Wheeling District 21 holding community forums
Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 is hosting a series of public forums this month as part of an overall community engagement effort.
Officials will present information about different areas of focus for the district and provide the opportunity for small group discussion. All sessions are being held at London Middle School in Wheeling.
From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, officials will discuss programs they've implemented to meet the academic, social and emotional needs of students. From 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, they'll talk about potential upgrades that could be made to school buildings. The last session, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 22, will provide an overview of how fiscal and human resources are allocated in the district.
The first session held last week was an overview of the district and its strategic plan.
The community meetings follow seven focus groups conducted last month with parents, residents and school staff, and a phone and online survey last fall of 726 residents to gauge their opinions of the district and programs they'd like to see.
The survey found 90 percent or more support expansion of technology, updating building security and installing air conditioning in all buildings.
Called Design21, the community outreach process comes as Superintendent Kate Hyland prepares to retire in July and hand the reins to Michael Connolly. District 21 last undertook a similar process about 15 years ago when Hyland joined the district as associate superintendent for curriculum and learning. She became superintendent in 2012.
"The school board talked about it the last couple years and felt it was a good time to engage in these kinds of conversations," Hyland said. "It will be a great opportunity for our new superintendent to learn about the community and their hopes and dreams and get a road map for how he could connect with community members."