Dear Homer 33C Community,
These are exciting days for Homer Community Consolidated School District 33C. With the support of our community -- our partners in education -- we recently introduced a full-day kindergarten program, equipped every fourth-, fifth- and seventh-grade student with a Chromebook (as well as our eighth-grade reading classes) and created three STEAM labs at the junior high and middle school level, exposing students to more Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math.
It’s all part of our Preparing Future Ready Students initiative, aimed at preparing students for the rigors of the 21st century. With your support, we are giving students the right tools to build their critical thinking skills, expand their communication skills and become independent problem solvers.
As partners in education, it is important that we keep our stakeholders up-to-date on programs and initiatives that we’re working on to get students ready for the 21st century. We developed this new website to aid in our delivery of timely, accurate information about our district in a quick, easy-to-read format. Please visit our site frequently because it will be updated regularly with information from our school board as well as stories and photos about our students, faculty and staff.
Preparing Future Ready Students is a long-term investment that requires a strong commitment to supplying students with the technology and learning tools needed to get ahead in today’s world. As partners in this endeavor, we are cognizant of our responsibility to be good financial stewards. Everyone in our district is on the lookout for ways to be more efficient and save taxpayer dollars. So far, we’ve:
- Started purchasing science supplies at discount stores instead of catalogs.
- Started purchasing library books from a used bookstore website instead of ordering new ones from a publishing company.
- Started sharing resources between departments and schools to meet student needs when possible.
- Reduced the number of color copies used in schools.
- Realigned job duties to achieve maximum efficiency with reduced staff.
- Found a way to convert 500 aging laptops to Chromebooks using CloudReady. (The conversion is expected to save the district more than $100,000 by not having to replace antiquated equipment).
- Solicited donations for school, classroom and curricular needs.
- Installed fleet maintenance software at the transportation center so that we can better monitor costs, maintain preventative maintenance schedules and create efficiencies by tracking parts and inventory.
As we move forward, we will continue to watch the bottom line and work hard to provide a high quality education that empowers students for success in a dynamic world without breaking the bank or the backs of our residents.
Our Board of Education recently demonstrated that desire by agreeing to lower the district’s annual levy request to 2.75 percent -- nearly half the amount sought in previous years. Even though the amount is significantly less than the 5 percent sought in past years, we believe we can meet our student and staff demands while achieving the same results.
With the help of our generous (and hardworking) Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs) as well as the newly established charitable foundation (The Future Ready Student Foundation), we hope to continue to expand our STEAM labs at Homer Junior High and Hadley Middle School. The labs, which are quickly becoming a favorite among students, challenge young minds to plan, design, build and implement projects using various types of technologies.
Our students are learning how to upload coded instructions, build objects with 3D printers and design roller coasters. The advanced nature of our program has captured the attention of surrounding school districts. Educators from Homewood School District 153 recently stopped in to see our students and teachers at work.
As you can see, we have a lot to be proud of in Homer 33C. Thank you parents, community leaders and residents for giving us the tools and resources to Prepare Future Ready Students. None of this would be possible without you.
Dr. Kara Coglianese
Dr. Kara Coglianese is a transformative leader and communicator who brought her expertise in 21st century learning and fiscal responsibility to Homer 33C in 2014 when she was named Superintendent. She came to 33C from St. George School District 258 in Bourbonnais, IL where she was the Superintendent for three years. Prior to that, she was the Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum at Fremont School District 79 (2009-2011), Director of Learning at Wheeling School District 21 (2004-2009) and Curriculum Specialist for Prospect Heights School District 23 (2001-2004). She was a classroom teacher for 15 years teaching first, fourth and fifth grades. In addition, she was an adjunct professor at National Louis University where she taught graduate students in curriculum and instruction pedagogy.
Dr. Coglianese is credited with being a visionary whose financially innovative efforts to streamline operations while increasing efficiencies and maximizing savings has earned her Financial Recognition by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). She has published several works, including her dissertation on “Bridging Cultural Borders” and articles on “Video-based training; How has it changed?” and “Persuasive communication transcends diversity” for Training Today Magazine, a publication produced by the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD). More recently, Dr. Coglianese wrote an article on “The Ten Do’s for Effective Board Meetings,” which was published by The Illinois School Board Journal.
The innovative school administrator has been a frequent presenter at educational conferences across the country, including the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA) Conference in Springfield; the National Staff Development Council (NSDC) Learning Forward National Conference in Anaheim, Calif.; the National Staff Development Council (HSDC) National Conference in Orlando, Fla.; the Professional Development Schools National Conference in Orlando, Fla.; and the Illinois Association for Gifted Children in Chicago. She was described by IASA Field Service Director Gary Ziebilka as “... the strongest presenter that I have ever seen.”
Dr. Coglianese received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from National-Louis University in Lombard, her Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from National-Louis and her Advanced Certification from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. She went on to receive her Doctorate in 2011 from Roosevelt University in Schaumburg. She is a student-centered and community focused educator with high expectations for students and staff. She’s also active in the community, serving on the United Way of Will County Board and the Future Ready Student Education Foundation.
Since joining the Homer 33C family, Dr. Coglianese has intensified the District’s efforts to prepare students for the 21st century by introducing a full-day kindergarten program and developing a 1:1 Chromebook initiative, equipping every student (starting in grade 4) with Chromebooks and other learning tools to build their critical thinking skills, expand their communication skills and become independent problem solvers. She is an expert in data-driven results and works hard with teachers and staff to develop technology innovations for engaged learning. Under her leadership, the District installed STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) labs at Homer Junior High and Hadley Middle School and began teaching keyboarding to every third grader. It’s all part of the District’s new initiative, Preparing Future Ready Students.
She lives in Frankfort with her husband and children.