About the District
About Our District
“To Educate, Empower, and Inspire the Whole-Child”
Elementary School District 159 is located in Cook County, Illinois and serves portions of the Matteson, Richton Park, and Tinley Park communities. The student population of 1,760 is served by four elementary schools - Woodgate, Armstrong, Yates, Sieden Prairie and Colin Powell Middle School. The district’s Administration Center is located on Vollmer Road on the site of the original two-room Sieden Prairie Schoolhouse, originally built in 1869.
Our District prides itself on its excellent program offerings including an award-winning band and numerous athletic honors. Art, music, physical education, and technology are core programs in all of our schools. Our middle school offers strong foreign language and speech programs. Colin Powell Middle School underwater robotics program is among the best in the Midwest and has received awards, won several championships and has often competed against high schools over the past several years.
In the 2019-2020 school year, we implemented a dual language program. We are committed to providing our youngest children their best start for learning. Therefore, we provide a full-day preschool program We also provide a full range of services for students with special needs and educational programs are individually designed to meet each student’s needs. In support of technology and computerized learning opportunities, every district student is provided with a mobile device. Our middle school also has a state-of-the-art applied technology lab with a broadcast and production studio. In our effort to provide students with every opportunity to stay abreast of technology, we also offer a 10-week Saturday coding class for elementary students. Our students and staff have 24/7 access to a technology learning and working environment.
Elementary School District 159 supports several community outreach initiatives including Red Nose Day in partnership with Walgreens, Annual Cancer Walks, April Foods Day in partnership with the United Way and Sickle Cell research. Our commitment to service-above-self resulted in a partnership with the Timber Ridge
Mobile Community, which is an unincorporated area of Matteson. In January of 2018, we partnered with Timber Ridge to address some of their needs. Working together throughout the year, we transformed a rarely used room on the premises of the administration building into the Timber Ridge Community Resource Center. We donated 8 computers, wall art, and approximately 200 books. About 800 additional books were donated by community members and Half Price Books. In the Summer of 2019, we partnered again to establish the Timber Ridge Adult Learning Center and provided Chromebooks, books and wall art.
Elementary School District 159 has a strong Family & Community Engagement Program that several workshops during the year geared towards parent involvement and student achievement. The district’s Superintendent’s Advisory Group and PTO are key to the outreach and programs we create to achieve maximum community support. In 2019 we celebrated our 150th anniversary throughout the year with the theme, “Honoring the Past, Embracing the Future.”
With a commitment to embracing our future, in 2019 we established our 2019-2023 Strategic Plan with input from approximately 350 stakeholders including administrators, staff, students, parents, community members, and elected officials. Among our established goals was to “Create and maintain a 21st Century learning environment,” and
ensure that our students are provided every opportunity for a successful education and future career. In April 2021, approximately 65% of voters overwhelming supported a referendum for the building of a new Community STEM Center, which is being built on property we have owned since 2008.
The STEM Center will provide professional development for teachers and provide our students with exposure to STEM experiences during and after school. Programs will also be available for parents and community members. The STEM Center will include a STEM Early Learning Playground designed to promote open-minded exploration by promoting reflection, innovation, discovery, application, and communication to engage our early-learners.
Additionally, Makerspace Lab will include electronics, 3D printing and modeling, coding, robotics, and woodworking. It will also foster entrepreneurship and will be open to the community. The STEM Center will also include an Aerospace and Atmospheric Science Lab consisting of STEM activities such as aviation-flight simulation, rocketry, drone technology where participants will construct their own drone, robotics, and aerospace technology. We will also implement the curriculum from National Air and Space Education Institute (NASEI). In 2021, we held the Ground Breaking and Beam Signing Ceremonies for our Community STEM Center. It is scheduled for completion in the late Spring of 2022.