Dear District 163 Families and Community Members,
Welcome to the 2019-20 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 and partnership! I am honored to serve our community as the Superintendent of Schools. I bring 28 years of experience in education, a passion for engaging students and families, and a vision for excellence! I believe there is greatness within each of us!
Our educators have planned and prepared to ensure that we provide opportunities for success for our students and that we promote academic and social-emotional learning in the classroom. We will continue to align our programming with the Every Student Succeeds Act and the Illinois State Board of Education’s vision to reach the “whole child, whole school, and whole community.” Our leaders and teachers will focus on our District goals to:
- Promote a culture of innovation and collaboration
- Implement plans for academic improvement
- Build teacher capacity
- Enhance school climate through social-emotional learning plans and programs
- Improve student attendance
- Present a balanced budget
- Ensure that we have ongoing school safety initiatives
- Provide equitable programs across all District schools
This will be a year of elevating the excellence in every student! We remain committed to providing the best educational programming, welcoming schools, innovative learning environments, STEM and STEAM integration, Performing and Fine Arts programs, and resources to support parents and families as partners in learning at home. Our 2019-20 District initiatives are:
- Engagement in meaningful math and rigorous and robust reading
- Environments that support critical thinking, collaboration, hands-on learning, and innovative learning experiences
- Enhanced communication through sophisticated language development programs; clear, timely and consistent communication with families and the community
- Establishing caring and kind communities which support social-emotional learning and build positive relationships
We are launching our 8th Grade Leadership Development and Mentoring program for all 8th-grade students at Barak Obama School of Leadership and STEM and Michelle Obama School of Technology and the Arts with 8th Grade Genius Week. Eighth graders will participate in programs and activities which promote leadership, cultivate their genius, and support a positive presence in their schools and the community. The 8th graders will also wear Leadership Ambassador cardigans, white shirts and khaki pants/skirts as their daily leadership apparel.
Park Forest-Chicago Heights School District 163 is a family of excellent educators! We have many exciting plans for all students this school year and look forward to our work together as we continue to elevate the excellence within us all.
Dr. Caletha White