New year, new look to schools in District 57

  • Students at Westbrook School for Young Learners head back to school on Aug. 21.

    Students at Westbrook School for Young Learners head back to school on Aug. 21. Courtesy of Kristin Vonder Haar, District 57

 
Submitted by Jenny Kustra-Quinn, Mount Prospect School District 57
Updated 8/29/2019 8:30 PM

Mount Prospect School District 57 welcomed approximately 2,230 kindergarten through eighth-grade students back to school on Wednesday, Aug. 21, with a major building expansion and several school improvements greeting the children as they arrived.

The district added on to Fairview School over the summer, a project that was completed on time and slightly under budget, after years of discussion and planning. The school is now better equipped to accommodate its expanding enrollment, with four new, modern classrooms (being used by fifth grade), an expanded multipurpose room/cafeteria and added storage. Video tours of the new space can be found on the District 57 website at www.d57.org.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Fairview expansion was paid for out of funds from the successful 2018 referendum.

"We thank the community for its support and for enabling us to address increasing enrollment and better prepare for the future," says Elaine Aumiller, superintendent of schools. "The work that took place this summer will benefit students for years to come."

In addition to the Fairview work, the district replaced the outdated fire sprinkler system and rebuilt the crumbling courtyard at Lions Park School. At Lincoln Middle School, the service delivery ramp and parts of the north wall were rebuilt to stop flooding, and ducts for the HVAC system were replaced and rotted wood and aluminum windowsills were repaired. At Westbrook School for Young Learners, the district added a new bank of swings and expanded the footprint of the playground to serve more students. The Westbrook PTO helped fund this project.

District 57 also made some administrative changes over the summer. Dr. Mary Gorr, former Westbrook principal, stepped into her new role as assistant superintendent for Teaching and Learning. Kristin Vonder Haar, former Westbrook assistant principal, replaced Gorr as principal, and Karl Andersen, former Fairview fifth-grade teacher, replaced Vonder Haar as assistant principal.

"These three are exceptional educational leaders and have already made valuable contributions along with our other talented administrators," according to Aumiller, who adds that there are also some 20 new staff members who are great additions to the schools.

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District 57 also kicked off the school year with the announcement of a $10,000 grant from Bosch Tools, to support STEAM initiatives that enhance critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. The district will use the funds to purchase Chromebooks for the Westbrook Learning Resource Center and STEAM supplies and books for Fairview and Lions Park. Westbrook's Cindy Larson, LRC director, and Kim Stortz, technology coach, applied for the grant. Aumiller says District 57 thanks Bosch for its ongoing support of science, technology, engineering, art and math education in the schools.

Administrators encourage community members to check out the new-and-improved District 57 website at www.d57.org, as well as follow the district on Facebook and Twitter for frequent news, information and photos from the district and schools.

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