Goals & Initiatives

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District 401 has launched major initiatives and set specific goals in a variety of areas.

These goals and initiatives are designed to furnish the necessary resources and supports for academic success and social learning.

Together, these resources and supports make District 401 a place where the phrase "An Invitation to Opportunity" encapsulates everything we do for our students.

Technology Initiative

The District has implemented a plan expanding technology services and tools throughout D401. These Board-approved changes include the quantity and type of devices employed by students and staff, professional development for teachers and creating a blended learning environment for students.

These approved changes include, but are not limited to, the following:

1:1 Schools
Elm Middle School and Elmwood Park High School have become 1:1 schools, with the District looking to expand 1:1 to grades 5 and 6 after the implementation of the initiative in the upper grades. NOTE: Under the conditions of remote learning spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, all D401 schools have become de facto 1:1.

All textbooks, novels and ancillaries will be available electronically and be updated to address the state standards and District expectations.

Student Assessment
The District will implement and actively use, monitor and evaluate a data management system for student assessment results.

Community Outreach
The District will continue community outreach to educate parents about what the new learning experience will be for their children and provide direction on how they can be actively involved in this shift.

Online Behavior
The District will educate students, teachers and the community about cyberbullying, digital citizenship and how to monitor a student's online behavior.

Curriculum & Instruction

To provide our students with the curriculum and instruction needed for 21st-century learning, the District is pursuing the following goals:

Core Content
The District will research and generate a vertically articulated curriculum for the four core content areas and create opportunities for students who are eligible to be accelerated, in addition to opportunities for students in pursuing elective pathways and/or dual-credit opportunities.

Standards-Based Report Cards
The District will research, create and implement a standards-based report card for students grades 1-6, and will formulate a districtwide Standards-Based Report Card Committee that will be composed of administrators and teachers with the goal of researching other districts’ plans and use of standards-based report cards, developing a report card appropriate to the needs and expectations of the District, and identifying or creating a curricular-based measurement system to be used for collecting and monitoring longitudinal growth for students in the selected standards. 

Next Generation Science Standards Curriculum
The District will research, create and/or implement a Next Generation Science Standards curriculum in grades K-12, but specifically in grades 3-6, and students at all levels will be exposed to life science, physical science, and earth and space science.  

C3 Framework Curriculum
The District will research, create, and/or implement a College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework-aligned curriculum in grades 3-12, and students will be exposed to not only U.S. history but world history, geography, economics and civics.  

ELA Curriculum
The District will re-evaluate the English language arts (ELA) curriculum to ensure the program is aligned with state standards and District expectations, in addition to whether the program is properly articulated in grades K-12 by addressing grade-level expectations in reading, writing, and speaking and listening.  

Math Curriculum
The District will re-evaluate the math curriculum to ensure the program is aligned with state standards and District expectations, in addition to whether the program is properly articulated in grades K-12. 

Gifted | Honors | Advanced Placement
The District will re-evaluate the gifted, honors and advanced placement track for grades 3-12 to ensure there is a level of articulation, preparation and expectations consistent throughout. The District will expand the gifted experience to incorporate science and social studies, provide honors options in all four core content areas at Elm Middle School, and coordinate with Triton College to begin offering dual-credit opportunities at Elmwood Park High School in English, math, science, and business and CTE.

Elective Options
The District will re-evaluate the options available to students at all grade levels in what their exposure is to certain electives. The District will develop elective pathways for students, especially in grades 7-12, and will provide high school level credit options to students in grade 8 and dual-credit opportunities to students in grades 9-12.

Student Services

The District has been re-evaluating the current services being provided to students, teachers, administrators and the District as a whole in terms of meeting the social-emotional and academic needs of the students. This includes any and all services that should be provided to general education students and those who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or who are part of the Bilingual/English Learners (EL) Program.

Specific actions and plans in these areas include the following:

Special Education Supports
The District will provide a continuum of supports for all special education students throughout the District and will provide the necessary resources to ensure students and staff are successful.

Bilingual/EL Program
The District will re-evaluate the program offerings, eligibility and provided resources to students in the Bilingual/EL Program. The District will respond accordingly to its own re-evaluation about how to best provide a learning experience that is on pace with students not receiving EL services.

Multi-Tiered Support System
The District will continue to pursue an articulated Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS) for all students, with common screeners, interventions and supports throughout the buildings.

Buildings & Grounds

To provide safe, secure and up-to-date facilities for our learning community, the District is pursuing the following goals:

Improvement and Maintenance
The District will develop, implement and monitor a plan that will continue to expand upon the previous work performed on improvement to and maintenance of the facilities and grounds, including, but not limited to, having a rotational schedule for all classrooms to be painted and filled with new equipment and developing and implementing a plan to beautify the exterior of the buildings.

Renovations, Additions, Life Safety
The District will develop and implement a plan to provide renovations to various areas of importance and need throughout the buildings, in addition to generating a timeline for completing items related to life safety and possible projects related to the additions of buildings or renovations of facilities for athletics. The District will develop a maintenance plan to streamline work to be performed on smaller projects that would not particularly be part of the larger District plans related to buildings and grounds.

Community Outreach

The District will expand upon community outreach efforts that will include, but are not limited to, the following:

► Public health and safety announcements and workshops
► Collaboration with local areas of governance on common interests
► Districtwide initiatives and success stories