Successful Schools Successful Students Summits
Consolidated High School District 230 is committed to preparing students for their future. We are keenly aware that the world is rapidly evolving. Our students need to be prepared to be active participants in an ever-changing global society. To meet those needs, we use the Successful Schools – Successful Students Touchstone to guide our initiatives. This Touchstone was developed using input from parents, community, staff and students, as well as educational research. Our goal is to focus the high school experience on preparing every student for full participation in college opportunities, meaningful work, career advancement and active citizenship. To achieve this, District 230 has hosted a series of S4 Summits over the years to advance our work.
Setting a Clear Focus
On November 5, 2009, District 230 hosted the first S4 Summit for business, community and post-secondary institution leaders, as well as parents, students and staff members committed to preparing Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew students to be active participants in an ever-changing global society. More than 200 dedicated community members were part of the education summit. We have built partnerships with these professionals and businesses to assist students as they explore careers and the necessary skills to be successful.
Building Business Partnerships
A second S4 Summit was held on February 15, 2011 at Stagg High School with more than 320 participants. We welcomed businesses and community leaders who are interested in partnering with us to provide internships, job shadowing, guest speakers and other opportunities for students to connect with potential careers.
Connecting to Meet Social-Emotional Needs
District 230 held its third S4 Summit on December 3, 2012. This event brought together more than 50 community professionals and staff members to focus on meeting the social and emotional needs of students. An overview of staff support and programs currently available and a video highlighting the roles staff members play in helping students during the sometimes challenging teen years was shared. Breakout sessions were then held with area law enforcement, safety, mental health and community agency leaders to seek input on ways to improve and partner. The group discussion identified strengths of the current systems in place including a strong focus on helping students develop positive decision-making skills and partnerships with area resources to support in times of need.
Engaging Community to Support Students
A fourth S4 Summit was held in October 2014 with the theme Empowering Teens to Make Good Choices. This event was an outgrowth of the work completed in the third summit. It focused on the school district's responsibility to educate our communities on how they can support teens and set them up for success. The transitions from junior high to high school and from high school to post-secondary life can be challenging for students and families. The event featured a keynote speech by Ron Jakubisin from the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association (IAADA), followed by a panel including a Guidance Director, Executive Vice President at Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities and Governor's State Universiversity Professor, IAADA CEO and representatives from Orland Township Youth and Family Services, Palos Community Hospital and Rosecrance Addiction Counselors.
To follow-up the Empower Your Teens event, a fifth S4 Summit in conjunction with the Orland Park Substance Abuse Forum is in March 2016. This event will include practical tips for parents and others interested in assisting teens. A panel of experts provided concrete information. The panel includes Cheryl Kokaska from Orland Township Youth and Family Services, Chief Tim McCarthy from Orland Park Police, District 230 Student Assistance Coordinator Jessica Nelson, Rosecrance's Rachel Ridge and Dr. Leonard Spishakoff from Palos Community Hospital.
In 2018, we returned to connecting those who care about teens with information and resources that will assist them in navigating the pressures they face. Nationally-acclaimed speaker Eddie Slowikowski keynoted the evening with a presentation aimed at empowering the adults in our community to engage with teens and build powerful relationships to support them. A panel discussion followed with experts from the community and schools sharing practical tips related to relationships, academic pressures, social media, and social and emotional well-being. The panel includes Marquette University Assistant Dean Megan O'Rourke, Rosecrance Treatment Center Outreach Coordinator Mary Egan, Linden Oaks Behavioral Health Nurse Practioner Megan Kenny, as well as District 230 staff members Sandburg High School Social Worker Hilary Ortiz, Andrew High School Teacher Doug Bozych, Stagg High School Counselor Beth Gulden, and Sandburg Teacher John O'Malley. A resource fair then allowing participants to seek answers to their personal questions as well as connect with resources available in our schools and our community.
Partnering with the Trades
In 2017, the focus for the S4 Summit was Trades and Technical Careers. Leaders from a variety of trade unions and employers met directly with lead teachers, division leaders, principals, district administration and the School Board to share information about the skills and background needed for students to pursue careers in the trades and technical fields. This summit provided an excellent opportunity to strengthen the relationships between our schools and these organizations. It also provided important insights for guidance staff and teachers as they advise students interested in pursuing these career fields. Insights from this Summit have resulted in the creation of a Career and Technical Education Taskforce that is exploring ways to strengthen preparation for careers and build relationships that assist students in getting started in these fields.