House Fire | Downtown Streetscape Improvements | $10 Million Grant

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House Fire

A house fire in Naperville this morning has left five people and their dog displaced. The Naperville Fire Department responded to the home in the 1100 block of Langley Circle around 5:40 a.m. Crews found fire and extreme smoke coming from the basement. All residents and their dog made it out safely after being alerted by their smoke detectors. No one was injured. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Downtown Streetscapes

The City of Naperville’s Transportation, Engineering and Development (TED) department and the Downtown Naperville Alliance (DNA) hosted an open house last night to showcase the final renderings of Downtown Naperville streetscape improvement plans. The project, which is set to start March 1, will initially renovate Main Street between Jefferson and Jackson avenues, as well as Jefferson Avenue between Main and Webster streets. It will improve pedestrian traffic by widening sidewalks, facelift the area with new landscaping, and replace a water main that’s over 100 years old. The DNA said all businesses in the construction zone will stay open with full access throughout the construction. The project will be done in phases, with improvements also slated for Jackson Avenue and Webster Street. The majority of the work is expected to be complete by the end of August.

D203 COVID-19 Mitigation Update

Last night, Naperville School District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges provided a COVID-19 mitigation update at the school board meeting. He said the current plan for the district is to continue to strongly recommend masks based on District 203 COVID metrics and to continue the district’s layered mitigation strategies. Moving forward, the district will monitor indicators rather than individual trigger points to decide whether to adjust their mitigation plans. Primary indicators they’ll be looking at are active case counts in each school building, as well as the community transmission rate. Other indicators taken into account will be vaccine availability and local hospitalization rates. The plan is to address spikes and trends by each school, rather than changes district-wide. Beginning next week, the COVID-19 dashboard found on the district website will reflect these indicators so families can monitor how each school is doing on a weekly basis. Another update will be presented to the board on March 7.

Student Data Update

District 203 administration provided an update on the academic and social-emotional well being of students. Data shows overall achievement and growth for K-8 students are “well above average” compared to the national norm. MAP Growth results show reading and math numbers are moving back up to pre-pandemic numbers. The district also conducted a 2021 Panorama Student Perception SEL survey. Students in grades 3-12 were asked about topics including teacher-student relationships and sense of belonging. Numbers show teacher-student relationships ranked 76% favorable for students grades 3-5 and 67% for grades 6-12. 71% feel a sense of belonging in grades 3-5, compared to 48% for 6-12. District administration said one way they plan to address low numbers is by supporting schools to set goals and priorities.

$10 Million Grant

Yesterday the DuPage County Board presented a $10.6 million dollar check to the DuPage Foundation, to launch the new DuPage County Transformation Partnership. The county board is partnering with the foundation for the initiative in allocating funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). $10 million of that will be used as grant money to support nonprofits that are helping DuPage County residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. $600,000 will be used for administration of the funds over the next five years.