Providing a world-class, student-centered education
A strong public school system plays an essential role in developing informed, responsible citizens able to critically evaluate information, ideas, and opinions and to contribute not only to our local community but also to a diverse, global society. Important issues are:
- Maintaining the quality of our educational system and continuously evaluating and improving it. Our school system brings families to Naperville and is an important driver for the local economy. It is a great investment for the community long term!
- Ensuring ALL students have access to high quality education in a safe, supportive, welcoming, and inclusive learning environment where they can think critically, collaborate, and share ideas.
- Closing achievement gaps within the district. The District must ensure that families have information on available programming and resources, and the education system needs to meet all students where they are at and put them in the best position to succeed.
- Examining expanding early childhood education programs, which are shown to provide a beneficial foundation for young children and can help close achievement gaps.
- Maintaining and enhancing the scope of programs (e.g. arts, honors, special needs, STEM, and vocational programs as well as internship and service opportunities) and support systems that lead to college and career readiness, both academically and socially, for students at ALL levels.
- Enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programming by evaluating the rollout of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In this increasingly technology-driven world with numerous challenges that science can help address, strong STEM programming benefits all students.
Looking out for student safety and well-being
Student safety and well-being go hand-in-hand since students learn best in an environment where they feel safe, welcome, and included. Ensuring safety includes not just violence prevention and school security, but also things like anti-bullying and restorative justice programs, the social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, and implementation of the District’s Comprehensive Equity Plan. Important issues are:
- Keeping up with best practices in the areas of school safety and security.
- Ensuring teachers, staff, students, and families have the necessary information, training, and support to hopefully prevent violence, bullying, and risky behavior issues in the first place, but also respond to issues that might arise.
- Continuing to be a leader in SEL programming. SEL programming is shown to have positive impacts on academic performance, mental health, and social skills, including reductions in behavior issues and substance abuse. Moreover, SEL programming helps students break down barriers, develop character and empathy, respect and celebrate diversity, build community, and communicate effectively with each other.
Ensuring fiscal responsibility, sustainability, and transparency
Nearly 90% of the funding for District 203 schools comes from local sources, mainly property taxes. (Click for funding breakdown.) Therefore, we must be good stewards of your tax dollars, providing students the best possible education while living within our means. Important issues are:
- Carefully considering the positive and negative impacts of decisions on students or certain groups of students when allocating resources and making policy decisions. Students must be the focus.
- Continuing to recruit and retain excellent teachers and support staff and ensuring they have the resources and professional development necessary to provide a world-class education.
- Continuing to reduce the tax burden on taxpayers when possible. We have saved taxpayers more than $20 million in the last four years through refunds and abatements!
- Maintaining and improving infrastructure, with an eye toward sustainability and energy efficiency, so that students have top quality learning spaces, while reducing energy costs.
Engaging with the community
Public schools play a vital role in the community, and it is important that there is open communication and cooperation between the district and community stakeholders, including community members, businesses, and organizations. Important issues are:
- Sustaining and expanding partnerships with community organizations and businesses to provide students with additional engagement activities and service, internship, and job-shadowing opportunities that give them real world experience and the opportunity to start building a network while still in school.
- Listening to concerns and comments from the community. What’s on your mind regarding District 203? Click here to comment!