February Newsletter
LaGrange District 102
Superintendent Message
Every winter we are shocked with the weather. I know we are not really shocked or surprised, but we all put on a good act. I think it is self-preservation. We are not accustomed to appreciate extremes or change. Honestly, I think we sometimes use extremes and change as an excuse for our behavior and thinking. We trick ourselves into thinking this weather phenomena is unique. We fail to adequately plan for change or extremes.

District 102 is currently planning for future weather extremes by creating a late start schedule. In the past, the bus company was not able to adjust the schedules due to our shared buses with other districts. That is no longer the case. Our plan is to create a late start schedule that will allow us to have buses pick up one (1) hour later than the normal time. We hope to have that completed by the end of next week. Once this schedule has been created, we will communicate that out to parents. Sometimes, just getting an extra hour will allow the roads and lots to get cleared more easily.

While students like a snow day, most parents don't. It changes our routines. I encourage everyone who has not already created a backup plan, to have a way to get your kids to/from school should your normal routines not be available. What would your children do if you were stuck downtown or on the road trying to get home? Do you have a plan if they normally ride the bus and get home and you are not there (if you normally are)?

Change in routines can create a lot of anxiety for all of us. Having a plan in place, when possible, for the unexpected can help lessen that anxiety for children and also provide them with some feeling of control when things around them spin out of control.

Finally, this month we celebrate Black History Month. I encourage you to check out this link from Chicago Parent Magazine with Chicago area events celebrating the contributions and culture of Black Americans.

Thank you for all your flexibility this week as we navigated the weather-related challenges. Perhaps the worse is behind us for this year...

Stay warm!
5 Essentials Parent Survey Deadline is February 15. This survey provides feedback to the individual schools on a variety of topics that have an impact on school culture and climate. In order to get data that we can use, we need to have 20% of the parents in each school fill out the survey. The results are displayed on the Illinois School Report Card for schools who meet the 20% threshold. We strongly encourage you to please take a few minutes and fill out this survey by clicking on the link below.

Martin Rising
Explore the last months of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and his assassination in this original theatrical adaptation of the book Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Coretta Scott King award winners Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney. Produced and performed by local teens in collaboration with Northlight Theatre and Skokie Public Library. A talkback with Andrea Davis Pinkney will follow.

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
"Envisioned for young readers but sure to be appreciated more widely, Martin Rising depicts King as a source of warmth and brightness on its radiant front cover. [The Pinkneys] sustain and develop this idea throughout their book, paying stirring tribute to King's personal warmth, spiritual strength and leadership. The book's vivid poetry bursts with information as well as feeling, and the watercolor images are grounded in reality but feel elevated, on a higher plane." -The Washington Post

When: Sunday, February 24th
Where: Illinois Holocaust Museum | 9603 Woods Drive, Skokie, Illinois 60077
Time: 1:30 - 3:00 PM

Free with Museum admission.
Reservations required. Click below.

b. 1903 – 1986
Proof that visibility is not necessary to make an impact, Ella Baker is one of history’s lesser-known civil rights heroes, yet one of the most important. If Martin Luther King Jr. was the head of the civil rights movement, Ella Baker was its backbone.

In the 1940s, she developed a grassroots approach as an NAACP field secretary to gather and convince black people of the group’s message — a vision that holds true today — that a society of individuals can and should exist  “without discrimination based on race.”  In 1957, Baker moved to Atlanta to help King form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, through which she facilitated protests, built campaigns and ran a voter registration campaign called the Crusade for Citizenship.

Baker did grow frustrated at the lack of gender equality within the group, and came close to quitting in 1960. But then, on Feb. 1, four black college students sat at a lunch counter at  Woolworth’s  in Greensboro, North Carolina. After being denied service, they were asked to leave. Instead, they refused to leave and a movement was born.

A graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, who during her time there often challenged university policies, Baker viewed young people as one of the strongest and most important aspects of the civil rights movement. Inspired by the courageous sit-ins, Baker laid the framework for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC became one of the most important organizations in American civil rights history because of its commitment to effecting change through  Freedom Rides  and its particular emphasis on the importance of voting rights for African-Americans.

Baker earned the nickname “Fundi,” which is Swahili for a person who teaches a craft to the next generation. As a dedicated change agent, Baker taught young people that their spirit was essential to the movement. As long as they had the audacity to dream of a better, equal and brighter tomorrow — through the means of relentless peaceful protest and endurance — a fairer society awaited them. Baker died on Jan. 13, 1986, on her 83rd birthday.
Teaching and Learning
During their Yesterday and Today unit, dual language 1st graders compared present day with the past in both English and Spanish. With Mrs. Dames, the students compared the food, transportation, work and school with those of their grandparents. They also wrote about their own past experiences. With Mrs. Parra-Valverde, the students compared the life of the ancient Aztecs with life today. They crushed corn in a molcajete , a traditional mortar and pestle, and acted out the La Leyenda del Maiz, the Legend of the Corn. 
Home Extensions are Coming
The Talent Development Services Program is excited about a new idea to foster thinking. “Home Extensions” are topic-based and provide a series of activities to try, fun facts to ponder, and websites to explore. These extensions are meant to entertain and can be completed as a family or by individual students (grades K-8.)

Home Extensions are free! In honor of National Bubble Wrap Day, the first extension, centers on this product. Register to receive the first home extension through PushCoin. Once you register, Dr. Lange will send you a link to access the Bubble Wrap Home Extension. If you have multiple students interested in this extension, you only need to register one child. The link will allow you to print out as many Home Extensions as needed.

Hard copies of the Home Extensions can be requested by contacting Randy Lange (langera@sd102.org.)

There is a whole world to explore. Home Extensions aim to provide a platform to foster and ignite your inner explorer!
Using Social Awareness and Interpersonal Skills to Establish and
Maintain Positive Relationships.- Illinois SEL Standard #2

When: Thursday February 28th
Where: Park Junior High Library
Time: 7:00pm

Presented by:
Lynn Lawrence, D102 SEL Coordinator
Special Education
The Special Needs Advisory Panel (SNAP) has begun the process of creating an online parent handbook which we expect to debut by the end of this school year. The handbook will provide parents with information about special education services, processes, and procedures. It will be presented in a parent-friendly format, designed primarily by the parents on SNAP. This project will be the first major collaboration by the parent-staff-administrator-board of education SNAP membership. We are excited about its promise to help families with navigating the sometimes confusing world of special education!

Some of the content of the handbook will "come to life" within the next few months through our "Special Education 101" parent series.  If you plan to attend one or more sessions, please RSVP at this link:
Special Education 101:
February 13th
Special Education 101 
#1 IEPs and 504s: Who is Eligible? 
  • Learn the definition of Child Find 
  • Understand critical timelines for the evaluation process  
  • Discern the areas or "domains" that are included in an evaluation assessment 
  • Examine the difference between 504 plans and Individual Education Plans (IEPs) 
  • Explore the different special education categories 
March 18th
Special Education 101 
#2 Individual Education Planning: Parts and Purpose  
  • Learn the parts of an IEP 
  • Discover who is on an IEP team 
  • Explore tips and things to remember when working on the IEP 
  • Understand how changes can be made to an IEP 
April 3rd
Special Education 101 
#3 Least Restrictive Environment: The Continuum 
  • Discover what an educational placement is and learn what some of the options look like 
  • Find out what research says about inclusive education 
  • Learn the definition of general education environment
We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming session! 
Students in the News
Beginning in October, third grade students at Cossitt School participated in creating “passion projects” on a topic of their choice. They researched and planned for a culminating project to show what they learned. One student, Wyatt Hare, decided to research "how to plan a fundraiser” and he decided to actually carry out the fundraiser he had planned for his project. After narrowing a lengthy list of potential fundraisers, including a bake sale, raffle, and read-a-thon, Wyatt decided to move forward with a coin drive that would involve the entire school.

Wyatt’s passion was for his fundraiser to benefit pediatric brain cancer research at Lurie Children's Hospital where he had previously been treated for a brain tumor. After careful consideration he set a goal of $500 and met with Principal Michael Michowski to pitch his idea. He shared his well thought out plan for the materials he would need as well as his plan to advertise the fundraiser. With the help of his "marketing team”, his sixth grade sister, Nora, and friend, Molly, he created posters and flyers to hang up around the school. He also sent flyers home to all Cossitt families to encourage their participation. In one final attempt to get the word out, Wyatt did an interview with Tiger Tube, the Cossitt School “news” station that is broadcast once a week, and promoted his fundraiser which kicked off on Monday, January 14th.

The response was overwhelming and the energy and enthusiasm in the hallways was contagious as students flooded in to donate their coins and cash to this worthy cause! Wyatt encouraged participation with a friendly competition between grade levels enticing the winning grade level with a popsicle party, as well as a “pajama day” for everyone to celebrate on Friday! The excitement continued throughout the week culminating on Friday, January 18th and with the help of staff members and Wyatt’s family, the contents of the collection jugs were sorted and prepared to transport to the bank.

On the morning of Saturday, January 19th, Wyatt, his sister (Nora), his brother (Ben), his parents (Kim and Dan), and his teacher (Erin Peterson), met at the bank to get the overall totals with the help of the coin counter and a couple of very patient bank tellers. The result was an unexpected $7,649.13 to be donated to Lurie Children’s Hospital, blowing Wyatt’s $500 goal out of the water!

To reveal the grand total, Cossitt School came together for an impromptu assembly on the morning of Wednesday, January 23rd. They shared the excitement of shattering the $500 goal set by Wyatt and celebrated the overall outcome of the fundraiser. This heartwarming experience truly brought the Cossitt community together and it was all made possible by the passion of one determined, inspiring eight-year old with a vision!
District Highlights
Mighty Patriots' Heroes Vs Heroes
It’s fun, it’s over the top, it’s free admission, it happens only once a year, and  it’s coming on Tuesday, February 5th. 
*It’s the exciting Mighty Patriots' Heroes Vs Heroes game where your local Police and Fire Department will entertain you with a fun basketball game.
*The halftime entertainment alone will be worth coming for. 
*Mighty Max and his fellow mascots will be pitching out to the crowd over 50 full size candies. 
*One lucky kid will get Virtual Reality goggles when they put their name in the free raffle (must be present to win)
*Team Spirit Boom Sticks and patriotic wristbands will be given out to fans in attendance.
*Heroes Vs Heroes game- Tuesday, February 5th at 4:00 in the North Gym 
 *Come support and cheer on our Heroes!
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run-Chicago is an after-school program that inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. For 10 weeks, girls in 3rd-5th grade will train for a 5K and learn powerful lessons about teamwork, self-esteem, and leadership. This will be our 3rd year participating in the program, but we’re in need of amazing volunteers to make it possible.
You don’t have to be a runner or have previous coaching experience; just the passion to positively impact girls’ lives! By becoming a volunteer, you’ll help them recognize their inner strength, celebrate all that makes them unique, and train for a 5K. 
To host this season, we will need:
  • 1 volunteer Site Coordinator*, who is responsible for promoting the program, recruiting coaches and girls, and monitoring registrations.
  • 2 volunteer Coaches* for every team of 8-15 girls. Coaches are typically parents or site staff who will work directly with the girls; facilitating the curriculum at each practice, modeling healthy habits, and building strong, positive relationships. 

For more information:

Blue Boys Win 22-1
The 7th grade blue boys basketball team went 22-1 this season winning the conference and the Hodgkins Tournament! Why to go team!
Come get some strategies for parenting in this hyper digital age. As a follow up to our showing of Screenagers and part of the Positive School Climate Committee (PSCC) technology series, Liz Repking of Cyber Safety Consulting will be presenting Internet Safety. Learn how to safely and positively use technology at home as well as monitor your children's technology activity.
Join us Tuesday Feb 5th at 7 pm at the Park Jr High Auditorium.

Please register below!
The PSCC kids workshop formerly known as the Friendship Workshop for Girls has been renamed! The workshop is now the Star Program: Guiding the Path to Friendship and will include girls AND boys! 
Register your child today for this fun program which is an interactive way to address friendship issues and good peer communication in our young kids.  Through large group activities, small group discussions, games, and crafts, the kids will learn and practice ways to identify their feelings, handle conflicts with their peers and effectively communicate. The session will cap off with a brief yoga/meditation.

When: February 9th
Time: 9:30 am - noon
Cost: $28.00
Register with your Pushcoin account.
District 102 STEM EXPO
Saturday March 2nd, 2019
Registration is now open
Do you have your project planned? Go ahead and register at https://sites.google.com/a/dist102.k12.il.us/stem-expo/home/register-for-stem-expo
On Saturday, March 2nd, STEM EXPO will showcase the talents of K – 6 students in the areas of S cience, T echnology, E ngineering and creative M aking. We know that our students are creative and inventive so use those skills to do a project at home and share it with us. This event is designed to show off those talents in the scientific areas. We are hoping to have lots of different kinds of projects and many students to share what they have learned.

If you don’t know what STEM EXPO is… It is an event, like an old-fashioned science fair, but non-competitive, you are all winners! and you can share a science, engineering, technology or maker-style project. You complete the project at home or with some other program. Then bring your project and display board to share what you learned. Demonstrate and show off your project to visitors, teachers and other students.

Do you need some help?
·       STEM EXPO website has some information. Link to our website at
·       Start with something you are interested in
·       An Internet search can help to find a project.
·       Librarians, school and public libraries, have many books and resources that you can borrow.
·       Call or email Mrs. Hohl or Mrs. V. at the Science Center. We can use our experience to help you find something interesting for you. We are happy to help!
               708-215-6405  sciencecenter@dist102.k12.il.us
We encourage families who are new to the kindergarten process to attend an informational meeting. If you are already familiar with the process and do not have any questions, you can simply pick up a registration packet at your neighborhood school beginning February 20th 2019
Sports Resale

Got any gently used sports equipment lying around the house that’s just taking up space? Bring it to the third annual Congress Park Sports Resale! We’ll sell it on consignment for you on a 60/40 split, or you can donate your items to the PTO. Our sale will be on Saturday, February 23rd, with consignment dropoffs the night before. Donations will be accepted beginning soon - stay tuned for more details!
Run for D102

Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 8:00 am is D102's annual Race to the Finish 5K and 1-mile fun run. Early-bird registration starts February 1st. Sign-up early and get a discount! This year's course will start and finish at Forest Road School. We are also excited to announce that "Run for the Roses" will be joining us on race day to help further support our schools. More details about registration and day of events can be found at  RunFor102.org
February 5: Cyber Safety @7 pm in Park Auditorium
February 5: Heros vs. Heros
February 7:  Board Meeting 7pm-9pm
February 8:  Screening of The Year We Thought About Love
February 8: Grades 1-3 Sock Hop
February 9: PSCC Kids Workshop
February 14: School-wide Ice Cream Blast
February 23: Dad/Special Person & Daughter Dance
February 23: Sports Resale
February 24: Martin Rising
February 28: Talent Show
March 2: STEM Expo, Forest Road School
March 3: COMPASS, Forest Road School
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