Serves: Oak Park
Superintendent: Dr. Tony Knight
STRENGTHENING OUR CLIMATE OF CARE
We have developed five goals in Oak Park USD for this year. The first goal is our primary focus for this year and the future and is a continuation of many years of work. In fact, it defines us as a school system. The goal is to ensure that all of our students feel cared for and valued for who they are and that each is connected to their school and to the adults who teach, care for, and interact with them on a daily basis.
This is part of our Climate of Care that we talk a great deal about in Oak Park and that defines us as a school district. Children and teens cannot learn in a climate of fear or when overly stressed. Maintaining this type of learning and growing environment is impossible to attain without the engagement of our entire staff, our parents, and families. ALL children in Oak Park schools are loved and cared for and belong to an inclusive and accepting learning community. The other four goals relate closely to this one.
Students are recognized for their individual characteristics and our schools are places of acceptance and appreciation for all of our students. The entire staff is engaged in ways to strengthen student engagement and connectedness to our schools at all levels. New lessons related to gender diversity will be delivered by our school counselors in our elementary schools this fall after unanimous support and approval by our Board of Education. Oak Park schools are also examining ways in which all students are recognized and awarded to ensure that all students feel part of their school, and know they are valued, and honored.
Nineteenth-century school reformer, Marietta Johnson said, "Any school in which one child may fail while another succeeds is unjust, undemocratic, and un-educational." Last year, Oak Park High School had a 100 percent graduation rate, and this is something that we take great pride in. Schools that have an exceptionally high level of academic achievement like Oak Park schools cannot truly be considered successful schools unless everyone is growing and succeeding and all know they are a person of great worth and value.