District 161 hears school improvement plans and holds bond hearing

As the school year begins, staff took time to present District 161 school improvement plans to school board members at the Aug. 14 meeting.

The board also took action to begin the process for selling $13 million in bonds for building improvements.

Representatives from Flossmoor Hills, Heather Hill and Serena Hills Schools and Parker Junior High presented their respective school improvement plans. Western Avenue School officials  already had presented their plan at the Aug. 7 meeting.

The plans, aligned with the district’s strategic goals, focus on literacy, math proficiency, achievement gaps and school culture/climate. They incorporate data from various sources, including surveys and assessments, to guide the goals and strategies.

The top priority for the district is making sure that students feel safe in school. An action plan involves setting clear expectations for student behavior, increased supervision and early interventions. At Parker, students will begin the year with direct instruction that explains respect and models expected behavior.

Members of the board engaged in a constructive dialogue with school administrators, seeking clarifications and offering recommendations. The meeting highlighted the collaborative approach to improving education within the district.

The board will hear updated plans along with progress reports in the coming months.

The board held a mandated public hearing on whether the district should move forward with its plan to sell up to $13 million in bonds for the working cash fund. No public comments were registered on the matter, so the board moved forward and voted to approve the plan to increase working cash funding. This plan was discussed and approved at previous board meetings

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