Diamond Edge February 2024 Edition

Elementary Principal of the Year

Congratulations to Dr. Erica Berger, Principal of Diamond Lake School who was awarded the 2024 Illinois Principals Association Lake Region's Elementary Principal of the Year. This esteemed recognition is a testament to Dr. Berger's unwavering dedication, passionate service and exceptional leadership. We are so proud of her and grateful for the Service, Passion, Advocacy, Respect, Kindness, Love, Equity, Opportunity, Nurture that she exemplifies each day at D76.

Diamond Awards

Congratulations to Spencer Kibbler and Karen Gonzalez who were recently nominated and presented with the Diamond Award at our February 20th Board of Education meeting.


At the 2.7.23 Board of Education meeting, the School Board received a number of updates regarding student growth on our assessments. The link to the presentation can be found here. One of our goals and priorities is for every student to show positive growth on the STAR test in ELA and math from the fall to the spring. We were pleased to share that an extremely high percentage of students have already made positive growth from fall to winter as a result of initiatives at each school. The students showing growth include students in accelerated classes, our English Language Learners and students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).

The Dual Language Leadership Team recently reviewed the AAPPL assessment given to 6th-8th grade Dual Language program students this past December. The team was pleased to see that, by the middle of 8th grade, students are scoring at or above the national average in Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking in Spanish.

Summer School basic information was sent electronically to families earlier in February. Summer school will be free to all K-8 students. Summer School will run from Monday through Friday from June 3rd to June 28th. There will be no school June 19th in observance of Juneteenth. School hours will be 8:00am to 11:30am each day. Busing will be provided. Registration information will be sent to families in the near future.

Recently students, parents and staff took the survey for Marzano High Reliability Schools (HRS) Framework Level 2 Certification. We were awarded Level 1 certification in December. By following the HRS framework, each school has a long-term strategic planning guide with certification levels that build on one another. This extremely rigorous process helps ensure each school is consistently concentrating on effective areas of school operation. Schools will apply for certification for each of the following levels, and once certified, will move on to the next level. The levels are:

  • Safe, Supportive and Collaborative Culture - COMPLETED
  • Effective Teaching in Every Classroom - IN PROCESS
  • Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum
  • Standards-Referenced Reporting
  • Competency-Based Education


Financial Dashboard

In an effort to be as transparent as possible to community members, the District 76 business office has an interactive financial dashboard on its website so you can see financial information and data month-by-month and by quarter. Each month is broken down by revenues and expenditures and presents how spending, salaries, and benefits are compared to the district’s budget. It also has historical information so you can see in real-time how the district has performed. We remain fiscally responsible, prioritize making the best use of taxpayer dollars and are proud to tell our financial story.


What is Generative AI?

Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence that focuses on creating new content, data, or solutions. Unlike traditional AI, which analyzes and interprets existing information, generative AI can GENERATE entirely new, original outputs. This can include things like: text generation, image creation, music composition, speech synthesis, video generation, personalized learning, automation tasks, etc.

How does D76 Approach AI?

D76 sets comprehensive standards for its team on the core implementation of generative AI, which covers a wide range of aspects including ethical utilization, data privacy safeguards, professional growth, teaching techniques, customized education, innovation, and the development of educational materials. Additionally, these guidelines highlight the foundational benefits of generative AI for educators, emphasizing its potential to enhance teaching efficiency, support differentiated instruction, stimulate creative problem-solving, provide access to a wealth of instant resources, and enable the design of engaging, personalized learning experiences for students. This initiative not only prepares educators to navigate the evolving technological landscape but also equips them with the tools to significantly enrich the learning environment, making education more adaptive, inclusive, and innovative.

Does my student use generative AI?

Currently, we are concentrating on the foundational development of our educators to ensure they have sufficient time, support, and learning opportunities. As generative AI components continue to evolve and increasingly integrate into common applications, their usage is not yet anticipated. In fact, the majority of these applications have been restricted until D76 reaches a stage where generative AI can be comprehensively incorporated into teaching and learning practices.

Student Services

There have been two topics addressed in SparkleOn in Seconds. Trauma Informed Practices enhances understanding of social and emotional learning with a focus on trauma-informed practices. It includes strategies and tips on how trauma impacts health, the meaning of being trauma-informed, and effective trauma-informed strategies. A key aspect is the crucial role of self-care for those supporting individuals affected by trauma. The aim is to educate and empower our community to create a supportive environment for trauma-impacted individuals.

Parental Involvement enhances understanding of social and emotional learning with a focus on parental involvement strategies. It includes strategies and tips ranging from at home routines through celebrations.

The short videos are available on our district website Parent University page, along with other helpful presentations.


  • March 4, 2024: Late Start for Students
  • March 5, 2024: Board of Education Meeting
  • March 15, 2024: DLS Little Diamonds Preschool Screening
  • March 19, 2024: Board of Education Meeting
  • March 21, 2024: Early Dismissal for Students
  • March 21, 2024: Parent Teacher Conferences
  • March 22, 2024: Teacher Institute Day (No School)
  • March 25 - April 1: Spring Break (No School)


Diamond Lake District 76
Diamond Lake District 76