News from District Office

September 3, 2015

D113A: Strategic Plan and Core Values

View our Core Values and Strategic Plan by clicking here.


Innovative Learning.

Collaborative Communication.

Responsive Citizenship.

Engaging, inspiring and developing future citizens of the world.

News from Dr. Orzel's Office

District 113A Staff,

Congratulations on a great start to our school year! I have heard so many positive comments from staff, parents, students and community members about the beginning of the year and the positive tone that you have set. Great job!

The notion of "Collaborative Communication" is part of our Vision Statement, so I felt that I needed to reach out to you about my visits through the school buildings and clarify some potential questions that are out there about our visits.

As you know, I try to be in the buildings and classrooms as much as possible throughout the year. The work that you do in your classroom is at the heart of virtually everything that happens in our district. As a result, I believe it's important for me to see teaching and learning on a regular basis so that the district can provide you and your students as much support as you need.

As was the goal last year, my goal this year is to try to be in your buildings once/week. Sometimes that works, and sometimes my schedule doesn't allow it. However, when I am able to stop by, it is wonderful to see what is happening in our buildings. The energy is infectious!

Yesterday, the principals, assistant principals and I toured all buildings together as a group. When we come together as group, I am working with the principals to have discussions about what they see students doing in classrooms, and we work together to discuss student engagement and monitor inter-rater reliability between the principal and assistant principal.

It is important that teachers receive consistent feedback on student engagement and that the principal and assistant principal see things similarly based on evidence. We try to enter and exit classrooms without disruption, so if we do not engage with you as we enter, it is because we are trying not to interrupt your lesson.

Principals will talk more about this when they have their staff meetings, but I wanted to reach out as well. If you have any questions, please remember that my door is always open to you.

Next week, we will have 20+ community leaders visiting the district. People visiting include the following:

Mayor Brian Reaves, Mayor of Lemont

Mayor Gina Cunningham-Picek, Woodridge

Dr. Mary Ticknor, LHS Superintendent

Mike Shackel, LHS Board President

Eric Michaelsen, LHS Principal

Louise Egofske, Executive Director/Park District

Brian Pepich, Board President/Park District

Glenn Pasiewicz, Executive Director/Chamber

Chief Maton, Lemont Police Chief

Chief Rimbo, Lemont Fire Chief

Victoria Cobbett, Board President, LFPD

Sandi Pointon, Executive Director/Library

Dr. Gineen O'Neil, SWCCCASE Director

Laurel Hanson, Director of Chartwells

Kealy Schroeder, Director of Champions

Terri O'Neill, Hope and Friendship

Steve Rosendahl, Township Supervisor

Melinda Pintozzi, Band Boosters President

Bill Ward, VFW Post Commander

The day will be scheduled as follows:

7:30-8:00am- Guests greeted by Old Quarry Middle School students

8:00am – 8:30am- Future vision presentation and breakfast at Old Quarry Middle School (LRC)

8:30am – 9:00am- Tour of Old Quarry Middle School

9:00am – 9:10am- Travel to River Valley School

9:15am – 9:45am- Tour of River Valley School

9:45am – 10:15am- Tour of Oakwood School

*Times are approximate.

Senator Christine Radogno planned on attending, but the Senate was called to session next week. I have scheduled a separate day for her to come visit the district which will be held on Tuesday, October 13th from 8:30-10:00am. Her day will look like:

8:30-9:00am: Tour of Old Quarry Middle School

9:05-9:35am: Tour of River Valley

9:35-10:05: Tour of Oakwood

*Times are approximate.

Finally, as you know, State Superintendent Dr. Tony Smith will visit us on Tuesday, November 3rd. He will follow this schedule:

9-9:30: Visit at Old Quarry

9:35-10:05: Visit at River Valley

10:05-10:35: Visit at Oakwood

*Times are approximate.

I wanted you to have as much information on dates and times as early as possible.

To have this amount of community and state interest into our school district is a testament to your hard work and the engaging learning opportunities that you provide for our children every day.

We are proud to welcome these visitors into our schools and classrooms. Thank you for your work with our children.


State of the District Presentation

Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 6pm

16100 127th Street

Lemont, IL

Please join us for a State of the District presentation to be held at 6pm on Tuesday, October 7th in the LRC at Old Quarry Middle School.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

District System Assessment

As you know, the District will be undergoing a District-level System Assessment visit this year. Staff members from each building will be sharing the process with you at an upcoming meeting. Members of the district's self-study team include the following people:

Oakwood: Kristy Blazewski, Shelley Mandarino, Cathy Slee

River Valley: Bridget Esposito, Colleen McNaughton, Angie Thonn, Debby Lynch

Old Quarry: Natalie Brown, Michelle Nevin, Johnny Billingsley

District Office: Dr. Mary Gricus, Susan Wulczyn

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of these individuals about the process.