Ready, Set, Log In!
August 4, 2017
Welcome to the 2017-2018 School Year and the first Today Matters, Superintendent’s Blog. The name of the blog says it all… “today matters” for our students, a lot. That is the spirit by which we approach every child’s education in Forest Ridge School District 142 — with purpose, passion, persistence, and with a laser-like focus on helping them achieve their greatest potential. Every child matters. Every interaction matters. Today and every day.
Probably my most-asked question these days is, “Are schools going to open?” The definitive answer is… “Yes.” All District 142 schools will be open on time, as scheduled (August 28, 2017), despite the standoff in Springfield over how to distribute state money to schools. To note, our awaited distribution of General State Aid payments from the state for the coming school year is approximately $3.5 million dollars, or approximately 30% of our Education Fund revenues. Until our elected officials come to a compromise, these General State Aid payments will not be received by the district. Fortunately, we have systematically improved finances over the past three years in the district, even earning the state’s highest financial designation. Because of this financial improvement and stability, District 142 is able to open and operate for the 2017-2018 School Year. We will continue to adhere to prudent standards when it comes to our operating budget, while closely monitoring the state’s financial and political challenges.
Our challenge/commitment is to maintain the highest quality of standards for our students, while making informed and sound financial districts that affect today and the future.
So, we are ready! We are excited! We can’t wait to see our students and this is shaping up to be a spectacular year for our school district. In review, last year, we put in a lot of hard work to make sure that we could implement what we felt were important new programs for our students. We have added technology into centers at Ridge, providing a technology cart full of iPads for Grades 1-4 at each school building, and we are launching a 1:1 Technology Program in which every student in Grades 5 – 8 will receive their own iPad. HOW EXCITING! Further, we have added a 6th Grade S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) class and a hands-on Makerspace component to the Applied Tech class at Hille Middle School. New materials, new curricular resources, and more await students as they return for the 2017-2018 School Year.
We are about relevancy and ensuring we are properly preparing students for the world they will grow up into. Keep in mind, our Kindergarteners will be graduating from high school in the 2029-2030 School Year. WOW! We need to make sure we’re on the cutting edge so that all students are afforded every opportunity for a successful future.
Our theme for the year is “Cresting,” like the wave that rises before it makes a big splash. That’s where we’re at… about to make a big splash for our students… and we can’t wait! We are looking forward to partnering with our parents, guardians, and community to offer the best education around for our students… as this is, and always will be, a place where: “Children Always Come First.”