Community Outreach Marks Beginning of Dr. Wade's Superintendency

Community Outreach Marks Beginning of Dr. Wade's Superintendency

PHOTO: Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade speaks with a community member during the Aug. 17 morning forum at EPHS.

The 2017-18 school year was barely a day old, but District 401's new Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Nicolas Wade, was already reaching out to residents to hear what they had to say.

Over coffee and donuts in the morning and pizza and soda in the evening, Dr. Wade and his administration met informally with parents and other community members at Elmwood Park High School on Aug. 17. 

"With so many changes occurring, I wanted to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to meet the new District Office and engage in some conversation about where the District is and where it will go," Dr. Wade said. "At the minimum, I just wanted to provide another avenue for dialogue."

Among those joining Dr. Wade were three of his new cabinet members: Assistant Superintendent for Finance & Operations Mr. James Jennings, Director for Curriculum & Instruction Ms. Leah Gauthier and Director for Student Services Dr. Kari Smith.

Positive Reactions

Topics included the District's ambitious Technology Initiative, which calls for incorporating Google instructional technology throughout the curriculum while providing thorough training to faculty and students.

By investing in training, the District enables teachers and students to get the most out of their new learning environments, especially at EPHS and Elm Middle School, where the student-to-device ratio will eventually be 1:1.

"It was nice to hear how supportive the community was of how we are handling technology as well as our plans for new curriculum programs and opportunities in the elementary buildings," Dr. Wade said.

Superintendent Dr. Nicolas Wade speaks to a District 401 resident on Aug. 17 during an informal community forum.

PHOTO: Dr. Nicolas Wade, right, talks about District 401 during the Aug. 17 evening forum at EPHS. Click photo for larger view. All photos by Dave Porreca, District 401 web/media specialist.

More Community Engagement

Following the Aug. 17 events, Dr. Wade conducted a listening tour of the District's five schools from Aug. 21 to 24. He was encouraged by what he heard from faculty members. 

"To echo the community events, there was an appreciation of how we are moving the District forward," he said, "and there was a lot of positive feedback with how the new cabinet is working out for everyone."

Look for more community engagement from the District Office as the year goes on. This includes two events later this fall co-sponsored by the Elmwood Park Police Department.

"We are going to be discussing lockdown procedures and expectations in addition to cyber-bullying," Dr. Wade said. 

"There will also be a quarterly Superintendent's Newsletter that will summarize initiatives and projects the District is undertaking, and there will be some media samples on the website, within the next month or so, that will describe the vision of the District."

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