February 2018
Message from the Superintendent

To Kill a Mockingbird has many oft-quoted sayings.  One that stuck in my mind recently was the quote by Scout, reflecting on Atticus's advice that you never truly know someone until you stand in their shoes and walk around in them.  Well, that is exactly what the administrators in District 102 have done.  Between January 30 and February 5, our building and district administrators participated in something that the Lyons Township Feeder District Superintendents called "Shadow a Student Day."  In District 102, each of us had an opportunity to see school through the eyes of our students.  

I was fortunate enough to follow Enrique, an amazing first grader in Ms. Nutley's class at Congress Park.  I spent the whole day with Enrique and his classmates, participating in math lessons, Structured Word Inquiry lessons, library, gym, lunch, and recess.  It was a fascinating day.  Often in my position, it is easy to make decisions and forget who are impacted by those decisions.  Watching the children in Ms. Nutley's class work together, support each other, learn together and play together was an exciting (and exhausting) experience.  The goal of this day was truly to "walk in the shoes" of a student.  I learned that 1st grade is exhausting, teachers may have the best laid plans, but have to constantly be shifting as they take into account the needs of the students and where they are during the day.  First graders in Ms. Nutley's class (with support by Ms. Lockie, the CP Instructional Coach during the Structured Word Inquiry session) were incredibly excited to discuss, identify base words, suffixes and prefixes and share their learning with me and their teachers (they really understood the non-syllabic silent "e" rule when adding a suffix).  While we have just started the process of incorporating Structured Word Inquiry into the English Language Arts lessons, it was obvious that first graders in this class had quite a command of an awful lot of suffixes and prefixes already...I am not sure I knew that much in first grade!

In math, we counted in English, Spanish, Polish and Japanese....Seriously, some of the students in the class were actually quite adept at counting in all of those languages just from learning from their peers....Amazing.  Recess and gym of course were highlights (and opportunities for me to realize I need to exercise more)!  I can't begin to tell you how much my spirits were raised after this visit. The administrative team will be sharing our experiences and all that we learned in upcoming Admin meetings. I am confident I could go into any class and see amazing things happening.  It might look different, there may be different areas where the kids are excelling, different things at different stages where kids are mastering concepts and content, but that diversity of style is what makes District 102 a special place.

I want to publicly thank Ms. Nutley, Ms. Spatzek, Ms. Lockie, Mr. Riordan and Mrs. DiMaio for letting me shadow in their classes, Mrs. JimĂ©nez for working with Ms. Nutley and setting up my visit and to Enrique and his parents for letting me spend the day with him. 

Celebrating Black History Month
February is Black History Month. Officially recognized by President Ford in 1976, Carter Woodson, African American historian, birthed the idea in 1926 as a week in February close to the birthdays of abolitionist and orator Frederick Douglass and President Lincoln to celebrate the accomplishments, achievements and contributions of Black Americans who helped form this great nation. 

During this month, read about the often unwritten side of history. The role of African Americans in science, history, politics, music and the arts, education, etc. More times than not, our American history books under-represent the role that was played by African American and Latino individuals and groups.

Set aside some time this month, each week to learn something new. The DuSable Museum of African American History is an excellent place to start your journey (www.dusablemuseum.org). Attend a performance featuring the Chicago Children's Choir In-School singers and Voice of Chicago at the Symphony Center on February 14, 15 or 16 (https://ccchoir.org/event/black-history-month-concert-series-3/).  Take an interactive history hike at the Black History Month: Underground Railroad Hike at the Sand Ridge Nature Center on February 25 (http://fpdcc.com/event/black-history-month-underground-railroad-hike/). Visit the Bronzeville Children's Museum, the first and only African American children's museum in the country (http://www.bronzevillechildrensmuseum.com/).  Another wonderful resource is the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture where you can explore collections, exhibitions and stories: https://nmaahc.si.edu/. Finally, the Museum of Science and Industry's Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition features more than 100 dynamic works by both established and emerging African American artists from around the country and runs through February 21 (https://www.msichicago.org/explore/whats-here/exhibits/black-creativity-juried-art-exhibition/).

Take time to learn something new and celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of African Americans in our community, state and country.
Teaching and Learning Department Updates

Standards Based Report Card - Delayed to 2018-2019
  • The Curriculum Advisory Council* (CAC) met in February and recommended that the district delay the implementation of a Standards Based Report Card until Spring of 2018-2019 to allow additional time for staff to reflect on the standards and continue professional discussions on standards based grading practices.
*The Curriculum Advisory Council is a district group made up of teachers and administrators in accordance with our negotiated agreement with the Education Association. The purpose of the group is to receive and review significant curricular information from the administration, recommend the development of curriculum working groups and the charges and timelines for their activities, and make final recommendations to the Superintendent regarding the timing and component roll-out of new programs for curriculum, including, but not limited to, staff development, program implementation, parent and community communication and summer work.

Standards Based Grading & Instruction
  • Teachers recently finished a first round of reviewing and prioritizing the Illinois Learning Standards in the areas of English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. The Teaching and Learning Department is reviewing this work and will create a common format for presenting the prioritized standards for K-8 in ELA and Math for feedback from teachers. Once these are finalized, they will be posted to the Teaching and Learning Department's page on the district website. A similar process will occur for the remaining subject areas throughout the spring.
  • D102 has a representative group of teachers and administrators from each building participating in a 3-part Standards Based Grading seminar with Rick Wormeli. The team attended the first session in December and will attend the second session in February. The final session of the series is in April. Each of the building teams will be engaging in professional dialogue and learning with building staff around the topic and looking at ways to shift current grading practices to better track and communicate student learning.
Science Unit Development
  • Forest Road Instructional Coach, Kim McGann, presented two of four workshops designed to connect teachers to the NGSS standards in preparation for unit writing. She presented one in December, one in January and has scheduled another in February and March. Kim and the other Instructional Coaches are working to support grade level teams in the unit development work. All grades have been working on unit development with the goal of having units come online for piloting as they are completed.
  • The district is looking into partnering with other districts currently involved in this process to see if there any possibility to share our efforts and potentially expedite the unit development process where possible.
Social Emotional Learning Tenets
  • Last spring the district developed a core set of Social-Emotional Learning tenets designed for use in classrooms and buildings. Throughout the year, administrators, social workers and building level Social Emotional Learning (SEL) teams have been looking more closely at these SEL tenets and discussing ways to support them and embed them into the everyday routines and culture of the school and classroom.
Schoolwide Reading
  • Last week, elementary classroom teachers across the district had an opportunity to see a model lesson on individual conferencing (conferring) with students in their building from Schoolwide training consultants, Jason Jezuit and Melissa Wills. The focus of the professional development session was to support teachers in conducting meaningful and productive individual conferences with students during independent reading time. 
PARCC State Assessment (March 12 - 22) Grades 3-8
  • The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam, is administered to students in grades 3 through 8 in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics each spring. The assessment aligns with the Illinois Learning Standards/ Common Core Standards. There are three or four mathematics tests depending on the grade level and three English Language Arts/Literacy tests ranging between 60-90 minutes each.  Please contact the Curriculum Department at extension 7009 should you have any questions regarding the PARCC assessment.
Special Education Department  

Happy February! 

As we wind down to the end of our second trimester, plans are in place for the upcoming PARCC state assessment, March 12th-22nd and the PARCC alternate assessment, Dynamic Learning Maps, April 9-30th.  Special education teachers are reviewing IEP information to plan ahead for specific accommodations for students as indicated in their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Kelli Kalata, our certified district nurse, has provided the following FAQ from the National Association of School Nurses, to address the flu season.  I encourage you to review these points, as this year is particularly concerning.

Flu season: Tips for parents (from the National Association of School Nurses): 
A parent's decision to keep a child home from school when he/she is sick can sometimes be a difficult one. No parent wants to interrupt their child's learning, and for some, keeping a child home means missing work or losing pay. However, if he or she has a serious illness such as influenza, it's important for the child to stay home from school. By taking this step, parents can help their children get better faster, as well as prevent the spread of illness to others. Following are some frequently asked questions and answers to aid parents in decision-making this flu season. Click here to view the Q&A. 

I have included an FAQ to address the questions we received as a result of the parent forums held in December, regarding the Special Education Department Goals.  Our intention is to provide information that will inform all stakeholders.  The FAQ includes links to posted information on the website, which will continue to be updated as necessary.

As always, we appreciate parent involvement regarding your child's education, as parents are always the best advocates for their children.

Dr. Joyce Powell
Assistant Superintendent for Special Education
District Committee Update 

Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)
PAC met on Monday, January 29 at Congress Park School.  The following topics were discussed.  The recently released grades 5 and 8 State Science scores. Our overall scores were in line with our colleagues that feed into LTHS.  We just received the 2017 Science Scores, but we are awaiting final release of these scores and hope to present them to the Board on February 15, but may need to wait until March 15.

Standards Based Curriculum was discussed with examples of the work the teachers are participating in during RSD. Samples of standards were presented and then outlined with examples of the types of evidence the teachers would be looking for to support a student's learning or mastery of a given standard. Several parents, who teach in other districts, talked about their positive experiences with Standards-Based Reporting and how it has helped them in learning more about their children. Parent concerns were discussed in regards to how to best communicate how children are doing in the classroom and what can be done when children are not being successful learning a given standard.

The next meeting has been rescheduled for 7:00 pm, March 12, at Ogden School.

Financial Advisory Committee (FAC)
The FAC met on January 30. The committee reviewed 12/31/17 YTD Revenue & Expense reports, FY19 budget calendar, proposed development of the Illinois Masonic Children's Home property by McNaughton Development, ideas for capital improvements at Cossitt and Park Schools, and the new Evidence Based Funding Formula the State is using to calculate General State Aid. 
Monitoring Our Properties 

Over the weekend we found graffiti sprayed onto a school vehicle.  While we were able to get the graffiti removed, it was a reminder that parents need to make sure they know what their children are doing when they are not directly under their care.  Acts of graffiti equate to vandalism and are punishable under the law. We have seen various acts of graffiti over the years, and recognize that these acts may or may not be committed by current or even past District 102 students.  We work very hard to keep our buildings, vehicles and grounds in top condition to reflect the pride we have in our communities. Please help us in being vigilant in protecting our community resources.  Graffiti and vandalism ruins the community for all of us.
If you liked Science EXPO in the past, You are going to love STEM EXPO 2018!

District 102 STEM EXPO 2018
Saturday, March 3, 201 8
Registration is now open at https://goo.gl/fNSrCG
Register by February 15th to be guaranteed your shirt size.

On March 3rd, STEM EXPO will showcase the talents of Grade K-6 students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and creative Making.  Students are invited to create a STEM project that will dazzle and amaze others while learning about a scientific concept. 

Science - Do a science experiment to test to find out the fastest, farthest, best, etc. Or Explore a science topic and share what you learned. 
Technology - Use your technology tools to design or create something awesome. Explain what you learned and how you did it. 
Engineering project or invention - Think of a problem you can solve and use your engineering skills to design the solution; Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create and Improve- just like we do at the Science Center. Maker-style project - Show us your scientific maker projects and share how you created them.

All exhibitors will receive a participation award and a STEM EXPO t-shirt. Register by February 15th to be guaranteed your shirt size.

For more information please visit our website.  Do you have your project planned?  Go ahead and register by clicking here.

Do you have questions?  Call or email Mrs. Hohl or Mrs. V. at the Science Center.  We are happy to help!  708-215-6405 or sciencecenter@dist102.k12.il.us
Barnsdale Road School Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Did you know that Barnsdale Road School is celebrating our 10th year? We opened our doors in the fall of 2008 due to increased enrollment across the district. After working with a committee of teachers, parents and administrators, the Board of Education decided to open a full day kindergarten center in order to move some kindergarten students and free up some space in the home schools. Ten years later, the district's focus is on improving the early childhood learning experience for our children.

Barnsdale Road School has grown from 6 kindergarten classrooms the first year, to 9 or 10 classrooms each year since. Over 80% of families in the district choose full day programming for their kindergartener, including the classrooms at Congress Park. In addition, all preschool programs moved over to Barnsdale in 2009. Staff has more than doubled over the years.

Barnsdale Road School is proud to be celebrating ten years and to be a place where wisdom begins with wonder!

Kindergarten Information Night & 2018-19 Enrollment Information

Parents of children who will be in kindergarten in the fall of 2018 are invited to attend the La Grange School District 102 Kindergarten Information Night.

Parents interested in full day kindergarten can plan on attending on Tuesday, February 20, 7 pm at Congress Park or at Barnsdale Road Schools.

Parents interested in half day kindergarten attend on Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 pm at Ogden or Cossitt Avenue Schools.

If you are in the Forest Road attendance area and interested in the half day program, please attend the meeting at Ogden School.

Learn about each of the kindergarten programs, receive registration materials and have your questions answered. Families who are already experienced with the kindergarten program and do not plan to attend one of the information meetings may pick-up registration materials on February 20 at your neighborhood school. Enrollment officially begins on February 20

2018-19 Preschool Enrollment Begins Feb. 5th

Enrollment begins February 5 for La Grange School District 102 preschool, an inclusive preschool program available to children residing in District 102. The early childhood program utilizes research-based curriculum and developmentally appropriate methodologies to teach children ages 3-4 years. Each preschool classroom is taught by a certified early childhood teacher and supported by instructional aides. Classes are in session five days per week for two and a half hours. Tuition is $75 per week.

Children must be at least 3 years old by September 1, 2018, to be enrolled in the preschool program. There are limited spots available for all classes. Priority will be given to those currently enrolled in the preschool program and then those who complete enrollment by March 2.

Enrollment is contingent on submission of a completed enrollment packet. Original birth certificate will be required. Proof of residency and registration process will occur in August. Initial payment will be required at that time.

All families will be notified of their child's enrollment status the week of March 5. Please contact the office at 708-215-6826 with any questions or for an enrollment packet. 

Run for 102 Registration is Now Open

Join us for the Run for 102 Race to the Finish 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run at 8:30am on Sunday, April 29, 2018. The Start/Finish line will be at Ogden Avenue School and travel a course through the scenic streets of La Grange Park. Proceeds benefit School District 102 schools: Barnsdale Road School, Congress Park, Cossitt Avenue, Forest Road, Ogden Avenue School and Park Junior High. 

Early bird registration specials run through February 28th!

Registration details: www.runfor102.org

The Run for 102 is also in search of volunteers! Sign up for volunteer spots by clicking here.

Race committee members are busy working to secure sponsorship proceeds that ensure the Run for 102 is such a successful fundraiser for all of our schools. However, the committee is in search of new sponsorships for the 2018 race. If you know a small business owner, local or otherwise, that might be interested in sponsoring the race (and getting some local advertising), please contact Michele Grubish or Meghan Radtke at Runfor102@gmail.com. To download the sponsorship form, please click hereSponsorships must be received by Friday, March 16.
21st Annual Parent University Scheduled for Feb. 3rd

Parent Community Network of Lyons Township is pleased to announce that the 21st Annual Parent University will be taking place at Lyons Township High School South Campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road, Western Springs, on Saturday, February 3, 2018, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm.

If you are interested in attending this event, please visit Parent Community Network's website for additional information:  https://www.parentcommunitynetwork.com/pu2018
Save the Date: Cossitt Spring Clothing Sale on March 3rd

Mark your calendars! The Spring Clothing Sale will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 8am-1pm in Cossitt's Gymnasium. The Clothing Sale is traditionally the PTC's largest fundraiser that raises money to benefit the students of Cossitt School.  Gently used boys and girls spring and summer items from infant to size 16. Baby Equipment, Bikes, Easter/Communion Dresses, Suits, Sport Shoes, Books and much, much more!

Online registration to sell and volunteer is NOW open.

Sell your clothes and earn 60% of what you sell.  Donate used clothing to the PTC and help us maximize profits.

To register to sell or more information: www.cossittptc.org/clothingsale
Park After School Tutoring Program for Elementary Students


The Park Tutor Program (Homework Club) is an after school program where Park students tutor and mentor elementary students. It meets most Mondays and Tuesdays from 3:30 until 4:10pm until April 3rd. Parents provide transportation; children enter the main doors across from the parking lot and should be picked up by the same door at 4:10pm. Students are to come prepared with writing materials, paper, homework, and/or material to study.

Tutoring Sessions:

February 5, 6, 12, 13, 20, 26, 27 
March 5, 6,12,13,19, 20 (Spring Break No Class) 
April 3

For more information, please contact Geri Pasieka, Program Coordinator, at pasiekage@dist102.k12.il.us.  For participation form, click here.
Tickets on Sale for Legacy Guild Party to Help Fund College Scholarships 

Tickets and sponsorships are now available for The Legacy Guild's 6th Annual "Big Spring Event" 2018 at Fitzgerald's in Berwyn on Saturday, Feb. 24, to raise money for college scholarships for students who have lost a parent while living in the boundaries of Lyons Township High School District 204. Your ticket includes great food and beverages, buses from La Grange to Fitzgerald's, and entertainment by Mike & Joe, the Midwest's most renowned cover band. Thanks to your support, The Legacy Guild has provided $478,500 in college scholarships since its inception in 2012. Current Legacy Guild Scholars receive a $2,500 scholarship renewable for up to four years of college. Tickets and sponsorships can be purchased at www.TheLegacyGuild.com
Dates to Remember  
(Please visit a school or the district site for additional dates.)

February 1-28: Black History Month

February 2: Groundhog Day
                     Kindergarten Hootenanny, Barnsdale Road, 7pm

February 3: Friendship Workshop for Girls, Ogden, Noon-3pm
                    (Click here for additional information)
                     Parent University, LTHS South Campus, 8am
                     Trivia Night Fundraiser at Via Bella (hosted by the LTHS
                     Booster Club and PTC). Doors open at 6pm. Please
                     register teams by January 21st.
                     Click here for more information

February 5: 2018-19 Preschool Enrollment Begins

February 8: Superintendent's Roundtable, Forest Road, 8:45am
                     District Battle of the Books, Park Jr. High LRC, 4pm

February 9: Ogden Quiz Night, Community House in Hinsdale, 7pm
                     Park Jr. High's Friday Night Live, 7pm

February 12: Lincoln's Birthday

February 14: Valentine's Day

February 15: Mighty Patriots Heroes vs. Heroes Game, Park North Gym, 4pm
                       Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 7pm 

February 16: Chinese New Year
                       Movie Night at Cossitt (K-3), 7pm

February 19: Presidents' Day (NO SCHOOL)

February 18: Chicago Wolves Cossitt Family Day, 3pm (Ticket Order Form)

February 20: Enrollment Begins for 2018-19 Kindergarten
                       Barnsdale's Kindergarten Information Night, 7pm
                       Congress Park's Kindergarten Information Night, 7pm

February 21: Ogden's Kindergarten Information Night, 6:30pm
                       Cossitt's Kindergarten Information Night, 6:30pm
                       Dual Language Program Information Session at Congress Park, 7pm

February 23: Second Trimester Ends

February 24: Congress Park PTO Sports Equipment Resale, CP Gymnasium, 8am-Noon (flyer)
                       Ogden's Variety Show, Park Jr. High Auditorium and Cafeteria, 2pm

February 27: Dine Out for Congress Park PTO at Lou Malnati's - Western Springs, 4-10pm

March 2: Report Cards
                Snowflake Ball: Father Daughter Dance, Ogden Gym, 7pm

March 3: STEM Expo, Forest Road Gymnasium, 9am-Noon
                Cossitt School Spring Clothing Sale, Cossitt Gymnasium, 8am-1pm

La Grange School District 102 | 708-482-2400 | 333 N. Park Road |
La Grange Park, IL 60526 | www.dist102.k12.il.us

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