On a mission to ignite the power and potential of each student.
November 2019
Celebrating Student Achievement
District 20 Elementary Math Scores Increase
The 2019 Illinois Report Cards were released on October 30th, revealing large gains in math scores for District 20 elementary students. The results showed significant student growth in math proficiency since the introduction of Eureka Math into the curriculum in the 2018-2019 School year. In just one year, Greenbrook increased by 16% and Waterbury increased by 9%, which is an exciting accomplishment for both schools and our district.

The Eureka Math curriculum focuses on long-term success of students and focuses on the learning progressions required for true math fluency, rather than learning a set of skills. The program is designed to instill deeper understanding of math concepts that students can build on as they progress, while still allowing students to find fun in math. Elementary classrooms continue to utilize this curriculum and we are anticipating that math proficiency will continue to grow during the current school year.
GATE Enrichment Program
On November 7th, middle school students in the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program at Spring Wood particpated in their first Project Based Learning (PBL) Exposition for the 2019-2020 school year. Students in each grade (6th-8th) worked with a driving question for the trimester that was the basis for their informative papers and their PBL project that was presented at the expo. Students were required to have both a technical and print component for presentation on their topic.

The presenations were based on the following real-world problems:

  • 6th Grade: What is an environmental issue our city or state faces, and how can it be addressed?

  • 7th Grade: How do doctors make decisions that impact people's lives?

  • 8th Grade: What is a social injustice citizens of the world face today, and what change could be implemented to solve or reform this issue?

There will be two more GATE expos during this school year where students will be able to show their hard work to families and the community.
Greenbrook Choir Director: Kayla Hilliker
Waterbury Choir Director: Melanie Downey
Spring Wood Choir Director: Jessica Moore
Keeneyville Choir Festival
Students from Greenbrook, Waterbury and Spring Wood came together on November 20th to share their vocal talents for their parents and community at the Keeneyville Choir Festival. Each school performed several numbers separately, and then combined efforts for an amazing rendition of "This Is Me" with 74 performers! The event was very well attended, with families filling the bleachers.

This was the first time in a few years since the elementary schools had choirs, and it has been several years since there was a District-wide combined choir. The success of this event made it clear that students and families are already looking forward to the next Keeneyville Choir Festival!
Seeking Parent Feedback
Celebrating Education in District 20
School Board Member Day
On November 15th, we celebrated the 10th Annual School Board Members' Day by formally thanking the District 20 Board of Education for all that they do for our district. The Board works diligently to represent our district and "Transform Vision into Reality" for our students. We are grateful for their hard work! Board Members were individually recognized at the November 21st Board Meeting.
2019-2020 District 20 Board of Education Members featured above:

From left sitting: Vice-President Sara Bruno, President, Heather Weishaar and Secretary, Andrea Schnorr.

From left standing : Board Members April Dislers, Jennifer Kuban, Darletta Anderson, and Terry Walloch.
American Education Week
American Education Week, November 18-22, 2019, gave District 20 an opportunity to celebrate public education and honor those who help make a difference in our district and schools.

The first observance of American Education Week occurred in 1921 with the National Education Association and American Legion as the co-sponsors. The week was chosen as a way to help encourage public support for the importance of education. A resolution was passed to call for all communities to annual observe a week informing the public of the accomplishments and needs of schools and securing the cooperation and support of the public to help meet those needs.

Later co-sponsors of this national effort to support education included the US Department of Education, National PTA, and many other organizations. In recent years, American Education Week has been consistently celebrated the week prior to Thanksgiving.

District 20 recognizes the importance and impact of the many helping hands in our schools, and we are appreciative of all that is done to support the students, schools, and district. D20 utilized social media posts to help celebrate American Educaiton Week, and provided small tokens of appreciation to all staff throughout the district. We are grateful each and every day for our D20 parents, educational support professionals, educators, substitutes, and all others who help to REACH, EDUCATE, AND INSPIRE our students!
District 20 Board of Education
The Keeneyville Elementary School District 20 Board of Education held a regular board meeting on November 21, 2019 at Spring Wood Middle School. Meeting highlights are listed below. The next regular meeting of the District 20 Board of Education will be held on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 7:00pm at the Spring Wood Middle School Library (2nd Floor).

Meeting information and minutes are located on the website, or click here . You can also view video recordings of
Board Meetings on the Keeneyville YouTube Channe l .

 October Board Meeting Highlights

  • Superintendent Dr. Omar Castillo recognized each Board of Education Member for their service and commitment to District 20. Each Member received a certificate and a small token of appreciation from the District.
  • Board Reports were presented for Board Policy Committee, Health & Wellness Committee, Superintendent Parent Advisory Committee, and District Finance & Facilities Committee.
  • Dr. Castillo presented an overview of Student and Staff Attendance and the Discipline Report for each school.
  • Director of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Carrie Stange, presented the Illinois Assessment of Readiness for District 20.
  • Director of Operations and Treasurer, Wendy Flaherty, reviewed the Financial Dashboard, and presented the 2019 Tax Levy for All Funds for Board approval.
Board Salute

The Board recognized Jamie Jovanovic, a Special Education Teacher at Greenbrook, for her compassion and dedication to the students. Director of Student Services, Becky Cortesi-Caruso, nominated Ms. Jovanovic for the award and shared how she recently handled a student in crisis. Ms. Jovanovic was able to keep the student safe and assist him in managing his emotions. She is an inspiration to the students and families that she serves in the district.
Student Ignite Awards

Superintendent Dr. Omar Castillo and Board President Heather Weishaar helped to honor fifteen deserving students from Grades 4-8 across the District for their hard work during the 1st Trimester. Teachers and Administrators shared the reasons for nominating the students for the Ignite Award. Students were recognized for going above and beyond in the classroom, exhibiting excellent social emotional behavior, and/or excelling in co-curricular and athletic programs. We were thrilled that over 50 family members attended the Meeting to support and celebrate with their star students! Student Ignite Awards will be presented to students after each trimester.
School Highlights
Visit District News for more information about district-wide events.
Students at the Early Childhood Center celebrated Thanksgiving with a school-wide feast.  This is an opportunity for students to help make food in their classrooms and then all sit and eat together with all of the other classes. We love giving our students a chance to all be together as our preschool family while working on socialization, turn-taking, motor skills, and speech and language in a fun way. 

Visit School News to see other events and photos for ECC.
The Greenbrook Choir and 5th Grade Musical performed for the entire student body on November 18th. Both groups worked hard to prepare for their shows under the direction of music teacher and director Ms. Hilliker.

Music education is beneficial for students as it helps to promote teamwork, mental processing and problem-solving, listening, math skills, language skills, and improves test scores. These activities also provide opportunities for growing self-esteem, creativity, and help relieve stress. Most importantly, the students who performed for their peers enjoy being on stage and sharing their musical talents!

Visit School News to see other events and photos for Greenbrook.
During the week of November 11-15, Waterbury staff and students focused on kindness and participated in a different activity each day. On Monday, everyone was asked to wear blue for kindness and viewed an assembly from Prismatic Magic. Their Laser Team presentation reinforced that our school is a team, and the key attributes that make for successful teams include kindness, respect, integrity, generosity, honesty, and truth.

On Tuesday, we “Celebrated Our Individuality” by wearing odd socks. Our theme for Wednesday was “Be Crazy Kind,” and everyone was encouraged to wear crazy clothes. Thursday found our staff and students wearing “Caps for Compliments”. The week wrapped-up with a spirit wear day to show that we are “All United for Kindness!” What a fun way to encourage kindness to others and have fun too!

Visit School News to see additional Kindness Week photos.
On Monday, November 18 th , Spring Wood Middle School held its first Honor Roll ceremony of the year in the Historic Thunderdome. It was a very well attended event that celebrated all of the academic success of our students. The energy and excitement in the gym was contagious! 

Sixty-five percent of the Spring Wood student body made the Honor Roll for the first trimester, which is a huge accomplishment! We celebrated the students in two ways. The first was the High Honor Roll. To qualify for the high honor roll the students needed to obtain a 4.0 GPA. The second way to be honored was the Honor Roll. To qualify for this achievement students needed to obtain a 3.0 or better with no D’s. 
Mr. Pearce and the Spring Wood Staff is hopeful that for the next Honor Roll ceremony after Trimester 2 (date TBD), we are able to celebrate 75% of the student body earning this academic honor. What better way to celebrate Charger Pride then by honoring all of the students and celebrating their academic successes.
Community Connections
Bernie's Books Come to D20
In November, each and every student in Preschool through Grade 6 received a bag filled with books provided by  Bernie's Book Bank  to help encourage literacy. Bernie's Books celebrates 10 years of empowering children to read their way to a better life through book ownership. Since 2009, they have distributed 16.8 million free books to under-served children throughout the Chicago area.

District 20 is fortunate to partner with Bernie's Books and bring that love of reading to our students. Each student received a bag of approximately 6 age-appropriate books to bring home with them to start or add to a home library. Students will bring home another bag of books in the spring. Students will continue to receive two deliveries of books each year through 6th Grade.

The students were very excited to receive their own books and were quick to share their appreciation with huge smiles, heartfelt thank yous, and even writing letters to Bernie's Books.
Season of Giving
During the month of Thanksgiving is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and offer support to those in need. We are fortunate that students and families throughout District 20 are very generous with their thoughts, time, and service to others. Below are just some of the examples of giving to others in the community that we would like to celebrate this month.
Spring Wood students collect donations for 11-11-11 Program for Veterans transitioning out of homelessness.
SW Charger Changers volunteered at Phil's Friends to help bring support to those affected by cancer.
SW Students volunteered at Hands of Hope Food Pantry to provide Thankgsiving meals in our community.
We hope that you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Keeneyville Elementary School District 20 | 5540 Arlington Drive E | T (630) 894-2250