In early September, the Coordinating Council of The Parent Teacher Organization for Kildeer Countryside School District 96 reported to the Buffalo Grove Police Department suspicion of the potential misuse of funds raised to benefit Prairie Elementary School by the immediate past Prairie PTO president.

Specifically, evidence was discovered of a potential embezzlement of at least $10,000 from the Prairie School’s PTO coffers during the 2022-2023 school year—funds meant to support students, staff, and programming at the school. The Prairie Elementary School PTO is one of seven PTOs that operate under the Coordinating Council, which is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization with elected leadership that operates and maintains its funds separately from the school district. 

While the PTO had many safeguards in place, we have taken additional steps to strengthen our existing policies and procedures and add additional oversight to protect PTO funds moving forward. KCSD96 has offered guidance and support. Specifically, the PTO has:

  • Strengthened and added additional cash-handling policies.
  • Created a robust reporting and review process to ensure that monthly and quarterly reporting is completed on time, with multistep approvals.
  • Reinforced the policy which prohibits PTOs from using a credit/debit card.
  • Added additional policies to track sales and purchases.
  • Require all PTOs to utilize a payment processor that integrates with the membership & payment management software used by all PTOs

We are shocked and saddened that any parent volunteer would take advantage of their position to divert funds from their intended purpose for personal benefit. We have cooperated fully with the Buffalo Grove Police in their investigation and plan to pursue every legal option to assure full restitution of the funds to be properly used to benefit the Prairie School community. We are thankful for the hard work of volunteers who are working to diligently ensure our PTOs can move forward to achieve their purpose. The members of the Coordinating Council and school PTOs, including Prairie, are committed to fulfilling our mission to support the staff, students, and community for D96.

School administrators are aware of and prepared to provide support to any students directly affected by this incident.


The purpose of the PTO Coordinating Council, an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is to promote and actively support the social, educational and community activities of the PTOs of the schools in District 96.

The PTO Coordinating Council is a central organization — composed of volunteers elected into positions — that has received tax-exempt status as an Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) Charitable Organization. The following Parent/Teacher Organizations are the members (known as subordinate organizations) of this central organization and are also exempt from federal income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Code, as considered under the application for a group exemption.  Each PTO maintains its own finances, which are separate from those of KCSD96.


Willow Grove PTO
Country Meadows Elementary School PTO
Ivy Hall Elementary School PTO
Kildeer Countryside Elementary School PTO
Prairie Elementary School PTO
Twin Groves Middle School PTO
Woodlawn Middle School PTO


President: Lawrence LeVine
Treasurer: Alisha Patel
Secretary: Darci Shaw

PTO Coordinating Council Bylaws


  • Thursday, August 31, 2023
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2023 (All Exec Board meeting)
  • Thursday, November 9, 2023
  • Thursday, January 25, 2024
  • Thursday,  March 14, 2024
  • Thursday, May 23, 2024

The Coordinating Council meetings are for presidents of the District 96 member school PTO organizations. Questions?  Contact the PTO Coordinating Council at [email protected].