News from Homewood School District 153/ September 23, 2016
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Board Approves FY17 Budget, District Gets A+ Rating

District 153's school board approved a budget for FY17 at its September 19th meeting. 

The FY17 budget projects a deficit of $600,000.  The projected deficit is lower this year due to a combination of the district's restructuring efforts and the state fully funding General State Aid. The school district did better than projected last year (FY16), too. The projected deficit was was $2.5 million, but it was actually $1.8 million.

If you want to know more about the FY17 budget, a presentation is on our website here.

District 153 is proud to announce that it has maintained its A+ rating from Standard & Poor's. The rating agency was impressed by the district's efforts to control expenses through its restructuring and its sound business practices, in general.

"It is no small thing to get an A+ rating anywhere in the state of Illinois these days," said School Board President Shelly Marks at the board's September meeting. "The favorable rating means we'll pay less to borrow when we issue our bonds, and our money will go further."
Spotlight on Math in 2016-17 
After input from staff and administrators, District 153 has finalized its goals, projects and initiatives for the 2016-17 school year.

The District's main goal this year? Increasing student achievement in math.

"We've spent the past few years concentrating on English language skills, adopting and implementing new curriculum and creating common assessments. Now we turn to math," said Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell.

The District adopted new curricula for Willow and Churchill Schools this year. (For more, see HF Chronicle article here.)

Among this year's projects is a directive to K-8 math teams to develop common formative assessments at grade levels aligned with essential skills and common core standards and for all staff to receive professional development relating to student engagement strategies.

In addition, K-8 science/STEM teachers, 6-8 social studies teachers, and K-8 physical education/health teachers will be reviewing curriculum and making recommendations for the 2017-18 school year.
SMART Lab Ribbon Cutting Celebration Oct. 18

Please help District 153 officially open the new Smart Lab at James Hart School. We're hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house:

Tuesday, October 18
6-7 pm
James Hart School Smart Lab

In the meantime, check out how some of our students have been exploring new concepts and ideas on the Smart Lab website.

You can also subscribe to the Smart Lab's own YouTube channel
2015-16 "Tom Dockweiler" Award Winners Announced

The Board of Education has presented four students with the 2015-16 "Tom Dockweiler Award" which honors students who showed great academic improvement during the previous school year through hard work, persistence and a positive attitude.  The award is presented yearly to one student at each school and is named in honor of Thomas Dockweiler, a former school board member who retired from the board in 2007 after 21 years of service.
Nia Turner, James Hart School
with Principal Scott McAlister, Superintendent Dale Mitchell, School Board President Shelly Marks and Tom Dockweiler
Caitlyn Kruder, Millennium School
with Asst. Principal Mary Kay Gardiner, Superintendent Dale Mitchell, School Board President Shelly Marks and Tom Dockweiler

Davin Pace, Churchill School
with Asst. Principal Nicole Kerr, Superintendent Dale Mitchell, School Board President Shelly Marks and Tom Dockweiler
Alayna Frangella, Willow School
with Principal MaryAnn Savage, Superintendent Dale Mitchell, School Board President Shelly Marks and Tom Dockweiler

James Hart Baseball Earns Regional Title

Our James Hart Panthers are the regional baseball champs after edging out cross-town rivals Parker Jr. High, 6-5, on Tuesday. 

On Saturday at 11 a.m., they take on Mokena at Summit Hill Jr. High in Frankfort in the sectionals.

Way to go, Panthers!
Dippold Honored by School Board

Technology staff person Bob Dippold is the latest recipient of School District 153's "Jerry Morin Excellence in Education Award." The quarterly award recognizes outstanding work in School District 153 and was established in honor of former school board member Jerry Morin who retired in 2007 after 14 years of service.  
PMA Magazine Sale & Membership Drive Underway

Help support music education at ALL THREE schools--become a member of the Parent Music Association! Click below to find out more about all the great ways PMA works to make sure our kids have the chance to explore the wonderful universe of music.

Click here to support music education in District 153!
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Did you remember to join the PTA this year?

Simply put, District 153 couldn't do what we do for children without our PTA. Please join today!

Click here for more information.
Homewood School District #153 | 708.799.8721 |