DISTRICT 64 Staff Bulletin

October 2015

Happy Fall!

It has been a busy month for all of us since our last staff newsletter was published. I’ve enjoyed visiting many classrooms and continue to value the work each of you do with students. The field of education continues to change, but the dedicated teacher in the classroom remains the constant. I thank you for all you do for our students.

The District Data Leadership Team was fortunate to work with author Anne Conzemius in September. She provided extensive professional development to 60 staff members about how to use building data to set SMART goals for their schools.

I was in a session with Dr. Tony Smith this week and we still do not have an exact release date for District-level PARCC results. Lori and I will keep you posted as new information is made available to schools from the ISBE.

Our District has been selected to participate in an audit conducted by the Regional Office of Education. The audit occurs periodically, and will require a comprehensive review of all departments within the District. Our last audit was in the 2011-12 school year.

Our first Parent University was a huge success! Thanks to Allison Sobotka and Kevin Michael for leading the Google Apps for Education (GAFE) session. The evening provided parents with an overview of what GAFE is and highlighted many of the ways we are integrating Google Apps in the classroom. The next session is Tuesday, October 13 and will focus on raising smart and safe digital citizens as we explore internet safety in the 21st century. Kara Pottinger and Beth Rihtar will lead this program, which is specifically geared for parents of students in grades 3-8. Please feel free to share information about the October 13 session or our ongoing Parent University series with your parents - publicity is always welcomed for these programs that help our parents grow in their own learning.

Are you following our ITCs and other staff members across the District on Twitter? If not, you can by searching the district hashtag: #EngageD64. There are some extraordinary posts sharing great ideas and celebrating some highlights of what is going on around District 64.

Also, I have recently joined Twitter, too. You can follow me @DrLaurieHeinz. Be patient – I am new to Twitter! You can follow me through my Twitter feed page on our website, too.

The first meeting of the Superintendent Community Relations Council took place in September. 20 volunteers from across the larger Park Ridge-Niles community joined me and learned a great deal about the work of District 64. Many had no idea all that goes on in our District and most reported feeling as though they don’t know how to access such information. This is one of the key purposes for this committee – successful outreach and the sharing of our message. I look forward to more lively conversations with this group.

Luann Kolstad spent several Board meetings in August and September helping the Board take a deep dive into all accounts within the District 64 budget. The final adopted budget is available on our website. It shows revenues of about $73 million balanced against expenditures of just over $70.1 million for the 2015-16 school year. Next up on the financial calendar will be consideration of the annual tax levy; the first conversations with the Board will begin later this month.

More immediately, Luann and Ron DeGeorge have been hard at work with architects at FGM and will be presenting a comprehensive report on facility work needed over the coming years. If you are interested in hearing the scope, timeline and cost of the findings within the Health-Life Safety study and Master Facilities Plan, join us at the October 5 Board of Education meeting (6:30 p.m. at Jefferson). The new Master Facilities Plan page on our website provides extensive information about the planning process, and will be updated as we go forward. I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that there is much work that needs to be done both now and in the future on all our schools.

Finally, I want to report that the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan video podcasts have been completed and will provide an overview of all six Strategic Objectives. We will be sharing separate videos for Objectives 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 at an upcoming building meeting. They are being posted to our website, too, and we’ll be announcing their availability to the community as we continue to spread the word about this far-reaching plan.

Have a terrific weekend.




​Stay up-to-date on District committee activities with Committee Corner! ​Committee Corner ​can be found on the District 64 Staff Portal ​>Student Learning>Committee Corner. Each committee ​link includes a description of the committee, a list of committee members, and meeting highlights.

Updated this month:

  • Core + Committee

  • Evaluation Committee

  • PrePERA Committee

  • District Strategic Data Leadership Committee - NEW!

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 ALL staff to implement these strategies over the coming year. To this end, we have scheduled professional development opportunities this fall and spring. If you have not already attended these workshops, please plan to attend on the dates below. Registration information can be found below each workshop description.

Jim Knight’s High-Impact Instruction

Coming This Spring!

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

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Please do not secure a substitute for this workshop until your registration is confirmed by the Department for Student 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 be offered four times this fall from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at the ESC Room 1:

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

Thursday, October 29..........................................................Monday, October 19

Friday, November 6 .............................................................Monday, October 26

Thursday, January 21............................................................Monday, January 11

Tuesday, February 9..............................................................Monday, February 1

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


We have been informed by our auditors that all expenses for professional meetings, workshops, etc., must be itemized on the Expense Claim Report (PR-ADM-550-10). TheProfessional Meeting Request Form (PR-ADM-1040-10) states that itemized receipts are required for any meetings, workshops, etc. Please be sure that when you turn in your expense claim form that all expenses (including food) are itemized. A credit card receipt will not be accepted nor paid by the Board unless it is attached to an itemized receipt. Both forms are available on our website www.d64.org.

PARCC Administration

ISBE has finalized the window for PARCC administration for grades 3-8. In order to receive our results back in a timely manner, District 64 will administer the PARCC assessment from April 11-April 22. Principals will share the dates for specific tests within the next few weeks.


With the Columbus Day weekend approaching please remember when writing to the Superintendent to request personal days (more than two personal days in a row; days prior to or following 3-day weekend; or days prior to or following extended breaks such as Thanksgiving, Winter Recess, etc.) we would like you to continue the practice of writing a formal letter. There are two reasons for this request; (1) when the Superintendent is out of the District, her e-mail may not be read until she returns; and (2) since this is the copy that is retained for your personnel file, it should be a formal letter.


As of Friday, October 9, all classroom phones will have a speed-dial line to the school's Health Office. You will see "Health" next to a button on the phone. When you press this button, you will reach the Health Office directly. No need to look up the extension in the Directory. If the light is on that means the Health Assistant is on the phone. But please note that you can still press the button and your call will be put through (it's like call waiting). In emergency situations, you will have a direct line to the Health Office. Safety first!

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If you have any legos you'd like to donate to The Lego Club at Emerson, please send them to Tina Gomez at Emerson.

Any legos (sets, parts of sets, random pieces, minifigs, etc) would be appreciated.


Here is a segment from the today show that ran last week about fun projects. A project I do with my kids ended up making the show.

Today Show 9/15

Christopher Francis
Social Studies

Lincoln Middle School


Beautiful corner loft with hard wood floors, exposed brick, 12’ foot ceilings, and large 60 ft windows throughout. New appliances, washer/dryer in unit, remodeled master bath, roof top deck, exercise room and so much more. Walking distance to grocery stores, great restaurants, public transportation, and downtown.

Full amenity building. Chicago living at its best!​

Contact: Barb Murphy at bmurphy@d64.org or 708-609-3273

Park Model Trailer with attached Sunroom on Chain of Lakes. Fenced in large deck facing Bluff Lake, gorgeous views of sunset and lake. Dog & family friendly. Very well maintained. Inexpensive way to enjoy the Chain. Boat slip steps from the deck. 1 bedroom, 1 full bath, sleeps 10. Roughly 900 sq ft. $59,500. A/C, Furnace, new roof, new deck & fence. For information call Ron DeGeorge (or Tina) at 847-340-5356.


Guinea Pig cage and supplies.


Call Lynne Bugai at 847-692-6256 or email lbugai@d64.org

2015-2016 PAY DATES

10/08/15 and 10/22/15


11/19/15 (Thanksgiving week (11/23/15-11/30/15)


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



Monday, Oct. 26th 2015 at 7pm

707 Wisner Street

Park Ridge, IL