Marty Felesena - Superintendent's Blog

District Goals Update - March 2020

March 04, 2020

District Goals for 2019-2020

Status as of February 28, 2020

 

Community Relations

 

1.              ECUSD1 will improve communication and cooperation with the community at-large by being active listeners, soliciting more community feedback, working with the Village of Erie, sponsoring the efforts of the Revitalize Erie group, and sustaining a school system that reflects community values and priorities.  This will be accomplished by seeking community input for all future building projects (by October 1, 2019), by coordinating infrastructure improvements with the Village of Erie, and by supporting Revitalize Erie efforts. COMPLETION = 65%

 

2.              ECUSD1 will work with the Village of Erie to establish a shared school resource officer position within the community.  This position will primarily serve the needs of the District during the day on school days and will primarily serve the needs of the community on non-school days.  The intergovernmental agreement and job description will be approved by June 30, 2019 and the estimated position start date will be August 1, 2019 (pending the acquisition of a qualified candidate). COMPLETION = 100% (09-01-19)✔

 

Curriculum & Instruction

 

3.              ECUSD1 will establish and implement innovative STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) facilities and curriculum for all students in grades PK-12.  STEM facilities will be completed by December 31, 2019, STEM curriculum enhancements will be recommended by April 1, 2020, and STEM curriculum enhancements will be fully implemented by August 15, 2020.  COMPLETION = 85%

 

4.              ECUSD1 will improve the quality of school-sponsored co-curricular programs, including but not limited to, all fine arts programs, all academic teams, all school clubs, all school service organizations, and all school athletics by promoting system-wide processes and procedures (i.e. meetings, job descriptions, evaluations, off-season programs, etc.) for building and sustaining consistent programs throughout the District.  This will be accomplished by ensuring that all shareholders within each specific program work cooperatively towards one, common goal of excellence.  Every individual employee within a respective program will be held accountable for the success of the entire District program.  Evidence of improvement should be measurable by June 30, 2020.  COMPLETION = 35%

 

Social-Emotional and Safety Needs

 

5.              ECUSD1 will improve the social-emotional learning environment for students in grades PK-12 by implementing the Franklin Covey Leader in Me® program and character education framework.  The staff development component will be initiated during the 2019-2020 school year and the student component will be initiated during the 2020-2021 school year.  COMPLETION = 80%

 

6.              ECUSD1 will improve the safety and security of students by establishing more secured entrances in current and future buildings and by updating and managing District crisis plans and maps more efficiently.  The physical plant improvements will be completed by August 10, 2019.  The crisis plan and maps will be updated and managed via NaviGate Prepared® by August 10, 2019. COMPLETION = 100% (08-15-19)✔

 

Facilities

 

7.              ECUSD1 will address the aging physical plant needs of the elementary school and the annex building by finalizing a plan for Phase III of the school construction project.  A formal plan of action will be approved by October 1, 2019 with a projected completion date of July 31, 2021.  Increased community involvement will be initiated and expected during this process.  COMPLETION = 20%

Story here

Lessons in Leadership - The Paradoxical Commandments

March 03, 2020

I was sitting in church this past week and the minister referred to a list of 10 commandments that I was not very familiar with.  In 1968, a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard University, author and educator Keith Kent wrote a book entitled, “The Silent Revolution:  Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council” (Kent, 1968).  In this book that encouraged leadership among young students, Dr. Kent wrote what has become referred to as The Paradoxical Commandments.  Little did Dr. Kent know that the words and thoughts that he inscribed on paper in 1968 would become a wall hanging that the late, great Mother Teresa would refer to daily throughout the 1980s until her death in 1997.  Shortly after her death, the Reverend Robert Schuller (1999), the founder of the Crystal Cathedral Church in California and advisor to 3 US presidents, saw the wall hanging in the children’s home in Calcutta and applied it to his life as a great leader.

 

The Paradoxical Commandments

  1. People are unreasonable, illogical, self-centered…LOVE THEM ANYWAY.

  2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives…DO GOOD ANYWAY.

  3. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies… SUCCEED ANYWAY.

  4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow…DO GOOD ANYWAY.

  5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable…BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY.

  6. The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds…THINK BIG ANYWAY.

  7. People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs…FIGHT FOR A FEW UNDERDOGS ANYWAY.

  8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight…BUILD ANYWAY.

  9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them…HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY.

  10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth…GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU HAVE ANYWAY.

 

These powerful words were written by a student, for fellow students, over 50 years ago, but they have never been more appropriate and applicable to all of us than they are today.  In a world full of social and political polarization, I encourage all of us to hang these words on our own walls and refer to them as often as possible to stay grounded in what truly matters.  These “Paradoxical Commandments” have withstood the test of time.

 

Keith, K. (1968). The Silent Revolution:  Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council.  Retrieved

from https://www.paradoxicalcommandments.com/shop/books-stories/

 

Schuller, R. (1999).  Turning Hurts into Halos. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

 

Vardey, L. (1995).  Mother Teresa:  A Simple Path. Compiled by Lucinda Vardey. Ballantine Books.

News Story here

Winter Weather & E-Learning Days

December 20, 2019

Winter has set in and the Holiday Season is upon us.  On behalf of Erie CUSD1, I would like to wish you and your families a very blessed Christmas, a hopeful New Year, and a very safe winter.

 

As the Polar Vortex sets in, winter weather is right around the corner.  We will once again be monitoring our road conditions very carefully on school days and we will do everything we can to have students in attendance.  In the event of hazardous weather, we will be posting our closure and late-start announcements via Skylert and Facebook.  Other avenues of communication include local radio stations and local television channels (KWQC-TV, WQAD-TV, KLJB-TV). 

 

New this year will be the implementation of E-Learning Days in place of snow days.  On December 16th, 2019, the Erie School Board approved the utilization of a maximum of three (3) E-Learning Days that can be used in place of snow days during the 2019-2020 school year.  An E-Learning Day will include assigned student work that can be completed at home.  Our teachers will be available electronically for questions and assistance.  Each school has a slightly different process for E-Learning Days and that information will be disseminated to parents and students on January 7th, 2020.  This is a pilot program and we ask for your patience as we roll it out and work through some very unique challenges.  Philosophically, we do not believe that an E-Learning Day replaces the educational experience that a student receives with a face-to-face teacher, but it does promote continuity in the learning process.  We will only utilize a maximum of three (3) E-Learning Days this year and any emergency days beyond those three will be made up in the normal fashion (at the end of the school year).

 

As always, please contact us at 309.659.2239 if you have any thoughts or questions.

News Story here

Strategic Goals for 2019-2020

September 27, 2019

With another busy and successful school year behind us, we look forward to our challenges and accomplishments during the current and future school years.  The District leadership worked diligently during the spring of 2019 to establish SMART strategic goals for the District moving forward.  These goals are:

 

Community Relations

1. ECUSD1 will improve communication and cooperation with the community-at-large by being active listeners, soliciting more community feedback, working with the Village of Erie, sponsoring the efforts of the Revitalize Erie group, and sustaining a school system that reflects community values and priorities.  This will be accomplished by seeking community input for all future building projects, by coordinating infrastructure improvements with the Village of Erie, and by supporting Revitalize Erie efforts.

 

2. ECUSD1 will work with the Village of Erie to establish a shared school resource officer position within the community.  This position will primarily serve the needs of the District during the day on school days and will primarily serve the needs of the community on non-school days.  The intergovernmental agreement and job description will be approved by June 30, 2019 and the estimated position start date will be August 1, 2019.

 

Curriculum & Instruction

3. ECUSD1 will establish and implement innovative STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) facilities and curriculum for all students in grades PK-12.  STEM facilities will be completed by December 31, 2019, STEM curriculum enhancements will be recommended by April 1, 2020, and STEM curriculum enhancements will be fully implemented by August 15, 2020.

 

4. ECUSD1 will improve the quality of school-sponsored co-curricular programs, including but not limited to, all fine arts programs, all academic teams, all school clubs, all school service organizations, and all school athletics by promoting system-wide processes and procedures (i.e. meetings, job descriptions, evaluations, off-season programs, etc.) for building and sustaining consistent programs throughout the District.  This will be accomplished by ensuring that all shareholders within each specific program work cooperatively towards one, common goal of excellence.  Every individual employee within a respective program will be held accountable for the success of the entire District program.  Evidence of improvement should be measurable by June 30, 2020.

 

Social-Emotional and Safety Needs

5. ECUSD1 will improve the social-emotional learning environment for students in grades PK-12 by implementing the Franklin Covey Leader in Me® program and character education framework.  The staff development component will be initiated during the 2019-2020 school year and the student component will be initiated during the 2020-2021 school year.

 

6. ECUSD1 will improve the safety and security of students by establishing more secured entrances in current and future buildings and by updating and managing District crisis plans and maps more efficiently.  The physical plant improvements will be completed by August 10, 2019.  The crisis plan and maps will be updated and managed via NaviGate Prepared® by August 10, 2019.

 

Facilities

7. ECUSD1 will address the aging physical plant needs of the elementary school and the annex building by finalizing a plan for Phase III of the school construction project.  A formal plan of action will be approved by October 1, 2019 with a projected completion date of July 31, 2021.  Increased community involvement will be initiated and expected during this process.

 

A few of these strategic goals (#2 & #6) are approaching 100% completion, others (#3 & #5) are well on their way, and the rest (#1, #4,  & #7) will be a continuous work in progress.  We are excited to have a realistic roadmap to measure the success of our District.

 

As always, if you would like to discuss our District goals and/or anything else, please call me at 309.659.2239 or email me at mfelesena@ecusd.info.

ECUSD #1 Identified As Some Of The Best In Illinois

November 01, 2018

Recently, Erie CUSD1 schools were identified as some of the best in Illinois. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently released designations for every school in the State of Illinois. The designations provide a public benchmark of each school’s progress toward the goal of preparing all students for success in college and career.

Erie Elementary School (Grades PK-4) has a final designation of EXEMPLARY, Erie Middle School (Grades 5-8) has a final designation of EXEMPLARY, and Erie High School (Grades 9-12) has a final designation of COMMENDABLE. The state’s new support and accountability system evaluates schools based on a more accurate picture of school quality, including the performance of individual student groups and measures beyond test scores. We are extremely proud that both our elementary school and our middle school are among the top 10% of all schools in the State (approximately 2 of the top 400 schools in Illinois). We are also very proud of our high school’s designation due to the increased accountability and rigor found within the rubric at the secondary level. To learn more about the school designations, go to: https://www.isbe.net/support and about Erie schools’ current performance at www.illinoisreportcard.com.

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Marty Felesena

Superintendent

mfelesena@ecusd.info

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Erie Community Unit School District #1 - 520 5th Avenue - Erie, IL 61250 - 309.659.2239