Dear District 41 Community,
Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! I am excited to welcome back students this year as this will be my last “first day” of school in my career. I will be retiring at the end of this school year after over 35 years in education. It is bitter sweet as it has been my honor to lead this district since 2019. Throughout this year, I will continue, as I always have, with communicating with our families and keeping everyone in the know about what is happening in our schools and in the district. To start, this newsletter will provide information to help you prepare for the first day of school and beyond! We hope it is helpful information for our families prior to school starting.
I want to share that throughout this school year you will hear us talk a great deal about the importance of a sense of belonging. Helping all students feel that they belong is key to setting the stage for academic growth and success. They have to feel loved before they can learn. Our theme for this school year is “#WeAreD41 -Belonging is the heartbeat of inclusion.”
For those of you who have followed along with the work of the Strategic Plan, you will know that the district has been working through what exactly Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) means in D41. Where we have landed is that at its core, DEI in an elementary school district is about providing an environment where all students feel that they belong. Where barriers to growth and achievement are acknowledged and addressed. It is not at all simple and it captures exactly what our purpose is as a school district.
Knowing where and with whom you belong –is integral to human existence. Children belong first to a family, a cultural group, a neighborhood and a wider community. Belonging acknowledges children’s interdependence with others and the basis of relationships in defining identities. Belonging is central to being and becoming in that it shapes who children are and who they can become.
I would like to thank our Board of Education and this district for supporting my desire to land on a definition of DEI that reflects our purpose as an elementary educational organization. One that reflects the role that we play in the lives of children, families and within the community. One that brings people together and unites us around a goal that is attainable if we are all committed to it.
Please know that a sense of belonging is also crucial for all of the families that we serve. Parents play a pivotal role in partnering with schools and you cannot do this if you do not feel welcome, valued and respected when you are in our schools.
Thank you for your partnership and continued support of our district and, most importantly, of each and every student in our schools.
Dr. Melissa Kaczkowski
The District 41 Administrative Team is led by the Superintendent, who reports directly to the Board of Education. The Superintendent serves as the chief adviser on educational matters and is responsible for ensuring that the Board of Education is informed about district operations and activities. The Superintendent also informs the Board of the district’s needs.
The Superintendent is responsible for developing administrative procedures necessary to manage the district’s operations. All procedures must be in compliance with the laws, rules and regulations that apply to the district. The Superintendent ensures that sufficient information is provided to the Board of Education to assist the Board in making informed decisions.
The Board and Superintendent work together to set priorities for the district. Priorities include establishing goals for the budget, determining new educational programs, and ensuring adequate services are available to students.
The Glen Ellyn School District 41 Board of Education consists of seven members who are elected at-large and serve without pay for staggered four-year terms.