“It is not light that we need, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.”
– Fredrick Douglass
“Always hold yourself to just one standard: to be the very best version of who you are.”
– George Raveling
Little in my career has been more complicated, more complex, and more controversial than the reopening planning for school this fall. On Thursday, March 12, 2020, we closed the doors to our brick and mortar schools and we have not yet reopened these doors.
Right now, we are building schedule/staffing & infrastructure for hybrid (in person or virtual choice). As you are all well aware, we are prepared to open in person on September 3rd, and we will pivot to full remote learning if needed based on the health and science metrics. Parents made an election of hybrid in-person or hybrid virtual for the first grading period (9/3-11/20 elementary and 9/3-11/6 middle school).
Please see the video message for additional explanation: (subtitles Spanish/English are in process)
Video Message to Community related to the reopening of schools
“In life, there is no such thing as impossible; it’s always possible.”– Venus Williams
Dear North Shore School District 112 Staff and Community,
As you may have heard or read, today Governor Pritzker announced that all schools in Illinois will remain closed, and he announced the suspension of in-person learning for the remainder of the school year. For us, that means that June 4, 2020, will reflect the end of the school year 2019-2020.
We recognize that this development will raise questions about the impact on students, staff, and families for the remainder of this school year with respect to learning, emotional concerns, end of year traditions, and more. We know this news is tough for many reasons. Let’s all reflect on our own personal health and our families. We will get through this difficult time together.
To date, we have served more than 7,000 breakfast and lunch meals, and we’ll continue to provide food distribution and work in conjunction with local social service agencies and the Township. Please use this opportunity to focus on staying safe and helping to slow the spread of the virus. We will complete this school year using our Remote Learning Plan.
As we review and process this new development, my team will work through necessary plans and responses to this new, unexpected reality. We are making plans for summer school options and we are exploring methods to assess learning including the learning loss as a result of the abrupt change from in-person schooling to remote learning. We are committed to supporting student learning. We’re monitoring attendance, schedules, learning, and impact as we “build this plane while flying.”
Dr. Ryan will have an update on e-Learning at next week’s Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. held remotely. We encourage you to take advantage of the learning resources shared by your teachers, the principals, those provided by Educere and other digital sources as we work through this new and transitional approach to running schools. We want to thank our teachers and support staff for their flexibility, resiliency, and creativity. We are working with our teachers on ways to improve e-Learning daily and weekly.
We are also consulting with local districts as well as with national partners on how to maximize learning and instruction using e-Learning for 4,000 students in grades PK-8.
As a reminder, we’ve been focused on the following four priorities in this evolving pandemic crisis:
- Priority one – feed our families and children
- Priority two – account for the extended safety, health, and welfare of our 4500 students and staff
- Priority three – communicate clearly
- Priority four – e-Learning
We are confident that our prioritization of physical and mental health first and foremost before other considerations is the right way for us to lead through this crisis. Since we are all experiencing this together I want to thank you for compassion and grace as we, like the rest of our nation, deal with this complete and total change in education.
We will be using a survey (or series of surveys) very soon to get your input to inform our new “rest of the year” planning. We thank you in advance for completing any requests for input. Our partnership has never been more important than it is right now. We are proud of our transformation, and we are grateful to each and every one of you for your dedication to education and public health.
Please stay safe & healthy.
Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
“Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”
– Gail Devers
Over the course of just over one week our worlds have changed significantly in Illinois and our nation and our world with the COVID-19 Pandemic. On March 12, 2020, I ordered all schools in our District closed indefinitely with a possible reopening date of April 13. My “logic” was guided by the science of the health professionals and the actions of higher education calling their students home and closing for at least 2 weeks after spring break. In Illinois, the Governor closed the schools from March 17-March 30 and then he ordered a Stay at Home (including school closures) until at least April 7th. “The times, they are a changin’ …” (Bob Dylan 1964) – appropriate today!
Since March 12, 2020, I have sent out at least eight “all” communications (they go to thousands in our community) in an effort to communicate our District’s priorities and plans during this Pandemic closure. In this blog post, I’m sharing a video message as another effort of clarity in this otherwise unclear set of circumstances. The video has edited subtitles in Spanish and English and you may have to click the CC or Gear or three dots to see them.
In District 112, our Four Priorities are:
Priority one – feed our families and children
Priority two – account for the extended safety, health, and welfare of our 4500 students and staff
Priority three – communicate clearly
Priority four – e-Learning
Visit Staying Healthy in District 112 for access to our recent communications.
“You’ve only got 3 choices in life: Give up, Give in, or Give it all you’ve got!”– Anonymous
Through this blog, I share information about leadership, the superintendent position, education, policy, general trends in society, the future, and news and information about North Shore School District 112. In this blog post, I’m recapping some Long-Range Planning information driving success and change in the District! #112Leads is our Twitter Hashtag (click the link and see what’s happening at any time in all of our schools).
North Shore School District 112’s Long-Range Planning Actions
Our Long-Range Plan, Phase I is in full force! As we’ve shared in the past, the Phase I Long Range Plan was approved by the Board of Education at its meeting on Nov. 27.
The measures approved are as follows:
- Investments in Northwood and Edgewood schools with costs not to exceed $75 Million
- The use of up to $20 Million from the district’s fund balance
- The issuance of $55 Million of Alternate Revenue Bonds
- The formation of a citizen advisory committee
Facility Planning and Execution – In order to achieve fiscal responsibility and educational excellence, we must have a strong and responsible long-range facility plan that is flexible and yet fiscally responsible. Members of the Superintendent’s Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) have reviewed the work of previous groups and input from many — past and present — show as our current realities in the current recommendations. The point of the facility plan is the improvement of education for our students and for our communities. The use of alternate revenue bonds, to be paid for out of operating funds does not trigger or cause an automatic tax increase from the bond & interest fund which is a benefit to the community; and the use of reserves from the fund balances also do not increase the tax burden to the community. The plans are fiscally responsible and within the means of the School District. The Superintendent and Board will select five citizens for the Superintendent’s Citizen Advisory Committee for Construction Projects to provide advice and insights into the upcoming construction projects.
The chart below shows the major milestones and activities involved in this phase of the plan.
Our “WHY” – Equity/Equality – During our work and our recent study, we’ve talked a great deal about equity and equality. What is equity? Why is equity preferred to equality? Our aim is equitable educational opportunities for every child — equitable, not necessarily equal — equity is fair, equality is the same. Individuals need what is best for them. Our dream includes personalized learning opportunities for all children; it’s a lofty dream yet systematically and with fidelity to guaranteed & viable curriculum opportunities and expectations, with improvement, gains, and growth, it is possible. Our “WHY” is equitable educational opportunities and access for all students in all schools — every day! The eyes on the prize call for us to remember the prize is student success and educational excellence. The point of the facility upgrades is to improve educational input and output and working and learning conditions for our employees and students.
Last year the District operated 12 schools, this year and next year, the District will operate 10 schools. We’ll operate two middle schools: Northwood (students to attend at Elm Place), and Edgewood. Seven K-5 schools: Braeside, Indian Trail, Oak Terrace, Ravinia, Red Oak, Sherwood, & Wayne Thomas. And we’ll operate one preschool at the Green Bay Early Childhood Center (location of District Offices as well). Lincoln School remains closed.
District 112 Artwork – At the September 24, 2018, meeting of the Superintendent’s Long-Range Planning Committee, the land assets and historical artwork assets of the District were reviewed.
The District has a unique collection of artwork and historic material throughout the schools. The Board and administration are committed to preserving the rich and unique history as it makes changes in facilities, land usage, and planning. Some of the historic artwork is in the form of historic Works Progress Administration (WPA), an example is “Flora and Fauna” on display at the Green Bay Road Early Childhood Center and Administrative Offices.
Looking Back/Moving Forward
The bullets below recap our community engagement and public meeting timeline as part of the District 112 Long Range Planning Phase I – Middle School Reconstruction & Modernization process. All of our meetings and presentations are posted and most meetings are videotaped and broadcast live. Our effort is for transparent, regular, public, relevant communication.
- New Superintendent started on July 1, 2018
- Thought Exchange I (online community engagement) – July 3-July 15, 2018
- Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) Meetings July 28, Sept 12 & 24, & Oct 4, 2018
- Thought Exchange II (online community engagement) – August 8-August 22, 2018
- FAKO Telephone Polling – August 7 – 11, 2018
- Board meetings with informational updates: ○ Regular Meetings July 17, August 21, September 25, October 2, October 23, November 27 ○ Finance Committee October 2, 2018 ○ Facilities Committee October 9, 2018, ○ Joint Facilities & Finance Committee October 30, 2018
In addition to the construction projects and land usage, the District is also planning for the implementation of before and after school programming options at all seven K-5 schools starting in the 2019-20 school year. This would mark the first time that all elementary school buildings would have before and after care options for families.
Phase II, the modernization of the elementary schools and the dissolution of land assets will be considered, contemplated, and planned in the next few years. The chart below highlights the timeframe for the next phase. Meantime, the District will focus on teaching, learning, student success, and continuous improvement!
In the next few months, the District will also share success metrics and the data in support of the positive return on the investment from the focus of a guaranteed & viable curriculum. The data supports that our teachers are teaching and our students are learning and we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing: Inspiring…Innovating…Engaging all students every day!
If you would like to be informed about District events, please visit www.nssd112.org/News
Check out our newest form of communication the Lighthouse 112 Podcast https://anchor.fm/michael-lubelfeld
“Greatness is not primarily a matter of circumstance; greatness is first and foremost a matter of conscious choice and discipline.”
– Jim Collins, Great by Choice
We are very proud of the past year’s worth of work in North Shore School District 112! Daily, for all, we Inspire…Innovate…Engage; with this post, I’m sharing a 5-minute video message about the state of the District – Spring 2019 – as always, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged.
Here is the LINK in case the player does not open in full screen: https://youtu.be/NvztRKNIjzs
“For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Podcast Episode 2 – An Interview with Dr. Kevin Ryan, the Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning. In this episode, we’re going to learn more from Dr. Ryan about the top initiatives in the Department of Teaching & Learning as well as a preview of a major recommendation he’s about to make to the superintendent and the Board of Education regarding instructional coaches.
This podcast is from the superintendent of schools in the north shore school district 112; a Pk-8 public school district in northeast Illinois. It is a source of information about the school district, its leadership, its teachers, its students, and its community. It is another source of updates and an additional source of news regarding the changing narrative of public education. Inspire…Innovate…Engage
The podcast is available on multiple formats:
“Success in life comes when you simply refuse to give up, with goals so strong that obstacles, failure, and loss only act as motivation.”
In North Shore School District 112, we’re committed to changing the narrative of public education to one of despair to one of distinguished excellence. In our historic school system, we’re proud of our mission, motto, and current reality.
Our mission is: The Mission of North Shore School District 112, a community partnership committed to a world class education, is to nurture every child to become an inspired learner, a well rounded individual and contributing member of a global community by striving for excellence within an environment that fosters innovation, respect, engagement and intellectual inquiry.
Our motto is: Inspire…Innovate…Engage
Our Current Reality is: Excellence in Education! The Future Starts NOW.
One of the main ways we can get our messages out is finding out where people are getting their information and meeting them there. We use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and now we’re launching Lighthouse112, a podcast! in this blog post I’m sharing a video promo about the Podcast as well as an embedded link to the first Podcast Episode.
With effort, commitment, courage, joy, appropriate risk taking, modeling the way, and inspiring a shared vision for excellence and innovation, we show the world that what we do matters on behalf of ALL students, staff, and one another.
We enter 2019 confident of our past, present, and future success! Success in financial prudence, fiscal responsibility and responsiveness. With a focus on guaranteed & viable curriculum, enhanced instructional methods, construction projects with insights and input from experts within the district and within the community – – and so much more!
North Shore School District 112 is back on the block as an Inspired, Innovative, and Engaged place to raise your children and educate our youth!
Please listen, share, offer feedback, and share the stories of education — the narrative of public education is positive, powerful, and here to stay!
Check a brief video promo for the Podcast, then take about 10 minutes and check out the Lighthouse 112 Podcast’s first episode.
Happy & Healthy 2019 to one and all!
Listen to the first Podcast Episode here:
“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”
– Marva Collins
2018 was a big year for North Shore School District 112! With this blog post, I’m thrilled to share some highlights of 2018 as we look back on many exciting accomplishment with an eye on our future. The Future is NOW in North Shore School District 112.
- The Long-Range Plan Phase I for the renovated and modernized middle schools in the District
- All schools rated commendable or excellent by Illinois
- Establishment of a guaranteed & viable curriculum for all children in all schools (new training, materials and expectations)
- Renewed focus on communication and publicity of the changing narrative of the school district – The Future is NOW!
- Reaching a five-year collective bargaining agreement with our North Shore Support Staff Association recently was a “win-win” for both parties! (all non-teaching and non-administrative staff)
- Continuing our 1:1 journey by being able to provide iPads for Kindergarten – 2nd grade students! It’s been so nice to see how iPads have helped achieve facilitate high levels of engagement and success for teachers and their students.
- Upgraded safety and security internally and externally at all school sites, including a Visitor Management System and safety vestibules.
- We implemented Too Good for Drugs, a youth substance use prevention program, at all schools in grades 3-8.
- We trained all mental health professionals in the school district on a threat assessment protocol to keep our schools safe.
- We attained a AAA bond rating from S&P Global Ratings. A AAA bond rating illustrates the exceptional degree of creditworthiness and fiscal aptitude of the district.
- We have continued our excellence in transparency, financial reporting and budgeting; winning awards such as the ASBO Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting, for twenty-two successive years, the GFOA Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for twenty years, the ASBO Meritorious Budget Award for the past seven years.
- Fiscal Sustainability – We have maintained a 4.0 Financial Profile Score from the Illinois State Board of Education – every year since the fiscal year 2012.
- We have engaged with the award-winning K12 architectural firm, Wight & Company to develop our long range facility plan.
- We successfully transitioned to a new food service contract with OrganicLife at Northwood, Oak Terrace and Red Oak.
- We joined the Northern Illinois Health Insurance Program, a health insurance cooperative made up of over 30 Illinois school districts.
- Highland Park Community Foundation awarded Northwood Social Studies teacher, Mr. Jon Mall with the Highland Park Golden Apple Award. The selection committee considered nominations for middle school educators and the finalists for the award also included Northwood teachers Margaret Delligatti and Sarah Holsen. All teachers were honored at the North Shore School District 112 Board of Education meeting May 15th.
- Northwood hosted the 8th annual Day of Giving event including an inspirational assembly featuring Mr. Angel Roman from the Boys and Girls Club of Lake County. Mr. Roman encouraged the young people in the room to give back to their community; and told them they could make a meaningful difference. Following the assembly, the students got to work setting up the Northwood gym for the Day of Giving on December 1. Students organized clothes, toiletries, food and other necessities donated by families across District 112. Other students made blankets, cards and gift bags for local families. The 112 Education Foundation is proud to support this service-learning program. We extend our thanks to Northwood teachers, Constance Cunningham, Ida Fiore and Caitlin Lucci, for their tremendous effort to bring this opportunity to students at Northwood and Edgewood.
- Northwood Junior High School is the proud host of the District 112’s annual Robot Revolution Tournament and Northwood teacher Bill Steinbach is the Robot Revolution Grant recipient.
- The Green Bay Early Childhood Center began implementation of the Math Learning Center Bridges Pre-K Program. This program directly aligns with the kindergarten programming, and will allow for Green Bay students to begin kindergarten familiar with both the format and content of math in kindergarten.
- Jolly Phonics, a multi-sensory phonics program, was introduced in all monolingual sections of preschool. The program was paced with the intention that students will begin kindergarten with an understanding of the letter sounds. Students in Dual Language programming are focusing on sounds that are the same in both the English and Spanish languages.
- An academic enrichment program was launched in the spring of 2018, allowing additional intervention outside of the school day for children identified as below age expectations in mathematics. In the spring of 2019, the enrichment program will include intervention in both pre-literacy and mathematics.
- Successfully integrated Dual Language students, staff and families from Sherwood Elementary and Red Oak Elementary to form the new Red Oak Dual Language Academy.
- Made the Top Ten in Lake County for attendance in the annual Lake County Attendance Week competition.
- Applied for and received a Title I grant to support our struggling learners. We used these funds to begin an after school Academic Extension program. We also purchased the Imagine Learning math, Spanish and English intervention programs that are used during Academic Extension and also during the school day.
- Successfully implemented our Student Success Block, a daily 30-minute intervention and enrichment program for all K-5 students.
- 44% of Red Oak students exceeded national norms for growth in reading and math as measured by NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) winter assessment.
- Implemented a new Student Leadership group. Students initiate multiple service projects and have a voice in school spirit days and celebrations.
- The proportion of students meeting or exceeding standards jumped from 65 percent to 84 percent in one year at Ravinia School as measured on PARCC.
- Implemented a 5th grade Leadership program. Students participate in mentoring K-2 students within our school; Junior Coaches program for 5th graders that focuses on leadership and facilitating recess for K-2 students. (Indian Trail & Wayne Thomas).
- Based on the NWEA Map assessment, student growth on ELA and MATH at all grade levels, was at the highest level in school history at Wayne Thomas.
- The 4th annual Braeside STEAM Night was fully conceived and produced by students. There were nearly 40 stations of child centered exploration from a dog dryer to elephant toothpaste to a variety of robots. The STEAM community has expanded over the years and now includes former Braeside students who return from Highland Park High School and Edgewood Middle School to share in the fun, lend a hand, and let our little scientists drive their robots.
- Successfully transitioned to a 50/50 Dual Language allocation program model in grades K-5 (OT & RO).
- At Oak Terrace, focus on guaranteed & viable curriculum led to increased the percentage of students meeting or exceeding state standards in English Language Arts from 24% to 33% and in mathematics from 18% to 24% as measured by the PARCC assessment.
- Developed and led a summer school program specifically for at-risk students in our Title I Dual Language program which led to growth in reading and math for nearly 70% of all participants (OT).
- Edgewood maintained a focus on giving back to the community by participating in and/or leading various successful philanthropic events. Some examples include collecting over 1,600 books to donate to Bernie’s Book Bank, collaborating in the planning, donating, and implementation of the Day of Giving at Northwood, and fundraising to provide 45 children with holiday gifts through the Phyllis Santullano Gift Drive.
- Edgewood also hosted the first annual Grandparent Night, providing grandparents the opportunity to take a student-guided tour of the school, ask questions to a student panel, and learn about life as a middle school student from the building’s administrators and teachers.
- In a continued effort to provide opportunities for each student to be involved and feel connected at school, Edgewood issued a survey in which students voiced their interest in various clubs and teams and proposed new ideas for activities. The results of the survey informed the introduction of various new programs at Edgewood. A few of the new offerings include Ping Pong Club, Climbing Club, Improv Club, the Fall Play, Philanthropy Club, Reach for Change, and Yoga Club.
- Indian Trail developed a new learning community with additional students and families from the closing of Lincoln School. The merge started in the spring of 2018 and the work has continued into this school year. Students have developed new friends and families have opportunities to participate and volunteer. We are Indian Trail and looking forward to a great 2019!
- Indian Trail celebrated the opening of our Greenhouse and Garden with a ribbon cutting ceremony that included all IT students and staff, school board and community members.
- Students participate in fun activities such as Green Growers Garden, Coding, Robotics, Chess, Boys/Girls Sports, Books and Cooks, STEAM, Chorus and Drama (IT).
- Indian Trail Green Growers Club donated pounds of fresh vegetables to the Moraine Township Food Pantry.
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.”– Napoleon Hill
Dear North Shore School District 112 Community,
As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share a message of thanks on behalf of the Board of Education and the leadership team of North Shore School District 112. In District 112, we have so much for which we are thankful. Each day, when I reflect on my service and work, I am so thankful for my job. I am lucky to work with so many talented, professional and effective educators in such an engaged and thoughtful community!
Teachers and staff: This year, especially: Thank you. You have been faced with change this year, and you continue to rise to every challenge on our journey of continuous improvement. The important work you do puts the children of our communities on the path to success. We are also thankful for your emphasis on kindness and caring. You help your students learn and grow into kind, caring, compassionate people who can work collaboratively to resolve problems and challenges. Kindness is perhaps the most important quality you teach.
Parents, thank you for raising children who come to us ready to learn, and do so with kindness for each other and respect for the adults who teach them. Thanks, too, for your never-ending support of our schools. You generously and continuously give your time and energy so our schools are happy places.
A special thanks to grandparents. You have modeled the way for your children to be excellent parents, and your unconditional love for your grandchildren stays with them throughout every school day.
To our community members who make supporting the local schools a priority and a focus – we thank you as well! We firmly believe in educating all children in a learning environment with high expectations. As the center of the community, all of the schools in Highland Park and Highwood are honored to Inspire, Innovate and Engage each and every person to the best of their abilities each and every day.
With warm regards,
Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
“No esperes El tiempo nunca será justo.”
– Napoleon Hill
Estimada comunidad del distrito 112,
A medida que nos acercamos a las vacaciones de Acción de Gracias, quiero compartir un mensaje de agradecimiento en nombre de la Junta de Educación y el equipo de liderazgo del Distrito Escolar North Shore 112. En el Distrito 112, tenemos muchas cosas por las que estamos agradecidos. Cada día, cuando reflexiono sobre mi servicio y trabajo, estoy muy agradecido por mi trabajo. ¡Tengo la suerte de trabajar con tantos educadores talentosos, profesionales y efectivos en una comunidad tan comprometida y atenta!
Maestros y personal: Este año, especialmente: Gracias. Se han enfrentado al cambio este año y continúan superando todos los desafíos en nuestro viaje de mejora continua. El importante trabajo que realizan pone a los niños de nuestras comunidades en el camino hacia el éxito. También estamos agradecidos por su énfasis en la bondad y el cuidado. Ayudan a sus estudiantes en aprender y convertirse en personas amables, comprensivas y compasivas que pueden trabajar en colaboración para resolver problemas y desafíos. La amabilidad es quizás la cualidad más importante que enseñan.
Padres, gracias por criar a los hijos que vienen a nosotros listos para aprender, y lo hacen con amabilidad y respeto por los adultos que les enseñan. Gracias, también, por su apoyo interminable a nuestras escuelas. Ustedes generosamente y continuamente dan su tiempo y energía para que nuestras escuelas sean lugares felices.
Un agradecimiento especial a los abuelos. Han modelado el camino para que sus hijos sean excelentes padres, y su amor incondicional por sus nietos los acompaña a lo largo de cada día escolar.
A los miembros de nuestra comunidad que hacen que el apoyo a las escuelas locales sea una prioridad y un enfoque, ¡también les agradecemos! Creemos firmemente en la educación de todos los niños en un ambiente de aprendizaje con altas expectativas. Como centro de la comunidad, todas las escuelas de Highland Park y Highwood tienen el honor de inspirar, innovar y comprometer a todas y cada una de las personas de la mejor manera posible cada día.
Michael Lubelfeld Ed.D.
Superintendente de Escuelas