Superintendent's Message, 7.28.2016

SuperintendentIt seems summer in our community is never lazy. We’re making the most of longer, warmer days–whether at camp, on a family vacation, or at home. As first June and now July fly by, I hope you and your children are enjoying some great times together.

District 96 faculty and staff also are fully engaged during these summer months. Here’s a brief review of what’s been happening…. We’ve had a record number of teachers participating in curriculum writing, preparing for an upcoming year of focused learning for our students. District wide, we’ve also used these weeks to ensure that our buildings and grounds receive maintenance needed to keep them safe and inviting places for students, staff, and the community. This includes Life Safety work (addressing doors, frames, and glass), painting, and more. In addition, Kildeer students will return to find a new floor in the large gym. Country Meadows families will see that the parking lot and the asphalt area of the playground have new sealcoating. Improvements at Ivy Hall include water heater replacement. Prairie has new landscaping scheduled. At Twin Groves and Woodlawn Middle Schools, science classroom renovations are underway, while at Willow Grove Early Learning Center, renovations will accommodate our first-ever full-day kindergarten program. 

A comprehensive summary and a look ahead
This month I provided my State of the District report to our Board of Education. I’m eager to share it with you, as well, as it describes the scope and focus of significant, thoughtful work. You’ll find the report includes not only department highlights and celebrations, but also recommended goals for the 2016-17 school year, developed collaboratively by teachers and administrators. I hope you’ll take time to read it and gain clarity on why KCSD96 schools continue to be exceptional places for your children to learn and grow: JULY 2016 STATE OF THE DISTRICT REPORT

A new supporting role at Ivy Hall
I’m pleased to announce our Board of Education’s appointment of Dr. Jane Pedersen as Ivy Hall Assistant Principal. As the home for five low-incidence special needs classrooms, Ivy Hall Elementary has unique needs and will benefit from additional administrative support.

Since coming to District 96 in 2009, Dr. Pedersen has supported faculty in a number of KCSD96 schools in myriad ways that equip her ideally for the new responsibilities she’ll have as the Ivy Hall AP.

Her work with teachers in developing and implementing academic and behavioral interventions and her strong foundation in the area of Curriculum-Based Measurement are some examples. Likewise, she is highly qualified to serve every student receiving instruction at Ivy Hall, including those with unique learning needs participating in some of the District’s specialized programs. As school psychologist, Dr. Pedersen has been called on to determine elementary and middle school students’ special education eligibility and to share IEP evaluations with parents.

“Dr. Pedersen’s experience, leadership, and approachability will be effective, welcome support for all Ivy Hall students and staff,” notes Ivy Hall Principal Amy Gluck. “Having her in this role is wonderful news for the entire Ivy Hall community.”

A new and special space honoring Board Member Lauren Gordon’s memory
Last year KCSD96 Board of Education member Lauren Gordon passed away–a deep loss many share. Her service to our District extended from volunteering for and leading school PTOs to her work at the Board table as a passionate advocate for meeting all students’ needs.

Shortly after the school year begins, the Board of Education will honor Mrs. Gordon by dedicating in her memory an interior courtyard at the Willow Grove Early Learning Center. The courtyard will be a space our youngest students will enjoy and benefit from, offering fresh air and supervised activities in a safe, specially equipped area.

I invite you to honor Mrs. Gordon’s memory and our District’s commitment to meeting the needs of every child, every day. Please CLICK HERE to contribute any amount you choose. Your contribution will go to the Willow Grove Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) and will be specifically earmarked for the memorial courtyard.

District specialists will use the funds donated to help equip the courtyard to engage early childhood students, reflecting best practice and safety standards. If you prefer to write a check, please make it payable to the Willow Grove School PTO and write “Mrs. Gordon’s courtyard memorial” on the memo line. Please mail or deliver your check to School District 96 (Attention: Ann Kozub), 1050 Ivy Hall Ln., Buffalo Grove, IL  60089.

Dash away for fun that helps families
The 5th-annual District 96 Dash on Sun., Sept. 25, at 8:30 a.m., is a community 5K walk/run presented by the District 96 PTOs working collaboratively. Proceeds benefit the District 96 PTO Coordinating Council Kids in Need Fund.

D96 Dash participants will step off at Twin Groves Middle School at 8:30 a.m. Whether running, walking, strolling, or sauntering in this fun community-wide event, your participation (or donation) helps meet the needs of students in District 96 whose families are experiencing financial difficulty.

I hope you’ll join us for this great KCSD96 tradition. REGISTER NOW and join the fun.
Want to help on the day of the event? VOLUNTEER!

Back-to-school business
We look forward to welcoming your students to school in August. Grades 1–8 will begin Wed., Aug. 17, and Willow Grove students will begin Mon., Aug. 22. For more back-to-school news/dates, please CLICK HERE.

Keep up that SUMMER READING!
District 96 Superintendent Julie Schmidt