Freeport, Illinois — Finally, we may be feeling Spring! This has been a very busy and exciting school year for our Freeport students and educators. The educators in the district have been busy developing a 21st century learning environment that is safe and engaging for our students. However, we understand the need to continue to improve and pursue excellence in all areas as we raise the bar up another notch this summer and next fall. I would like to share a list of some of the accomplishments in FSD over the last three years and also share a few future initiatives and programs for our students and educators.
- Pre-K Curriculum aligned and implemented
- New K-12 Math Curriculum implemented and aligned
- New K-8 Reading Curriculum implemented and aligned
- Analyzing two years of MAP assessment data
- Kindergarten is implementing the new state assessment
- Behavior- and academic-tiered instruction for students
- High school AP, duel credit, and additional business courses
- Expansion of AVID to fourth grade
- New ESL curriculum and assessments
- Summer University enrichment program
- Hired and retained additional minority educators
Future Curriculum Efforts:
- 5th and 6th grade will be housed at Carl Sandburg beginning Fall 2018
- 7th and 8th grade will be housed at FMS beginning Fall 2018
- Implement one-to-one technology at the high school
- New Science and Social Science Curriculum implementation
- New high school English Language Arts Curriculum
- Explore high school career- and interest-themed academies
- Continue to collaborate with Freeport businesses and Highland Community College
- Project Based Learning initiatives
Discipline/Safety/Social Emotional Accomplishments:
- Additional Social Work support in each building
- Alignment of discipline throughout the district
- Emphasis on PBIS in all buildings
- Continued diversity training for all educators
- Increased building safety procedures and plans
- Providing shoulder seat belts on more buses
Future Discipline/Safety/Social Emotional Efforts:
- Additional social worker at the high school
- Additional discipline support personnel at the secondary schools
- Additional behavior supports at elementary schools
- Update of crisis plans and drills
- Involvement of community members through volunteering and mentoring
- Achieved financial recognition from the State
- Sold and refinanced Health Life Safety/Working Cash Bonds to repair buildings
- No increase in the levy, lowering property taxes in the city of Freeport
- Achieved recognition for excellence in audit and budget transparency
- Receiving new state evidence-based funding payments for adequate funding
- Achieved a 79% communication approval rating from community survey
- Shared news and district successes through social media and local media
- Distributed hundreds of Pretzel Pride signs around town
- Continue to build relationships with community and businesses
- Hire and retain educators that are passionate and care about ALL students
- Continue to have Superintendent Sightings in neighborhoods and events
You can see that the educators in our district are extremely busy. However, we need to continue to raise the bar of success for our students. We have more work to do in the district and in our community. These expectations will be realized because of the:
- Central office administrators, assistants, and curriculum/technology coordinators working to find the research, strategies, finances, and personnel.
- Principals and directors being instructional leaders and providing support for their educators.
- Teachers and paraeducators that are in the trenches working to prepare the best lessons for each individual student and creating a loving and supportive environment.
- Administrative assistants that truly organize and manage the daily goings-on of the district and our schools.
- Custodians, security officers, and maintenance crews that take care of the facilities to ensure they are safe and maintained in order to provide a great educational environment.
- Nurses, counselors, social workers, and therapists that provide for the well-being and emotional support of our students.
- Food service personnel that provide the students with nutritious meals, which are sometimes the only two meals of the day for some students.
- Transportation drivers, monitors, and crossing guards that not only get our students to school safely but are also the first and last people to greet and say good night to these students.
- Parents, grandparents, and guardians that will instill the importance of education in their children.
- Volunteers and community businesses that ask for nothing in return except to make our community’s future brighter.
Progress will happen! It will take a lot of us together to make this happen. Thank you all for your continued support. Pretzel Pride!
Dr. Mike Schiffman began serving as Superintendent of Schools in the Freeport School District on July 1st, 2015