The community has spoken, and Naperville School District 203 is listening.
After nearly a year of planning and six community forums that drew 447 people, members of the Future Focus team presented 27 recommendations to the District 203 School Board on Monday night.
Among the suggestions are ways to measure student success beyond the traditional report card or standardized test scores.
School Board President Jackie Romberg praised the Future Focus 203 team for all their work.
“This is a living, breathing document. I promise you, it will not be put in a drawer or computer and be filed away,” she said. “Awesome… awesome is the only word for it.”
School Board member Kristin Fitzgerald echoed Romberg’s sentiments regarding the team’s recommendations. “I found them so helpful and informative,” she said.
Future Focus 203 team co-chairman Mark Trembacki said the recommendations were drawn from community feedback provided at the six engagement sessions held from March through November. After the first session, the team honed in on four hot-point topics: student success, programs of study, district finances and school facilities. The suggested action points for improvement in the district revolve around those areas.
Trembacki added many of the proposals reflect the evolving diversity of District 203 and the broader views of success in the community.
He also said social and emotional health of students was a concern.
“The pressure to succeed is very high in the community,” Trembacki said.
Helping students in all grade levels cope with those stresses to achieve is critical, he said.
Co-chairwoman Kathy Ruiz urged the district to continue to strengthen the trust it has by keeping the community engaged in the decision-making.
“The community wants two-way communication,” she said.
School District 203 now is tasked with using that information in a report to the community. In the fall, the district will update the community on its progress toward achieving the goals.
In addition to Trembacki and Ruiz, the Future Focus 203 team included community members Bill Anderson, Tom Carroll, Mike Crossett, Loren Francis, Peggy Franks and Alissa Johnson-Tripas; staff representatives Dan Iverson and Gretchen Zelinski; district leaders Dan Bridges, Julie Carlsen, Jennifer Hester and Susan Rice; Board of Education members Mike Jaensch and Suzyn Price; administrative support personnel Ann Bell, Maureen Dvorak, Betty Stevenson and Deanne Fulner; and Unicom Arc representatives Dan Burns and Rod Wright.