Snapshots of Success in District 112 – #112Leads

“We rise by lifting others.”– Robert Ingersol 


I recently posted a podcast episode with the information contained in this blog post, if you’re interested, you can listen:

In North Shore School District 112, I’m proud to report that our present is bright and our future will be brighter! We use various metrics to measure and gauge our success. For reference, check an earlier blog post: Measurement of Success – Blog Post

In today’s blog post, I’m sharing two slide presentations and a few extra slides that highlight some recent and current success in the District. The first presentation below was shared with the District’s PTO President’s Council (PTO refers to the Parent Teacher Organization). This is the formal leadership group representing the parents in the District’s 10 schools. In this report, the results of the Family Engagement Survey reveal significant growth in the areas of the school (& District) satisfaction/pride / and perception of our services.

My report from the January 21, 2020, Board Meeting focused on the District’s “Big Three” areas of focus for the 2019-2020 school year, which are Closing Achievement Gaps, Facility Upgrades and Modernization, and Portrait of a Graduate. The report began with student success data from the winter Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test.

Data shows students in 1st grade are showing the highest achievement out of all grades at 66% projected to meeting or exceeding state standards. I also highlighted additional strong growth in multiple grade levels over the past three years, particularly in mathematics. These trends point to the success of the Full Day Kindergarten program, multiple curricular implementations K-8, professional development, implementation of instructional coaches, and the hard work of our teaching staff and students. 

The report went on to cover the Northwood Modernization Project, which is on time and is within 1% of its budget. I mentioned multiple ways for the public to engage with the process including the Long Range Plan webpage, drone footage and a live feed of the construction site. It was also mentioned that in July of 2020 Phase 2 of the Long-Range Plan will commence with a Thought Exchange community engagement process that will be used to help form a recommendation that will be presented in April 2021.

The report concluded with information regarding several highlights including the Portrait of a Graduate, the 5Essentials Parent Survey, the Innovation Learning Parent Survey, and other ways to engage with the district. These communications tools include the Lighthouse 112 podcast, the district mobile application, e-newsletters, #112Leads, Facebook, and Twitter.

At the Board meeting I did not present the Reading MAP data for time/efficiency, but, in this blog post, I’m sharing the comparable Winter MAP Reading data below (see images).

All in all our District work is showing progress and upward trends!

D112 Superintendent Thanksgiving Message #112Leads

November 27, 2019

Sharing a note I sent to the North Shore School District 112 Community with greetings of holiday cheer and links to some recent success metrics in our District.

“You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been there too

Someone once helped me out,

Just the way I’m helping you

If you really want to pay me back,

Here’s what you do

Don’t let the chain of love end with you” – Rory Lee Feek and Jonnie Barnett, performed by Clay Walker, The Chain of Love,1999

Dear North Shore School District 112 Community,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday this year, I want to share a message of gratitude on behalf of the Board of Education and the leadership team of North Shore School District 112. In District 112, we have so much for which we are thankful. Each day, when I reflect on our service and work, I am so thankful. I am lucky to work with so many talented, professional and effective educators in such an engaged and thoughtful community!

We have accomplished so much in just over one year, we’re optimistic that our future is going to be bright and exciting! As you know, we are on a  journey of continuous improvement. The important work we do puts our children on the path to success. Some highlights of our successful work include the following:

To our community members who make supporting the local schools a priority and a focus – we thank you as well! We firmly believe in educating all children in a learning environment with high expectations. As the center of the community, all of the schools in Highland Park and Highwood are honored to Inspire, Innovate and Engage all students every day. We are grateful to our teachers, support staff, parents, grandparents, community members, administrators, and members of our Board of Education. 

Thank you,

Mike

Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Paint by Numbers or Creative Leadership – How do you lead?

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become  more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams

Students have one chance to experience whatever grade level they are in. They will be in third grade once … it’s incumbent upon we in education, then, to make that the best and most meaningful third grade experience we possibly can. This takes creative, innovative, and empowering leadership. Gone are the complacent days of the “good old days” when rote memorization and “cemetery rows” of desks and chairs in public schools were the norm. Gone is (or should be) the “paint by number” mentality governing the public school system.

Well, I hope so … I endeavor to be a leader who demonstrates creative leadership and courageous leadership in support of excellence and the development of others so that we create optimal conditions for learning, growth, and success. One way in which I do this is through attendance at and participation in professional learning conferences.

When superintendents gather at a professional learning conference, there are some expected traditions. There will be a welcome reception, we’ll get a directory of members, we’ll review the history/tradition of the organization, we’ll have sessions that are whole group, keynote presenters, small group break out sessions, work with partner organizations, local culture/history excursions and networking opportunities. These are legacy traditions that bind us together in our professional organizations in pursuit of scholarship, fellowship, and leadership development.

Although there is a rhyme and reason, and while there is a set of expectations and predictable events, opportunities and experiences, the gathering of school superintendents – our nation’s chief education officers – is anything but paint by numbers professional learning. Today’s leaders must support one another and inspire one another and help one another be better than they were yesterday! The concept of Paint by numbers can be defined as:

Adjective. paint-by-numbers (not comparable) (of a picture) Made from a painting by numbers kit. (figuratively) By rote, without thought or creativity.

paint-by-numbers – Wiktionary

https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › paint-by-numbers

From PAINT BY NUMBERS

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“For critics, the paint-by-number phenomenon provided ample evidence of the mindless conformity gripping national life and culture. “I don’t know what America is coming to,” one writer complained to American Artist, “when thousands of people, many of them adults, are willing to be regimented into brushing paint on a jig-saw miscellany of dictated shapes and all by rote…”PAINT BY NUMBERS

So paint by numbers became a craze in the 1950s in America so that “anyone could become an artist”. It was part of the postwar (World War II) leisure and recreation fads in the newfound postwar American prosperity. After the Allied victories in the European and Asian theaters, the nation experienced a postwar boom of economic prosperity, educational attainment (GI Bill) and suburban sprawl out of the urban and rural areas.

Life was good. Anyone could “paint by numbers” and become an artist. Through rote, orderly rule following, in clean, linear fashion, everyone and anyone could create masterpieces that were originally created through innovation and creativity and talent.

In the period of time following World War II, and following the Korean Conflict, it can be argued that America was lulled into a peaceful and prosperous conformity where leisure, complacency, and pursuit of the American Dream was the norm. This was until the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR/CCCP, the Soviet Union (archenemy of the United States during the Cold War) successfully launched Sputnik … that started the space race, and was a starting point for the American wake up call for many things, including a focus on scientific and mathematical learning in the nation’s public schools. “History changed on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union successfully launched SputnikI. The world’s first artificial satellite was about the size of a beach ball…” Sputnik

Followed up with President John Kennedy’s bold, audacious goal that America would put a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. The palette of change and growth in America was about to become anything but “paint by numbers”.

Some argue that in the 19th year of the 21st Century, American public schools are again getting a wake-up call to create conditions for learning that resemble modern learning in response to the 4th Industrial Revolution instead of lingering traditions from the first or second Industrial Revolution. Why should our nation’s schools and classrooms still look like the image below?

F957DC40-CC54-43DA-9840-13282B189EF7.jpeg

When the world and the expansion of knowledge is far different and the work force has far newer needs, it’s urgent for K-12 schooling to change and adapt for the reality of the present and the possibility of the future. As illustrated in the image, there are degrees in college today that have significantly changed in the past half century. More and more of these college degrees, industry certifications, and career opportunities for which we in K-12are charged with preparing the future that cannot be mastered via rote, paint-by-numbers thinking.