June 2018
Message from the Superintendent

Another incredible cohort of Eighth Graders graduated from Park.  Kindergarteners are on their way to be the Park graduating class of 2026 (and the high school graduating class of 2030)! One year, another class of students, another start to summer, and the cycle will continue.  But school is so much more than that for our teachers and staff and students.  This year was filled with so many incredible opportunities for our students.  Our librarians and many of our teachers reported students in the elementary schools being more engaged than ever in reading and the sharing of their reading with their peers.  Our World Language teachers have talked about how much the students in their French or Spanish classes are communicating in the target language being learned, both in written and spoken modes. We watched students at all schools, over the course of the year, engage in STEAM (science, tech, engineering, arts, and math) activities learning new things.  We listened to enthusiastic musicians perform for audiences in and out of the school buildings. We watched exciting sporting events and walked through halls covered with inspiring student artwork. Our students actively served others through various fundraisers for charities, serving at food shelters, and other community-service opportunities.

Do each of these opportunities raise a test score? Do they provide the basis for a well-designed resumé for the future? Will they guarantee success in a high school AP course?  The answer is...it depends.  It depends on how we help our students look at the interconnectivity of all that they do, of all that happens in their life. Our children need to be able to read, write, and perform various arithmetic skills.  But our children also need to know how to communicate in multiple ways, engage with others in meaningful ways, solve simple and complex problems, demonstrate empathy and compassion, develop perseverance so they don't give up the first time they fail, and dream big. It is the ability to connect all of these pieces that will pave the road for individual student success.

District 102 has been on a journey over the last three years from "Here to There."  Three years ago, I held listening and visioning sessions to learn what this community valued, what they wanted to see from their schools and their children, and what kind of future the community wanted for its children.  We developed a Strategic Plan that created the "There" for our journey.  We entered this year with gusto; confident that the Strategic Plan Goals were lofty and achievable.  If we are going to make meaningful changes, it will mean some things will work and some things will evolve.  I am excited with what was accomplished this year and even more excited about what will be accomplished next year.  The true irony is that in education the "There" will always keep moving. The students join us on this journey.  We do education with students, not to students.  We are excited for this summer time to relax, rejuvenate and re-imagine.  But even during the summer our teachers and administrators will continue on our journey from "Here to There"; evaluating, analyzing, and modifying curriculum and programs based on what we learned this year.  Education is a journey that continues throughout our life.

Have a great summer.  We will see you on August 22 when classes resume. 

District 102 Title 1 Grant Parent Information/Grant Planning Meeting

Monday, June 11th 6:30-7:30pm
Park Junior High School Library

Parents of children who attend Forest Road, Congress Park or Park Junior High School or other interested community members are invited to attend the District 102 Title 1 Grant Parent Information and Planning Session on Monday, June 11th at 6:30pm in the Park Junior High School Library.

District 102 receives funding through the Federal Title 1 Grant Program to supplement instructional opportunities for students at qualifying schools. Based upon Free and Reduced Lunch Program enrollments, Forest Road, Congress Park and Park Junior High School all qualify and receive supplemental funds through this grant program. As a requirement of the program, District 102 annually provides a meeting for parents to learn about Title 1 Grant funding at their child's school and also to allow parents to provide input for future grant planning.

Dr. Christopher Finch, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, will be sharing how Title 1 Grant funds were spent during the 2017-2018 school year and talk about the 2018-2019 grant process for all eligible schools. Building administration will also be present as well. Parents will have a chance to provide input and ask questions during the meeting.
Teaching and Learning Department

Standards Based Grading & Reporting Update

On June 7th staff across the district had the opportunity to come together and learn about standards-based grading. Teachers began with a whole group presentation and then worked with their building level colleagues to further understanding and develop building plans to support implementation and communication with parents. A 4-year implementation plan was also reviewed. You can see a copy of this plan by clicking here.

For the 2018-2019 school year, teachers will be working towards the following shifts in their grading practices:
  1. Identifying for students and parents what the learning expectations are in an assignment, unit of study and/or curricular area. (Standards)
  2. Using feedback and grading to help students and parents know where students are performing in relation to the learning expectations. (Proficiency)
  3. Reporting to parents both a student's level of academic achievement and also if their student is meeting the grade/age appropriate behavior or work habit expectations.
  4. Understanding how to use and leverage the online gradebook program to communicate what the learning expectations are and where students are performing in relation to those expectations.
As a reminder, students in grades 5-8 will continue to receive letter grades for report cards.

Parents interested in learning more about standards-based grading are invited to join a book study on the topic. Below are Eventbrite links for a 2-session book study. Participants will be responsible for getting their own copy of the book and for reading the assigned chapters before each session. If you sign up for one of the sessions, you will receive an email by June 30 with the title of the book and chapter assignments for each session. All sessions are held in the Park Junior High School Library.

Option #1:
Monday, July 9, 2018 & Monday, August 6, 2018 (10:00am-12:00pm) 

Option #2:
Monday, July 9, 2018 & Monday, August 6, 2018 (2:00pm-4:00pm)

Option #3:
Monday, July 9, 2018 & Monday, August 6, 2018 (6:00pm-8:00pm)

Over the summer we will be working to add information about Standards Based Grading and Reporting to the district website as well.
Talent Development Services Program

Ten years ago, D102 committed to developing the academic abilities and personal attributes of all students by providing challenging, appropriate curriculum for all learners, including those who possess (or have the potential to possess) high levels of aptitude. A key result of this commitment was the creation of the Talent Development Program. 

During those ten years, a lot has changed in the field of gifted education and we have learned a lot as a district that has helped us to continually evolve the program year after year. We continue to seek new ways to access opportunities for students and make adjustments to staffing and resources to maximize them for our students. 

For this upcoming school year, we have made some shifts in a few areas of the program. These shifts will help us to achieve our mission and expand access to more enrichment and engagement at school, while maintaining a high quality accelerated service component. 

To read the full letter by Dr. Randy Lange, please click here.
Special Education Department  

As we end the school year, there are many things to note in accomplishments.

It's easy to see the excitement build at the end of the school year and then suddenly, the last day with students is here, followed by a couple of days of staff time together, and now the halls are quiet.  While ESY and summer school seemed a long way off, both programs began on June 11.  We are very fortunate to have several district staff members committed to work during their summer vacation.

A meeting was held on May 18 with a group of parents, special education staff members and district administration to review the special education department goals and objectives.  Parents, teachers and administrators collaborated in updating some of the department objectives that will make them more understandable for all.  The changes have been made and will be posted on the district website in the special education section.  Along with that information, selected handouts from professional development presentations will also be posted in the special education section of the website.

A number of Cossitt staff members took part in the 3rd Annual Ella's Race for a CURE 5K Fun Run/Walk, 1 Mile Walk & Kids Dash at Bemis Woods South in Western Springs on Sunday, June 3 to benefit Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE).

It truly is a great feeling to be able to end my career, having had the opportunity to know and work with the special education staff for District 102.  They are passionate and dedicated to meeting the needs of all students.  Teaching is far more challenging today than it ever has been.  Not only are teachers obligated to the academic needs, but there is a strong focus on the social emotional needs as well. The experiences that I have had with this group of professionals is memorable and provides a very positive outlook for the future.  I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of LaGrange School District 102 and leave with very positive thoughts, but a heavy heart, knowing I will miss working with this incredible team and the wonderful students and parents.

Dr. Joyce Powell
Assistant Superintendent for Special Education
District Committee Update 

Committee for Equity and Minority Achievement (CEMA) 
The CEMA Advisory group met on May 29. The group heard updates on the subcommittee work as well as updates on various diversity and equity happenings throughout the district. Members also shared an update on the MSAN conference and Dr. Schumacher spoke about the last MSAN business meeting that occurred in May. The group then discussed the team make-up for next year as well as some possible areas of focus.
District Summer Hours

Please note that School offices will be closed after Tuesday the 19th of June.  District offices will be open Monday-Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm from the week of June 18 through the week of August 6.  School offices will be open beginning Monday, August 6.
Seeking Paraprofessionals and Substitute Teachers for 2018-19

District 102 is looking for paraprofessionals and substitute teachers for next year. We will hold a meeting on August 2nd from 9:00-10:00am for individuals who may be interested in learning more about substituting OR being a para in District 102. The meeting will be held in the District Board Room.  
Extending a Special Thank You

Thank you to the District 102 PTOs/PTCs for providing cookies for the 
District 102 End of Year Celebration! 
They were wonderful. 

Summer Programs at District 102

Summer has begun and District 102 is offering a variety of summer programming options. The link to these exciting opportunities can be found on our district homepage under the "Aestiva 102" section or click here.  Registration for S.O.A.R. classes is still open. Students outside of District 102 can take classes as well.  

For additional information, please contact Dr. Randy Lange at langera@dist102.k12.il.us.  If you have questions about Camp Aestiva's Destiny: IMAGINATION, S.T.E.M. Camp, or Dual Language: Immersion programs, please contact Katrina Lyles at lyleska@dist102.k12.il.us.
Barnsdale Road Teacher to Present at International Conference

Jenny LaRocque, kindergarten teacher, has been selected to present at The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference on June 27 in Chicago. This is a nonprofit organization that works with the global education community to accelerate the use of technology to solve tough problems and inspire innovation. She will be doing a listen and learn, similar to a Ted Talk, with a number of other speakers. Her topic is
Culturally Responsive Teaching & Global Awareness in a Pre-K-2nd Classroom with a focus on technology.
Park Junior High Class of 2018

Congratulations to the 348 eighth graders who graduated on June 4th! Student speakers included: Brooke Bolan, Yanfu Ou, Marlo Armstrong and Chloe Reynolds as well as a performance by the Park Chorus. The following awards were also presented at the ceremony (please note, President's Education Awards Program recipients were noted in the graduation program):

William C. Newell Most Outstanding Student Award: Abigail Deuter and Caroline Vear 

James E. Battle Patriot Spirit Award: Benjamin Bereckis, Luke Caruso, Chloe Reynolds & Caroline Workman

Brookfield Kiwanis Award Most Outstanding Eighth-Grader from Brookfield: Ana Ortiz

Joanne Shultz Physical Fitness Award: Abigail Deuter

William Yena Physical Fitness Award: Matthew Bertuglia

Lanning Award for Excellence in Music: Sarah O'Riley

Excellence in Chorus Award: Hadley Weaver-Rivera

Director's Award for Band: Katherine Westfall and Shannen McGinn

Director's Award for Jazz Band: William Dodds

Director's Award for Orchestra: Isabella Schierl

Director's Award for Prelude: Madison Krause

Community Service Awards: Maggie Brophy, Caroline Workman, Persephone Herman, Sarah Claesson, Elise Wallin, Jonathan Remedi, Michael Gonzalez, Nathaniel Thomas, Caroline Vear, Edwin Galicia, Kaleb Walters, Katherine Tapia, Kristin Brudnicki, Isabella Lopez.

District 102 Class of 2018 Retirees

Congratulations to the following district staff members on  their retirements!

  • Marijo Belchak: PE Teacher, Cossitt School, 18 Years of Service 
  • Marsha Bowton: Kindergarten Teacher, Barnsdale Road School, 15 Years of Service
  • Susan Caemmerer: Third Grade Teacher, Forest Road School, 21 Years of Service
  • Penny Danko: Payroll Clerk, 16 Years of Service
  • Patricia Eisenhart: Paraeducator, Cossitt School, 22 Years of Service
  • Kathy Elwood: Resource Teacher, Ogden Avenue School, 23 Years of Service
  • Marlene Fleming: Paraeducator, Cossitt School, 13 Years of Service
  • Mike Johann: Director of Human Resources, 7 Years of Service
  • Sally Maas: Fifth Grade Teacher, Ogden Avenue School, 19 Years of Service
  • Zenia McBride: Art Teacher, Park Jr. High School, 19 Years of Service
  • Tony Miglieri: PE Teacher, Cossitt School, 33 Years of Service
  • Joyce Powell, Ed.D.: Assistant Superintendent for Special Education, 4 Years of Service
  • Sue Rakowski: Accounts Payable, 3 Years of Service
  • Cathy Raminski: Health Aide, Forest Road School, 11 Years of Service
  • Sandy Rapacki: Kindergarten Teacher, Barnsdale Road School, 13 Years of Service
  • Liane Rigitano: Resource Teacher, Forest Road School, 13 Years of Service
  • Vicky Schorsch: Social Studies Teacher, Park Jr. High School, 34 Years of Service
  • Leslie Shapiro: First Grade Teacher, Forest Road School, 23 Years of Service
  • Michael Tarantino: Social Worker, Park Jr. High School, 26 Years of Service
Saying Goodbye to Retiring District 102 Administrators

Mike Johann, Director of Human Resources

Mike Johann is completing his 44th year in education and seventh year in District 102. This is his 24th year in school HR and prior to that, he was a kindergarten principal, director of special education, and preschool special education teacher. Mr. Johann has served in Barrington CUSD 220, Community Consolidated School District 181, East Maine School District 63, Low Incidence Cooperative, Wabash and Ohio Valley Special Education Cooperative, and Harrisburg CUSD #3. He received his B.A. from the University of Illinois-Chicago and M.Ed. from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana.

Mr. Johann retired from full-time work in 2011, and can't believe seven years in District 102 has gone by so quickly.  He will continue in his role as Executive Director for the Illinois Association of School Personnel Administrators and will also serve in a reduced part-time capacity for District 102 in fall 2018.  He's looking forward to more quality time with his grandchildren and lowering his golf handicap.

Joyce Powell, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent for Special Education

Joyce Powell, Ed.D. has been in District 102 for the past four years. She earned her bachelor's degree in special and elementary education from Northeastern Illinois University, a master's degree in teaching and leadership from Saint Xavier University and her doctorate in education from Aurora University.  She has 29 years of combined teaching and administrative experience in special education. Dr. Powell has held positions at Hinsdale Township High School District 86, Elmhurst CUSD 205 and Central School District 301 in Burlington prior to her work in District 102. 

Dr. Powell plans to spend her retirement with family and friends, traveling, golfing, biking and reading. She also hopes to get involved in the community and volunteer.
Run for 102 Rakes in Close to $30,000 for District 102 PTOs/PTCs

The fourth annual Run for 102 - Race To The Finish 1 Mile Fun Run and 5K was held on Sunday, April 29.  The 2018 Run for 102 was a huge success! There were over 450 students, parents and friends of District 102 that signed up for the 1 Mile Fun Run or 5K events.  It was a sunny, spring day perfect for hosting the District community event at Ogden Avenue School's black top. The DJ was playing warm-up songs, inspiring all to stretch and get ready for the race.  Everyone paused, smiled and sung loudly for the national anthem and then the whistle announced the start of the race.  Neighbors, families and friends came out to cheer on the racers.  We have such an amazing district community and along with support from 31 local sponsors, $29,627 was raised through Race registrations and Sponsor donations. 

Thanks goes out to Race Directors Michele Grubish and Meghan Radtke, the race coordinators, chairs, volunteers and runners!  A special thanks is also in order for the race sponsors (view list here).
Summer Reading List

Please click here for some great summer reading selections from the District 102 LRC Directors!

Happy Reading!

Save the Date:
Join Lauren Mlade (Forest Road LRC Director) and the public librarians for a book talk on the 2019 Rebecca Caudill nominees for grades 4-8. Kids, parents, and teachers are welcome to attend this free event on Wednesday, June 20 at 4:00pm at the La Grange Park Public Library.
Register or drop in: details here.
Right At School Early Bird Promotion

Great news! Right At School will be returning next school year! Now until June 15th Right At School is offering an Early Bird promotion for registration. Families can enroll in the fun and enrichment EARLY for only $15. Sign up TODAY, offer ends June 15th. Please see attached flyer for more information!
Dates to Remember  
(Please visit a school or the district site for additional dates.)

June 11: Title 1 Grant Parent Information/Grant Planning Meeting, Park
                Jr. High LRC, 6:30pm

June 14: Flag Day

June 17: Father's Day

June 18: Special Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 6pm
(presentation on D102 Talent Development Services)

June 21: Summer Solstice

July 4: Independence Day (District Closed)

August 7: Residency Day, Park Jr. High, 8:30am-4:30pm

August 9: Residency Day, Park Jr. High, 10am-6:30pm

August 14: Residency Day, Park Jr. High, 8:30am-12:30pm

August 15: 7th Grade Orientation, Park Jr. High, 8:30am

August 20-21: Teacher Institute Days (No Student Attendance)

August 22: First Day of School (Half Day)

August 23: Board of Education Meeting, Park Jr. High LRC, 7pm

La Grange School District 102 | 708-482-2400 | 333 N. Park Road |
La Grange Park, IL 60526 | www.dist102.k12.il.us

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