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The District 65 strategic planning process is underway and stakeholders from the Evanston and Skokie communities are encouraged to get involved. 

The process kicked off last month with interested parents, teachers, staff, administrators, and community members applying to serve on one of six committees that will be working in collaboration to develop the strategic plan. Over 300 nominations were submitted in addition to very thoughtful feedback on the draft working mission for District 65. A revised statement will be presented at the October 20, 2014 Board of Education meeting beginning at 7pm at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center (1500 McDaniel Avenue, Evanston). 

In the coming months, a series of focus groups will be held to engage stakeholders in meaningful dialogue around the strengths and needs of District 65. “The Board and Administration are committed to engaging the community fully in this planning process.  The voices of students, parents, grandparents, caregivers, teachers and staff need to ground our aspirations, direction and priorities,” said Candance Chow, Board of Education Liaison to the Strategic Planning Committee. “No one single person or group knows the best path to ensuring our children’s success; however, if we listen to each other and work together we can develop a plan that can truly make a difference in the lives of each and every child,” she added. 

The strategic planning process will set priorities and guide the district’s work over the next three years. In order to develop a strong and effective plan, District 65 needs continued input and support from its stakeholders. In addition to participating in a focus group, an online survey will be available on the district website during the month of November. The data collected in the survey and from focus groups will be shared with planning committees and used to guide thoughtful decision making. Dates, times, and locations for the focus groups are listed below. 

Parent and Community Focus Groups

•     Saturday, October 25, 9 AM – 11 AM, Family Focus (2010 Dewey Avenue, Evanston)

•     Tuesday, October 28, 7 PM – 9 PM, McGaw YMCA (1000 Grove Street, Evanston)

•     Thursday, November 6, 7 PM – 9 PM, Second Baptist Church (1717 Benson Avenue, Evanston)

•     Wednesday, November 12, 7 PM – 9 PM, Washington School (914 Ashland Ave, Evanston)

•     Saturday, November 15, 9 AM – 11 AM, King Arts Magnet School (2424 Lake Street, Evanston)Ch 

Spanish translation will be provided at the focus group at Washington School. Childcare will be provided for preschool age children and older at focus groups held at District 65 schools. 

In addition to the parent and community focus groups, District 65 faculty, staff, and administrators will also have the opportunity to give feedback at several employee focus groups hosted at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center. There will also be focus groups held at each school so that students can share their experiences in District 65 and discuss topics that matter most to them. 

To register, please send an email to Melissa Messinger at messingerm@district65.net with your name, the date of the focus group that you are interested in attending, and if you need to reserve childcare.  It is the district’s goal to ensure everyone who attends a focus group has the opportunity to participate fully and share their views. If the number of people signed up for a focus group exceeds 40, it may be necessary to ask the last people to sign up to select another date. 

More information about the District 65 strategic planning process is available at www.district65.net.