November 2016
recognition calendar boardbusiness pfampafoundation presidentsReport
This has been a busy and exciting time in Palos 118, and I'm especially grateful this year for many reasons.
For the first time in nearly 50 years, voters recently approved a bond referendum that will provide capital financing for an early learning building addition at Palos West and other building improvements at all three of our schools.  These projects will be completed over the next four years thanks to the generous support of the communities we serve and their willingness to make this invest in our students' futures.  It is difficult to express in words my deep gratitude to the Palos 118 community for their continued support and my pride in serving as the leader of this very special school district.
I would like to thank our Board of Education for bringing this request to the community, the Pre-K and EC teachers who spent countless hours in planning meetings and informational nights helping to design the Early Learning addition and telling the community their stories; our administrators for their constant support, and the Vote Yes committee that organized, raised money, put up signs, canvassed, worked the polls, and changed minds.  Passing this historic referendum was truly a team effort.
In just the past few weeks, our MPA sponsored and organized our annual Harvest Fest; our Foundation led efforts to raise money for our media centers coordinating our annual Laps for Literature and our PFA treated our community to another year of Boo Bash and a very successful Cardinal Chase 5K Run.  I would not be Thanksgiving without taking time to pause and be thankful to these organizations for the passion and talent they devote to making Palos 118 a great place for kids to grow.  Our schools have been busy too.  We've held parent teacher conferences, hosted our annual Senior Breakfast, and saluted our veterans at Palos South's Annual Veterans Day Ceremony. We're also celebrating American Education Week - a time to celebrate public education and the public educators responsible for our student success. 
So as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I reflect upon those that make leading this school district a joyous affair. Thank you to our dedicated staff, child-focused school board, support organizations, engaged parents, and supportive community, without whom we would not be able to accomplish so much.
On a personal note, I'm thankful I don't have to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year!  I know the kind folks at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line are thankful I'm not cooking too.  Last year, I had quite a lengthy conversation with a lovely operator regarding what I thought was a stubborn pop-up turkey timer because after several hours of cooking, I didn't see anything sticking out of my bird.  Turns out, Butterball turkeys don't have pop-up turkey timers.  Lesson learned.
I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving, and look forward to seeing you at the many upcoming holiday events and festivities in the weeks ahead.
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools
Palos South Honors Veterans
Annie Petrelli and Sofia Locascio read and performed the ceremonial honor of Placing of the POW/MIA flag.

Over 40 servicemen and women were honored on Friday, November 11 at Palos South Middle School's annual Veterans Day Assembly.  The service pays tribute to the parents, grandparents, and other family members and friends of the students and staff of Palos School District 118 who have served the country.
Organized and planned by Palos South's Student Council, the program included the placing of the POW/MIA flag, remarks from student council officers and Veterans Assembly Committee Chair Patrick Gal, and Palos Heights Mayor Robert Straz.  The Palos South Performing Arts Ensemble sang "God Bless the USA," and honorees also stood to be recognized as the Cardinal Symphonic Band played musical tributes to each of the service sets.

Palos VFW Patriot's Pen Essay Contest winners Sajal Shukla, Kaitlyn Kenney, and Natalie Oliven read their winning essays. At the conclusion of the ceremony, trumpeters from the Cardinal Band performed "Taps."  All honorees were recognized individually and presented with "Stars of Remembrance" from retired American flags as a symbolic keepsake of  gratitude.   Student Council was also proud to announce South was able to raise enough money to fund an honor flight for a local veteran.
Presiding over the ceremony in his 15 th  year was longtime Palos resident Lt. Cmdr. Scott Allen, Ret. of the U.S. Navy whose three children are all graduates of Palos 118.  "Thank you to the students, faculty, and staff for taking the time to recognize us, the servicemen and women of the United States," said Allen.
Boo Bash 2016

The Palos 118 PFA's second Boo Bash Halloween party at Palos East on October 22 was a great success. The PFA split the party into two time slots in an effort to accomodate as many families as possible. Children enjoyed dancing, a magic show, participating in games, a costume parade, venturing down a "Haunted Hallway," and a new science lab. The bottom picture of Hungry Hippos is from a mini Boo Bash that was thrown for Palos South students after their theme lunch on October 28.
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.
In October, student council promoted "Red Ribbon Week," a national campaign encouraging students to lead drug free lives. This year's theme was "You Have The SUPER Power To Be Drug and Bully Free!" Student council members visited classrooms to present lessons about the history and importance of Red Ribbon Week. Students decorated classroom crests, which were hung on the classroom doors to display classroom SUPER powers!
December's fundraiser is something new "Pennies for Patients".  More information will be coming home in the next few weeks.  Student Council's next favorite initiative is coming up in January with the "SOUPER Bowl of Caring." 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. 
Santa's Secret Shop
Friday, December 2 * Palos Park Rec Center  *  5 p.m. - 9 p.m.
This year, Santa's Secret Shop will be joining the Palos Park Tree Lighting and Holiday Market. Little ones can experience the excitement and pride of buying gifts for their loved ones at Santa's Secret Shop sponsored by the PFA.  Our elves assist young shoppers through merchandise selection and purchase, guide them to the wrapping center, and return them safely to their parents. More details to come.
Cold Weather Safety Information
As the winter approaches, our streets get icy and the snow piles up creating additional safety precautions to be observed.  When the bus approaches, students should stand at their stop five minutes before their scheduled time in a line - not running around.  When the bus comes to a complete stop, the driver will motion that it is safe to board.  The students should be looking at the driver for any additional instructions as the driver observes the traffic for any unforeseen safety concerns.
curriculumcornerDistrict 118 Report Card
Earlier this month, schools across the state of Illinois received their annual report cards to assess overall performance. These reports provide valuable information for educators and parents. Each report card highlights a school or district's strengths - including special programs, college and career readiness, student performance, educational environment - while at the same time identifying potential areas for improvement. This information helps to inform local discussion and school improvement planning.   These reports can be viewed at www.illinoisreportcard.com or by visiting the Palos 118 website and clicking on the report card tab located on the left hand side of the page.  

Young Inventors Challenge 
Coming this Saturday, November 19, students from 4th and 5th grade ALPS classes will be representing Palos East and West by participating in the Chicago Toy and Game Fair's Young Inventor Challenge. At the fair, they will be exhibiting their own original toy or game invention.  Experts from the United Inventors Association of America will be on hand to select the top two groups in each category, and a popular vote of the fair's attendees will be used to select a winner for the People's Choice Award. If you are looking for some family fun this weekend, consider attending the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier. Besides casting a vote for the toy or game of your choice, families can preview, play, and purchase the hottest and newest games from around the world. There are games and exhibits for people of all ages.  For more information, check out www.chitag.org. Parents can purchase tickets online and use the discount code "CHITAG3" to receive $3 off of the price of admission. The Chicago Toy and Game Fair offers free admission to educators and librarians (with ID), scouts in uniform, firefighters, police, and active military and veterans (with ID).  

District 118         Palos South         Palos East         Palos West