Dear District 163 families and community members,
Welcome back to the 2017 – 2018 school year! I am pleased to announce that we have many great things happening this school year that will enrich students’ learning, support their efforts to be successful in school, and ensure that they enjoy school. Our areas of focus this year are:
- Making math matter
- Building sophisticated language
- Connecting to the core and reading more
- Building positive social-emotional development
- Developing higher level thinking
- Making learning fun
We want our students to have strong math skills and know how to use effective math strategies. Instructional time has been increased at all grade levels, and students will spend more time engaging in complex problem-solving tasks.
We are encouraging children to read one to two hours a day at home. This time will help them feel more confident about their reading ability, increase their vocabulary, and develop a love for reading as a pleasurable activity. The students also can strengthen their analytical skills by comparing characters, themes, and an author’s purpose while they are reading or watching movies or television. Using the media will provide high-interest opportunities for students to practice skills to become effective readers and thinkers.
We are excited about our new programs that involve students nurturing plants in the greenhouse at Barack Obama School and students working in the music studio at Michelle Obama School. It is a wonderful time to be a student in District 163.
I am also very pleased to announce that the District will continue to enhance opportunities for students through various community partnerships. Among our partnerships are the Illinois Math and Science Academy, which offers the Iridescent STEM project; Musicnet, which offers experiences in the arts for students who participate in the afterschool XSTEAM program; and the Consortium for Educational Change with programming through Governors State University focused on the Partnership for Resilience Project.
Finally, we are looking forward to beginning new construction projects at both Barack and Michelle Obama Schools. Our District will continue to enhance and expand our state of the art facilities in ways that support STEM, the arts, and physical growth and development.
We invite parents and community members to join our partnership for educational excellence and hope that you will visit our schools this year.
Joyce Carmine, Ed.D.