It is a privilege for me and the Administrative Team to serve the Northbrook Community. We are so glad that you have chosen to be part of Northbrook School District 27. Our District’s Mission is: Educating Students to Succeed in a Changing World. We take this mission seriously given that we live in such a diverse, mobile, and changing global environment. The world our students will live and work in as adults will be very different than it is even today.
Since its very beginning in 1853, District 27 has a tradition of offering a high quality education to its students with an eye toward preparing them for a new and exciting future. In this message I will highlight just some of the great things we are providing for our students along with ways we ensure that District 27 remains a valuable part of our community.
District 27 has embarked on a number of new and exciting initiatives that will have a lasting impact on the students and the community. They are briefly highlighted here, but we invite you to go to other pages on our Web site for more in-depth information.
Curricular Initiatives for the 2015 – 2016 School Year
This year we launched our Full-Day Kindergarten program. The curricular, social-emotional, and technology demands expected of our students have increased and our students were ready for a full day. Given these dynamics, we spent last year developing our programs and services so that we could offer our students and families a rich and robust Kindergarten experience.
The feedback on the program this year has been so positive and we have put together a “Day in the Life of a Kindergarten Student” video that you can view by clicking here. We welcome you to watch this video to see how our children are learning and growing every day.
Wood Oaks Rotations and New STEAM Block
With the incredible changes occurring in the world today, we have continued to respond and adjust our curriculum at Wood Oaks. Specifically, this year we revised our Rotations Classes. While we still emphasize the Fine Arts and Performing Arts, we have increased our Health class and our Technology offerings to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills to work productively in the world.
In addition we have launched a series of new STEAM (Science, Technology, Math, Arts, and Mathematics) offerings for our students. At 7th and 8th grades students have the opportunity to participate in Robo Rovers (Robotics), Engineering and Construction, and Creative Design (CAD), to begin to develop their skills, knowledge, and dispositions in this very important area. We know that more jobs in the future will require highly skilled individuals in the STEAM areas and at Wood Oaks students are introduced to these wonderful pre-engineering classes.
Reading and Language Arts Curriculum Revisions
Over the past three years we have been phasing in improvements to our Reading/Language Arts program. At Wood Oaks, we are excited to implement several new Reading/Language Arts units that teach the CCSS. This year our second grade is implementing these improvements, and the final units of study in 6th – 8th grade are being taught to our students. These curricula address the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which are designed to expand our students’ skills to read, think, problem-solve, and interact in a global society. We look forward to seeing great student results from these new programs as we build their literacy foundation.
We continue to track our enrollment and use these data to plan for the future. We are pleased to report that our enrollment is growing. For several years after the housing decline, we also declined in enrollment. This year, however, we have an enrollment of 1,245 students, the highest since the 2007-2008 school year.
Each year we experience an influx of new students in the District. This year is the fourth consecutive year we had 100 students or more join the District. With 112 new students we see this trend as a positive sign, indicating a gradual increase in mobility. We will want to watch this key factor over the next several years as the housing market and economy hopefully improve.
All grades have class sizes that are within our target of 17 – 23. We project to maintain a consistent staffing pattern level over the next four years.
Finally, our current projections indicate that the enrollment will be stable over the next four years. We project enrollment ranging between 1,230 and 1,245.
Our NWEA Performance
We use a number of key performance measures to monitor our students’ progress and to make improvements to our curricular programs. One key measure is the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) – MAP Test. This year our performance on the NWEA was outstanding and consistent with previous administrations of the test. Our consistently perform among the highest in the State and the nation. From our performance last year our students performed in the top 2% - 4% in the nation in mathematics and reading. We continue to work to maintain this high level each year.
Again, we appreciate the opportunity to serve you in District 27 and we hope you have a great year. Thank you for your continued support of District 27.