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Back-to-School Q&A: DGN Principal Talks Student Achievement, School Pride

Patch sat down with North Principal Scott Kasik earlier this week to discuss what's ahead for the upcoming school year.

Monday marked the first day of school in , where administrators spent the summer planning new goals and initiatives for the upcoming year.

Last week, Patch sat down with the principals of  and  to discuss what's in store for each school, and what parents should know as their children head back to class.

Today, we feature a brief Q&A with North Principal Scott Kasik.

PATCH: What are your main goals or areas of focus for the 2012-13 school year?

KASIK: One of our ongoing goals in student growth. We want to be seeing upward student achievement. We feel good about the growth we've had in the past few years, in terms of test scores and AP exams. We want to continue to raise the bar and further student growth.

PATCH: What challenges do you anticipate facing this year?

KASIK: I think the biggest challenge we have is closing the achievement gap between our students. We know which groups need extra support, so we're focused on helping them and accelerating their learning.

PATCH: What things are you most looking forward to as the school year begins?

KASIK: I'm just looking forward to having the kids back in school. It's been a busy summer, so its exciting to get started. We have a lot of activities planned this fall—football, homecoming, plays, pep rallies. They're all things that enhance school spirit and foster a sense of pride in the Downers Grove North community, which is important to us. We've made some nice gains recently in enhancing the overall culture of the school. We want our students and parents to be excited to be part of it. 

PATCH: How can parents get more involved at DGN?

KASIK: We have great parents here, so there are a number of ways to get involved. We have a parent club, booster clubs and all of that, but it's also important to be involved in your student's academic experience. Parents should be checking grades and getting to know the teachers, going to our open house and taking advantage of things like our monthly coffee get-together. A key part of a student's success in school is the partnership we have with the parents, so we want to continue to work on that.

PATCH: Are there any other new programs this year that you're particularly excited about?

KASIK: We do have a new college/career center through our guidance department that will assist our upperclassmen as they start thinking about what they're going to do after high school. It's a great program that provides students with a lot of resources.

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