Sept. 6, 2022
Sept. 9, 2022
Shine Bright with Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins
District 70 Families and Residents:
Thank you! Thank you for your support and partnership as our students and staff began a fresh new year of learning and teaching in District 70. I am excited to share with you our new electronic newsletter that will be shared on the second Friday of each month.
We are beyond grateful for your enthusiasm about all the engaging learning opportunities happening in our schools and for your appreciation for all that our staff members do for our students.
In my first 6 months as your Superintendent, I have seen the power of the relationships in our community. I have witnessed teachers and families working together to meet the needs of students. I have seen community partners prioritizing others over business. And, I have watched as our students have cared about each other and our community through acts of kindness and service.
It is in these moments that ongoing learning, growth, and development take shape. Yes, rigorous content and curriculum matter and will continue to be a focus as we press forward. Research shows us that achievement follows connection, it does not precede it.
This year we will continue to cultivate a “Culture of Care” in our classrooms and schools. And this commitment to each other as individuals will propel every student forward and continue to make District 70 a shining example of excellence.
I am looking forward to all we can accomplish and achieve together to further our impact in the lives of our students. Thank you for your continued partnership!
Rebecca A. Jenkins
Superintendent of Schools
Libertyville School District 70
2022-23 Calendar (Early Release Day Reminders)
The new school year calendar is posted on the website and includes three additional Early Release Days, one a trimester. The new Early Release Days, added earlier this year, are:
- Wednesday, Sept. 14;
- Wednesday, Dec. 7;
- and Wednesday, March 1, 2023.
The traditional Early Release Days, used each year with Parent-Teacher Conferences, will be:
- Wednesday, Oct. 12, HMS Only;
- Thursday, Oct. 13, K-8;
- Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, HMS Only;
- Thursday, Feb. 16, K-8.
The traditional Early Release Days, used each year in line with report cards, will be for Records Days on:
- Friday, Nov. 18;
- Friday, March 10, 2023;
- Friday, May 26, 2023;
- Friday, June 9, 2023, tentative last day of school.
District 70 administrators will seek staff and parent feedback to evaluate 2022-2023 early release days as part of the calendar committee process to guide future decisions and planning.
From Dr. Kerri Bongle, director of growth and talent
District 70 schools started their required safety drills this month, practicing all-school evacuations in case of fire, tornados with shelter-in-place drills, evacuation from bus accidents, and lockdowns.
As seen this week, these drills can be planned or unintentional but each time they show us practices that worked well and areas we can improve. After the unplanned lockdown at Rockland this week, we are assessing improvements needed in our larger spaces with regard to the public address systems in these areas. We will be enhancing our lockdown procedures. For now, our recess supervisors do have 2-way radios to communicate with the office or other staff within the building in the event of an emergency. Safety remains a top priority in all D70 buildings and will continue to be an area of focus.
In addition to the lockdown drills scheduled for this month, we are currently working on a video for staff to use with students that reviews the lockdown process. This video will use age-appropriate language and information and will give staff common language to use with students. Once completed, we will post the video on the website under "Safety" under Student Supports.
D70 has been working diligently to make improvements to building security and student and staff safety over the summer. Several safety-specific communications already have gone out and we continue to work behind the scenes to make changes and improve on already established practices and procedures.
During our two Teacher Institute Days, we had safety presentations for our staff where we reviewed building security, threat assessment, and lockdown procedures. As the year continues, we will work with staff to train them in best practices, and we will continue to keep school safety a focus while maintaining schools that are welcoming to students, families, and staff.
As a gentle reminder, please refrain from propping doors or opening doors for other parents or visitors so that we can maintain the security of the building.
When Schools Are Closed - D70 Has a Plan
From Dr. Erik Youngman, assist. supt. of teaching & learning
There are times when District 70 schools may need to be canceled due to inclement weather or other events beyond our control (flooding, fire, power outages, etc.). As a safeguard, the state annually builds five emergency days into every public school calendar. Districts also have the option to use eLearning (electronic-learning) days instead of or after exhausting their emergency days.
At this time, this would allow D70 to use both traditional emergency Snow Days and eLearning days with students learning remotely at home in the event there is inclement weather. Having a state-approved eLearning plan in place allows D70 flexibility throughout the year or over a prolonged period of inclement weather or necessary closures.
A public hearing on District 70’s proposed eLearning plan will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 shortly after the public board meeting begins (at 6 p.m. at the ERC). Following the hearing, the school board would vote on the proposed eLearning plan.
Teachers assess student understanding, learning, and growth in a variety of informal and formal ways throughout the school year. D70 uses several assessments that are administered throughout the school year to help students, teachers, and parents better understand strengths and areas that can be targeted for improvement.
- Most recently students in Grades 1 - 8 took the STAR assessments in reading and math.
- For our kindergarten students, we transitioned to AIMSweb Plus this year as our benchmarking assessment. We hope that this new tool will give us more information about our youngest learners.
- To view assessment results for your child, please log into the PowerSchool Parent Portal and click on the small box with an arrow in the right-hand corner of the screen. Click on P4R Login to access your child’s assessment data. Please see the image below.
The most recent updates include fall STAR results for grades 1-8 and IAR data from the 21-22 school year for students now in 4th - 8th grade. When the kindergarten AIMSweb data is available, kindergarten families will be notified.
Libertyville D70 Foundation
District 70 has begun the process of creating a D70 Foundation under the direction of school board members Jennifer Khan and Nanette Dahlke, along with guidance from Supt. Rebecca A. Jenkins.
The D70 Foundation will develop resources to enrich the curriculum, enhance educational opportunities for students, and provide innovative programs created by teachers to improve education.
The D70 Foundation will consist of community members, business leaders, and educators collaborating together to provide the best educational experience to Libertyville's children.
The D70 Foundation is a tax-exempt vehicle for people and corporations seeking to make financial contributions to D70. Memorial gifts and scholarships also can be a way for people to contribute to the group.
To join this cutting-edge Foundation, please contact Rose Bourgeois, administrative assistant to the superintendent, at email@example.com.
Tech Support is Here!
By Chris Vipond, director of technology
Tech Support for Students and Families
The technology department is committed to providing quality tech support to all students. If your child has technical issues with their Chromebook or iPad please remember that a number of resources are available on the technology portion of the district website. Additionally, students and families can use the Student Help Center at help.d70schools.org to request support from the D70 Tech Team.
District 70 1:1 Initiative
This year, District 70 continues to provide 1:1 access to devices (iPad or Chromebook) for all students in Early Childhood through 8th grade. This initiative provides all students with the ability to access numerous digital curriculum resources. These resources include but are not limited to core district curriculum as well as many supplemental resources. District 70 expectations are that students are bringing their device to and from school each day. Students/families should charge the devices each night. This eliminates the need for students to bring the charger to and from school each day.
Teachers Field Test New English/Language Arts Programs for Next Year
This school year, select teachers and their students will be participating in hands-on investigations, or field tests, of multiple English/Language Arts programs in order to make sound decisions for curriculum adoption. These field tests, which are considered a best practice in education, allow teachers and administrators to thoroughly engage in these programs before making decisions about which programs will be implemented with students across District 70.
Field testing curriculum includes:
- August - October:
- K-5 - Wit and Wisdom published by Great Minds
- K-3, supporting program - From Phonics to Reading published by Sadlier
- 6-8 - Springboard published by Collegeboard
K-1 - F & P Classroom published by Heinemann
2 - Collaborative Classroom published by the Center for Collaborative Classroom
3-5 - Wonders published by McGraw-Hill
6-8 - StudySync published by McGraw-Hill
Teachers on the K-5 English/Language Arts committee and selected the curriculum for field testing also created a K-5 D70 vision statement.
Specific questions can be directed to Dr. Erik Youngman, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, firstname.lastname@example.org, Carrie Thompson, instructional coach, email@example.com, or your child's classroom teacher.
Recess - It's the Law
Thirty minutes of daily recess is a law, effective last year, that ensures kindergarten through fifth grade recess can’t be taken away from students as a disciplinary measure, and a physical education class won’t fulfill the requirement. Electronic devices can’t be used during that time, either, meaning schools can’t simply put kids in a computer lab or play a movie. Schools can break the time into two 15-minute periods, and it can be outdoors or indoors.
Assistant Supt. Dr. Erik Youngman and instructional coaches Jenny Parkhurst and Carrie Thompson created school schedules for principals to use to ensure that every school plans for 30 minutes of daily recess.
Stay Connected - Here's How
- Instead of sending fliers home in student backpacks, Libertyville School District 70’s Virtual Backpack is a place for families to find important fliers and information from community groups, schools, and the district.
- The D70 website is your official guide to K-8 public schools in Libertyville.
- You can also "like" District 70 on:
What Do Teachers Learn on Institute Days?
Using the LEADERS theme this year, which stands for literacy, engagement, alignment, differentiation, equity, relationships, and safety, District 70's staff uses Institute Days for professional development.
Before school started, on Aug. 22nd and 23rd, some K-8 teachers began training for literacy programs that will be field tested during the school year. Principals, administrators, and instructional coaches also introduced Kagan engagement strategies to the staff. The Kagan strategies will be used in classrooms this year to enhance student participation and engagement with more staff training offered during Early Release Days.
Learning Center directors, along with art, music, physical education, English Language, and social studies teachers reviewed alignment between standards and instructional planning. Alignment also guided planning conversations regarding interdisciplinary teaching at Highland Middle School.
Differentiation applies to engagement and interdisciplinary conversations as well as common assessment and instructional planning for K-5 WIN Time. District 70 educators participated in reflective and collaborative equity conversations with guest speaker, Jillian Heise. These conversations continue to build off previous work on equity and will guide ongoing planning.
Staff members also participated in safety conversations and training to continue to refine safety precautions in our schools and community. Through it all, staff worked on building relationships in a culture of care.
What's Happening with the D70 Staff
By Pete Theis, director of human resource
A lot of changes took place over the summer with District 70 staff. Including:
- About 60 percent of the administration is either new or in a new position;
- D70 welcomed twelve new staff members since the June Board of Education meeting.
- This month we held New Teacher Orientation to train the new staff on D70 goals, technology, Illinois learning standards, special services, and much more.
- Each new staff member will be working with a mentor for the year and will participate in a New Teacher Induction and Mentoring Program.
- Part of the new staff movement includes the Human Resources Department, with a new director and the addition of two D70 community members, Fern Carnick and Dayna Pratt, as HR Generalists. Fern and Dayna, who have children attending D70 schools, are splitting the position in a job share. We are so excited to have them on board.
- Various members of the D70 Administrative team went through Title IX training put on by attorneys District 70 uses to comply with recent changes to the Title IX rules and regulations.
- D70 has been spotlighting our New Teachers through videos on our social media accounts in order to introduce them to the community.
The Board of Education Meets Next on Sept. 19, 2022
The public is invited to attend the next school board meeting that will begin at 5 p.m., move into a closed session, then reopen to the public at 6 p.m. on Sept. 19 at the Educational Resource Center, 1381 W. Lake St., Libertyville.