New Communication – Talk Radio & New Podcast #Engage109

It’s through curiosity and looking at opportunities in new ways that we’ve always mapped our path at Dell. There’s always an opportunity to make a difference.”- Michael Dell

In the Deerfield Public Schools District 109 we take communication very seriously! We use email and telephone notification systems and we also use a district “app”. In addition, our hashtag #Engage109 on Twitter allows us to tell our story in real time and with images and video and text.

Facebook for the district as well as the six schools is also still a highly used communication medium.

Of late we have been expanding our communications via interview (blog radio interviews), and we are also starting a DPS109 Podcast (which you can subscribe to on the iTunes store). We’ll share more about the Podcast in subsequent blog posts; for now we are going to issue a podcast episode at least once a month, and more frequently when district news warrants it.

With this blog post I’m sharing one of these new forms of communication, an interview with one of the District 109 parent leaders, Mrs. Patty O’Machel. Patty has taken the lead on Disability Awareness Week planning and facilitation. This pro-social series of lessons and experiences help remove the fear that some people have when encountering people with differences. Patty is a leader that you should learn more about!

Patty and I were recently interviewed with Larry Jacobs … listen below:

Blog Talk Radio Interview with Larry Jacobs on the EDUCATION IN AMERICA: FOR PARENTS AND COMMUNITY radio show.

Special Education Climate Survey 2015 – #Engage109

“Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence–only in constant improvement and constant change.”
– Tom Peters

Engage, Inspire, Empower – these words drive our vision and our mission in Deerfield Public Schools, District 109. We are Future Ready, we have made great gains in We are Future Ready!science, technology, engineering, and mathematics K-8. We have impressive, world class facilities and we select excellent staff and administrators! We have tons to be proud of.

We never rest on our laurels and we aim daily to go from good to great or from great to more great. Part of this relentless focus on excellence is shown in the data informed leadership from multiple stakeholders. Recently, in partnership with K12Insight, we administered a special education perceptions survey to parents and staff. All staff were invited to take the survey and all parents of children who leadquotehave an IEP were invited to take the survey as well. Survey data like this guides us, informs us, provides check-ins and check ups and allows us to best serve our students.

The presentation made to the Board of Education on Monday, October 5, 2015, is embedded below. We are so proud to show positive growth:

86% of parents were completely or somewhat satisfied with the quality of the special education and related services their child received this year, which is 9 percent higher than in 2014.

90% of employees said special education students are receiving quality services.

And we are equally proud to show in what areas we have growth opportunities:

55% of employees who have been in co-teaching environments said they do not have adequate support from district leadership for co-teaching. Forty-nine percent of employees who have been in co-teaching environment said they do not have adequate support from school leadership for co-teaching.

31% of employees rated assistive technology services and 25 percent rated professional development in assistive technology as fair or poor.