Dear District 163 Families, and Community Members,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year! On behalf of the Board of Education, administration, and staff we welcome all students, families and community members to another year of learning, partnership and collaboration.
This is going to be a magical year for District 163, where everyone will play a starring role: students, teachers, parents, support staff, custodians, lunch supervisors, community members! As we continue to promote the vision of the nation and the State, all initiatives will speak to and be centered around “whole child—whole school—and whole community.” We will continue with a sharp focus on learning with efforts to lift all students to their highest capacity! Our District initiatives will continue to focus on:
- Making Mathematics Matter
- Reading More and Connecting with the Core Standards
- Language Development
- Higher Level Critical and Creative Thinking
- Building Positive Social-Emotional Development
- Making Learning Fun
Our educators have many great things planned to support students’ efforts to be successful in the classroom through innovative, collaborative, and engaging learning experiences that promote research, design, critical thinking, and presentation. We believe that all students have the potential to be great thinkers and communicators, and through perseverance and hard work, their possibilities are endless!
We are pleased to unveil the new addition at Barack Obama School of Leadership and STEM, which includes a Science Innovation Center, four new classrooms, and a regulation-size gymnasium and fitness center! This facility will allow us to reduce class sizes in the upper grades and provide new innovative spaces for the sciences, media, and technology. Students will have new opportunities for hands-on programming developed through the Illinois Math and Science Academy Fusion Program. Students will also experience education through a newly renovated library/media center.
As we continue to build a strong bridge between home and school, we have opened a new Parent Welcome Center, located in the mobile unit at Blackhawk School. We invite you to come to meet Dr. Lloyd, our Director of Parent Engagement, and our new Parent Engagement Coordinators, Ms. Brittny Jordan, and Ms. Mariah White, who will welcome you and introduce you to various resources to support parents and families in their endeavors to promote learning at home! In addition, we are continuing our after-school 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant X-STEAM Program and our Iridescent STEM Project with Family Design Challenge nights throughout the school year.
District 163 remains committed to maintaining excellence at all schools across the entire school district. From best practice classrooms, to innovative opportunities in the arts (Show Choir, Gospel Choir, Drama, Band, Orchestra); from applied mathematics that offers integrated math and woodworking, to the broadcasting studio, professional music studio, and the STEAM classrooms – we believe that our programs are second to none! Our teachers will continue to work hard in focused and collaborative teams to discuss the most effective strategies for teaching and learning, as well as engage with their teams in reflective conversations about our core curriculum and the progress of their students.
We are focused on preparing ALL students to become college and career ready! To that end, all students attending school on time and each day is important. It is also critically important that our students develop strong math skills and learn strategies to solve problems through the understanding of math concepts. Each child is also encouraged to read one to two hours each day at home. This will help them feel more confident about their reading ability, increase their vocabulary, and develop a love for reading as a pleasurable activity.
It is a wonderful time to be a student, parent, and community member in District 163! We know that you are your child’s BEST and most influential teacher! We welcome your partnership and invite you to visit our schools to talk with our staff and school leaders. Together, we will create excellence in education!
Have a magical year!
Dr. Joyce Carmine
Dr. Caletha White