Message from the Superintendent
The last two months of school are always a whirlwind of activity. Music Concerts celebrating the fun work and learning the students have been doing in their general music, band and orchestra classes, Culture Nights celebrating the diversity that exists in our district, Art Shows hosted both locally and outside of the district and of course the variety of end of year celebrations that occur at each of our schools. Amidst all of these capstone events, teaching and learning is continuing in our schools. Walk through the halls on any given day and you will hear conversations about numbers and numeracy in our math classes-Math Talk is a key part of helping kids not only memorize the math facts, but also understand and utilize those facts in applications in math and science. Walk to the Science Center and see our students building, creating, and molding in a hands-on science lab that is geared to build on the natural scientific curiosity of our children.
Prior to break, I had the pleasure of sitting in on Mrs. Wolf's Northwestern University FUSE STEM Class at Park Junior High. If ever you were worried about the future and what our kids are thinking about, you need to sit in on Genius Hour presentation day. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. I am going to brag about one student, but I could say this about the variety of presentations that I saw that hour. One student, who I often see in the halls and saw at the District STEM Expo in March, showed me the most amazing computerized LED project that she had worked on. It was incredible! Her face lit up when she was telling me about her project, how her dad does different things with electricity, lighting, etc., but she seriously could be programming lighting displays for rock concerts and musicals based on her knowledge of Arduino controllers, her attention to detail and her passion for what she created. I saw her later in the hall and she was still carrying the small box that held this amazingly simple concept that she had turned into a lighting masterpiece. I don't know what she will do with her gift as she grows up. She has an amazing talent that shouldn't go untapped as she gets ready to enter high school.
But she is just one of the many students who have connected their learning to areas of passion throughout our district. As we continue to build opportunities for students, in the school day and outside of the school day, we have great opportunities to connect the sciences, technologies, engineering and math with the arts, humanities, and kinesiology. The learning that I saw from the students that day in presenting their projects at Park, demonstrated an ability to delve more deeply into subjects that exploit our children's interest. As we look to provide equitable opportunities for students that may not have the access to various exploratory options on their own, I will never forget the inspiration I left with in watching a group of junior high students, and in particular one student with an Arduino controller, and the energy they emitted when they talked about their learning.
Snow Make-Up Day on Monday, April 23rd
Due to the Snow Day on Friday, February 9, the make-up day for students will be on Monday, April 23, replacing the Teacher Institute Day.
SCHOOL WILL BE IN SESSION ON
MONDAY, APRIL 23.
Teaching and Learning Department
Teaching & Learning Website - Update
- In case you have not noticed, the Teaching and Learning Department website (click here) is under construction and working to add new features, information and opportunities to learn more about curriculum and instruction practices in D102. While there is much still to do and much more yet to come, we have been adding new and updated information weekly. Our hope is to have a fully stocked and revamped website by the Fall of 2018. Stay tuned!
Summer Professional Development for Staff
- Once school is out, teachers hit the books! We will again have several professional learning opportunities for staff happening throughout the summer. Mary McBride and Ellen Meyer will be back to provide Structured Word Inquiry training to any K-8 classroom teacher who had not already received this training last summer. Mary and Ellen will also host a special training for elementary interventionists to learn more deeply how SWI can be used to support students in the intervention setting. In August, we will also host an initial SWI training for any new staff to the district and be offering a 30-hour Level 1 Orton-Gillingham certification course for any K-2 classroom teachers, interventionists, coaches, new administrators and special education teachers who have not already had this intensive training. Building Social Emotional Learning (SEL) teams will also have a chance to be together to do some learning and planning as well as some time dedicated to Science Unit Development and a kick-off to our Social Studies Curriculum Review work as well. There are many other opportunities happening as well as we wrap up this school year and getting ready for the next one.
Special Education Department
It appears that winter intends to linger around a little more, so I hope your spring break allowed you opportunities for rest, relaxation and maybe a little sunshine.
April is National Autism Awareness Month! I have included several links for information on autism, one of which, Autism Speaks, is an organization that is dedicated to advancing research into causes and better treatments for autism spectrum disorders. Much of this is accomplished through fundraising and collaboration with community groups. Links to the Autism Society of America and the Autism Research Institute are also available.
The color for Autism Awareness Month is blue, and on April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Day, organizations around the world promote this day with the campaign to "Light It Up Blue". I encourage you to explore the links included to raise awareness and increase understanding of autism spectrum disorders.
LaGrange School District 102 offers a continuum of services to meet the needs of our special education students. I would like to highlight and give special recognition to the teachers and related service personnel currently providing services for students in our Connections programs.
Claire Fleming (Teacher),
Amy Kalas (Speech and Language),
Dr. Justin Zelenka (Physical Therapist),
Joyce Kalsch (Occupational Therapist),
Rebecca Tatarre (Social Worker), Thomasina Hamilton (Paraprofessional), Bonnie Stern (Paraprofessional), Charlotte Slattery (Paraprofessional)
Forest Road Staff
Lorie Reyes and Nicole Skiniotes (Teachers),
Sarah Dolezal (Social Worker),
Emily Monteagudo and Mary T. Santucci (Speech and Language),
Kathryn Champagne (Occupational Therapist),
Dr. Justin Zelenka (Physical Therapist),
Andrea Guelfi (Paraprofessional),
Jane Uckerman (Paraprofessional),
Dahlia Vargas (Paraprofessional)
The Special Education Department was very fortunate to hear Dr. Paula Kluth speak during our RSD time on March 21st. Dr. Kluth is a well-known consultant, author, advocate and independent scholar who works with teachers and families to provide inclusive opportunities for students with disabilities. The goal of her approach and inclusive strategies is to create a more responsive and engaging experience for students. Dr. Kluth is a former special education teacher and inclusion facilitator.
She is the author and co-author of more than 15 books. The feedback from our staff on Dr. Kluth's presentation was extremely positive.
I have also included information from our district Occupational Therapist Team: Kathyrn Champagne, Dr. Risa Umeno, Joyce Kalsch, and Satyra Harris.
April is National Occupational Therapy Month! School based occupational therapy is a science-driven, evidenced based profession that enables students to successfully engage within their educational environment. Occupational therapy is defined as a related service and helps to support children to access their general education curriculum. District 102 occupational therapists collaborate with school teams, consult with teachers and parents, and work directly with students individually or in small groups. They may provide services related to adaptation of the physical environment, analyze habits and routines, improve seating posture, address visual motor integration and eye-hand coordination skills, and self-care needs such as feeding or managing clothing at school. Click here for tips and tricks regarding management of classroom tools, hand strengthening activities, and handwriting help provided by your District 102 occupational therapy team!
Dr. Joyce Powell
Assistant Superintendent for Special Education
District Committee Update
Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)
The Parent Advisory Committee met on March 12th and discussed the following topics: Dual Language Immersion, ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act and What it means for us), Equity Updates/Conversations and Structured Word Inquiry followup. The next meeting will be held April 16th at Cossitt at 7pm
Financial Advisory Committee (FAC)
The FAC met on March 8th. The committee reviewed the January 2018 Balance Sheet, Treasurer Report, and Cash Flow, 5 Year Projection, Student Fees, First Student Transportation contract extension 2018-19, Summary of Bond Indebtedness and 5 year Facility Plan. The next meeting is scheduled for April 24th at 6:30pm.
Committee for Equity and Minority Achievement (CEMA)
The CEMA Advisory Board met on March 13th. The committee members discussed a movie that was attended by several CEMA members entitled "How Jack Became Black", a documentary that discussed identity politics. A couple members discussed the option of screening the movie for members of the CEMA committee.
Summer Programs at District 102
District 102 offers a variety of summer programming options. The link to these exciting opportunities can be found on our district homepage or
. Be sure to visit the site often as more and more links have been added to "Aestiva 102". For additional information, please contact Dr. Randy Lange at
The DuSable Mobile Museum visited District 102 third grade students this week at each elementary building. The Mobile Museum is a traveling interactive exhibit from the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago. Students learned about explorer/entrepreneur Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable. DuSable is of African/French-Haitian heritage and is credited as being the first permanent settler of what would become Chicago, Illinois. A school, museum, harbor, park, and bridge have been named in his honor. The site where DuSable settled is now a National Historic Landmark near the mouth of the Chicago River.
Ogden Avenue School Welcomes Home
Paralympian and Ogden Avenue School alumnus Josh Misiewicz visited students on March 22 to show off his gold medal from the 2018 PyeongChang Paralympic Winter Games. Misiewicz participated on Team USA's Sled Hockey Team. The week of March 12 was declared Josh Misiewicz Week at Ogden and shout outs and celebrations on the school's Twitter account were featured all week. To read more please click the following link to a story in
Fine Arts Expo Celebrated Music, Poetry and Dance
What an amazing performance! Students from Congress Park, Forest Road and Park Junior High expressed their culture and heritage though the art of music and dance on March 15th at the
Expo de Arte Fina II.
District 102 Students Brave the Shave for St. Baldrick's
Heads may be cold but hearts are warm as a lot of green was raised for childhood cancer research as students from District 102 collected donations for the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Students from Ogden Avenue School and Forest Road School not only shaved strands off their melons at the St. Baldrick's event at the Max in McCook on March 16, but they also raked in a mind-blowing combined total of over $46,000.
At Ogden Avenue School, the "Do It For Dominic" team raised over $19,000 for St. Baldrick's, going well beyond their $5,000 goal. Ogden's Student Council sold Leprechaun packs, Lucky Charms and held "Race for the Case" (a fourth grade passion project come to life) raising $1,573. The 48 participants on the team helped to raise the funds and took part in the festivities at the Max.
Prior to the March 16 event, the top fundraising students from Forest Road School were eligible to shave the heads of several participating teachers on March 14. Students also helped fundraise by selling "Becca's Buddies/St. Baldrick's 2018" neon green sunglasses. Coined "The Forest Roaders" the team of students, staff and family members raised over $27,000, far surpassing their $20,000 goal, with over 60 participants. With this year and the last seven combined it puts the team at over $247,000 raised to help bring awareness for and find a cure for childhood cancer.
Innovation Day with Ogden and Congress Park
Last month, fourth graders from Ogden and Congress Park formed new friendships on their very own Innovation Day!
Over the course of several weeks, students from both schools used Google Docs to connect online. In partnerships and small groups, they brainstormed and planned a project that honored shared interests and passions. Then, on March 9th, Ogden fourth graders headed over to Congress Park for a day filled with creativity. The projects included animal rights campaigns, working catapults, giant robots, ways to prevent pollution, a 'take one/leave one' system for sharing school supplies, a vending machine that sold healthy food, research projects, and more!
The day also included get-to-know-you activities, a picnic lunch, and shared recess. As proud as the kids were of their finished projects, they were most excited about the friendships they made. It was a very special day for everyone involved!
7th Annual Earth Day Family Night
presented by the Science Center Parent Enrichment Council
Where does our stuff go when we throw it away?
Follow the Trail
Friday, April 20th (
6:30 - 8:00 pm)
Allen P. Zak Science Discovery Center
930 North Barnsdale, La Grange Park
No registration required
Your family is invited to explore the Science Center as we Follow the Trail from food scraps to compost, reuse clothing, and reduce plastic pollution.
* Seek ways to keep our garbage out of the landfill.
* Re-discover the materials that can be recycled in our communities.
* Learn about plastic pollution: what happens to what we cannot recycle?
* Follow the clothing trail; what are some good ways we or others can reuse our old clothes.
Bring an old t-shirt to make it into something new!
Mini Fundraiser Clothing Drive:
Bring in your clothing that you might otherwise throw away to be made into new cleaning textiles. Chicago Textile Company will pay us for the donations. All proceeds go to the Science Center Parent Enrichment Committee. Click on the links for more info from Chicago Textile about accepted recyclables:
Countdown to Run for 102 Race to the Finish 5K and Fun Run
The 4th Annual Run for 102 Race to the Finish will kick off on
Sunday, April 29 at 8:30 am
. The Run for 102 Race to the Finish is a 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run that travels a course through the beautiful residential neighborhood of La Grange Park. The start/finish line will be located at Ogden Avenue School in La Grange, on the east side, at Spring and Brewster Streets.
Race registration and information including volunteer opportunities can be found at
Please note that online registration will close on midnight Wednesday, April 25
. Registration forms can also be submitted during packet pick-up and on Race Day. Race Day registration will be located by the start/finish line and available from 7:30-8:00 am.
All registrants will receive a t-shirt if registration is completed by Friday, April 13
Volunteers are a critical element that make the Run for 102 successful. For information about volunteering, please please visit the website at
. A variety of volunteer roles and time slots are still available.
At the end of the race, medals are awarded in each school grade and top male and female categories. All Fun Run 1-Mile finishers will receive a commemorative medal. The awards ceremony will take place immediately following the event at approximately 9:45 am. This is a great community event that brings together all of the district schools in a fun environment.
PIMA Fundraisers in April
PIMA has a few opportunities in April for you to get out and enjoy yourselves while raising money for PIMA! PIMA's fundraising helps with instrument rental assistance, purchasing instruments for band and orchestra, field trips, camp scholarships and so much more.
Friday, April 13th (TONIGHT):
"Pints for PIMA" at Buckle Down Brewing
8700 W. 47th St., Lyons, from 5-10pm
"The Pigs" cover band will be performing and there will be a special appearance by District 102 music directors. The "Twisted Classics" food truck will have some great food available. Buckle Down will kindly donate $1 to PIMA for every pint purchased. Get your wristband when you walk in.
Thursday, April 26th:
"Shopping Day" at Vintage Charm
729 W. Hillgrove Ave., LaGrange, from 10am-7pm
Come shop for so many different occasions: Mother's Day, confirmation, graduation, birthdays, teacher's gifts just to name a few! Bring the
with you OR be sure to mention PIMA! 10% of your purchase goes towards PIMA.
Thursday, April 26th:
"Wine Out" at Steak + Vine
37 South La Grange Rd., LaGrange, 5-9pm
Enjoy wine, appetizers, or anything else you have an appetite for! Rumor has it that PIMA might have a trio or two of live music playing that evening. Bring in the
OR just mention PIMA. 15% of your purchase goes towards PIMA.
Parent Community Network Event: Kindness is Contagious
Join PCN for a 60 minute film screening followed by a brief panel discussion led by students and members from School Districts 101, 102, 105, 106, 107 and 204 as we explore how to work together to create a bully-free, lower stress, kinder community.
Kindness Is Contagious
profiles cutting-edge scientists and best-selling authors from Berkeley to Harvard and everywhere in between as well as real life people from all walks of life whose lives illustrate their incredible discovery: that kindness is contagious.
Thursday, April 19th
7:00 - 8:30pm
Lyons Township High School - South Campus (PAC)
The event is free but registration is required. Register
4th Annual WSCAE Student Art Expo Scheduled for April 28
On Saturday, April 28, artwork from 66 student artists from District 102 will be on display as part of the West Suburban Consortium for Academic Excellence (WSCAE) 4th annual Student Art Expo. This free event takes places at Cheney Mansion (220 N. Euclid Avenue) in Oak Park and is open from 10:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. More than 525 pieces of artwork created by local elementary and middle school students from 15 school districts will be on display.
During the event, student artists will discuss their creations with the general public, and get input on the pieces from a number of local professional artists. There will also be live demonstrations led by the Oak Park Art League, and a chance for attendees to show their support for the students by sending them "fan mail" that highlights what they like best about their work.
Please plan to stop by and support our student artists from Park, Ogden, Congress Park, Cossitt and Forest Road! For more information, please visit
Dates to Remember
(Please visit a school or the
for additional dates.)
April 3-24: Congress Park Student Council Pennies for Patients
April 9-May 13: Ogden Student Council Pennies for Paws Fundraiser
April 13: Family Spaghetti Dinner and Game Night, Congress Park,
Ogden PTC Quiz Night, Community House (Hinsdale), 7pm
April 14: Forest Road Progressive Dinner, 7pm
April 16: Parent Advisory Committee, Cossitt, 7pm
April 17: Forest Road Spring Concert, 7pm
8th Grade Graduation Pictures
April 18: 2018-19 Kindergarten Visitation Day at Ogden, 3:15pm
2018-19 Kindergarten Visitation Day at Barnsdale, 3:15pm
2018-19 Kindergarten Visitation Day at Congress Park, 3:15pm
2018-19 Kindergarten Visitation Day at Cossitt, 3pm
April 19: Annual Spring Concert (Jazz, Prelude and Chorus), PJHS Auditorium, 7pm
Kindness is Contagious (by Parent Community Network), LT South Campus (PAC), 7pm
April 20: Science Center Earth Day Program, 6:30pm
April 22: Earth Day
April 23: Student Attendance Day Due to Snow Day Make Up
April 24: Ogden Success Night (& 5th Grade Energy Fair), 6pm
Dine Out at Culvers in Lyons for Congress Park PTO, 5-8pm
April 25: Park Fest, Park Jr. High, 6:30pm
Congress Park Open House, 6pm
April 27: Arbor Day
April 28: WSCAE Student Art Expo, Cheney Mansion (Oak Park), 10am-4:30pm
April 29: Run for 102 Race to the Finish, 8:30am
May 1: Spring Band Concert I (Advanced, Concert and Jazz Bands), PJHS Auditorium, 7pm
May 2: NUMATS Awards Ceremony, Park Jr. High, 7pm
May 3: Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 7pm
Spring Band Concert II (Beginning, Intermediate and Jazz Bands), PJHS Auditorium, 7pm
La Grange School District 102 | 708-482-2400 | 333 N. Park Road |
La Grange Park, IL 60526 |