McHenry School District 15
Today's Learners... Tomorrow's Leaders
Fall Update: Superintendent's Message
Dear District 15 Families,
Greetings! It is hard to believe that today marks the end of the first trimester of the 2022-2023 school year. What an eventful year it has been! We are proud of the many successes–both big and small–of our students, staff, and community that have occurred over the past few months. This newsletter, in part, will highlight some of those success stories and the amazing work taking place in District 15.
School success and happiness hinges largely on building strong, open, and positive relationships between families and schools; therefore, much of the beginning of the year is dedicated to doing just that. To note, over the past few weeks schools have held a variety of activities–curriculum nights, literacy events, back to school parties, music concerts, and PTO events–all designed primarily for the purposes of fostering strong relationships between school and home and to highlight the tremendous work of our students. For obvious reasons we have not been able to conduct many of the events just described over the past few years, so it is exciting to see them resume. We hope you are as thrilled as we are to see and hear the familiar sights and sounds that typically accompany the start of a year throughout our buildings.
I wanted to make note, too, of another important event taking place in the coming weeks that further bolsters the vital connection between school and home, which is our annual Parent/Teacher Conferences. Earlier this week, on October 31st, the sign-up window for Parent/Teacher Conferences opened up. We encourage you to use this as an opportunity to initiate or continue the open lines of dialogue between you and the special people who work with your children. If you missed that communication earlier this week, information and instructions on how to sign up for parent/teacher conferences can be found below in this newsletter.
I also wanted to take a minute to provide a brief preview of an effort taking place in District 15 that we are excited about and are looking forward to sharing on a greater scale very soon. Earlier this year District 15 embarked on a Strategic Planning process designed for the purpose of establishing district wide goals that will drive us into the future. Over fifty individuals took part in planning sessions on this important initiative that included members of our staff, administration, parents, student body, Board of Education, and community. The result of the hard work of that committee is impressive and will help lead our school district to greater heights. We look forward to sharing with you the final product of that work in the coming months.
Lastly, in the spirit of the upcoming Thanksgiving season, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all of our community stakeholders for their continued partnership and support in helping us get off to an outstanding start this school year.
Josh Reitz, Ed. D.
In This Issue
- Important Dates
- School Fall Celebrations
- Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
- Parent / Teacher Conferences
- Health & Wellness
- Updating Information in Skyward
- Emergency Closings / Stay Informed
- Join the District 15 Team
- D15 Rocks!!! Celebrating School and Community Success!
November 8, 2022 - Day of Non-Attendance
November 11, 2022 - Progress Reports Available in Skyward
November 21, 2022 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences 10:00am - 8:00pm
November 22, 2022 - No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:00am - 12:00pm
November 23, 24, 25, 2022 - Thanksgiving - No School
December 19, 2022 - January 6, 2023 - LANDMARK - Winter Recess - No School
December 23, 2022 - January 6, 2023 - Winter Recess - No School
January 9, 2023 - Classes Resume
School Fall Celebrations
Parkland: Pep Assembly
Hilltop: PTO Family Playground Night
McHenry Middle School: 15th Annual Duathlon
Valley View: STAR Positive Behavior Celebrations
Valley View has spent the first trimester recharging their STAR positive behavior initiative. Their Social Emotional Learning Committee spearheaded the return of Star-bucks, the STAR Store, and a school wide trimester goal. Throughout the trimester students attended assemblies, spent time with our mascot Comet, and focused on making positive choices during the school day. Students also learned how they could earn Star-bucks and then use those Star-bucks at the STAR Store to buy tangible items as well as experiences. Each grade level is working on making their way “to the moon” to receive an end of the trimester celebration for their whole grade. The excitement level at Valley View is soaring!
Landmark: Book Tasting
Duker: SOAR Assembly
Riverwood: Social Emotional Learning Initiative
Edgebrook: Math Workshop Success
Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment
Students in first through eighth grade have completed their first STAR 360 assessment. In December your student(s) will take the STAR assessment for a second time.
STAR assessments allow District 15 teachers to make data-based decisions and support the instructional framework of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Moreover, Renaissance Star Assessments are highly rated and proven to be accurate, reliable, and valid.
You will receive additional information from your elementary and/or middle schools regarding specific STAR assessment dates. Please contact your school should you have additional questions regarding STAR assessments or click the link below to access the STAR Parent Guide.
Illinois Assessment of Readiness
This past spring, students in grades 3-8 took the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) for English Language Arts and Mathematics. Student(s) received their printed Individual Student Report (ISR) today, November 4th, which can be reviewed at home and with your student’s teacher(s) at Parent/Teacher Conferences.
Illinois School Report Cards
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has recently released our annual School Report Card on www.illinoisreportcard.com. While this annual report card does not provide a complete description of the many attributes of our school district, it is a worthwhile data source on various aspects of McHenry District 15, and provides context on how each of our schools are progressing on our educational goals.
We are proud of the performance of all of our schools and students and look forward to diving into the data more deeply in our continual effort to better meet the needs of all of our students. To learn more about specific data available in our District report or to view the report of your child’s school, we encourage you to take a moment to explore the reports available on our district website.
Parent / Teacher Conferences - SIGN-UP TODAY!!!
Health & Wellness
When to Keep Your Child Home from School
When to Keep Sick Children Home From School
Deciding when to keep a sick child at home from school is not always easy and has been complicated by the pandemic. In past years, a fever, cough or runny nose was not worrisome and you sent your child back to school when they were well enough to attend. It's important for children to attend school, and for some parents staying home means missing work. But when a child is truly sick, they need to stay home in the care of an adult to get well and to prevent spreading illness to others.
Non-COVID related illnesses may also require your child to recover at home until they are ready to be in the classroom learning.
Your child may be too ill to go to school if he or she has any of these signs (even if COVID negative)
- Seems very tired and needs bed rest (this is common with flu symptoms)
- Has vomiting or diarrhea - Your child may return to school when feeling better and has not had vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours.
- Becomes short of breath or is wheezing
- Has a cough that disrupts normal activity
- Has distracting pain from earache, headache, sore throat or recent injury
- Has yellow or green drainage from eye(s)
- Breaks out in a rash, check with your child's doctor
- Fever; your child should not go to school with a temperature at or above 100.4 F. Your child may return to school when (s)he is feeling better and is fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medications (Tylenol/Motrin, etc.)
Your child should stay home from school if (s)he has a contagious disease. A contagious disease is one that can be spread by close contact with a person or object. Examples are: chickenpox, flu, vomiting, diarrhea, colds, strep throat and "pinkeye."
A disease can be contagious before the child shows signs of illness. It is very hard to prevent the spread of some germs, especially in a school classroom. Good hand washing will help prevent the spread of germs.
Updating Information In Skyward
Snow Days / Emergency Closings
When necessary, road conditions are evaluated early each day by the Director of Transportation and a decision to close the schools because of inclement weather will be made generally before 5:30 AM. The exception to this rule is if District 15 elects to utilize an e-Learning Day in lieu of a snow/emergency day. To view District 15's e-Learning Plan please click here. The likelihood of District 15 implementing an e-Learning day is rare; however, we have the ability to implement one should we anticipate lengthy or extended days off. In the rare occasion that an e-Learning day would be utilized, District 15 will provide proper notice for families so that they can prepare for this possibility.