe it is crucial for all voices to be heard within our community; therefore, we will create structures and conditions for dialogue to occur. We encourage you to participate in one or more of these sessions so that we can work together to move the district forward in every area. During these meetings, we will engage stakeholders in questions such as: What are the district’s greatest strengths? What are areas that the district needs to improve? What are the strengths of the community? What are the district’s greatest priorities? We will be posting meeting dates for these sessions soon.
Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142 has a strong sense of pride and tradition, yet it also strives to be at the forefront of curriculum, instructional practices, communication, and community outreach and involvement. Our schools are a reflection of our community, and the success of our students is a direct result of the solid support and commitment from our residents, parents, students, and staff members. To that end, a successful school district is the outcome of the hard work of everyone in our school community- including students, staff, parents, community members, and administrators. Working together, we will continue to provide the highest quality education for the students of Forest Ridge Elementary School District 142.
We look forward to a successful school year in District 142. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at (708) 687-3334.
Dr. Courtney L. Orzel
Superintendent of Schools