Volume 29 | March 8, 2017
News from the February Board Meeting
The State of District 28
  Superintendent Dr. Larry Hewitt provided an overview of the District in his annual “State of 28” presentation. Highlights include:


The District is challenged by a low Consumer Price Index, which controls how much the District can collect in property tax revenue. Local revenue accounts for 95 percent of the District’s revenues. Other financial challenges include low investment income, and State Legislature uncertainty: state revenue is 3 percent of the District’s revenues, and Springfield can impact the District by prorating aide and delaying payments. The District is seeing some growth in revenues from new developments. 


Overall enrollment has been fairly consistent over the past ten years. New development may impact Meadowbrook School, where 791 housing units have been approved for construction. 

The size of the student body has remained stable over the last ten years, but there is an increasing number of English Learners (see chart) and students qualifying for gifted and talented programming.

Educational Initiatives

Among the accomplishments in 2016-17:

  • Pilot of Standards-Based Reporting in elementary grades and junior high electives.
  • Implementation of full-day kindergarten with an afternoon discovery learning component.
  • Launch of Next Generation Science Standards, which focus on hands-on learning.
  • Launch of New Literacy Studio curriculum, which emphasizes combining writing and reading.
  • Formed a new committee, the 21st Century Learning Committee, which is studying innovative teaching and learning, conducting a self-assessment, and making recommendations.
New Assistant Superintendent Named

Dr. Raitzer Comes on Board After Dr. Horvath Retires

Dr. Kristin Raitzer has been appointed Assistant Superintendent effective July 1, replacing retiring Assistant Superintendent Dr. Kathy Horvath.

Dr. Raitzer comes to Northbrook with a broad background in education, holding leadership positions in Minneapolis, MN; Louisville, KY; Zion and St. Charles.

Read more About Dr. Raitzer
Board Briefs
New Bus Contract Locks in Rates

A new joint transportation agreement among all Northfield Township elementary school districts and District 225 will provide greater continuity of service for families. 

First Student, the current bus company serving the District, was the only company to offer a bid. The company is facing increased costs in labor and fleet upkeep, resulting in a 17 percent rate increase for 2017-18, and three percent rate increases the following two years, said Jessica Donato, Chief School Business Official. The joint agreement will allow the bus company to pair routes between elementary and high school routes for the greatest savings.

Gym Floor Update For Westmoor School

Architects have received the go-ahead to draft construction documents and specifications to replace the gym floor at Westmoor School with a wood floor this summer.

The work is part of the District’s long-range improvement plan. The upgrade was delayed until after the addition at Westmoor was complete because the gym had been used for storage during construction. The project should be ready for bids in about three weeks. If approved, construction would take place over the summer. 

Happenings Around the District
Drama Teacher Named
Golden Apple Finalist

Northbrook Junior High Drama teacher David Downing is one of 34 finalists for The Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching in the state of Illinois.

A veteran educator, he has worked at Northbrook Junior High for 10 years. He is a teacher leader who has served on numerous school-wide and district-wide committees. 

“I like to think that I teach life skills,” Downing said. “You’ve got to be able to communicate effectively face-to-face to have success in life. You have to be confident and comfortable with how you communicate.”

Read more about Mr. Downing

NBJH Presents 'Shrek Jr.'

Northbrook Junior High presents 'Shrek Jr.'  at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday Mach 9 and 10 and at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 11. Tickets can be purchased at the door.
Student Advances to State GeoBee

Will Erens made it past 14 schoolmates in Northbrook Junior High’s first-ever GeoBee in February, and breezed through the state qualifying online test. His next challenge will be at the state contest on March 31 in Normal, IL. Read More
Gear Up for HOH 5K

Join in the family fun May 6 by participating or volunteering for the Homer O. Harvey 5K-Fun Run/Walk-Obstacle Course. Last year, the event raised over $7,000 for college scholarships to Northbrook Junior High alumni. 

There’s something for everyone: Race for your personal best time or enjoy a run-walk with friends and family. Awards are given for overall male & female runners and for age groups ranging from first grade to 60 and over. Afterward, there is an obstacle course for children ages 11 and under. 

Registration opens in April. Contact Paulagkolar@gmail.com for more information. 


District 28’s official hashtag! You can search the hashtag on Twitter or Facebook to monitor posts from teachers, administrators and the district accounts. This hashtag helps us tell the story of Teaching, Learning and Caring in District 28.