The 2022-2023 school year is coming to a close and we have so much to celebrate in the areas of student learning, operations and finance. I encourage you to read the articles in this publication to see how we have and continue to expand programming and supports to students at all grade levels to address evolving academic and social-emotional needs. Wishing all of our staff, students and families a wonderful summer!
Free Summer Lunch Program
The free summer lunch program is open to children 18 and under in Crystal Lake. The program will run weekdays from June 5 to August 11, 2023 at Ladd Park (556 Coventry Lane in Crystal Lake). Lunch will be served from 11:30am-12:30pm. In case of rain or inclement weather, the lunch program will be held indoors at Vineyard Church, 7105 Virginia Road in Crystal Lake.
Crystal Lake 4th of July Parade
The Crystal Lake Independence Day Parade will be held on Sunday, July 2, 2023 at 1pm. This year D47 will have one student group (Glacier Ridge Polar Bear Players) and a school bus in the parade. We hope to see you there!
"Meet the Bus" Event
Incoming kindergarten and early childhood students are invited to “meet the bus” at the annual transportation open house. The event will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2023, from 9am-1pm at the TJA bus garage, 1204 S. McHenry Avenue in Crystal Lake. Visit the D47 website for details.
New Family Registration
Registration for the 2023-24 school year for new-to-district families will open on June 1, 2023. After June 1st, visit the district website at https://www.d47.org/register to begin the registration process.
District 47 Receives $6.3 Million in Grants
Every year, District 47 seeks funding sources above and beyond local tax dollars to support its initiatives and provide resources for students. During the 2022-23 school year, the district was awarded five new grants totaling $6.3 million. Visit the D47 website to learn more about how these grants will help fulfill the district's mission of Empowering All Students.
New K-5 Literacy Program for 2023-24
District 47 continues to prioritize literacy among both monolingual and dual language students in kindergarten through 5th grade. As part of our curriculum review process, a literacy committee met to evaluate the current curriculum and propose solutions for enhancing and streamlining literacy instruction aligned to Common Core State Standards.
After a thorough review, the committee determined that new resources were needed to support the current Units of Study and the rigor of the learning standards, as well as to align instruction in both monolingual and dual-language classrooms. This spring, the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment approved the purchase of new resources and materials to support the Units of Study for all K-5 classrooms. New resources include Fountas and Pinnell Classroom materials (English/monolingual and dual language classrooms) and Books Del Sur and Okapi materials (Spanish/dual language classrooms). Elementary teachers will receive a preview of these materials before the end of the school year and will be trained in July and August to launch the new programs during the 2023-24 school year.
“Providing an updated and comprehensive literacy curriculum aligned to best practices and learning standards is key to student success,” said Elise Dean, director of literacy. “We are thankful to the committee for their hard work this year in conducting a thorough analysis of the situation and making a sound recommendation that will benefit both monolingual and bilingual students moving forward.”
Empowering All Students: Equity Leadership Training
Approximately 70 District 47 administrators and staff members participated in five equity training sessions this year. Equity leadership training, led by Corwin Deep Equity, is expanding the capacity of the district to fulfill its mission of Empowering All Students: Learners Today - Leaders Tomorrow. Equity ensures each and every student receives the support they need to thrive and succeed. The district will continue its partnership with Corwin next year to provide additional equity training for educational leaders across the district.
Meet Our New Leaders
Tracy Hodgson - Director of Transportation
Tracy Hodgson is currently TJA’s assistant director of transportation. Prior to coming to Crystal Lake, she was the transportation director for Marengo Community Schools, where she also served as a middle school principal and bus driver.
David Inglis - Assistant Director of Transportation
David Inglis has served as a bus driver for the past six years driving a variety of routes in D47 and D155 as well as routes out-of-district.
Kari Firak - Director of Communications and Public Engagement
During the 2022-23 school year Kari Firak served as director of communications for Harvard School District 50. Prior to that, she worked in Community High School District 155 as a communications specialist. Kari is a resident of Crystal Lake and a District 47 parent.
Carrie Coats - Principal, Hannah Beardsley Middle School
Carrie Coats' career in education spans 20 years. She is currently serving her third year as principal of Gavin Central District 37 in Ingleside, Illinois. Prior to that, she was assistant principal for Big Hollow Middle School District 38 for three and a half years. In the 16 years leading up to her positions in administration, Coats served as a 5th grade teacher at Big Hollow, a 6th grade teacher in Illinois School District U-46, and a multiage special education teacher at McHenry School District 15. She was also a director and kindergarten team lead at a parochial school in McHenry.
Gina Majewski - Assistant Principal, Bernotas Middle School
Gina Majewski has served in Addison District 4 as a dean of students for the 2022-23 school year. Prior to that, she served as a dual language two-way teacher in Huntley for three years and a bilingual/multilingual teacher in Addison District 4 for six years. Ms. Majewski holds an undergraduate degree in Spanish from Concordia University and master's degree in Educational Leadership from National Louis University.
Jana Loofboro - Assistant Director of Special Education
For the 2022-23 school year, Jana Loofboro has served as the director of student services in the Pecatonica School District. Prior to that she was a special education procedural coach for four years in the Rockford School District. Before she was a coach, she was a special education teacher for 10 years in both the Rockford and Belvidere School Districts. Jana has a master's degree in Differentiated Instruction and Administration from Concordia University Chicago.
John Devine - Assistant Director of Special Education
John Devine has served as the principal of Richardson Elementary School in Fort Madison, Iowa for the 2022-23 school year. Mr. Devine also served as a building facilitator for two alternative education schools in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Prior to that, he taught in a self-contained classroom for students with severe and profound disabilities as well as a classroom for individuals on the autism spectrum in Cedar Rapids School District. He also co-taught in both the elementary and middle school setting in several south side schools in Chicago Public School District.
D47 Staff Recognition
District 47 staff are passionate and dedicated employees who work tirelessly to provide a quality educational experience for our students. This year, we continued our district wide staff recognition program called Elevate and launched a new social media campaign called Faces of D47. From our devoted bus drivers and dedicated support staff to our talented teachers and administrators, we are proud of our team! Visit the Culture and Recognition section of the District 47 website to learn about the many amazing people whose efforts make District 47 a great place to work and learn!
Crystal Lake Elementary District 47 recognizes and honors retirees at a private retirement recognition event each spring. This year the event was held on Thursday, May 25, 2023. Visit the D47 website to learn more about our retirees!
McHenry Country Regional Office of Education Educator of the Year Awards
The McHenry Country Regional Office of Education held their second annual Educator of the Year Awards. Two District 47 staff members were recognized at this event. Congratulations to:
- Vanessa Haase, Special Education Teacher at North Elementary, who won in the Student Support category
- Brynn Dixon, Paraprofessional at Canterbury Elementary, who won in the Service Personnel category
District 47 Years of Service Award Recipients
Now Hiring / Recruitment
To provide an optimal teaching and learning environment, District 47 schools must be staffed appropriately. Like other school districts and businesses, District 47 continues to experience a staffing shortage, especially for hard-to-fill positions, such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and substitutes. If you know of someone who is looking for full- or part-time work, encourage them to visit the district website to check out current vacancies and/or to learn about the new fast-track program for paraprofessionals.
Elevate Program Sponsors
Thank you to all of the local businesses that sponsored the 2022-2023 Elevate program! We had a total of 78 Elevate nominations and 22 winners for this year! District 47 is looking for sponsors to donate a gift card ($25 value) for next year's Elevate winners! If you know of a business that might be interested in sponsorship, please email Communications@d47.org.
D155 Seniors Visit D47 Elementary Schools
On Thursday, May 11th after graduation rehearsal, seniors from District 155 high schools took a whirlwind tour through the hallways of D47 elementary schools to reminisce and celebrate their K-12 academic journey. Congratulations to all D155 graduating seniors and best wishes on their next exciting chapter!
LMS 24-Hour Run
Lundahl Middle School held its annual 24-Hour Challenge Run on Thursday, May 11 and Friday, May 12, 2023. Eighteen co-ed teams, comprised of 217 Lundahl students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades, participated in this year’s relay event spanning 24-hours. Students took turns running (no walking was allowed), eating, sleeping in tents, and helping with the event, spending the entire 24 hours on the infield of the Lundahl track. Students, staff, parents, local businesses and community members set up, provided food/beverages, and helped supervise the event. Lundahl PE teacher Fred Kaiser started the all-school relay in 1999 and has been the event’s organizer since. “The 24-hour run is intended to engage students in an activity that requires teamwork, grit and perseverance,” said Kaiser, who is retiring this year. “I will miss motivating and seeing students accomplish more than what they thought possible.”
Sodexo Future Chef Competition
Sodexo's annual Future Chef Competition was open to all D47 2nd-5th graders and this year's theme was "your favorite side dish.” Rumi Hoot, 2nd grader at Husmann, was this year’s Sodexo Future Chef winner and her winning recipe was vegan queso! Judges for the competition included Crystal Lake mayor Haig Haleblian and his wife Hawley, Crystal Lake community relations police officer Sal Alfano, Prairie Ridge High School culinary teacher Erika Jones and CORE business office specialist Lisa Noonan. Entries were judged based on originality, healthfulness, taste, presentation, and ease of preparation. Click the link for the winning recipes.
D47 Student Art Show
The District 47 student art show was held at The Dole again this year featuring select student artwork from students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Two open house events were held May 4-5 for District 47 families. Click here for photos from the exhibit.
Free Library Cards for All D47 Students
This year, District 47 and the Crystal Lake Public Library have partnered to create a plan to enhance literacy for all students across the district by ensuring access to books and other educational resources provided by the library. Starting August 1, 2023, every student in District 47 will be able to have access to a library card from the Crystal Lake Public Library, whether or not they live within the public library’s district.
“We are excited to partner with the library to provide reading opportunities and enhance literacy for all District 47 students,” said Aimee Kasper, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.
Virtual Parenting Series with Jackie Rhew
Throughout the 2022-23 school year, District 47 offered a four-part virtual parenting series via Zoom with Jackie Rhew, clinical consultant and co-founder of the Center for Emotional Wellness in Crystal Lake and Arlington Heights. Topics covered ranged from reducing stress and anxiety to managing screen time at home. To listen to recordings of these sessions, visit the D47 website.
National Night Out T-Shirt Design Contest
National Night Out is a community-building event in August hosted by the Crystal Lake Police Department and police departments across the U.S. The event promotes police-community partnerships in a crime-free environment. The Crystal Lake Police Department and District 47 invite 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to submit a T-shirt design for this year’s event electronically. The theme for the shirt should merge the meaning of National Night Out with the district's commitment to PBIS. Designs can be submitted via email to Community Relations Officer Stolzman at Kstolzman@crystallake.org. Deadline to submit entries: Friday, June 9, 2023.
Registration fees for the 2023-24 school year remain the same as last year except for slight increases in preschool tuition and sports. Click the link for 2023-24 student fees.
Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting
District 47 received a Certificate of Excellence (COE) in Financial Reporting for the 2022 fiscal year by the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO). ASBO International recognizes school districts that have met the program’s high standards for financial reporting and transparency. District 47 earned the Certificate of Excellence for its Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year ended 2022.
By participating in the COE program, school districts demonstrate their commitment to financial transparency. Applicants submit their ACFR for review by a team of financial professionals who provide feedback to improve future documents. If the report meets the requirements of the program, it may receive the Certificate of Excellence. A district’s participation in the COE program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.
District 47 is continuously working on key security initiatives for the safety of students and staff throughout the district. These include but are not limited to procedural enhancements, practices and policies as well as physical improvements to our facilities. Click the link for a safety update provided by Gary Snep, Director of School Safety, to the Board of Education on March 20, 2023.
Operations Update: Capital Improvement Projects
Last summer District 47 added air conditioning at Husmann Elementary School and Lundahl Middle School through ESSER grant funds. Plans for summer 2023 relate to the district’s continued capital improvement projects currently estimated at $1.8 million. The work includes various projects related to flooring, painting, plumbing, intercoms, clocks, card reader system enhancements, casework, exterior storage sheds, masonry, fencing, landscaping, playground equipment, pavement, routine inspections and repairs and other miscellaneous work to improve and maintain our facilities. All related required bids have been posted to the District 47 website (see Departments/Business) and presented to the Board of Education for approval per Board policy. All planned work is currently underway and is expected to be completed prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year.
Board of Education Update
The following individuals were sworn in as new board members at the May 15, 2023 board of education meeting.
Courtney Hand - District 47 parent
Dr. Lisa Messinger - local pediatrician and former District 47 parent
Emily Smith - local realtor, business owner and District 47 parent
Laura Stanton - educator and District 47 parent
Current board member Tim Mahaffy was appointed president and Emily Smith was appointed vice president. District 47 would like to thank the following outgoing board members for their service:
Board president Rob Fetzner (served for 14 years)
Board member Ryan Farrell (served for 12 years)
Board member Devon Tessmer (July 2022-April 2023)
D47 middle school student state qualifiers were also recognized at the meeting and Superintendent Dr. Hinz presented an update on the district’s strategic plan (see links below).
For more information about board meetings, visit Board Meeting Agendas & Minutes under the Board of Ed tab on the District 47 website.
District 47 partners with the community to share information about extracurricular programs and activities for students and families through Peachjar, an electronic flyer delivery program. To learn about Peachjar and/or to set up an account, visit the District 47 website.