Our 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 ‘Five Big Rocks’ of our strategic plan.

    The heart of the compass rose guides our actions in how we relate to and treat each other.Cultural Compass

    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 ‘Five 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.

    Mix It Up at Lunch Day

    Mix It Up at Lunch Day is a national campaign launched by Teaching Tolerance over a decade ago, which encourages students to identify, question and cross social boundaries. In surveys, students identified cafeterias as the place where divisions are most clearly drawn. So ,for one day a school year, students are asked to move out of their comfort zones and connect with someone new over lunch. It’s a simple act with profound implications. Studies have shown that interactions across group lines can help reduce prejudice. When students interact with those who are different from them, biases and misperceptions can fall away. Watch Video