Recommendations and Key Findings Shared at Final 34Next Session

The final session for the 34Next Community Engagement Program in Glenview District 34 was held November 5 and concluded with a set of five recommendations that were shared by 34Next Co-Chairs Daniel O’Brien and Bill Utter. The final set of recommendations will be presented to the Board of Education in December.
34Next: Community Views on Glenview 34 Schools was a collaborative effort between District 34 and a group of local residents that first launched in September. The purpose of this extensive community engagement program was for District 34 to gain a deeper understanding of the community’s values and help further shape the district’s priorities for its future.
“We are truly grateful to the community for the time they invested each month by attending the sessions. By hearing their voices and perspectives, we were able to identify some key areas of focus for the Board of Education to evaluate moving forward,” Utter said.
A total of four sessions were held, which included: “D34: Past, Present, Future” on September 10; “Defining Student Success” on October 2; “Financial Landscape” on October 21; and “Review of Key Findings and Recommendations” on November 5. Total attendance at all four sessions nearly surpassed 200 participants, which included D34 parents, non-parents, business owners and other key community members in Glenview.
In addition to the recommendations, O’Brien and Utter outlined at the final session the celebrations, surprises and concerns that emerged from this process.  A list of each can be found below.
“Spearheading this program allowed Bill and I the unique opportunity to not only take an in-depth look into District 34, but to also gain a better understanding of the values our residents represent.  We feel this educational experience was one shared by all in attendance throughout the four sessions,” O’Brien said.
The celebrations, surprises, concerns and recommendations were all based on participant feedback received during the first three sessions. Additional input collected at Wednesday night’s session will also be reviewed and incorporated into the final set of recommendations that will be presented to the Board of Education during its regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, December 8.
  • High Academic Performance
  • Substantial Community Partnerships
  • Holistic Educational Approach
  • Quality Educational Staff
  • Solid Financial Management
  • Low Cost Per Pupil
  • Diversity Present in D34
  • Cost of Changing Class Sizes
  • Enrollment History and Projections
  • District Funding Resources
  • Changes in Class Size
  • Overreliance on Technology
  • Status of Full Day Kindergarten
  • Use of Assessments/Testing
  • Loss of Balanced Programming
  • External Impacts on Funding
1. Develop a new model of communication on potential program changes that clearly explains the educational and financial impacts. The board must work to confirm the community’s understanding. 
2. Provide community and parents with a more comprehensive understanding of district assessments.
3. Board should conduct an extensive study on educational need/value and feasibility of full day kindergarten.
4. Evaluate appropriate use of technology to ensure there is an educational advantage and communicate that to the public.
5. Recognizing the diversity of D34 community, additional measures should be made to ensure the district is reaching, communicating, and engaging all populations.

Work Activity 
Verbatim Document
Executive Summary