Friday, December 2, 2016

The 5Essentials Survey to Improve Student Learning

Beginning November 16, District 300 will join the Illinois State Board of Education in the statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools.
From November 16, 2016 through January 16, 2017, students in grades 6-12, teachers, and parents will be asked to take the Illinois 5Essentials Survey by visiting  This 25-minute research-based survey will help identify strengths and weaknesses in each school’s learning environment. This survey will serve as an opportunity for schools to reflect on progress since the last statewide implementation.
The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture, in an individualized report, measuring five “essentials” critical for school success: 
  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction
Twenty years of research at the University of Chicago has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of the 5Essentials were 10 times more likely to make substantial gains in improving student reading and math than schools that were weak on three or more of the “essentials.” Those differences remained true even after controlling student and school characteristics, including poverty, race, gender, and neighborhood characteristics. Strength on components within the Essentials also correlated with increased teacher retention, student attendance, college enrollment, and high school graduation.
District 300 has consistently participated in the statewide 5Essentials Survey and is opting to administer the survey to teachers,  students and parents again this year to continue tracking and informing progress.
Principals and superintendents will receive their 5Essentials Reports in March 2017. Survey results will also be reported publicly on the 2017 State School Report Card website and the full 5Essentials Reports will also be released in the fall.
For more information regarding the survey, please visit:

Friday, November 18, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

On behalf of the staff at Gary D. Wright Elementary School, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!  I am truly thankful to be a part of such an amazing learning community.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

GDW Honors Our Veterans and Supports Our Troops

In honor of Veterans Day and in support of our troops, Gary D. Wright Elementary School has been collecting lip balm and writing the soldiers notes to thank them for their service as part of the District 300 Paraeducators 7th Annual Veterans Day Collection Drive, benefiting Operation Support Our Troops, Illinois. We will continue to collect lip balm through November 18, 2016.  A sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who has and will contribute to this great effort!

Monday, October 31, 2016

GDW's Spooktacular Halloween 2016

Gary D. Wright Elementary School's Halloween celebration was nothing short of spooktacular!  Our festivities began with an all school parade and continued with classroom parties.  We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our celebration - whether you were a parade spectator, volunteered to assist at the party, or sent in treats...your support is appreciated!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

GDW Second Grade Music Performance

Under the direction of Miss Crater, GDW Second Grade Students presented a musical performance, Autumn Vibe.  It was a full house, and our students received rave reviews!  Way to go, Wildcats!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Matt Wilhelm BMX Assembly

GDW Wildcats welcomed BMX Flatland Rider and motivational speaker, Matt Wilhelm, to our school.  Matt is a three-time X Games medalist, two-time National Champion, and a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent.  Wilhelm performed an assembly featuring amazing BMX bike tricks while also delivering powerful messages relevant to Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.  Thank you to our PTO for funding this wonderful educational experience for our students!


Friday, October 21, 2016

Fire Prevention Month Activities

October is Fire Prevention Month, and thanks to the Hampshire Fire Department, Gary D. Wright Elementary School students have been participating in many engaging activities with the goal of increasing their fire safety awareness.  Each grade level, K-5, was able to take a field trip to the Hampshire Fire Department, where they engaged in a hands-on fire prevention curriculum.  Students also had the opportunity to submit entries in the Coloring Contest and Escape Route Design Contest. Congratulations to the following GDW students who were recognized as Coloring Contest and Escape Route Design Contest Winners at an award ceremony held at the Hampshire Fire Department:
  • Kindergarten               Maddux Fawcett
  • 1st Grade                     Braeden Luna
  • 2nd Grade                    Caylee Blatz
  • 3rd Grade                     Jaimyssen Mendoza
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Chief Robinson, Deputy Chief Herrmann, Lieutenant Maki, and the entire Hampshire Fire Department for your dedication and commitment to fire safety and our community!