Chicago-area district emphasizes community involvement in the face of political polarization

Managing one school district with one school board is already a daunting task, let alone overseeing two of each. This is the daily responsibility shouldered by Matthew Montgomery. Since 2021, Montgomery has been serving approximately 3,000 students as the superintendent of Lake Forest Schools’ District 67 and District 115 in Illinois, reporting to two seven-member boards.

From the outset, community engagement has been vital for him as he leads both District 67, comprising three elementary schools and a middle school, and District 115, which encompasses a high school. His primary focus was collaborating with community stakeholders to establish a shared β€œportrait of a learner” outlining six core competencies: communication, adaptability, citizenship, empathy, critical thinking, and confidence.

β€œThe community determined that, beyond academic excellence – our top priority as educators – we must also equip our children for the future world, preparing them for careers that may not even exist yet,” mentioned Melissa Oakley, chief communications officer for Districts 67 and 115.

Montgomery extended invitations to diverse community members, including those without children in the school district, to participate in shaping this vision and developing strategic five-year plans for the two districts.

However, achieving success is not guaranteed.

A $105.7 million referendum was narrowly approved with 51% consent in April 2023 to fund physical infrastructure enhancements for District 115 high school. The community’s political divisions, including opposition from a vocal parent rights group, underscore the importance of transparent communication concerning the allocation of these funds.

<

Other articles

Post Image
Education
Minnesota leads the way in addressing ableism through teacher training

Minnesota is set to implement a groundbreaking law focused on enhancing teacher …

Read More
Post Image
Education
SC Senate Proposes Free Meals for Students in Reduced-Price Lunch Program

South Carolina students who qualify for meals at a discounted price would now be …

Read More
Post Image
Education
Challenging Task: Convincing Parents to Choose San Francisco Public Schools

In a bustling city like San Francisco, Lauren Koehler, the 38-year-old executive …

Read More