How you can help District 300 set goals
Are Community Unit District 300 schools providing enough mental health services for students in need?
What new career pathways should the district offer in emerging industries? Is there a need for more academic rigor, more recess or longer lunch periods?
Officials at the Algonquin-based district could tackle these and other questions during a series of town hall meetings this month and next.
The sessions are aimed at gathering input from parents and community members on achievable goals for the district's next five-year strategic plan. It will help guide decisions on creating new career pathways, adopting new programs, curriculum and providing additional support for students, Superintendent Fred Heid said.
"We altered the strategic plan to have more measurable outcomes," Heid said of the district's previous five-year strategic plan.
Officials were able to accomplish many of the plan's goals. Among them are launching an Accelerate College program allowing high school students to earn dual-credit at Elgin Community College, its DREAM Academy for at-risk students in elementary and middle schools, districtwide full-day kindergarten, personal Chromebooks for all students, a new AVID Excel program for English language learners, and more counselors in middle and high schools.
Adding social workers and counselors might be necessary going forward to help students deal with social-emotional issues or crises, Heid said.
"That type of individualized support has proved its value," said Heid of the DREAM Academy program.
The trauma-informed teaching and intervention program provides additional supports to students in first through fifth grades at Perry Elementary School in Carpentersville and sixth and seventh grades at Carpentersville Middle School struggling with emotional traumas and behavioral issues.
"The strategic plan should be focusing on our overarching goal," Heid said.
He said it starts with what skills, attributes and characteristics are most important for high school graduates.
"What are the 21st century needs of our students? What are employers saying they need? Once we know the expectations, then we go back to our goal areas. We will look more globally into how do we meet that expectation or need and provide opportunities within our system."
Town hall discussions might influence development of future career pathways. District 300 currently offers 14 pathway programs: advanced manufacturing, app development, computer networking, computer programming, cyber security, early childhood education and development, electrical technology, elementary and secondary education, entrepreneurship, graphic design, prelaw, STEM engineering, web design and development, and welding technology.
Sessions are scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. on the following dates:
• Nov. 18: Hampshire High School, 1600 Big Timber Road, Hampshire.
• Nov. 20: Jacobs High School, 2601 Bunker Hill Drive, Algonquin.
• Dec. 2: Algonquin Middle School, 520 Longwood Drive, Algonquin.
• Dec. 3: Dundee Middle School, 4200 W. Main St., West Dundee.
• Dec. 4: Carpentersville Middle School, 100 Cleveland Ave., Carpentersville.
• Dec. 5: Dundee-Crown High School, 1500 Kings Road, Carpentersville.
• Dec. 11: Hampshire Middle School, 560 S. State St., Hampshire.
• Dec. 16: Westfield Community School, 2100 Sleepy Hollow Road, Algonquin/
Meetings are open to the public, but space is limited. RSVP in advance at d300.org/TownHall. Those unable to attend can provide feedback through District 300's website, d300.org, and social media channels.