March 2018
Message from the Superintendent

When I got into education 28 years ago, I took for granted the safety and security of our schools, our communities, and our country.  We had drills for fire, tornadoes and bus evacuations, but that was generally the extent of it.  As a child, I certainly never worried about being safe in school.  Today, we have lock-down drills, practice the fire drills, have intruder alert announcements, etc. to prepare for what we hope will never happen.  Over the last two weeks, I have received numerous calls and emails asking about our safety in light of the most recent tragedy in Florida.  I wanted to elaborate on a few things that are forthcoming. 

The district will be undertaking a more significant security audit over the next several weeks. As you may recall, we updated entryways at Barnsdale and Ogden during the summer of 2015 aligning them to similar buzz-in entrances at Cossitt, Congress Park, and Forest Road. The entrance at Park Junior High has been in our sights for redesigning how it can be best utilized to better monitor access during the school day. In addition, we have continued to communicate with our local law enforcement to discuss additional training opportunities that would be available to our staff in the area of school safety and security and first aid. Whatever we do, we want it to be done with the support and guidance of our first responders, in conjunction with longer-term plans for safety and security, and in ways that enhance measures already in place. 

Finally, you may have heard about plans for a nationwide 17-minute student walkout on March 14. The walkout is being promoted as a way for students to express their dissatisfaction with the responses to school shootings at the national and state level. While we are unsure of the participation rate, we are in the process of preparing for that day of peaceful demonstration at Park Junior High to ensure that student safety remains a priority, without infringing on students' rights. We will have staff remaining in the building for those who choose not to participate and staff ensuring that students are supervised if they do participate. At this time, some students at Park have been talking with the building administration to discuss how this time can be meaningful, educational, and age appropriate. 

If you have a child in grades K-6, we do not anticipate significant if any participation. Parents of students in grades K-6 should contact the building principal if they believe their child will participate in this day. While we will not infringe upon the rights of students, we must also ensure that students are safe in and outside of our schools during the school day. Children are naturally curious about events they see and hear about. They are hearing a great deal of rhetoric about the right or wrong way to respond to this and the other horrific shootings that have occurred. We want to continue to help our children learn, both at home and in school, with the trusted adults who are committed to providing a physically and emotionally safe environment where they can continue to grow, learn, and become the next leaders of what I believe is a great country.   

Teaching and Learning Department

Structured Word Inquiry Overview for Parents - RSVP Needed

Mentoring and Induction Program
  • Teachers new to District 102 receive job-embedded professional learning opportunities and support through our Mentoring Program.  This comprehensive, 2-year program provides new educators with a variety of services and supports designed to assist in their success and to positively impact student learning.  This year's new teachers have been partnered with mentor teachers and have been meeting weekly with them in order to discuss, reflect on, and plan for student instruction.  They have also participated in a variety of training sessions both within and outside of the district.  Most recently, they have had training regarding lesson planning, questioning strategies and Social Emotional Learning (SEL). 
Standards-Based Grading
  • As mentioned last month, 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. As a part of our professional learning a representative team of teachers and administrators attended 2-days of a 3-part workshop on Standards Based Grading with nationally recognized author and speaker, Rick Wormeli. Representatives in this group have also been sharing their learning with other staff through building and grade level discussions. After our last session in April, the group will outline some next steps for the district, including communication and dialogue opportunities with parents on this topic.
Sexual Abuse Prevention
  • Social workers met with a consultant from Chicago Children's Advocacy Center regarding sexual abuse prevention education.  They engaged in professional dialogue and learning, brainstorming ways to provide student sexual abuse prevention education using best practice and meeting the state mandate known as Erin's Law.  Since this training, social workers have been meeting together to create a plan in which they will provide age-appropriate education for all students in D102 later this year.  Parents will receive additional information from their building principal and social worker in April.
Science Unit Development
  • As grade levels continue their work to build units of instruction in Science, we have also begun the process of searching for resources and materials to support our instruction. We recently asked surrounding districts for information about resources they use and their experiences with those resources and have had a couple of vendor presentations at specific grade levels to learn more about Science resources and materials available to districts. As more grade levels begin to look for supporting curricular resources and materials, we will continue to review materials and develop a more narrow list of potential resources to pilot during the 2018-2019 school year. Taking time to try various materials and resources in actual classrooms with actual students is an essential step to helping us identify effective materials to support our instruction. 
Bold Conversations: SEL and Parenting
  • The University of Illinois Extension in Cook County invites parents to register for Bold Conversations: SEL and Parenting. The free seminar will be held Saturday, April 7 from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the University of Illinois Extension, located at 2205 Enterprise Dr. Suite 501 in Westchester. 

    Bold Conversations is a one-day social and emotional learning chat & chew style seminar; designed to bring parents together, in a relaxed atmosphere, to have a respectful and honest exchange of ideas on how we can help our children address the challenges they may face.

    Participants will engage in conversations connected to recent national and local events, and cover topics related to:
    • Self and Social Awareness
    • Self-Management
    • Relationship Skills
    • Responsible Decision-Making
  Snacks will be provided.  To register online, please click here.
Special Education Department  

Save the Date:  Special Education Parent Information Night 
March 19th at 7:00 P.M. in the  Park Junior High LRC

Google Read and Write Overview at 7:00 p.m. 
Mary Kevorkian, Park LRC Director/District Technology Coordinator will present an overview on Google Read and Write, a new on-line program used by students and staff in D102 that provides support to students with their reading, writing and researching, while in the classroom, during assessments and at home.

Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment at 7:30 p.m.  
Dr. Winnega will present information on the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. It focuses on skills between birth and 48 months. She will also provide information about what verbal behavior is within the context of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Extended School Year
Plans for our Extended School Year (ESY) program for identified special education students are underway. The program will once again be held at Barnsdale and Forest Road.

The dates and times are: June 11th - July 19th, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., for students, with the exception of a week break during the week of July 2nd for the July 4th holiday.

Registration packets for students who qualify for ESY will be mailed the week of March 19th.

The Community Memorial Foundation, a private, independent foundation established in 1995 that serves 27 communities throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, offered a Mental Health Symposium on February 7th.  Along with local civic leaders and many other school personnel from surrounding districts, Lynn Lawrence, District 102 SEL Coordinator, Wendy Toth, Ogden School Social Worker, and I attended the symposium.  A panel discussion led by Judy Hsu of ABC 7, was very informative.  The topic of discussion was mental health and substance abuse and the many community resources available for assistance on this for parents and students.  I have included a link to the Community Memorial Foundation for additional information as well as links for information for parents in addressing other sensitive topics, including the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Helping school-age children with traumatic grief: Tips for caregivers:

Helping youth after a community trauma: Tips for educators:

Parent guidelines for helping youth after the recent shooting:

Talking to children about the shooting:

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

Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)
The next PAC meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm, March 12, at Ogden School.

Financial Advisory Committee (FAC)
The FAC's next meeting is scheduled for March 8th at 6:30pm.

Committee for Equity and Minority Achievement (CEMA)
CEMA Family Engagement & Curriculum Subcommittees met on February 27th.  The CEMA Advisory Board meeting will be held March 13th at 6:30pm in the District Board Room.
All District 102 Families are invited to


Visit our K-6th grade student scientists, engineers, and designers as they display and present over 170 science projects! They are ready to share their knowledge, creativity and STEM talents with you.

Forest Road School Gym
901 N Forest Road
LaGrange Park

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm

And visit the 
Science Center

Explore, Investigate, and participate in a variety of science, technology and engineering activities from select STEM Clubs of Lyons Township High School. Spend time in the animal/discovery center.

Science Center
930 Barnsdale Road, La Grange Park
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Mexican Folkloric Dance Performance Set for March 15th

Come to the Park Junior High Auditorium on March 15th at 7pm for the Expo de Arte Fina II.

Students from Congress Park, Forest Road and Park Junior High will be performing mariachi music, folkloric dance and poetry as an expression of their hispanic culture.  We are delighted to have students from Chicago's Mariachi Embajador de Mexico come and perform along with our students.  Please join us for this spectacular evening and prepare to be amazed.  Our students are fantastic! 

Kindergarten 2018-19 Enrollment Underway

Kindergarten enrollment for the 2018-2019 school year for children residing in District 102 began on February 20. Children must be five years of age on or before September 1, 2018 to be eligible for kindergarten in the fall of 2018. Registration packets are available at the various schools' offices.   Kindergarten registration early enrollment period ends Friday, March 23.  Enrollment will continue to be accepted but space may be limited in certain programs.

For questions regarding full day kindergarten, please contact Barnsdale Road principal, Kathy Boxell at 708-482-3003 or  For those in the Congress Park School area in Brookfield contact principal, Claudia JimĂ©nez at 708-482-2430 or

For half day kindergarten, please contact Ogden Avenue principal, Joe McCauley at 708-482-2480 or or Cossitt principal, Mike Michowski at 708-482-2450 or with any questions.
2018-19 Preschool Enrollment In Progress

Enrollment is underway 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 at this time.

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.

Please contact the office at 708-215-6826 with any questions or for an enrollment packet. 

Register for the Run for 102 Today!

The 5K and 1 mile run/walk will kick off Sunday, April 29 at 8:30am. Register today! 

Race registration and information including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities can be found at Please note that online registration will close on midnight Wednesday, April 25.

Sponsorship and volunteers are both critical elements that make the Run for 102 successful.  Platinum ($2,000), gold ($1,000), silver ($500), bronze ($250) and in-kind sponsorship opportunities are available.  Please contact Michele Grubish or Meghan Radtke, race directors, with any questions regarding sponsorship at  A completed Sponsorship Form must be received by Friday, March 16.  For information about volunteering, please email  A variety of volunteer roles and time slots are available.
Check Out the 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 click here.  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
Sign Up for Summer Basketball Camp at Park Junior High

Compete, work on your skills, and have fun!  Summer Basketball Camp is open to all students entering Grades 4-8 and is not limited to District 102 students, anyone can attend. Camp runs from June 11-June 28 (no Fridays) at Park Junior High School. Fee is $70 and includes t-shirt. Registration is now open through PushCoin for District 102 students on the district website. Questions can be directed to Ryan Malloy, Athletic Director, at or (708) 215-7049. To download camp flyer, click here .  Go Patriots!
Battle of the Books Champions Declared  

The 2018 La Grange District 102 Battle of the Books was held on the afternoon of February 8 in the Park Junior High School LRC.  After teams from all four elementary buildings battled several rounds, students from Ogden Avenue School emerged victorious.  The Ogden "Reading Rebels" team was presented with the trophy and team members included: Kate Zygmunt, Liza Shorrock, Ava Broderick, Charley Curin, Jude Kochanek, and Max DeMonte (pictured with Ogden staff members Julie Pitelka and Sarah Kielbasa). 
Park's Mighty Patriots Take On Local Heroes at Annual Game

Park Junior High School's Mighty Patriots Special Olympics basketball team played their final home game on February 15 in their annual Heroes vs. Heroes game at Park Junior High School. This is a special yearly event for the team in which the LaGrange, LaGrange Park, and Brookfield Police and Fire Departments come together to play a game against the Mighty Patriots players. This game highlights not only the appreciation that the community has for the local police and fire personnel, but also allows the first responders to show their support for the Special Olympics players.  In the end, the Mighty Patriots were victorious over the first responders with a score of 56-48.
Student Talents Shine at Ogden Variety Show  

Ogden School students have been working hard the past few months and more than 35 acts were excited to showcase their talents at the Variety Show on February 24 at Park Junior High School. Performances included singing, dancing, instrumental solos and duets, feats of magic, comedy acts, gymnastics and many more.

The event was sponsored by the Ogden PTC. For more news at Ogden, follow Ogden on Twitter: @AvenueOgden
Shop the Spring Cossitt Clothing Sale on March 3rd

Are your kids' closets ready for spring? The Spring Cossitt Clothing Sale will be held on Saturday, March 3 from 8am-1pm in Cossitt's Gymnasium. The sale is a community tradition and raises money to benefit the students of Cossitt School--it's our biggest fundraiser! We sell high-quality, gently-used spring and summer clothes and shoes from infant to size 16 at great prices. Come shop for children's books, baby gear, Easter/Communion dresses and suits, sports shoes and equipment, and much, much more!
  • Adults only 8:00 am - 10:00 am, children admitted with adult 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. 
  • Cash or check (with i.d.) only.
  • 1/2 price sale (on designated items only) 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
For more information:
CommUNITY Diversity Group of La Grange Scholarship Program

CommUnity Diversity Group of LaGrange Scholarship Applications are due by Friday, April 13th. This scholarship is available to K-8 students in District 102 and can be used for a variety of activities from sports camps to summer school. 

Applicants must write an essay of 150 words or less and all 5th-8th grade scholarship recipients must complete four hours of community service at a local program. Download scholarship application here.

The selected recipients will be notified by May 4th and awarded at the scholarship event to be held on Friday, May 18th, 2018 at the La Grange Community Center at 6:30pm.
Dates to Remember  
(Please visit a school or the district site for additional dates.)

March 2: Report Cards
                Read Across America Day
                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 (download flyer)

March 5: New PreK Open House, Barnsdale, 9am
                Habitat Exhibition at Barnsdale (with parents), 2:20-2:45pm 

March 6: CEMA Advisory Board Meeting, Park Jr. High Board Room,

March 7: Cossitt Author Visit (Grades K-2) (Book Order Form)
                Dual Language Program Information Session at Congress Park, 7pm

March 8: Parent Conferences (NO SCHOOL)

March 9: Movie Night at Cossitt (K-3), 7pm (RSVP)

March 10: LT Solo/Ensemble Festival, 8:30am

March 11: Daylight Savings Time (Spring Ahead One Hour)
                 Ogden Family Day at the Chicago Wolves game, Allstate Arena, 3pm (download flyer)

March 12: Parent Advisory Committee, Ogden, 7pm

March 12-22: PARCC State Assessment

March 13: CEMA Advisory Board Meeting, Park Jr. High Board Room, 6:30pm
                  Spring Concert I, Barnsdale, 7pm
                  Dine Out for PIMA at Chipotle, 5-9pm (download flyer)

March 14: Park Jazz Band Performs at American Legion, 7:30pm

March 15: Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 7pm 
                  Cossitt Art Show, Cossitt Gym, 6:30pm (download flyer)
                  Mexican Folkloric Dance Performance (Expo de Arte Fina II), Park Jr. High
                  Auditorium, 7pm 

March 16: St. Baldrick's, The Max in McCook, 6-9pm.  (For information or to donate to the Forest
                  Roaders team
click here .  To donate or to volunteer for Ogden's "Do It For Dominic" team,
                   click here .)

March 17: St. Patrick's Day

March 18: HEROES Workshop for 4th and 5th Grade Boys, Ogden, 11am-4pm (click here for info)

March 19: Spring Concert II, Barnsdale, 7pm
                 Dine Out for LADSE at Chipotle, 4-8pm (download flyer)
                 Special Education Parent Information Night, Park Junior High LRC, 7pm

March 20:  Spring Concert III, Barnsdale, 7pm
                  Congress Park Spring Music Concert (at Park Jr. High), 7pm
                  Dine Out for Congress Park PTO at Chipotle, 5-9pm

March 22: PTO Cultural Night, Congress Park School, 6pm (sign up link)

March 26-30: Spring Break (NO SCHOOL)

April 2: Spring Holiday (NO SCHOOL)

April 3: School Resumes for Staff & Students

April 5: Superintendent's Roundtable, Congress Park School, 7pm

La Grange School District 102 | 708-482-2400 | 333 N. Park Road |
La Grange Park, IL 60526 |

Follow us on Twitter