District 65 schools opened for the new school year on Monday, with many parents bringing their children to the elementary schools and gathering outside before their children streamed in. Students and parents seemed excited, some of the youngest a little apprehensive. Teachers and staff wore T-shirts with the phrase “Every Child, Every Day, Whatever it Takes” written on back.
That was the theme of a speech given by Superintendent Paul Goren to District 65 teachers last week at Pick- Staiger Hall at Northwestern University, and it is the theme that opens the schools this year.
In his speech, Dr. Goren said the phrase was coined at the Sanger School District in central California, a school district the size of District 65 that changed from a culture of professional isolation to collaboration, shared responsibility and reciprocal accountability.
“What a powerful phrase – Every Child – regardless of background, academic standing, whether in general ed or in need of special services – that every child is served,” Dr. Goren said.
“Whatever it takes – that is our commitment – to work to engage, challenge, coach, push, encourage, complement, cheer on – to help each and every child learn.”
After listing some the agendas the District would be pursuing this year, he said, “The year ahead is full of opportunity….opportunities that we will work on together as a District team dedicated to the students.”
He said the job of District 65 was to focus on every child, every day, to do whatever it takes to give all children the “critical qualities of mind and durable qualities of character” that will serve them “in circumstances we cannot now even predict.” (Quoting, in part, John Gardner).
The full text of Dr. Goren’s speech is available below. Several videos are also available via the homepage.