Strategic Plan Initiatives
Inspire all children to embrace learning in an ever-changing world.
- STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT: In five years, all students will meet or exceed their individual growth targets.
- LEARNING ENVIRONMENT: Provide and implement common expectations for joyful and challenging learning across the district.
- PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT: Provide a mutually supportive professional environment that features collaboration, collegiality and strategic, impactful staff development.
- PARTNERSHIPS: Hawthorn District 73 will have a districtwide community volunteer program to support student learning.
- RESOURCES: Ensure a stable fiscal position that provides the required resources, personnel, facilities, programs, and technology to continually sustain Hawthorn District 73’s strategic mission and vision.
2019-2020 District 73 End-of-Year Project Update
- Collaborate with the Village of Vernon Hills to develop and implement a Standardized Crisis Plan In collaboration with the Village of Vernon Hills Police Department, the District developed a Standardized Crisis Plan. The Hawthorn plan evolved utilizing the model from Vernon Hills High School District 128 at the suggestion of the Vernon Hills Police Department. Each building modified the District plan to consider building specific needs. We have been executing the plan by participating in the required drills as outlined by the Illinois School Code. Additionally, we focused significant efforts on expanding and improving the safety measures established at all the schools.
- Develop a Professional Learning Community (PLC) Leadership Team to collaboratively guide systemic implementation of PLC practices and structures across the district
PLC Year Long Plan: In the spring of 2019, a year-long PLC Implementation timeline for the 2019-20 school year was created. Throughout the school year, the plan has been implemented and evaluated as written on a monthly basis with minor adjustments. As a result, all levels of the organization can see the connection of their work to the ultimate outcome of collaboration in PLCs to increase student achievement.
Members of the Guiding Coalition, the driving force for the work of the PLCs, met five times during the 2019-20 school year. This group of teachers, building and district administrators worked separately with a consultant to hone their leadership skills and to understand the PLC process. They used their skills to guide the instructional cycle with their own teams. This collaborative format allowed for accelerated growth of the team of leaders. The work of the Guiding Coalition will continue into the next school year.
- Review instructional practices, assessments, and resource allocations to close the achievement gap for our English Language Learners and students in special education
Hawthorn School District 73 utilizes a system of state and local assessments, including the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and the ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 suite of assessments, to monitor student achievement and growth. Using this combination of assessment data allows us to identify strengths and areas for growth so that individualized learning and instruction can occur for each student.
24% of the District’s 4,102 students have been identified as English language learners (multilingual learners). In the area of English Language Arts, approximately 10% of the students identified as English language learners were identified as proficient as measured by the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR). In the area of Math, 14% of English language learners were identified as proficient as measured by IAR.
The ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 suite of assessments are English language proficiency assessments administered to kindergarten through 12th-grade students identified as English Language Learners (ELLs). Students receive an overall composite score. An overall composite score of 4.8 and above allows students to exit from ELL and bilingual services. In 2019, 948 students were tested, of which 163 exited (17%).
The District took several major steps to help increase student performance for English language learners on the IAR. It facilitated a number of professional developmental opportunities for staff members, including professional development in the Sheltered Instructional Observational Protocol (SIOP). Plans are in place to facilitate district implementation of the SIOP. The Bilingual Education and Language Acquisition Department increased the number of licenses for IMAGINE LEARNING, a computer based instructional software designed to support English Language Learning. Additionally, the District is conducting an inventory/assessment of our Spanish Language Arts materials.
Based on the 2019 Illinois Report Card, approximately 15% of our students receive special education and related services in accordance with their Individual Education Program (IEP). However, the Illinois School Board of Education found the District to have an over representation of students from Hispanic backgrounds under the eligibility category of Specific Learning Disability. To address this disproportionality, we have been working on providing professional development to help staff, both general and special education, address this concern.
SIOP training, once limited to the Hawthorn School of Dual Language, was expanded to include general and special education teachers around the District. The Special Services Department also worked collaboratively with the Teaching and Learning Department on the math pilot and will be assisting with the purchase of supplemental instructional materials to support differentiated math instruction in Tier One.
Next Steps: Professional development in SIOP was provided in the summer and fall to over 100 staff members. This professional opportunity will continue into the fall of 2020. The Teaching and Learning Department will partner with the schools in 2020-21 to identify specific targets and plans to facilitate a consistent implementation of SIOP across the school district.
- Prioritize and align learning standards to define essential outcomes in English Language Arts (preK-8) and math (6-8)
The purpose of our GVC Leadership Team is to advance student growth and learning by prioritizing and aligning learning standards K-8. Our dedicated GVC Leadership Team participated in three half-day and two full day sessions of professional development and planning to prioritize and align learning standards. The majority of our time together was dedicated to the introduction and subsequent application of skills or steps related to the rebooting of our GVC.
Once our essential outcomes were selected for elementary ELA, representatives from the School of Dual Language met for a special session dedicated to the identification of essential Spanish Language Arts (SLA) standards. We identified the SLA standards that mirrored our ELA standards to ensure consistent learning outcomes for students. Provisions were made for standards distinctive to the Spanish language.
Next Steps: The plan for our 2020-2021 school year is to move our current GVC Leadership Team to maintenance mode; this group will meet less frequently for the purpose of refining their work and supporting consistent implementation across the District. At the same time, we will move forward with a second team focused on math at the elementary school and one or more content area(s) determined by staff interest and availability at the middle school.
- Engage in a pilot analysis of Tier 1 math materials within a modified curriculum review cycle to select a foundational resource in math for districtwide, K-5 implementation
High quality Tier I materials support teachers’ implementation of the curriculum, ensuring equity and access to grade level content for all students. We primarily used EdReports to identify two Tier I materials for our math pilot: Bridges in Mathematics and Eureka Math. Math Pilot Team members were assigned to pilot these resources. At the end of the pilot, the team members recommended Bridges in Mathematics to the Board of Education for K-5 adoption. The Board of Education approved the plan in the spring. The District ordered materials and coordinated training and professional development for staff.
Next Steps: All materials have arrived and are currently in storage. Planning is also underway for parent/guardian communication, remote use of the resources (if needed), training any staff hired over the summer, continued professional development, implementation expectations, and more.
- Review our middle school academic schedules to ensure they reflect district goals and priorities Per the professional agreement, a committee of HEA members and district administrators will convene in the 2022-2023 school year to plan for the increase to our instructional day. All parties acknowledge and accept that the outcome of this committee will be the establishment of a 7 hour school day to begin at the start of the 2023-2024 school year.
- Use the results of our technology audit to develop an instructional technology plan
A Director of Instructional Technology was hired on October 17. A technology committee was launched in February to assist in the development of a multi-year technology plan that worked in tandem with the results of the Strategic Planning Committee. Tech department responsibilities have been restructured to better serve the needs of all buildings equitably and to address issues related to network security (in coordination with Net56 beginning January 2020).
The tech department also developed a system to improve the overall quality of presentations across the district. The tech department has initiated steps to plan for future changes in student data privacy laws and how they will affect classroom technology usage in the future.
Technology needs for the Hawthorn School for Young Learners were reviewed and members of the technology department have coordinated with DLR and LAMP to ensure consistency in communication and planning.
At the June 2020 Board of Education meeting, the Board approved a proposal for needed device purchases to help support both in-person and remote learning. This will allow the district to retire many older devices that were being used in our schools despite being beyond their expected life cycle. It will also provide us with the assurance that our staff and students have the tools needed to continue working and learning while we gather data and feedback for the long-term vision of how Hawthorn integrates and implements technology.
- Collaborate with the Hawthorn Education Association to obtain a mutually agreed-upon contract We are pleased to report that a mutually beneficial and fiscally responsible five-year collective agreement has been reached and approved. Formal negotiations began in January of this year and concluded mid March. Our HEA partners voted in favor of the agreement with a vote of 87.5% in favor. Subsequently, it was approved by the BOE in April by a 7-0 vote.
- Plan for the opening of the Hawthorn School for Young Learners The opening of the Hawthorn School for Young Learners is on-track and on time to open in late June and will be ready for August’s school opening. Many departments, from curriculum to staffing to building and grounds, continue to work collaboratively using a monthly timeline of action. In late February, the staff was brought together in their first evening activity to welcome the parents of the 2020-21 kindergarten class. As of today, staffing is completed and all aspects of the opening are on schedule.
- Engage in the design and development of Middle School North building additions and programs The District has worked with our architects, Legat Architects, as well as the Design Team to develop additions and programs for Middle School North. Design, schematic, and construction plans have been presented and approved by the BOE. The project has been successfully bid and the contracts have been awarded within budget. Permits have also been acquired from all pertinent agencies. The project is on track to successfully be complete and open by Fall 2021.
- Implement a data-driven “90 Day School Improvement Process” focused on math, literacy, and district culture
A professional learning community (PLC) is defined as “an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively in recurring cycles of collective inquiry and action research to achieve better results for the students they serve. Professional learning communities operate under the assumption that the key to improved learning for students is continuous job-embedded learning for educators.”
In October 2019, the District launched a 90-Day School Improvement Process. As part of this process, building administrators worked directly with school leadership and grade level teams to discuss each individual school’s progress towards District 73 goals and identify school wide goals.
The meetings at each school were designed to prompt meaningful discussions, feedback and encourage and support reflective practices within each of the schools. Essential components embedded within the PLC process were highlighted within each School Improvement Plan.
Next Steps: We will continue to focus on efforts on enhancing our professional learning communities and reconvene our school leadership teams to focus our School Improvement Plans to focus on math, literacy and culture.
- Collaborate with the Hawthorn 73 learning community to develop a strategic plan focused on the growth and learning of all students
Over 50 representatives from key Hawthorn stakeholder groups, including staff, administrators, school board, parents and community members, attended the District’s first two-hour Strategic Plan Meeting on February 6, 2020. The meeting was facilitated by a consultant and Dr. Hannigan. After an introduction of the process, the consultant led the team through a series of activities and discussions to identify the type of school Hawthorn School District aspires to be for our students. This discussion helped us explore our current reality and define our mission. The additional planned two sessions (April and May) were cancelled due to COVID-19, but will be rescheduled. The goal is to pick up the Strategic Planning work in August of 2020.