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January 2016
recognition calendar boardbusiness pfa/fdn presidentsReport  

If you attended one of the school district's public presentations on our elementary school boundary changes, you probably heard me talk about restoring previous staffing cuts at Palos West to accommodate the enrollment growth that school will experience next fall.  To that end, I am pleased to announce my recommendation to restore the assistant principal position at Palos West for the start of the 2016-2017 school year.  And, I'm also pleased to inform you that Ms. Rose White, current assistant principal at Palos South and former Media Center Specialist at Palos West, will be "going home" next year to assume the assistant principal responsibilities at Palos West.  Rose has a deep understanding of how Palos West operates and she has built solid relationships with staff members that will serve the school well.  Her appointment will provide stability to that school as it welcomes approximately 150 new students next school year.  Please join me in welcoming Rose back to Palos West!  A search for a new assistant principal at Palos South will begin immediately.

As we continue to plan for the smooth transition of students to Palos West, I couldn't be more pleased to update you on the progress of our Transition Advisory Committee.  At our kick off meeting on January 5, nearly 40 participants representing parents, staff, administrators and the school board broke into groups and developed a list of outstanding activities to assist both our students and their families in familiarizing themselves with Palos West and more importantly building connections between students, staff and families.  At its next meeting, the committee will begin prioritizing activities, selecting calendar dates and planning for implementation.  I want to personally thank the committee members for volunteering their time and sharing their ideas as we work together to assist all transitioning students and their families through this process and to welcome them with open arms to Palos West.

Lastly, as the mercury drops please remember to bundle up your children before they head out to the bus stop in the morning.  It is my intention to keep schools open during frigid temperatures if our buses and school buildings are operational.  As always, if parents deem the weather too hazardous for their children to attend, I will respect their wishes and excuse their children from school if the weather conditions are extreme and schools remain open.  Cold weather typically means more students being dropped off and picked up in cars rather than riding the bus, which can result in long slow car lines.  Student safety, not speed is our top priority.  Please be patient as staff members carefully load and unload children into and out of cars.

Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools
Update on K-5 Math Adoption Process:
Last spring, the District 118 K-5 math committee reviewed more than ten different math programs using a rubric based on our current math curriculum and instructional practices.  Following a review of data and thoughtful deliberation, the committee selected two programs, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's Go Math and Scott Foresman's EnVision 2.0, to pilot during the 2015-2016 school year.  The pilot program was designed to allow teachers and students an opportunity to work with the materials, and to collect data so that we can measure the effectiveness of each program.  Both programs have been designed to meet the demands of the Illinois Learning Standards (ILS), and they both include strong online components to support student learning.  Parents were notified back in the fall if their child's classroom was selected for the math pilot. 
Moving forward with the adoption process, the committee will be collecting data during the next two months to thoroughly evaluate both programs.  This data will include classroom performance on assessments, and both quantitative and qualitative data from surveys issued to participating teachers, students, and parents.  The committee's goal is to evaluate the data and make a final recommendation to the school board this spring to adopt a new math program for the 2016-2017 school year. 
If the board approves the committee's recommendation in early spring, a parent night will be held to familiarize parents with the new program and allow for questions to be addressed. The parent survey (for piloting classrooms) is scheduled to be sent out in early February. 

For students attending kindergarten in the fall of 2016

February 1-5, 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.

Palos 118 Athletes

Eighth grade girls basketball
Sixth & seventh grade girls basketball

Eighth grade boys volleyball

Sixth and seventh grade boys volleyball

* More teams will be highlighted in future editions of econnect.
People You Should Know...
Palos East Student Council
Student Council plays a very important role at Palos East in both school spirit and philanthropy.  This year's officers and representatives have many events planned. To date, they have already held a school supply drive for Palos Township, a Super Hero Food drive to benefit Together we Cope, a fundraiser for PAWS Animal Shelter in Tinley Park, and they have also made goodie bags for the Ronald McDonald House in Oak Lawn.

Upcoming efforts include Smalentine pencil sales in February, helping with Palos 118's One District One Love event, a field trip to Feed My Starving Children, and spearheading playground cleanup in the spring. 

2015-16 elected officers are: 
President - Malachy Mohan
Vice President - Isabella Walsh
Secretary - Paul Cisko
Treasurer - Lilly Thielmann

Mr. Tim Pritchard and Mrs. Jolene Laka are the sponsors.

Ms. Rosalie White
Named New Palos West Assistant Principal 
for 2016-2017 School Year
Current  assistant principal at Palos South and former media center specialist at Palos West, will be returning to West next year to assume the reinstated assistant principal position. Ms. White is a longtime resident and educator in Palos 118, having spent 10 years teaching, and 3 years as a media specialist. She has a B.S. in elementary education from St. Xavier, an M.S. in educational literacy concentration from Dominican University, and an M.S. in educational leadership from St. Francis University.
Register for the 
One District  One Book  Reading Event
Tuesday, February 9 
6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Palos South
It's not too late to begin reading Cece Bell's autobiographical book, "El Deafo."  It's a great way to get your child(ren) excited about the 6 th  Annual "One District-One Book" Celebration of Reading Event on Tuesday, February 9th at Palos South.  Children will participate in book inspired activities and celebrate reading at this popular annual event. This program is intended for all ages, and you can visit our website for activities to accompany your reading.  
Join the PFA in  celebrating our community at their largest fundraiser of the year!

Saturday, March 5 at Gaelic Park

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West