Staff Bulletin


Happy Holidays District 64!

We made it to winter break. Since I know you will be dashing out of schools and busy with holiday festivities, I will keep the December edition brief.

The inaugural annual report is being sent to schools so watch for a copy in mailboxes on Friday. Please take time to read and enjoy as it truly showcases the many wonderful things taking place throughout District 64. It is being mailed to our entire Park Ridge-Niles community - almost 18,000 households so the entire community knows what D64 is about.

The PARCC presentation shared with the Board of Education on Monday evening is now available on video. I know I already sent out the report and presentation slides via an email blast, but now you can see the BOE discussion as well. The video can be viewed here. The video has a time counter, so you may move to the agenda item you want to view directly. We will be doing a deep dive into results at building meetings on Wednesday, January 6.

The winter closing guidelines have been updated to more clearly define how we will handle cold temperatures and school closings. These are being followed by all of us in Maine Township. Please take a look at them here, fingers crossed we won’t need any of them this year!

Please mark your calendars and help get the word out to your families regarding our upcoming Parent University session. Next up is "Raising Kids in a Digital Age" - Our children are growing up in a different world. How do we help them be mindful and responsible citizens in the 21st century? District 64 is pleased to welcome Dr. Devorah Heitner for a special Parent University evening on Tuesday, March 8 from 6:30-8:00 p.m., Emerson Middle School (Multipurpose Room), 8101 N. Cumberland, Niles. Dr. Heitner is the founder and director of Raising Digital Natives, an online resource for parents and schools. She is an experienced speaker, workshop leader, and consultant, and is currently writing a handbook for parents, "Raising Your Digital Native." Dr. Heitner appears in a TEDx-Naperville presentation: The Challenges of Raising a Digital Native (Empathy is the App). Dr. Heitner offers parents concrete criteria to evaluate the quality of our children's media experiences and is a resource for anyone seeking advice on how to help children thrive in a world of digital connectedness. The evening will also include a panel discussion prompted by audience questions and is expected to be an enriching dialogue. The program is free so I hope you consider attending.

I thoroughly enjoyed the holiday merriment taking place at all the schools this week (there were some ugly sweaters at Lincoln on Thursday). The Music Department (K-8) outdid themselves preparing for performances in the community, concerts and holiday sings at our schools. Kudos to all of you for a job extremely well done.

I thank each and every one of you all for your hard work and countless contributions to one another, to our students and their families. Additionally, I hope the final few weeks of 2015 are very good to both you and your family. I wish you a happy and healthy New Year and look forward to our continued work and collaboration in 2016.

My very best,



Education Week: Formative Assessment Series

During the month of November, Education Week ran a series on formative assessment. Check out these great articles and videos - including a Q&A with Rick Stiggins - to learn more about this powerful strategy. Also included is a great chart comparing four different types of assessments.


REMINDER...Upcoming Staff Development Opportunities

Formative Assessment and High-Impact Instruction are two strands of professional development identified in the Strategic Plan. Our goal is for 100% of staff to participate and all staff to implement these strategies over the coming year.

Registration information can be found below each workshop description.

Jim Knight’s High-Impact Instruction

Coming Soon!

This spring, the Department for Student Learning will once again host Dr. Jim Knight! Almost 200 District 64 educators have participated in this engaging workshop! Dr. Knight will focus on the high-impact strategies that make the biggest difference in student learning:1) content planning, 2) instructional practices, 3) classroom community building, and 4) formative assessment. These strategies maximize the power of your lessons and are appropriate for any teacher in any content area!

This one-day workshop will be offered three times this spring from 8:20-3:20 at South Park Rec Center, 833 Talcott, Park Ridge. Please register below by November 1:

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - CLOSED

Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 28 spots left

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 13 spots left

Please do not secure a substitute for this workshop until your registration is confirmed by the Department for Student Learning.

The Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning

​Do you want to get started using formative assessment in your classroom? Are you looking for simple, easy-to-implement strategies that you can start using ASAP?

The Department for Student Learning will once again present “The Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning.” This full-day workshop will teach you about seven formative assessment strategies that can positively impact student achievement. All participants will receive a copy of Jan Chappuis’ book The Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning.

The workshop will held from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the ESC Room 1:

Workshop Date (Click below to register).......... Registration Due By:

Thursday, January 21 - CLOSED..........................Monday, January 11

Tuesday, February 9 - 4 spots left! .......................Monday, February 1

NEW - Thursday, March 3 ...................................Monday, February 22

Please do not secure a substitute for this workshop until your registration is confirmed by the Department for Student Learning. Thank you!

RAISING KIDS IN A DIGITAL AGE - March 8th Parent University at Emerson from 6:30PM-8:00PM

The March 8th Parent University will host guest speaker, Dr. Devorah Heitner, founder and director of Raising Digital Natives, a resource for parents and schools seeking advice on how to help children thrive in a world of digital connectness. She will dialogue with us about setting up our kids for a lifetime of success in a world where they are likely to meet their spouse, find a job, and build their reputations in interactive, digital communities. See this event flyer for more information and come join the discussion.


This year the Park Ridge Park District Centennial Fitness Center, located at 1515 W. Touhy, would like to give you the gift of health. Starting in January show proof of employment and any District 64 employee gets 5 Free Consecutive Days to the Fitness Center. This includes unlimited use of the facility and fitness classes. Fit in 5 begins January 2, and runs through January 31, 2016. After 5 visits we know you’ll decide this is the right place for you so we are offering anyone who works in Park Ridge resident pricing at the Fitness Center. Additionally, anyone who completes 5 consecutive visits will be entered into a drawing to win a free 3-month membership. We are looking forward to having you as our guest in January! Please contact me directly with any questions.

Diane Murphy

Centennial Fitness Center Fitness Supervisor

Park Ridge Park District

1515 W. Touhy Avenue

Park Ridge, IL 60068



Kelly Velasco, 2nd grade teacher at Roosevelt School, and her husband Rob are the proud parents of Hunter James Velasco. Hunter was born on December 3 at 8:56am weighing in at 7 lbs 11 oz and 20 inches long.

2015-2016 PAYDATES

12/17/15 (Christmas Break 12/21/15 to 01/01/16-Returning Monday, 01/04/16)


1/14/16 and 1/28/16

2/11/16 and 2/25/16

3/10/16 and 3/24/16 (Spring Break begins on 3/25/16 to 04/01/16-Returning

Monday, 4/4/16)

4/07/16 and 4/21/16

5/05/16 and 5/19/16

6/02/16, 6/16/15 and 6/30/16

7/14/16 and 7/28/16


NEXT REGULAR BOARD MEETING-Jefferson School-Multipurpose Room

Tuesday, Jan. 26th, 7pm

8200 West Greendale Avenue

Niles, IL