The quote from Theodore Roosevelt captures the spirit of the opportunities we have in North Shore School District 112 at this time! We have the opportunity to do what we can (make changes to improve educational outcomes, facilities, and equity one step at a time), with what we have (accumulated fund balance savings as well as a limited bond issue paid for out of operation funds) where we are (in 2018 with 10 schools in operation for 3852 students grades PK-8).
Our Long Range Planning Process, documented and archived at the Long Range Plan Web Page shows a rich, dynamic, changing process where extensive and expansive community engagement, information review and analysis, historic and political and sociological impact study and review, and of course, financial impact analysis are about to yield a plan that will provide dramatic and profound impact on learning for more than half of our nearly 4000 students in grades PK-8 in a short period of time.
North Shore School District 112 was reluctantly created after the consolidation of three historic local school districts in 1993. In 2018, 25 years since the creation of the District, it is time for us to rise above historic disagreements, factual and mythological concerns, and other issues that have led to paralysis instead of progress. ALL students matter, ALL schools matter, and ALL neighborhoods matter!
Our Long Range Plan is focused on equitable access to educational opportunities for ALL students every day with support for our teachers in modernized learning facilities designed to support learning and growth and social/emotional learning for ALL.
The revised, updated, draft Long Range Plan (to be formally recommended to the Board of Education at the October 23, 2018, Regular Board meeting) calls for the following:
- Major renovations at Northwood Middle School (build out for up to 600 students)
- Major renovations at Edgewood Middle School (build out for up to 950 students)
- Budget dependent — major renovations at Red Oak Elementary School (closing and absorbing Sherwood Elementary School) build out for around 615 students.
- Use of up to 75% of the $49,000,000 fund balance (savings account)
- Use of up to $55,000,000 in Alternative Revenue Bonds (paid for over 20 years at $4,000,000 a year)
- Still spend $3,000,000 a year from operations budget on school upgrades, repairs and modernization over time.
In the four years’ worth of this phase of the plan’s construction all of our school buildings will not be equal in terms of enrollment (nor have they ever been), we will start to achieve equitable facilities starting with both middle schools (where all children will attend) and possibly at one of our elementary schools (with an additional school closure). Over time we will continue to do what we can with what we have where we are (and will be).
During our work and our recent study, we’ve talked a great deal about Equity and Equality …What is equity? Why is equity preferred to equality?
Sharing some materials related to equity/equality from Illinois education leaders Julie Schmidt & Lori James-Gross:
Embedding the Slide Deck with background information from the presentation shared at the October 4, 2018, Long Range Planning Committee Meeting: