December 2015
recognition calendar boardbusiness pfa/fdn  presidentsReport  
2016 One District One Book Selection

With the mild temperatures and no snow on the ground, it's hard to believe the holidays are upon us and 2015 is already coming to a close.  As we celebrate the spirit of the season with family and friends, I'm reminded that we have much to be thankful for in Palos School District 118.

We're fortunate to have an engaged community dedicated to the success of our students. I'm proud of what we have accomplished this year; a balanced budget for the 11th consecutive year, good fiscal standing, expanded opportunities for students, and excellent test scores.

As always, I'm amazed and humbled at what we can accomplish when our students, families, staff, board members, and community work together; the recent annual Veterans Day Ceremony and Senior Holiday Breakfast at South are two perfect examples of our students using their time and talents to show appreciation for others. Volunteers in the PFA, Foundation, and music program make more events such as the Cardinal Chase 5K, Laps for Literature, and Harvest Fest possible. Their dedication, creativity, and commitment throughout the entire year help our students prosper and thrive.  

Over the past couple weeks, we've been treated to many holiday concerts and performances.  The bands, Performing Arts Ensemble, and choirs never disappoint, and it's rewarding to see the pride in their young faces when they perform. These events allow us to step back, and take time to enjoy and appreciate the results of all their hard work.

I wish you and your families a relaxing and enjoyable winter break, and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year.   
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools
PARCC:  Individual Student Reports
Today, students in grades 4-8 who took the PARCC test last year will be coming home with their Individual Student Reports.  These reports provide information for parents to see how their child performed on the PARCC tests.  It is important to remember that these results are a baseline for the new PARCC assessment, and they should not be compared to the previous ISAT.  Additionally, District 118 will not be using these initial baseline scores for purpose of placement in district programs. For more information on how to interpret these reports, you can visit our district website at and download the PARCC Score Report Interpretation Guide for Parents. If your child took the PARCC exam last spring, be sure to check his/her backpack for an envelope containing these reports.  

Young Inventors Challenge
Our fourth grade ALPs students participated in the Young Inventor's Challenge, which is a highlight at the Annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier.  As we examine ways to prepare our students for college and career readiness, real-world learning is a critical component in the Illinois Learning Standards.  Schools today are presented with the challenge of finding opportunities for students to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways that lead to critical thinking and hands-on experiences. The Young Inventor Challenge provides an opportunity for children ages 6 to 18 to showcase their own original toy & game inventions and to present them to toy and game industry professionals, members of media, and the general public. To be successful in this challenge, students need to hone in on their creativity and ingenuity, as well as polish up their presentation skills.  Many of the game ideas incorporated concepts used in math, science, reading, and history. Led by Mrs. Martinez and Mrs. McNamara, approximately 20 students proudly represented District 118 with some impressive game creations on Saturday, November 21.  The students presented their games to judges who were representatives from major game companies and members of the United Inventors Association of America.  Students received detailed advice on how they can improve their games, along with a great deal of recognition and encouragement.  Congratulations to Malik Haleem and Miguel Segovia of Palos West whose game "Hoop Shooters" won the People's Choice Award.  We are proud of all of our students who participated in this memorable experience. 

One District-One Book  
Looking for s om ething fun to do as a family over winter break?  Con sider reading Cece Bell's autobiographic al book, El Deafo.  It's a great way to get your child(ren) excited about the 6th Annual "One District-One Book" Celebration of Reading Event.   Additionally, don't forget to mark your calendars for Tuesday, February 9, 2016 for our Celebration Family Event, which will be held at Palos South.  The book can be purchased online at Amazon , and you can  visit our website for activities to accompany your reading and additional resources.  Parents may register for this event online .
Parents may purchase the book on Amazon and register for this event online.
Holiday Happenings

Palos 118 students have been entertaining crowds over the past couple weeks with festive holiday performances, and still more to come before break begins. 

People You Should Know...
Palos West Student Council
Student council is unique at West, with a panel of representatives rather than the traditional four officers. With Ms. Toni Hotzfield as their advisor, they spearhead many charitable fundraisers and programs during the school year. Last month's major initiative was their annual Alliance for the Children Clothing Drive. This year, shoes and boots were collected for the Alliance. Pictured above are student council members with some of the generous donations from West families.

In October, student council promoted "Red Ribbon Week," a national campaign encouraging students to lead drug free lives. This year's theme was "Respect Yourself!"  Student council members visited classrooms to present lessons about the history and importance of Red Ribbon Week. Students decorated red hearts, which were used to create a West Red Ribbon, now on display in the hallway reminding them to take care of themselves and others.   

Student council's next major initiative is also their favorite - the "SOUPER Bowl of Caring" in January. Student Council members have a kick-off assembly that excites and encourages students to bring in canned goods and non-perishable food items to donate to a local food pantry. An annual "tail-gate" party is awarded to the winning grade bringing in the most donations.

Other events throughout the year include an Earth Day recycling contest; students use recycled items to create an object of their choice, and classrooms vote on their favorite creations. In May, student council teams up with wellness council for "Walking West for Wellness" to raise money for the American Diabetes Foundation. Other past charitable drives include Pennies for Pooches and Share Your Love. 
December 21, 2015 through January 4, 2016
Classes Resume January 5, 2016 

Central Office Hours: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.  *December 28 office closes at 5 p.m.

Central Office Closed: December 24, 25, 31, January 1
Palos East Magazine Tower Recycling Contest
In six year's time, East has collected 1,872 feet of magazines, surpassing the Willis/Sears Tower in height at 1,451 feet!

Last month, Palos East held their annual Magazine Recycling Contest to determine which  grade level could make the highest tower with the total of all catalogs and magazines collected.
The Fifth Grade Recycling Green Team collected the donated catalogs and magazines each week and kept a weekly running tally of each grade level's total inches. This year, fifth grade edged out last year's fourth grade winners with a total of 947 inches.

Kindergarten Registration  Coming in February

For students attending kindergarten in the fall of 2016

February 1 - February 5, 2016

9:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Classroom Visitation is Friday, February 5, 2016

Schedule a visit at registration for you and your child 
to see  our classrooms and meet our teachers.
More details available in January

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West