October 2017
Message from the Superintendent

I really don't know what to write about this month.  Do I write on the devastating natural disasters that have hit Mexico, Puerto Rico, various Caribbean Islands, Florida and Texas?  Do I write about the work our students have done to raise money to support families and schools in the impacted regions? Do I talk about how this can develop empathy in our children as they consider the needs of others they may not even know?  How building empathy builds community, builds relationships and builds understanding in a world that seems to be coming polarizing. 

Or, do I write about the diversity and equity work that we have been doing with our consultant, Elizabeth Denevi?  This professional development was borne out of the work of our CEMA subcommittees as we strive to build a community of learners that values the unique contributions that our students, families, and community members bring to the educational process and this thing we call "Life"; professional development that has pushed some of us out of our comfort zone and made us examine our own beliefs and behaviors. 

Maybe, I should write about the new STEM curriculum taught at Park Junior High utilizing the FUSE program out of Northwestern University. Coupled with that is the Genius Hour time every Friday where students get to work on a topic that they are interested in learning more about. This new curriculum is being taught within the new schedule at Park Junior High where all students will rotate through STEM, Art, Music and Health. In addition a new fitness room space was created to allow more flexibility of PE time once classes must meet indoors.  

Finally, I could talk about the amazing things that I have seen as I walk through the halls of our schools. The engaged and enthusiastic learners eager to dissect a word through our new Structured Word Inquiry approach to learning vocabulary. Watching a kindergarten class during their class meeting and preparing to move to their centers to continue their learning, or observing students at Park working on their math skills with the new math curriculum. Or maybe I should discuss the new Dual Language Immersion program at Congress Park and the amazing things that our children are learning in English AND Spanish. 

This month, I think I will let others write about what is happening in our district. There are some wonderful opportunities for you to come and hear our Teaching and Learning Department speak on a variety of topics. Those dates are all listed below. Also, you can see the proposed Special Education Department Goals and provide feedback to Dr. Powell on those goals. To wrap it up, I encourage you to celebrate the last half of National Hispanic Heritage Month with a visit to a museum such as the National Museum of Mexican Art, the largest Mexican Cultural Center in the nation is right here in Chicago. 

Thanks for trusting your children's learning with us...Have a great month!

Fall 2017 Parent Information Evenings
The D102 Teaching & Learning Department invites you to attend one of the six parent information evenings being offered through October into early November. At each of these sessions, the Teaching & Learning Department will highlight some of the curricular changes that are underway as well as where we are headed instructionally in D102. We encourage you to attend the session schedule for your child's school, but encourage you to attend a different session if you cannot make your school's scheduled session. All of the sessions will present the same information K-8.   Click here for dates, times and locations .
Teaching and Learning Department

The Teaching and Learning Department hopes that this school year is off to a good start for your children.  As you know, all students come to school with strengths and passion areas.  One of our foundational tenets of social and emotional learning (SEL) is the fact that we believe that building on students' strengths, interests, and cultural backgrounds maximizes learning.  Teachers strive to build on these assets and help students to develop positive perspectives on themselves as capable and successful learners in all areas.  May the curriculum and instruction of District 102 ignite these strength areas, so they become expressed as "talents". 

District 102 uses a variety of measures to determine students' progress. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is the state assessment and accountability measure for Illinois students enrolled in a public school district. PARCC assesses the New Illinois Learning Standards incorporating the Common Core. The PARCC was administered in English Language Arts and Mathematics last spring to students in grades 3-8. The PARCC assessment is viewed as simply one measure of student performance. 

The individual student results for the PARCC assessment were mailed to parents and guardians at the end of September. For more information on the PARCC assessment, visit the website UnderstandtheScore.org. This site provides many resources and is designed to help parents know what to expect when their children's score reports arrive at home. 

In the late 1960s, Dr. Julian Stanley at Johns Hopkins University met a 12-year-old student who was extremely bright. For example, he was helping graduate students at Johns Hopkins with computer programming projects. Dr. Stanley administered the SAT (a high school test) to this student to get a better picture of his academic profile. When a student scores at the top of a grade level test, schools and families aren't provided much information, especially in terms of readiness. Using above-level tests helps differentiate between a student who has mastered material far beyond grade level standards from the student who has mastered the on-level standards.  

Stanley's "experiment" sparked the Academic Talent Search Model. This model identifies students who perform well above age-level in one or more academic areas to support the development of talents through appropriate challenging programs and experiences. District 102 recommends students (grades 4-8) who are in an accelerated class OR whose achievement scores are at the 95 percentile rank nationally. The talent search continues to rely on above-level tests. Although there are several talent search sites in the country, D102 works with the University of Iowa and Northwestern University. The former offers I-Excel in grades 4-6 and ACT in grades 7-8; and the latter offers PSAT 8/9 in grades 4-6 and ACT and SAT in grades 7-8. Recommendation letters are sent to families in late October. 

D102 is very proud of its alumni seniors who are recognized as semifinalists in the 2018 National Merit scholarship competition: George Anagnos, Sam Bycek, Sarah McAllister, Adam Solar, and Sarah Valekia.
Special Education Department  

The Special Education Department has had a very busy start to the school year.  Along with professional development regarding the initiatives in the district, such as social emotional learning, Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Fundations, and Structured Word Inquiry, the Special Education Department has focused on the development of department goals.  The goals that have been developed are a direct result of information we obtained from the Parent Forum held last April, and the various discussions we have had regarding the Strategic Plan.  I have included these proposed goals in this newsletter and welcome any feedback from you.  We are currently working with all special education staff to identify objectives for these goals and develop an action plan. Please feel free to offer comments or provide additional information as you review the information.  We will continue to keep you apprised as we finalize this process.  On a final note, we have hired two new staff members, please welcome Stacy Reagan (resource teacher for Cossitt and Ogden) and Dr. Risa Umeno (occupational therapist for Barnsdale and Congress Park). 

  1. Conduct a program intervention audit on current practices followed by recommendations for aligning support from tiered intervention to special education.
  2. Demonstrate student growth and success of program interventions and services.
  3. Increase communication regarding the various services, service providers and programs.
  4. Develop a proactive culture in the special education department to build trust and transparency with all stakeholders.
Dr. Joyce Powell
Assistant Superintendent for Special Education

Free Parents Events in October!

Autism Home Support Services has 3 FREE parent trainings in October. Each event has an option to attend in person or to attend via webinar. 

How To Be A Prepared Advocate For Your Child
Tuesday, October 3
Oak Lawn Public Library or webinar

Equip for Equality and Autism Home Support Services are offering a free training that is focused on how parents and others could best prepare and advocate for their children during the IEP and Evaluation process. 

ABC's of ABA
Thursday, October 12
AHSS Northbrook Office or webinar

If you have questions about ABA, join Micki Moran and Autism Home Support Services for the ABC's of ABA. The event will begin with some general questions that many professionals and parents have followed by a Q and A from attendees.

Planning For The Future
Thursday, October 26
AHSS Northbrook Office or webinar

When you have a child with special needs, planning for that child's future can be an overwhelming task. Where do you begin? Who has the answers? This is a unique presentation, offered as a public service by Rubin Law.

Finance Department

The final FY18 budget was presented at the Board meeting on Thursday, September 28. The presentation was preceded by the budget hearing required by school code. The FY18 budget revenues are $44,084,186 and FY18 budgeted expenditures are $41,596,329 with a net increase to fund balance of $2,487,857 estimated.  The new Evidence Based Fund Model SB 1947 passed the Illinois legislature.  The bill establishes a base funding minimum which combines General State Aid, Special Ed Personnel Reimbursement, and Special Ed Extraordinary categorical funding. A copy of the budget is available for viewing on the district website. 

District Committee Update 

Financial Advisory Committee (FAC)
The FAC met on September 12. The committee reviewed the FY 18 budget including revenue projections and expenditures.  The new SB1947 was reviewed which is the new evidence-based funding model.  The expected outcomes of this law is to provide more equitable funding to school districts to meet the needs of all students.  At press time, District 102 is expected to see $95,000 more revenue under this new model for the FY 18 school year.
Science Center News

The Science Center Parent Enrichment Council (SCPEC) is beginning to plan fun enrichment afterschool programs for this school year.  The first program is Extreme Weather on Saturday, November 4th.  Look for more information about times and registration in upcoming Friday "folders" and the website. 

Students will participate in activities to learn more about:
  • Earthquakes and how engineers design safe structures
  • Hurricanes and powerful winds
  • Flood waters: the effects on homes and communities and ways to prevent them
  • Weather forecasting: Is it a science or an art?
Science EXPO is planned for Saturday, March 3rd. Stay tuned for ideas and information as it gets closer.
Famed Author and Illustrator Speak to District 102 Students

(Bill Ackerman - For Shaw Media)

The District 102 LRC Directors welcomed Goosebumps author R.L. Stine and Marc Brown, author/illustrator of the best-selling Arthur books and creator/executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning children's PBS television series, Arthur, on Tuesday, September 12th in the Park Jr. High auditorium. Mr. Stine and Mr. Brown spoke with first and second grade students from the district, as well as students from St. Francis Xavier School, about their careers as well as their new book, Mary McScary.

To read more about their visit:

*Article featured in the September 21st print edition of The Doings (read digital version)

*Front page story in September 20th edition of Suburban Life (digital photo gallery here
Enroll Your Child in Preschool!
LaGrange School District 102 offers a variety of preschool programs including blended programs with tuition slots. Cost is only $75/week. The classes are five days a week for two and one-half hours. All programs are taught by a certified teacher. Students may start the program as soon as they turn three years old.

To discuss options and request an enrollment packet, please contact the office at 708-215-6826.
Ogden Gift Card Drive for Families Affected by Hurricane
In late September, Ogden Avenue via the Principals Helping Principals network, was able to link with L.F. Smith Elementary outside of Houston to support families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  Many of these families lost all their possessions due to the flooding.  In communicating with the principal of L.F. Smith, it was communicated that the biggest need was for gift cards from Lowe's, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Target.  These were stores in close proximity to the school community.  The gift card drive would give these families the opportunity to replace what they had lost and provide food for their families. 

The Ogden community was able to raise over $4,500 for these families. Every one of those gift cards will go directly into the hands of a family in need.

Ogden plans to revisit the gift card drive at the holidays and again in the spring to continue to support these families who have been impacted by the storm.
Class of 1963 Tours Forest Road 

On September 15th about 15 Forest Road alumni visited the school for a tour.  The alumni were celebrating their 50th High School Reunion (LTHS Class of '67) and wanted to add a stop at Forest Road where they were the Class of '63.  At that time Forest Road had classes up to 8th grade.  The alumni were treated to small group tours of the school led by current 6th grade members of the Student Ambassadors group.  A handful of current staff members also joined the tour as they were excited to meet the alumni from 54 years ago.  Included in that group were Ms. Dolezal, Ms. Stahurski, and Ms. Beumer. The students were very excited to host the alumni, and the alumni very much enjoyed meeting current students, touring the school and exchanging interesting facts about Forest Road.  For example, the alumni guests shared that before Forest Road was the Roadrunners, the mascot used to be the Trojans.  All in all, it was an enjoyable experience for everyone. 
Finding Kind Screening and Discussion: Oct. 4th

Parents and daughters - join us for a life changing evening at our first ever Kind Campaign Assembly on Wednesday, October 4th, at 6pm, in the Park auditorium. 

"Finding Kind" is a powerful documentary, which utilizes first hand accounts, research, conversations with students and their parents, as well as experts in the field of psychology and education, that seeks to shed light on (or uncover some of universal truths about) the pressures of being a girl. The overarching objective of the film is to increase awareness and sensitize viewers to the potential negative effects of meanness and bullying and, ultimately, encourage viewers to improve the nature of their relationships by "choosing kindness." This experience is targeted for girls from 4th to 8th grade and their caretakers. To register for this FREE event, please click here.
Free Community Presentation on Growth Mindset on Oct. 17th

In today's fast-paced/instant gratification world it is often important to slow down and take stock in what is truly important.  As a district we have a focus on developing our students into individuals with a Growth Mindset.  Those with a Growth Mindset believe that setbacks and mistakes are opportunities to learn.  Additionally, Growth Mindset focuses on the process one takes to complete a project not just the product or outcome. 

Our district is proud to, once again, partner with our township schools and the Parent Community Network to bring another amazing speaker to our area. Janna Peskett will address Parents on October 17th at 7:00-9:00 pm in the Reber Center at Lyons Township High School North Campus. To RSVP for this FREE event please go to http://mindsetworks.eventbrite.com.

Janna is the Director of Digital Learning & Curriculum Design at Mindset Works. Mindset Works provides in-person, digital and printed growth mindset training and resources to thousands of schools across the country. Janna has spoken at numerous universities, K-12 school and is highly respected among educators and parents alike. Additionally, Janna serves as an Adjunct Professor at Flagler College.

We hope you can join your neighbors for this important presentation as we begin a community discussion about Growth Mindset.
Chick Chat: Calling all Girls 4th - 6th Grade!

Chick Chat Registration is open! This is the second year Ogden is hosting this dynamic program for girls. Chick Chat is run by experienced child/family therapists who understand 'tween girls and are passionate about helping them thrive. Through crafts, small group sessions, yoga and simple teams-type challenges, Chick Chat explores important topics on self-esteem, friendship, and navigating the intense world of adolescence, and creates space where girls can feel safe and understood about their changing life experiences. The program will be held on Sunday, November 5th from 11am - 5pm at Ogden Avenue School.

Register your daughter HERE. Contact Angela Fabus or Regina Blackstone with questions. DON'T DELAY! Space is limited. Registration closes on October 9, 2017.
Forest Road Used Toy Sale Slated for Oct. 21st  

Registration for the 30th Annual Forest Road PTO Used Toy Sale is open online through Sign Up Genius

The Toy Sale will be held from 8 am to 1 pm Saturday, October 21, at the school, 901 N. Forest Road, La Grange Park. Sellers keep 60 percent of the sales price. 

Questions? Contact Melissa at toysalereg@gmail.com or (708) 280-4784.

Volunteers are needed! Contact Chris at toysalevol@gmail.com or (708) 227-2210.

For general sale information contact Judy at toysaleinfo@gmail.com or (708) 352-4718.

Donate toys to the PTO: Contact Ann at toysaledonation@gmail.com or (708) 218-3355. 

PRE-SALE: Donate 4 HOURS of your time and you get to shop the PRE-SALE on Friday, October 20th from 7pm - 8:30pm!
Cossitt PTC Flower Power Bulb Sale 

Fall is here, and it's officially planting time! Make your spring gardens colorful and help the PTC create a beautiful school year for our children. Order your flower bulbs such as tulips and daffodils through the Flower Power Bulb Sale and the PTC earns 50% of the proceeds. The sale runs through October 13.

Bulb packs make great gifts! Plus, when your friends and family order online using the following link, their orders will also support Cossitt. To order flower bulbs, click here.

Dates to Remember  
(Please visit a school or the district site for additional dates.)
September 29: Park Jr. High Fortnightly (3) 6:30-8pm, (4) 8:15-

September 30: Cossitt Fall Clothing Sale, Cossitt Gymnasium,
                          Ogden 6th Grade Krispy Kreme Fundraiser,
                          Gordon and Ehlert Parks, 8-11am

October 2: Parent Advisory Committee, Forest Road, 7pm 

October 4: Finding Kind Screening and Discussion, Park
                   Auditorium, 6pm

October 9: Columbus Day (NO SCHOOL)

October 10: Institute Day (NO SCHOOL)

October 12: D102 Parent Information Evening, Cossitt, 7pm

October 13: Congress Park PTO Trivia Night, Pub at the Max, 7:30pm
                     Park Jr. High Fortnightly (3) 6:30-8pm, (4) 8:15-9:45pm

October 16: D102 Parent Information Evening, Barnsdale, 7pm

October 17:  Ignite Motivation, Foster Resilience (No Screens Needed), LTHS North Campus
                    (Reber Center), 7-9pm

October 19: Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 7pm

October 20: Congress Park PTO Fall Carnival, 6:30pm
                     Rock it With Cossitt, Harry's Sports Bar & Grill in Countryside, 7:30pm-midnight
                     Park Jr. High Fortnightly Finale, 7-9pm

October 21: Forest Road 30th Annual Used Toy Sale, 8am-1pm

October 23: D102 Parent Information Evening, Ogden, 6pm

October 24: D102 Parent Information Evening, Forest Road, 6pm

October 26: Superintendent's Roundtable, Park LRC, 7pm
                     Dine Out at Panera for Congress Park PTO, 4-8pm (download flyer here)
                     Barnsdale Family Reading/Math Night, 6:30pm
                     D102 Parent Information Evening, Park Jr. High, 6pm

October 27: Halloween Party, Park Jr. High, 7:30-9:30pm 

October 31: Happy Halloween! (Please check your school's calendar for parties and/or parade

November 2: D102 Parent Information Evening, Congress Park, 6pm

November 3 & 4: School Musical: Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Park Jr. High, 7pm

November 4: Science Center Fall Program (Extreme Weather), 9am-1pm

November 5: Chick Chat, Ogden, 11am-5pm

SAVE THE DATE: Ogden's Red Sled on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 9am-3pm! Raffle donations needed! If you have questions, or would like to make a donation, please contact Melissa Huitink. Bookmark the Red Sled website (click here). 
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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