Superintendent’s Comments – April 24, 2019

Dr. Lynda C. Andre
April 24, 2019

  • Social Emotional Programming and Services Study
  • K-12 Science Curriculum Study Committee
  • K-12 Math Curriculum Study Committee
  • EHS Schoology Trainers
  • Appreciation for Departing Board of Education Members

District 7 is fortunate to have dedicated and professional certified staff members who contribute their expertise and talent on important projects that impact thousands of students each year. Approximately 120 teachers and other certified faculty members have been part of several curriculum study teams spending hundreds of hours aligning curricula to state standards and designing instructional programs and support services for our 7,500 students.

The programming and services provided to our children are superior as a result of their efforts. Serving on a curriculum committee is a responsibility that is in addition to the work as a classroom teacher, social worker, school psychologist, and counselor. These staff members volunteer for this responsibility because they are committed to excellence for the students they serve. We are so grateful for their participation.

Social Emotional Programming and Services Study

District 7’s Student Services and Special Education Office initiated a curriculum and services study this year to update the Illinois Social Emotional Learning Goals into support services and programming for students. A team of thirty individuals including; school psychologists, social workers, administrators, counselors, parents, and mental health experts, is working on this multi-year study. Components of the study include:

  • Review and adoption of social-emotional programs that can be delivered to all students
  • Development of a multi-tier structure for the delivery of social-emotional interventions to students who need intensive supports
  • Adoption of researched-based interventions targeting specific mental health needs
  • Updating suicide prevention programs
  • Enhancing supports for bullying prevention
  • Development of a coordinated mental health response to crisis situations

District 7 is collaborating with Dr. Lisa Horowitz of the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD to adapt a research-based suicide risk screening tool (ASQ) and Brief Suicide Safety Assessment for use in the educational setting. These tools will be used by school-based mental health professionals when conducting risk assessments for students demonstrating the need for such screening/assessment.

K-12 Science Curriculum Study Committee

Thirty-four teachers on the K-12 Science Curriculum Study Committee have worked intensively all year to develop a standards-aligned science curriculum that will be implemented in August. This group of teachers will continue to work throughout the spring and summer to provide professional development for other teachers and to monitor the science curriculum implementation during the 2019-2020 school year.

K-12 Math Curriculum Study Committee

The forty-one members of the K-12 Math Curriculum Study Committee continue to monitor the implementation of the new instructional materials, review pacing guides, and study results of the quarterly common assessments. These teachers have worked tirelessly for several years first developing an aligned K-12 math curriculum and then, when funds became available through Prop E, began reviewing textbooks and digital resources for the full implementation last fall.

EHS Schoology Trainers

Fourteen teachers at Edwardsville High School served as Schoology trainers this year, supporting their colleagues in the implementation of the first learning management system at EHS. Their knowledge and expertise was instrumental in this first year as teachers were able to consult with in-building experts for advice and uploading of curriculum resources.

Appreciation for Departing Board of Education Members

Monica Laurent was elected in April 2003. During her sixteen years of service, Mrs. Laurent has served on various board committees including the Policy Committee, Finance Committee, and Curriculum Committee and was the Citizen Advisory Committee Board representative. Mrs. Laurent has served as the board president for the last six years.

Paul Pitts was elected April 2007. During his twelve years of service, he has served on various board committees including the Personnel Committee, Curriculum Committee, Facilities Committee, and Policy Committee.

These volunteers were critical to District 7 during the years of growth in student enrollment which led to the construction of four schools and millions of dollars in Health Life Safety repairs and renovations to school facilities.

They were strong advocates for all students and their support of curriculum studies and updates has ensured that, even in difficult financial times, students and teachers had the instructional materials and professional development sessions needed to deliver high quality instruction within the limits of the District’s financial resources.

Mrs. Laurent and Mr. Pitts continue to be tireless supporters of financial stability and balanced budgets; their years on the school board include years of prosperity and years of financial crisis. They were both strong supporters of the recently passed increase to the Education Fund, the first increase in 40 years, and assisted with educating parents and non-parents alike on the District’s financial needs throughout the seven communities that make-up District 7.
District 7 will miss their strong leadership skills. There are no words of appreciation strong enough to recognize them for their service – except a heartfelt thank you from the thousands of students, employees, and parents across the district.

Nekisha Omotola is also concluding her service on the Board of Education. Mrs. Omotola brought a positive perspective to board governance and her service is appreciated.

We thank Mrs. Monica Laurent, Mr. Paul Pitts, and Mrs. Nekisha Omotola for their service to District 7 and wish them well in future endeavors.