D. 202 Talks
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NEW! EPISODE #29
As a very large governmental organization, District 202 works with many community partners of various sizes to help support and serve its 26,000 students so that they have every chance for success in and out of school.
Volunteers Kathy Kazman, Ingrid Price, and Jean Brennan talk about the 2022 Homecoming parade and associated event.
D. 202 new Superintendent of Schools Dr. Glenn Wood talks about the start of the 2022-2023 school year, his vision for the future, and what is the coolest part of his job
D. 202 Assistant Superintendent for Administration and Personnel Jennifer Orlos, and A&P Directors Shannon Miller-Finlayon (middle school) and Dr. Scott Fink (elementary) discuss the pandemic's impact on staffing the 5th largest school distinct in Illinois, and District 202's focus on improving staff diversity and supporting all staff.
District 202 Associate Superintendent Dr. Glenn Wood, Director for Elementary Curriculum Dr. Tammy Sroczynski, and Director for Middle School Curriculum Dr. Paula Sereleas discuss the district's gifted education program and long-standing efforts to support and serve the needs of its academically advanced students.
District 202 Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations Tony Arbogast, Administrative Assistant Drio Turcios, and Aramark Food Services Manager Tamara Castaneda discuss the district's highly successful (and extremely challenging) program to serve more than four million free meals to students since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
District 202 high school Principals Chris Chlebek (Plainfield High School - Central Campus), Bob Yanello (Plainfield South High School), Ross Draper (Plainfield North High School) and Dr. Joe O'Brien (Plainfield East High School) discuss the unique challenges and rewards of leading thousands of teens as they finish their public school careers, learn how to be successful young adults, and set their sights on the future.
District 202 middle school Principals Kai Evans (Drauden Point), John Evans (Indian Trail), Danielle Cournaya (Heritage Grove) and AJ Hundal (John F. Kennedy) discuss the unique challenges and rewards of leading middle schools in 2021, and working with adolescents as they strive to figure out who they are, and want to be.
Tom Hernandez talks about the unique atmosphere, rewards, and challenges of elementary school with Principals Curtis Hudson (Charles Reed Elementary); Carol Betzold (Crystal Lawns Elementary); Michelle Imbordino (Liberty Elementary School); and Jeff Schafermeyer (Walker's Grove Elementary School.)
Paula Sereleas, director of middle school curriculum and instruction, discusses why middle school is a special time in students' lives, and some of the academic and social changes made in District 202 to support middle school students.
Parents are critical partners in the school experience. Veteran District 202 parent leader Betsey Vinson discusses the role parents play in supporting their schools and some of the highlights and challenges that come with parental involvement.
Former Plainfield Mayor and Plainfield High School graduate Mike Collins (Class of 1964) chats about the special relationship between the municipality, the school district, the challenges they have met together and the community they serve.
Tony Arbogast, Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations, discusses District 202's current and future financial health in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As Black History Month concludes, members of the District 202 Cultural Competency Committee discuss the work being done to increase and improve diversity, equity, and inclusion district-wide to better serve all students.
Technology has long been a big component of teaching and learning, but it has become even more significant during the COVID-19 pandemic as students worldwide learn remotely. District 202 Technology Director Margie Bonuchi discusses the many challenges involved in providing, implementing and maintaining technology both before the pandemic, and since.
BOE President Kevin Kirberg talking about the new 5 year strategic plan.(10-30-20)
Special Conversation with Tim Albores regarding Social Emotional Learning Supports in the Time of Covid-19 (10-01-20)
Special Conversation with Supt. of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell about Remote Learning (08-28-20)
In January 2019, District 202 created a high school Student Ambassador group comprising one student from each of the four District 202 high schools. Each month, the Ambassadors share information and perspectives with the Board of Education about school life and student issues, and propose initiatives and programs from a student perspective. A year later, district administrators and one of the original Student Ambassadors review the program’s mission; discuss its function, progress and value; and share ideas for the group’s future
Not every student wants or needs to go directly to college after high school. The Wilco Area Career Center helps students enter the workplace by providing hands-on vocational skills taught by real-life employees in dozens of careers, ranging from Auto Service to Culinary Arts to Fire Science and many more. What’s more, students often earn dual college credit for their Wilco class work with area universities. Wilco is truly a “hidden gem” among the many ways District 202 prepares its students for the future.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lane Abrell discusses the complicated process of deciding to close school because of bad weather, and related issues including possibly starting late and implementing e-learning to let students work at home when inclement weather hits.
Laura Weed, District 202's first Director of Digital Learning and Innovation discusses the district's work to increase and improve effective, efficient use of technology in the classroom to support student learning and academic achievement.
Mina Griffith, assistant superintendent for student services discusses bullying and the many ways District 202 strives to teach and support students and families dealing with the issue as part of national bullying prevention month.
In the sixth and final "D. 202 Talks" Director of Facilities Paul Gonzalez discusses the work done each summer to repair, maintain and enhance District 202’s 32 facilities which encompass 3.6 million square feet of building space and 850 acres of property. The Facilities Department plays a vital role in protecting community resources worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
In our fifth installment, Mina Griffith, assistant superintendent for student services discusses one of the hottest topics in recent District 202 history – the plan to offer full-day kindergarten to all eligible students. The Board of Education recently approved a proposal to accomplish this long-standing community priority by building an 18th elementary school to create more space district-wide for kindergarten, preschool and special education programming.
Dr. Craig Brown, director for high school administration and personnel discusses a topic near and dear to the hearts of every student, parent and staff member – the school calendar. Dr. Brown explains the many factors affecting how calendars are created, the district’s legal obligations to the state, and why the school year school starts and ends when it does.
Dr. Scott Fink, director for elementary administration and personnel discusses the department's work, including professional development initiatives designed to help staff improve their teaching skills and identify, guide and support staff looking to move into leadership roles.