Community-Driven Plans for the Future
The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education approved a partnership with community engagement consultant EOSullivan to help develop a plan for the future of our schools. Working together, we will develop a community-driven plan that will make our schools better than ever so we can continue to deliver the excellence that everyone has come to expect.
As a high achieving and high growth district, we provide students with opportunities that are transformational, opportunities that other districts around us do not offer. We are innovative in our approach, meeting each student’s needs as a whole learner. We help all our students build a strong foundation. When kids graduate from our schools, they are fully prepared to excel in every opportunity in their future.
There is a strong sense of community in our schools because we put the students first. Our staff leads by that and our teachers teach by it. Our students walk into schools and classrooms that are welcoming and warm. Their teachers know them as a person—their passions, their interests, their challenges—and use that to engage them individually in their learning.
Our community comes together in District 41 on behalf of our kids. Families are actively involved, bringing a diversity of experiences and cultures. Local businesses provide real world opportunities for our students to engage in problem-based learning. Service organizations partner with our schools to help improve children’s lives and ensure they have the resources they need to learn. Our staff, school board, and even former teachers volunteer their time to mentor students, participate in school activities, and support the district.
This commitment to excellence shows in our students’ performance. Not only were we a high achieving district before COVID-19, but the data shows we sustained that academic excellence through the pandemic. We continue to provide robust interventions to support our students academically and socially, and as a result, unlike many other districts in Illinois, our students came through this difficult period without broad learning loss—everybody grew, and our most at risk students grew the most. Our middle school and three of our elementary schools achieved statewide recognition. As a result, our district is a member of Learning 2025, a group of exemplary, “lighthouse” districts across the country.
While dreaming on behalf of our kids, our staff and board do an excellent job making sure we live within our means and remain financially stable. We take a conservative approach to spending, focusing on needs over wants, which is what allows us to invest in enriching opportunities for our students. We spend on the students, not administration—in fact, we have the highest student-to-administrator ratio of all Glenbard feeder schools. And we are fiscally responsible, with the lowest tax rate and the lowest cost per student of all the Glenbard feeders.
However, we face significant challenges due to a lack of space and are stretched beyond capacity. We are overcrowded and don’t have the space to control our class sizes, offer full-day kindergarten, grow our gold-status preschool, or add innovative programs. We’ve been so tight for space our principals have had to give up their offices at times, students are getting resources in hallways, we’ve had to rent storage space for equipment, we don’t have a teachers’ lounge at all schools, specials are on carts, we don’t have enough parking, and teachers are meeting in closets—we call these closet offices “cloffices.” And our enrollment is projected to continue growing, which means these problems are going to get worse and potentially even force an increase in class sizes.
Removing these barriers and solving our space needs would allow us to provide better learning environments, helping our students thrive. We’d be able to keep class sizes small in our neighborhood schools and continue building innovative opportunities for kids. We’d be better able to meet the individual needs of each and every student. We could offer our community full-day kindergarten and expand our award-winning preschool program. All while remaining financially stable.
The community has come together in 2022 to collaborate on this solution. Working together, we are developing a community-driven plan that will make our schools better than ever so we can continue to deliver the excellence that everyone has come to expect.