We are so excited to welcome the Daily Herald to the District 113 community and the opportunity it provides readers to learn more about the news, events and big things happening in the high schools of Deerfield and Highland Park. We look forward to engaging with you in this format.
Spring has arisen. At high schools, that means an uninterrupted flurry of student events and celebrations through June. It’s an incredibly busy time, and I’m so glad we’ve reached the point where we’re able to focus on these traditional rites of passage that we look forward to and enjoy. I am happy to announce that we will once again have the opportunity to enjoy the graduation ceremonies at Ravinia this year. I will share more about these celebrations in a future column.
On to other topics of interest to the community…
Following a $1.2 million reduction in operations to address the district’s structural budget deficit, the District 113 School Board has approved staffing for the next year. Comparing non-pandemic headcount for the 2021-22 school year to staffing demand for 2022-23 shows an overall reduction of 20.88 FTE (full-time equivalent), a reduction of 1.88 FTE in staff licensed and a 19.0 reduction in unlicensed staff. This reduction allows the district to contain costs while maintaining diverse student programming, consisting of a strong array of electives, including fine arts.
The board reviewed a draft of the Facilities Master Plan, the comprehensive 10-year review of district-wide facility needs. As the draft plan identifies project priorities and the rationale for those priorities, the board will soon begin to plan a timeline that outlines the ways it can engage the community on this topic, projects, project priorities and options. funding as it continues to refine the MFP in its discussions. As new information becomes available, it will be shared with the community.
District 113 will also be seeking community feedback on aligning the two schools’ schedules to better serve all students. The board directed the administration to apply a “one district, two schools” approach when evaluating any operational or instructional changes.
Work has already been done by a committee of teachers and administrators to gather data on research, best practices and schedules from other North Shore high schools as a basis for these discussions.
An external advisory committee comprised of trustees, parents, students, and board liaisons will oversee the collection of community feedback that will form part of this analysis that will ultimately become a recommendation to the board later this year for the year school year 2023-2024.
The common theme running through all of these topics is community engagement. When you give us feedback, you help District 113 continually improve the educational experiences the community values. It is so important to us that you are involved. I hope you will take the time to intervene when the occasion arises. We want to be sure to hear from you.
Enjoy the wonders of spring.
Bruce Law, Ed.D.
superintendent of schools
Township 113 Secondary School District