- District 99 is a public elementary school district in Cicero, Ill., a near-west suburb of Chicago that is home to more than 82,000 residents. The District includes 16 schools and educates more than 11,000 students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, most of whom (95 percent) come from bilingual or English-learning households. District 99 is igniting the road to excellence by cultivating a 21st-century learning environment.
- District 99 is transformative and has been a statewide leader in providing innovative, 21st-century learning opportunities to empower the young people of its diverse, bilingual community. The District arms its students, the majority of whom are low income, with skills, tools, knowledge and mindsets to effectively prepare them for global opportunities of the future--in education and the ever-changing workforce.
- District 99 programs that foster critical thinking skills and propel students forward include a variety of offerings in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and music), full-day kindergarten, dual-language programs and one-to-one access to the latest technological resources.
- District 99, a bilingual and under resourced community, is also a leader in partnering with parents, Town President Larry Dominick, and the Cicero community, providing needed education and resources to support students in and out of school.
- District 99 works to instill the belief that "good is not good enough." Working together, administrators, staff, students and families continually strive to ignite the road to excellence.
With support from the Board of Education, evaluated existing practices and established five goals to transform District 99 into a respected 21st-Century learning environment. The District has achieved growth and success in these areas over the past four years:
- Establishing professional learning communities across the District, with teachers receiving dedicated time to collaborate around instructional strategies and practices to help students achieve.
- Creating a culture of learning to support student growth, a major focus at the administrative level and within each school building
- Providing universal access to personalized learning devices and the cultivation of 21st-century learning environments, which led to the implementation of one-to-one technology and each student receiving his or her own Chromebook for educational use.
- Close Communication between the District and high school to ensure a seamless educational transition. This includes the establishment of dual credit offerings, where students have the potential to earn high school credit while still in junior high.
- Increasing student engagement while encouraging at-home parental involvement. The District has created additional academic and athletic extracurricular activities to enrich and develop the whole child. Its signature PARENT UNIVERSITY PROGRAM is one of several opportunities to help bridge the gap between socioeconomic barriers and academic success by connecting parents and guardians to educational resources, presented in both English and Spanish.
- District 99 has achieved its many successes through innovation, collaboration and adherence to a carefully-crafted strategic plan, as well as a close partnership with the local community and support from the Board of Education
- Superintendent Hernandez and the Board of Education created a plan for the Five Goals for Transformation that did not impact taxpayers by reevaluating current District spending and achieved the goals without raising taxes.
- District 99 offers one-to-one technology, with each student receiving a free Chromebook for educational purposes. This program began in the 2017-18 school year, to ensure students can progress academically by having access to fully supported and updated technology at school and at home.
- As part of the IgnitED EnRichment Program, in fall 2019 District 99 was awarded a $2.6 million technology grant by T-Mobile to provide free 4G LTE hotspots for each student to address limited internet access among District families. This expanded access enables students to take advantage of online learning opportunities outside of the classroom, including the District's enrichment resources, to promote student growth and ensure that students do not fall behind their peers.
- District 99 is proud to eliminate the digital divide by providing free 4G LTE hotspots, thanks to a $2.6 million technology grant awarded by T-Mobile. This vital program is another way the District is ensuring all students have every opportunity to access the 21st-century tools they need to be successful in the future.
Ten District 99 schools have been recognized as Commendable by the Illinois State Board of Education. This is according to the Illinois Report Card, which contains detailed district and state data from the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) that all students take each spring. Categories on the Report Card are: Exemplary, Commendable, Underperforming and Lowest Performing.
Three of the District 99's Commendable schools moved up to this position this year, thanks to improvements in IAR scores. Although four District 99 schools remain classified as Underperfoming, the District is confident that its strategic improvement efforts will continue to raise student achievement at each school and improve overall school categorization. The state rankings do not include the District's newest school and schools that serve younger students.
Low Income Students
Students with IEPs
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Cicero District 99's mission, vision, and strategic plan could not be possible without the help from all members of the Town of Cicero community.
Cicero Town President Larry Dominick along with town officials Maria Punzo-Arias, Fran Reitz, Joe Virruso, Emilio Cundari, Larry Banks, Victor Garcia, Bob Porod, and John Cava provide District 99 with resources to do just that.
District 99 also believes strongly in giving back to our community:
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The District 99 identity is represented by our official logo. Great care has gone into the development of our identity and these guidelines with the goal of promoting and protecting our brand.
Each component of the District 99 identity works together with all others to ensure a consistent look and feel in our communications materials.
The District 99 logo can only be used when approved by a District 99 administrator. The District 99 logo must not be altered.
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Dr. Aldo Calderin
As interim superintendent, Aldo Calderin's goal is to serve the community and ensure that District 99 continues to provide its students with opportunities to grow and learn.
Calderin has worked in the education field since 2004, where he began his teaching career here in District 99 as a bilingual math and science teacher. Most recently, he has spent the past three years as principal of Unity Junior High School.
Calderin received his bachelor's degree from Elmhurst University and holds two master's degrees; one in elementary education from Northern Illinois University and a second in educational leadership from Concordia University Chicago.
Follow him on Twitter at @AldoCalderin !
5110 24th St
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