Superintendent's Message

A message from District 230 Superintendent Dr. James M. Gay about happenings at Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew High Schools
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Senior Citizen Luncheon showcases our schools
The District 230 School Board and Administration welcomed 180 senior citizens from the school community for a luncheon and performance on TuesdayWhile most students were still sleeping in on a day off of school for parent teacher conferences, a dedicated group of Stagg High School musicians, ambassadors and culinary arts students made their way into school to show appreciation for the senior citizens.
School Board Vice President Melissa Gracias welcomed the crowd thanking them for their ongoing support of District 230. She also shared financial highlights including the fact that the Board recently approved its 15th balanced budget in a row, at a time when 60% of school districts in Illinois are deficit spending. The District 230 school board has not requested a tax levy increase over the previous year's extension for 5 of the past 6 years and that the District 230 
portion of the March tax bill will be going 
down as the district retires debt.
I provided academic highlights including the fact the US News and World Report rates Sandburg, Stagg and Andrew High Schools among the top 5% of high schools in Illinois and the top 6% in the country based on college readiness. I also shared that the most recent graduating class volunteered 136,000 hours of community service during their high school years. This well exceeds the 24 hours per student that is required for graduation.
The senior citizens were then treated to two outstanding performances. Choir Director Chris Betz introduced BizCasual, an a capella extra-curricular group. Band Director Bob Mecozzi introduced the Wind Symphony performance which included an original piece scored by Stagg High School student Jason Kazin. Their talent is truly awe inspiring!
Following the performance, the senior citizens were treated to a lunch prepared by food service staff and served by Culinary Arts students.
Thank you to all who made this event a success including Stagg Principal's 
Secretary Amanda Silvestri who has hit the ground running in her new position! The Stagg administrative team was in full hospitality mode, as well, as you can see from the photo of Craig Ebel shuttling our guests in a golf cart!
Community Connections meeting brings together elected officials
The School Board held it's final Community Connections meeting of the year last night at Sandburg High School. A series of these events have taken place at each of our high schools to bring together state, township, municipal, community college and partner school elected officials and leaders. At each event School President Rick Nogal and I provided an overview of the amazing accomplishments and work being done in our schools. Last night Principal Deb Baker, Associate Principal Derrick Smith, Associate Prinicpal Brian Klene and Assistant Principal Greg Gardner shared school highlights including academic, social-emotional and co-curriculars. 
The stars of the night were Culinary Arts students who prepared delicious treats, Chamber Singers and Quartet Furioso who provided outstanding entertainment.
At each of the events, elected officials and leaders from throughout our community praised teachers, staff and administration for the outstanding education made possible by your dedication and hardwork. Many are alumni of our schools or have children or grandchildren who have attended our schools so they know first-hand what a District 230 education is. 
State Representative Margo McDermed summed it up well last night when she shared that she knows people chose to live in our community because of the education students receive. Many are products of our schools and choose to stay and even more move to the area because they choose the quality of education that is here, she said. 
This is who we are!
Google Augmented Reality tour at Sandburg
I stopped by Sandburg High School as students ventured into Augmented Reality when the Google Expeditions AR Pioneer Program stopped by the school on its national tour. Thanks to the hard work of our Technology Innovation Facilitators this experience was brought to our students.
With Expeditions AR, teachers and students bring virtual objects into their physical space. Anything from a strand of DNA to a whirling tornado can be brought into the classroom. Students can see and walk around the object like it was right there. Students use Google's devices to get up close to see detail, or step back to get a sense of scale and point out new discoveries together. Teachers are able to highlight specific points of interest on the object and incorporate it to suit the lesson. 

Sandburg students had the opportunity to engage with Augmented Reality focused on Forces of Nature, Rock Cycle, DaVinci's Inventions, Ocean Floor, Probability, DNA/RNA, Solar System, The World of Ancient Rome, Circulatory System, Roman Empire, Basic Landforms and The Space Race.

My favorite module was World War II where I was able to explore a B52 
Bomber and military Jeep as if it was right there in the room with me. That truly brought the lesson to life!


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