News from Homewood School District 153/November 15, 2017
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Thankful For Our Awesome Board of Education
A Letter from the Superintendent

November 15th is School Board Members Day in Illinois.  On behalf of the staff and administration of Homewood School District 153, I want to thank the extraordinary people who serve on our board of education for their commitment to our public schools.

School boards are charged with a unique and often difficult job.  They must guard two of a community's most precious resources-its children and its tax dollars-creating the best educational environment possible with increasingly limited resources. 

Our school board bears responsibility for an annual budget of about $22 million and the welfare of nearly 2,000 students and 300 employees in three different schools. 

The time our members spend in board meetings represents just a fraction of the actual hours they devote to this school district.  They spend countless hours digesting information in preparation for those meetings and asking lots of questions.  They can be found walking the hallways and greeting parents during school open houses; pitching in at school fundraisers; and cheering on students during concerts, plays and sporting events.

And tonight and tomorrow night they will devote even more hours to this school district and away from their families and other responsibilities. As part of our strategic long-range planning committee, they will be collaborating with others from the community to create a vision and action plan for District 153's future.

Our school board does so much for us-without pay and too often without recognition.

May I make one request of you? The next time you see Ashanti Bethea, Alex Bosch, Deb Havighorst, Greg Lawrence, Shelly Marks, Jim Schmidt or Ron Zinnerman at Walt's or Starbuck's or elsewhere in the community, will you let him or her know their efforts are noticed and appreciated?

As we head into a week of  parent-teacher conferences and our extended Thanksgiving holiday, please know that I continue to grateful to be a part of this wonderful learning community and for the many, many ways you support our schools.

Wishing you a restful and fulfilling holiday,

Dr. Dale Mitchell, Superintendent
Thankful For Our Veterans
8th-grader Bill Colton and 7th-grader Dylan Barnas play Taps.
A Special Veterans Day Observance

District 153 was honored to host local veterans on November 10th at our Veterans Day Program and Breakfast. 

The day began with a flag raising ceremony and the playing of Taps at James Hart School. Then an assembly with the school's 8th-graders with the orchestra performing the National Anthem and the Symphonic Band performing the U.S. Armed Services Medley (photo below). Then our local veterans were treated to breakfast in the cafeteria.
Campaign Raises $655 for Military Families

James Hart School's "Jeans for Troops" campaign raised $655 for the GI Go Fund, a nonprofit that helps military families find jobs, health care, housing, and educational opportunities. 

The money was raised by staff and students who paid for the privilege of "dressing down" on Nov. 8th.
Thankful For An Increasingly Rare Opportunity
Holocaust Survivor and Author to Share Her Message of Love, Respect and Tolerance

On Tuesday, December 5, Homewood School District 153 will host Holocaust survivor and critically-acclaimed author Marion Blumenthal Lazan at 6:30 pm in the James Hart Middle School gym. This free event is open to the public.

During Hitler's rise to power, the Blumenthals, a Jewish family, were trapped in Nazi Germany. They managed to make it to Holland, but soon after, it, too, was occupied by the Nazis. For the next six years, the Blumenthals were forced to live in various refugee and concentration camps, including the notorious Bergen-Belsen.  

Today, Blumenthal Lazan shares that compelling story in her book, Four Perfect Pebbles, co-authored with Lila Perl. It chronicles her family's horrific struggles in Europe and their eventual new life in America.

Lazan also speaks to groups around the world, telling about the horrors she and her family endured while emphasizing the need for love, respect and tolerance for one another.

Shelly Marks, President of the District 153 Board of Education, said she hopes the Homewood-Flossmoor community will turn out in great numbers to hear Blumenthal Lazan speak.

"Marion is uniquely qualified to talk about the importance of love, courage and appreciation of diversity. During times such as these, her message is more important than ever to hear and reflect upon," said Marks.

James Hart's middle-schoolers are reading Four Perfect Pebbles as part of their "One Book One School" program. Students will discuss the book with Blumenthal Lazan at a school assembly scheduled for Dec. 6.

"We are so grateful that our students will have this increasingly rare opportunity to hear a first-hand account of this dark period in history," said James Hart Principal Dr. Scott McAlister. "This will really bring the written pages of our history books to life."

The event is made possible by contributions from the following: Ilene & Gary Banach;  Amy & Eric Crump; Lynn & Barry Gaby; Betti & Neal Goldberg; The Heiferman Family; Homewood PTA; Homewood Rotary Foundation; Marty & Jamie Joffe; Diane & Paul Kessler; Kirschner Vision Group; Latman Insurance Group; Shelly & Steve Marks; The National Council of Jewish Women Iris Dreyfuss Fund and other anonymous donors.
Two Delicious Ways to Support Your Schools!

Through Nov. 17
Monday, Nov. 20

Future Dates

November 20 No School: Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 20 Cook's Night Off Fundraiser at Chipotle
November 21 No School: Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 22 No School
November 23 No School: Happy Thanksgiving!
November 24 No School
November 29 Voyage to Excellence Open House, HF High School, 7:00-8:30 PM
December 5 HSD153 Presents Marion Blumenthal Lazan, JH Gym, 7:30 PM
December 6 Early Dismiss Day
December 7 7th/8th Grade Choir Concert, JH Gym, 7:00 PM
December 11 School Board Meeting, JH Media Center, 7:00 PM
Homewood School District #153 | 708.799.8721 |