Message from Superintendent Fessler
The mission of Oak Lawn-Hometown School District 123 is Learning today for a successful tomorrow. Our goal in helping students achieve our mission is to prepare our students to be successful in a society that is very different, and will become increasingly different, as students move through school systems and emerge into the modern workplace. As a result, it becomes important to teach our students to be lifelong, adaptive learners, critical thinkers, and problem solvers capable of navigating the academic and social settings prevalent in society. In order to accomplish this, District 123 continues to revisit our approach to educating students and retooling our curriculum as necessary to meet the needs of the 21st century learner.
Our staff professional training continues to focus on infusing rigorous and relevant teaching and learning experiences that create irresistible 21st century classrooms and learning experiences. Being literate is no longer restricted to reading and writing skills. In today’s society, being literate involves multiple illiteracies including technological, mathematical, scientific, the fine arts and other content areas. Increasingly rigorous educational standards recently adopted by the state (Common Core Standards) will contribute to the re-tooling of teaching and learning practices, and the continuous planning efforts of teachers and administrators serve as the catalyst to our re-tooling process.
As reported to the Board of Education last fall, students in District 123 score well on local and state academic measures (ISAT and MAP). Our most current results show 85% of our students meet or exceed the state’s standards. While test scores are one measure of student success, the true measure is expressed by the level of success students experience upon graduating from District 123. The metamorphosis of our curricular and instructional programs will also have an immediate effect on higher order thinking skills and problem solving opportunities not measured on standardized assessments. Beyond memorization and repetition of factual knowledge are the critical skills of analyzing and solving a problem. The rigor in this approach to learning requires our students to develop answers based on evidence and the application of prior knowledge and experience with the capability of applying solutions to challenging, real world problems. This exciting shift will make both teaching and learning more meaningful.
Learning to work as part of a team, whether that is in school, the work place, or the community at large, is a tremendously valuable skill for our students. Working cooperatively in a team to accomplish a goal transfers from school into many of the roles our students will fill in the future. District 123 is transforming the manner in which we teach students so that Learning today will prepare students for a successful tomorrow.
Dr. Art Fessler