Mike Lubelfeld's Blog


Tag: Community Engagement (page 1 of 3)

Holiday Greetings – Multi-Lingual Video – Supt Message

“When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” – Mattie Stepanek, American Poet

December 2023

Dear North Shore School District 112 Parents/Guardians and members of the Community, 

Happy Holidays! As the calendar year ends and we prepare for a well-deserved winter break starting after school on Thursday, I’m sharing a note of gratitude, information, and a fun video animation. To create the festive and inclusive video, Enrique Castro, our coordinator for ESL and Bilingual Programs, recorded “happy holiday” greetings from our students representing each of the 30 home languages spoken by our families. Thank you to our families, students, Mr. Castro, and the EL teacher team!

As you may already know, in District 112, we take great pride in supporting diverse cultures, languages, and backgrounds. 



As we take time to reflect on our time in District 112, we are proud to acknowledge that we have accomplished a great deal this year.  We are optimistic that our future is going to be bright and exciting. The important work we do puts our children on the path to success. Some highlights of our successful work include the following:

  • Historic construction projects continue with support from the community
    • Completion of Phase 1 of the Long-Range Plan (Edgewood opened April 2023)
    • Indian Trail and Ravinia School Construction is underway and ongoing
  • Sixth-year of staff, student, and family culture/engagement data collection & growth
    • Even with some “survey fatigue,” we are getting great feedback on what we are doing well and what we need to work on – thank you!
      • Top rated item from the Family Survey, “Teachers treat me with respect” 4.64 out of 5.00
      • Top rated item from the Student Survey, “I have friends at school who care about me” 4.45 out of 5.00
  • Improvements in PK-8 Learning
    • Last year’s state assessments showed our students were in the 81st and 90th percentiles in English and math, respectively, compared to all students in IL
  • Increased mental health interventions
    • Wellness webinars with the Cook Center for Human Connection

We look forward to a fantastic year in 2024! 

With regards,


Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Honoring Veterans – Superintendent Message

OpenAI. (2023). ChatGPT [Large language model]. https://chat.openai.com

Subject: Honoring Our Heroes on Veterans Day

Dear North Shore School District 112 Community,

Today, we come together to honor and celebrate Veterans Day, a day of profound significance in our nation, and express our deepest gratitude to the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. More than ever, it seems, we need to acknowledge those defenders of freedom, those warriors of the just, those who devote their lives so that we may be free and safe.

As your Superintendent, I am continually inspired by the values that our veterans embody – courage, sacrifice, and dedication. These are the same values we strive to instill in our students, making today a day of remembrance, learning, and reflection. I’m proud to have veterans in my family (my father, father-in-law, uncles, cousins, and others have proudly served our nation over the years).

Our veterans have shown us the true meaning of service, putting the greater good above self. They have defended our freedoms and safeguarded our way of life, enabling us to thrive as a community and a nation. Their sacrifices remind us of the importance of resilience, respect, and responsibility – principles that guide our mission in education.

Let us take this opportunity to teach our students about the importance of Veterans Day. Let’s encourage them to learn from our veterans’ exemplary lives, understand the sacrifices made for our country, and appreciate the peace and freedom we enjoy. Whether you visit a website from the government, like, Defense Department, or US Department of Veteran’s Affairs, or you attend events in the community, it’s essential that today especially, we honor those who serve and those who have served!!

To our students who are family members of veterans, we also recognize the sacrifices you make. We are proud to serve hundreds of military-connected families in District 112. Your strength and support for your loved ones in service are admirable and do not go unnoticed. For more than a century, District 112 has proudly served military families. It is one of many honors, historic legacies, and special attributes that make our community proud.

I urge each of us to take a moment today to thank a veteran. Whether it’s a family member, a neighbor, or a friend, let’s show our veterans the respect and appreciation they deserve. Their stories of bravery and resilience are a source of inspiration to us all.

In North Shore School District 112, we proudly support our veterans and military families. Today and every day, we stand in solidarity with those who have served and continue to serve our country. On behalf of a grateful school district, school board, administration & staff to our veterans, servicemen, and women, I humbly thank you!

With deepest respect and gratitude,


Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D


Education is Life

I’m a fan of the Apple TV show “Ted Lasso” and one of the characters, Dani Rojas, has a saying “futbol is life” … so, in the spirit of Dani Rojas, “Education is Life” is the title of this blog post!
I’ve been a public school educator in suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA since 1992. I’ve been a superintendent of schools (PK-8) since 2010. Education really has been and in some ways “is” my life too!! My daughter is in college studying to become a special education teacher, my son is a park district day camp counselor, my wife taught pre-school and worked in park district recreation, so I guess it’s in our DNA as a family too!
Education, of course, is essential – everywhere.
Together with my son and our other adventurers, we’re helping construct a bottle school in the indigenous Mayan community of Zaculeu in the Tecpan region. This is our third such trip together and my seventh since my first experience on the 2016 LifeTouch Memory Mission to Constanza, Rio Grande, in the Dominican Republic. I have written on my blog about past experiences and adventures! Feel free to search the blog (enter Dominican Republic or service learning).
The father son time is priceless, the father/educator in me also finds this time affirming and spiritual on many levels. To be able to serve and share these Peak Moments with my son is greater than any words I can piece together. The opportunity to make new friends from around my country as well as from all over the world is pretty amazing too.
During this bottle school building trip and Guatemalan culture, history, and ecology trip, we are fortunate to have amazing guides and leaders. From Guatemala, we have Vivi, Andres, Lilian, Enrique, Christy & Marta, from the USA Hug it Forward team we have Adam and Jennifer. Together with veteran Gary and so many others – we are engaged in lifetime memories and incredible learning. Our team is aged 9 to 67, we hail from multiple races, religions, ethnicities, vocations, locations, and together we are now one!
Working alongside of our Guatemalan hosts, working with the children of Zaculeu, and building walls made of eco bricks to help demonstrate care for the ecological needs of our planet, we learned, lived, felt, experienced, and did each day on this incredible set of experiences.
When we arrived in Zaculeu, as the first representatives from Hug it Forward, ever, and among the very few foreigners who ever have come to visit and serve with the Mayan people of the village, we were welcomed LARGE! The assembly from the nearly 400 students in grades K-6, the teachers, the principal, the mayor and the village elders, the parent organization and many of the parents of the children – we knew we were not in Kansas anymore! The assembly with speeches, songs, dances, signs, and an unbelievably warm welcome was so energizing and so motivating, that when we got to the job site, the excitement was palatable.
I’ll share a bunch of photos as a picture is worth “1000 words” in an effort to illustrate the incredible set of experiences — words alone cannot capture the power of this experience and even the photos & videos don’t do it justice – but I’m so moved and so inspired, that I am compelled to share my story.
Feel free to follow Hug It Forward on Facebook and on Instagram to see not only our trip, but previous and future trips. Anyone with the motivation can reach out and serve.
Service, education, cultural immersion, and more is what we found on this trip. Food was prepared for us daily by cooks Marta and Christy – the food was outstanding! Enrique drove us in our bus (chariot) through city streets, highways, country/rural roads, mountains, hills, and dirt roads with angles approaching 80 degree inclines – incredible!
We also met individuals who shared their personal stories and histories regarding various timely topics including the Guatemalan Civil War (1960-1996), migration from Guatemala to the United States, economic conditions in the nation, social history, and much, much, more.
We also engaged with local artisans who make their living creating cultural and personal effects for sale and for more than a “side gig” – for some folks, this is their primary income.
As I write these words, I realize, as best as I try, nothing can capture the power of this trip and the series of peak moments more than actually experiencing this, but my aim and my effort is to celebrate the good and highlight the hope of serving, learning, getting out of one’s comfort zone, and joining amazing people who do this all the time.
Education in Guatemala is different than education in the United States. The public school system is not always present, fully available, or even funded in the rural/indigenous areas of Guatemala where we were serving. There were classrooms from a USAAID project in 1987 and in 1993, and then there is our project in 2023! The classrooms for this village of Zaculeu serve children in grades K-5 — there are not classrooms for children in middle school, grades 7-9 (YET). High schools in Guatemala are fee based – not free.
Creating classrooms for children in grades K-6 and ultimately in grades 7-9 changes lives and changes cultural, historical, and economic opportunities and access to opportunities for generations of children. This bottle school project in which we are involved is one step to provide chances, hope, opportunities, and change for people.
Our public ambassador programming and efforts represent efforts afloat all over the world and efforts I have had the privilege of participating in in the USA (Puerto Rico), in the Dominican Republic and now, in Guatemala! In addition to the bottle school construction, the engagement with the villagers via the welcome ceremony, the artisan markets, and the community walk/hike and home visits, we also visited sacred Mayan archeological sites, learned from first hand historical accounts and engaged with the powerful beauty of this incredible country!
Sharing more images of our incredible journey to Guatemala!

Audio Excerpts of National Presentation – Supt and Principals – Impact on learning in #112Leads

In this episode, learn how an initiative and partnership called DMBreakthrough Teams implemented last year at the District 112 Dual Language elementary schools positively impacted student growth & achievement!

Over spring break, I went to New York with Oak Terrace Principal Lilli Melamed and Wayne Thomas Associate Principal Colleen Goodrich. In addition to learning at the conference, we were invited to present the results from an initiative implemented last year at both dual language schools, DMGroup Breakthrough Teams.

Having the opportunity to share, and specifically, hearing from Lilli and Colleen about the impact of last year’s DMBreakthrough teams 10-week program on multi-lingual learners in grades K-5 at their respective schools is incredible and made me very proud of our work, our students, and the District. Our session was titled “Learn how North Shore School District 112 (IL) supported their multilingual learners and achieved a higher percentage of students meeting their MAP growth goals after the Breakthrough Results experience.”

Our work with DMGroup to implement their Breakthrough Teams programs at our Dual Language schools last year was driven by that commitment to continuous improvement in learning. We are committed to creating conditions for equitable access to educational opportunities for each child every day. We are committed to creating conditions for teacher support and excellence every day. We are on a journey and proud to be focused on results.

En este episodio, aprenda cómo una iniciativa y asociación llamada DMBreakthrough Teams implementada el año pasado en las escuelas primarias de lenguaje dual del Distrito 112 impactó positivamente el crecimiento y el rendimiento de los estudiantes.

Durante las vacaciones de primavera, fui a Nueva York con la directora de Oak Terrace, Lilli Melamed, y la directora asociada de Wayne Thomas, Colleen Goodrich. Además de aprender en la conferencia, fuimos invitados a presentar los resultados de una iniciativa implementada el año pasado en ambas escuelas bilingües, DMGroup Breakthrough Teams.

Tener la oportunidad de compartir, y específicamente, escuchar a Lilli y Colleen sobre el impacto del programa de 10 semanas de los equipos DMBreakthrough del año pasado en estudiantes multilingües en los grados K-5 en sus respectivas escuelas es increíble y me hizo sentir muy orgulloso de nuestro trabajo, nuestros estudiantes y el Distrito. Nuestra sesión se tituló “Aprenda cómo el Distrito Escolar 112 (IL) de North Shore apoyó a sus estudiantes multilingües y logró un mayor porcentaje de estudiantes que cumplieron con sus objetivos de crecimiento MAP después de la experiencia de Breakthrough Results”.

Nuestro trabajo con DMGroup para implementar sus programas Breakthrough Teams en nuestras escuelas de lenguaje dual el año pasado fue impulsado por ese compromiso con la mejora continua en el aprendizaje. Estamos comprometidos a crear condiciones para el acceso equitativo a las oportunidades educativas para cada niño todos los días. Estamos comprometidos a crear condiciones para el apoyo y la excelencia de los maestros todos los días. Estamos en un viaje y orgullosos de estar enfocados en los resultados.

General Updates from the District March 2023 – Audio

Sharing a collection of brief updates to the Community in March 2023.

Click for a link to transcripts in English and Spanish

Busy, Focus, Internal Moves, Green Bay, Phase 2, Phase 3, Learning & Teaching, Board Updates, and more!
From the episode:

We’ve been busy in District 112 – this year, the 2022-2023 school year has been full of downs, ups, and successes, and change. We started very emotionally as part of the Highland Park community after the unspeakable tragedy at the parade on July 4. We pulled together as a community with multiple government, school, social services, private sector, and individual citizens stepping up in many ways to begin a healing process that will be a model for our nation.

The school district is in a positive, strong, and forward-looking position. With your overwhelming support, we passed a bond referendum with 72% “yes” votes – a remarkable vote of confidence for your future! We have been hard at work designing Ravinia School and Indian Trail School for summer construction. We also have a Central Production Kitchen in the mix; we’ll soon be able to provide quality hot lunch meals to each student at a reasonable price and with far higher quality than our current production capacity allows. Modernized repurposed schools, equitable food access, and support from the community – it’s a proud time in our elementary school district – we’re beyond grateful for your support.

Visit our website at https://www.nssd112.org/ for more links, updates, and information anytime.

Audio Update on Safety & Security July 22 2022 #112Leads

Sharing an audio update to the community on safety and security.

This update on safety and security is shared with thought, emotion, care, and concern. We have a board meeting coming up on July 26, 2022, at 7:00pm, we’ll meet live and broadcast that meeting live as well. This informational update is intended to preview and highlight the upcoming Board discussion and presentation on safety and security and to follow up from the July 14 communication I shared. I’m sharing this update as your superintendent and as a father of two teenagers, a husband to a wonderful wife, a community member, and a human being. 

I know that people are in different emotional spaces right now. Some can fully embrace safety and security messages and information. Others are not yet ready to fully process this information. Some focus on specific ideas, and others are somewhere between. The main takeaways are that with school opening soon. As you likely know, District 112 is fully committed to safety and security issues. Before the July 4 incident and other national incidents, District 112 had been heavily involved in its schools’ physical, mental, and emotional safety for its students, staff, and the community. In a video message, and an audio podcast, I am highlighting the focus points in place, under review and consideration, and specific actions we take regarding safety and security. Later today, I’ll post an audio transcript in English and Spanish on my blog. Thank you for your support of our schools, your interest in our programming, your outreach, and your trust in the fact that we follow and implement best practices in all domains of our work. 

Finally, please know that our efforts are done with love, care, compassion, expert advice, and excellence.

Note in Spanish

Esta actualización sobre seguridad y protección se comparte con pensamiento, emoción, cuidado y preocupación. Tenemos una reunión de la junta el 26 de julio de 2022, a las 7:00 p.m., nos reuniremos en vivo y transmitiremos esa reunión también. Esta actualización informativa tiene la intención de previsualizar y resaltar la próxima discusión y presentación de la Junta sobre seguridad y protección, y para dar seguimiento a la comunicación del 14 de julio que compartí. Estoy compartiendo esta actualización no solo como su superintendente, sino también como padre de dos adolescentes, esposo de una esposa maravillosa, miembro de la comunidad y como ser humano.

Sé que las personas están en diferentes espacios emocionales en este momento. Algunos pueden aceptar plenamente los mensajes y la información de seguridad y protección. Otros aún no están listos para procesar completamente esta información. Algunos se centran en ideas muy específicas, y otros están en algún punto intermedio. Las principales conclusiones son que con la apertura de la escuela pronto. Como probablemente sepa, el Distrito 112 está totalmente comprometido con los problemas de seguridad y protección. Antes del incidente del 4 de julio y otros incidentes nacionales, el Distrito 112 había estado muy involucrado en la seguridad física, mental y emocional de sus escuelas para sus estudiantes, personal y la comunidad. En un mensaje de video, un podcast de audio, estoy destacando los puntos de enfoque en su lugar, bajo revisión y consideración, y las acciones específicas que estamos tomando con respecto a la seguridad y la protección. Más tarde hoy publicaré una transcripción de audio en inglés y español en mi blog. Gracias por su apoyo a nuestras escuelas, por su interés en nuestra programación, por su alcance y por su confianza en el hecho de que seguimos e implementamos las mejores prácticas en todos los dominios de nuestro trabajo.

Finalmente, por favor sepa que nuestros esfuerzos se realizan con amor, cuidado, compasión, asesoramiento experto y excelencia.

Link to VIDEO messageVIDEO message

Espanol/ Spanish Transcript (English transcript follows)

– Hola, soy Mike Lubelfeld, superintendente de escuelas. Y vengo a ti hoy con una actualización sobre seguridad y protección. Y antes de pasar a los detalles, y antes de entrar en las tuercas y tornillos, quiero que sepas que tenemos una reunión de la junta el martes 26 de julio. Nuestras reuniones de la junta están aquí, en vivo personalmente, en las oficinas administrativas. También estaremos haciendo una transmisión en vivo, para que la gente pueda ver en vivo o después del hecho. Y simplemente quiero decir, al principio, que vengo a ti, no solo como tu superintendente de escuelas y como líder educativo, pero también como ser humano y como padre de dos hijos adolescentes, y marido de mi mujer, y como alguien que siente junto a todos y cada uno de ustedes, con lo que hemos estado pasando como resultado directo de los trágicos acontecimientos del 4 de julio, aquí en Highland Park y también de hechos anteriores a eso, desde una perspectiva de seguridad y protección. Me importa, siento, empatizo. También estoy aquí para hacer mi trabajo y compartirlo contigo. Pero solo quiero señalar eso, que algunos de ustedes están muy listos para escuchar los mensajes que tengo y algunos de ustedes están muy interesados y actualizados. Otros de ustedes, en este momento, realmente no pueden escuchar esto, y lo respeto, lo entiendo. Otros de ustedes están enfocados en ciertas cosas o no están enfocados. Y estés donde estés, está bien. Simplemente quiero afirmar, afirmar, validar que hay muchos sentimientos y muchas emociones. Aquí en el distrito escolar, quiero compartir con ustedes lo que está pasando. Y sé que hay mucha información que he compartido por correo electrónico y otras áreas. Así que hoy en esta actualización de video, es un adelanto de lo que vamos a hablar el martes. Digo esto con un corazón abierto y una mente abierta, y más allá de ser el superintendente, que tiene un trabajo que hacer, pero como un chico que se siente junto a ti, como padre y como ser humano. Probablemente sepas esto, pero de nuevo, a veces vale la pena repetir, la seguridad ha sido un compromiso continuo en el Distrito Escolar 112. No sólo en reacción a los acontecimientos, y ciertamente no solo en reacción a lo que acabamos de experimentar como comunidad. Pero durante muchos años. En 2014, tuvimos una auditoría. 2018, se implementaron vestíbulos de seguridad en los planteles. Y a medida que avanzamos, hacemos mejoras. En 2018, iniciamos la asociación de capacitación ALICE, de lo que hablaré un poco más. También tuvimos otra auditoría en 2018, y hemos implementado esas recomendaciones desde entonces. En junio, le pedí a la Junta de Educación para aprobar otra auditoría de seguridad. Es parte de un compromiso continuo. Preguntamos a los expertos en la materia, que saben de esto, qué es lo correcto que las escuelas, como la nuestra, ¿se supone que deben hacer para asegurarse de que estamos seguros por dentro y por fuera? De nuevo, el 14 de junio, nuestra junta aprobó un contrato con un señor llamado Paul Timm, que dirige una empresa FEA. En 2022, este verano, hemos estado haciendo otras inversiones, que resaltaré en este breve mensaje de video, y algunas mejoras a nuestra seguridad en nuestras instalaciones. Pero también quiero hablar contigo sobre una investigación, de la que soy parte de nuestro equipo, que vamos a abordar con respecto a varias soluciones. No sé si vamos a implementar estas o si las vamos a implementar tarde o temprano, simplemente quiero que sepas que estamos escuchando y estamos investigando guardias, dispositivos de detección y otras cosas. Pero realmente quiero compartir con ustedes aquí, que el trabajo que estamos haciendo no está en el vacío. Y siempre buscamos a los expertos en el campo. En este caso, en 2019, 2020, la Fuerza de Tarea contra el Terrorismo de Illinois. Y odio incluso decir esas palabras en un mensaje a nuestra comunidad, pero la Fuerza de Tarea contra el Terrorismo de Illinois tenía un grupo de trabajo de seguridad escolar. Hicieron recomendaciones a personas como nosotros, que trabajan en las escuelas públicas aquí en Illinois. Y quiero que sepas, y repasaremos esto con mayor detalle el martes por la noche, pero quería tomar el punto ahora mismo para compartir con ustedes. Y no sé si vas a obtener esto en video, en audio o forma escrita, estamos tratando de obtener la mayor cantidad formas de comunicación que podamos. Pero los expertos en seguridad escolar hablan de tres maneras de ver esto, evaluación del comportamiento, y eso va con las auditorías que hicimos en 2014, 2018 y la auditoría que estamos comenzando inmediatamente ahora mismo en 2022, el concepto de endurecimiento de las instalaciones, la seguridad física de la que les hablaré, y luego algo que no sé que he hablado contigo bastante, y ese es el protocolo de respuesta. Así que en el mensaje de video de hoy quiero compartir contigo recomendaciones de expertos. ¿Cómo lo maneja el distrito 112 ahora? y ¿qué podemos hacer en el futuro? Es posible que sepas que contamos con equipos de evaluación del comportamiento. Dra. Holly Colin, nuestra asistente del superintendente, en el extranjero y lo dirige. Puede que no sepas que tenemos cerca de 30 miembros del personal de salud mental, trabajadores sociales, psicólogos directamente dedicados a brindar apoyo socioemocional en el distrito escolar. Este año, estamos aumentando la equivalencia de tiempo completo para los trabajadores sociales en todo el distrito. Y estamos agregando un medio tiempo, en todo el distrito, persona en todas las escuelas. Esto es nuevo. Tendremos al menos un trabajador social a tiempo completo y no necesariamente alguien compartido entre campus. Además, tenemos en los libros, acuerdos intergubernamentales, IGA, con la Policía de Highland Park, la Policía de Highwood. También trabajamos con el Sheriff del Condado de Lake y la Dirección Regional de Educación. Puede que sepa que tenemos un oficial de policía de Highland Park, un oficial de recursos escolares, asignado al Distrito 112. Algunas cosas que no sé que compartimos lo suficiente contigo, y quería aprovechar el tiempo aquí para compartir con ustedes, también tenemos estrategias para toda la escuela, prácticas restaurativas, desescalada, también la construcción de relaciones. Usamos cosas como Second Step, Calm Classrooms, Sembrados para Crecer, capacitación CPI o prevención de crisis. También tenemos PBIS, intervenciones y apoyos conductuales positivos. Tenemos Líder en Mí. Tenemos Tiger Stripes, Panda STARS, Champs y otros programas diseñados para ayudar la relación socioemocional con los estudiantes, para que se sientan seguros y cómodos compartiendo con nosotros cómo responder. También tenemos Text a Tip y Safe2Help Illinois. Estas son herramientas de reporte, confidenciales 24/7. En este momento, en tiempo real, estamos investigando STOPit. Tendremos más información para ti en las próximas semanas. Y el Distrito 112 tiene una línea de información. Y cuando obtenga un enlace a estas diapositivas, puedes tener un enlace a estos recursos y te alentamos a que lo compartas con tus hijos. En cuanto al endurecimiento de las instalaciones, a la Fuerza de Tarea contra el Terrorismo de Illinois se le ocurrieron varias capas, cinco capas. Hay diferencias para los primeros años de primaria, hay diferencias para primaria, secundaria, secundaria, universidades, etc., etc. Pero quiero compartir contigo, la capa uno que habla de agregar videovigilancia, señalización para mensajería y comunicación, estamos mejorando nuestro trabajo en ese sentido este verano, a través de las escuelas. Segunda capa, cerraduras dobles de puertas exteriores. Así que tanto las puertas exteriores como las interiores requerirán un zumbido, eso está de vuelta en todos los campus. También vamos a trabajar con nuestro personal de primera línea para asegurarnos de que hagamos una pausa y nos detenemos para asegurarnos de saber quién viene y entendemos cuál es tu negocio, cuando entras en la escuela. Nos disculpamos de antemano por las molestias, pero sabemos que nos vas a apoyar. También disponemos de un sistema de gestión de visitantes donde comprobamos DNI o nombre y fecha de nacimiento. Esto es parte de la seguridad para los niños y nuestro personal. Tenemos vestíbulos de entrada segura, es la capa tres. La capa cuatro tiene múltiples componentes. Tenemos cámaras de vigilancia dentro y fuera, en todos los campus, con acceso remoto a la nube. Estamos haciendo actualizaciones en este momento. Tenemos un oficial de recursos escolares dedicado, un oficial de policía de Highland Park, especialmente entrenado, dedicado al Distrito Escolar 112. En áreas selectas, por obvias razones de seguridad, no te diré donde pero en áreas selectas tenemos materiales a prueba de balas y resistentes a las balas. Es simplemente un hecho de la vida. Nivel cinco, tenemos BluePoint Security. Entonces, al igual que tirarás de una estación si hay un incendio, aquí puedes sacar una estación si hay necesidad de la policía. También hemos mejorado completamente la seguridad en Northwood y Edgewood, como parte de la fase uno de nuestros planes de seguridad a largo plazo. ¿Qué otra cosa? Durante el año pasado y este verano, hemos invertido cerca de 2 millones de dólares para actualizaciones, para estandarización. También estamos considerando actualizar nuestra actualización de megafonía de intercomunicación. También estamos buscando expandir nuestro sistema de acceso a las puertas. Gente que estamos investigando, en este momento, Soluciones de Detección de Armas, seguridad armada, seguridad desarmada, vallado, cabinas telefónicas exteriores, cerraduras electrónicas de puertas. Con la planificación de la fase dos, del plan a largo plazo y el posible referéndum, contamos con planeamiento arquitectónico para seguridad y protección. Escribimos sobre esto en el Highlander de junio y julio que va para todos los residentes de Highland Park. Y también tenemos un compromiso continuo para asegurarnos de que estamos haciendo esto en nuestra planificación en este momento. Nos reunimos regularmente con los representantes policiales de Highland Park, Highwood, Deerfield, Riverwoods, Bannockbum. Todos los departamentos de bomberos, también, que alimentan al Distrito 113. Incluye personal del distrito escolar. Nos vemos en persona, nos vemos por zoom. Revisamos nuestros procedimientos de seguridad y nuestros planes de acción de emergencia. Algunos públicos, otros no. Hablamos de simulacros y protocolos. Recientemente, el 28 de junio, hubo una interdisciplinariedad regional reunión de seguridad del edificio. Y la última semana de julio, me reuní con nuestro consultor de seguridad de seguridad escolar, subjefe de policía en un área vecina y algunas otras personas. Estamos viendo un programa global de respuesta a la violencia. Estamos viendo el programa ALICE, alertar, bloquear, informar, contrarrestar y evacuar. El programa que tenemos corre, escóndete, lucha. También estamos buscando capacitación en trauma. EStás consciente, a través de las comunicaciones, he dicho que acabamos de recibir un entrenamiento reciente. Lo que puede o no saber es, hemos planeado el entrenamiento Stop the Bleed para nuestro personal este verano. Realizamos RCP, reanimación cardiopulmonar y DEA, formación en desfibrilador externo automático, está en curso. Acabamos de programar la capacitación del personal informado sobre trauma este verano, antes de que comience la escuela. Te envié una nota completa en julio y lo entiendo de nuevo, algunas personas pueden leerlo y entenderlo. Algunas personas no están listas para leerlo. Algunas personas quieren ciertas cosas. Sé que estamos en diferentes etapas y me importa. A todos nos importa. Por favor, comprende las escuelas estarán abiertas pronto. Tenemos nueva orientación para el personal, 15 de agosto. Tenemos otra reunión ordinaria de la junta escolar el 16 de agosto. Tenemos a todo el personal regresando con un día de instituto del psicólogo escolar, Dr. Doug Bolton el 22 de agosto. Tenemos a nuestros estudiantes regresando el 24 de agosto. Amigos, antes de cerrar, quiero recordarles, el martes 26 de julio, este próximo martes, tenemos una reunión de la junta escolar. Realizamos nuestras reuniones en vivo en persona, aquí en el Centro de Administración de Green Bay. Puedes verlo en vivo. Quiero aprovechar el momento, en tantas formas de comunicación como puedo decir, somos conscientes, escuchamos, nos importa. Tenemos un corazón, somos parte de nuestra comunidad. Estamos orgullosos de ser parte de nuestra comunidad. Estamos orgullosos de dar la bienvenida a casi 4.000 estudiantes en menos de un mes. Tenemos mucho tiempo, energía e inversiones y recursos financieros en seguridad y protección. Estamos escuchando sugerencias, miedos e inquietudes. Estamos investigando. Tendremos una actualización y una discusión el martes por la noche. Esto está en curso. Te agradezco tu apoyo del Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Y gracias por contactarme a mí y a la Junta de Educación. Nuestro lema es inspirar, innovar y comprometer y continuaremos haciéndolo con amor, cuidado, compasión. También seguiremos recibiendo asesoramiento de expertos y hacer todo lo que podamos en este día y época para asegurarnos de que estamos dirigiendo las escuelas en un entorno seguro y ordenado. Muchas gracias. Mantente en contacto.

English Transcript

– Hi, this is Mike Lubelfeld, superintendent of schools. And I’m coming to you today with an update on safety and security. And before I go over the details, and before I get into the nuts and bolts, I want to let you know that we have a board meeting on Tuesday, July 26th. Our board meetings are here, live in person, at the administrative offices. We’ll also be doing a live broadcast, so people can watch live or after the fact. And I simply want to state, at the beginning, that I come to you, not only as your superintendent of schools and as an educational leader, but also as a human being and as a father of two teenage children, and a husband of my wife, and as someone who is feeling alongside of each and every one of you, with what we’ve been going through as a direct result of the tragic events of July 4th, here in Highland Park and also of events prior to that, from a safety and security perspective. I care, I feel, I empathize. I’m also here to do my job and share that with you. But I just want to point that out, that some of you are very ready to hear the messages that I have and some of you are very interested and up to date. Others of you, right now, you really can’t listen to this, and I respect that, I understand that. Others of you are focused on certain things or uni-focused. And wherever you are, that’s okay. I simply want to state, affirm, validate that there’s a lot of feelings and a lot of emotions. Here in the school district, I want to share with you what’s going on. And I know there’s a lot of information that I’ve shared via email and other areas. So today in this video update, it’s a preview of what we’re going to talk about on Tuesday. I say this with an open heart and an open mind, and beyond just being the superintendent, who’s got a job to do, but as a guy who’s feeling alongside with you, as a father and as a human being. You probably know this, but again, sometimes it bears repeating, security and safety has been an ongoing commitment in School District 112. Not just in reaction to events, and certainly not just in reaction to what we’ve just experienced as a community. But for many years. In 2014, we had an audit. 2018, there were safety vestibules implemented at campuses. And as we go on, we make improvements. In 2018, we started the ALICE training partnership, that I’ll talk a little bit more about. We also had another audit in 2018, and we’ve implemented those recommendations since then. In June, I asked the Board of Education to approve another security audit. It’s part of an ongoing commitment. We ask experts in the field, who know about this, what’s the right thing that schools, like ours, are supposed to do to make sure that we’re safe inside and outside? So again, June 14th, our board approved a contract with a gentleman named Paul Timm, who runs a company FEA. In 2022, this summer, we’ve been making other investments, that I’ll highlight in this brief video message, and some upgrades to our security in our facilities. But I also want to talk with you about some research, that I’m part of with our team, that we’re going into regarding various solutions. I don’t know if we’re going to implement these or if we’re going to implement them sooner or later, I simply want you to know we are listening and we are investigating guards, detection devices and other things. But I really want to share with you here, that the work we’re doing is not out in a vacuum. And we always look to the experts in the field. In this case, back in 2019, 2020, the Illinois Terrorism Task Force. And I hate to even say those words in a message to our community, but the Illinois Terrorism Task Force had a school safety working group. They made recommendations to people like us, who work in public schools here in Illinois. And I want you to know, and we’ll go over this in greater detail Tuesday night, but I wanted to take the point right now to share with you. And I don’t know if you’re going to get this in video, in audio or written form, we’re trying to get as many forms of communication as we can. But the experts in school safety talk about three ways to look at this, behavioral assessment, and that goes with the audits we did in 2014, 2018 and the audit we’re actually starting immediately right now in 2022, the concept of hardening of facilities, the physical security that I’ll talk with you about, and then something that I don’t know that I’ve talked with you about enough, and that’s the response protocol. So in today’s video message I want to share with you recommendations from experts. How does district 112 handle it now and what might we do in the future? You may know that we have behavioral assessment teams. Dr. Holly Colin, our assistant superintendent, overseas and runs it. You may not know that we have nearly 30 mental health personnel, social workers, psychologists directly devoted to providing social-emotional support in the school district. This year, we’re increasing the full-time equivalency for social workers across the district. And we’re adding a halftime, district wide, person in all schools. This is new. We’ll have at least one full-time social worker and not necessarily someone shared between campuses. In addition, we have on the books, inter governmental agreements, IGAs, with the Highland Park Police, the Highwood Police. We also work with the Lake County Sheriff and the Regional Office of Education. You may know we have a Highland Park police officer, a school resource officer, assigned to District 112. Some stuff I don’t know that we share enough with you, and I wanted to take the time here to share with you, we also have school wide strategies, restorative practices, deescalation, also relationship building. We use things like, Second Step, Calm Classrooms, Sown to Grow, CPI training or crisis prevention. We also have PBIS, positive behavioral intervention and supports. We have Leader in Me. We have Tiger Stripes, Panda STARS, Champs and other programs designed to help the social-emotional relationship with students, so they feel safe and comfortable sharing with us how to respond. We also have Text a Tip and Safe2Help Illinois. These are reporting tools, confidential 24/7. Right now, in real time, we’re researching STOPit. We’ll have more information for you in the next few weeks. And District 112 has a tip line. And when you get a link to these slides, you can have a link to these resources and we encourage you to share that with your children. In terms of hardening the facilities, the Illinois Terrorism Task Force came up with various layers, five layers. There’s differences for early elementary, there’s differences for elementary, middle, high school, universities, so on and so forth. But I want to share with you, layer one that talks about adding video surveillance, signage for messaging and communication, we’re upping our work in that regard this summer, across the schools. Layer two, exterior door double locks. So both the exterior and interior doors will require a buzz in, that is back in place at all campuses. We also are going to work with our frontline staff to make sure that we pause and we stop to make sure we know who’s coming in and we understand what your business is, when you come into the school. We apologize in advance for the inconvenience, but we know you’re going to support us. We also have a visitor management system where we check ID or name and birth date. This is part of safety for the children and our staff. We have secure entry vestibules, it’s layer three. Layer four has multiple components. We have surveillance cameras inside and outside, all across the campuses, with remote cloud access. We’re making upgrades right now. We have a dedicated school resource officer, a Highland Park police officer, specially trained, dedicated to School District 112. In select areas, for obvious security reasons, I won’t tell you where, but in select areas we have bullet proof and bullet resistant materials. It’s simply a fact of life. Level five, we have BluePoint Security. So just like you’ll pull a station if there’s a fire, here you can pull a station if there’s a need for the police. We’ve also completely upgraded security at Northwood and Edgewood, as part of phase one of our long range security plans. What else? Over the past year and this summer, we’ve invested nearly 2 million dollars for upgrades, for standardization. We’re also looking at upgrading our Intercom Public Address Upgrade. We’re also looking at expanding our door access system. Folks we’re researching, right now, Weapons Detection Solutions, armed security, unarmed security, fencing, exterior call boxes, electronic door locks. With phase two planning, of the long range plan and the potential referendum, we have architectural planning for safety and security. We wrote about this in the June, July Highlander that goes to every resident of Highland Park. And we’re also have an ongoing commitment to making sure we’re doing this in our planning right now. We meet on a regular basis with the police representatives of Highland Park, Highwood, Deerfield, Riverwoods, Bannockbum. All the fire departments, too, that feed to District 113. It includes school district personnel. We meet in person, we meet on zoom. We review our safety procedures and our emergency action plans. Some public, some not. We talk about drills and protocols. Recently, on June 28th, there was a regional interdisciplinary building safety meeting. And last week in July, I met with our school safety security consultant, deputy chief of police in a neighboring area and some other folks. We’re looking at an overarching violence response program. We’re looking at the ALICE program, alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. Run, hide, fight program that we have. We’re also looking at trauma training. You’re aware, through the communications, I’ve said, we’ve just had recent training. What you may or may not know is, we have planned Stop the Bleed Training for our staff this summer. We do CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and AED, automated external defibrillator training, it’s ongoing. We have just scheduled trauma informed staff training this summer, before school starts. I sent you a comprehensive note in July and I understand again, some folks can read it and understand it. Some folks are not ready to read it. Some folks want certain things. I know we’re at different stages and I care. We all care. Please understand, schools are going to be open soon. We have new staff orientation, August 15th. We have another regular school board meeting August 16th. We have all staff coming back with an institute day from school psychologist, Dr. Doug Bolton on August 22nd. We have our students returning August 24th. Friends, before I close, I want to remind you, on Tuesday, July 26th, this coming Tuesday, we have a school board meeting. We hold our meetings live in person, here at the Green Bay Administration Center. You can watch it live. I want to take the moment, in as many forms of communication as I can to say, we’re aware, we’re listening, we care. We have a heart, we’re part of our community. We’re proud to be part of our community. We’re proud to welcome our nearly 4,000 students back in less than a month. We have significant time, energy and financial investments and resources in safety and security. We’re listening to suggestions and fears and concerns. We’re doing research. We’ll have an update and a discussion Tuesday night. This is ongoing. I thank you for your support of North Shore School District 112. And thank you, reaching out to me and to the Board of Education. Our motto is inspire, innovate, and engage and we’ll continue to do so with love, care, compassion. We’ll also continue to get expert advice and do everything we can in this day and age to make sure we’re running schools in a safe, orderly environment. Thank you so much. Stay in touch.

Message from the Superintendent – A Check In July 10 2022 #112Leads #HPStrong

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” Dolly Parton

On July 4, 2022, innocence was ripped out of the hearts of Highland Park and Highwood Illinois due to a tragedy of unspeakable description. Another mass murder in America – on the 4th of July – was unspeakable. As a result, all community partners, including our local elementary and high school district, have jumped to action and heeded the call to support our first responders, the city, the community, victims, a host of social service agencies, and more.

Instinctively so many joined together to provide instant community counseling efforts on Tuesday, July 5, and those continued in multiple formats throughout the week and they will continue at the Family Assistance Center (FAC) this week.

In this update, I share updates, insights, plans, and reactions to how the community is uniting in counseling, prayer, and planning. The schools will open on August 24, with this 11-minute audio update, I acknowledged the outpouring of community support immediately after the 4th, I explain the focus on reopening the schools after the summer break, and the information helps us focus attention on “right now” that people are at various stages in the healing process, what is I am doing about school safety and security, optional school “play dates” and next steps. For information visit https://cityhpil.com/resident/highland_park_strong.php



Spanish Translation/Transcript

– [Dr. Michael Lubelfeld] Esto es “Lighthouse 112”, el podcast del superintendente de escuelas en el Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Somos un distrito escolar público de preescolar 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 narrativa cambiante de la educación pública. Inspirar, innovar, participar. Gracias por escuchar “Lighthouse 112”, el podcast del superintendente de escuelas en Highland Park y Highwood, Illinois. Hola, este es un mensaje de audio de Mike Lubelfeld, superintendente de escuelas del Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. El 4 de julio de 2022, la inocencia fue arrancada de los corazones de Highland Park y Highwood, Illinois debido a una tragedia de descripción indescriptible. Como resultado, todos los socios de la comunidad, incluyendo nuestra primaria local y los distritos de escuelas secundarias, han saltado a la acción y atendido la llamada para apoyar a nuestros socorristas, la ciudad, la comunidad, las víctimas, una gran cantidad de agencias de servicios sociales, y más. Instintivamente, muchos se unieron para proporcionar esfuerzos de consejería comunitaria instantánea el martes 5 de julio, y esos esfuerzos continuaron en múltiples formatos durante toda la semana y seguirán en el Centro de Asistencia Familiar esta semana. Los Centros de Asistencia Familiar están diseñados para proporcionar servicios e información a los miembros de la familia de los fallecidos y heridos, así como a aquellas personas afectadas por el incidente. Se supervisa el Centro de Asistencia Familiar por la Cruz Roja Americana, así como múltiples agencias, incluidos los equipos de asistencia a las víctimas del FBI, que prestan ayuda y apoyo a las víctimas, testigos, y cualquier persona en la comunidad que se vio afectada por este evento. Está ubicado en la Preparatoria Highland Park, 433 Vid en Highland Park. La FAC y los servicios de asesoramiento dirigidos por la comunidad estarán disponible a partir del lunes 11 de julio hasta el viernes 15 de julio de 11:00 a 19:00 horas. Todas las personas y familias afectadas deben sentirse seguras accediendo a los servicios de apoyo en la Preparatoria Highland Park, independientemente del estatus migratorio. Se puede encontrar más información y el anuncio de la ciudad en el sitio web de la ciudad de Highland Park, HPStrong.info. Desde terapeutas hasta perros de terapia, donaciones de alimentos, agua, peluches suaves, juguetes anti-ansiedad, suministros de arte y mucho más. Todos hemos sido abrumados y afirmados por la efusión de amor, atención, preocupación y apoyo para los miembros de la comunidad de Highland Park y Highwood impactado por el desfile del 4 de julio. Empresas y organismos gubernamentales como el nuestro están brindando consejería y espacios terapéuticos para nuestros empleados, pues ellos también fueron directamente e indirectamente impactados, y ellos también se ven afectados por el trauma que rodea todo esto. El clero y los grupos locales han organizado vigilias, mítines, reuniones y más continuarán a medida que cada individuo trata de luchar con las emociones involucradas en este acontecimiento comunitario y tragedia comunitaria. Abriremos nuestras escuelas a nuestros estudiantes y personal, y familias el 24 de agosto de 2022. Independiente de la tragedia del 4 de julio, e independiente de eventos nacionales, en el Distrito 112 hemos estado trabajando en actualizaciones relacionadas con la seguridad escolar, seguridad, etcétera. Sepan que antes del 4 de julio estábamos mejorando las puertas, cámaras, señalización, puntos de acceso, capacitación, divulgación y más. Estamos comprometidos con ambientes seguros, protegidos limpios y acogedores para todos y cada uno de ustedes, y todos y cada uno de los alumnos. Sepan que tendremos más actualizaciones para nuestra comunidad y familias antes del comienzo de la escuela. Sé que esto fue, es y seguirá siendo un esfuerzo prioritario en el Distrito 112. Sepa que independientemente de todo esto, nos hemos centrado profundamente en las mejoras de las instalaciones, incluyendo mejoras de seguridad y protección. Compartiré más información este verano según corresponda. En este momento, en colaboración con la ciudad y muchas, muchas agencias, vamos a apoyar a la comunidad en su sanación a corto, mediano y largo plazo, y respuestas post-incidente. El Distrito 112 se está preparando para abrir las escuelas en agosto. La ciudad y muchas agencias están preparando cómo avanzar y coordinar los servicios comunitarios. Necesitamos respirar y necesitamos crear espacios seguros para los demás, ya que la tragedia aún está fresca en nuestras mentes y nuestros corazones. Si se sienten con ganas, asistan a las vigilias, acérquense a su clero, acérquense unos a otros, busquen asesoramiento. A medida que se sientan con ganas, asistan a lo que tenga sentido para ustedes. Tal vez algún día tomaremos un descanso en la acción, por así decirlo, pero hoy, ciertamente, no es ese día. Tenga en cuenta que nuestras escuelas se enorgullecen de ser socios de la comunidad en nuestra fuerte, amable, compasiva, inteligente, generosa y decidida comunidad. Entonces, ¿qué estoy haciendo ahora con respecto a la seguridad y protección de la escuela? Bueno, con respecto a la seguridad escolar y protección esta próxima semana, ya tengo en mi calendario alcance a los actuales y posibles proveedores comerciales en el área de seguridad escolar. Tengo reuniones con superintendentes de área, miembros de personal de área y consultor de seguridad la junta contratada en junio, independiente del incidente del 4 de julio, para revisar la seguridad y protección del distrito. Me reuniré con nuestro asesor de seguridad, acelerando nuestros esfuerzos juntos. Tendremos una reunión especial de la Junta de Educación, a partir de las 5:00 p.m. del miércoles, para discutir la seguridad y la protección en una sesión cerrada. Estamos haciendo mucho. Queremos saber qué estamos haciendo bien, queremos saber lo que estamos haciendo que hay corregirse. Y queremos ver qué, si es que hay algo, se necesita hacer en reacción a este horrible evento comunitario. Continuaremos manteniendo nuestra comunidad actualizada. Simplemente quiero que sepan lo que creo que ya saben, nos estamos centrando en esto en los más altos niveles de prioridad. Reuniones opcionales en la escuela. La próxima semana, algunas de las escuelas primarias están organizando citas para jugar con el PTO y el liderazgo principal. No esperamos que todos asistan o se sientan cómodos asistiendo en este momento. Sabemos que este es un largo proceso de curación. Sin embargo, simplemente queremos enfatizar que independientemente de lo ocurrido el 4 de julio y en nuestra comunidad, las escuelas siguen siendo lugares seguros y acogedores. Y reabriremos el próximo mes con el corazón y la mente abiertos. Debemos continuar a pesar de esta tragedia comunitaria indescriptible. Debemos apoyarnos unos en otros para tener fuerza, pues somos capaces de hacerlo. Sabemos que la gente aún no está lista para reunirse, y estoy enfatizando que está bien no asistir, está bien no estar listo. Seguimos centrados en el asesoramiento, la curación y abrir nuestras escuelas en menos de 40 días. Por favor comprendan que la seguridad de nuestras escuelas y el nivel de amenaza, por así decirlo, no es diferente hoy de lo que ha sido. Y entiendo que esto es más que difícil. Ni siquiera tengo las palabras para ello en mi corazón y mente, y oraciones y pensamientos para todos los involucrados. Por favor, comprendan que todos estamos tomando esto juntos un paso a la vez. Y todos estamos trabajando a través del libro de juego de cómo dirigir nuestras escuelas, nuestra comunidad, nuestras familias. Y sepan que el sistema escolar está aquí para ustedes, y vamos a prepararnos para todos. Y si quieren asistir esta semana, háganlo. Si no quieren, por favor no lo hagan. Está bien. Próximos pasos. Continuaremos compartiendo comunicaciones actualizadas en nombre de la ciudad y las muchas agencias gubernamentales involucradas. Y seguiremos haciendo fuertes a Highland Park y Highwood mientras vivimos juntos como comunidad y como un pueblo que no permitirá que el terror los apague. Con aprecio y optimismo, seremos la luz que ahuyente el odio. Para terminar, seguimos enfocados en apoyar a las víctimas, los afligidos, los heridos, y los muchos que están sintiendo una montaña rusa de emociones. Gracias por escuchar “Lighthouse 112”. Continuaremos compartiendo actualizaciones de la comunidad durante todo el verano. Gracias por escuchar “Lighthouse 112”, un podcast del superintendente de escuelas en el Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Somos un distrito escolar público de preescolar a octavo grado en el noreste de Illinois. Este podcast es una fuente de información sobre el distrito escolar, su liderazgo, sus profesores y alumnos, y su comunidad. Es otra fuente de actualizaciones, y una fuente adicional de noticias sobre la narrativa cambiante de la educación pública. Inspirar, innovar, participar. Este podcast se puede escuchar y oír en Anchor, Podcasts de Apple, Podcasts de Google, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, y otras fuentes que se agregan todo el tiempo. Vuelvan a consultar y suscríbanse a nosotros para mantenerse al día con lo que está pasando en el Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Visiten también nuestro sitio web en www.nssd112.org. Muchas gracias por escuchar y por su interés.

Post 2 of 2 – Global Service – Dominican Republic- IASA 2021

Post 2 -IASA Global Service Trip – Dominican Republic October 2021

This is the second post describing and documenting a global service trip I had the opportunity to attend in the Dominican Republic with 30 colleagues. Each member of this international travel experience was a school superintendent, school or district level administrator or elected member of a Board of Education. Under the exceptional guidance and care of our team from Education First and the Dominican people, we led, learned, served, grew, opened our minds and hearts and set the foundation for student learning and teacher learning opportunities at home.

In this blog post, I will share the rest of the story that was started in the first blog post about this incredible set of adventures and experiences. As I left off in post #1,  this post will highlight our visit to Santiago (the 2nd largest city) visiting the historical district and learning about street art history and culture. I’ll describe the visit to the artisan area in Moca where we learned how to use pottery and bricks for stoves that help reduce the use of wood and lumber by 70% in the mountain areas, our adventures on the north coast of Cabarete, the Dream School and Inspire DR.

Thank you for reading the posts about of our journey in the Dominican Republic! Below I’m showing some photos from the Environmental institute I wrote about in the first post.

Trail “oasis” “after” completion

Tree Nursery

Hands on service!

Trail “oasis” “before” work

Trail Restoration Project

Creative reuse of plastic bottles to insulate wall of outdoor greenhouse

Discussing environmental possibilities

The journey from Jarabacoa towards Santiago afforded us the chance to visit with a local artisan and engage in several workshops and hands on learning experiences at a pottery shop. The artisan was located in Moca, Dominican Republic, and at our briefing we learned cultural and historically significant information as well as sustainability and direct impact on rural Dominican homes as well as the greater environment, health, and wellness.

Briefing at artisan site

The cultural lessons centered around a faceless doll. This was a special art project that originated in 1977. Essentially, in a nod to the complex and mixed ethnic and cultural and racial ancestry of the Dominican people, with 2% Taino (native peoples), 23% Spanish, and 75% African heritage and DNA in its citizens, the artisans wanted to make a statement about the pride and complexities of the mix. Therefore, the idea of the Faceless Doll of a Dominican women was born. A proud, interesting, and creative example of telling a highly complicated and high level concept (ancestry, heritage, etc.) in a clay doll. Beyond our new learning and appreciation for the progression of “who am I” and “who are we”, we actually had the chance to make a doll (though it’s really not easy! And the art teacher was as patient as anyone could be with our amateur creations).

Attempt at making faceless dolls

Artisan pottery – chimney brick project

Brick stove with chimney – transformation

In addition to the Faceless Woman project, we also received a briefing on the stoves in the homes of folks living in the rural, mountain areas and the toll on health, especially for women and children that their old, traditional stoves were taking. For example, cooking indoors with wood, fire, and no chimney or ventilation system led to severe impact on trees (wood for cooking), severe impact on lung/respiratory health of women and children (traditionally in the home while the men go in the fields and work) and skin issues due to the smoke and its carcinogenic properties. So at this pottery artisan production center we visited in Moca, they also make bricks for new rural stoves that use bricks and chimney design to ventilate the toxic smoke, and it has benefits on health, the forest, and lungs! These brick ovens reduce the wood usage by 70% — this is already having a positive impact on the island.

Proud to learn and serve making bricks for brick stove



Our work in brick makingThis focus on sustainability is also impacting the Haitian side of the island. Together in partnership we all benefit. We on this trip are planting seeds of international cooperation and respect that we will ideally recreate so that students in our schools can learn, do, experience, and we can all pay this forward. The artisan shop is also an example of supporting the local economy as there are locally produced handcrafts for purchase.



After we visited Moca’s rich artisanal history, and experienced projects of value and of meaning for us and for future student groups, we headed to the nation’s second largest city Santiago. In Santiago, there is a recently restored historic neighborhood with incredible street artwork. I’m sharing a bunch of photos from this visit – I feel that the imagery is far more powerful and descriptive than my words can be.

This visit to Santiago shared for us urban redevelopment in the historic district as well as a visual representation of culture, history and the society over time. The streets on which were were walking are centuries old and have stories of their own.

From Santiago we headed into Puerto Plata on the north coast of the island nation. Our destination was Cabarete. Cabarete is a culturally significant city with a cosmopolitan and international flair. Cabarete and the Puerto Plata coastal area was the original spot for Dominican tourism prior to Punta Cana’s creation on the southeast side of the island. Cabarete is known for international visitors and “expats” as well as kite surfing and surfing on the Atlantic Ocean.

In Cabarete we visited and served at a community center/Montessori-inspired school called the Dream Center School, and we also visited Inspire, an after school and year round STEAM/Shop/Culture/Values program for boys 18-25 years old. Here are some photos of Dream Center and our on site, hands-on beautification service projects. 


Fixing up the recycling and trash receptacle after relocating

Our take aways, amens, and epiphanies are many and varied. With the school sites, the after school social organizations, the community library, and their integration and interdependence to supplement and in some cases supplant the overall social-educational systems in place, we saw firsthand how EF works with value and mission driven local organizations and groups so our students can be part of something much larger than their typical education/school experiences. We adults were highly moved and  affected by our service, the informational briefings, and the reflections We got to experience what our students will go through. The Dream School Center allowed us to see how a private school interacts with the public school system.

Finished project!

We saw how early childhood education up through grammar school is organized in very similar fashions to our US educational system. Montessori philosophy is popular in many settings around the world. The Dream Center shares a STEAM classroom with the local public school.

The Dream library is a community library, they have a “book mobile” as well and their outreach is community-wide, not just for the students in the school or special programs. Their Bachata sister academy for older youth (High school ages) demonstrated some Bachata music in an impressive display of musical talent!  As the photos show, we helped them with requested beautification projects and functional projects designating space for motorcycle parking, movement of a recycling and trash receptacle to the back of the grounds, as well as touch up painting throughout the classrooms.

Finished project!

The service elements, similar to what our students will experience, showed us that a group of people may start as strangers, yet they emerge as friends in part due to the opportunities that forge authentic bonds. The problem solving, skills development, team work and overall satisfaction with jobs well done meant a lot to each and every one of us every day on this fantastic set of adventures.

We left the Dream Center feeling a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and reward. We finished up our exploration and inquiry at an after school program for boys (though they are also adding girls programming) InspireDR – Free After-School Programs in Cabarete, Dominican Republic This private foundation “NGO” community based center offers swimming instruction, computer literacy, health education, wood shop, economics, a dojo for marshal arts, and more. We were truly inspired by the emphasis on technical life skills, problem solving, positive, moral, ethical, community focused learning and living. These boys and young men were learning English, swimming safety, and we were able to engage and interact with them on site. In addition, they teach public speaking and communications. This free (privately funded) community center has a waiting list of 90 students and they are serving as many as they can free of charge. This and so many of our new discoveries would each and all make great fund-raising, sponsorship, visit/exchange, education, and of course service projects for our own youth, Rotary and other civic organizations and other foundations.

We also ate lunch at Water to Wine, a water purification team — the opportunities to serve and make our world a better place seemed to be never-ending.

As I close the photo journal and documentary accounts of our incredible 2021 IASA Global Service Project, and as I again thank Dr. Polyak and our business partners, I’ll share some final thoughts, reflections and comments. In North Shore School District 112, we are going to explore the possibilities we can create with our own local partners for a student trip and relationship moving forward. Inspire…Innovate…Engage – our aspirational motto — in action!

Captivating natural beauty

We had so many “to do” or “do now” opportunities. We had so much history and culture learning and education experiences. We were not blind to the irony of our service during the Indigenous People/Columbus Day observances (at home and in the DR). It was not lost on us that we were meeting in Columbus Park for our Santiago art/history walking tour.

We learned and lived and engaged and built lasting relationships in a relatively short period of time.

Our world is complex. Our work is complex. Our past is complex.

In order that we support and facilitate the support for teachers and students to create conditions for a sustainable and globally connected world, we must get out of our safe and small circle of our worlds at home and jump out of comfort zones and live, learn, do, think, be open minded to change, and to lead.

With experiences in the educational, social, cultural, artistic, political, geographic, environmental, and service genres (and more), I simply say Thank YOU to all who put in so much effort to create the spaces where we and I could enhance ourselves and our worlds.

Here’s to the next time … truly we are all unfinished! Opportunities like this help us frame our paths to become the next versions of ourselves.

For nearly 30 years I have been serving public education and schooling in suburban Chicago, Illinois, USA. I’ve been a public school superintendent for 12 years (so far). Each year, each job/role, each child for whom I lead, each adult with whom I lead, each family I serve, each community I serve — each one enhances my sense of self and my body of work. My answer to the call of duty in an ongoing and unfinished, never ending cycle of service is to serve, to lead, to push myself and to make my wife, my children, and my community proud and respectful.

Proud and grateful to sponsor partners









Reflections from Dominican Republic – IASA Global Service Trip

IASA Global Service Trip 2021-Blog Post 1

Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Cabarete, Dominican Republic 1,851 miles from Highland Park, Illinois

October 2021

As our world heads out of the restrictive nature of the recent years, and as our school district re-energizes and re-commits to student educational access and excellence in education for each child, every day, I’m beyond grateful that I have had the opportunity to join a recent trip to another country to learn the culture, history, sociology, teamwork, global interconnection, education (of course) and much, much more. Together with a member of my school district’s Board of education, and with leaders from all across the state of Illinois (Cairo, IL to Zion, IL and all parts in between), our lives were forever changed and opportunities for students across Illinois and throughout the Dominican Republic will be impacted for years to come.

In 2018 thirty strangers agreed to participate in international service, culture, and leadership trip called the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Global Service Trip. The trip was delayed twice due to the impact of the global pandemic. Thanks to incredibly generous and supportive business partners, the cost per person was minimal, and thanks to an international educational tour company, the world-class tour, trip, adventures, experiences, reflections, expertise, travel, fellowship, new friendships, shared love for our calling to serve and to educate, and the overall service-learning was among the best I have experienced.

Understanding I will likely leave out details, miss a detail or two or three, to the degree possible, I’m making an effort to share in this blog a documentary accounting and “editorial” in this blog post and some follow-up posts as well.

To start, we all met together at a dinner at a restaurant outside of Chicago, IL. As a reminder, we are each superintendents, board of education members, school administrators, and we represent all areas of the great and diverse state of Illinois. We had no idea the depth of communal care, comfort, support, experience, joy, reflection, and leadership upon which we were each embarking.  We each had our own motivation for applying to join this trip. Our partners at the Law Offices of Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhamner, Rodick, & Kohn (HLERK), International Contractors Incorporated (ICI), DLA Architects, AXA, and SPM Architects all took a significant leap of faith believing in the powerful vision of my good friend and the Leyden High School Superintendent Nick Polyak and his vision for impacting the world, education in Illinois, superintendent-board relations, and so much more — words cannot thank the business partners for their support and investment — and genuine on the ground experiential learning and partnership. Life-long friendships were made on this trip across the Dominican Republic!

Service-learning changes lives forever, after having the incredible opportunity to have served on several trips over the past few years, I know firsthand how powerful the hands-on learning and engagement of people make a lasting impact and serves to support a legacy of global connectedness and growth opportunities. Hat tip to the AASA for allowing me to join in on the LifeTouch Memory Mission in 2016 to the Rio Grande/Constanza, Dominican Republic area with World Servants, and hat tip to my friend and fellow Illinois Superintendent Jim McKay for two trips to San Juan, Puerto Rico (so far) for service learning, educational partnership, teacher exchange, training, technology,  hands-on construction and more! On one of these adventures, I had the opportunity to bring my son with me; blending work and home, blending professional and personal, wow – seriously impactful. My son and I will clearly enjoy many more memories and experiences in the future.

Back to this 2021 trip, …Me and my Board member (or my Board member and I) learned together, experienced together, built together, laughed together, and most importantly, we planned together visions for students in our school district to experience life-changing service like we did. I’ve reached out to the district and school administrators back home (while in the DR) to start the thinking process for a legitimate investment in our students in partnership and travel as an adjunct part of the curriculum. Our motto in North Shore School District 112, https://www.nssd112.org/ is Inspire…Innovate…Engage. This trip to the beautiful island nation of the Dominican Republic was highly inspiring, we are beyond motivated to bring these learning opportunities to our students, and we were engaged from the dinner meeting the night prior to our departure.

A few years ago I posted a reflection post about a series of reflections (I see writing as an intimate and public way to express myself, communicate my thinking, and share professional experiences). See link: Reflecting on Global Service – 3 Year Anniversary of Dominican Republic Memory Mission Trip – This is the blog from Public School Superintendent & Author Dr. Michael Lubelfeld

The incredible company Education First,  EF Education First – Global SIte (English), sent us their “A-Team” of leaders and they truly have outdone themselves in terms of an authentic set of learning, leadership, service, opportunity, and true business/education vision and planning opportunities for children. Thank you, Brian, Alex, Claire, Gabriel, Hector, and everyone in the Dominican Republic on the ground for their amazing leadership, expertise, camaraderie, fellowship, friendship, vision, and overall and genuine professionalism. This was a fantastic experience all around. Thank you also to Angel for day and night support!!

We literally visited and traveled through the entire length of the country traveling from the south to the north. We visited urban, rural, and coastal communities. We saw both the Caribbean and Atlantic coats. We visited cultural and historic sites, geographic sites, the two largest cities, public school sites, private school sites, after school clubs, “NGO” not for profit areas committed to environmental sustainability, social justice, education, future-focused support and so many opportunities for post-trip partnership and service and support. I will be sharing the information and “leads” with my local Rotary Club, Leadership Team, Board of Education, and community leaders.

After we arrived in Santo Domingo, the capital city, we visited a Coral Reef and Mangrove reforestation NGO on the Caribbean Sea prior to our long drive north, through the center of the island towards Jarabacoa. We were immediately taken in by the

Captivating natural beauty

immense natural beauty of this island nation. We were also starting our journey and adventure into the Dominican Republic’s commitment to environment study, preservation, sustainability, and education. The sense of community was powerful and we were just getting started.

The overall journey from Santo Domingo to Jarabacoa is 90 miles/144 kilometers, and by motorcoach with a quick visit to the Coral Reef/Mangrove restoration center (and the Caribbean beachfront), it’s a trip of around 3-4 hours (with a stop on the way for a rest and some coffee). We were at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago at 3:00am for a 5:00am flight to Miami, Florida, then after a short layover we headed to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (journey of 1,936 miles/3,116 kilometers), we arrived in Santo Domingo at 12:40pm local time (O’Hare is CST and Santo Domingo is EST). The journey was long, our anticipation was high, our anxiety was being eased by actually being on the ground and for having enjoyed dinner the night before as well as a long travel journey. But the learning was just getting started.

On our next visit, we went to the Environmental Institute, formally called Instituto Técnico de Estudios Superiores en Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales in Recinto, Jimenoa. At this impressive, Ministry of Education funded school, founded in 1968 and refurbished within the past few years, we learned a ton about reforestation efforts, trail building and preservation, the

Trail “oasis” “before” work

connection of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the overall impact on the preservation of nature’s greatness. At the institute, students are 18-25 years old, the integration of genders was recently added and the federal government funds and runs this impressive, two-campus higher education institute. Topics we addressed at the briefing included conservation, tree nursery, forestry, agriculture, trail building, learning, service, and education. The impact of climate change is real and the need for a larger-scale focus on sustainability is everyone’s responsibility. Here in the Dominican Republic, there are scholarships for students from Haiti in an effort to positively impact the entire island of Hispaniola which both countries share. One of the service projects, hands-on learning for our leadership team, was in the tree nursery and the other was in the nature trail. This institute plants more than 750,000 (seven-hundred fifty-thousand) saplings across the island each year! The impact is beyond huge and lasting.

I was part of the trail restoration project. With sweat equity and really intense physical labor, our team cleared out tree stumps, restored a number of benches and a table (in a clearing on a nature trail at the Institute) our team was really proud of the physical labor and task completion. With natural leadership and skills emerging from team members, and under the

Trail “oasis” “after” completion

supervision and leadership of our Dominican hosts, together we created a nice and comfortable oasis in the trail for a meeting space, thinking, reflection, and ambiance of the beautiful and serene nature trail on one of the campuses.

The tree nursery group learned how to take “baby” trees and plant, clean, separate soil/plants, and recreate the initial steps in the tree nursery growing and sustaining process. Education First (EF) formed relationships with institutions that thrive on their own, but who also benefit from volunteer service and support from student groups, educator groups, and others, to complete their mission-driven work.

It’s really hot in the Dominican Republic— even in October — it’s 90 degrees, powerful sun, intense heat, and we’re not all physical/manual laborers by day. So, the work was really intense and we had sweat on top of sweat and we drank more water than we normally drink! It was also highly rewarding to impact this institution in such a positive way. The service-learning projects are high-intensity and powerfully related to what our students will do as well. In addition, the concepts of inter-dependence are built upon each other at each step.

Following this intense and novel manual labor, our hosts from EF allowed us to experience a geographically beautiful and one of the highest waterfalls in the Dominican Republic. We visited Salto Jimenoa Waterfall,  in Jarabacoa. This was about 35 meters, or 115 feet, tall. The walk to the “watering hole” at the foot of the waterfall was far easier on the way to the falls vs the way back (climbing back up was tough). We were so hot, really stretching muscles we don’t normally use, an intense pride in task completion due to the adrenaline and pride in service we were walking around with since we boarded the plane in Chicago. The visit to this waterfall, impressive on its own — tall, loud crashing water, awe-inspiring geography, and much welcomed “cold water”. Once we entered the watering hole we felt the wind — forceful and inspirational wind — we then headed towards the actual waterfall itself. The massive, natural force driving this water from the mountains — this waterfall invited us in — we each felt a sense of invigorating relief at the entrance with the cold water, the cold almost mystical wind; but words cannot describe the feeling of inspiration upon entering the area against the rock behind the crashing cascade of water! The force reflected our powerful desires and force to serve, learn, and accomplish all we can for each child, every day. We were in paradise — a unique and foreign world compared to our middle-American realities.

Words I wrote in my journal were: “work hard, serve, learn from collaboration, sweat equity, the satisfaction of contributing part to whole, symbolic of the overall trip, aim each of us as global citizens are parts contributing to the whole – cultural, local”.

Each meal was authentically Dominican. We ate rice, beans, chicken, beef, plantains, yucca, fruit juices, fruit, banana, truly outstanding and truly local cuisine.

Each cultural experience was a tribute to our Dominican hosts, the beauty and richness of the people, and representative of the value of travel, touring, meeting other people, gaining experiences through other people’s lenses, learning and respecting the locale. We were not there on any mission to “help” or to “save” — we were present in respect and mutual admiration to learn, lead and serve shoulder to shoulder. We were not there to show who we are and what we do — by embracing our hosts and by opening our minds and hearts, we showed who we were and who we are. On our journey we learned about Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, yes, we superintendents danced (or tried to dance) with the Latin rhythm and beats in our hearts and our souls. Our dance teacher was really patient.

My next post will highlight our visit to Santiago (the 2nd largest city) visiting the historical district and learning about street art history and culture. I’ll describe the visit to the artisan area in Moca where we learned how to use pottery and bricks for stoves that help reduce the use of wood and lumber by 70% in the mountain areas, our adventures on the north coast of Cabarete, the Dream School and Inspire DR.

Thank you for reading the first post about half of our journey in the Dominican Republic!

Stay tuned for the rest of the story.

Superintendent Community Update – Audio Dec 3 – #112Leads

“Embrace the pace of your own journey.” – Unknown

Dr. Lubelfeld is checking in with the community on the “running of the schools” in a Pandemic. Reminders of the challenges we’re facing in this public health crisis along with reminders and clarifications about the D112 plan, communications, and science behind decision making. Tune in for a quick 15-minute update! Visit https://www.nssd112.org/domain/1243 for ongoing updates on the reopening of schools in District 112.

Spanish Transcript (English follows)
– Escuchan Lighthouse 112, el podcast del superintentende del distrito escolar correspondiente al Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Somos ocho escuelas preescolares públicas del distrito en el Northeast, Illinois. Este podcast es una fuente de información sobre el distrito escolar, sobre su liderazgo, su profesorado, sus estudiantes y su comunidad. Es otra fuente de información actualizada y una fuente adicional de noticias sobre el cambio de narrativa en la educación pública. “Inspira, innova e involúcrate”.

– Hola, este es el superintendente Mike Lubelfield y tengo una actualización y un mensaje para la comunidad con relación a la educación en el Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. Hoy es jueves 3 de diciembre, el distrito 112 ha permanecido en una pausa de adaptación con relación al aprendizaje a distancia desde el 21 octubre debido a la tasa de incidencia de casos de COVID-19 y a la recomendación que hace el Ministerio de Salud Pública del Condado de Lake sobre la educación a distancia. Así que hoy vamos a revisar algunas de las razones de por qué estamos aquí. Y también hablaremos un poco sobre lo que estamos haciendo y hacia dónde vamos. Y les daremos una actualización. Además, el 15 de diciembre habrá una transmisión en vivo de la reunión del consejo escolar, en la que daremos una actualización oficial al consejo y a la comunidad. Ésta es una revisión general de lo que se verá ahí y daremos información. Regresemos a la primavera pasada. La pandemia y los cambios educativos comenzaron en marzo. Llevamos casi 10 o 11 meses en cuanto a la experiencia con el coronavirus, COVID-19. Hay cinco retos clave que hemos identificado, reconocido y comunicado con relación a la reapertura del otoño de 2020. Y estamos muy orgullosos de que, de hecho, reabrimos de forma exitosa un modelo de aprendizaje que tenía aquí a los niños y al profesorado solo por ocho semanas. Y, de nuevo, desde el 21 de octubre hemos cambiado al aprendizaje a distanca. Pero nos enfrentamos con un reto de salud pública, no es un reto educativo, no es un reto económico, a pesar de que la educación y la economía han sido puestas a prueba. Se trata de un desafío a la salud pública. Y falta mucho por aprender sobre el virus del COVID-19, su transmisión, su forma de manifestarse; su tratamiento y su cura aún son una incógnita. Hay una falta datos científicos revisados por sus pares, porque esto continúa, es en tiempo real. Los distritos escolares, como el nuestro, han estado preparados para responder a varios escenarios. Respondimos con actividades a distancia híbridas y con actividades completamente realizadas a distancia. Ahora estamos analizando los datos, las cifras y cuáles son nuestras opciones para seguir adelante para lo que queda del año escolar, claro. Otro desafío ha sido la falta de acuerdos. Desafortunadamente no existe un precedente. Desde 1918 no se había dado un acontecimiento de esta magnitud y a esta escala. Por lo que ninguno de nosotros ha recibido orientación con datos científicos y médicos revisados por pares, meditados y aprobados. Esto está limitado y en cambio continuo. Se ha interpretado de muchas formas distintas, tanto médicamente, como políticamente y de otras formas. El resultado es que las decisiones han sido cuestionadas e interpretadas, y, desafortunadamente, han sido polarizadas a través de la realidad política de nuestro país. Además, no ha habido tiempo suficiente. Estamos realizando estos cambios y tomando estas decisiones en tiempo real. Nos ocupamos del liderazgo mientras enfrentamos el reto de la salud pública y la falta de acuerdos. Estoy muy orgulloso de nuestro consejo, y estoy orgulloso de nuestros maestros; estoy orgulloso de la administración, de los padres de familia, de los estudiantes, de la comunidad; estoy orgulloso de nuestro personal de apoyo educativo, porque hemos trabajado juntos y hemos hecho cosas que no habíamos hecho antes y que no sabíamos que podíamos hacer. Asimismo, otro desafío relacionado con la reapertura y el desarrollo son que las decisiones se adoptarán por escrutinio. Todos nuestros planes, no sólo en el distrito 112, sino también en los distritos vecinos, como Illinois, que para bien o para mal tiene 853 distritos escolares públicos. De alguna forma, nos han dejado solos y hemos tenido que hacerlo por nuestra propia cuenta y nuestras decisiones han sido escrutinizadas y estamos realizando el escrutinio de nuestras propias decisiones. Esta es una versión radical de la antigua decisión de cierre por nieve. Cuando todos estaban mirando distintos pronósticos meteorológicos y tenían retos en aquella época. Hace un año, unos de mis colegas diría que la decisión de cierre por nieve era como desvelarse y sacar una D-, porque sin importar lo que hacías, se hacía el escrutinio. Hoy no es distinto, y lo comprendemos. Uno de los grandes desafíos que seguimos enfrentando es que las circunstancias siguen cambiando, pero estamos trabajando en ello. Lidiamos con el desafío de la reapertura, y por eso reabrimos. Determinamos nuestros principios rectores que ahora ya saben cuáles son: la comunicación segura y el aprendizaje. Seguimos transmitiendo datos de información de casos que recibimos, porque dimos nuestra palabra de comunicarnos de forma transparence. En lugar de enviar una carta cada vez que existe un caso, cada día hemos enviado una sola carta cada día cerca de las 3:00 de la tarde con la información que tengamos disponible. También hemos estado trabajando con el Ministerio de Salud Pública de Illinois, con el Consejo de Educación del Estado de Illinois, etc. Estamos haciendo lo posible por aprender lo que podamos. El distrito 112 ha invertido millones de dólares para reducir el riesgo, para crear medios más saludables y seguros; y también da cuenta de las necesidades curriculares para trabajar durante de esta pandemia. Hemos invertido recursos en los planes de estudio, en la enseñanza y en los materiales de aprendizaje desde casa. Los hemos estado encuestando, y por eso les damos las gracias por darnos sus opiniones, las necesitamos. Recibimos sus opiniones, trabajamos con ellas, y luego compartimos con ustedes lo que aprendimos de ellas. Y seguimos invirtiendo para hacer el aprendizaje lo mejor que podamos. Nos importa completamente lo que aprenden nuestros niños. Nos importa completamente el concepto de “pérdida de aprendizaje”. Recuerdo, y se lo recuerdo a todos, que la pérdida de aprendizaje se da a nivel internacional y nacional. Por lo que nadie quedará rezagado. Todos vamos a trabajar juntos para recuperar lo perdido. La lectura de nuestros datos iniciales muestran que no tenemos, necesariamente, pérdida de aprendizaje y de lectura. Sí hay una pérdida de aprendizaje matemático y estamos trabajando en ello. Estaremos realizando algunos exámenes adicionales y seguiremos informando sobre esto mientras seguimos trabajando hacia adelante. Le recuerdo a todos que tenemos un comité con más de 50 personas interesadas que nos ayudan con nuestros programas. Los programas y la programación son increíbles y complejos y han dado como resultado la realización de un modelo de aprendizaje de forma coherente y consecuente. Tenemos cinco horas de enseñanza. Algunas horas se dan en vivo, y otras se dan por medio de deberes en casa. Y seguimos aprendiendo, nos informamos de lo que hacen otras personas, somos oportunos con ello, y lo replicamos, aprendemos de los éxitos y los fracasos de otros. Lo que hacemos y funciona bien, lo replicamos. Lo que se hace y necesita reelaborarse, intentamos rescatarlo, arreglarlo y cambiarlo mientras lo mejoramos. Tenemos una oficina virtual dedicada al aprendizaje emocional y social. Y si no sabían de esto, les pido que contacten al trabajador social escolar en su escuela, al psicólogo educativo de su escuela, al maestro de su escuela, a cualquiera que pueda brindarle ayuda para conseguir los recursos sobre cómo ayudar a su hijo, cómo ayudarle a su familia durante esta etapa. La salud mental emocional es de gran importancia y contamos con recursos sobre esto. Si no saben cómo pueden encontrarlos, por favor, contáctenos y les ayudaremos. Con respecto al modelo de aprendizaje a distancia, los estudiantes realizan el 100 % del aprendizaje a distancia. Este modelo se da cuando las escuelas están físicamente cerradas. La consecuencia ha sido que los estudiantes están aprendiendo cinco horas al día desde casa. Si presenta algún problema o necesita ayuda, contacte al maestro de su hijo, contacte al subdirector, al director o la oficina distrital. Estamos aquí para ayudarle. Nuestro profesorado trabaja desde casa o en las instalaciones escolares. Llevamos a cabo censos cada día para saber cuántas personas están en las instalaciones y en cualquier momento podríamos tener el 20 o el 30 % de nuestros trabajadores en las instalaciones. Hemos mencionado que es posible que miembros importantes podrían regresar a las instalaciones durante este giro del aprendizaje a distancia. Y actualmente contamos con algunos psicólogos, ortofonistas y estudiantes que trabajan mediante evaluaciones cara a cara y en grupos reducidos. Observamos las métricas y somos un organismo de aprendizaje que se basa en la ciencia. Seguimos las directrices de salud pública de los expertos de la salud pública. Con una tasa de 14 contagiados o menos, podemos realizar el modelo de aprendizaje híbrido Con 7 o menos, se puede asistir a al escuela. Ahora mismo, con esa escala, tenemos 58.3. Por eso necesitamos que las métricas cambien, que la propagación en el comunidad cambie. Asimismo, observamos el Ministerio de Salud de Illinois y tenemos un tasa de positividad de 12.8 %. La ciudad de Nueva York cerró con 3 %, y algunas personas están regresando de nuevo. Illinois tenía un umbral de 8 %, y ahora es de 12 %, y estamos a 12.8; y el CDC en 5 %. Repito, estamos observando todos los datos lo mejor que podamos, lo más rápido que podamos y de la forma mejor examinada antes de permitir el regreso de la gente. Si ven Highland Park, con el código postal 60035, está a 33.2/100,000, según un punto determinado en el tiempo y Highwood, C.P. 60040, tiene 85.2. Repito, el Condado de Lake está a 58.3, y necesitamos estar a 14. Todas estas cifras son muy negativas, y estamos tratando de reducirlas, como todos los demás. Usen cubreboca, guarden la distancia, lávense las manos. Una noticia alentadora y grandiosa, es que están aprobando las vacunas, y pronto estarán a disposición de la gente, de forma literal. Primero se podrá vacunar a los adultos y así ayudará a bajar las cifras, lo cual será útil. Una de las razones por las que no establecemos una fecha del calendario para decirles cuándo regresaremos al modelo de aprendizaje híbrido es porque el virus no sabe leer ni conoce un calendario. Hay una evaluación que se realiza. Si hay una forma de traer de regreso a otras personas, es algo que estamos trabajando con nuestro equipo. Estamos viendo la posibilidad de realizar ensayos de vigilancia pero todo esto se está investigando febrilmente de forma alterna. No hay una fecha del calendario que prediga cuándo regresaremos. Seguimos con el aprendizaje a distancia. Estamos trabajando con el grupo director del distrito para poder conocer, modificar, validar y ajustar, para ejecutar y supervisar. Y nuestro principal interés, mientras seguimos con el aprendizaje a distancia es revisar el aprendizaje y el compromiso de nuestros estudiantes. Les agradecemos que sean nuestros padres auxiliares y nuestros socios desde sus casas. Les agradecemos que todos puedan ver que en unos meses hemos cambiado todo el sistema de aprendizaje. Estamos haciendo un excelente trabajo y lo estamos evaluando. Y lo que no estamos haciendo correctamente, estamos trabajando para cambiarlo. Es difícil realizar rápido los cambios, pero lo hacemos lo más rápido que podemos.. Nuestro objetivo, mi objetivo personal, mi deseo, es es que regresemos de manera física a la enseñanza tan pronto que podamos. Por ahora el COVID-19 aún sigue con nosotros. Lávense las manos, usen cubreboca, guarden la distancia. Gracias por ser una comunidad increíble a la que puedo servir. Gracias por comprender la situación no es sencilla. Comprendemos, reconocemos y sentimos empatía por los cambios en nuestras vidas. Por favor, visiten nuestro sitio web: www.nssd112.org y vayan a la información que está de nuevo disponible para ver todas las presentaciones del consejo y los videos. Por favor, vayan a “Long Range Planning” y vean el increíble éxito de la escuela secundaria de Northwood que abrirá al inicio del 2021. Por favor, reconozcan y celebren la primera premiación del National Blue Ribbon School que se le da a Indian Trails School. Y, por favor, sepan que nuestro lema “inspira, innova e involúcrate” se realiza cada vez que estamos presentes, bajo el modelo híbrido o de forma remota. Estamos comprometidos con ustedes. Regresaremos para mostrarles una presentación completa el 15 de diciembre. Y les repito, por favor, comuníquense con nosotros si tienen preguntas o algún problema. Cuídense y que tengan salud. Gracias a todos. Gracias por escuchar Lighthouse 112, el podcast del superintentende del distrito escolar correspondiente al Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore, para las escuelas preescolares públicas en Northeast, Illinois. Este podcast es una fuente de información sobre el distrito escolar, sobre su liderazgo, su profesorado, sus estudiantes y su comunidad. Es otra fuente de información actualizada y una fuente adicional de noticias sobre el cambio de narrativa en la educación pública. “Inspira, innova e involúcrate”. Este podcast se puede escuchar en Anchor, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Cast, RadioPublic, Stitcher y todo el tiempo se agregan otros recursos. Por favor, vuelvan y suscríbanse con nosotros para mantenerse actualizados con lo que sucede en el Distrito Escolar 112 de North Shore. También visiten nuestro sitio web www.nssd112.org. Muchas gracias por escucharnos y por su interés.


– 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 is a source of information about the school district, it’s leadership, it’s teachers, it’s students and it’s community. It’s another source of updates and an additional source of news regarding the changing narrative of public education. Inspire, innovate, engage.

– Hello this is a superintendent Mike Lubelfeld with an update and a message to the community with respect to schooling in North Shore School District 112. Today is Thursday, December 3rd district 112 has been on an adaptive pause to remote learning since October 21st due to the instance rate of cases of COVID-19 and the recommendation of the Lake County Department of Public Health for remote learning. So today I’m going to review some of the reasons as to why we are here and also talk a little bit about what we’re doing and where we’re going to give everybody an update. In addition, on December 15th there’ll be a live broadcast school board meeting where I’ll provide a formal update to the board and the community as well. This is a snapshot or a preview to that with some information. So, let’s go back to the spring. This pandemic and the changes to schooling started in March. We’re going on 10, 11 months now in terms of this experience with COVID-19 coronavirus. There are five key challenges that we’ve identified, acknowledged and communicated with respect to the reopening in the fall of 2020. And we’re very proud that we successfully did in fact, reopen on a hybrid learning model that had children and staff here for just under eight weeks. And again, since October the 21st we’ve pivoted to remote learning. But we’re dealing with a public health challenge, it’s not an education challenge, it’s not an economic challenge though education and the economy have both been challenged, this is a public health challenge. And much that’s remaining to be learned about the COVID-19 virus, its transmission, its manifestations and its treatment and cure are unknown. There’s a lack of vetted scientific peer reviewed data because this is going on now, it’s in real time. School districts like ours have been ready to respond in a variety of scenarios. We responded in hybrid learning and we responded with fully remote. And now we’re exploring the data, the numbers and our options moving forward for the remainder of the school year obviously. Another challenge has been the lack of agreement. Unfortunately there’s no precedence. It’s not been since 1918 that a public health event of this magnitude and scale has occurred. So none of us have been guided by vetted and thought out and peer reviewed medical and scientific data. It’s limited, it’s constantly changing, it’s being interpreted in many different ways, medically, politically and in another ways. The result is that decisions have been questioned and interpreted and it’s been polarized through the political reality of our nation sadly. In addition, there’s been lack of time. We’re making these changes and making these decisions in real time. We’re doing the leadership while we’re being faced with a public health challenge and lack of agreement. And I’m very proud of our board, I’m proud of our teachers, I’m proud of our administrators, proud of our parents, I’m proud of our students, I’m proud of the community I’m proud of our education support personnel because we’ve banded together and we’ve done things we’ve never done before we never realized we can do. In addition, another challenge that has been related to the reopening and its ongoing is decisions will be scrutinized. All of our plans and not just in district 112 but in neighboring districts, Illinois has 853 public school districts for better or for worse. We’ve all sort of been left to lead on our own and these decisions have been scrutinized and we’re scrutinizing our own decisions. This is an extreme version of the old calling a snow day when everybody was looking at the different meteorological forecast and being challenged back in the day. A year ago, colleagues of mine would say calling a snow day it was like pulling an all nighter and getting a D- ’cause no matter what you did it was scrutinized and this is no different, we understand that. One of the greatest challenges that we continue to face is that the circumstances keep shifting, and we’re working through that. So we dealt with the challenges to reopening, we reopened. We’ve established our guiding principles that you know by now, our safety communication and learning. We continue to communicate case information data that we receive because we’ve pledged to communicate transparently. Instead of sending a letter each time there’s a case, we’ve reduced that to one letter every day around 3:00 PM with whatever information we have. We also have been working with Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois State Board of Education, so on and so forth. We’re doing all we can to learn what we can do. District 112 has invested millions of dollars for risk mitigation to create safer, less unhealthy and healthier environments and also account for the curricular needs of working through this pandemic. We’ve invested resources in curriculum in teaching and learning materials at home. We’ve been surveying you ongoing and thank you for continuing to give us input. We need the input. We take that input, we work behind the scenes and then we share with you what we’ve learned from it and we continue to invest in making learning the best we can make it. We absolutely care about what our children are learning. We absolutely care about this concept known as learning loss. I remember and remind everybody that learning loss is international and national. So no one is going to be behind. We’re all gonna work together to recoup that. Our initial reading data indicates that we do not have reading learning loss necessarily, we do have mathematics learning loss and we’re working on that. We’re gonna be doing some additional testing and we’ll continue to report back as we continue to work forward. Reminder everyone, that we have a 50 plus person stakeholder committee that help with our plans. The plans and planning are really awesome and complex and have yielded a coherent and consistently implemented learning model. We have five hours of instruction, some of it is provided live, some of it is provided as homework. And we’re learning, we’re finding out what other people are doing and we’re appropriate, we’re replicating it and we’re learning from their successes and failures. What we do that works well, we replicate. What we do that needs help, we try to help it and fix it and change it as we improve it. We have a virtual office for social and emotional learning. And if you’re not aware of this I beg of you to contact the school social worker at your school, the school psychologist at your school, your school’s teacher, anybody in the school that can help you get the resources for how to help your child, how to help your family through this. Emotional mental health is of the greatest importance and we’ve got resources. If you don’t know how to access them, please reach out and we’ll help you. On the remote learning model students are experiencing 100% remote virtual learning. It’s been used when the schools are physically closed. Our impact is students are at home learning for five hours a day. If you’re concerned or you need help, contact your child’s teacher, contact the associate principal, the principal, contact the district office. We’re here to work with you. Our impacted staff members are either working at home or on campus. We take a census each day as to how many folks are on campus and at any given time we may have 20 or 30% of our workforce actually on campus. We’ve mentioned that possible cords can be brought back on campus during this remote learning pivot. And currently we do have some psychologists, speech language pathologists, students working through evaluations one-to-one and in small groups. We are looking at the metrics and we’re a science-based learning organization. We follow the public health guidance of the public health experts. At 14 or less we can do the hybrid learning model. At seven or less we can have full in person. Right now on that scale we’re at 58.3. So we do need metrics to change, community spread to change. In addition, we look at the Illinois Department of Health and we’re at 12.8% positivity rate. New York City closed on scale at 3%, they’re bringing some folks back. Illinois had an 8% threshold, now it’s a 12% threshold and we’re at 12.8 and the CDC at 5%. So again, we’re looking at all of the data as best we can, as quickly as we can and as best vetted as we can before we can bring folks back. If you look at Highland Park, zip code 60035 33.2/100,000 at a snapshot given point in time and Highwood 60040 85.2. So again, Lake County is 58.3, we need 14. So all of these numbers are pretty bad and we’re trying to mitigate this as everybody is. Wear a mask, watch your distance, wash your hands. Encouraging news, great news is that vaccinations are being approved and soon we’ll they’ll get into people’s arms, literally not figuratively. And we can get adults vaccinated first and then that’ll help put the numbers down and that’ll help. One of the reasons we don’t use a calendar date to tell you when we’re going to pivot back to hybrid learning is because the virus doesn’t know how to read and doesn’t know a calendar. We’ve got evaluations going on. If there’s any way to slowly bring back others, we’re working with our staff, we’re working with the possibility of surveillance testing but all of these things are being researched feverishly behind the scenes. There is no calendar date to predict when we’re coming back yet. We’re still educating in remote learning. We are working with the district management group to learn and modify, validate and adjust, and act and monitor. And our first major focus while we’re in remote learning is to check the learning and the engagement of our students. We appreciate you being our adjunct faculty parents and our partners at home. We appreciate that everybody realizes we change an entire learning system in months and we’re doing very very good work and we’re measuring it and what we’re not doing well, we’re working to change. It’s hard to quickly scale change so we’re changing as fast as we can. Our aim and my personal goal desire philosophy is to get back to fully in person schooling at such time as we can. Right now COVID-19 is still with us. Wash your hands, wear a mask, watch your distance. Thank you for being an amazing community to serve. Thank you for understanding that this is not easy and we understand and acknowledge and empathize with the changes to our lives. Please visit our website at www.nssd112.org and go to the reopening information for all of our board presentations and videos. Please go to long range planning and look at the incredible success of Northwood Middle School which will be opened early in 2021. Please acknowledge and celebrate the first ever National Blue Ribbon School, Indian Trails School. And please know that our motto of ‘inspire, innovate, engage’ is whether we’re fully in person, in hybrid or remote, we’re committed to you, we’ll come back with a full presentation on December 15th and as always, please reach out with any questions or concerned and stay safe and healthy. Thank you everybody.

– Thank you for listening to Lighthouse 112, the podcast from the superintendent of schools in the North Shore School District 112 for Pre-K public school district in Northeast Illinois. This podcast is a source of information about the school district, it’s leadership, it’s 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. This podcast can be listened to and heard on Anchor, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Cast, 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 at www.nssd112.org. Thank you so much for listening and for your interest.

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