June 2017
calendar boardbusiness presidentsReport pfa/fdn

Superintendent's  Message: 
21st Century Teaching

Dear Families,

Summer break is in full swing and District 118 is hard at work preparing for the 2017-2018 school year.  I hope this month's message finds you spending time with family, traveling and enjoying some much deserved time away from school! 

Recently, I was asked to provide a snapshot of my vision for classroom instruction.  I am a visual learner so I thought I would start by providing two pictures.  The picture on the left depicts the antithesis of my vision for classroom instruction; students sitting unengaged in traditional desks in unimaginative rows listening to a teacher instruct from the front of the classroom.  It reminds me of most of the classrooms from my own public school experience.  In contrast, the picture on the right of engaged students collaborating in small groups in a lively classroom environment with the teacher facilitating perfectly captures my vision for classroom instruction in the 21st Century.

Education is no longer just about transferring knowledge from teacher to student.  Students' smartphones and Google can - and do - take care of that.  Our education system is transitioning to primarily teach st udents how to effectively apply knowledge.  To be clear, this transition does not happen overnight and it does not happen through mandates from state and federal government, nor by edict from the superintendent's office.

The model 21st Century classroom teacher employs instructional strategies that develop students' abilities to critically analyze information, make informed decisions, collaborate with peers to solve problems, and effectively communicate ideas and arguments.  The 21st Century teacher strikes the right balance between engaging student-centered collaborative learning activities and whole group direct instruction.  They design lessons that tap into students' interests and link content to real world experiences.  21st Century teachers create authentic higher order assessments using multiple methods to allow students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do more than what they can merely recall.  In short, my vision for classroom instruction is the picture on the right and not the picture on the left.

Have a safe, relaxing and fun summer!  I look forward to seeing everyone when school resumes in August.    

Warmest regards,
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella, 
Superintendent of Schools
Nutritional Application Notice  
If you believe you are eligible for free/reduced lunch benefits, you will need to complete the online application through Skyward Family Access. This item will not apply to all families. Depending on household income and number of people in your household, your student may be eligible to receive free or reduced priced lunch benefits through the National School Lunch Program.
To submit an application, login into the Skyward Parent Access, select any student on your account from the red text drop down menu near the top of the page.  Click on the Applications tab.  Once an application is submitted for a student on your account, lunch benefits will apply to all students in your household, pending approval.  Please read the directions and follow the online prompts to complete the application.
Paper applications are also available at the Central Administration office at 8800 West 119th Street, Palos Park. 

Lunchtime  Supervisor
& Bus Drivers
Palos South
Class of 2017

Palos South Student Council President Natalie Oliven gives welcoming remarks.

Members of the Performing Arts Ensemble perform "Put a Little Love in Your Heart" and "Love Train."

Palos South's graduating class of 2017 is nearly 240 strong.

Person You Should Know
Palos South's 2017
Valedictorian & Salutatorian 

Megan Wren, Valedictorian

Megan was very involved at Palos South, having participated in student council, Pacesetters, photography club, and also a member of the Capstone Economic Development Group. In addition, she was President of the National Junior Honor Society. Megan's favorite subjects were English and Spanish, and she especially enjoyed helping 5th grade students become familiar with Palos South at Step Up Day. Megan will be attending Stagg High School in the fall where she plans on being involved in student council, club med, snowball, youth in government, and science club. Beyond high school, Megan has her sights set on becoming an anesthesiologist.


Kelsey Dwyer,


Kelsey packed her years at Palos South with athletics and many more activies and clubs including basketball, volleyball, Snowflake, the Tech Advisory Team, NJHS, and the Capstone program. Her favorite subject is science, and also played on travel vollyeball and basketball teams, as well as her church's volleyball and basketball teams. Kelsey will be attending Stagg High School where she hopes to play on the volleyball, basketball, and badminton teams. She would like to become involved in student council, as well as youth and government programs. Kelsey plans on attending college, but hasn't quite yet decided on a major course of study.

Free Summer Lunches

Palos West School Office 
Temporarily Moves to Palos East
Due to the ongoing construction project at Palos West, the front office will not be open until August 7 . All services for Palos West,   including registration  will be provided at Palos East School at 7700 W 127 th St, Palos Heights. The East office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m., and 12 p.m. - 3 p.m.  All offices will be closed July 4 in observance of Independence Day.
Student Assignment/Bus Schedule Information 
for 2017-2018 School Year
This summer all parent Skyward passwords will be reset. Assignment letters with your updated password along with instructions on how to access classroom assignments and bus routes will be sent out on August 1st. Using these letters, parents will be able to access this information through the Skyward Parent Access Portal in mid-August. Before July 1st please make sure your most up to date address is in the Skyward Parent Access Portal. If you have not received the Assignment Letter by August 4th please contact the district office at 708-448-4800 to verify your address. Usernames and passwords will not be given out over the phone.
To prevent any delay in receiving your classroom assignment please pay all student fees and lunch account balances.
  1. Make sure you have paid all outstanding fees and negative lunch balances. Please login into Skyward Parent Access to see any outstanding fees and balances.
  2. Verify your address in Skyward Parent Access.
  3. Look for your Assignment Letter the first week of August. Notify the district at 708-448-4800 if you do not receive the letter by August 4.
  4. Logon to Skyward Parent Access to view student classroom assignments and bus routes in
Summer Learning
Students and parents alike enjoy summer vacation because it is a time when you can focus on family and fun without the constant deadlines of homework, projects, or preparing for next week's big test. However, research from the National Association of Summer Learning has shown that many students can lose up to two months of reading and math skills during the summer break.   

To succeed academically, children need continuous opportunities to learn new skills and practice existing ones.  Because this can be a challenge over the summer vacation, I included some simple and practical suggestions for keeping your children academically stimulated until school begins next fall:

Encourage Summer Reading   

Reading throughout the summer is a great way to stimulate a child's mind and prevent summer learning loss. For children who love reading, build in trips to the local library or bookstore as part of your summer activities. If you have a reluctant reader on your hands, consider having newspapers or magazines around the house and see if you can find articles to spark your child's interest.


Initiate Activities with Math

Math is all around us in the summertime, and it benefits our children tremendously when we include them in the planning and preparation with many activities.  For example, having your child cook with you will reinforce reading, math and measurement skills. If you are going on vacation, have your child help with calculating the mileage of the trip, estimating the cost of gas, food, hotels, etc. This will not only reinforce the application of basic math skills, but it will give them the real-world skills they need to be successful. Shopping is another great way to reinforce money and budgeting skills. 


Research Vacation Destinations   

If you are going to a new destination this year, assign your children an age appropriate research project so they can learn about where they are going.  The internet provides a wealth of historical and current information that may give you great ideas for places to visit and make the trip a memorable experience. 


Promote Educational Games or Activities Online  

Many students enjoy going onto websites like IXL.com or learninggamesforkids.com to practice math, English, science and social studies.  Many of these interactive sites are free, and they typically provide incentives to keep kids motivated. Establishing consistent times for children to use these digital tools will provide structure and increase your child's chance of meeting his or her learning goals. 


Take Advantage of Summer Programs in the Community

Children tend to enjoy structured summer learning activities because they are around their peers.  Whether it be registering for District 118 programs, summer sports camps, public library programs, or taking advantage of Moraine Valley's Valley Learning Center (VLC), educational opportunities are available in the community to stimulate learning and keep students involved with their peers.


Participate in the Illinois State Board of Education's Summer Learning Program (ISBE)   

ISBE has created a platform to help Illinois families engage in reading and math activities throughout the summer.  Parents are encouraged to visit the Illinois State Board of Education's website at  to learn more or register for these free programs. 


As you enjoy the fun and sun that summertime offers, be sure to plan a few family-friendly educational activities with your child. Because before you know it, school will be back in session.

Save the Dates: Summer Tablet Orientation
Parent/student orientation for ALL incoming 7th and 8th grade students will be held at Palos South (Commons) to cover training on basic use, care, and expectations for the tablet. Families are required to attend ONE session. The tablet will be issued to your child after completion of the orientation and the sign-off form has been completed. 

Monday, August 7th 7th Grade
8th Grade
5:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 10th 8th Grade
7th Grade
5:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m.
Monday, August 14 7th Grade
8th Grade
5:00 p.m.
6:30 p.m.

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West