District Facility Analysis Report Detailed at Board of Education Meeting

Watch the video version of this communication here

October 11, 2022

Dear District #7 community,  

As part of the District’s new strategic plan, we have been working closely with Ittner Architects to conduct a comprehensive analysis of our buildings and have also brought on consultants from Creative Entourage to conduct community engagement sessions called Engage District #7. The goal of these sessions is to provide an opportunity for meaningful conversations and to gather input from a broad base of the community in order to develop long-range goals and priorities that: 

  • Improve the learning experiences and learning environments for students in a fiscally responsible manner; 
  • Determine how best to address long-term facility and enrollment changes; and 
  • Identify what steps should be taken now and in the future. 

Earlier this evening at the Board of Education meeting, Ittner provided an overview of their analysis of District #7 schools and provided recommendations regarding the needs identified. District #7 schools range in age from 140 years to 14 years, which also is indicative of the needs identified.  

As part of their analysis, Ittner has recommended that District #7 take the following steps: 

  • Identify a location and develop a plan for the replacement of Lincoln Middle School. This historic building has several needs which cannot be addressed while occupied by students.  
  • Expand the Commons at Edwardsville High School to provide seating for additional students. 
  • Determine how to address significant foundation issues at Midway Elementary School. This could include consolidating Midway Elementary and Hamel Elementary into a new elementary school on the Hamel campus. 
  • Identify areas of inequity among our schools and develop a plan to address those inequities over the next several years. 
  • Develop a plan to improve safety and security as it relates to all District #7 schools. This includes a plan for double entry into each of our schools and addressing any site concerns related to student safety, which may include playgrounds. 

Our first round of community engagement sessions begins tomorrow and will continue next week at each of our intermediate schools. We look forward to District #7 stakeholders engaging in dialogue regarding the future of our facilities. We have amazing staff and students, and our desire is to provide them with the best facilities possible as we look to the future of District #7, while preserving our past. You can get the dates for each session in your mailbox and at the dedicated site EngageDistrict7.org. I look forward to seeing you there. 


Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.

To watch the Ittner facility presentation from the Board of Education meeting, go to the 47:30 minute mark of this broadcasted meeting: https://www.facebook.com/ECUSD7/videos/776652267105338/ 

Calendar Reminder: No School Oct. 7 or Oct. 10

A reminder that there is no student attendance on Friday, Oct. 7 as that is a Teacher Institute Day.

All schools and offices will be closed on Monday, Oct. 10 in observance of Columbus Day.



Community Invited to Help Plan for the Future of District #7

Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 is launching an effort to bring the entire D7 community together to develop goals and priorities to improve its schools. ENGAGE District 7, created as part of the implementation of District 7’s strategic plan, is a team of district employees and stakeholders. Engage District 7 is hosting a series of community engagement meetings for your input on how to meet the facility needs for all District 7 students now and in the future. The program is designed to ensure the district’s work in the future is guided by a facility improvement plan developed “For Our Community By Our Community.”  

Parents, staff and community members are encouraged to participate in ENGAGE District 7. As part of the program, a two-part series of community engagement sessions will kick off on Wednesday, Oct. 12. During these sessions, participants will learn more about planning priorities for D7 facilities and will engage with other stakeholders on what is most important now and what projects can wait until later. Each session will feature an interactive work activity with fellow participants to help identify the priorities to move our schools forward. The results of the community engagement sessions will be included in a series of recommendations that will be presented to the D7 Board of Education. 

Each of the two sessions will have four meeting date options to choose from.  

Session 1 will focus on facility needs in District #7

October 12 – 6-8 p.m. 
Worden Elementary, 110 Main St., Worden
(meeting: gym | parking and entrance: located off Kell Street)

October 18 – 6-8 p.m. 
Columbus Elementary, 315 N. Kansas St., Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: located off College Street)

October 19 – 6-8 p.m. 
Woodland Elementary, 59 IL-157, Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

October 20 – 6-8 p.m. 
Cassens Elementary, 1014 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon

(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

Session 2 will focus on facility priorities in District #7
November 9 – 6-8 p.m. 
Worden Elementary, 110 Main St., Worden
(meeting: gym | parking and entrance: located off Kell Street)

November 15 – 6-8 p.m. 
Columbus Elementary, 315 N. Kansas St., Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: located off College Street)

November 16 – 6-8 p.m.
Woodland Elementary, 59 IL-157, Edwardsville
(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

November 17 – 6-8 p.m.
Cassens Elementary, 1014 Glen Crossing Rd., Glen Carbon

(meeting: cafeteria | parking and entrance: main entrance)

Visit EngageDistrict7.org for more information and to register to participate. 

Three Teachers Awarded Grants from IRTAF

Three Edwardsville Community Unit School District #7 teachers have been named recipients of a grant from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation (IRTAF). The IRTAF recently awarded $36,500 in grant money to public school educators (PreK through 12) statewide.  

Laura Brennan and Tyler Slaby of Liberty Middle School and Shanyra Cox of Woodland Elementary School were all awarded an IRTAF grant.   

Below are summarized paragraphs of the project in each of the three’s own words.  

Laura Brennan, Liberty Middle School ($750)
My class would benefit from purchasing a SRA Reading Laboratory Kit. SRA supports a growth mindset within every student. Students are interested in their own learning with self-monitoring progress, which is an integral part of student success. Students are motivated through self-guided, cross-curricular reading selections that connect their reading level with their topics of interests. This instills a love of reading and learning.  

Tyler Slaby, Liberty Middle School ($570)
I am currently needing math supplies for our 6th grade math students to better support them in the classroom when it comes to understanding multiplication and division. I am on the search for base ten blocks that can be used for 330 students in our middle school to support their learning of fractions, multiplication, and division. 

Shanyra Cox, Woodland Elementary School ($679.78)
As part of the technology curriculum, I will introduce coding to the 3rd-5th graders. I would like to enrich the coding unit by allowing them to see their coding skills in action with a Dash and Dot coding robot with challenge and enrichment accessories. Students will not only have to understand block coding but will have to problem solve together to code their robot to perform a task. The Dash and Dot robot will teach the kids block coding, provide them with opportunity to problem solve, use critical thinking skills, as well as spark their creativity. 

The IRTA Foundation designed this program based on the idea that educators often do not have additional revenue sources available for unique student projects or classroom materials.   

Applicants were required to meet the proper criteria and to submit their proposals by early June. The IRTAF Board of Directors selected the grant recipients and awards are being presented now. The Illinois Principals Association played a vital role in assisting IRTAF with the promotion of this program. 



Dr. Duncan Named IPA Southwestern Region Middle School Principal of the Year

Liberty Middle School principal Dr. Allen Duncan has been nominated for and selected as the Illinois Principals Association Southwestern Region Middle School Principal of the Year.   

To be named the Illinois Principals Association Southwestern Region Principal of the Year is an amazing recognition,” said Duncan. “It’s always nice to be appreciated for working hard and giving it your all. But this recognition isn’t just about me. It’s about our Liberty family. This award recognizes the efforts of my staff, students, and all the families that have supported our school over the last couple of years. We truly have something special at Liberty, and I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to work here every day.         

Dr. Duncan was nominated by Dr. Tron Young, principal at Joseph Arthur Middle School in O’Fallon, Ill. 

In his nomination, Dr. Young said, “Dr. Duncan, your commitment to giving your very best each and every day to the students and staff who attend Liberty Middle School is worthy of recognition. You have created an environment that allows students to connect and thrive as part of a house system that brings community and engagement to life. He has developed a school culture that inspires his staff to build meaningful connections to student learning, demonstrating increased student achievement. In addition to the work in his building, he was part of the inaugural steering committee for the I-Grow Summit, which looks to grow, retain, and recruit educational teachers and leaders of color.” 

Dr. Young presented Dr. Duncan with news of his selection on Thursday morning in the Liberty gymnasium surrounded by his students, teachers and staff.  

Dr. Duncan is in his third year as principal at Liberty Middle School and his 18th year overall in District #7.  

WATCH: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drOkTnkYI0k






Unified Sports at District #7

Unified sports are one way District #7 promotes inclusion within its District. Unified sports means that students with and without disabilities play together on the same team.
District #7 currently offers unified sports at the middle school and high school level, although some sports do allow students eight years of age or older to participate.
During the 2022-23 school year, District #7 has a goal of increasing participation across the district in the events they host, as well as providing additional sports opportunities for athletes. Unified sports offerings this year will include flag football, soccer, bowling, dance, bocce, esports, basketball, and track and field.
If you are interested in coaching or have a child who wants to be an athlete or a peer, please use the links below to sign up.

Early Release Wednesdays Begin August 24

On Wednesdays during the 2022-23 school year (beginning on August 24), all District 7 schools will be dismissed early to allow for consistent staff collaboration in identifying priority standards, utilizing common formative assessments, and determining instructional needs for students. This time will allow our teachers to collaborate with one another, plan intentionally and grow professionally.

EHS will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (grades K-2) at 2:50 p.m.

Each building should have communicated with families about child care between the early dismissal time and the regular dismissal time.



Monday, Aug. 15 Office/Building Hours

Due to the District kickoff event for all staff on Monday morning (August 15), district offices will not open until 10 a.m. Additionally, school buildings will be closed until 1 p.m. for their meetings.  

District 7 to Initiate PLCs for Staff in 2022-23

Professional Learning Communities (also referred to as PLCs) are new to District 7 this year and will provide educators with the time to work in collaborative teams to have a positive impact on student learning. Nelson Elementary School reading specialist Cari Wencewicz and Edwardsville High School English teacher Nickie Pontious tell us more about PLCs, their impact and why they will be valuable for District 7.

2022-23 School Year Info

Watch the video version here


August 10, 2022 

Dear District #7 families,  

Earlier this week, I provided our Board of Education with a comprehensive update on the 2022-2023 school year as well as an update on the 2022-2023 Return to Learn plan, which is now updated on the District #7 website. We are excited about the upcoming school year and wanted to share a few highlights related to the school calendar, school day schedules, and our renewed focus on school safety.  

Last January, the Board of Education approved the 2022-2023 calendar which included an early release schedule each Wednesday. The early release schedule was adopted in lieu of any additional half days for school improvement and will allow each certified staff member to fully engage in the PLC process beginning with the 22-23 school year. Research has shown that providing teachers with the time to work in collaborative teams has a positive impact on student learning, and we are excited to be kicking off this initiative on Wednesday, August 24.   

The high school will dismiss at 12:45 p.m., followed by the middle schools at 1:35 p.m., the intermediate schools (grades 3-5) at 2:40 p.m. and primary schools (K-2) at 2:50 p.m. Schools will provide childcare coverage on Wednesdays from the early dismissal time until the normal dismissal time – at which time parents will be responsible for picking up their child. Buses will run at the early dismissal time. Each building will communicate that process along with a sign-up form for those needing childcare. 

The school day for each of our buildings will also begin and end between five and 10 minutes earlier each day from last year to help aid in our bus transportation times. 2022-23 School Start Times   

This year our renewed focus on school safety started with the addition of our Director of Security, Michael Hubbard, but has continued with expanding our training for our School Safety Officers, expanding the presence of our School Safety Officers in our middle and high schools, and the requirement for all students and staff to wear IDs in our schools. We want to ensure that each student and staff member feels safe teaching and learning. We will also be continuing our work with local law enforcement on our crisis plans and training for all staff regarding school safety. In addition, we will be refocusing our efforts on enforcing the District #7 Dress Code and requiring that electronic devices, including cell phones and air pods, be put away during the instructional part of the school day. Our goal is to maintain a safe environment for students and staff so that our primary focus can continue to be on educating students.  

Staffing continues to be a concern, but we see improvements in our staffing forecast every day. Our certified staff positions are fully staffed with a couple of exceptions. However, we do still have many classified positions still open, although numbers continue to improve through our open interview process, recruiting at Goshen Market, and working with other agencies and institutions to recruit employees. 

To add some clarification on staffing with our Kid Zone, Kid Zone is operated as an extension of District #7, but it is run like a childcare and must follow certain licensing with the state. There are only a certain number of children allowed per adult and that adult must be 18. There are also staffing criteria for students with special needs that must be followed. 

We are also excited to welcome almost 500 kindergarten students to District #7. We invite our kindergarten families to a special Kindergarten parent orientation on Monday, August 15 at 6:30 p.m. where principals will be providing an overview of the kindergarten screening process. Parents are also welcomed to bring community supplies such as Kleenex and wet wipes. Also, do not forget kindergarten open house on Wednesday, August 24! 

Registration for the 2022-23 school year is still available! This is the first year we are fully online for registration, and once the school year begins, we will be meeting to find ways to make this process easier for our families. If you still need to register, please visit http://ecusd7.org/district-information/registration/.  

I also want to remind our families that we will be charging for breakfast and lunch this year as the funding from the federal government which funded meals the past two years has ended.  

Finally, we are looking forward to our Mascot Welcome on Friday for students entering 3rd, 6th, and 9th grades! We are also looking forward to open houses next week and the first day of school exactly one week from today. Enjoy the last week of summer break and we cannot wait to see you next Wednesday! 

With Tiger Pride,  

Patrick Shelton, Ed.D.