News from District 153

An e-newsletter for our community: Dec. 3, 2021

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Vaccine Events for the Entire HF Community!

Districts 153 and 161 are strongly encouraging our families to get their students vaccinated by the time we return from Winter Break..

Vaccines are safe for children five years and older. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the safest and best way to protect children and adults, to keep our schools operating safely in person, and to help young people get back to the things that make them happy and healthy.

Importantly, vaccines also prevent students from having to quarantine at home when they come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. This means vaccinated students can remain in school where they get the best instruction, and parents and guardians won't have to scramble to find child care for a lengthy quarantine period.

Building Infrastructure Improvements Coming This Summer

We are excited to report that the Board of Education has approved a plan to address some crucial physical issues at our school buildings. Some of those issues have come to the forefront as the result of the pandemic. Other issues are just the ongoing challenges of school buildings built in the 1960s.

After many consultations with teachers, administrators, maintenance staff and outside architects and engineers, the board has prioritized the following improvement projects for the summer of 2022:

  • Major upgrades to heating and air systems at all three schools
  • Installation of four-classroom mobile units at Willow
  • Construction of two-classroom addition at Churchill (expected occupancy Jan. 2023)
  • Update student washrooms at all three buildings
  • Roofing work at all three buildings
  • New boilers at James Hart and Willow
  • New window treatments at all buildings (to block sunlight when Smart Boards are in use)

The total cost of these projects is about $9 million. About $1.4 million will come from ESSER funds, the federal COVID relief bill. Click here to learn more about our planned expenditure of our federal ESSER dollars.

The remainder will be financed with bonds issued through the borrowing authority available to all school districts. The school district will pay back these bonds over the next several years.

District Superintendent Scott McAlister cautions that this list doesn't offer final solutions to some problems. "Mobile units, for example, are not a permanent solution to concerns about lack of space. However, these projects will alleviate many of our top concerns given current constraints on time and finances and will be a big help in educating and caring for our students," he said.

Willow School's Version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

We thought you would enjoy Willow School’s version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A big shout out to Ms. Korso’s and Ms. Vazquez’ 2nd-graders for sharing their balloon creations with us!

Willow Day Parade

Churchill School Staff Takes One for the Team of Kindness

Just before the Thanksgiving break, Churchill School celebrated a whole bunch of kindness with a little bit of silliness. Representatives from the winning classrooms of the school’s “Kindness Challenge 2021” get to “pie” administrators and other staff. Way to go, Bulldogs, for racking up those acts of kindness!

Homewood School District 153

Homewood School District 153 is the proud home of the James Hart Panthers, Churchill Bulldogs and Willow Wildcats.