The Communicator

District 47 Newsletter - Fall 2019


  • Superintendent's Message

  • Important Dates

  • District Highlights

  • Financial Update

  • Operations Update

  • Board of Education Update

  • Community Connection

  • Connect with Us


It’s been an invigorating start to the 2019-20 school year. District and school leadership teams, as well as strategic planning action teams, are focused on establishing a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework that will ensure consistency in how we make informed, data-driven decisions to support and empower all students. This shared data system will help determine the best interventions and instruction delivery for students, a needs-based staffing model for our schools, targeted professional development for staff, and effective home/school connections.

Another significant and exciting undertaking this year for the district is the $18.4 million renovation of Coventry Elementary School. To comply with a required Life/Safety inspection, the main level interior walls and ceilings of the original part of Coventry will be removed and rebuilt during the 2019-20 school year. Coventry classrooms for grades 1-5 have been relocated to on-site mobile units while kindergarten classrooms and other common areas, such as the cafeteria, library media center, and cafeteria, are housed in the newer wing of the school. The Coventry community has embraced the unique circumstances of this school year with a sense of fun and purpose, referring to its new digs as “Camp Coventry.” For some photos, check out the Operations Update section of this newsletter.

Finally, we are excited to announce we are celebrating the district’s 100th anniversary this year. We invite the community to follow us on Facebook @D47schools to learn about District 47’s rich history and reminisce about the past. Every #ThrowbackThursday, you can tune into interviews with former school leaders or community members and check out our news and photo archives from the past. Got some old D47 photos or stories to share? We’d love to hear from you! Please email us at We have much to be proud of in District 47 and invite you to “look back and forge forward” with us throughout this school year.

Your partner in education,

Kathy J. Hinz



November 2019

11/3 - Harlem Wizards Basketball Game at Crystal Lake Central, 5pm-8pm

11/8 - End Trimester 1 (grades K-5) and Term 2 (grades 6-8)

11/18 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

11/20 - Early Release Day; 2pm dismissal (K-5); 1pm (6-8); no PM classes at Wehde

11/20 - Parent/teacher conferences, 5pm-8pm (all grades)

11/25 - Parent/teacher conferences, 12 noon to 8pm (all grades) - NO SCHOOL

11/26 - Parent/teacher conferences, 8am-11am (all grades) - NO SCHOOL

11/27-11/29 - Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

December 2019

12/16 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

12/23 - 1/3/20 - Winter break

January 2020

1/6 - Classes resume

1/10 - End Term 3 (grades 6-8)

1/17 - Teacher Institute Day - NO SCHOOL

1/20 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - NO SCHOOL

1/21 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

1/22 - Early Release Day; 2pm dismissal (K-5); 1pm (6-8); no PM classes at Wehde

February 2020

2/4 - D47 Parent University at Lundahl Middle School, 6:30pm-7:30pm

2/12 - 2/13 - Kindergarten registration, CORE Center

2/14 - Early Release Day; 2pm dismissal (K-5); 1pm (6-8); no PM classes at Wehde

2/17 - President’s Day - NO SCHOOL

2/18 - Board of Education meeting, 7pm, CORE Center

2/26 - Early Release Day; 2pm dismissal (K-5); 1pm (6-8); no PM classes at Wehde

2/28 - End Trimester 2 (grades K-5) and Term 4 (grades 6-8)

Click link for access to the complete 2019-20 school calendar.


D47 Board of Education welcomes new member

On August 19, 2019, the District 47 board of education appointed Emily Smith as a new board member. Smith replaced Eileen Palsgrove, who retired from the board after serving for the past six years.

A mother of two (with one on the way!), Smith serves on the PTA at Glacier Ridge Elementary School and is a religious education teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake. She is also a commercial realtor with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Starck Real Estate and owner of MLE Designs - a home staging and decorating company.

New classroom furniture geared to 21st century learning

Six classrooms at South and Woods Creek elementary schools are piloting alternative classroom furniture for the 2019-20 school year. The 21st century furniture is designed for flexibility, collaboration and personalized learning. The pilot program is being conducted to evaluate the impact and effectiveness of alternative seating options for students and will help inform decisions about the purchase of classroom furniture in the future.

School board member Dr. Betsy Les has led the charge on the furniture pilot. "Flexible classroom furniture offers our students an opportunity to choose to learn in a way that best meets their needs," she said. "The furniture moves easily to meet the needs of the instruction taking place. Students have the option to sit, stand, rock, or wobble while working collaboratively in small groups, with a partner or individually."

Starting in mid-November, District 47 staff will encouraged to visit the classrooms piloting the flexible furniture to observe how it is being used by both students and teachers.

Glacier Ridge and Woods Creek “Adopt a Firefighter”

Nine 1st grade classrooms at Glacier Ridge and Woods Creek elementary schools are “adopting” their own firefighter for the 2019-2020 school year! First graders will learn about fire/emergency safety and injury prevention through five, 30-45-minute interactive lessons delivered by a Crystal Lake firefighter assigned to their class. The classroom teacher and firefighter become partners in scheduling, teaching, and reaching students with age-appropriate lessons and family activities based on the National Fire Protection Association’s “Learn Not to Burn” program. Over the course of the program, students will engage in homework activities, such as checking smoke alarms with a parent or working with their families to create an emergency escape plan. After a successful program pilot last year at several private schools, Crystal Lake Fire and Rescue expanded the program this year to include District 47 elementary schools.

Hannah Beardsley 8th graders construct smart grids

8th graders learned about smart grid technology in Mrs. Coirier’s science class in September. Thanks to Illinois State University’s Smart Grid for Schools program, students got hands-on experience with bringing electricity via wind, natural gas, coal and nuclear power to factories, homes, a baseball field, and more! Mrs. Coirier attended the Smart Grid for Schools training in Woodstock, which was provided through ISU’s CeMaST program. Through the program and this exercise, students gained a basic understanding of circuits, electrical energy and the history of power production in the United States.

D47 students “meet the bus” at annual transportation open house

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More than 500 incoming kindergarten and early childhood students and parents visited the fifth annual transportation open house in early August hosted by the Transportation Joint Agreement (TJA), the bus service shared between Districts 47 and 155. The open house is a free event for the district’s youngest learners and their families to meet bus drivers, learn about bus safety, ask questions and even board and ride the bus before the first day of school. The event features a first aid and bus safety equipment station, a safe seating demonstration, snacks, games, activities, and an interactive bus safety show featuring Buster the Bus.

More than 80 students receive backpacks through D47's community partnerships

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In August, the Crystal Lake Police Department, Crystal Lake Target and District 47 teamed up to provide backpacks and school supplies to more than 80 District 47 students. Started in 2016, the backpack program has provided more than 280 backpacks to D47 students. Target Crystal Lake has donated the majority of school supplies over the past four years.

Sexual abuse prevention through Be Seen and Heard program

In September and October, nearly 70 “Be Seen and Heard©” presentations were delivered to students in grades K-8 across the district. In response to the state mandate of educating students about Erin’s Law, Be Seen and Heard©is a prevention-oriented child sexual abuse program developed by Victor Pacini to create an age-appropriate, safe and engaging environment where students learn about personal body protection, the difference between safe and unsafe touch, and the importance of having trusted heroes.

Community leaders "get schooled" in District 47 on Education Day

For the fourth year in a row, District 47 co-hosted Leadership Greater McHenry County (LGMC)’s “Education Day” at Bernotas Middle School. On October 10, a group of 32 local community leaders came together to learn about education in McHenry County. Attendees had an opportunity to engage with Bernotas students in a collaborative, “Breakout EDU” academic activity; take a brain/movement break led by North elementary students; hear from public school CFOs and school board members about education funding; learn about a new countywide youth mental health program being implemented in McHenry County public schools; and find out how McHenry County schools, businesses, and McHenry County College (MCC) collaborate. The group then spent the afternoon learning about higher education offerings at MCC. For more information about LGMC, visit this link: Leadership Greater McHenry County (LGMC).

Raising resilient children focus of fall Parent University

More than 125 parents/guardians attended District 47's fall 2019 Parent University event on at Bernotas Middle School in September. The hour-long presentation featured clinical consultant and speaker Jackie Rhew, who provided essential tools for parents to help them build resiliency in their children. Attendees learned how to help children come out of their comfort zone, deal with making mistakes, accept criticism as part of the learning process, and take risks. To review Rhew's presentation, click this link: Jackie Rhew - Raising Resilient Children.

Two additional Parent University events will be held during the 2019-20 school year:

  • February 4, 2020 at Lundahl Middle School

  • April 30, 2020 at Hannah Beardsley Middle School

For details coming soon, check the District 47 website.

Eighth graders visit nation's capitol

On October 12-14, more than 160 8th graders from Hannah Beardsley, Lundahl and Bernotas middle schools flew to Washington, D.C. , where they had a three-day, whirlwind tour of the nation’s capitol. Students toured the Library of Congress, the White House, the National Mall, Arlington National Cemetery and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Holocaust Museum, Air and Space Museum, Mount Vernon, and more. For more photos, check out #D47inDC on Twitter.

Sprucing up school grounds at Wehde Early Childhood Center

Wehde Early Childhood Center families and staff beautified the school grounds on Saturday, October 5, as part of Disney’s “All for Good” project organized by the Wehde PTA. The goal of the project was to create a warm and colorful welcome for Wehde students by planting flowers and perennials near the entrance to the school.

Lundahl receives $1,000 from Burlington Crystal Lake

Burlington of Crystal Lake presented a $1,000 check to Angie Compere (principal) and Angela Carvell (assistant principal) of Lundahl Middle School on October 3. Burlington is a corporate sponsor of the Adopt-a-Classroom program, which aims to support local schools through sponsorships and local business partnerships. Thank you, Burlington!

District 47 PTOs/PTAs raise $300,000+ in 2018-19 school year

At the September 16, 2019 board meeting, the Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 Board of Education recognized parent/teacher organizations for their fundraising efforts during the 2018-19 school year. In total, PTOs/PTAs, including parent groups for Wehde Early Childhood Center and the Crystal Lake Friends of Gifted Education (CLFOGE), raised $300,831.

Glacier Ridge Elementary School recognized as National PTA School of Excellence

The National PTA recognized Glacier Ridge Elementary School as a 2019-2021 School of Excellence for accomplishments in building a strong, effective family-school partnership that is enriching the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. Glacier Ridge Elementary School and the Glacier Ridge PTA are one of only 326 PTAs and schools nationwide to be designated a 2019-2021 School of Excellence. To promote family engagement, the Glacier Ridge PTA hosts the school’s annual fun run, after-school clubs, and evening events for families, such as Glacier Ridge Reads, skate night, movie night, school dances and special programs, such as last year’s presentation on internet safety.


2019-20 Budget

On September 16, 2019, the District 47 Board of Education passed the 2019-20 budget. Click here to review this budget on the District’s website. Within this budget, the Board approved the Coventry renovation project, continued life safety work, and the continuation of strategic planning initiatives. All debt (2010 Build America bonds, 2018 and 2019 debt certificates) will be paid from the District’s operating funds, eliminating the need for property tax levied previously for the debt service fund.

While the majority of the D47 budget (approximately 80%) comes from local revenue sources, the District continuously looks for grant opportunities to fund initiatives as well as ways to streamline federal money that is provided to the District.

For general questions regarding the District’s annual tax levy, check out Property Tax FAQs on the District website.

Education Funding Update

In August 2017, Senate Bill 1947 (SB1947) was passed into law. SB1947 is considered to be an historic step towards equitable school funding. Under the new plan, schools are receiving funds through an evidence-based model that incorporates data and educational best practices to determine the needs necessary to provide adequate education for students.

Funding levels are based on each District’s “adequacy target,” which is a calculation based on a District’s need and its community’s capacity to fund its schools based on assessed property values. State funding is then prioritized by placing schools that are furthest from their adequacy target. A minimum base allocation is received plus any available tier funding. This is the third year of Evidence-Based Funding. Each year the District has received additional funding as the State of Illinois has continued to increase annual funding levels. For the 2019-20 fiscal year, it is projected that the District will receive $13.28 million.


In the spring of 2018, the, District 47's architect conducted a facility needs assessment to identify priority projects and effectively align resources with the educational needs of the District. The District’s projected facility needs over the next several years include capital improvement projects related to this assessment as well as school security initiatives and facility improvements related to state-required life-safety surveys of all schools.

Summer projects

Building renovations, upgrades, and repairs typically take place over the summer when school is not in session. One of the main undertakings last summer was the demolition of the interior walls at Coventry Elementary School in preparation for an $18.4 million renovation. Classes are being held on-site in mobile classroom units for the 2019-20 school year (see above photos). To learn more about this project, visit the D47 website.

Other projects completed last summer total approximately $3.6 million and include: front entry security (camera/intercom/buzzer) systems; door replacement, reconfigurations and additions; flooring replacements; plumbing system enhancements; ceiling system and lighting replacements; gym floor refinishing and replacement; tuckpointing; painting; new playground equipment; masonry work; landscaping improvements; paving maintenance and concrete/asphalt replacement.


District 47 Board of Education (back row, from left): Emily Smith, Dr. Betsy Les (vice president), Rob Fetzner (president), Jonathan Powell, and Ryan Farrell. Front row: Curt Wadlington and John Pellikan

Board Meeting Agendas and Minutes

September 16, 2019

August 19, 2019

August 14, 2019

July 15, 2019

For board meeting dates and times, visit the D47 website.



Whether you are looking for an after-school program for your child(ren) or have a program/activity you'd like our families to know about, Peachjar is our way to connect D47 families with events and activities in the community. Visit our website to learn more!

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