D92 Newsletter October 2022
Monthly Newsletter from Tim Arnold, Superintendent
A Message from the Superintendent
District 92 Families,
As students, staff, and parents settle into the routine of a normal school year, we are all reminded on a regular basis that our busing situation is neither routine or normal. We are all very frustrated with the nationwide worker shortages across a variety of industries, including school bus drivers. I understand the difficulties for parents when bus routes are doubled-up due to the driver shortage and I'm seeking your assistance to help find more drivers.
I'm reaching out to ask for your help promoting an upcoming event to hire more bus drivers. First Student Transportation, the bus company we contract with to provide student transportation, is hosting a hiring event this Saturday, Oct. 8 from 12:00-3:00 p.m. at Ludwig School, 710 N. State St., Lockport, IL. Please share this information with ANYONE who you think would be interested in being a bus driver.
Thank you in advance for helping to spread the word about our need for bus drivers. Although we do have challenges with the bus driver shortage, we also need to recognize that our students continue arriving at school each day to experience a positive and safe learning environment surrounded by dedicated and caring teachers and staff!
Tim Arnold, Ph.D.
D92 Monthly "One Topic" Survey - School Mascot
In order to obtain more timely feedback from parents, D92 will be sending out "One Topic" surveys during the school year.
The purpose of this month's survey is for the Board of Education to get parent input on the idea of having one school mascot across all D92 schools. We will be asking parents, staff, and students for their input in three separate surveys. Click here to complete the Parent Survey.
Results will be shared with the Board of Education at their next meeting and with all families in the November edition of the District 92 Newsletter.
Results from the September "One Topic" Survey
The purpose of the September Parent Survey was to get input on the start of the new school year and parents' preferences on meeting times. It should be noted that there were only 46 responses, so the results are limited. Here is a summary of the survey results:
- Transportation: Additional communication would have been helpful related to transportation.
- Open House/Curriculum Nights: 39% of parents prefer these held in the first week of school and 30% had no preference.
- Days for School Events: Parents prefer Mondays, Thursdays, and Wednesdays for school events.
- Time of Day for School Events: Parents prefer 6:00-7:00 p.m. to attend school events.
The D92 administration will use these results in planning for the current year, as well as to address needed improvements for the start of the 2023-24 school year.
Softball Team to State
Congratulations to our Oak Prairie Junior High Softball team for an outstanding season and finishing 4th in the State Tournament! We are very proud of these students and their coaches, Peggy Dietz and Ryan Billig! We are all very proud of the girls' hard work this season, and wish the 8th grade players good luck in high school. Be sure to click the image below to enjoy season highlights compiled by softball parent Gail Mickleson!
The athletes include:
Anna Higham, designated batter
Quinn Higham, right field
Evelyn Ingram, catcher
Anna Lundstedt, pitcher
Rowan McCarter, second base
Katelyn Peetz, pitcher/third base
Alexis Sarrazin, shortstop
Madelyn Barber, center field
Kylie LaPuma, outfield
Ashley McCalla, first base
Natalie Mickelson, outfield
Melanie Wozniak, left field
Abigail Szarzynski, outfield
Golf State Tournament
Congratulations to Natalie on an outstanding job representing Oak Prairie as a golfer at the IESA State Series! We are very proud of Natalie for her accomplishments! We would also like to congratulate Steve Wedewer, the Oak Prairie Junior High Golf Coach.
According to her Coach, Mr. Wedewer, “Natalie Mickelson qualified for the IESA State Golf Series for the second year in a row. Natalie improved her sectional score from last year by 8 shots, shooting a 107. She finished 13th out of 51 girls in this year's sectional.”
“Natalie went to State and improved on her state score as well by shooting a 105. Natalie finished 38th in the state and had the 10th best 7th grade score in the entire state. One of the major highlights was Natalie almost having a hole in one. She missed the cup by an inch as it rolled by the hole, and she tapped it in for a birdie.”
Mr. Wedewer also reported that “Next year Natalie has a chance to become a three-time state qualifier and we look forward to seeing her improvement in her 8th grade year.”
LTC Vision Award Winner
We are very excited to share that Ms. Therese Styrczula, LMC Specialist at Ludwig, has been chosen as the Vision Award winner for the inaugural Learning Technology Center Awards! Ms. Styrczula’s project was submitted last Spring by her then Principal, Mrs. Lisa Lyke!
The award-winning project involved a group of 4th grade students who used coding to program robots to complete various tasks. This project exemplifies the use of technology and digital learning within the classroom!
Additionally exciting is the fact that this project was funded by a grant from the District 92 Foundation for Educational Excellence that was written by Ms. Styrczula! It’s great to see our education foundation’s efforts to support students getting state-wide acclaim!
School Safety Conversation and Cyber-bullying/Internet Safety Presentation
Given the events that happened in Texas at the end of last year and Highland Park this summer, we invited D92 parents/guardians to a conversation about school safety with the Superintendent on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Due to the confidential nature of our school safety procedures, we were very careful to ensure only D92 parents, guardians, and staff were allowed to attend this event. Click here to view the Parent Safety Presentation.
Cyber-bullying/Internet Safety: Immediately following the school safety discussion on Sept. 8, we hosted our annual Cyber-bullying/Internet Safety Presentation by Richard Wistocki, retired detective and internet safety expert. A version of Mr. Wistocki's presentation, "Why You Should Spy on Your Children" can be found online.
D92 Parent/Faculty Association (PFA) returning in 2022-23
We are pleased to share that District 92 has relaunched our Parent-Faculty Association (PFA) after a 2-year hiatus. The PFA has a new Board that brings together volunteers with diverse expertise and a passion for our schools and students. Together, the PFA Board will be reimagining the vision of this organization to meet our parents, faculty, and students where they are at today.
PFA Board members for 2022-23:
Co-Presidents - Michelle Ladewig & Renee Kroplewski
Vice President - Jennifer Brachman
Secretary - Caitlin Schroeder
Treasurer - Lauren Kovar
Volunteers still needed this year: As soon as the new PFA Board Members are in place, they plan to reach out for additional volunteers to help make this a successful year for our students, families, and staff. Stay tuned for volunteer opportunities this year.
Construction on Secured Entrances Continues
The work to create more secured entrances continues to be in full swing!
At the end of August new roofs were being sealed to allow the interior work (drywall, electrical, etc.) to begin in September. Also in September, we should see the new brick exteriors installed, so no more bright orange walls as you pull up to the school!
The purpose of these projects is two-fold, to enhance the security of our main entrances and to regain classroom space in each school. With the new entrances, visitors continue to be "buzzed" into the entryway, but will need to go through three levels of security before entering the student area of the school. The same procedures will be followed at Oak Prairie School, however due to their previous set up for visitors, only minor alterations were needed to accomplish the same level of safety.
With the new entrances at the three K-5 schools, a redesigned main office will allow for additional classroom space for students. We had hope to have the new entrances in November 2022, however due to delays in obtaining some of the HVAC units and challenges with the labor market, the openings could be delayed. Stay tuned for additional updates as the work progresses throughout the fall semester.
Board of Education Meetings Streamed in 2022-23
We have moved to streaming our monthly Board of Education meetings via our D92 YouTube Channel. To view the meetings in real time or the recordings of previous meetings, simply go to the D92 website, click on "Board of Education". Then select on "View Live Stream BOE Meeting".
You may also attend Board of Education meetings in person. The meetings are typically held at Ludwig School in the LMC.