Superintendent's Message, 11.3.2016

The time I spend in District 96 classrooms with our students and faculty confirms daily that our mission to help every child succeed to his or her maximum potential is, indeed, truly on track. A collaborative, can-do attitude is evident in all our schools, as is the understanding that learning to highest levels is both challenging and rewarding. Our kids and faculty have reason to be proud.

Celebrating AGAIN!
As a District 96 community, we have another reason to celebrate–for a second time! In September, the U.S. education secretary announced the 279 public schools earning distinguished 2016 National Blue Ribbon recognition. Woodlawn Middle School–previously recognized in 2009–is among them, earning this recognition for a second time.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program highlights public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or make significant improvements in closing the achievement gap. Woodlawn is recognized as an exemplary high-performing school–among the state's elite as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. SEE THE 2016 NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON MIDDLE SCHOOLS LIST

Formal recognition of 2016 Blue Ribbon schools will occur Nov. 7–8 in Washington, D.C. Planning is underway for our own school-wide celebration at Woodlawn, to take place Mon., Nov. 21.

Moving from good schools to great schools
Following KCSD96 tradition, our faculty and staff began this school year together with an Opening Institute to reflect on the work ahead. We’re honored that Dr. Rick DuFour–former principal and superintendent of Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL–was willing to share a personalized message by video for our staff. Dr. DuFour spent 19 years serving Stevenson High School students, which included nurturing a Professional Learning Community that moved SHS from good to great. I want to share that journey with our District 96 parent community. I hope you’ll take time for THIS VIDEO.

Willow Grove Learning Center rededication
We celebrated full-day kindergarten in District 96 with a ribbon-cutting and rededication of the Willow Grove Early Learning Center on Oct. 18. Families, faculty, and local dignitaries enjoyed touring this colorful, inviting school and their first look at the bright and beautiful new cafeteria.


An opportunity brings change for 2017–18
It is with mixed feelings that I share the news with our staff and parent community that Director of Educational Services Heather Friziellie has accepted the position of superintendent for Fox Lake School District 114, effective July 1, 2017.

We celebrate with Heather this opportunity for which she has so thoroughly and diligently prepared. And we wish her success–confident that she brings a level of energy, knowledge, and professionalism to the role that her new colleagues will immediately appreciate and value.

At the same time, we acknowledge that we will truly miss her.

Since she came to KCSD96 in August 2006 from Naperville District 203, she has served as Kildeer Elementary principal (2006–2011), Twin Groves Middle School principal (2011–2013), and director of educational services (2013 – present). Heather’s breadth of experience from her varied roles make her an invaluable resource and mentor for many.

Follow us on Twitter
Finally, I encourage you to follow us on Twitter - #Inspire96  - where you’ll find great daily examples (many including photos or brief videos) of ways our teachers and your students are engaged in learning. They’re proud of their work–and we are, too. If you don't already have one, create your account and check us out!

Warm regards,
Julie Schmidt, Superintendent of Schools