CCSD15 Staff Newsletter

September 12, 2019

A Message from Superintendent Dr. Laurie Heinz

Dear District 15 Staff:

Can you believe the first month of the 2019-20 school year is in the books?! It has been an absolute joy to get to know many of you as I visit our schools and facilities across the district. Visible leadership is one of my values, and I will continue to be present in our schools and classrooms as the year continues. Our classrooms are diverse and dynamic places -- thanks for all you do on behalf of our students. I know it goes without saying that your work makes such a difference in the lives of our 12,000 learners.

I have a few updates to share before you continue on with the rest of the staff newsletter.

A big thank you to PGJH, GMS, CSJH, KH and SRP teachers that welcomed our building administrators and me into their classrooms for Professional Learning Rounds with our consultant Pam Rosa. Our administrative team recently participated in some phenomenal learning around evaluation “looks for.” This year-long PD will help build consistency around how we conduct teacher observations and provide feedback to our talented teaching staff. Observations will become more focused around learner behaviors and engagement. Again, thank you for your help in making this professional development possible. We are excited to be conducting another set of rounds in November.

You may notice some increased activity at the ESC next week as we conduct our first-ever Human Resource Audit, which is being conducted by professionals from Batelle for Kids. The audit process will allow us to understand how to best utilize our current staff, to identify any gaps in our organizational structure, and to help us look for ways to bring back important components of an HR Department such as staff recognition to name a few. More information about the audit process as well as the findings will be shared later this year.

With the departure of Jason Klein, we had an opportunity to restructure the Director of Infinite Campus job description. I have expanded the role into a Director of Instructional Technology and Innovation. It is our sincere hope that our preferred candidate will join us in October and begin to plan for the future of enhanced technology use within our classrooms. In preparation for a renewed focus on ways to integrate technology into our instructional practice -- watch for our sixth-eighth grade students and their teachers to participate in a survey to help us begin to plan professional development opportunities.

I had a fantastic visit to Jane Addams Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (CLR) Lab Classroom last week. Mrs. Popp, Mrs. Masellis and their students were deeply engaged in the Graffiti Talk protocol while I was there. The Board of Education is scheduled to have a dinner meeting with Dr. Hollie on September 25 to learn more about culturally and linguistically responsive classrooms. I am proud of their commitment to learning about and advancing this important initiative.

I cannot thank you enough for your hard work getting our schools open for the year, and I look forward to seeing you in the months ahead. Enjoy the weekend.



Reminder: Lane Movement and Tuition

Reimbursement Applications

Reimbursement applications and documentation is due by October 15. Reimbursement and Salary Schedule movement will then be issued no later than November 15.

Visit here: for more information.

Teacher Lane Change Reminder

Under the current CTC contract, compensation for graduate degree credits—also known as lane changes on the salary schedule—are limited to once per year. The deadline for teachers to change lanes for the current school year is October 15. To change lanes, teachers must complete a Lane Movement Application form and submit it to Personnel and Human Services by October 15. Note, Personnel must have official transcripts in order to make these lane changes. Changes in salary will be made on the November 15th paycheck.

Get Your Graduate Course Work Reimbursed

To ensure reimbursement for your approved graduate coursework, teachers must complete the Tuition Reimbursement Claim Form 2016-26 and submit it to Personnel along with copies of their grade reports or official transcripts, and copies of the costs of their actual course. Teachers should not include credit card statements with a total amount. Personnel must have proof of the cost of the individual courses because supply costs, parking charges, technology fees, etc., are not reimbursable expenses.

CTC teachers can receive up to $1,500 for Tier 1/$3,000 for Tier 2 in tuition reimbursements for approved coursework completed between July 1 and June 30. The deadline for submitting reimbursement paperwork is October 15. Reimbursements will be disbursed by November 15.

See Tuition Reimbursement Guidelines, Q & A, and Claim Form for more information.

For more information, contact Georgianne O'Donnell at ext. 3000 or

District 15 Standout Staff

Thanks to an excellent suggestion, standout D15 staff members nominated by their peers will now be profiled in each edition of the D15 Staff Newsletter. If you work with someone worthy of the "District 15 Staff Standout" recognition, submit your story to the communications team!

District 15 Standout Staff Steve Nagy:

"Long time day custodian, Steve Nagy, has taken it upon himself to beautify the courtyard at Winston Campus. Through his hard work, he has planted shrubs, his own flowers, and some donated by staff to create a space for all to be proud of. The rejuvenation of the courtyard is a somber reminder of past staff members' contributions to WC as well as a representation of nature's truly calming affects on our psyche."- submitted by Derek Eckman

National Board Cohort Begins Sept. 19

The National Board (NBCT) Cohort through the Regional Office of Education (ROE) will be held at Gemini Middle School, 8955 Greenwood Avenue, Niles, Ill.

The first meeting is on 9/19/19 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. and the contact person is Carole Einhorn.

Please make sure that you have applied for the subsidy for the state to pay your fees, and contact Erin Stein to let her know you'll be participating in the cohort group.

Campus Ambassadors: Thank You!

A HUGE shout out and thank you to ALL of the Campus Ambassadors. Campus Ambassadors attended summer workshops, have trained staff members at their schools, and continue to answer and support staff in their schools. The implementation of Infinite Campus has been such a huge success because of their assistance. Thank you!

Social Emotional Learning Update

At the recent PBIS District Leadership Team meeting, ways to implement Social Emotional Learning (SEL) all day, every day were discussed.

To support SEL implementation work at the school level, tips and strategies, which align to culturally and linguistically responsive (CLR) teaching, will be shared with building leadership through Leadership Connection.

An SEL website has also been created and will be updated with additional resources for teachers and staff. Please reach out to Kelly Maher ( with any SEL resources you have to add to the website!

Summer School Date Changes

In order to lessen the “summer slide” for our students, the District 15 summer school schedule will be adjusted beginning in the summer of 2020.

Instead of holding summer school in June immediately following the end of the regular school year, summer school will instead take place from July 6-23 or Title 1 programming and July 6-30 for ESY programming.

This adjustment in dates will allow our students to have shorter breaks from instruction over the summer instead of a prolonged 6+ week gap.

We wanted to share these dates with you early for planning purposes. More information on summer school staffing applications will be shared with you in the spring.

Flexible Spending Account Grace Period

The FSA grace period for 2018-19 ends Sept 15. 2019 with a submittal deadline of Oct. 1, 2019.

The “Spending Grace Period” is a 2½ month period that allows you to use the remaining balance in a previous plan year account. If you have a balance in your Health FSA after the plan year ends, you may incur an expense during the first 2½ months of the new plan year and apply to the previous plan year balance. This Spending Grace Period minimizes the potential for forfeiting funds applicable to the Health FSA only.

For more information, contact Employee Benefits Specialist Francine Mueller, 3012, Learn more online by logging into the staff website: Spending Grace Period for 2018-19 school year.

Staff Bulletin

A free staff bulletin board ( is available on the Staff Web!

Staff can post event flyers, view discounts offered by area businesses, or post something to sell or provide a service for other staff members.

Bulletin Board items may be submitted to the D15 Communications Dept at Visit for the details!

School Logo Files

Need access to your school's official logo files? Visit this link for files and to view the school logo branding guide.

Staff Newsletter Archive

Missed a newsletter? Find archived versions on the Staff Web.