Welcome to Elementary School District 159, serving the communities of Matteson, Richton Park and Tinley Park, IL. This school year our theme is “Transforming Dreams into Reality: Creating a Culture of Achievement for All.” As a District we are committed to a rigorous and challenging curriculum, maintaining high expectations and ensuring success for all students.
We are proud to report continuous progress in raising the academic standards for all of our students. Overall, the 2011 ISAT results for the District 159 are the highest in over 11 years, with 82% of our students meeting or exceeding tested Illinois Learning Standards. This year our students exceeded the state percentages in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th grade reading and 3rd and 5th grade mathematics. While the District has made steady progress in student achievement over the past years, we remain committed to strategic planning that will result in our ability to exceed state academic requirements.
The District continues to expand the enrichment activities for our students by offering such programs as Chinese Language and Culture, Sign Language, the Summer Writing Camp, Sewing Club, Forensic Science, drama and performing arts groups, and the Media Arts Class, among others. We are also excited to partner with Rich Township High School District 227 this year to offer a full year of high school Spanish class for 8th graders at Colin Powell Middle School. For the second year in a row, the United States Naval Sea Cadets, General Colin L. Powell Division, based in our district, participated in a Chicago maritime tradition, assisting in unloading 1200 Christmas trees for needy families from the historic Christmas Tree Ship at Navy Pier. Each of these programs serve to provide opportunities for our students to fully explore their gifts and talents, encourage their creativity, develop leadership, and broaden their global perspective.
Schools cannot do their work in isolation. Essential to our ability to engage and educate our students is our partnership with our families and communities. This past November our District celebrated American Education Week by inviting community members to serve as “Principal for a Day” or visit our schools on the bus tour “Top Five Educational Drive.” Local business owners, representatives from our homeowners associations, local village and township officials, and members of the clergy boarded a yellow school bus and observed our classrooms in action. During their visits these successful individuals interacted with our students and spoke about their paths to achievement, serving as motivators for our children.
We are excited about the teaching and learning that goes on in District 159. It is truly a team effort. I invite you to explore our website to learn more about our district and the students we serve.
Barbara Suggs Mason
Superintendent of Schools