June 2016
calendar boardbusiness presidentsReport pfa/fdn

Superintendent's  Message: 
See You in August

Dear Families,
I hope everyone is enjoying a great start to this summer.  Although our school buildings are empty, we are hard at work this month planning and preparing for another successful school year.  

As the General Assembly continues to be deadlocked on agreement to a state budget or even a K-12 appropriation bill for next year, I want to assure you that Palos 118 schools will open on time this August regardless of the status of the state budget.  Our Board of Education has worked hard for over a decade to control spending, maximize resources, and balance our school district's budget.  As a result, Palos 118 has adequate cash reserves to maintain operations in the event Springfield fails to reach a deal on education spending before school opens.  Much to its credit, the board foresaw this exact scenario playing out in 2012 when it issued $2 million in working cash fund bonds at historically low interest rates to bolster the school district's reserves.  At that time, the Illinois State Board of Education started to shortchange schools on monies owed due to inadequate appropriations from the General Assembly and Cook County who routinely failed to send out second installment property tax bills on time in August , delaying District 118's primary source of revenue for months; sometimes as late as December.  The board realized then and continues to recognize now that in this county and in this state, we cannot count on predictable revenue streams.  We have to the best of our ability, insulate our district from the political shenanigans to ensure our schools can continue to educate our students in spite of the nonsense going on all around.   I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with a school board with foresight and steadfast commitment to the financial integrity of our school district. 

On a happy note, graduation was held for Palos South eighth graders at Stagg High School on June 1. We're very proud of their accomplishments, and know they will go on to do great things in high school and beyond. I thank the parents for their support, and for understanding how vital education is to the success of their children.
Have a safe, relaxing and enjoyable summer.  I look forward to seeing everyone when school resumes August 22.

Warmest regards,
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella, 
Superintendent of Schools
Nutritional Application Notice  
If you believe you are eligible for free/reduced lunch benefits, you will need to complete the online application through Skyward Family Access. This item will not apply to all families. Depending on household income and number of people in your household, your student may be eligible to receive free or reduced priced lunch benefits through the National School Lunch Program.
To submit an application, login into the Skyward Parent Access, select any student on your account from the red text drop down menu near the top of the page.  Click on the Applications tab.  Once an application is submitted for a student on your account, lunch benefits will apply to all students in your household, pending approval.  Please read the directions and follow the online prompts to complete the application.
Paper applications are also available at the Central Administration office at 8800 West 119th Street, Palos Park. 

lunchtime supervisior
Palos South
Class of 2016

Palos South Student Council President Edmundo Gonzalez gives welcoming remarks.

Members of the Performing Arts Ensemble perform "I'll Always Remember You."

Palos South's graduating class of 2016 is 209 strong.

Person You Should Know
Palos South's 2016
Valedictorian & Salutatorian 

Arjun Kumar, Valedictorian

Arjun was very involved at Palos South, having participated in geography bowl, math olympiad, math club, mathletes, and the Capstone program. His favorite subject is math, however his favorite class was ALPS. Arjun credits his teacher Mrs. Swan for making the class fun and having lots of laughs. Outside school, he plays the violin and piano. Arjun will likely attend Stagg High School in the fall where he will be involved in mathletes, robotics, key club, and computer science. Beyond high school, Arjun has set his sights on being an engineer.


Peter Gordan,


Peter packed his years at Palos South with many activies and clubs including student council, where he was a state elected IAJHSC District Representative for the Illinois NE Lake District. He also participated in Capstone, book club, math club, mathletes, math olympiad, Model UN, art club, and snowflake. His favorite subject is history, and enjoys ALPS and Spanish class. When not involved in Palos South activities, he takes Greek lessons, piano lessons, and is in the church choir. Peter has won young author awards for eight years and represented served as an honorary page down state for the the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. Peter plans on attending Stagg High School and being involved in student council, debate, youth and government, literary magazine, golf, track, and volunteering for Special Olympics, Relay for Life, and snowball. After high school, Peter hasn't decided on a college major, but will keep all options open.

Avoiding the Summer Slide...
Students and parents alike look forward to summer vacation because it is a time when you can focus on family and fun without the constant deadlines of homework, projects, or preparing for next week's big test. But research from the National Association of Summer Learning has shown that many students can lose up to two months of reading and math skills during the summer break.   

To succeed academically, children need continuous opportunities to learn new skills and practice existing ones.  Since this can be a challenge over the summer vacation, I included some simple and practical suggestions for keeping your children academically stimulated throughout the summer:

Encourage Summer Reading  - Reading throughout the summer is a great way to stimulate a child's mind and prevent summer learning loss. For children who love reading, build in trips to the local library or bookstore as part of your summer activities. If you have a reluctant reader on your hands, consider having newspapers or magazines around the house and see if you can find articles to spark your child's interest. Additionally, if your school or local library has a summer reading program, be sure to encourage your child's participation as there are often incentives built into these programs.

Initiate Activities with Math  Math is all around us in the summertime, and it benefits our children tremendously when we include them in the planning and preparation with many activities.  For example, having your child cook with you will reinforce reading, math and measurement skills. If you are going on vacation, have your child help with calculating the mileage of the trip, estimating the cost of gas, food, hotels, etc. This will not only reinforce the application of basic math skills, but it will give them the real-world skills they need to be successful. Shopping is another great way to reinforce money and budgeting skills. 

Research Vacation Destinations  - If you are going to a new destination this year, assign your children an age appropriate research project so they can learn about where they are going.  The internet provides a wealth of historical and current information that may give you great ideas for places to visit and make the trip a memorable experience. 

Promote Educational Games or Activities Online -  Many students enjoy going onto websites like IXL.com or learninggamesforkids.com to practice math, English, science and social studies.  Many of these interactive sites are free, and they typically provide incentives to keep kids motivated. Establishing set times that children use digital tools to provides a helpful structure and focus for meeting learning goals. 

Take Advantage of Summer Programs in the Community  - Children tend to enjoy structured summer learning activities because they are around their peers.  Whether it be registering for District 118 programs, summer sports camps, or taking advantage of Moraine Valley's Valley Learning Center (VLC)  www.morainevalley.edu/ccce/valley-learning-center , educational opportunities are available in the community to stimulate learning and keep students involved with their peers.

Preventing the summer slide is more obtainable when you have a realistic, organized plan in place that you and your child can agree on. With a little planning in June, your child will be better prepared for the new school year in August. 
Digital Suggestion Box


If you have suggestions for improving District 118's programs or operations, please use our  digital suggestion box and provide us with your thoughts as we prepare for next school year.

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West