The District Line for 109

November 15, 2018

Welcome Back to the NEW District Line for 109!

In an effort to streamline our communication from the district level as well as keep our families and community up to date on the happenings at all six of our great schools, we have created The District Line for 109! You can also access this e-newsletter on our website and social media channels!

Today (November 15th) is School Board Member Day. We would like to thank all of our School Board Members for their dedication to our schools and our students! Thanks for all you do!

Information for You, Whatever the Weather

As the season begins to turn colder and with winter just around the corner please take a moment to:


  1. Review the District's inclement weather procedures.
  2. Log into Family Access and ensure your contact information is correct so you receive any notifications of weather-related schedule changes. The district sends text and phone notifications through Blackboard, our notification system.
  3. Parents, staff and community members should download the District 109 mobile app. You'll get closing information - and other important news - on your phone through the app! To download, go to your phone's app store and search Deerfield District 109.


Families can keep up with the weather news at Emergency Closing Center and other great news by liking our District 109 Facebook page or following our @dps109 Twitter account.

2018 Tax Levy Information

The Board’s Finance Committee recently examined options related to the 2018 Tax Levy. The consensus recommendation is to eliminate the tax rate for the Debt Service fund and pay annual bond principal and interest from operating funds. Doing so will mean the District receives about $1.2 million LESS than its maximum taxing authority, and the District taxpayers will, in theory, see a zero percent increase in District 109’s portion on their tax bill. This represents the first time since the mid-1980’s that District 109 has not accessed all potential levy dollars provided by applicable law from the property owners in our community and comes as a direct result of the continued financial discipline of the Board and Administration. Thanks to the dedicated financial discipline, we are able to offer this zero percent increase while still providing the same quality of education we have been. You can view the presentation from the November 11 Board Meeting here.

Illinois State Report Cards

This information was shared by Dr. McConnell with our parents in an email sent on 10/31/2018. View the full article with graphics on our website.


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the country’s national education law, has required states to change how they are reporting the success of schools. Instead of measuring schools based solely on student achievement on standardized tests, schools are now measured by a variety of factors that figure into their overall rating. The overall student achievement now only accounts for 20% of a school’s rating while student growth accounts for 50%. By the 2021-2022 school year, there will be 10 different factors that will be taken into account when rating a school, as seen below.


Based on a school’s performance on these factors, schools are given one of four ratings by the State of Illinois. Schools are designated as either Exemplary, Commendable, Underperforming or Lowest-Performing. Schools that receive a summative designation as either Underperforming or Lowest-Performing are eligible for additional resources from the State of Illinois to help support their students learning and growth.


In the Deerfield Public Schools District #109 all six of our schools received a designation of either Exemplary or Commendable.


This change represents a significant step in the right direction for the State of Illinois in how they are rating our schools. Although they have a ways to go, the days of celebrating or punishing schools based only on one measure are coming to an end. This new process allows schools, that may have traditionally been thought of as failing based only on student achievement, to be recognized if their students are learning, growing, and closing gaps at a high pace. On the other hand, it holds school districts like ours accountable, in that we can no longer only celebrate our overall high student achievement. We must also be consistently focused on how ALL students are growing from year to year, as well as other factors, such as attendance.


We continue to be proud and amazed by the work of our incredible teachers, families, and above all - our students. We will continue to carry out our mission to Engage, Inspire, and Empower all of our learners every day.


Please see the links below to access our Report Card and find additional information regarding these changes.


District #109 School Report Card

School Designation Guide

Multiple Indicators of Student Success

ISBE Designation Guide

Community Information

A Look Around 109

Parent/Community Volunteers: Share Your Expertise with District 109

District 109 maintains a database of volunteers of parents and community members willing to share their expertise. Some opportunities will be in classrooms, while others may be virtual (via Skype or FaceTime) if experts are not local or their schedule doesn't permit them to be on site. Please share this form with friends and family around the country - or around the world! Note that this information will not be used for any other purpose than to support the work of educators and students in District 109. Teachers regularly check this form when they are looking for experts to come talk about specific topics.


If you're interested, please fill out this form.

Important Dates

  • School Board Member Day - Nov. 15

  • Elementary Report Cards Posted - Nov. 16

  • ILMEA Jazz Festival - Nov. 17, 8 am - 2 pm

  • PM Parent Teacher Conferences - Nov. 19

  • Parent Teacher Conferences - Nov. 20

  • No School - Nov. 20 - 23

  • School Resumes - Nov. 26

  • Shepard Orchestra Dress Rehearsal - Nov. 28

  • Caruso Orchestra Dress Rehearsal - Nov. 30

  • Walden/Kipling Band Combined 5th Grade Rehearsal - Dec. 4, 7:30 -8:30 am

  • Walden/Kipling 4th Grade Rehearsal - Dec. 10, 7:30 - 8:30 am

  • Shepard Jazz Band Rehearsal - Dec. 10, 3 - 4 pm

  • Regular Board of Education Meeting - Dec. 10, 7 pm

  • Caruso Musical Auditions - Dec. 11, 3 - 5 pm

  • Caruso Musical Auditions - Dec. 12, 3:30 - 5:30 pm

  • Walden/Kipling/Shepard Band Winter Concert - Dec. 13, 7 - 9 pm

  • Shepard/Caruso Choir WInter Concert - Dec. 14, 7 - 9 pm

  • Caruso Band Concert - Dec. 17, 7 - 9 pm