District 97 Referendum 2011: Promises Made-Promises Kept
On April 5, 2011, the citizens of Oak Park demonstrated their overwhelming support for our schools by voting to pass the first operating rate referendum the district had sought in more than 20 years. The money from the referendum will:
- Provide us with a long-term, sustainable solution for managing our structural deficit.
- Enable us to invest in initiatives such as the increased integration of technology in the classroom, the enhancement of our foreign language and arts programs, and the transformation of our schoolyards into outdoor learning environments—all of which are part of our preferred vision for the future and are aimed at helping our students develop into 21st Century learners.
- Enable us to use our Debt Service Extension Base to fund future capital improvement projects.
While the infusion of additional funding will improve the quality of the educational experience we can offer to our students, we made a number of promises to the community during the campaign that we intend to keep. These promises included, but were not limited to:
- Continuing to exercise the same sound fiscal management we exhibited during the past decade.
- Focusing on making sure all children achieve at least one year’s growth for every year they are enrolled in our schools.
- Strengthening the instructional framework and enriching the curriculum through changes that require minimal financial investment.
- Providing meaningful, relevant and challenging lessons that include interdisciplinary and project-based learning.
- Increasing student and teacher access to technology.
- Increasing language proficiency by the time students graduate middle school.
We have developed this site to enable the general public to monitor the progress we have made in areas such as finance, student achievement, capital projects, technology and foreign language since the election in April. Each section of the site features two categories of information - promises made during the referendum and promises kept since it was passed. There is also a section that features additional accomplishments that will contribute to the long-term success of our schools and help our students continue to excel both in and out the classroom.
If you have any questions about the information on these pages, please e-mail D97feedback@op97.org. Thank you for your continued commitment to our schools and the students we serve.