“Together, teaching and learning for life….to achieve excellence.”
This is District 318’s mission statement – these words motivate our staff and students to strive for excellence in the classroom each and every day. Now I would like to extend this same mission to the community and ask you to join us in our effort to strive for excellence.
There is much to be proud of in District 318 schools. We have high graduation rates, good test scores, many students who proceed to post-secondary education, and others who move on to their careers immediately because they were trained well in our schools. But any successful organization – a profitable business, a valuable non-profit, or a great school district – must occasionally step back and reassess whether it is prepared for the future.
As many of you know, District 318 has been evaluating the current state of our facilities. This discovery process has required us to take a hard look at what our community expects from our schools and the quality of our buildings. It is clear that our schools need work if we want to continue to prepare our students for tomorrow’s jobs. As time has passed, our schools have aged.
Through our research we have learned that our enrollment is growing particularly at the elementary level. This is great news, and we are prepared to welcome these new students with open arms. However, our facilities are not prepared for the influx. Our elementary buildings are all 50+ years old and are showing the most age. We don’t have enough classroom space to house these additional students, which may force us to spill out of our current buildings into external classrooms. While this may serve as a temporary fix, it is a poor educational solution.
We know that education has changed monumentally over the last 50 years, but our facilities have not been adapted to help us meet today’s education ideals. Now more than ever, safety in schools is of paramount concern – yet we are behind on modern standards for security.
Gymnasiums, media centers and playgrounds are no longer thought of as luxuries, but are now considered important pieces of the total educational experience that we strive to provide for our students – and our spaces simply do not function at the level needed to provide a well-rounded learning experience.
Knowing this information, how do we invest in our schools in a way that fits our community? The District wishes to continue this dialogue with the community as we work together to provide education to our most vital resource – our children.
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