District 81 Superintendent
To engage constituents and provide open and transparent communication.
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Earlier this month our families with students in 3rd-8th grade received a letter from me inviting them to the Technology Rollout Event that will take place next week. I was thrilled to write the words “District 81’s 1:1 initiative has exceeded our expectations.” It’s so exciting when a vision becomes a reality! At the beginning of this school year, students in grades 3-7 received iPads, and students in eighth grade received Chromebooks. These digital tools have completely engaged our students in the classroom, and we’re getting ready for the next step in our journey – having our students bring their devices home each day. Technology is an important part of our students’ lives and we want to give them every opportunity to use the tools they have around them to succeed!
We will work together every step of the way to support our families as students bring their devices home. I’m looking forward to this next step in our journey and the possibilities for learning it will bring to your children!
I know that many of our SD81 families are anxious to begin winter break! I want to thank parents, teachers, and all of our SD81 staff for all that you’ve done this week so our children could enjoy their last week at school! The festivities today took a great deal of planning, and rest assured – it was well worth it!
I visited every school and saw students in their special winter-themed outfits and pajamas. I can’t wait for our Kennedy friends to tell you all about the fun they had on the Polar Express! I know that parents from Washington School prepared special dishes to share for a classroom activity, and sent students in their holiday clothes. There is so much planning and hard work that goes into Battle of the Boltz each year at Lincoln, and I’m always thrilled to be part of it.
Our administration, faculty and staff do so much to bring the wonder of this special season alive for the kids. It is truly remarkable how much each individual does to make our district a better place.
I wish all of you a wonderful holiday season filled with daily blessings. Enjoy each moment as you make new memories with those you love!
It was another amazing Halloween in Schiller Park School District 81. All three schools in our district created outstanding experiences for our students. It was a whirlwind day as I participated in holiday festivities with students in preschool through 8th grade. Words alone cannot express the gratitude and pride I have for our teachers, parents and of course our dedicated administrators, who make these moments possible for our students.
At every school I was greeted by teachers, staff and building administrators dressed in costumes. The enthusiasm that permeated our school houses today was a memory I hope our students remember for years to come. As I reflect on this day, I feel blessed to work in place I love, alongside people I respect and admire. Thank you for your support and partnership and please be assured the children of this learning community are always at the forefront our decisions. Happy Halloween!
Dr. Seuss’s famous book title came true today! I had the opportunity to see the Google Expedition technology that will soon be piloted in schools everywhere. This incredible app takes students to locations around the world that they may never get a chance to see. It is a 3-D virtual experience that our students absolutely loved! Our teachers used their ipads to arrange virtual journeys to destinations around the world that our students could see with mobile devices and a special 3-D viewing box. I was amazed that we could to travel to Rio, Mexico City, and many other locations I have never visited and may never be able to.
The reaction of the students was priceless, and I’m so proud of our administrators and teachers for going the extra mile for bringing these opportunities to our students. Their cries of “I love these goggles!” and “This is the best invention ever!” had me smiling the entire day! To see their excitement and wonder is something that I will never forget. A special thank you to Principal Melissa Kartsimas for arranging the experience. Her passion and enthusiasm keeps us on top of the latest and greatest technology!
We are always thinking about how to bring this type of dynamic learning into our students’ everyday classroom experiences, and I couldn’t be happier with how we have embraced the technology available to us. We will never stop challenging ourselves to bring the best to our students so they embrace and love learning! I hope you take the time to view the short videos on the Schiller Park School District 81 Facebook page and browse through these pictures – I know it will put a smile on your face too!
As I sit to write this blog post at the end of a very exciting day, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and inspiration! I’m grateful for social media because it is giving me the opportunity to share with our learning community the amazing experience I had today, and I know I’m not the only one feeling ecstatic! Today our State Superintendent, Dr. Tony Smith spent the morning with us. He was an energetic, engaging and genuine guest. He was truly interested in our district and every single person he came in contact with. His delight and excitement about our students’ learning was evident, and I am not surprised that he was welcomed with open arms by our incredible faculty, staff and students! Today was one of the most memorable days of my career. I am so proud to be part of this outstanding district!!
Please see the video that our administrative team made for Dr. Smith, thanking him for his visit! It will give you an idea of how much he cares about what is going on in classrooms around Illinois, as well as how special and unique each student in School District 81 is! They deserve all of our BEST every day!
The new school year has begun, and with much excitement!! SD81’s 1:1 iPad initiative is off to a running start. Our 3rd through 7th grade students have been using their iPads in the classroom since the first few days of school, and it’s amazing to see the level of engagement it is bringing to their learning.
I want to stress that we could not offer these stellar learning experiences to our students without the vision and courage of our SD81 Board of Education administration, and faculty.
Our Example of Excellence from this week’s Board of Education Meeting was the 1:1 iPad deployment. I would like to share the short video to highlight our extraordinary work together!
The work on securing the entrances, updating the fire alarms and replacing the original lunch tables is near completion. I am thrilled to share the images below! I offer my sincere gratitude to our families and staff for patience throughout the construction phase at both schools. It pleases me to know our children and employees are working in a more safe and secure environment. I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge our outstanding Board of Education and their Finance and Facility Committees who supported these projects. I am blessed to work in a learning community that places the children at the forefront of all decisions. Enjoy the pictures and please be patient with the changes when entering and leaving our buildings this year.
Please join me in extending a warm welcome to Ms.Tiffany Schultz who has joined the administrative team effective July 1st. The Board of Education hired Ms. Schultz at the last meeting in response to growing enrollment at Kennedy School. Ms. Schultz will make an outstanding addition to the current administration. She is thrilled to work alongside Mrs. Kartsimas and Mrs. Maglione to provide a safe and welcoming environment to the students and staff at Kennedy School.
Please read the attached news release for more details!
I know that many times over the past few weeks some of us have been feeling all of the emotions that come with celebrations and graduations that mean our students are moving on to the next stage in their lives. We are so excited to celebrate, but can’t believe how fast they are growing up. I have had the privilege of watching many of our 8th graders grow up, and I will miss seeing their faces in District 81! But when I think of their new beginnings and all that the future holds for them, I can’t help but be excited! We love when our former students come back to visit us and tell us about their accomplishments in high school and beyond!
I hope you enjoy scrolling through all of the many moments we have captured over the past few days. It has been a true joy to celebrate with the many parents, educators, Board of Education members, representatives of the Village of Schiller Park, and family members and friends who have joined us in celebrating new beginnings!
This past week has been a whirlwind of activity for our schools! I hope every student felt the joy and excitement that was so evident in our district. I feel very fortunate that the teachers, principals and students invite me into their classrooms and to all their special events because it is one of the best parts of my job! I had a wonderful week, starting with my guest appearance as a “Shark Tank” investor with the 7th graders! I love the creativity and fun that our students get to experience. My week ended with great fun at Kennedy’s Field Day!
I’m so proud of the Lincoln Middle School students, Preschool and Pre-K friends who sang their hearts out at their celebrations, and our DARE graduates! These milestones, memories and awards are so significant in a child’s life, and I am grateful to work in a district that takes such care to make sure every child feels special!
I would also like to congratulate Director of Building and Grounds, Mike Deany for celebrating 25 years of service in District 81! We celebrated this milestone, along with the retirement of two members of Washington School, Sue Case and Chris Klug, yesterday.
I hope you enjoy these pictures from the many events of the week! Have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend making new memories with family and friends!