Batavia CANDO

Spring 2016

A Note From CANDO Chairperson, Deb Grizzell...

Hello CANDO parents!

I have enjoyed my seven-year association with CANDO and value the wonderful friendships I have with other CANDO parents. Our family became acquainted with CANDO soon after we moved into BPS101, and I became involved right away with a CANDO work group formed to propose a cost-neutral model for service delivery to Batavia’s gifted elementary and middle school students when the economic downturn threatened to eliminate services to our students. The gifted clusters at our district’s six elementary schools, the district’s six gifted coaches, and the Honors sections of Math and Language Arts at RMS are the result of that collaborative effort by CANDO parents.

While many of us feel there are areas of Gifted Services in Batavia that still need improvement, we can all feel proud of what we’ve accomplished as an organization. CANDO provided the research and advocacy that has driven the development of many of the gifted and high-ability services that now benefit our children. Our organization also sponsors free seminars for educators and parents, game nights and other social events for students, and the Exemplary Educator Awards for outstanding teachers and administrators in Batavia, and networking/resource sharing opportunities for parents at CANDO Chats and T.E.N. Chats.

Everything CANDO accomplishes is through the efforts of our parent volunteers. Thank you to all of our 2015-16 Executive Board members and School Liaisons (listed at the bottom of this note) and everyone who has supported CANDO’s events and advocacy efforts this year.

May is the month designated by our bylaws for election of Executive Board members, and we also try to appoint our School Liaisons for the following school year at that meeting. Please consider placing your name on the ballot for a position on next year’s board. E-mail to indicate your interest in filling an Executive Board position or volunteering to fill a School Liasion position by May 1st. Position descriptions can be found in the Bylaws on the CANDO website at the bottom of the “About” page :

CANDO 2016-17 Executive Board OPEN positions

Here’s the list of Executive Board positions on the ballot currently:

· CANDO Chair--OPEN (Deb Grizzell is willing to co-chair, but will not seek re-election as a solo Chair)

· CANDO Advocacy Chair—Spencer Pasero

· CANDO Programs Chair--Anna Adams

· CANDO Resource Chair--OPEN

· CANDO Secretary/Treasurer--OPEN

· CANDO 2E Resource Chair--Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin

Any of the Chair positions can be co-Chairs (shared responsibility). The current Chairpersons are, of course, available as resources for new incoming Chairs/Secretary. I am not planning to disappear. J I will happily co-Chair, or just as happily support a new chair by serving in another Board position.

Information on the various Board positions can be found on the CANDO website at the bottom of the "About" page. Each year the Exec. Board sets its own meeting schedule based on the availability/needs of its members. The only mandatory meeting is the General Membership Meeting to be held each May for election of officers. All other meetings are scheduled at the Exec. Board's discretion.

School Liaisons are not elected, rather they are volunteer/appointed positions. Here's what that list looks like right now:




GMS: Heather Macklin


RMS 6th grade: OPEN

RMS 7th grade: OPEN

RMS 8th grade: Kyra Holzman



Please consider serving in a Board position or as a School Liaison.

Thanks again everyone for all you do to benefit our kids! I look forward to seeing you at the General Membership meeting May 2nd at 7 pm at RMS. Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions at


Deb Grizzell, 2015-16 CANDO Chair

Thank you! to the 2015-16 Executive CANDO Board and School Liaisons

Advocacy co-Chairs: Christy Magerkurth and Jessica Kelly

Programs Chair: Anna Adams

Resource Chair: Heidi LeRette-Kauffman

2E Resource co-Chairs: Kimberly Lawler-Sagarin and Margie Goliak

Secretary/Treasurer: Jodie Pufundt

HWS School Liaison: Jaime Buckert

JBN School Liaison: Amy Petersen

LWS School Liaison: Nikki Rousseau

HCS School co-Liaisons: Eileen and Spencer Pasero

AGS School co-Liaisons: Jen Meiring and Ericka Mochal

GMS School Liaison: Heather Macklin

RMS School Liasions: Colleen Nyland, Kyra Holzmann, Norma Fortino

STEM School Liasion: Margie Goliak

CANDO Exemplary Educator Award Presentation at BOE Meeting

Tuesday, April 12th, 7pm

335 West Wilson Street

Batavia, IL

The exemplary educator recipients will receive their award, presented by CANDO board members at the BOE meeting. All parents and students are encouraged to attend the meeting as these exemplary educators will be recognized for their contribution toward all students reaching their full learning potential.

Th Board of Education Meeting is located at the Rosalie Jones Administration building.

2016 Exemplary Educator Award Recipients

West Side Elementary: Shannon Hemmes, Alice Gustafson School Reading Teacher

East Side Elementary: Lisa Hillquist, Hoover Wood School Kindergarten Teacher

Middle School 6th Grade: Angela Carlson, Math Teacher

Middle School 7th Grade co-recipients: Vicki Albrecht, Math Teacher; and Dave Crawley, Project Lead the Way Teacher

Middle School 8th Grade: Bridgett Schmitt, Science Teacher

High School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics: Christopher Ozarka, Math Teacher

High School Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences co-recipients: Marnie Heim, English Teacher; and William Kettering, Social Studies Teacher

Administrator or Other Individual Who Is Not a Classroom Instructor: Jennifer Hix, Vice-principal Rotolo Middle School

Honorable Mentions (listed by category)

*denotes a previous Exemplary Educator Award recipient

West Side Elementary

*Dr. Susan Sokolinski, Alice Gustafson Third Grade Teacher

East Side Elementary

*Dr. Pamela Ciway, Gifted Coach

Rhonda Gamlin, JB Nelson Physical Education Teacher

Honorable Mentions, listed by category

East Side Elementary (cont’d)

Cindy Mieland, JB Nelson Kindergarten Teacher

Brad Nelson, Louise White Fourth Grade Teacher

Anne Pappas, Hoover Wood School First Grade Teacher

Jill Robinson, JB Nelson Fifth Grade Teacher

Caren Sindelar, Hoover Wood Fifth Grade Teacher

Todd Swanson, Hoover Wood Fifth Grade Teacher

Middle School 7th Grade

Matthew Myers, Drama and Communications Teacher

High School STEM

Jean Corkery, Math Teacher

CANDO General Membership Meeting LMC at Rotolo Middle School

Wednesday, May 4th, 7-8pm

1501 South Raddant Road

Batavia, IL

Mark your calendar to attend our annual meeting and board election at Rotolo Middle School Learning Media Center (LMC, 2nd floor).

Are you interested in a CANDO school liaison or board position? Do you want to meet other CANDO parents and learn about CANDO's advocacy for gifted and high ability students? Come to the annual meeting to meet current and future board members and school liaisons.

Summary of CANDO’s appeal to the Board of Education, at the March 22, 2016 BPS101 Board of Education meeting

Thank you to all of the parents who attended the March 22, 2016 Board of Education meeting in support of CANDO’s efforts to bring attention to our shared concerns about gifted education in Batavia. CANDO provided Board members an information packet about CANDO the week before the March 22 meeting. Then, the night of the meeting, Board members received a packet including the following documents:

Board Member Packet Table of Contents

1. The BPS Strategic Plan (available on the BPS website)

2. The BPS Strategic Plan and the Current State of BPS Gifted Services

3. The text of CANDO’s statement to the Batavia Board of Education at tonight’s Board Meeting 4. March 2016 CANDO Parent Survey Feedback Comments: Representative Sample Responses

4. The “Call to Action” Issued by CANDO in December of 2015

5. The 30 November 2015 Gifted Committee Meeting Summary, Topic: “Vision” Work Group and Gifted Handbook Revision Process (Dr. Newkirk could provide slides of his PowerPoint presentation given at this meeting, or they are also available on CANDO’s website)

Board Member Packet Documents and Notes from CANDO Parents who spoke to the Board March 22nd

The documents in the Board packet distributed at the March 22nd BOE meeting are included below, for your reference. Please note that document #3 is the text of CANDO’s statement to the Board of Education, read that evening by CANDO Executive Board member Anna Adams. Seven parents of gifted students also addressed the Board in the public comments section of the meeting, and those notes are also included.





A follow-up letter was sent April 6, 2016 to the Board of Education members; Dr. Lisa Hichens, Superintendent of BPS101; and Dr. Brad Newkirk, BPS101 Chief Academic Officer requesting response and action on the following three items:

CANDO is formally requesting intervention from the Batavia Board of Education to reconvene a work group comprised of teachers, administrators and parents to design a gifted handbook detailing:

1) Proper identification of gifted and high-ability students

2) Professional development for their teachers

3) Appropriate administrative support

4) Service design guided by best practices

5) Appropriate evaluative practices to determine whether gifted and high-ability students are receiving instruction commensurate with their ability and potential through gifted services.

Without this document, gifted services are too-quickly and too-easily changed without regard to best practices; resulting in confusion and chaos for educators, school administration, and students and their families and inequitable service delivery across the district.

In addition, CANDO respectfully directs your attention to the document you received at the March 22, 2016 BOE meeting entitled: BPS Strategic Plan vs. Current State of Gifted Services, which details how this district’s treatment of gifted and high-ability students is in direct opposition to the current mission, vision and supporting goals of Batavia Public Schools. This discrepancy from the BPS 101 Strategic Plan requires your attention.

CANDO also asks that despite current fiscal constraints, the Board of Education does not allow the elimination of a Gifted Coach position with the retirement of Dr. Pam Ciway at the end of this school year.

Please continue to support CANDO’s efforts to advocate for the needs of our gifted and high-ability students by contacting Board of Education members, Dr. Hichens and Dr. Newkirk and asking them to address the three concerns listed above. Their e-mail addresses are provided below, for your convenience.

Thank you again for your letters of support and encouragement, and your attendance at the March 22 Board of Education meeting and other events sponsored by CANDO. We look forward to seeing you at the annual CANDO General Membership meeting on May 4 at 7 p.m. in the LMC at Rotolo Middle School, where we will express our gratitude to this year’s Executive Board and School Liaison parents for their service, and elect new Exec. Board members and appoint School Liaisons for the 2016-17academic year!

Warm regards,

The CANDO Executive Board

Batavia CANDO

CANDO is a district-wide parent advocacy group in Batavia Public School District 101.

CANDO focuses on advocacy, networking and development to support appropriate education for our district's gifted and high-ability student population.

We endorse a district wide learning plan for all students to reach their full learning potential