Community engagement and events is central to the strategic communication plan for District 91 schools. At a school board meeting on Oct. 10, Scott Dunnell, public relations and communications director for D91, gave a presentation on goals and achievements for fiscal year 2019 as well as goals for 2020.

“We want District 91 to really be a part of the bigger Forest Park community, and we want to engage residents,” said Dunnell.

Plans include a new D91 newsletter, which will be distributed to all residences and businesses in Forest Park twice a year. The first edition of “Connections,” to be released at the end of October, will focus on the district-wide math initiative and will include interviews and editorials with administrators, board of education members, teachers and math coaches.

The goal is to reach a wider Forest Park audience to communicate successes and goals of the district. This plan extends to Engage Café, which was instituted in 2019 as an opportunity for community members to meet D91 board members. A goal for 2020 is to “refine the Engage Café concept to encourage more community participation.” 

This year’s Engage Café will be held on Nov. 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the second floor of the Park District of Forest Park’s main building. Pizza will be served, and National Junior Honor Society members will provide childcare and activities. It’s an opportunity for residents — not just parents — to talk to board members and ask questions about the school district.

Chilly Chili Nite will be held again as part of Forest Park’s annual holiday walk, and senior outreach is planned for the spring, including performances at the Forest Park Community Center or for Kiwanis clubs and veteran groups.

Outreach goes beyond the Forest Park boundaries, too, through Project Kindness, an upcoming collaboration with River Forest’s District 90.