This time of year I am often asked, “How is the school year going?”
I’m pleased to share that my response is a genuine, “Very well!”
Students and teachers are settled into a routine, which is a critical goal of the first days of school. When I’ve been in classrooms the past couple of weeks, I’ve noticed how well our students understand the teachers’ expectations. Even our kindergarteners and preschoolers have learned to transition between lessons and show respect for their teachers and peers.
There are other changes to District 90 that have helped us start our year off so well. Our band program has grown exponentially every year, thanks to a dynamic leader, supportive community, talented students, and parents who value music education. Because we now have over 500 students in District 90 bands, we decided to hire an additional music director. Mr. Aaron Kennedy was hired last spring after student teaching for Mr. Donahue. Mr. Kennedy jumped right in and is a welcome addition to our team.
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District 90 also recognized the need to hire a curriculum coordinator. Jill Lyons comes to us with a wealth of experience and skills and will be a great resource for us all. Her office is at Marie Schaefer, so she is able to support the students and staff at one of our larger schools that previously only had one administrator. We also welcome new teachers, certified staff and support staff. In spite of a teacher shortage in many districts across the state, District 90 continues to attract the best and brightest in the field.
Carriel continues to enhance its outdoor garden, and Fulton recently added a garden that will also offer hands-on learning opportunities for students. This summer, Evans received a grant from Lowes and Kid Friendly Network for improvements to its outdoor garden. The students plan to send produce to the O’Fallon Food Pantry on a weekly basis.
District 90 also recently updated our webpage. The new site is user-friendly, especially on mobile devices. We recognize the fact that most parents receive their information via a mobile device, so this was an important improvement. We thank our Technology Department for the many hours they dedicated to the redesign. Find us at www.of90.net.
Also new this year is the District 90 Learn and Lead Academy. The Academy is an invitation-only cohort opportunity for District 90 administrators and select teachers who have an interest in leadership. For two hours, one night a month, a group of 30 participants meet to discuss topics such as school finance, human resources, school law, curriculum, leadership, technology, community engagement and special education. LLA is designed to provide participants with tools and expertise in best practices. The Academy is just one way we can grow sustainable leadership and help leaders be more well-rounded. It will be offered every year, to give many leaders the opportunity to participate.
We look forward to seeing the impact of these recent additions to District 90. Welcome to the start of another terrific school year.