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Wheaton Engage200 Session Draws Hundreds

More than 400 people turned out for Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200’s session on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, in Wheaton, Ill., to discuss the district’s future.

Hundreds of people turned out at Monroe Middle School on Wednesday for the first of Wheaton-Warrenville Community Unit School District 200’s six Engage200 sessions to plan for the district’s future, the Daily Herald reports.


Engage 200 is an effort to draw district taxpayers into the planning, and with the Daily Herald reporting that more than 400 people gathered for the session, it appears that process is off to a good start.


Attendees were seated at dozens of tables and were asked to list the greatest surprises and their chief priorities after hearing Superintendent Brian Harris present them with a summation of the district’s status. They also were asked to tank a list of topics that might be considered in the coming Engage200 meetings, according to the Daily Herald.


The chief surprises, as reported by the Daily Herald, include:

  • The increase, from 16 percent in 2002 to 25 percent today, in the number of students who free or reduced-price lunches.

  • That 32 percent of today’s students are ethnic minorities.


The Daily Herald listed the greatests concerns mentioned as:

  • Student performance and breaking a six-year cycle seen in ACT scores of flat student achievement.

  • Increasing technology.

  • District finances.

  • Transparency.


According to the Daily Herald, the Engage200 facilitating team will review the information gleaned from Wednesday’s session at least twice before the next public engagement session. The team will use that information to set priorities for the next session on Feb. 19, 2014.



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billy January 17, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Engage 200 was interesting, NOT interesting was Technology was heralded as 'installing computers and networks'. In 1980 computers were 'Technology' while in 2014 computers and accessories are just current 'tools' as were ink wells and sharpened wood pencils in 1940s. Come on 'Technology' is what Fermi and Boeing are doing now & planning - not upgrading pencils and pens. Surprise was tiny mention of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) that is forecast to provide 1/2 million jobs within decade - guess that was worth some mention ?
billy January 17, 2014 at 09:39 AM
Engage 200 - Student Population has decreased 9% in past 12 years. One projection curve follows same 9% decrease for next 10 years. My history in same size community in Ohio that 'built out available property and thus smaller family sizes' was HUGE bond issue to build a new, expensive school to EASE the student body into smaller classes - this just before the effect of 'build out' hit and student population dropped off. Before moving to Wheaton that community closed that new expensive school as not needed for number of students - well before the levy was paid. Projections of number of student should be on the ballot of any CUSD 200 tax proposal !
Linda January 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM
I would like the District to clarify what it means by "Technology". In a recent article about the possible reinstatement of b teams at the middle school level, Dr. Harris said that "$160,000 could buy a lot of hand held devices." Did he mean that technology along the lines of computers, Smartboards and Kindles are needed to make our students smarter? If that is the case, the District needs to think again. Technology isn't going to suddenly improve education or test scores. Washington Elementary is the only school in the entire district with a Smartboard in every classroom, and yet, Washington was a failing school this past year, giving parents the choice to move to another school. These Smartboard have been in the classrooms for several years now but have not appeared to have made the difference that technology mongers seem to think they will.
billy January 17, 2014 at 11:03 AM
Thanks Linda, Smart boards ? Guess we have really progressed from 1940s of 'blackboards and white chalk' ? We see every 3 years a doubling of computer chips, computer companies, computer sales, computer variations, computer envy, computer faster/larger/more expensive and support by Apple to help to have one computer in the classroom. Blackboards to Greenboards to Whiteboard to Smart boards - Progress or just dot.com sales support? What is the improvement in education?
billy January 17, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Following national eduction changes finds colleges and now K-12 school systems adding, specifying pad or computer for students. This is part of their education expenses by the student or student's family. To repeat this are tools used everyday - not education, not a career, not a toy. In industry computers are specified by management to allow efficient interaction. Most companies supply those computers, support repair and training, upgrade when needed usually with 1 or 2 versions behind biggest and best. When teams meet post-it, posters, monitors and portable projectors on whiteboards or screen are effective as used in Engage 200.
Lisa January 17, 2014 at 12:21 PM
Maybe if they failed the kids that shouldn't be moved up to the next grade then the teachers wouldn't have to teach to the lowest common denominator! What happened to failing kids that didn't or couldn't learn? Why does everyone have to pass? Graduating Should mean something! Bright kids are bored and are not able to achieve their potential because they are being dragged down!
billy January 18, 2014 at 10:30 AM
ACHIEVEMENT of CUSD 200 was reported as 92% graduate in 4 years and 95% PLANNED to attend a 2 or 4 year institution - BUT inquiring of TRUE CUSD 200 SUCESS of graduates - classes of about 500 - ONLY a dozen postcards were returned or 2.4% - poor return! Now in our era of 1950s the HS Alumni Association has funded and supported the now 83 year old facility and had high attendance reunions past 50 years. Perhaps that was a different era, with communicated using newsletters. But today with email, iPhones, Facebook, Twitter, and other 'Technology' there must be more than 2% measure of student's successes & careers to guide CUSD 200 educators?

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