Northwest Elementary School has been recognized by the Illinois Chapter of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (IL-ASCD) for actively engaging students in learning, and connecting the school with its community.
The recognition comes as part of the ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, which awards schools that have changed the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the development of the whole child. Northwest School was recognized in the “Engaged” category.
“This great honor is a testament to the outstanding things happening here at Northwest,” Principal Dr. Matthew Banach said. "We have fantastic students, and the staff has worked tirelessly to continue to improve the experience for our students and to ensure they feel a connection with the classroom, school, and community."
Northwest School students are consistently engaged through goal-setting with teachers based on assessments, utilizing technology and differentiation, tracking progress toward goals, and by having choices within the curriculum. They stay connected with the community through programs such as the St. Jude Math-a-thon, an annual breast cancer awareness walk, participating in the St. Baldrick’s Foundation head-shaving event to conquer childhood cancers, and much more.
The school also regularly welcomes family members to speak about their careers, and provides after-school programming based on family requests. The Mustangs in Action parent group collaborates with the school to offer opportunities for students, including assemblies, family events, and materials for the school – including a rock climbing wall.
Northwest School’s hard work is reflected through its data: disciplinary referrals are down 80 percent over the last five years, and the number of students meeting and exceeding expectations on the reading portion of the PARCC test went up 15 percent last year.