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Guest Column: New Year’s Resolutions—Who's Walking the Walk?

Glenbard District 87 is a great example of an institution following through on the promises it has made.

David Larson (Credit: District 87)
David Larson (Credit: District 87)

By David F. Larson, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Glenbard High School District 87

As we think about drafting our resolutions for the New Year, it's important to observe and reflect on model examples of organizations that have and continue to follow the resolutions or commitments they have made. 

Our local public schools are great examples of public service organizations that establish and keep key commitments to the constituents they serve: our amazing students and their families. These resolutions become key organizational values that are deeply embedded in our beliefs, culture and why teaching is a vocation or calling and not just a job.

Watch your local public schools and you will see that they are resolved to:

Being an Inclusive Environment. We are clearly intentional about fostering an inviting and accepting environment for all students and families. This is reflected in our parent outreach programs, the clubs/activities available to students and the emphasis placed on relationships.

Maintaining High Expectations. Each student is challenged to work hard and to "level up" whenever possible. More than just taking required classes, students are encouraged to challenge and stretch themselves.  This fosters individual student self-confidence, belief and resolve to achieve at high levels.

Embracing Accountability for Student Growth. Despite myriad confusing mandates, individual schools and districts are not bashful about owning and striving to achieve both growth and attainment goals, such as passing rates, ACT scores and new assessments from Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers (PARCC).

A Strong Growth Journey. Teachers are embracing the new evaluation process as a tool for advancing their own professional practice and growth as instructors.

Student Engagement. Each local public school is committed to providing an array of activities that complement academic programing.  Relationships are deepened, character is shaped and school allegiance is enhanced as students participate in sports, clubs and other co-curricular activities.

Intentional Support. Staff members are committed to providing additional support, both in and out of class, for students who may be underperforming.  

Relationship Centered. There are clear efforts to connect, listen and respect individual ideas and differences as we work together to provide exemplary programming for our students and families.

Watch our local public schools and you will see a continued commitment to longstanding resolutions. These resolutions have resulted in amazing learning environments where students are challenged to think, develop in-depth understandings, shape their individual character and apply their academic learning to be future-ready.

J January 02, 2014 at 10:16 AM
Dr. Larson, here is a New Year's Resolution that you and the board, specifically Judith Weinstock, and your financial person Chris McClain, could use trying- Don't waste public funds and deceive the public as you are gathering them-I am talking about the turf field and Mr. McClain's BS about 1/3, 1/3, and 1/3. The public's 1/3 ended up as quite a bit more. Weinstock's statement about the upcoming referendum that our taxes won't go up. That is just doublespeak for your taxes would go down if we let bonds retire and didn't rush to fill in new ones in their place. The Park District used that baloney on us in 2007. It was a lie then, and is now. 3-You want a successful referendum? Don't BS your stakeholders and don't waste their money.
Lorriane January 02, 2014 at 03:23 PM
The tax rate will not increase with the referndum, they will remain the same, as new bonds will replace the old at the same cost. But please note J, that this referndum is not for a turf field, its for needed infrastructure improvements to very aging high schools. Chillers, boilers, roofs, old bathrooms etc. take a look at all nearby high schools, they are in way better shape structurally. Even Addison Traila and Willowbrook are much more updated than the Glenbards. You have to maintain what we have in place unless you want to be paying for brand new schools which WILL result in a tax increase. J, Glenbard is very transparant as to what they intend to repair and upgrade. You won't see any fluff.
J January 02, 2014 at 08:13 PM
My point still stands. I understand about things becoming obsolete, boilers, etc. Replacing things don't generally neccessitate a referendum. I also understand being misled by public officials. What Weinstock said was absolutely misleading. It was selling those not inclined to do their homework on this that there is no downside, because it won't cost ANYTHING. Everything will stay the same. BS. After being lied to by McClain, his integrity is dead to me. I VOTE NO on MARCH 18. If the district learned how to have a little self control on the salaries-more teachers and counselors hovering around $140-150K than I care to count-they might have enough money to fix everything they want to. Lorraine-transparency and McClain. Like oil and water.
Lorriane January 03, 2014 at 10:25 AM
I agree with you on teacher salaries and benefits. Unfortunately, the District has little control on salaries or teachers will just strike. That is a whole different topics on why public sector unions should not be allowed. However, I urge to go to the District Offices look at the type of repairs this referndum will cover for our community students. You should see the conditions our aging schools have. Its very sad compared to other nearby communities, (lae park, York, Addison Trail, Willowbrook, Downers) because if we don't keep up with them, those are the communities people will prefer to live and send their students to and that hurts everyone. This is not a fluff referendum for some fancy athetic field or teacher salaries. Its really needed to keep the buildings running and know this, if you don't repair and maintain, you are talking a complete overhaul down the road, and that is just going to cost even more. Either that or a completely new school, and let's not even have to go there.

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