Community Focus Group

Meeting #2

March 10, 2010, 7:00 a.m.
Board Room, Lincoln Education Center
Galesburg, Illinois


Samuel Sudhakar, Sarl Sandburg College, VP of Admin Services & CIO
Jim Rich, Carl Sandburg College, Dean of Adult & Devel. Education
Salvador Garza, Mayor, Galesburg, Illinois
John Polillo, Dick Blick, Vice President of Operations
Nicki Hurlbutt, Director, Human Resources, OSF St. Mary Medical Center
Dr. Maury Lyon, Director, Bright Futures Pre-School
Patricia Miller, Library/Media Specialist, Gale & Steele Elementary Schools
Ken Exum, Galesburg Register Mail
Gwen Wells,
D205 Teacher
Nielson Elementary
Mike Miller, D205 Teacher, GHS Math Dept. Chair
Cheryl Geitner, University of Illinois Extension Office
Mindie Ritchie, Career & Tech Ed Counselor, Galesburg Area Vocational Center
Dr. Gene Denisar, Superintendent
Joel Estes, Asst. Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction
Rick Lawsha, CUSD #205 DIrector of Technology

Matt Jacobson, District Technology & Learning Coordinator



Presentation Questions
What is done prior to enrollment in GAVC? (I3) (
*Much is done, but more could be done
*Materials shared with 5th graders, Presentations made in elementary/middle grades
*Funding concerns: Waiting list "bottleneck" - many are interested, but having to reduce staff due to State budget cuts
*Outreach to Regional resources? Area of focus in the future
*Further professional development needed in areas of Career & Technical Education (CTE)

Community Wish List:
*Utilize Dark Fiber
*CTE Professional Development
*Funding Resources: Workforce Investment (Federal)
*Local resources for funding (auto dealers, etc.)
*In-kind donations
*Global Education
*Green projects
*Working with 5th graders, etc.

Next Meeting

Mid- to Late-May, 2010

Meeting #1

January 25, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Board Room, Lincoln Education Center
Galesburg, Illinois

Samuel Sudhakar,
Carl Sandburg College,
VP of Administrative
Services and CIO
Jim Rich,
Carl Sandburg College
Dean of Adult & Devel. Ed.
John Polillo,
Dick Blick,
Vice President of Operations
Pam Van Kirk,
Galesburg Public Library
David Pearson,
Funeral Home
Rick Lawsha,
District Technology
John Shelly,
Silas Willard Elementary
Cheryl Geitner, Univ. of
Illinois Extension
Dr. Maury Lyon, Director,
Bright Futures Pre-School
Nicki Hurlbutt,
OSF St. Mary's Hospital
Dir. of Human Resources
Eileen Inness,
Cottage Hospital
Dir. of Marketing &
Public Relations
Gwen Wells,
D205 Teacher
Nielson Elementary
Marilyn Achelpohl,
D205 Teacher and
DTC Member
Tricia Miller,
D205 Teacher
& DTC Member
Joel Estes;
Asst. Superintendent
for Curric & Instruc.
Matt Jacobson,
District Tech Curric.
& Prof. Devel. Coord.


Agenda Items w/Discussion
Please note: The comments below are personal opinions, paraphrased and edited for length.

Share the Vision: Short & Long Term Goals

Focus Question #1 & Discussion
"What do students need to know: *For college preparation *For advanced studies*To ensure employability in today's hob market/economy (and tomorrow's as well)?
  • Basic curriculum approach does not engage and interest students enough. Teach Math while using Excel. Teaching Writing while using Word, etc.
  • Reading and comprehension are still key, however. There are students (traditional and non-traditional) taking college courses now who cannot read at an 8th grade level.
  • Students need to exhibit INNOVATION (the ability to solve problems creatively) and AGILITY (ability to adapt to changing conditions) to be successful in tomorrow's world. They need to be able to adapt to problems that don't even exist yet, and be able to solve them through creativity and collaboration.
  • Know how is what we look for in entry-level positions. People who can think beyond that are promotable.
  • A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE is crucial. Foreign language instruction, World History and World Culture courses, etc. are essential.
  • Working together, in an intergenerational workplace, in an efficient and effective way is key in tomorrow's workplace.
  • Technology is a tool, not a cure. Schools should capitalize on student interest to develop curricula and critical thinking skills. Teachers and parents should learn to recognize that "playing games" (depending on the game) can actually help teach kids valuable problem-solving skills.
  • You don't really have to teach the programs to today's learners. Today's learners need to learn how interact - with each other, with technology, and with the world. Anything you do online today is interaction, and it's public.
  • Kids and prospective employees need to learn "professional register" and ethics, how to conduct and participate in meetings professionally, and the difference between what one does during personal time vs. what one does during professional time. Using Web 2.0 tools (social media, blogs, etc.) appropriately is very important.
  • Using data (not just entering data in a spreadsheet) is essential. 90% of students enter college knowing how to use Word, but less that 50% know Excel. Please promote Excel at high school.
  • CSC Study indicates that completing at least one computer/Internet course was one of the top 5 predictors of success in completing college.
  • Survey data and our discussion showed that far more males that females participate in technology classes. Look for ways to promote gender equity, and encourage more female students to participate in technology classes like Web Design, etc.

Focus Question #2 & Discussion
"What are our current community and district resources?"
  • Public LIbrary: Lab available with after school/evening instuction
  • CSC: Give more exposure to CSC/Knox in middle school and high school (tours, workshops, etc.)
  • Ed Tech Center at Sanburg Mall
  • Career Fairs
  • U of I Extension courses

Focus Question #3 & Discussion
"How can we tap into the expertise present in the district and community to provide mutual support to our children?"
  • Goodwill offers free online courses in technology skills and other areas
  • Illinois Extension courses in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), Science Sleepovers, Farm Days
  • Tuition Reimbursement Programs through OSF
  • Develop partnerships with local businesses
  • LEGO Robotics League

Other Information
Mr. Estes noted the inherent value in this group's mission to the District and suggested the group meet again. The group may meet again at least once, and discussion of making this a standing committee with regular meeting times will be a part of that meeting.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Breakfast Meeting
Board Room @ Lincoln Education Center