River Forest
District 90  
Primer
December 2016    

Superintendent's Message
Dear Parents, Staff, Students, and Community Members,  

We are days away from Winter Break, which will provide everyone a well-earned pause from our normally busy routine. Students and faculty have been working hard in their classes in anticipation of this annual hiatus.
 
Winter Break begins on December 26 after an early dismissal of students on Friday, December 23 at 2:30 p.m. The District Office will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. during the week beginning January 3. Classes and regular District Office hours resume on Monday, January 9.
 
While preparing for the upcoming break, please consider taking part in the 5Essentials Survey. The results from the survey will provide the District with a detailed picture about the perceptions of our schools. The insights of parents and families are particularly important in guiding school improvement initiatives.
 
Please be sure to review the information below regarding how the District will communicate with families about the possibility of school closing due to inclement weather. We will make every attempt to communicate a firm decision about the closing of school around 8:00 p.m. the night before a possible closing, whenever possible. If weather conditions are uncertain and a final decision cannot be made by 8:00 p.m., we will inform families no later than 6:00 a.m. the next day. The most important factor in the decision to close school is the safety of students and staff, of course.
 
Lastly, election for several vacancies on the District's Board of Education will be held in April 2017. If you're considering running for a position on the School Board, please read below for several resources that provide more information on the filing process and procedures. The filing deadline is December 19, and the River Forest Community Caucus has indicated that they will be holding interviews of candidates in January.
 
I hope your are able to use the Winter Break as a time for rest and reflection in preparation for the New Year. I would like to wish the entire District 90 community a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season, and look forward to seeing our students return in 2017!
 
With warm regards,
   
Ed Condon, Ph.D. 
Superintendent
District News
There's Still Time for the 5Essentials Survey
Please consider participating in the state's 5Essentials Survey. The Survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the workings of our schools by inviting families to share their thoughts on important elements of school effectiveness. Your insights will advance understanding on the conditions of District 90 schools and will guide improvement.

In order to receive the parents' report on our schools, we need at least 20% of the families at each school to participate in the survey. At press time, District schools were well below this required response rate, and we need your help to increase our parental response rate in order to receive the parents' report on our schools. Parents have until January 16, 2017 to complete the 10-minute online survey.

Please be assured that all responses are confidential and cannot be connected to your students. To participate in the parent component of the 5Essentials Survey, click here.
Winter Break in District 90
Winter Break will be here soon. District 90 schools will be closed from December 26 to January 6. Schools will be dismissed at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, December 23. The District Office and all school buildings will be closed from December 26 -  30, 2016 and January 2, 2017.
 
On January 3,  the District Office will reopen with amended hours until January 6 from 8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. On January 9, school resumes, and the District Office returns to regular business hours of 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Getting News About Inclement Weather
Cold and snowy weather has arrived. It is important for the District's families to know how information will be communicated regarding the potential school closings caused by inclement weather. The most critical factor in deciding to close or open school will always be student and staff safety.
 
Whenever possible, District 90 will endeavor to make and communicate a firm decision about school closings by around 8:00 p.m. the evening before. In the event that the weather situation is uncertain and a definitive decision cannot reasonably be made by this time, the District will communicate the possibility of a school closing, again around 8:00 p.m., with the reminder that additional information will be forthcoming. If conditions deteriorate significantly and closing school is necessary after this time, we will issue notification no later than 6:00 a.m. the morning of the day schools are to be closed. Communicating the status of school closing situation by 8:00 p.m. the night before is intended to allow families time to make advanced preparations, as necessary.
 
Families, faculty, staff, and the greater River Forest community will be informed of any decision via the School Messenger notification system. Information will also be placed on the District 90 website (home page and all school pages), Facebook, and sent to the Emergency Closing Center ( emergencyclosingcenter.com ), which communicates school closings to the area's television and radio stations.
Filing Deadline for School Board Elections Nears 
Have you considered running for a position on the District 90 Board of Education? The election for four seats on the School Board will be in April 2017. Cook County's filing deadline is December 19. The River Forest Community Caucus will conduct interviews of candidates in January. For more information on the election process including the dates and procedures for filing, visit the sites below.  
For information on the River Forest Community Caucus interviews, contact Caucus Chairperson Cal Davis.
District 90 Composting Diverts Waste Material
Did you know that District 90 schools collectively diverted 15,000 pounds of organic waste from the landfill last school year? Last year was the first full year of curbside compost pick up through our waste hauler, Roy Strom & Company. In the past, the curbside composting program was done on site and did not allow meat, dairy and large amounts of paper goods such as pizza boxes, paper plates and napkins. Now, because the food scraps go to a commercial composting facility, all food scraps are allowed. Green4Good (G4G) volunteers have been working with students and staff to help sort lunch waste, especially on Fun Lunch days. This year the goal for diversion is 18,000 pounds. For more information on what goes into the compost, recycling and waste bins visit the G4G webpage. For more information how to participate at home through the Village visit http://vrf.us/curbsidecomposting. 
Wellness Events at District 90
District 90 is offering several opportunities for exercise and wellness for employees. In partnership with the West Cook YMCA, District 90 is offering weight training and yoga for staff members. Weight training is offered on Tuesdays, with yoga offered on Wednesdays. The Cyclebar, an indoor cycling facility in Oak Park, recently offered District employees a VIP class. These offerings, along with others such as free flu shots, are part of the District's efforts to keep employees healthy and support the importance of wellness.
Whole Foods Welcomes Willard Students
Willard's morning Early Childhood class recently visited the local Whole Foods. Students were taken on a tour of the store and learned about the various jobs held by store employees. Discussions with store employees helped students learn about different grocery sections. Our thanks go to the volunteers and Whole Foods staff who made the trip memorable for our youngest students, and an exciting learning experience.
District Students Give Back
All three District 90 schools - Lincoln, Willard, and Roosevelt - encourage students to be involved and to care about the larger community. Students
Thanks to Ann Hamon for the picture.
are also urged to put their concern into action. Willard's Kindly Wizards transformed their Halloween activity into an event that supports UNICEF, a global child aid organization. Willard students made ads to promote UNICEF, while learning about the global organization.  Additionally, all three schools participated in the second annual Oak Park River Forest Community Blanket Drive. The blanket drive requested donations of new or gently used blankets and sleeping bags for several area transitional housing or shelters. Lincoln students made several blankets for the drive. Please know how proud we are of our students for showing such support for others in the larger community.
                   
Roosevelt's Fall Fun Fest Continues the Fun
Roosevelt's Fall Fun Fest continued its tradition of school-wide fun. Roosevelt students, along with their siblings and parents, enjoyed a variety of events and games. Activities such as pumpkin decorating, a bouncy house for younger children, a cakewalk, and a parents' lounge were all part of the evening's many festivities. Volunteers, including the members of the OPRFHS Tau Gamma Service Club donated approximately 170 hours of service to the event. Roosevelt's Fun Fest was a rousing success on several fronts. For more pictures from the Family Fun Fest, please click here to visit the District's Facebook page. Thanks to Kate Willsey and Matt Kosterman for the pictures from this event.
Lincoln Kindergartners' Pajama Launch
Lincoln Kindergarten students are again participating in the One Million Good Nights program, a partnership with Pajama Program and Scholastic. This is the third year that Lincoln students will collect new pajamas for children in need. The national program's goal is to collect one million new pajamas, books, and other resources for children in homeless shelters and foster care. For each pair of pajamas collected, Scholastic will donate a new book to accompany the gift of sleepwear. Pajamas donated by Lincoln Kindergartners will go to the Sarah's Inn in Oak Park. This initiative complements classroom instruction by emphasizing the importance of helping others and supports the social emotional development of students. 
Holiday Light Recycling
Residents of River Forest can recycle their holiday lights at a Village collection site located on Central Avenue between Park Avenue and Keystone Avenue. The collection site will be open 24/7 from December 15 through January 15. Holiday lights accepted for recycling includes Italian mini lights, traditional lights, LED lights, rope lighting, and extension cords. The Holiday Light recycling efforts does not accept fluorescent bulbs or CFL's.
In This Issue
There's Still Time for the 5Essentials Survey
Winter Break in District 90
Getting News About Inclement Weather
Filing Deadline for School Board Elections
District 90 Composting Diverts Waste Material
Wellness Events at District 90
Whole Foods Welcomes Willard Students
District Students Give Back
Roosevelt's Fall Fun Fest Continues the Fun
Lincoln Kindergartners' Pajama Launch
Holiday Light Recycling

Important Dates

December 16
Winter Concerts
Lincoln and Willard Schools
 
December 19
Board of Education Meeting
7:30 p.m.
Roosevelt LLC

December 23 
Early Dismissal
2:30 p.m.
 
December 26 - January 6
Winter Break 
No School 

January 9
Classes Resume 
 
January 10 
Committee of the Whole Meeting
7:00 p.m.
Roosevelt LLC
 
January 16 
Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday
Non-Attendance Day
 
January 17 
Board of Education Meeting 
7:30 p.m.
Roosevelt LLC
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