May 2017
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Memories Made

While preparing for this letter, I came across this quote: "To be in your childrens' memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today." When a new school year begins at the end of each August, calendars are filled with school events, meetings, games, practices, and performances. At a glance, it can be overwhelming. Before we know it, winter break is upon us, then spring break, and we find ourselves in May attending end-of-year events and recognition ceremonies. The calendar pages turn in the blink of an eye.
Probably the reason time seems to fly is because we are all so busy and caught up in the details of life; work, activities, and family commitments just to name just a few. The events, performances, and assemblies that pack our calendars would not be possible without Palos 118 parents giving their time and talents to volunteer and make each event successful. Childrens' eyes light up when mom or dad comes into their classroom to read a story. Families make memories by completing a 5k race together at the PFA's Cardinal Chase. Students will remember walking their school grounds with classmates and teachers at the Foundation's Laps for Literature event each year. Music students will not only remember their performances, but also celebrating with family and friends at the MPA's Harvest Fest.
As one school year comes to a close, we have already been preparing for another by asking parents to complete a satisfaction survey prior to registering their student online for 2017-2018. The results are in, and 98 percent of respondents answered they would be "very likely" to recommend Palos School District 118 to others. The overwhelming positive feedback is not by accident. We have a devoted, highly qualified staff dedicated to our students' success, and informed, involved parents who contribute to making a difference in their childrens' lives. It shows not just in surveys, but in the tangible outcomes as well.
The success of Palos 118 has been evident over the past three months as the Board of Education meeting was held at each school to acknowledge and celebrate their students' achievements. Parents packed the gyms to watch their children receive certificates for accomplishments ranging from the Presidential Academic Fitness Awards, Young Authors Award, and Newbery Bowl, to Spelling Bees, a Math Bowl, and more.
I'm looking forward to graduation on May 31, and am proud to send our eighth graders off well prepared for high school and beyond. And as for our other students, we are sending them back to you on June 2. I'm sure your summer calendars are packed just like the Palos 118 calendar in August, and time will pass too quickly for you as well. Thank you for being present in your childrens' lives and enhancing their educational experience in Palos 118. 

Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools
Student Assignment/Bus Schedule Information
for 2017-2018 School Year
This summer all parent Skyward passwords will be reset. Assignment letters with your updated password along with instructions on how to access classroom assignments and bus routes will be sent out on August 1 st . Using these letters, parents will be able to access this information through the Skyward Parent Access Portal in mid-August. Before July 1 st please make sure your most up to date address is in the Skyward Parent Access Portal. If you have not received the Assignment Letter by August 4th please contact the district office at 708-448-4800 to verify your address. Usernames and passwords will not be given out over the phone.
To prevent any delay in receiving your classroom assignment please pay all student fees and lunch account balances.
  1. Make sure you have paid all outstanding fees and negative lunch balances. Please login into Skyward Parent Access to see any outstanding fees and balances.
  2. Verify your address in Skyward Parent Access.
  3. Look for your Assignment Letter the first week of August. Notify the district at 708-448-4800 if you do not receive the letter by August 4th.
  4. Logon to Skyward Parent Access to view student classroom assignments and bus routes in mid-August.
Parents of incoming kindergarteners can begin the registration process by going to our website.

Registration for returning students  
Complete the process by June 2 to receive a $25 savings per student if all fees are paid in full. Return
ing registration must be completed for each student enrolled.

Help Support Palos 118 Educational Foundation's 
Newest Fundraising Effort


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Palos East Recognition
Grade level Young Authors Contest winners.

Palos East Spelling Bee building winners.

Presidential Academic Fitness Award winners.

Please visit the recognition page for a complete list of Palos East Presidential Academic Fitness award winners and other district accolades.
Person You Should Know
New Board Member
Dr. James Cantorna

Dr. Cantorna was elected to the Board of Education in April 2017. Raised in Beverly and Palos Heights, Dr. Cantorna attended Palos East, Palos South, and Marist High School. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Science, and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.  Dr. Cantorna recently went back to graduate school and received an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in 2015.  He is a board certified primary care physician specializing in Internal Medicine as well as Pediatrics, and practices in Munster, Indiana.  Dr. Cantorna is married with three children, who have all attended Palos East/South and whose youngest child is currently a  seventh grader at Palos South. As a board member, Dr. Cantorna's main goal is to help District 118 achieve academic excellence. His hobbies outside of work are golf, rugby, coaching baseball, and reading/writing non-fiction stories. 
Last book read: "Endgame 1945; The Missing Final Chapter of WWII" by David Stafford
Thank You MPA  and 
Educational Foundation

Mrs. Cantorna and Mrs. Faustino presented Dr. Scarsella and School Board President MariJo Calacci with a check for $10 thousand on behalf of the MPA at the May 16 board meeting to benefit the music programs.

On behalf of the Palos 118 Educational Foundation, Mrs. Sheila Pacholski and Foundaition Chairperson Mrs. Ana Angelos presented Dr. Scarsella and School Board President MariJo Calacci with a check for $6,450 for Capstone classrooms.
curriculumcornerKindergarten Individual Development Survey
Beginning next school year, all Illinois school districts will be required to participate in the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey - or KIDS for short - as part of the Illinois Readiness Initiative. KIDS is an observation-based tool that was developed so that teachers could collect information that is efficient, informative, and supportive of best practices in teaching.
Our kindergarten team has been working to ensure that the new observation protocols are embedded into our daily teaching practices and allow for observation to be aligned to our current report card so that assessment is not duplicated. Each kindergarten teacher has been trained by a certified KIDS trainer, and we are confident that there will be a seamless transition.
Although KIDS was originally designed to assess up to 55 measures, District 118 has selected to focus on the 14 key measures listed below. These areas are identified as key skills and indicators most predictive of future success. It is essential that we provide a snapshot of the whole child, looking at each child's cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being.
For more information on KIDS, you can visit the Kindergarten page of the Illinois State Board of Education's website
Approaches to Learning - Self-Regulation
  • Curiosity and Initiative in Learning
  • Self-Control of Feelings and Behavior
  • Engagement and Persistence
Cognition: Math
  • Classification
  • Number Sense of Quantity
  • Number Sense of Math Operations
  • Shapes
Social and Emotional Development
  • Relationships and Social Interactions with Familiar Adults
  • Relationships and Social Interactions with Peers
Language and Literacy Development
  • Communication and Use of Language (Expressive)
  • Reciprocal Communication and Conversation
  • Comprehension of Age-Appropriate Text
  • Phonological Awareness
  • Letter and Word Knowledge

May 22 Finalist
CAPSTONE Presentation Day
Learn what our students have discovered. All are welcome at 
Palos South beginning at 8:30 a.m. 

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West