Dear District 181 Community,
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the District 181 website. The 2016-17 school year is underway, and already the school days have been filled with exciting opportunities that continue to build on the outstanding educational experience we provide to the students of District 181. Guided by our Strategic Plan and together as partners, we create, grow, share, inspire, learn, and lead. We aim to make this an unforgettable year for nearly 4,000 learners. We have had an excellent beginning.
In the Strategic Plan Goal Area of Academic Success the Department of Learning is working in collaboration with principals, teachers, and staff to strengthen all aspects of our academic program, from committee structures and science curriculum to social-emotional learning and assessments. I have great confidence that their work will have a very positive impact for all learners in our District.
In the Strategic Plan Goal Area of Organizational Excellence , the Human Resources Department is leading the District in attracting, retaining, and continually supporting high quality educators. We recently finalized a new contract with our teachers' union, and this year teachers and administrators are implementing new practices in compliance with the state law Performance Evaluation Reform Act (PERA).
In the Strategic Plan Goal Area of Culture of Community, we continue to create new avenues for partnerships with parents, community members, and organizations that support our families. We are enhancing District communications and opportunities for even greater transparency. We will soon be implementing the use of SMS texting via our automated notification system, and we are currently developing plans to launch a District mobile app. In cooperation with the District Safety & Crisis Committee, we are exploring options to continue strengthening District safety procedures. In fact, we recently co-facilitated a unique all-staff safety exercise as part of Institute Day activities in partnership with the Hinsdale Police Department and surrounding departments.
In the Strategic Plan Goal Area of Operational Integrity, one of our major initiatives is the finalization of the Facilities Master Plan. On November 8, 2016, the community approved a referendum question which sought approval to sell bonds for the construction of a new Hinsdale Middle School, so moving forward in that project will be primary operational focus in 2016-17. In addition to moving forward with facilities efforts, our Strategic Plan calls for a balanced budget. A budget was approved in September and the Board is now working toward action on the tax levy. We are unfortunately not immune to budget challenges. We will need to further increase our efficiency and consider budget reductions. We are fortunate to have outstanding support from our local community and will do everything possible to achieve a balanced budget while continuing our efforts to provide an exemplary learning environment. With a AAA bond rating and a strong financial score from the State, I know we can be successful in that work.
Our Vision calls for District 181 to be a community school district where students develop the skills they need to change the world and the confidence they need to do it. I am proud to join you on this journey as we support every "world changer" who enters our doors.
Dr. Don White
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent