About


What is Focus 205? 

CONNECTION

Beginning in September 2015, Elmhurst District 205 launched an exciting new Community Engagement initiative called Focus 205. 

This program is a collaborative conversation between the community and the school district, facilitated by District residents, focusing on the topics of next generation learning, future-ready classrooms and other key issues involved in maintaining an exceptional educational experience for our students. Phase 1 wrapped up last fall. The Focus 205 Findings Report presented March 8, 2016, summarizes the work of this phase.

Phase 2 began last spring with a comprehensive Educational Alignment study conducted by Wight & Company, the architectural firm with which the District has had a decades-long relationship (i.e., they have a strong working knowledge of our facilities). An update was presented to the Board of Education on May 24, 2016. This school year, the conversation continues...

DIRECTION

Community Engagement Meetings (York High Commons):

Session 1 - Wednesday, September 2, 2015 
– 7 to 9 PM
Session 2 - Thursday, October 8, 2015 – 7 to 9 PM
Session 3 - Thursday November 12, 2015 – 7 to 9 PM
Session 4 - Wednesday, December 2, 2015 – 7 to 9 PM
Session 5 - Monday, October 3, 2016  7 to 9 PM
Session 6 - Wednesday, February 1, 2017  7 to 9 PM

We hope you will join us as we recap the work done last year, celebrate student achievement in District 205 and begin exploring options that will support educational priorities in Elmhurst for many years to come. Your input will be used to identify community priorities, inform the Board of Education and guide the planning for the future of Elmhurst District 205.
What can you expect during Focus 205?

REFLECTION

In order to create a broad-based forum, four Community Engagement Sessions, or town hall-style workshops, were held in which parents - past, present and future, grandparents, staff members, business owners...ALL District 205 residents were invited to work in small groups, share ideas and discuss topics in order to provide input to the Board of Education for future planning. 

Each session begins with a brief presentation that provides key information about challenges and opportunities the District faces regarding educational efficiencies, increasing student achievement, state and federal regulations and accountability, finances and facilities, as well as exciting elements of the future ready classroom.

Participants then work collaboratively in small groups to consider relevant questions on the session topic, followed by each group sharing their conclusions with the whole room. Information gathered from the workshops is shared verbatim online and will serve as the basis for the development of a community-wide collaborative vision that will be presented to the District 205 Board of Education.

In between the two meetings, District 205 gathered community input through an online, interactive and confidential survey administered by a third-party company called Thoughtexchange. This was a chance for community members to share what they value about District 205, what their vision is for our students’ future-ready learning, as well as ask any questions or contribute any thoughts they might have regarding public education in Elmhurst. Some 1,600 people joined the conversation, sharing over 118,000 thoughts!

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Katherine Schroeder,
Feb 7, 2017, 2:00 PM