[Editor’s Note: Apologies for the lateness of this post. We’ll work on getting this out sooner in the future]
Happy New Year! With our first month of 2017 officially in the books, Warren Community Unit School District 205 is focusing on increasing our community engagement this year. Therefore, we will be writing a monthly article to discuss what has been going on in our district. Additionally, we will be looking to spread our vision and core values throughout the community. We will be delivering posters to local businesses that describe our vision and core values. If our team does not catch your business and you would like to display a poster, please contact the school and we will get you one as soon as possible. The community is an essential stakeholder in regards to our school district in addition to the students, staff, parents, and board of education. While school districts are considered the heartbeat of their communities, we strive to do our best to ensure that you have a school district that you take the utmost amount of pride.
This past month has been exciting at Warren CUSD 205. Teachers came back a day before students from break and examined their courses in relation to the New Illinois Learning Standards. We identified the strengths and weaknesses in our curricula to make necessary adjustments to best support the needs of our students. In addition, students completed their second of three phases of MAP testing, which we use to track progress and curve our teaching in the areas of math, reading, language arts, and science. Notably, one of our students, Analiesa Harbach, participated in the Illinois Music Education Association Honors Choir on January 28 in Peoria. She represented the top 1.5% of music students in the state, while representing our school district during this prestigious music experience. Another student, Kaitlyn Lozada, won our school district’s National Geographic Bee, is now in the running for a chance to compete at the world competition.
Finally, I would like to thank our county, local businesses, and consumers in regards to the county school facility sales tax. This facility sales tax is for one percent on qualifying retail purchases. This facility sales tax generated over $200,000 of revenue last year for the district to update our facilities. This source of funding can be used in multiple ways to improve our facility and help pay off building bonds. It cannot be used for salaries, benefits, instructional costs, textbooks, computers, movable equipment, school buses, or operating costs. Our hope is that this source of revenue will help us maintain a safe learning environment that is conducive to student learning.
Additionally, as we complete our ten-year health life safety resurvey this year, we hope our recent updates limit the amount of required improvements that will need to be completed by the school district. I encourage you to visit our building and see the recent updates in our gymnasium, parking lot, hallways, and many other areas that we were able to complete through this source of funding. This spring, we plan to break ground on the adjacent lot purchased by the district to erect a greenhouse using this funding along with multiple donations collected by our FFA Alumni. Ultimately, this source of funding will help the district keep our building updated to lessen the burden on taxpayers within our district.
During the month of February, our doors will be open on February 8, as our Servant Leaders will be hosting a blood drive in the gymnasium. Our spelling bee will take place on February 9 along with an assembly hosted by the Dubuque Fighting Saints hockey team. In addition, our students will sing the national anthem for the Dubuque Fighting Saints at their game on February 24. If you are interested in attending any of these events, please stop by the school.