FY19 Budget is Approved: Better News to Report
The Board of Education approved the school district's FY19 budget at its September 24th meeting. A deficit of $620,000 is projected this year.

However, unlike recent years, there is better news to report about school district finances.

The good news is that School District 153 experienced a budget surplus last year of $868,000, the first budget surplus since 2011. Chief School Business Official Dr. John Gibson cited a few reasons for this. Greater than expected property tax revenues and an additional payment of state categorical grants contributed to the surplus. Gibson also credited administration and staff for holding the line on spending. Expenditures were less than the budgeted amount in almost every category district-wide.

Another big reason for the surplus? District 153 received all the state funding promised to it—plus an additional $187,000--under the new Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) formula.

Replacing general state aid, EBF distributes state education funds according to a complicated formula based on the costs of providing staffing and services associated with student success.The goal of EBF is to address educational disparities between wealthy and under-resourced school districts.

The bad news is that District 153 is considered to be only 61% adequately funded under the new state system. District 153 has been classified as a “Tier 1” school district with the most under-resourced school districts in the state.

Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell says he'll be watching to see if the state will be able to keep its promise to provide school districts with at least as much funding as the previous year.

Nonetheless, District 153 expects to keep the promises it made to the community during the 2016 referendum campaign. Mitchell said the school district is on target to maintain its programs and services over the next five years utilizing referendum dollars to cover anticipated deficits.
Awards Honor Outstanding Students
The Board of Education honored three incredible students at its Sept. 24th school board meeting. The students were presented with the "Tom Dockweiler Award" which celebrates students who showed great academic improvement during the previous school year through hard work, persistence and a positive attitude. The award is presented yearly to one student in each of the school district's three schools and is named in honor of Thomas Dockweiler, a former school board member who retired from the board in 2007 after 21 years of service.

Congratulations to all and keep up the good work, kids!
Phoenix McCoy, James Hart
Quinn Hanna, Churchill
Malachi Walton, Willow
Morin Excellence in Education Awards
The Board of Education also honored four outstanding staff members on the 24th. They are this year's recipients of the "Jerry Morin Excellence in Education Award." The annual award recognizes outstanding teaching and service in School District 153 and was established in honor of former school board member Jerry Morin who retired in 2007 after 14 years of service.

These four certainly personify our staff motto of "Strong. Proud. Loyal." Thank you for all you do!
Mary Beth Berger, James Hart
Caryn Shannon, Churchill
Barb Van Etten, Willow
Sue Dippold, District Office
PTA logo
Attention Student Artists!
Does your student enjoy art, music or dance or have an interest in writing, producing film or taking photos? The PTA's Reflections program is a great way to unleash their inner artist!

Deadline to enter is Nov. 28th.

Upcoming Events
Thursday, Oct. 4
Monday, Oct. 8
Thursday, Oct. 11
Choir Showcase Concert, JH Gym, 7:00 PM
No School: Columbus Day
Willow School Family Reading Night, 6:00-7:30 PM
For a complete list of upcoming events, please check our website calendar.