Together, we are D230 Proud
Dear District 230 Family,
This week, we celebrated the Class of 2020 through modified graduation ceremonies at Sandburg, Stagg, and Andrew High Schools. While this may not have been the way we anticipated the year would conclude, our hope was to honor each graduate with respect and celebration. Our students have handled the uncertainty and challenges with great flexibility, resilience, and school pride.
In the spirit of who we are as a district that respects and loves all, our School Board, District Administration, and Principals shared an open letter to the Class of 2020 this week in the Daily Southtown, honoring the notion that each student has a story to tell. We celebrate those stories and the rich, diverse, and uniquely District 230 story that they come together to create.
Over the past week, we have taken time to listen and reflect on voices in our community and around the country as we face the realities of the devastating effect racism continues to have on communities across America. Racism in all forms is unacceptable. We stand ready to be part of the solution.
Our principals are sharing communications with their communities about the work underway in the schools to systemically address equity for all students. This work will continue as we strive to always do better for our students, staff, families, and community.
- This includes partnering with organizations such as:
- Voice of Witness that amplifies voices related to human rights.
- Core Collaborative’s IncludED program that facilitates training related to dignity, equity, effective communication, and understanding for staff and students.
- Department of Justice Community Relations Services as an outgrowth of a summit for student voices to be heard and to assist in developing plans moving forward.
- Doctoral work through the University of Illinois Chicago on Teaching in Color: A Critical Analysis of Teachers, Parents, and Students' Perceptions of Diversity and Equity at a Secondary School.
- This school year, English teachers developed a new course, Language, Power and Social Justice, that will be offered in the 2020-21 school year.
- In our ongoing commitment to honor students’ voices, a number of advisory groups, clubs, and activities provide a forum for students to lead these important discussions and celebrate the diversity of our student body.
- Hiring plans have included the lens of diversity aimed at having the makeup of our staff be more reflective of the student body. We are making progress with more work to come.
In District 230, we celebrate the contributions each student and staff member makes to our school community. Each personal experience, gift, and unique perspective is an integral part of our collective narrative.
As our graduates embark on their next chapter, we know they take the lessons learned here in our schools - especially those about kindness, inclusion, understanding, and empathy - with them. As was shared in remarks to the Class of 2020, we encourage our students to develop their own voice. Their experiences, values, and identity are distinctive to them as individuals. We also encourage them to take risks. When they believe in something passionately to be willing to take a chance on making their dreams a reality. And, to be kind. Thoughtfulness in the big and little things makes a difference. We stand with all of our students as they use their unique voices to make our communities, country, and world a better place to live, learn, work, and grow.
Our students, alumni, and staff members always have a home here at Sandburg, Stagg, and Andrew High Schools where they each are valued, seen, and heard.
Together, we are D230 Proud.
Tony Serratore, School Board President
Dr. James M. Gay, Superintendent