Four Priorities – Preparing for Remote Learning – #112Leads

“We are the shapers of culture, the workers for change, the dreamers of dreams.”– Unknown

During the COVID-19 driven school closures, we have four priorities guiding our work:
Our four priorities in this evolving pandemic crisis:
  • Priority one – feed our families and children  
  • Priority two – account for the extended safety, health, and welfare of our 4500 students and staff
  • Priority three – communicate clearly 
  • Priority four – e-Learning
As part of the Governor’s order, he announced that all schools in Illinois will remain closed, with a new tentative reopening date of April 8. On March 12, I ordered all schools in North Shore School District 112 closed until further notice, with a possible reopening date of April 14, this is still our tentative plan. We recognize that this development of the stay at home order may raise questions about the impact on students, staff, and families as well as the school’s vital role of providing meals to students and families while schools are closed. Thanks to the outstanding work of the Moraine Township Food Pantry (and countless volunteers) our children will be fed this week during spring break. District 112 foodservice partner Organic Life will resume meal preparation and distribution operations on 3/30/2020. In this podcast episode, we review what we’re doing with respect to preparation, communication, and transition to Remote Learning (priority 4).

 

For the ease of understanding the message in the Podcast, and for accessibility, I used Rev.com for transcribing services; below you will find the transcript of the podcast English first then Spanish:

Dr. Lubelfeld:

This is Lighthouse 112, the podcast from the superintendent of schools in North Shore School District 112. We’re a pre-K through eight public school district in Northeast Illinois. This podcast as a source of information about the school district, its leadership, its teachers, its students and its community. It’s another source of updates and an additional source of news regarding the changing narrative of public education. Inspire, innovate, engage.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

In this episode, I’m going to recap what’s been going on the last couple of weeks since the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant interruption, not only in our school district, but in the lives of all of the people in our state, nation and world. We first wrote to our community about CDC guidance with respect to hygiene and hand-washing about the COVID-19 disease. In late February, earlier that month, we had started doing more intense cleanings of our schools and of the hard surfaces based upon the news that was coming up.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Well, on March 6 and March 10, we sent more updated and a bit more detailed communications to our communities and then things started getting pretty intense. Around March 11 and March 12, and on March 12 our board of education held a special meeting. We talked about our coronavirus preparations and our plannings. We had some community members, some who were in the medical profession and others who are impassioned parents came in and spoke with us and said basically every day we stay open is possibly contributing to the ultimate spread of this virus.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

On March 11 and March 12, we were really grappling with the fact of stopping our spring musicals and canceling field trips and starting to limit visitors on campus. Well, the news and the information and really the health information that was coming out was so compelling that while we initially, when I say initially in the February period, we’re going to wait for public health leaders to guide our closing decisions. We simply took on the leadership of our community and simply chose to close our schools.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Well, in doing so, we did the right thing from a public health perspective as two weeks later, it’s pretty dire in terms of the pandemic spread in our area and pretty scary. But what that did is that gave us a number of opportunities for how on earth now do we prepare education. In this podcast we’re going to talk a little bit about reaffirming some of the communications that I’ve sent out that are located on our webpage, www.nssd112.org, click to staying healthy in District 112, and also foreshadow some of our learning plans coming up. This is a prelude to some communications that will be shared from the teaching and learning department. All right, stay tuned. We’ll be right back.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

At the outset of this entire situation and of the spread of the pandemic and of the public health crisis, our team came up with priorities that we’re going to be guiding us as we took our school system and our community through this situation. Basically we established the following four priorities and the priorities are as follows: feed our families and our children, account for the extended safety, health and welfare of our 4,500 students and the staff, communicate clearly, and our fourth priority was e-learning or electronic or remote or distance learning.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

In our school district, we have about 4,000 students in grades pre-K through eight. We have 10 schools and we also have about 535 employees, about 400 teachers and educational support staff, administrators, so on and so forth. In terms of feeding our families and children, we chose to close the schools on March 12, which was a Thursday night, about 8:30 PM, so on Friday the 13, schools were closed. No real time to prepare, no real time to make any plans.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

On Friday our team worked to make sure we were going to be able to provide grab and go breakfast and lunch meals for our students. We worked with our food vendor, Organic Life, our partner in this. Be the end of the day Friday, we had specific and explicit plans to feed our children, and we distributed about 1100 meals between Monday and Thursday of that first week.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Friday the 20th was spring break and the Marine Township Food Pantry, one of the local townships with a robust food pantry and a incredible philanthropy and generosity of the community, took care of the meal distribution and provisioning for spring break. On March 30th when spring break is over, we’ll resume the grab and go lunch and breakfast for basically all residents in our community 18 and under who need some meals, so feeding our families and children as a significant priority. That will continue.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Again, like I said, we have a 1000 families, a 1000 students, pardon me, a 1000 students qualifying for this in our neck of the woods. We are also providing meals for a neighboring school district for their distribution as well. We’re a partnership with the food pantry and all. In addition, we wanted to make sure we could account for the extended safety, health and welfare of all of our students and their staff, realizing we’re in the midst of a pandemic, something we’ve never been in the midst of, number one.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Number two, making sure that we’re now going to help deal with the anxiety and uncertainty of closing the schools. The schools provide a great deal of stability and predictability for families and for the entire community. We’re a critical part of the community, so we’re well aware of that impact. In addition, we realized that we were a week prior to spring break, we also realized that we had parent-teacher conferences coming up and each hour and each day the news was coming in and certain things were changing.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Long story short, our governor declared March 17 to March 30 act of God days or kind of an unusual designation. We turned our parent-teacher conferences into remote telephone conferences for the first time ever and we submitted many, many communications to our community. I had mentioned earlier February 27, March 6, March 10, March 11, on March 12, a couple of communications, March 13, 16, 17, 17 again, 18, 20, 21, and a video message on the 22. Priority three is going pretty fast and furious as well.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

In the next segment, we’re going to talk a little bit about e-learning and try to tee up what’s going on and why is it so different than on regular learning and where is our district going to be? So stay tuned.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Initially I laid out a plan saying that we would get an e-learning plan set up. We would get some self paced learning materials and curriculum in the hands of our students. We would train our teachers, we would have some virtual drop-ins for social emotional reasons. Then we would kick off teacher-led remote learning around April 14, so I’m just kind of fast forwarding some of the communications. I also initially said we would have self paced guided learning opportunities March 30.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Well literally, like I said, the world’s been changing hour by hour, day by day. Spring break is no longer really spring break. Some of the young people are calling it spring fake because vacations were canceled, travel was canceled. Again, Illinois on a stay put or stay at home order since March 20. My incredible team of teaching and learning, technology, teacher leaders, teacher coaches, incredible team of people got together and rolled out self paced learning using a curricular on platform called Educere.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

We’ve been using it for hospitalized children and home bound children for a couple of years, and we turn it on Educere to be a self paced curriculum for children in grades one through eight, a self paced, self guided. All standards aligned content not necessarily aligned to the same scope and sequence, meaning a child might do the English language arts at their grade level and it may all be reviewed, basically designed for cognitive stimulation, keeping the students occupied on some semblance of school until we were able to roll out the teacher directed program.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

While we initially said that was going to happen March 30, that actually happened March 18, so during the spring break period at parent discretion. Students were able to continue some practice and continue some learning. We made that available for everybody in grades 1-8. Children in kindergarten had other materials at their disposal, and children in our preschool had some packets and educational support materials prepared by our teachers.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

In addition, we never before distributed iPads or computer devices to children earlier than grade three. Well, in one or two days we distributed 1,050 iPads. We distributed it with incredible social distancing and participation and partnership of our maintenance crew, custodians, teachers, support staff and principals and district administrators. All right, so we said March 30 would be the start of it. It actually was March 18. We said April 14 would be teacher led instruction if we didn’t return.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Now, I haven’t officially announced it but it looks like we’re probably going to stay out longer than that but we have not announced that yet. Long story short, the week of the 30th, we’re going to be doing some intense teacher training on web based delivery, web conferencing, learning management systems that are not in place in all classrooms, also special education and English language considerations.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

The week of the 30, our students will have already had the opportunity of 12 days of self guided and self paced learning. Yes, the burden’s on the parents there, and we respect and understand that we’re sensitive to it. However, we’ve provided learning materials, and we fully hope that our students will engage in those while we’re doing our training. The week of the 30, we’re doing training. Currently many, many teachers have already reached out to the students, and while it’s not expected or required, it’s certainly appreciated and we extend gratitude.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

We are working with our teacher leadership and our labor leadership to make sure that we can iron out some of the technical details of the working conditions and the work hours. Long story short, we might be able to do teacher led remote learning before April 14, maybe even by April 7, which would be spectacular. In any event, the week of March 30 is still self-paced self guided. Our teaching learning department’s going to put out some guidance for parents. We thank our parents for their flexibility and understanding.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Some people say, “Why aren’t you just starting teacher led remote learning March 30? What’s the big deal? Why can’t you just do that?” the reality is since the 1800s, we’ve been running school, running it the same way. It’s far more complex to take an entire learning system and change it completely, far more complex than it may appear on the outside. School as we knew it on March 12 changed. That schooling that we’ve all been in for years and years was socially interacting. It was in person, it was in school buildings. We had predictable routines, we had known schedules.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Teacher directed, remote learning is going to be… It may be for a longer period of time this spring than anticipated and we want to do it right. Our teachers want to do it right. We’re going to spend some time and train and support our teachers so that when we roll this out, again earlier than planned, earlier than announced, it’ll be done with the highest of quality that District 112 on this come to expect. Why can’t we just do e-learning? Other districts are doing it. That’s a common refrain up here. Well, e-learning by statute was designed to support five non-consecutive days of learning on snow days.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

We have pretty heavy winters up here in the Chicagoland and some districts had those plans. We didn’t. We have a plan now and then we’re going to execute it, and we were able to get it expedited thanks to the governor’s executive order suspending certain requirements. However, with our collaborative approach to leadership, we’re working with our teacher leaders and we’re making sure that we get it right.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Bottom line is we’re set to return to school April 14, but I’m telegraphing here on this podcast on March 26 that I doubt that that’s going to happen just because of the public health crisis. Our four priorities are pretty crystal clear, feed our families account for the extended safety, health and welfare of our students and staff, communicate clearly and e-learning. I’m real proud of the teams that I’ve got the good opportunity and good fortune to work with for preparing this. While the week of March 30 may still be inconvenient for our families. We acknowledge that.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

However, we have provided curriculum materials 12 days earlier than we said we were going to. We’ve got that in their hands. We’re going to work on teacher directed remote learning training next week, the week of the 30th, and we’ll get it rolled out as soon as we can. Thanks much for your patience. Check our updates at www.NSSD112.org. Stay safe, stay healthy and until the governor lifts the ban here in Illinois, stay home.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

Thank you for listening to Lighthouse 112, the podcast from the Superintendent of Schools in the North Shore School District 112 for a PK public school district in Northeast Illinois. This podcast is a source of information about the school district, its leadership, its teachers and students and its community. It’s another source of updates and an additional source of news regarding the changing narrative of public education. Inspire, innovate, engage.

Dr. Lubelfeld:

This podcast can be listened to and heard on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, and other sources are being added all the time. Please check back and subscribe to us to stay current with what’s going on in North Shore School District 112. Please also visit our website www.nssd112.org. Thank you so much for listening and for your interest.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
SPANISH TRANSLATION

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Este es el Faro 112, el podcast del superintendente de escuelas del Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Somos un distrito escolar público de pre-kinder a octavo grado en el noreste de Illinois. Este podcast es una fuente de información sobre el distrito escolar, su liderazgo, sus maestros, sus estudiantes y su comunidad. Es otra fuente de actualizaciones y una fuente adicional de noticias sobre la cambiante narrativa de la educación pública. Inspirar, innovar, comprometerse.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
En este episodio, voy a resumir lo que ha sucedido en las últimas semanas desde que la pandemia del coronavirus de la novela COVID-19 ha causado una interrupción significativa, no sólo en nuestro distrito escolar, sino en las vidas de todas las personas de nuestro estado, nación y mundo. Primero escribimos a nuestra comunidad sobre la guía de los CDC con respecto a la higiene y el lavado de manos sobre la enfermedad COVID-19. A finales de febrero, a principios de ese mes, habíamos empezado a hacer limpiezas más intensas de nuestras escuelas y de las superficies duras en base a las noticias que se anunciaban.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Bueno, el 6 y el 10 de marzo, enviamos comunicaciones más actualizadas y un poco más detalladas a nuestras comunidades y entonces las cosas empezaron a ponerse bastante intensas. Alrededor del 11 y 12 de marzo, y el 12 de marzo nuestra junta de educación celebró una reunión especial. Hablamos sobre nuestros preparativos para el coronavirus y nuestros planes. Algunos miembros de la comunidad, algunos que estaban en la profesión médica y otros que son padres apasionados vinieron y hablaron con nosotros y dijeron que básicamente cada día que permanecemos abiertos está contribuyendo posiblemente a la propagación final de este virus.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
El 11 y 12 de marzo, estábamos realmente lidiando con el hecho de detener nuestros musicales de primavera y cancelar los viajes de campo y comenzar a limitar los visitantes en el instituto. Bueno, las noticias y la información y realmente la información de salud que salía era tan convincente que mientras que inicialmente, cuando digo inicialmente en el período de febrero, vamos a esperar a que los líderes de la salud pública guíen nuestras decisiones de cierre. Simplemente asumimos el liderazgo de nuestra comunidad y simplemente elegimos cerrar nuestras escuelas.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Bueno, al hacerlo, hicimos lo correcto desde la perspectiva de la salud pública ya que dos semanas después, es bastante grave en términos de la propagación de la pandemia en nuestra zona y bastante aterrador. Pero lo que eso hizo es que nos dio una serie de oportunidades de cómo en la tierra ahora preparamos la educación. En este podcast vamos a hablar un poco sobre la reafirmación de algunas de las comunicaciones que he enviado y que se encuentran en nuestra página web, www.nssd112.org, haga clic para mantenerse saludable en el Distrito 112, y también prefigurar algunos de nuestros planes de aprendizaje que se avecinan. Este es el preludio de algunas comunicaciones que serán compartidas desde el departamento de enseñanza y aprendizaje. Muy bien, manténganse en sintonía. Volveremos enseguida.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Al principio de toda esta situación y de la propagación de la pandemia y de la crisis de salud pública, nuestro equipo estableció las prioridades que nos guiarán al llevar a nuestro sistema escolar y a nuestra comunidad a través de esta situación. Básicamente establecimos las siguientes cuatro prioridades y las prioridades son las siguientes: alimentar a nuestras familias y a nuestros niños, tener en cuenta la seguridad, la salud y el bienestar extendidos de nuestros 4.500 estudiantes y el personal, comunicarnos claramente, y nuestra cuarta prioridad era el aprendizaje electrónico o la enseñanza electrónica o a distancia.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
En nuestro distrito escolar, tenemos unos 4.000 estudiantes de preescolar a octavo grado. Tenemos 10 escuelas y también tenemos cerca de 535 empleados, cerca de 400 maestros y personal de apoyo educativo, administradores, etc. En cuanto a la alimentación de nuestras familias y niños, decidimos cerrar las escuelas el 12 de marzo, que era un jueves por la noche, alrededor de las 8:30 PM, así que el viernes 13, las escuelas estaban cerradas. Sin tiempo real para prepararse y sin tiempo real para hacer planes.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
El viernes nuestro equipo trabajó para asegurarse de que íbamos a ser capaces de proporcionar comidas de desayuno y almuerzo para nuestros estudiantes. Trabajamos con nuestro proveedor de alimentos, Organic Life, nuestro socio en esto. Al final del día viernes, teníamos planes específicos y explícitos para alimentar a nuestros niños, y distribuimos alrededor de 1100 comidas entre el lunes y el jueves de esa primera semana.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
El viernes 20 fue el receso de primavera y el Marine Township Food Pantry, uno de los municipios locales con una robusta despensa de alimentos y una increíble filantropía y generosidad de la comunidad, se encargó de la distribución de comida y el aprovisionamiento para el receso de primavera. El 30 de marzo, cuando terminen las vacaciones de primavera, volveremos a nuestra forma original de recoger el almuerzo y el desayuno para todos los residentes de nuestra comunidad menores de 18 años que necesiten comer, por lo que la alimentación de nuestras familias y niños es una prioridad importante. Eso continuará.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
De nuevo, como dije, tenemos 1000 familias, 1000 estudiantes, perdón, 1000 estudiantes que califican para esto en nuestra zona. También estamos proporcionando comidas a un distrito escolar cercano para su distribución. Estamos asociados con la despensa de alimentos y todo eso. Además, queríamos asegurarnos de que podíamos dar cuenta de la seguridad, salud y bienestar de todos nuestros estudiantes y su personal, dándonos cuenta de que estamos en medio de una pandemia, algo en lo que nunca hemos estado, esto es número uno.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Número dos, asegurarnos de que ahora vamos a ayudar a lidiar con la ansiedad e incertidumbre de cerrar las escuelas. Las escuelas proporcionan una gran estabilidad y previsibilidad para las familias y para toda la comunidad. Somos una parte crítica de la comunidad, así que somos muy conscientes de ese impacto. Además, nos dimos cuenta de que estábamos una semana antes de las vacaciones de primavera, también nos dimos cuenta de que teníamos reuniones de padres y maestros que se acercaban y cada hora y cada día las noticias llegaban y ciertas cosas cambiaban.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
En resumen, nuestro gobernador declaró el 17 al 30 de marzo como días de acta de Dios o una designación inusual. Convertimos nuestras reuniones de padres y maestros en conferencias telefónicas a distancia por primera vez y enviamos muchas, muchas comunicaciones a nuestra comunidad. Ya había mencionado antes el 27 de febrero, el 6 de marzo, el 10 de marzo, el 11 de marzo, el 12 de marzo, un par de comunicaciones, el 13, 16, 17, 17 de marzo otra vez, 18, 20, 21, y un mensaje de vídeo el 22. La prioridad tres va bastante rápido y también furiosamente.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
En el próximo segmento, vamos a hablar un poco sobre el aprendizaje electrónico (e-Learning) y tratar de poner en orden lo que está pasando y por qué es tan diferente de la enseñanza regular y ¿dónde va a estar nuestro distrito? Así que manténganse en sintonía.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Inicialmente, diseñe un plan diciendo que estableceríamos un plan de aprendizaje electrónico. Tendríamos algunos materiales de aprendizaje a su ritmo y el plan de estudios en las manos de nuestros estudiantes. Entrenaríamos a nuestros profesores, tendríamos algunas visitas virtuales por razones socio-emocionales. Luego iniciaríamos el aprendizaje a distancia dirigido por los profesores alrededor del 14 de abril, así que estoy adelantando algunas de las comunicaciones. También dije inicialmente que tendríamos oportunidades de aprendizaje autoguiado el 30 de marzo.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Bueno, literalmente, como dije, el mundo ha estado cambiando hora a hora, día a día. Las vacaciones de primavera ya no son realmente vacaciones de primavera. Algunos jóvenes lo llaman falso porque las vacaciones fueron canceladas, el viaje fue cancelado. De nuevo, Illinois esta bajo una orden de quedarse o quedarse en casa desde el 20 de marzo. Mi increíble equipo de enseñanza y aprendizaje, tecnología, maestros líderes, maestros entrenadores, increíble equipo de gente se reunió y desplegó un aprendizaje a su propio ritmo usando un plan de estudios en la plataforma llamada Educere.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Lo hemos estado usando para niños hospitalizados y niños que están en casa durante un par de años, y lo ponemos en Educere para que sea un currículo autodidáctico para niños de primero a octavo grado, un autodidáctico, autoguiado. Todos los estándares alinean el contenido no necesariamente con el mismo alcance y secuencia, lo que significa que un niño puede hacer las artes del lenguaje inglés en su nivel de grado y todo puede ser revisado, básicamente diseñado para la estimulación cognitiva, manteniendo a los estudiantes ocupados en alguna semblanza de la escuela hasta que fuimos capaces de desplegar el programa dirigido por el profesor.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Además, nunca antes habíamos distribuido iPads o dispositivos de ordenador a niños antes del tercer grado. Bueno, en uno o dos días distribuimos 1,050 iPads. Lo distribuimos con un increíble distanciamiento social y la participación y asociación de nuestro equipo de mantenimiento, conserjes, maestros, personal de apoyo y directores y administradores del distrito. Muy bien, así que dijimos que el 30 de marzo sería el comienzo. En realidad fue el 18 de marzo. Dijimos que el 14 de abril sería la instrucción dirigida por los maestros si no volvíamos.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Ahora, no lo he anunciado oficialmente pero parece que probablemente nos quedaremos fuera más tiempo que eso pero no lo hemos anunciado todavía. Para resumir, la semana del 30, vamos a hacer una intensa formación de profesores en la entrega de la web, conferencias web, sistemas de gestión de aprendizaje que no están en todas las aulas, también la educación especial y las consideraciones de la lengua inglesa.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
La semana del 30, nuestros estudiantes ya habrán tenido la oportunidad de 12 días de aprendizaje autoguiado y a su propio ritmo. Sí, la carga está en los padres, y respetamos y entendemos que somos sensibles a ella. Sin embargo, hemos proporcionado materiales de aprendizaje, y esperamos que nuestros estudiantes se comprometan con ellos mientras estamos haciendo nuestro entrenamiento. La semana del 30, estamos haciendo el entrenamiento. Actualmente muchos, muchos profesores ya han contactado a los estudiantes, y aunque no se espera ni se requiere, es ciertamente apreciado y extendemos nuestra gratitud.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Estamos trabajando con nuestro liderazgo de maestros y nuestro liderazgo de labor para asegurarnos de que podemos limar algunos de los detalles técnicos de las condiciones de trabajo y las horas de trabajo. En resumen, podríamos hacer el aprendizaje a distancia dirigido por el profesor antes del 14 de abril, tal vez incluso antes del 7 de abril, lo que sería espectacular. En cualquier caso, la semana del 30 de marzo sigue siendo autoguiada. Nuestro departamento de enseñanza-aprendizaje va a poner en marcha una guía para los padres. Agradecemos a nuestros padres por su flexibilidad y comprensión.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Algunos dicen: “¿Por qué no empiezas a enseñar a distancia el 30 de marzo? ¿Cuál es el problema? ¿Por qué no puedes hacer eso?” La realidad es que desde 1800, hemos estado dirigiendo la escuela, dirigiéndola de la misma manera. Es mucho más complejo tomar un sistema de aprendizaje completo y cambiarlo por completo, mucho más complejo de lo que puede parecer en el exterior. La escuela como la conocíamos el 12 de marzo cambió. Esa escuela en la que todos hemos estado durante años y años fue una interacción social. Fue en persona, fue en los edificios escolares. Teníamos rutinas predecibles, teníamos horarios conocidos.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Dirigido por el profesor, el aprendizaje a distancia va a ser… Puede ser por un periodo de tiempo más largo esta primavera de lo que se esperaba y queremos hacerlo bien. Nuestros maestros quieren hacerlo bien. Vamos a dedicar algo de tiempo a entrenar y apoyar a nuestros maestros para que cuando lo hagamos, antes de lo planeado, antes de lo anunciado, se haga con la más alta calidad que el Distrito 112 espera. ¿Por qué no podemos simplemente hacer e-learning? Otros distritos lo están haciendo. Es un estribillo común aquí. Bueno, el e-learning por estatuto fue diseñado para apoyar cinco días no consecutivos de aprendizaje en días de nieve.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Tenemos inviernos muy duros aquí en Chicago y algunos distritos tenían esos planes. Nosotros no los teníamos. Tenemos un plan ahora y luego vamos a ejecutarlo, y pudimos acelerarlo gracias a la orden ejecutiva del gobernador que suspendió ciertos requisitos. Sin embargo, con nuestro enfoque de colaboración en el liderazgo, estamos trabajando con nuestros maestros líderes y nos aseguramos de que lo hacemos bien.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
En resumen, estamos listos para volver a la escuela el 14 de abril, pero estoy telegrafiando en este podcast del 26 de marzo que dudo que eso suceda sólo por la crisis de salud pública. Nuestras cuatro prioridades son bastante claras, alimentar a nuestras familias cuenta para la seguridad extendida, la salud y el bienestar de nuestros estudiantes y el personal, comunicarse claramente y el aprendizaje electrónico. Estoy muy orgulloso de los equipos con los que tengo la oportunidad y la suerte de trabajar para preparar esto. Mientras que la semana del 30 de marzo puede ser todavía inconveniente para nuestras familias. Lo reconocemos.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Sin embargo, hemos proporcionado los materiales del plan de estudios 12 días antes de lo que dijimos que íbamos a hacer. Tenemos eso en sus manos. Vamos a trabajar en el entrenamiento de aprendizaje a distancia dirigido por maestros la semana que viene, la semana del 30, y lo pondremos en marcha tan pronto como podamos. Muchas gracias por su paciencia. Revise nuestras actualizaciones en www.NSSD112.org. Manténganse seguros, saludables y hasta que el gobernador levante la prohibición aquí en Illinois, quédense en casa.

Dr. Lubelfeld:
Gracias por escuchar Lighthouse 112, el podcast del Superintendente de Escuelas del Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore para un distrito escolar público de PK en el noreste de Illinois. Este podcast es una fuente de información sobre el distrito escolar, su liderazgo, sus maestros y estudiantes y su comunidad. Es otra fuente de actualizaciones y una fuente adicional de noticias sobre la cambiante narrativa de la educación pública. Inspirar, innovar, comprometerse.

D112 Supt Message Regarding IL Stay at Home – #112Leads

“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
– Gail Devers

Over the course of just over one week our worlds have changed significantly in Illinois and our nation and our world with the COVID-19 Pandemic. On March 12, 2020, I ordered all schools in our District closed indefinitely with a possible reopening date of April 13. My “logic” was guided by the science of the health professionals and the actions of higher education calling their students home and closing for at least 2 weeks after spring break. In Illinois, the Governor closed the schools from March 17-March 30 and then he ordered a Stay at Home (including school closures) until at least April 7th. “The times, they are a changin’ …” (Bob Dylan 1964) – appropriate today!

Since March 12, 2020, I have sent out at least eight “all” communications (they go to thousands in our community) in an effort to communicate our District’s priorities and plans during this Pandemic closure. In this blog post, I’m sharing a video message as another effort of clarity in this otherwise unclear set of circumstances. The video has edited subtitles in Spanish and English and you may have to click the CC or Gear or three dots to see them.

In District 112, our Four Priorities are:
Priority one – feed our families and children
Priority two – account for the extended safety, health, and welfare of our 4500 students and staff
Priority three – communicate clearly
Priority four – e-Learning

Visit Staying Healthy in District 112 for access to our recent communications.

Safety in North Shore School District 112

“It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up.”
– Babe Ruth

One of the high points about working in North Shore School District 112 is the community outreach and partnership among public, social services, and private providers in support of students and their health and wellness.

Recently Kevin Liebe, District 112 Director of Operations, Facilities & Transportation, and I made a presentation and held a q & a with the Highland Park Welfare Council.

This group of social service agencies, public service organizations, private foundations, and others united in service for the youth in our community invited us in to address and share school safety initiatives. We’re proud to share the slides we used as a backdrop to our conversation. Every day we work toward excellence in education, excellence in physical safety, and excellence in psychological safety!

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.