To all Harvard Families and Community Members,
I wanted to share important information with you about our district and our schools. Today, the Illinois State Report Cards were released to the public. You can find the full database of Harvard CUSD 50 schools here. As a first-year superintendent, I am compelled to share a few thoughts about these results and insights on how we will improve.
As a kid like me who grew up in Wyoming, we were taught to not whine about tasks that are challenging or rely on others to fix our problems for us. This report card is a challenge for me. To put it bluntly, the current school report cards of our schools are unacceptable, and we need to fix them.
Yet I want to express to you how optimistic I am about Harvard CUSD 50 at this very moment. Last year, I worked in a school district near the top of the report cards shared in the NW Herald. That being said, the current plans emerging to improve our schools are without a doubt equal to, or better than, McHenry County districts I’ve worked in previously. We are poised to see significant change.
Here are the reasons why we are standing on a launching pad of growth:
- Our School Board has designed a Strategic Goal Plan; this is already making a difference. This plan will provide a clean break from the way the District has operated in the past. We have clearly understood goals that were established through communication with our public, parents, and staff.
- “Student Success” is the first goal of the Strategic Goal Plan, and we have developed a comprehensive and research-based plan to improve the performance of our students. Over the next five months, I invite you to our monthly school board meetings to hear each school’s improvement plan.
- We have an exceptional staff in place in our District. The execution of any plan requires having the right people. I am confident that the staff we have can design and execute improvement. I see the work being done, and it gives me confidence that a more properly-suited system will let this talented staff more actively help our students learn.
In some ways, I feel thankful that these scores have been released and it makes everyone a bit uncomfortable, if not a little angry. We embrace the raised expectation you have for us as a District. Partnering with our parents and community is vital. We want the same thing–a better system for the education of our students.
I understand any skepticism you might have, but I ask you for a chance to show it is going to be much better moving forward. I urge you to talk to our staff and gather a sense of the excitement that we have as our plans unfold. Please feel free to reach me and share your thoughts. July 1, 2017 was my first day as the superintendent, and I still have much to learn about our wonderful community. As a District, we know where our performance currently sits, and we have a plan to move forward sharing our progress. I live in this community, too, and want nothing more than for you to be immensely proud of your kids, our schools, and our tremendous community.
Dr. Corey Tafoya
Harvard CUSD 50 Superintendent