Community Newsletter

Nov. 11, 2022

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Shine Bright with Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins

Today is Veteran’s Day and I want to say thank you to all of those in our community who are currently serving or have served in our military. And to our families who have active or retired members of the military; thank you for your role in loving and supporting our men and women in uniform!

A couple of weeks ago, the Illinois State Report Cards were released. I would like to share some highlights from the District 70 report. I would be remiss not to acknowledge that these results are extraordinary and are due to the dedication of our staff here in District 70.

It is also important for you to understand that while we are proud of what the report card does and does not show, it is useful data in helping districts identify what is working and what needs improvement. It is not, however, a complete picture of what students experience or have available to them in our buildings and classrooms.

Our ultimate goal is to measure the progress of our students on an individual basis. Each child grows at their own pace. If we measure progress against ourselves, we will never settle for “good enough” and will always be looking to see how we can improve locally to prepare our students for success in and out of the classroom.

Here are five highlights for District 70:

  1. Exemplary and Commendable. Three schools were named Exemplary (in the top 10% in the state) – Adler, Butterfield, and Copeland – and two were named Commendable (meeting and exceeding expectations, and outside the top 10%) – Highland and Rockland.
  2. Student Achievement is Up! Students are achieving well above state averages in English Language Arts and Mathematics, as well as outperforming the district’s scores on the 2020-21 report card.
  3. Closing Learning Gaps Faster. The district’s student growth percentile is increasing at a higher rate than average. This means students are closing gaps of knowledge and achievement and surpassing their growth trajectory at a faster pace than is typical.
  4. More Student Time and Attention. Class sizes are below the state average and the district maintains an average 15:1 student-to-teacher ratio, which is two fewer students per teacher than the state average.
  5. Funding Quality Classrooms First. Spending per pupil has increased in recent years; however, those increases are commensurate with the rate of inflation and are reflected in our teacher and staff salaries and benefits and are within our current level of local funding.
    • Salaries and benefits are rising because the district maintains a 94.7% staff retention rate, an anomaly in the state, and more than 85% of staff hold a master's degree or higher.

    • It should be noted that the district’s administrative ratio is lower than the state average with an admin-to-student ratio of 183:1, compared to 147:1 in the state.

In addition to these highlights, we are also identifying areas we will be addressing with gusto in the coming weeks and months including supporting students through increasing pre-algebra readiness, and closing the moderate and small equity gaps. More to come!

For now, we celebrate all that our staff does to support our students to new levels of success and growth each year.

Shine Bright,


Rebecca A. Jenkins

Superintendent of Schools

Libertyville School District 70

Rebecca's Twitter

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Welcome Video from Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins

Click the button above to watch a new Welcome to District 70 video from Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins.

Emergency Notification Test on Nov. 15

To prepare for the winter weather, we will be conducting a TEST of our emergency notification service (School Messenger) at about 6 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2022. District 70 uses the system to deliver phone calls, emails, and text messages to families when the decision is made to close schools. The test will include all three forms of communication.

It is important to test the system to make sure we are reaching our families in case of an emergency. If you do not receive the TEST message by phone and email, please notify your school office on Nov. 16, to review your contact information. If you do not contact the school, you will not receive important notifications from District 70.

To receive a text message, you must opt-in by texting 67587 with either a Y or a YES as the message you send. (This may not be activated for 48 hours from when you opt in.) This text (SMS) service is used in the event of school closings, school emergencies, and sometimes to report late buses.

When It Snows, What Will School Be Like?

As we head into winter, we would like to remind 70 families of Libertyville School District 70’s inclement weather protocol. In the event of inclement weather, the Superintendent of Schools will implement one of the following three scenarios:

Schools Remain Open

All school buildings will remain open and students are expected to attend. No communication will be shared.

School Canceled (Snow Day)

All school buildings will be closed and students will make up the inclement weather day at the end of the school year. Five emergency days are added to every school calendar each year.


All school buildings will be closed, however, students and staff will complete the school day remotely from home. Please review our plan for eLearning when school is canceled on the D70 website at

On eLearning days, students and teachers will participate in remote and virtual instruction (via Google meet) from their homes. During eLearning days, District 70 will partner with families to provide meaningful and engaging electronic and non-electronic learning opportunities outside of the classroom, which will maintain high expectations and pursuit of increased student growth and achievement.

K-8 students will follow their daily school schedule for the day of the week that school is canceled. In general, elementary students can expect at least two hours, and 15 minutes of live instruction, and about two hours and 45 minutes of independent offline, asynchronous work. Middle school students can expect two hours of live instruction, and up to three hours of independent offline, asynchronous work.

Please remind your student to bring home their electronic device every day so they are prepared if schools are closed and we are engaged in an eLearning Day.

D70's Inclement Weather Protocols

While it is always a goal to have students in school, there are incidents such as Inclement weather, power outages, or safety emergencies that may call for closing schools to keep students safe.

When heavy snow or extremely cold temperatures are predicted, superintendents in neighboring school districts begin planning in the early morning hours of, and sometimes even the night before a storm. Communication is maintained with District 70's bus company representatives and the district's maintenance/snow removal crews as well.

When schools are closed, please note:

  • All District 70 school facilities or individual facilities may be closed as necessary.

  • All before- and after-school activities and field trips will be canceled.

  • All student events will be canceled.

  • Athletic events and practices will be canceled.

  • Champions Child Care programs at the elementary schools will be canceled.

Generally, a decision needs to be made by 5:30 a.m. or sooner, to try and catch anyone before they leave for school and/or work. Closure decisions will only be made the night before if conditions are known for certain and warrant closure.

Wind Chill Warning

A wind chill warning is typically issued when the wind chill will be -30 degrees Fahrenheit or colder OR the actual air temperature is -15°F.

  • All classes will highly likely be canceled. District 70 may offer remote learning or a Snow Day.

  • If schools are closed, extracurricular activities and before- and after-child care (Champions) will be suspended.

  • All notification systems will be leveraged to communicate school cancellations to families. You will receive a phone call, email, and a text message (if you opted into the SMS system/see info on how to opt-in below).

Wind Chill Advisory

A wind chill advisory is typically issued when the wind chill is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder.

  • It's highly likely schools will be open; however, all outside activities may be suspended, including recess and outdoor physical education.

  • Extracurricular activities may be suspended if conditions persist. Updates will be posted on school websites and parents will receive an email if after-school activities are canceled.

  • All field trips may be canceled.

When Will I Know?

We will aim to communicate a decision as close to 5:30 a.m. as possible on the day of inclement weather, by either declaring a Snow Day or an eLearning day. If school will be held that day, no communication will be sent out and classes will be held as usual.

Please understand that many factors go into making the final decision because D70 understands canceling school may be inconvenient for students and parents, as well as teachers and staff.

The decision involves:

  • Building conditions: Do the buildings have heat, light, and power?

  • Site conditions: Are the parking lots plowed? Can buses get in and turn around? Can parents drop off students? Are the school exit doors free of snow?

  • Bus operations: Can the bus drivers get to the bus company? Do the buses start? Do the drivers feel comfortable driving?

  • Road conditions: Are the roads continually plowed and is traffic moving?

  • Air temperature: How cold is it? What is the wind chill? Can children safely walk to school or wait outside for a bus?

If the answer is yes to these questions, most likely the decision will be to keep schools open.

We recognize that everyone looks at weather-related closures through their own personal lens and there may be times when the D70 Community may not agree with District 70's decision. Please know that any decision we make will be made with the safety of the children as our top priority.

When a decision is made to close schools, D70 families will be informed in several ways:

1) An announcement is made on the D70 website and all the school websites.

2) The message is pushed out through automatic phone calls from the superintendent through the D70 notification system to phone numbers D70 families provide during registration. Please make sure your contact information is current every winter.

3) Parents who opt-in will receive a text (SMS) message. (To opt-in to receive emergency notices via text, please text Y or YES to 67587)

4) The message is delivered through D70 email to family email addresses provided during registration. Please make sure your contact information is current every winter.

**To update your emergency contacts, please contact your school office with the new information.

5) The announcement is posted to Twitter @LibertyvilleD70, Facebook @LibertyvilleD70, and Instagram @libertyville_d70.

6) All school names are broadcast as closed on WGN-AM (720), WBBM-AM (780), CBS-TV, NBC-TV, ABC-TV, WGN-TV, and FOX-TV.

7) All school names are listed on the Emergency Closing Center at

There is no set amount of snow or a set temperature during severe weather that automatically triggers schools to close; all factors depend upon circumstances and the ability to get children and staff to and from school safely. Safety is, and always will be, the major concern.

Yes, I want to be on the Strategic Plan Committee!

Click the button above and touch the future by joining the Strategic Plan Committee now! We are in need of more community members to join us!

You can also be part of a Strategic Plan focus group!

Plans for our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan are well underway! We have developed a new mission, and vision statement, and updated our core values as well as new graphics. Surveys have been sent to staff and families, and community members, too. In addition, we are offering focus groups to gather more data. The community focus groups are listed below.

Focus Groups:

  • The D70 community will be invited to Strategic Plan Focus Group meetings on:

    • 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 for the community, civic, religious, and business leaders, and residents without children attending D70 schools at the ERC;

    • 6 p.m. on Nov. 21 for District 70 families at the ERC;

    • Sign up here to attend a community focus group in November.

The strategic planning meeting will be held as listed below. We have many special guests including the D128 superintendent, the Libertyville mayor, and recruiting student representation. This should prove to be a productive and purposeful event for all.

Sign up for Strategic Planning Committee Meetings (community, staff, administration, board) Sessions -

  • 6:00-9:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 at Butterfield School.

  • 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at Butterfield School.

Attend Community a Focus Group in November

Click the button above to attend a community focus group to share your thoughts on where D70 should go in the next five years.

Survey on Where you See D70 in 5 years

Click the button above to share your thoughts on where D70 should be in five years and how we should get there. 5-Year Strategic Plan Survey.

D70's Threat Assessment Process

In today’s day and age, student vernacular can include colorful language that, as a result, triggers an in-depth threat assessment at a school the building level. The vast majority of these instances of students using threatening language are determined, through a rigorous and thorough investigation, to be unsubstantiated or not credible.

District 70 uses the Navigate 360 threat assessment system to guide staff teams in such instances when a threat to self or others is triggered. Navigate 360 was developed based on the nationally recognized threat assessment models Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) and National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC).

Threat assessment teams participate in training to maintain unbiased, consistent documentation and assessment procedures throughout the entire case management process.

Every building in District 70 has an identified threat assessment team, consisting of an administrator, school social worker, psychologist, counselor, teacher, and law enforcement official (School Resource Officer). The collaborative team approach helps determine the threat level and the need for additional investigation, intervention, and support.

District 70 does not typically communicate unsubstantiated incidents with families unless there is a lockdown at school, a police response during the school day, a disruption to learning, or a credible threat is determined. The district is required to maintain student confidentiality in all instances, including those of safety and security, and discipline.

Locally and nationally, there is an uptick in unsubstantiated school threats. It is highly concerning when students use this type of language to communicate their stress, anger, fear, or anxiety. In District 70 we are continuing to build upon our student and family support for students who need assistance in regulating emotions, communicating stress, and working through their anger or frustration appropriately.

Safety Education Through Risk Watch

Risk Watch is an injury prevention program for children that seeks to prevent major unintentional injuries that threaten children.

Risk Watch was started by the National Fire Protection Association and was piloted in District 70 by Adler Park School 19 years ago with the help of the Libertyville Fire Department. The premise of the program is that by teaching children to recognize and avoid risks, they can lead fuller and more productive lives.

The Risk Watch modules are:

  • Motor Vehicle Safety

  • Fire and Burn Prevention

  • Choking, Suffocation, and Strangulation Prevention

  • Poisoning Prevention

  • Falls Prevention

  • Firearms Injury Prevention

  • Bike and Pedestrian Safety

  • Water Safety

These topics are presented as assembly throughout the year at each of our four elementary schools under the direction of nurses from Advocate Condell Medical Center, Libertyville Fire Department firefighters, and Libertyville Police Department officers.

Kindergarten Benchmark Assessment

Kindergarten assessment data collected in September is available for now for review.

Kindergarteners were screened using the AIMSwebPlus assessment tool and will be screened again in January and May of 2023, to assess the growth of students throughout the school year.

Before viewing your child’s scores, we recommend reading this informative letter explaining how scores are used. To view your child’s scores, please log into your PowerSchool Parent Portal. If this is your first time in the Parent Portal, please visit D70 PowerSchool Parent Portal. Click on the applications menu icon (small square with an arrow in the upper right side of the window). In the applications menu, click on "P4R Login" to access student data.

Students in grades first through eighth grade are assessed using STAR Math and Reading.

Website Warrior: Where Do I Find?

Dear D70 - Where do I find the district calendar?

  • The districtwide and school calendars are all posted on our website at by clicking on Our District to Calendars. Instructions on how to merge the D70 calendars into your personal calendar can be found at the top of the calendar page.
  • Did you know if you click on an event on the calendar, you will get more information on the event? Sometimes the details of an event will tell you the time, place, and where the event will be held - all information that is too much to list in the title of an event on the calendar.

Dear D70 - Where can I find newsletters and letters?

Dear D70 - Where can I find the School Report Cards?

Ever Wonder What It's Like in School These Days?

Come work for District 70 as a substitute teacher.

D70 continues to look for substitute teachers. You can set your own schedule and sub as often or as little as you would like. Please consider signing up. Substitute teachers are paid $130 per day, and earn bonuses based on the number of days subbing in the district. If interested please go here to learn more about the position and submit your application.

Institute Day was Dedicated to Safety

D70 staff members participated in "Run, Hide, Fight" training with the Libertyville Police Dept. this week during a Teacher Institute Day focused on safety.

Officer Brian Yarc talked to staff about the options they have when faced with a threat at a school. Tips were shared in helping staff determine how to make the right choice. Officer Yarc is expected to visit all the schools to assist in safety planning and share his knowledge about what to do in emergencies.

During Institute Day, when teachers work on professional development while students are not in attendance, staff also reviewed their emergency plans for their school. Libertyville Fire Dept. Lt. Christopher Adams trained the staff in "Stop the Bleed" and basic first aid.

Clinical Psychologist Dr. Doug Bolton also delivered an amazing presentation on resiliency and post-traumatic growth. Staff was invited to participate in an optional meditation, mindfulness, and movement session with Erin Murphy after the official institute day was complete. Erin owns Black Cat Yoga and is one of our business partners in Partners for Excellence in Education.

COVID-19 Update

Click the button above to learn about recent updates to COVID-19.