August, 2017     

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Superintendent's  Message: 
Welcome Back!
Dear Families,
If I was a clever person, I would have made this school year's theme The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades.  Thanks to Mother Nature, our students will have the opportunity on the very first day of school to view the much anticipated solar eclipse.  According to the Adler Planetarium, the Chicagoland area will be the closest it has been to a total solar eclipse in 92 years!  What an amazing and historic teachable moment to mark the first day of another incredible year at Palos 118.  All students will have the opportunity to safely view the eclipse under adult supervision using NASA approved viewing glasses.  You can opt your student out of viewing the solar eclipse by simply contacting your school's office. 

The solar eclipse isn't the only exciting event happening next week as we begin the 2017-2018 school year.  To learn all about next week's events, visit our new and improved website at www.palos118.org.  For years, parents have been asking for enhanced mobile functions and a more user friendly calendar.  Well you've been asking and this year we've delivered!  I encourage all parents to check out our new website using your smartphones to see just how easy the mobile site is to navigate.  I also recommend parents link their personal calendars with our online school(s) calendar so you'll never miss an important date again.  For those of you that still enjoy the touch and feel of a paper calendar, you can download and print our traditional calendar which will be uploaded to Quick Links next week.

If you've already visited our website, you may have noticed our new school district logo.  The logo was created to better capture the essence of Palos 118.  Nestled between the towering trees of the Cook County Forest Preserve, our Palos students are reaching higher and higher every day as they strive toward reaching their full potential.  As an institution of learning, our work is rooted in the acquisition of knowledge.  While our previous logo served us well, it is my hope you find our new logo more representative of who we are as a school community.

As superintendent, I like to think of myself as Palos 118's biggest fan.  There is nothing I enjoy more than bragging about our students, staff and community.  So you can imagine how excited I am to have a new nearly instant way to brag about our school district to the world in a 140 characters 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  That's right... Palos 118 has entered the Twittersphere!  Want to keep up with all the amazing things our students are doing at Palos East, Palos West and Palos South?  All you have to do is follow Charlie Cardinal on Twitter @Palos_118.

Next week is going to be busy and there are always a couple hiccups to the start of the school year.  I ask that you please be patient with buses as they tend to run a little late the first week as we adjust routes and stops to best meet the needs of our riders.  Please come out and visit with us at our annual Back to School Picnic on Monday, August 21 from 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.  Cap off the end of a successful first week of school by attending our PFA's Back to School Bingo Night at the Palos Park Rec Department from 6-8:30 p.m.

Welcome back!  We've missed you.    

Warmest regards,
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella, 
Superintendent of Schools
People You Should Know
2017 New Teachers 

Palos East
Karen Cano - 5th Grade Teacher
Lauren Klomes - 3rd Grade Teacher
Meghann Kun - Special Education Teacher
Caitlyn Sekema - 4th Grade Teacher

Palos South
Brian Babulic - 8th Grade Science Teacher
Ryan Capriotti - Special Education Teacher (not pictured)
Gina Merritello - 8th Grade Math Teacher

Palos West
Melissa Bonavia  Special Education Teacher
Anna Cichowski - Special Education Teacher

Jeanine Graefen - Occupational Therapist
at East, South, and West (not pictured)

Palos 118 Bus Driver
Contact the transportation department at 708-448-4405 
if interested.

AUGUST 21, 2017
As we look forward to the first day of school, there are so many things to be excited about. Meeting your teachers, making new friends, and catching up with those you haven't seen in months at a back-to-school picnic make for wonderful memories. This calendar year, the first day of school for students in grades 1-8 falls on August 21st and promises to be more memorable than your average first day. An exciting scientific phenomenon will be occurring as we will be able to view a near total solar eclipse from the Palos area.

This partial solar eclipse will occur in our area from approximately 11:54 a.m. to 2:42 p.m. while children are in school. Recognizing that this is an outstanding real-time learning experience, District 118 has secured NASA approved solar eclipse viewing glasses for all stu dents who will be in attendance so that every student has the opportunity to participate in this spectacular event. The approximate prime viewing time will be between 1:15 and 1:25 p.m., and schools are making plans so that all students will go outside to view at that time. Please know that resources will be available for teachers and extra precautions will be taken to ensure that students are able to safely view the eclipse.

If you would like additional information on the solar viewing glasses, you can visit  www.luntsolarsystems.com. These glasses are ISO and CE Certified which make them safe for direct viewing of the eclipse. Please know that during the eclipse cycle, students will be outside only when under the direct supervision of a teacher. Recess will be indoors from 11:54-2:42 to ensure student safety.

Additionally, there are many videos available for how to view the total eclipse safely if you plan on watching from home. Just remember that in the Palos area, the eclipse will not reach totality, so protective eyewear is a must throughout the entire eclipse cycle.

Parents should contact their school office if you have any questions or if you do not want your child to participate in viewing the eclipse on August 21st. Any way you look at it, August 21st will be an exciting day and a memorable learning experience!
Kindergarten Individual Development Survey
Beginning this school year, all Illinois school districts will be required to participate in the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey - or KIDS for short - as part of the Illinois Readiness Initiative. KIDS is an observation-based tool that was developed so that teachers could collect information that is efficient, informative, and supportive of best practices in teaching.
Our kindergarten team has worked hard to ensure that the new observation protocols are embedded into our daily teaching practices and allow for observation to be aligned to our current report card so that assessment is not duplicated.

Although KIDS was originally designed to assess up to 55 measures, District 118 has selected to focus on the 14 key measures listed below. These areas are identified as key skills and indicators most predictive of future success. It is essential that we provide a snapshot of the whole child, looking at each child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being.
For more information on KIDS, you can visit the Kindergarten page of the  Illinois State Board of Education's website
Approaches to Learning - Self-Regulation
  • Curiosity and Initiative in Learning
  • Self-Control of Feelings and Behavior
  • Engagement and Persistence
Social and Emotional Development
  • Relationships and Social Interactions with Familiar Adults
  • Relationships and Social Interactions with Peers
Cognition: Math
  • Classification
  • Number Sense of Quantity
  • Number Sense of Math Operations
  • Shapes
Language and Literacy Development
  • Communication and Use of Language (Expressive)
  • Reciprocal Communication and Conversation
  • Comprehension of Age-Appropriate Text
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Letter and Word Knowledge
Dr. Jerry King Appointed New Board of Education Member

Dr. Jerry King of Palos Park was appointed by the Board of Education to fill the seat vacated by John Faustino. Dr. King is a retired thoracic and peripheral vascular surgeon who practiced at Christ Hospital for about 25 years. During his time at Christ, Dr. King served as medical staff president for two years after having served on numerous committees. After retiring from clinical medicine, Dr. King became a medical director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, eventually retiring in 2010. 

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West