Culture Overview

  • Edward T. Hall states that culture is primarily a system for creating, sending, storing and processing information. Communication underlies everything; therefore, culture encompasses any organization’s values, mores, behaviors, and assumptions. Organizational culture shapes the context for new organizational members; how people and groups interact with each other and with stakeholders. It directly impacts how people think, perceive and feel about an organization. In District 49, our vision is to be the best choice in public education. We envision a future when every time a student, parent, or educator chooses a school district, we are the best choice they can make. We have a mission to learn, work and lead. Our commitment is to be the best place to learn, to work, and to lead. Every day, we create environments so that everyone associated with the district is always learning, working, and leading us to be the best. Our culture is integral to achieving our vision and mission.


    Cultural Compass


    A compass is an important navigational aid. It helps to find our heading; it guides in the right direction. When off course, it can be used to get back on track. A compass tells nothing about the speed of movement however, only the direction of travel.

    District 49’s cultural compass provides the intended bearing to students, parents, and staff; how we treat each other and our work. We use the compass to orient us as an organization and as individuals in our execution of the ‘Six Big Rocks’ of our strategic priorities. The heart of the compass rose guides our actions in how we relate to and treat each other.

    We respect others for their abilities, qualities and achievements.
    We promote trust in our relationships through honest and open communication
    We provide a safe and caring environment for students and staff
    We hold ourselves accountable for our actions

    The outer face of the compass rose guides us in how we treat our work.

    We model continuous learning to encourage life-long learners

    We ensure all decisions align with the ‘Six Big Rocks’

    We encourage risk taking by supporting creative exploration of new ideas and strategies
    We embrace working together to achieve effective results for our students and community


    As our guiding paradigm, the cultural compass creates an atmosphere of camaraderie shared perspective. Maintaining a principle-centered vector to relationships and work increases the cultural capacity of the organization, making District 49 the best district to learn, work and lead.