Jefferson Jotter

September 2022

Letter from Principal

Dear Jefferson Parents,

We've had a great start to the 2022-23 school year! Thank you for sharing your child with us. We look forward to partnering with you to make your child's first learning experiences in District 64 fun, engaging, and memorable.

Hopefully by now, most of you have had a chance to see our beautiful new school! While there are still a few, minor things that need to be completed in the interior the majority of the work remaining is outside, including the parking lot, roof, and main entrance. Throughout the summer I took pictures of the construction project to memorialize the construction journey. Here is a slide deck that shows the transformation of the interior spaces from June until school opened in August.

With the new school, we have also changed the name from Jefferson School to the Jefferson Early Childhood Center so that D64 families and the surrounding community know that we specialize in early childhood education!

I want to thank the Jefferson staff for their time and hard work in packing everything up so that literally everything could be put into storage for the summer. And then unpacking everything the week before school started so that the classrooms were ready for students and parents for the Meet and Greet! I'm proud of the staff for showcasing their beautiful new classrooms for the first day with students!

Thank you for being a partner in your child's education and welcome to the Jefferson Early Childhood Center! If you have any questions or concerns throughout the school year please contact me at 847-318-4249 or


Lisa Halverson


Upcoming Events

Monday, September 12

  • Fire Drills - 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 15

  • Board of Education Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Emerson Middle School

Monday, October 3

  • Lockdown Drills - 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, October 4

  • Preschool Screenings - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - By Appointment

Wednesday, October 5

  • Birth to 3 Screenings - 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - By Appointment

Monday, October 10

  • No School for Students and Staff - Indigenous Peoples' Day

Inspire every child to discover, learn, achieve, and care

Family Picnic

It was great seeing so many families out for the annual Jefferson Family Picnic! Once again, we had perfect weather so families could comfortably enjoy a picnic dinner, children could run around and play on the playground, and parents could socialize with other Jefferson parents. Check out this slideshow of the perfect evening!


Construction continues to progress with the back parking lot, but is yet to be completed. Therefore, all families will need to continue parking on Greendale Avenue when picking up and/or dropping off their child for preschool. If you have been dropping off and/or picking up you can see that parking is limited and all available spots are needed for our families and staff. Therefore, please pull up as far as you can so that we can maximize the number of cars that can park along Greendale. If there is an angled spot open, please pull into it rather than blocking it.

Families who are bringing their child in for speech services may use the visitor spots in the temporary back parking lot. The remainder of the temporary parking lot is used for construction workers.

Safety Drills

Our students had their first safety drill on Friday, by practicing how to safely exit the building in case of a fire. We will have two more fire drills in the month of September with one of them being observed by the Niles Fire Department.

In October we will have a lockdown drill with a representative from the Niles Police department. The lockdown drill does not include any simulations that mimic an actual school shooting incident. Instead, an announcement is made over the intercom for the staff to go into lockdown by locking their classroom door and moving the students to a corner of the room where they can't be viewed from the window in the classroom door. In order to keep the children quiet during the drill, the teachers typically have the students look at books and/or quietly play with a toy. Parents can opt out of the lockdown drill for their child. An email will be sent to parents in a couple of weeks with more information about the lockdown drill and a form to complete if they choose to opt out.

A tornado drill will be held in November to prepare students for inclement weather. Finally, a bus evacuation drill will be scheduled for this fall, but the date has yet to be determined.

Historically, our students do a great job following the teacher's directions for each of the safety drills. The drills help to reinforce safety precautions and procedures for our staff and we use the drills to problem solve potential situations. With the yearly safety drills we are better prepared to ensure everyone's safety in case of an emergency.

Benchmark Assessments

Throughout the month of September your child's teacher will be observing and completing benchmark assessments with your child in the areas of vocabulary, literacy, and numeracy. Teachers use this information to plan appropriate instructional activities, small group instruction, and to get a baseline of your child's skills. Benchmark assessments will also be completed in the winter and spring to monitor your child's progress throughout the school year.

Developmental Screenings

On a monthly basis the Early Childhood Diagnostic Team conducts screenings of children ages three to five. The screenings are conducted by a team, consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, psychologist, and social worker. The areas assessed include motor, communication, play skills, pre-academic and thinking skills. The next Preschool Screening for the 2022-23 school year is scheduled for October 4th. Twice a year the team conducts screenings of children birth to 3 years of age. The first Birth to 3 screening is scheduled for Wednesday, October 5th. To schedule an appointment for a screening call 847-318-4290.

Change of Clothes

Preschool is a busy place and sometimes it is messy! Please send in an extra set of clothes for your child, including shorts/skirt, top, underwear, and socks. The weather also fluctuates so a light jacket or long sleeve shirt would be helpful as the students frequently play outside.

COVID Dashboard

If you are interested in knowing how many active cases of COVID are present for Jefferson Early Childhood Center the dashboard can be found by clicking this link. An active case starts when a student tests positive and ends after a period of 10 days. So the numbers in the dashboard represent the reported students who are in that 10-day window. The dashboard will be updated daily.

Refund for COVID Isolation Days

If your child had/has to isolate due to COVID, you will receive a refund through My School Bucks on the credit card that was used to pay tuition. Refunds will be dispersed in December and May. If you have any questions about your credit, please contact Kathy Luppo at 847-318-5360.


If your child will be absent please call or email the Jefferson School nurse, Kelly DeFelice, at 847-318-5441 or

See What’s Going on in Our Community!

From the library to the park district, our communities of Park Ridge-Niles have lots to offer. For information on all the latest happenings, be sure to check the Community Info & Events webpage.