Friday Focus

March 11, 2022

In this Issue:

  • A Message from Marcie
  • 3rd Grade Music Concert - March 16th
  • IAR Testing is Coming - April 4th-8th
Don't miss the PTO Spotlight!
  • DPS109 PTO Collection for Ukraine - ENDS Monday, 3/14
  • Purchase a Yearbook TODAY! Deadline is MARCH 18th!
  • Interested in learning about or joining the DPS109 Caucus?
  • Marla's Lunch - Ordering available through June
  • Sign up to Volunteer for Fun Lunch
  • Send Pictures to the Yearbook - before Friday, March 18th

A Message from Marcie

Happy Friday, South Park!

We have opened up the student progress reports for the second trimester. You can log into Family Access to see your child’s report for trimester 2.

The District 109 elementary school progress report is based on the principles of “standards-based grading” which is a way to communicate what students know at a point in time rather than an average of performance over an entire period. SBG measures a student’s performance according to the standards taught rather than comparing student progress to other students. District 109 has incorporated the required Common Core State Standards into rigorous programs of study and standards-aligned curriculum maps. Instruction is planned and implemented, and students are assessed using these guidelines.

Standards based grading is different than the way most of us were evaluated in school. There are no letter grades which were based on an average of scores over the course of time. Instead, we are using a 1, 2, 3, 4 system of reporting progress. Please know that there is no correlation between an old-fashioned “A” and today’s “4.” The same can be said for a 3, 2, or 1; there are no correlations between these numbers and Bs, Cs, or Ds on our new progress reports.

The District 109 progress reports also provide information regarding a student’s “Habits of Success” which consists of work habits and social development. There is an abundance of research on the effects of positive attitude, effort, and mindset on a student’s academic achievement, thus we want to place an equally high emphasis on these aspects of our students’ education.

On the progress reports, teachers will report on the students’ behaviors and work habits that impact their learning. These are called “habits” of success because they are characteristics which are not necessarily innate qualities. Instead, these qualities must be taught and practiced at school and at home. Students need instruction, modeling, and support in these areas so that they can understand how these habits lead to success in school and in life. Progress against these standards will be reported using a scale similar to the one used in reporting academic standards.

Please reach out to your child's teacher with specific questions.

Enjoy the weekend! Don't forget to spring ahead on Saturday night!


3rd Grade Music Concert - March 16th

We look forward to welcoming our 3rd-grade families to their music concert next week on Wednesday, March 16th at 6:30 p.m.

As mentioned previously, we are trying to keep attendance low for our in-person concerts. Though we won't be able to enforce the attendance limitation, we respectfully ask that families stick to the 3-guest minimum unless it is truly an issue of childcare for the family.

IAR Testing is Coming April 4-April 8

3rd-8th Grade Parents and Guardians:

Students across the district in grades 3 through 8 will be participating in the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) in English/Language Arts & Mathematics and the Illinois Science Assessment between April 4th and April 15th.

These state assessments help us understand how students are growing academically year to year, while also providing an achievement comparison to grade-level peers across the state. By measuring both mastery of the Illinois Learning Standards and the College and Career Ready benchmarks of the PSAT and SAT, it is also designed to help prepare students for success for high school and beyond. The overall performance of each school, by grade, impacts our designation, which is reported on the Illinois School Report Card.

Below, please find the testing schedule for South Park.

If you have questions about the Illinois Assessment of Readiness, please let us know. As always, we encourage our students to do their best and appreciate your continued partnership.

Big picture

Important Dates

March 16 - 3rd Grade Music Concert @ 6:30 pm

April 6 - 5th Grade Music Concert @ 6:30 pm
April 27 - 4th Grade Music Concert @ 6:30 pm
May 4 - Kindergarten and PreK Music Concert @ 6:30 pm


This opt-out will be for testing on Thursday, March 3/17.

Fill out this Google Form prior to 7 AM on THURSDAY, 3/17.

*Please note that if you have consented but want to opt out of a week, you must fill out the form every week.