Beginning in May 2021, Cicero District 99 began involving the voices of all stakeholders in the District's improvement process (community members, parents, staff and students) in order to put together a new strategic plan.
The first step in the process was to survey all staff members on what they felt the District's goals should be. Five categories were identified: communication, relationships, assessment, foundational skills and mental health. Based on these categories, staff members were surveyed again in December 2021, this time being asked what specific actions could be taken collectively by both staff and administration to enhance these categories.
The next step was to then survey parents and community members on what they felt Cicero District 99 should prioritize as district goals for the next three to five years.
In April 2022, the District hosted several in-person town halls to give both community and staff members the opportunity to speak face to face with District leadership on what the District could do better to support their child's learning when it comes to communication, the shift in teaching reading, assessment and well-being.
The third step was to survey all our students and ask them what they like about school, what the perfect classroom looks like, and what they would change. District leadership visited all schools and hosted in-person student focus groups. There, students engaged in conversations around the results of the student survey: food, playground improvements, classroom furniture, field trips, organization, uniforms, and rewards for learning.
After all the data was gathered, the District put together a diverse Strategic Planning Committee made up of district leaders, school board members, building leaders, teachers, staff members, community leaders, and parents to review and analyze all of the stakeholder feedback so they could craft these four goal statements:
1. Assessment: Enhancing assessments provided in order to improve teacher actions and student outcomes
Improve the Assessment Plan, with a focus on providing assessments that will inform the teacher and the learner, enabling teachers to quickly access data and use the data to inform their instruction.
Action: Provide workshops for parents, students and teachers to improve assessment literacy.
2. Communication: Updating day-to-day communications across the District, both digitally and in-person.
Improve two-way communication with all stakeholders in order to create efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness.
Actions: Survey parents regarding Coffee talk topics and times as well as Parent Teacher Conferences and format
3. Foundational Skills: Improving foundational skills instruction to strengthen learning outcomes.
Strengthen our ability to create better experiences for students, staff and the community by focusing on academic engagement and social-emotional outcomes.
Actions: Develop and implement family nights and activities that provide mental health resources and general wellness supports to families and students.
4. Community Well-Being: Actively incorporating restorative practices to boost mental health and wellness for students, staff and families.
Shift to a structured literacy approach, which includes foundational reading instruction to better meet the needs of all our learners; this model explicitly teaches systematic word-recognition and decoding strategies.
Actions: Provide parents with information regarding literacy instruction and at-home strategies.