Strategic Plan Progress
In 2017, the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 Board of Education adopted a new strategic plan to guide the district's work for the coming years. We are happy to use this page to update the community on the administration's progress toward achieving the goals and objectives laid out by the Board and community. Each objective will be updated at least three times annually in September, January, and June.
You can also find our strategic plan progress and information about our schools on ECRA's Strategic Dashboard.
Objective 1.1 - Determine and address each student's unique learning needs, interests and strengths.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - District 109 engages in a variety of methods to determine and address each student’s unique learning needs, interests, and strengths. We have partnerships with a variety of digital resources (such as Freckle, Ten Marks, etc.) that allow our students to engage in personalized and/or individualized learning activities.
In addition, we conduct an annual student engagement survey to gather data on how our students are perceiving their school and their learning environment. This year District 109 has also joined the Personalized Learning Cohort through the American Association of School Administrators in order to begin a collaboration with other leaders and districts throughout the nation on personalized learning.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - We have provided and conducted a plethora of professional development opportunities to support personalized learning in our classrooms. Marcia Kish, a personalized learning expert, has spent considerable time with our instructional coaches, curriculum specialists, and many of our teachers providing the training necessary to support blended learning environments. Freckle, an individualized learning platform, has also proven to be an effective digital tool to support individual student needs. Student, staff, and parent input has also been collected and the data utilized in making informed instructional decisions on behalf of our students.
Additionally, we have partnered with the District Management Group to conduct a program review of our RtI system and our middle school encore classes. We have conducted in-person interviews, collected survey data, and conducted an academic return on our investments of these programs. Staff, student (current and alumni), and parent feedback
Update as of July 1, 2019 - As a result of this priority, we have doubled the number of middle school interventionists we have on staff. For the 2019-20 school year, DPS109 will have one dedicated ELA Interventionists and a second Math Interventionist at each of our middle schools (4 staff total). Additionally, starting in the 2019-20 school year, we will have a partnership with Panorama. Panorama is a tool we are going to use to progress monitor our students in interventions and for social emotional screening. This need came about as a result of our RtI Program Review conducted by the DMGroup earlier this year. Panorama will make it easy for us to monitor progress in a systematic way from a district standpoint, a school standpoint, and an individual student standpoint. In a very easy-to-read fashion, we will be able to see academic information, data from a social-emotional screener, absenteeism, and tracking of behavior.
The social-emotional screening tool will be given to our 3rd-8th grade students twice a year. We currently have systems in place to monitor students in need (such as Gaggle and Securely). However, with Panorama we will be able to proactively monitor students social emotional well being and address any concerns that arise.
Objective 1.2 - Optimize academic growth of each student
Update as of September 1, 2018 - District 109 conducts the NWEA MAP assessments in math and English-language arts (ELA) three times a year, and science once a year. Data gleaned from this assessment provides up-to-date information on each student’s math, reading, and science achievement in order for District 109 teachers and staff to optimize the academic growth of each student. We also partner with ECRA Group, which provides staff with growth information that helps us determine the extent to which our students are growing as compared to a projection that is calculated based on individual student’s previous data.
This year we have also implemented advanced learning opportunities for all 3rd-grade students with an eye toward moving this up for the fourth and fifth grade in the coming year. In addition, we have provided more access to advanced math classes for students in grades 6-8.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - We will be goal setting with our students between now and February to review MAP assessment results with each of our students individually. It is of great importance to District 109 that our students have an understanding of where they are in the learning journey and have goals set to work on continuously improving.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - We continue to progress monitor our student’s growth and intervene and/or enrich as needed. We have protocols in place to differentiate, enrich, or accelerate learning based on individual student needs. You can read more information about the initiatives on our website. In addition to differentiation and advanced learning we have also increase our student supports. In the 2019-2020 school year each middle school will employ an RtI specialist in Language Arts and Math. These individuals will be certified in their content areas and possess the deep understanding of content knowledge required to be successful for our studnets recieving supports.
In addition, we will be expanding our co-teaching model for the 2019-2020 school year. Our goal throughout the district is to continue our journey toward more inclusive learning practices for all students. The research is clear this is the best way for all studnets to learn and grow.
Objective 1.3 - Work Together with families and staff to address the social-emotional learning needs of each student.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - During the 2017-2018 school year the District 109 Social Emotional Learning Committee (comprised of parents, teachers, administrators
anda board member) met monthly to evaluate the current social-emotional learning initiatives in place in the District and also to identify potential new resources for implementation beginning in the 2018-2019 school year. Based on focus group data and feedback from student surveys, the committee also outlined key topics for parent/community workshops for the 18-19 school year. The District will partner with PPS (Parents and Professionals for Success) and other community organizations in order to provide these workshops and parent presentations. The first parent workshop was on September 24th at Walden (in partnership with PPS) and focused on executive functioning.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - As part of our ongoing effort to collect data on the social-emotional needs of our students, we are taking a closer look at the results of both our Parent and Student Engagement Surveys. Reviewing the responses in the different dimensions included in the surveys will help us to identify additional areas of need for our buildings as well as to streamline ideas for social-emotional learning workshop offerings for parents and the community at large.
The Wilmot Elementary School staff recently completed a book study of The Leader in Me. As more schools in our District are exploring the option of implementing The Leader in Me, we are working towards a full District-level implementation.
We continue to prioritize providing quality parent education related to social-emotional learning and, in partnership with PPS, will be hosting two parent evenings in February. Paula Kluth will be speaking about inclusive practices and how promoting inclusivity benefits all students. We will also be hosting a parent evening focused on the Facilitated IEP process and how parents can meaningfully participate in a team-based discussion about their child’s needs. The middle school administration is also partnering with Community - The Anti-Drug (CTAD) to host a parent event addressing the rising numbers of middle school students who are vaping.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - As we continue to expand our focus on the critical habits and life skills needed for our students to be successful, we have moved forward with a District-wide implementation of the curriculum framework known as The Leader in Me. District-wide implementation will increase opportunities for our students and enable us to consistently teach the identified social/emotional learning standards for each grade level. A large part of this process is also changing the paradigm in which we think about students, schools, and learning so we are including all stakeholders as part of this process.
In 2019-2020, District 109 will be shifting to a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework that organizes building level resources to set each individual student up for academic, social-emotional and/or behavioral success. MTSS is a change from what has been commonly called RtI (Response to Intervention). MTSS takes a whole child approach rather than a singular view. This allows for the early identification of challenges and timely intervention for students who may require additional support. Feedback from staff, students, and community members has been integral in outlining a plan to better meet the social-emotional needs of our students as part of the MTSS model.
Throughout the 19-20 school year, we expanded our offerings to both staff and community members in order to continue our efforts to provide quality professional development and community-wide education related to the social-emotional learning needs of our students. All District 109 staff participated in our February Teaching & Learning Conference which focused primarily on supporting the social-emotional needs of students. The conference kicked off with keynote speaker, Sue Enquist, who is an award-winning softball coach and Hall of Famer. Since retiring from coaching at UCLA, Sue has traveled the nation speaking about creating conditions for success, “failing fast,” responding to disappointments, and how to help others reach their highest potential. Sue also spoke to our parent community in the evening with her presentation: "Five Critical Insights from Generation Z", which gave parents actionable steps to help minimize the mounting pressure children feel in the academic and performance areas. We also offered specific breakout sessions during the February conference led by both leading professionals in the field as well as some of our current staff members. The breakout sessions focused primarily on social-emotional learning, such as executive functioning, managing anxiety, our LGBTQ community, mindfulness, and effectively de-escalating students.
Additional community workshops were also developed with both staff and our PPS (Parents and Professionals for Success) organization and offered based on survey results and identified priorities for both staff and families. These workshops included an event at South Park on Tuesday April 16th, 2019 that focused on strategies for supporting social-emotional growth in our students led by Doug Bolton, Ph.D as well as a parent workshop led by Dr. Paula Kluth in May that focused on inclusive practices.
Objective 1.4 - Ensure a consistent and balanced assessment system to support the Portrait of a Graduate.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - We continue to participate in the state PARCC assessment and also use tools such as NWEA Map and local assessments to paint a full picture of students performance. Last year we added in the PSAT as a new assessment for our 8th-grade students. This allows our students entering high school to have an idea of where they are at in progress toward college and career readiness as measured by the SAT.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - We will be participating in the new state assessment, the Illinois Readiness Assessment, this spring. Winter MAP testing is occurring between December 5th - 21st. PSAT scores will be available to our
8th gradestudents and families the week of December 10th.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - Preliminary results from the Illinois Readiness Assessment have arrived in district. Illinois Science Assessment was administered to grades 5 and 8 with results expected to be in district late summer. Spring MAP was completed in May and Dr. Scwartz will provide an assessment update to the board in July.
Objective 1.5 - Ensure a consistent grading and reporting system that provides clear and meaningful feedback on student progress.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - The district continues to lead the way in the implementation of standards-based learning and reporting. All grade levels K-8 have updated their progress reports to be more in line with the Common Core State Standards. In addition, we are now implementing students self-assessment tools such as Seesaw which allows students to post and share their work.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - Trimester reports for the elementry schools and quarterly reports for the middle schools have gone to all families. Middle school staff have been participating in visits to Stevenson High School and the Department for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation is discussing with teachers common expectations for meeting standards in a particular subject or concept.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - The will continue to monitor progress of our implementation of standards based learning and reporting in the 2019-2020 school year. It is likely that evaluating the communication effectiveness of the middle school report cards will be a topic of investigation next year.
Objective 1.6 - Increase parent-teacher communication about each student's educational progress.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - District 109 prides itself on the level of transparency with our parent community over our students' growth and achievement. We share MAP and PARCC assessment results after each administration. We also have a partnership with Seesaw, an online digital tool that allows teachers and students to share schoolwork, providing parents with a window into the child’s day. Parents can leave comments, words of encouragement, and feedback to their child, which helps us promote a growth mindset and model digital citizenship. As of this year, we are also implementing Seesaw at the 6-8 level in addition to our elementary schools. Additionally, we continue to report progress quarterly at the middle schools and tri-annually at the elementary schools. Parent-teacher/student-led conferences are held in November and April.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - Our use of Seesaw, a family communication
andstudent digital portfolio tool, has increased significantly at our middle schools and has remained the main source of information for parents at our elementary schools. We have “posted” upwards of 60,000 times over the course of one calendar year, each of which provideparents with information about their child’s growth and development.
We also altered the elementary progress reports and provided this document to help our parent community best understand the standards by which their children are assessed.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - We have put plans in place to provide more insight into the learning taking place in our classrooms beyond traditional email communication. Starting in the 2019-20 school year, we plan on conducting a communications audit and implementing improvements based on the results of this audit. Likewise, the district plans on creating a video series and podcasting series to better communicate the important learning taking place in our classrooms each and every day.
Objective 2.1 - Establish and communicate clear learning standards in every classroom as the expectation for each student and the limit for no student.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - District 109 continues to improve upon the expectation that we establish and communicate clear learning standards in every classroom as the expectation for each student and the limit for no student. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, Curriculum Specialists in the areas of ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Innovation will oversee a review of the existing curriculum scope and sequence for learning areas. In addition, we have transitioned our accelerated programming in the elementary to be accessed by more students under the new Advanced Learning Initiatives.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - Each building principal has been promoting the Professional Learning Community (PLC)
model. District job-alike PLC meetings have taken place monthly at the middle schools and quarterly at the elementary level, at which we commit ourselves to conversations around curriculum, common assessment, and student data. Additionally, curriculum specialists and instructional coaches at each elementary building continue to support this objective on a day to day basis.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - In addition to utilization of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) model toward continuous improvement and the implementation of our Advanced Learning initiatives, District 109 underwent an intense curriculum review for mathematics. Our priorities throughout the entire process was based on the following criteria: Rigor, Coherence and Focus, Supports for Differentiation and Personalization, Student Engagement, and Digital Tools. This process resulted in the adoption of the Big Ideas curriculum for all 109 students.
Objective 2.2 - Provide full support for successful implementation of new initiatives that improve learning.
Updates as of September 1, 2018 - In 2017-18, educational consultants worked with District 109 staff to support our standards-based learning environments and reporting procedures. The district also invested
intoonsite building-based training in nearly all of our digital tools and resources. The district surveyed staff after every training during the 17-18 school year and feedback from staff on the increase in building based professional development was extremely positive. Onsite training for the 18-19 school year will include training from Google, Apple, , Freckle, Fastbridge, Co-teaching, blended learning, Northwestern Center for Talent Development, Leader in Me, as well as other programs. Ecra
Update as of December 1, 2018 - All staff, PreK-8, has been involved in professional learning, outlined in the update given in September. Survey feedback received from the staff was positive (85% agree or strongly agree that the new learning has had a direct impact on their practices). Specifically, many of our teachers got the opportunity to participate in the Chicago Literacy Learning Labs, at which teachers reported outstanding impact and benefit.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - After the adoption of Big Ideas Math, teachers received their first professional development day with grade-level teams the week of May 20th. Representatives from Big Ideas guided teachers through the materials, instructional components, and the digital platform. The same trainers will be returning to buildings in late August to assist with any questions as implementation begins in classrooms. Additionally, professional learning with Big Ideas author, Laurie Boswell, and Denise McDowell, VP of Curriculum, is scheduled to occur with 109 teachers in-district in September, November, and February.
Objective 2.3 - Integrate current and emerging technologies to enhance pedagogy and student learning.
Updates as of September 1, 2018 - In March, the Board of Education approved the purchase of new one-to-one devices for all students in grades 2-8. The new device is the Lenovo 500e and as of now, it has been rolled out to students and staff. The Lenovo 500e allows students the benefit of a convertible Chromebook that functions as a traditional laptop and also a tablet. The touchscreen and stylus technology allows students the freedom to access the device how they feel most comfortable. In addition, this summer all classrooms were upgraded to Apple TV projection devices and newly updated iMacs were placed in all district Smartlabs.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - New Chromebooks were provided to 2nd through
8th gradestudents. Approximately 40 Chrome Apps/Extensions and 27 Android apps have been vetted and made available for students to install as needed. We have implemented a plan for more efficient 1:1 device support for students, Learning Common staff, and teachers. AppleTVs were installed in every classroom. The network changes are in progress to improve the user experience and follow the latest best practices for implementation).
Update as of July 1, 2019 - As we complete our first year with the Lenovo 500e Chromebooks we are very pleased with the results. The district also continues to explore new technologies to support learning. Our innovation curriuclum specialist has been working with teachers throughout the district at incorporating virtual reality into lessons when appropriate and working with students on designing their own VR experiences through Cospaces.
Objective 2.4 - Evaluate at least two District programs annually, developing and implementing a plan to address any areas needing improvement.
Updates as of September 1, 2018 - During the 2017-18 school year, District 109 successfully evaluated our gifted and accelerated learning programming as well as our world language programming. These program evaluations resulted in greater access to advanced learning opportunities for more students as dictated by our students' performance. In addition, the program evaluation in world language resulted in the addition of Hebrew and Mandarin to our list of language offerings at our middle school.
Updates as of December 1, 2018 - At the December 10th Board Meeting DMGroup and the administration presented findings from our program reviews of RtI (Response to Intervention) as well as Middle School Encore offerings. Recommendations will be coming to the Board in January for consideration.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - This year the district compelted program evaluations in RtI and Middle School Encore offerings. In addition, the district also conducted a mathematics currriculum review process that resulted in the adoption of the Big Ideas math curriculum. The RtI program evaluations resulted in the district making a transition the MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) for the 2019-2020 school year. Our program review of Middle School Encore classes resulted in increasing student choice within courses. The district was also affirrmed that the current encore offerings provide a variety of opportunties for our middle school studnets.
Objective 2.5 - Increase experiential learning opportunities for each student.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - Student engagement survey results indicate to school administrators and staff that student choice and relevance in our instruction is a priority. With this said, we plan to review current opportunities relating to experiential learning, such as:
- Project Based Learning
- Blended Learning
- School/community partnerships
- Service learning
Update as of December 1, 2018 - In addition to the commitment to blended and personalized learning, we have also incorporated a STEAM class at each of our K-5 buildings. We believe the innovative experiences have benefited our students.
Students in 6th grade, currently enrolled in an social-emotional learning (SEL) class, will begin a mixINCedu opportunity in which they will participate in an entrepreneurship experience from a philanthropic standpoint. We will be soliciting mentors from our community to assist in this endeavor.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - In addition to the “in progress” updates above, more student choice has been embedded into our Encore courses. Students will be able to navigate an art, music, CMA, and STEM class that better meets their interests starting in the 2019-20 school year.
Objective 2.6 - Provide relevant professional learning, which targets the needs of each staff member.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - In 2018-19, to build upon the quality work mentioned in objective 2.2, District 109 has put together an elaborate professional development plan to continue supporting new initiatives and other district objectives. The professional development opportunities begin in July and continue through the course of the school year. This summer alone, District 109 staff participated in over 1,200 hours of curriculum work and professional development.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - Our professional development plan unfolded as expected. We provided hundreds of hours of in-service opportunities across all grade levels and roles. We are currently planning a Teaching and Learning Conference for our February 19th teacher institute day. Teachers at that conference will get the opportunity to choose relevant sessions to attend that apply to their work and meet our object of continuous improvement.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - On February 19th, the Teaching & Learning Conference was hosted as scheduled. 82 sessions by 44 different presenters were offered and staff were invited to select what they attended. Curriculum and instruction sessions were offered; however, a heavy emphasis was also placed on content related to social-emotional learning. 256 feedback forms were completed and 96% rated the quality of the day as a 4 or 5 (excellent day of professional learning). In 2019-2020, the Teaching and Learning Department will continue planning for a similar institute experience. Other professional development will continue to focus on the Big Ideas Math, Units of Study for literacy,and the co-teaching model.
Objective 3.1 - Provide a positive and safe environment.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - Goal 3 indicates the district shall provide a positive and safe environment. In 2017, the district completed a comprehensive site security audit, revised crisis response procedures to reflect National Incident Management System best practices, and revised visitor management procedures for large events. The district provides ongoing training and support to building occupants to ensure readiness to implement crisis procedures. The District Safety Committee - comprised of administrators, teachers, support staff, parents, students, and a Board of Education member - meets three times annually to review site safety and security.
The district continues to invest in flexible, student-friendly furniture. By the fall of 2018, all classrooms serving students in grades K, 1, 6, 7, and 8 will have been redesigned and provided new furniture. In addition to the furniture, renovations on the middle school learning commons were completed this summer to create a more inviting and comfortable space for students to work and learn.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - In February of 2019, the Board will be presented with a proposal to outfit 2 - 5 classrooms with new furniture.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - In February of 2019, the Board authorized the final phase of a four-year furniture replacement project. In 2019-20, all district classrooms will have been outfitted with flexible, student-friendly furniture. Safety objectives articulated in Goal 3.1 have been met, and ongoing engagement with stakeholders is continuing to help identify further avenues to enhance safety for students and staff.
Our student engagement survey results this year also indicate high levels of belonging and safety at our schools. This year students in grades 4-8 responded to an 88 question student engagement survey. The below statements are the Top 5 highest statements on the survey. Students respond on a Likert scale from 1-5 with (1) representing strongly disagree and (5) respresenting strongly agree.
Objective 3.2 - Attract, develop, and retain high quality staff.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - The current focus
isrecruiting viable candidates through our branding and marketing strategies. We have dramatically increased our footprint in social media through Instagram (@DPS109HR), Facebook (@DPS109), and Twitter (@DPS109).
Moreover, another focus is the introduction of digital interviews. We have successfully introduced the digital interview platform to expedite the hiring process and allow for more input from stakeholders while at the same time introducing more performance-based interview components at the building level because time has been reallocated to candidates to engage and demonstrate their skill set.
The district continues its partnership with
Ventures that provides us with tools for screening prospective employees to ensure we attract the high-quality talent we seek. HumaneX
Update as of December 1, 2018 - The Human Resources Department has begun sending out a special newsletter for our guest teachers entitled Guest Teacher News. The district wants to make sure we are keeping all of our guest teachers updated about important things going on in the district.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - The district continues to use research based selction tools in hiring staff. The district has also increased its appeal to candidates and staff via certification as a Great Place to Work.
Objective 3.3 - Evaluate the return on investment of expenditures on educational programs and facility improvements.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - Academic Return on Investment (ROI) calculation has been completed for the TAP/gifted learning and Modern Language programs. Other programs will follow soon.
District 109 will continue to evaluate the return on investment of expenditures on education programs and facility improvements.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - The December Board meeting will include Academic ROI on two more programs, namely RtI and Middle School Encore programming.
Objective 3.4 - Ensure the long-term facilities plan supports learning.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - In July of 2018, the Board of Education approved a new 5-year master facility plan for the school district. The plan calls for the district to set aside $3,000,000 dollars for possible future classroom construction. In addition, the plan calls for the exploration of remodeled and new auditorium space at both Caruso and Shepard Middle Schools.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - The district is currently working on several items in the Master Facility Plan including the expansion of middle school cafeterias, roof work at several schools, and a variety of other improvements.
Objective 3.5 - Provide targeted, relevant and transparent communication to all stakeholders.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - District 109 is creating communication guidelines which will outline when and where information will be communicated. The communication guidelines will be shared out on the website once they are complete.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - The communication guidelines are complete and shared on our district’s website.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - Recently released information from the Illinois 5 Essentials Survey indicate high levels of satisfaction with district schools and communication. Close to 50% of District 109 parents compelted the survey this year. However, the district has made plans to conduct a Communications Audit in the 2019-2020 school year to evaluate the strengths and areas for improvement in the district's communicaitons plans.
Objective 3.6 - Build partnerships with the community to support and enhance student learning.
Update as of September 1, 2018 - The district belongs to various local and community organizations such as the Deerfield Rotary Club, the Optimist Club, and the Chamber of Commerce. The district regularly attends meetings with local organizations and always looks for partnerships. The park district has made a financial commitment to help share in the cost of remodeled auditorium space at our middle schools. The district is pursuing possible corporate partnerships to support student learning.
Update as of December 1, 2018 - The district continues to participate and attend meetings for various local and community organizations including Rotary, the Optimist Club, and the Deerfield Chamber of Commerce.
Update as of July 1, 2019 - The district continues to maintain strong relationships with the Village, Park District, Library, and the high school. District 109 has started discussions with the new Township High School District 113 on communciaitons and coopertion for the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.