BSD2's Community Newsletter | December 21, 2018
Have a safe and warm winter break, and a wonderful new year!
Photo of BSD2 Math Specialist Kristi Mullen working with a student
District 2’s student growth scores in math rank among DuPage County’s best, and the Daily Herald took notice.
Illinois School Report Cards listed growth scores measuring student progress from one year to the next for the first time this year, and Bensenville School District 2’s 57.5 percent growth score ranked among DuPage County’s best.

The score also caught the attention of local media.
The Daily Herald recognized District 2 in its October 30 State Report Card stories. Then, on December 8, it followed up that brief recognition with a more in-depth feature article that spotlights two of the main reasons for this growth: the increased rigor of our eighth-grade math curriculum and the professional development for math instruction the District has provided its K-5 teachers.

BSD2 community's generous spirit showcased through a variety of charitable holiday projects.
The holiday giving season got off on the right track this year when the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train pulled into town with a generous gift for the Bensenville-Wood Dale Food Pantry: a $10,000 check and more than 3,500 pounds of food donated by the huge crowd that turned out to see the lights and listen to the live music. District 2 and the Pantry are close partners in operating monthly Food for Families pop-up pantries at area schools.

The District also partners with the Village of Bensenville and the Bensenville-Wood Dale Rotary Club to host their toy and coat drives at Johnson School each year. This year, District 2 helped register 175 students in need for the Village’s toy drive, while Rotary’s coat drive provided about 275 of our students and their parents with new coats, hats, scarves and gloves to help get them through the winter. 

In addition to these efforts, more than 185 students received gifts this holiday season through BSD2 staff’s annual Giving Tree program. Each fall, school social workers and classroom teachers work together to identify students from families that may not be able to afford gifts and invite them to anonymously share their children’s wish lists and clothing needs. BSD2 staff then spend about $25 purchasing gifts from each list, and return their donations wrapped and ready to deliver to the families in need before Winter Break. This year, every student who had an ornament on the tree received a gift through the Giving Tree program, as BSD2 staff generously combined to donate nearly $5,000 to this charitable effort.
Photo of Canadian Pacific Holiday Train
Through their social movement projects, Blackhawk's eighth graders seek to solve the problems around them by learning from our history and following their passion.
For this unit, students researched past historical social movements to determine how they can change their world by becoming involved in current social movements they’re passionate about. They then created their own websites with mission statements and audio/video PSAs that explained the problems they were addressing and the goals or solutions they had in mind. They also created bumper stickers and flyers to promote their causes, and either interviewed or wrote letters to wide range of influential leaders, seeking their support for their cause.

Among those leaders was Village of Bensenville President Frank DeSimone, who actually visited students who wrote him letters on a wide variety of topics: everything from racism and bullying, to smoking and vaping, littering and pollution ... even the airport and annexation. (Check out video of one of those conversations above.)
From sing-a-longs to sporting events, 'Jingle Bells' rocked Blackhawk Wednesday.
Wednesday morning kicked off with back-to-back holiday concerts at Blackhawk Middle School -- one for BMS students followed by another for the District's second and fourth graders.

Both shows wrapped up with the Blackhawk Chorus leading the audiences in a lively sing-a-long of "Jingle Bells."

Then, later that afternoon, the Blackhawk Cheer and Dance Teams performed their new holiday mash-up routine featuring "Jingle Bell Rock."

Check out accompanying videos of both fun-filled performances.
Tech activities put computer science center stage.
In celebration of Computer Science Education Week (December 3-7), BSD2 elementary students have recently been participating in Hour of Code activities.

This year, students learned to code Ozobots. They did so by using different colored markers to create paths and special instructions for the tiny robots to follow. Once they grasped the color coding system, the students had to begin using it to program the Ozobots to perform specific and increasingly complex maneuvers to complete the different paths they were creating. (Check out video from these activities above.)

Hour of Code activities like these show students the importance of coding in the creation of their favorite websites, apps, and software, expose them to careers in computer science fields, and introduced them to the coding process through a variety of fun tutorials designed for different grade levels.

Decorating gingerbread houses with District 2's kindergartners.
Every year, the kindergartners at Johnson and Tioga School march from their classrooms to the cafeteria carrying undecorated gingerbread houses they fashion from graham crackers, milk cartons, and globs of white frosting.

Awaiting them in the cafeteria are colorful plates of assorted candies, and -- in many cases -- grinning parents eager to help them decorate their little creations with all those sugary confections.

It is the sweetest of sweet holiday traditions in District 2.

Photo of Johnson kindergartner building a gingerbread house
Still, Still, Still by the Tioga Chorus
March from the Nutcracker Suite by Johnson’s Fourth Graders
Elementary schools' winter concerts celebrate joy and peace by showcasing holiday traditions from around the world.
A standing-room-only crowd of parents packed Johnson's gym Monday morning for the first winter sing-a-long for Grades K-2 held by the school since the two buildings combined. Later in the day, Johnson's fourth and fifth graders and its Chorus and Ukulele Club delivered their annual performance before another packed house.

And at Tioga, the Chorus and Music Makers put on quite a show for their parents and families Thursday night before sending their classmates home for Winter Break with a repeat performance Friday afternoon.

Watching your children perform is one of the joys of being a parent. If you were unable to attend these events, or want to share these proud moments with friends and family, check out the BSD2 Community Relations account on Vimeo, as numerous performances from the past week have been posted there for your enjoyment.

Bensenville School District 2
210 S. Church Street
Bensenville, IL 60106