2019-20 Welcome Letter from Superintendent Carol Kelley

Welcome to the 2019-20 school year! I hope your summer has been filled with opportunities to relax, recharge, and enjoy quality time with loved ones. We have been busy planning for the upcoming school year and are excited to welcome back our students on Wednesday, August 28.

At District 97, we are committed to the vision of creating positive learning environments for all students that are equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. We took significant steps last year toward the realization of our vision. Some of our accomplishments from 2018-19 include, but are not limited to:

  • Approval of the district’s equity policy by the board of education in March 2019. This policy, which we will begin implementing this school year, affirms our steadfast commitment to racial equity, seeks to promote a strong sense of belonging in all of our schools, and is aimed at ensuring that every student we serve has access to an excellent and equitable educational experience.
  • Increasing social-emotional supports for students.
  • Expansion of co-teaching and inclusive teaching practices.

As we look ahead to this year, our vision and new equity policy will serve as the cornerstones for the work we do on behalf of our students, families and community. They will also guide the collective action plan we developed this summer with the help of our school and district leadership teams. This plan will focus on the following student learning targets and district-level priorities:

Student Learning Targets

  • Increasing the percentage of students who feel a sense of “belonging” while at school
  • Increasing the percentage of students who are present (and on time) at school > 90% of each month
  • Eliminating discipline disproportionately of students
  • Increasing the percentage of Grade 3 students who are reading at or above grade level
  • Increasing the percentage of students who are projected to be college-ready upon graduation from D97

Three District-Level Priorities

  • Build and sustain positive culture and climate
  • Strengthen instructional effectiveness and student supports
  • Foster collective efficacy to ensure high-quality learning experiences for all students

We are committed to providing updates on the progress of our work, as well as creating opportunities for you to share your perspectives, ideas and questions. The first of these opportunities will be our upcoming community feedback sessions on the implementation of our equity policy. These events will be held:

Wednesday, August 14 - 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Brooks Middle School (Commons)
325 S. Kenilworth Ave.

Monday, August 19 - 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Oak Park Public Library (Veterans Room)
834 Lake St. 

We value the voices of our students, staff, families and community, and look forward to connecting with you throughout the school year. You can stay up to date with District 97 news and events by visiting our website (www.op97.org) and following our Facebook and Twitter accounts (#WeAreD97, #OakPark97).

Thank you for your continued support of our schools and the students we serve!

Dr. Carol L. Kelley
Superintendent of Schools