A Message from the Superintendent
Dear District 153 Community,

Every spring, Illinois students are required to take standardized assessments. District 153 students in grades 3-8 will be taking the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) next week. The IAR is like the PARCC assessment that students took last year only slightly shorter.

I just want to reiterate District 153’s philosophy about standardized tests. Standardized tests are just one of several data points that helps us understand how our students are growing. The results of this ONE TEST alone will never define a child, a teacher, a classroom, or a school in District 153. 

What then should define District 153? I think the stories in this e-newsletter show a better, more complete picture. District 153 is better defined by the consistent day-to-day, trimester- after-trimester academic performance of our students in the classroom; our students’ outstanding character, leadership and service to community; our students’ efforts and accomplishments in the arts, athletics, and other activities; and, of course, underpinning it all is the involvement of District 153 parents in their child’s education. 

So, while District 153 wants our students to do their best on the IAR—we expect students to put forth their best effort every day and on every task—we hope students, parents and our community will put this test in its proper perspective.

As for the kids, our motto for next week is, "Relax. You got this!"

As always, please feel to contact me with any questions, concerns or comments.


Dr. Dale Mitchell
A Reminder to Move Over & Slow Down
Our schools have a wonderful partnership with local law enforcement. We depend upon them to keep our staff and students safe.

We are deeply saddened by the recent tragic deaths of three state troopers. On behalf of our friends in law enforcement, please move over and slow down when you see flashing lights at the side of the road!
James Hart Releases 2nd Trimester Honor Roll
Congratulations to the 390 Panthers who earned a spot on the 2nd trimester honor roll!
53 Inducted into National Junior Honor Society
Fifty-three James Hart 7th- and 8th-graders were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at a ceremony on April 8th.

District 153 is very proud of the inductees' outstanding scholarship, character, service, leadership and citizenship.
8th Grade
Grace Blonn, Amina Kendrick, Amira Lowery, Jada Marsh, Alexander Pease, Savannah Roberts, Karani Tabor, McKenzie Toler, Maria Tovar, Jeremiah Turner, Alexander Williams

7th Grade
Peyton Bell, Louis Bloomberg, Elijah Burr, Cameron Cage, Alice Corbitt Seitz, Leo D’Astici, Ella Dedo, Erin Donaire, Alex Fox, Maggie Franc, Melanie Garofalo, Nathan Greep, Nyla Huddleston, Andrew Johnson, Andrea Kearns, Jack Keigher, Destinee Lane, Sydni Leverson, Ava Loudon, Evelyn Malvestuto, Nyla McGowan, Morgan Mollett, Ruby Moxley, Nevis Myers, Aubrey Ooms, Violet Quirke, Jazmin Rhodes, Harrison Riney, Luke Romans, Alexis Schaller, Delani Scheutzow, Addison Sextonson, Jacob Sline, Mia Starkenburg, Emma Steiner, Madyson Stine, Sydney Valentine, Madison Vitolka, Amy Ward, Isabella Woodward, Sani Zinnerman, Sari Zinnerman
Churchill School has fun "Chasing Vermeer"
District 153 was thrilled to welcome author Blue Balliett to Churchill School on April 8th. Balliet is the author of "Chasing Vermeer," Churchill School's "all-read" book, as well as other wildly popular mysteries for young people. She talked to students about her books and the writing process during an assembly (photo left). More intimate conversations took place over lunch between Ballett and selected students who wrote compelling letters to the author.

The "Chasing Vermeer" fun spilled over to April 11th's Family Reading Night (photos below). Families participated in activities based on the book. They drew their own versions of Vermeer's The Girl with the Pearl Earring. They cut out and played with pentominoes, a math game with a role in the book. Families also banded together to solve clues to an escape room. 
Willow Student Art Takes Center Stage
There were plenty of budding artists and proud parents with cellphone cameras at the Willow School Art Show on April 11th. Thank you, Willow families, for coming out to support the arts in our schools!
The PTA Celebrates Reflections Art Winners
Congratulations to the four District 153 students chosen to have their works of art in the Illinois PTA state "Reflections" competition!
Back row: 
Gehrig Lucas, 4th Grade, Advanced to State for Photography & Visual Arts
Shane Jursa, 3rd Grade, Advanced to state for Literature
Gavin Jursa, Kindergarten, Advanced to state for Literature, Honorable Mention for Visual Arts
Front Row:
Jessie Jursa, Pre-K, Advanced to state for Visual Arts
Hurry! Deadline to Order is April 17
PTA Cook's Night Out at Panda Express April 17
Take a break from packing a lunch, or cooking dinner, and enjoy a meal at Panda Express! Homewood PTA will earn 20% of all sales, when a paper or digital copy of the fundraising flier is presented when you order. 

You can even order online and use the included code for the fundraiser. 

All funds raised by Homewood PTA go back to the students in the form of field trips, assemblies and other educational programs. We hope that you can come out and support Homewood PTA on April 17th!
Upcoming Events
April 15-18
Illinois Assessment of Readiness, grades 3-8
April 16
Pick Up Your PTA Butter Braid Order, JH Cafeteria, 5:00-7:00 PM
April 17
Friday, April 19
No School: Good Friday
Tuesday, April 23
School Board Meeting, JH Media Center, 7:00 PM
Thursday, April 25
7th/8th GR Choral Concert, JH Gym, 7:00 PM
April 29-May 3
PTA Screen Free Week
Thursday, May 2
Spring Orchestra Concert (4th-8th), JH Gym, 7:00 PM
May 6-May 10
Teacher Appreciation Week
For a complete list of upcoming events, please check our website calendar.