HIGHLAND PARK – Diversity was the theme of the North Shore School District 112 board meeting on March 7, including an Inclusivity Pledge, Community Focus Groups and even the Top 10 iRead winners.
Eight of the Top 10 readers for the iRead program attended the meeting with Principal Shawn Walker and Librarian Helen Weiss from Sherwood Elementary School.
“We want to recognize Helen for all of her hard work and dedication to our reading program at Sherwood,” said Walker. “She instills a love of reading in our students not just during the iRead program in January, but all year long.”
Walker said all Top 10 readers received medals and had their names announced on the intercom. This is the third year in a row that Sherwood has won the iRead trophy.
The Top 10 readers include: Lilly Denham, Evan McMillan, Jabnel Nava, Hannah Ng, Melanie Robles, Avery Rosenblatt, Maya Schwartz, Dylan Seiffer, Emma Shiner, and Lily Weinstein
Former Board Member Jacqueline Denham’s daughter, Lilly Denham, is one of the Top 10 readers. Denham spoke to DailyNorthShore after the meeting:
“The iRead program is another example of how our wonderful teachers and administration provide our kids with the right tools to achieve a bright future,” said Denham. “Lilly’s experience with iRead was a true gift that will continue to drive her curiosity, interest and perseverance for years to come. A special thanks to our incredible Dual Language teacher Idalia Gutierrez and to Mr. Walker and Mrs. Weiss for their continuous support and encouragement.”
For more information about iRead visit: DailyNorthShore.
Board President Samantha Stolberg said The Partnership for a Safer Lake County recently shared a Welcoming and Inclusive Community Pledge urging Lake County Communities to provide their support. The D-112 Board voted to approve the Inclusivity Pledge and here are some of the highlights:
“I condemn any verbal or non verbal attacks, harassment, or intimidation based on race, ethnicity, color, immigration or refugee status, religion or creed, gender or sexual orientation, age, mental or physical disability, veteran status, or other social identities, as well as discourse that disrespects or degrades people’s identities, needs, and beliefs. From our schools to our playgrounds and our neighborhoods, North Shore School District 112 must be a place that respects our differences and believes that diverse perspectives create better outcomes. While we have always been a welcoming and inclusive school community, resolving to support this pledge serves to acknowledge and celebrate our commitment to inclusivity.”
In other news, Rocki Hunter and Ann Rosenblum gave the Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team presentation.
Hunter said LINK Strategic Partners conducted two focus groups on Feb. 22 and 23. “We had representation from a wide range of age groups, diversity, recent residents, longtime residents, residents with children and empty nesters.”
Hunter explained some of the Key Takeaways from the focus groups:
- Building trust and setting tone – The community said the collaborative process is critical
- Establishing fact patterns – There are different opinions about what basic facts are, so we need to make sure that we establish the basic facts concerning facilities and finances. These are the two critical components along with education
- Need for change – It was unanimous that everyone agrees on change, but no one is sure what that change should be
- Nobody thinks we should keep all of the schools open
Hunter summarized the consensus of the focus groups: “In general, people felt that they would pay for the right plan at the right cost, so we’re trying to figure out what that is,” she said. “Diversity is valued and the Dual Language program was highlighted as well. Any configuration plan must value equity of resources and opportunities for all students.”
Rosenblum said 2.0’s timeline for March is focused on community engagement. “We’re conducting a survey of the community from March 9 through April 15 by phone, mail, and email so that community members tell us what’s really important to them.”
Rosenblum added that the 2.0 Community Team is very eager to have more members of the community participate in Community Forums.
In addition to participating in Community Forums, the 2.0 Community Team is looking for new members. The information submitted by D-112 below, explains how to become involved:
Community Forums will take place on March 22 and 23 at Elm Place Middle School (2031 Sheridan Rd.) starting at 7 p.m. During this meeting the team will be seeking community opinions, thoughts, questions and concerns about how to best move the district forward.
The forums will focus on community priorities for the future of D-112’s facilities and educational programming, and will include opportunities for group discussion and individual feedback. The 2.0 Community Team will use this feedback to help develop reconfiguration options.
New Member Information Meetings
NSSD112 community members interested in serving on the Reconfiguration 2.0 Community Team in some capacity must complete the following tasks:
- Attend one required meeting at NSSD112 District Offices at 1936 Green Bay Road in Highland Park on Monday, March 13 and Wednesday, March 15 both starting at 7 p.m.
- Complete and submit an application. Applications and submission details will be provided at the conclusion of the required meeting: