Lombard Elementary District 44

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Inside Our Schools

There are amazing milestones and achievements happening in our schools throughout Lombard District 44 each day. While many of these are captured in real time and shared via our social media channels, we recognize not all of our public may be social media users or like to receive information in that way. Therefore, this section is dedicated to preserving and sharing those unique moments. 
 
If you are interested in sharing your own unique moment, please e-mail communications@sd44.org. This section will be updated monthly with any and all good news items shared with the district by our parents, teachers and staff members. 
 
 
 
May 2019
GWMS Students Give Students Gift of Reading
Following several months of work, from design to construction, students of Glenn Westlake Middle School were able to finally reveal their gift to their younger peers: a lending library.
 
Installed on May 22 outside of the John Schroder Early Childhood Center, the middle school students were on hand to show off their beautiful design as well as stuff the library full of brand new books for the early childhood students.
 
Following the reveal, John Schroder students returned to their classroom where they were treated to a special story time led by the middle school students.
 
Butterfield Student Advocates for Change
Amber Harris is a student who has fully embraced her school’s focus on kindness, but now she is asking the administration to take it one step further – to also be kind to our environment.
 
Amber is the leading force behind a change currently being evaluated by the school administration to move to a more eco-friendly lunch tray option. Right now the district uses Styrofoam trays. She is requesting all schools move to reusable trays and purchase dish washing machines.
 
As her research indicated, this could result in there being less waste and money saved.
 
“I am so impressed with this student’s leadership abilities. Amber took it upon herself to research several options and gather meaningful data that she then developed into an extensive proposal,” said Superintendent Ted Stec. “Her recommendation deserves to be taken seriously, and we are already starting the process of evaluating the feasibility of this change.”
 
After first meeting with Principal Kris Walsh, she reached out to Stec to set-up a meeting where she was able to share her findings. So impressed with her presentation, Stec invited Amber to the May Board of Education meeting.
 
The administration is currently engaging in a cost analysis to determine next steps.
 
Lombard Educator Recognized for Being Distinguished Communicator
Earlier this month, Julie Syperek, Band Director for Lombard District 44, was recognized for her outstanding work during the 2019 Distinguished Service Awards hosted by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association.
 
Syperek received an Award of Excellence for her work in promoting inclusion for all students in the performing arts. The Distinguished Service Awards recognize those who make a difference in their school communities by helping to promote public education and enhance its programs and services. Nominees are evaluated on their ability to support or improve understanding and communication in the school/district; foster cooperative partnerships between the school and community; and strengthen the overall support for education by stakeholders.
 
Sixty-one individuals and teams were recognized in the categories of Administrator, Board of Education Member, Community Member, Faculty/Certified Staff Member, Parent, Support Staff Member, and Team. School communicators from 13 states judged the entries against a criteria of excellence, and only those receiving top scores received awards. Winning nominations either received an award of merit, or for those receiving the highest evaluations, an award of excellence.
 
Former, Current Butterfield Students Seek to Honor Retiring Principal Mrs. Kris Walsh
The 2018-19 school year marks the last school year for retiring Butterfield Principal Kris Walsh. Please come help us celebrate her many contributions to Butterfield and Lombard District 44 by attending our upcoming retirement reception. The reception will take place from 3:15-4:30 pm on May 29, 2019, at Butterfield Elementary.
 
All current and former students and families are welcome. We appreciate you joining us to provide Mrs. Walsh with the most memorable gift of all: being surrounded by all of her current and former students!
 
Inspired By Classmate, Pleasant Lane Students Walk To Raise Awareness, Funds
Students at Pleasant Lane Elementary School are taking efforts into their own hands – or feet, in this case – to gather donations and educate others about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).
 
On Friday, May 10, every student in Pleasant Lane gathered outside and conducted a walk around the school. The idea was that each student collected donations as part of the walk and, in the process, helped others learn about this nerve disorder.
 
According to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, CMT is the most commonly inherited peripheral nerve disorder. It causes damage to the peripheral nerves, which carry signals from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, and relay sensations, such as pain and touch, to the brain and spinal cord from the rest of the body.
 
There are a number of types of CMT, and it is estimated to affect about 1 in every 2,500 people. And one of those individuals is Pleasant Lane fourth-grader Tessa Pate. She was the inspiration behind the school wide walk, which has been spearheaded by her classmates and friends and supported by Physical Education Teacher Rose Grumstrup.
 
Village Recognizes GWMS Musicians for Invitation to Superstate
It was a packed house last week at Village Hall, and for all the right reasons. Students of the Glenn Westlake Middle School Wildcat Concert Band and their families were asked by the Lombard Village Board to join their meeting for a special recognition.
 
Earlier this month, the Glenn Westlake Middle School Wildcat Concert Band was selected to perform at the 2019 University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival. This was the eleventh invitation for the GWMS Wildcat Band, and third under the direction of Mr. Nicholas Martin. This year the Westlake Wildcat Concert Band was one of only 9 middle school bands from the state of Illinois who were chosen to perform.
 
Students Cook Up Inventions, Show off Learning
The fate of those rushing to the California Coast in search of gold could have changed had they been joined by a seasoned group student inventors at Manor Hill Elementary in Lombard.
 
Under the direction of their teacher, Mrs. Deb Holas, students had the opportunity this school year to collaborate with their peers on identifying and solving problems those in search of California gold often experienced during their journey.
 
This talented group of students was able to showcase their inventions during a special open house last week at Manor Hill. Parents were invited in to hear first-hand about the designs and to do so over a cup of switchel -- a tart and pleasantly pungent mix of apple cider vinegar and maple syrup that's diluted with water. This was a popular drink of choice during the gold rush.
 
From wagons that could turn into boats to fully functioning green houses and water purification systems, the inventions were an impressive testament to the students’ depth of knowledge and dedication to problem-solving. Had they been available during the Gold Rush, more most certainly would have made the trip to California safer and perhaps even faster.
 
Manor Hill Fifth Graders Raise Funds for Shop with a Cop
Several representatives from the Lombard Police Department visited the fifth grade classroom of Mrs. Deb Holas to receive a very special gift from her students: a donation to their Shop With a Cop initiative.
 
The purpose of Shop with a Cop is to help bring Christmas gifts and joy to less fortunate children and their families who live in the community, while fostering positive relationships with law enforcement. Started 20 years ago, Lombard police officers pick up children from their homes and bring them to Lombard Village Hall, where they are escorted in a convoy of squad cars to go shopping at the Yorktown Target store.
 
The children go shopping for gifts for their parents and family, with help from Lombard police officers. Other volunteers also shop for gifts for the children so that they have presents under their Christmas tree. All the shoppers then return to village hall where they are greeted by Thor, the Lombard police canine, as well as Santa Claus. Volunteers with the Lombard Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association help wrap the gifts and host a lunch.
 
At the end of the event, the children are driven home in squad cars filled with gifts, trays of cookies, gift baskets. Thanks to the donation from this year’s fifth grade class, Lombard Police will have a few more funds to utilize when selecting these special gifts for children.
 
Accomplished Musician Joins Orchestra Students for Special Performance
During one of their final performances of the year, orchestra students in grades 4-8 in Lombard District 44 had the unique opportunity to work with Rodney Lamar Page, a former orchestra director and an accomplished violinist, pianist and composer.
 
Leading up to the performance, Page worked with all students in orchestra clinics throughout the week. He then served as guest conductor and performer during their evening performance. 
 
April 2019
School Supplies Donation Gives Madison School Moment to Shine with Pride
Donning their best school spirit gear and sporting several signs of appreciation, students at Madison surprised officials at Enchanted Backpack with their very own pep rally last Thursday. Enchanted Backpack was visiting the school to provide Madison with a needed donation of school supplies and materials.
 
Enchanted Backpack works with their corporate partners to provide supplies to schools with populations of at risk students. The donations that were delivered on Thursday estimate approximately $40,000!
 
It was an incredibly special day, with students and staff braving the cold to dance, cheer and proudly share many “thank you’s” with representatives from Enchanted Backpack.
 
Award-Winning Moments for Music Programs in District 44
It has been quite the month for students and staff in the music program in Lombard District 44! Several awards were recently provided to our talented educators and student musicians, which include the following:
 
AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Julie Syperek, band director in District 44, has been selected as a recipient of an Award of Excellence in the Faculty/Certified Staff category as part of the 2019 Distinguished Service Awards Program sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA). The statewide Distinguished Service Awards program honors those whose efforts have enhanced education and conveyed its importance to the community on behalf of their schools and districts. All award winners will be recognized at a special luncheon at noon, on Friday, May 10, at the Bolingbrook Golf Club, 2001 Rodeo Drive in Bolingbrook.
 
MIDDLE SCHOOL CONCERT BAND SELECTED FOR SUPERSTATE
The Glenn Westlake Middle School Wildcat Concert Band has been selected to perform at the 2019 University of Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival. This is the eleventh invitation for the GWMS Wildcat Band, and third under the direction of Mr. Nicholas Martin.

Held May 3rd at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and sponsored by the University Bands and School of Music, the Superstate Festival draws outstanding junior high and high school bands from across the state of Illinois. Around 90 bands submit taped auditions to an adjudication panel of esteemed band directors, and of those, a very small number are selected to perform in the Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana, Champaign. An invitation to Illinois SuperState has become the highest honor for band programs in the state of Illinois.
 
This year the Westlake Wildcat Concert Band was one of only 9 middle school bands from the state of Illinois who were chosen to perform! Each band participating in the festival will receive a performance plaque during the awards ceremony on the Great Hall Stage. The top band at the festival will be designated as the "honor band." That honor band will be asked to present a special guest performance for the 2020 Festival.
 
The invited middle School bands are:
Glenn Westlake Middle School
Grayslake Middle School
MacArthur Middle School
McCracken Middle School
O'Fallon District 90 Middle School
Traughber Junior High School
Troy Middle School
Westview Hills Middle School
Wood Oaks Junior High School

Madison, Hammerschmidt Come Together For Annual Fun Run
Two Lombard District 44 schools are again joining forces in the spirit of fun and fitness. On May 4, Madison and Hammerschmidt will host their “Stars and Spikes” fun run. The event will kick off with registration beginning at 7:30 am. There are several different race opportunities to participate in including a 5k, 1 mile race and 100 meter run. 10 percent of all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society. For more information or to register today, please click here.
March 2019
Student Artists Show Off Work at Lombard Place, State Representative's Office
Residents of Lombard Place are enjoying new decor thanks to the talents of several Lombard District 44 student artists.
 
Recently, Lombard Place held its first Art Fair. Students, staff and families were on hand to show off and discuss their latest pieces of work. There was also face painting and other art activities for families. The event was such a success that Lombard Place is hoping to make it an annual event.
 
In addition, State Rep. Terra Costa Howard also added some color and beauty to her local office thanks to the talents of several D44 artists. An open house was recently held in celebration of the students. Members of the community were invited to attend in order to view and admire the work. Soon, she also hopes to bring their artwork down to her Springfield location. 
 

Butterfield Brings Community Together Through School-Wide Read

Sometimes, it takes a village. Or, in the case of Butterfield Elementary, it takes an entire school community.

That is the idea behind the school’s latest reading adventure, which seeks to connect the Butterfield community through a school-wide read of the book, “Fenway and Hattie.”

“This idea of bringing students, district administrators, parents and staff together to celebrate their love and interest in reading has become an annual tradition at Butterfield that we all look forward to each year,” said Butterfield Teacher Stephanie Ganakos.

Ganakos along with several other staff members are helping spearhead the event. This is the third year the school has participated in the community book club.
Butterfield kicked off the celebration last week during a school-wide assembly. Students participated in a “breakout” session that challenged them to solve various puzzles and mathematical equations in order to unlock the selected book for this year’s school-wide read.

Copies of “Fenway and Hattie” were provided to every student, staff member and administrator. Participants are encouraged to read a chapter each night and have daily discussions. Butterfield will celebrate the completion of “Fenway and Hattie” during a special Family Night that has been scheduled for Thursday, March 21 from 6:30-7:30 pm.
 
 
January-February 2019

Butterfield’s Kris Walsh Named Principal of the Year

Earlier this week, officials in Lombard District 44 were notified that Butterfield Principal Kris Walsh was named Elementary Principal of the Year for the DuPage Region.

 

"Mrs. Walsh is very deserving of this honor, which I understand follows several nominations made by staff," said Superintendent Ted Stec. "I am sure the news is bittersweet given her departure after this year, but we are all certainly proud of her accomplishments that will continue to positively impact the students of Butterfield."

 

Walsh's award follows the school recently being named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. According to the DuPage Illinois Principals Association, “these leaders exemplify what it means to be advocates for students, they build capacity within their schools, and they show support for their staff, students, families and communities in order to make their schools innovative places for students to grow.”

 

Glenbard East Basketball Players Read to Kindergarten Students

Story time for kindergarten students at Manor Hill Elementary recently took on a unique twist thanks to a group of very special visitors – basketball players from Glenbard East High School.

 

Students visited the classroom on February 11 following an invitation from Manor Hill Teacher Denise Glennon. The visit provided Lombard District 44 students with an opportunity to engage with older students, build connections to the high school and have time to ask important questions about the high school experience.

 

Student Musicians Make Impression at State Conference

The Glenn Westlake Middle School Wildcat Concert Band recently returned home from their successful 2-day trip to perform at the 2019 ILLINOIS MUSIC EDUCATION CONFERENCE in Peoria, IL. 

 

Bringing over 10,000 musicians together each year, the Illinois Music Education Conference is the premier event of the Illinois Music Educators Association. The best and brightest of the music education learning community gather to attend clinic sessions, performances and networking events. The Wildcat Concert Band was excited to represent the Lombard District 44 Instrumental Music Program and showcase the talents of its students at the state conference this past January. The Wildcat Concert Band shared the concert with the Symphonic Band from Glenbard East High School.

 

As part of the Wildcat Concert Band's Illinois Music Education Conference performance, the ensemble had the opportunity to collaborate with two local musicians, Jeremiah Frederick and Mary Jo Neher. Both musicians performed a French Horn Duet with the Wildcat Band accompanying them. This collaboration with local musicians was made possible with a grant from JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation.

 

The bands at Glenn Westlake Middle School have continued to achieve a high standard of excellence over the past several years. In addition to the 2019 Illinois Music Education Conference Performance, the GWMS Band has performed at numerous festivals across Illinois receiving multiple Division I superior ratings at the Illinois Grade School Music Association organization contests and superior ratings at various Music In the Parks competitions. In 2016 & 2017, the Wildcat Band was invited to participate in the University of Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival and in December of 2017, the GWMS Wildcat Band served as the middle school rehearsal lab band for the 71st Annual Midwest Clinic.

 

Love is All Around D44 Schools this Valentine's Day

Students from throughout Lombard District 44 showed and shared their love for their school this Valentine's Day. Students worked on projects in which they could express what they loved most about their schools. Teachers also joined in on the fun,as shown here by staff at Madison Elementary. 

 
 
 
 
 
Library Features District 44 Alumna Sara Sadat's Artwork
The Lisle Library recently selected the talented artwork of Sara Sadat to be featured in their gallery space. Interested visitors can view her artwork on the second floor. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 2018
 
Leadership Team, Teachers Join Students for Special Performance
Lombard District 44 administrators and teachers recently braved the stage alongside our elementary musicians for a special holiday performance. The group was given a recorder and asked to perform a special rendition of "Hot Cross Buns." Students then directly followed with their own performance that truly showcased their amazing talents. Please click here to watch the video. 
 
WGN-TV Airs Special Segment on Glenn Westlake Student
WGN-TV recently visited Glenn Westlake Middle School to capture the heart-warming story of one student musician determined to play and the group of educators and employees who helped keep his dream alive. Please click here to watch the video
 
John Schroder Early Childhood Center Gives Students the Gift of Christmas
For students with varying needs, a visit with Santa can be a difficult experience for many reasons. However, thanks to the team at the John Schroder Early Childhood Center in Lombard District 44, children were given the special gift of finally being able to share their Christmas wishes directly with the big man himself.
 
The event kicked off on Saturday, December 1 with a special "Sensory Hour with Santa" at the Early Childhood Center. Santa traded in his traditional chair for a seat at the head of the class, following the normal school schedule for students who needed that feeling of sameness and routine in order to be comfortable to meet the man in the red suit.
 
His reindeer were replaced with Eve the Comfort Dog to provide further support to the children, and, for those unable to communicate, they could still share their Christmas wishes by providing Santa with a special visual list made in advance by their teachers and families that included pictures of their most coveted items.
 
“All together, the event was an enormous success that provided the children of the John Schroder Early Childhood Center with the beautiful gift of experiencing Christmas in a way most supportive to them,” said Principal Cathy Angelos. “May we all be given the chance to witness Christmas through eyes of all children this holiday season.”
 
 
 
Board of Education Members Recognized for Service
The Village of Lombard recently shared with members of the Lombard District 44 Board of Education a special proclamation to honor their service to the community.
 
Each November, the school administration takes a moment to remember this group of incredible volunteers as part of the annual School Board Members Day. Lombard District 44 is fortunate to be governed by a seven-member Board of Education.
 
“These individuals are servants of this community, and we are grateful for their volunteerism. It is because of their dedication that our district continues to be a place in which families and staff members take great pride in being a part of the Lombard 44 community,” said Superintendent Ted Stec.
 
 
Wildcat Band Prepares with Elmhurst Professor for Upcoming Performances, Competition 
The seventh and eighth grade Glenn Westlake Wildcat Band recently had the opportunity to work alongside Professor Emeritus Judy Grimes from Elmhurst College.

The Wildcat Band met with Professor Grimes on November 28 to work with them in their preparation for the Winter Concert as well as the upcoming Illinois Music Education Conference this January.

Professor Grimes is the founder and executive director of the Western Jamaica International Music Festival, and the author of over 150 articles regularly found in various music journals. The clinic is provided by the Young People’s Music Initiative grant from the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation.
 
 
November 2018
Student Musicians Shine at State Festival
This past September, 25 Glenn Westlake Middle School music students auditioned for the Illinois Music Education Association District 9 Honors Festival. The students prepared challenging music and scales to audition to be a part of festival's honors band, choir, and orchestra.

“We are all very proud of all of our instrumental students’ efforts and dedication,” said Nick Martin, Band Director at Glenn Westlake Middle School.

At the conclusion of the auditions, GWMS had 7 band, 2 orchestra, and 1 choir student selected to participate in the District 9 Honors Festival, which took place on Saturday, November 10.
 
 
 
Madison Pride is “Feature Worthy”
A group of Madison teachers recently came together to celebrate their pride for both the education they received as well as the education they seek to provide students. The team was featured in the November issue of the Illinois State University Alumni Magazine. Please see the photo to read more about this recognition.
 
 
 
Manor Hill Teacher Seeks Sponsors for Children in Need
The season of giving has not been lost at Manor Hill Elementary School. Just ask Rachael Gates, Primary Structured Teacher.

Gates is currently looking for interested sponsors to support a child in need who has lost a loved one to gun violence. Her efforts are directly connected to the 6th Annual Chicago Survivor’s Gift Drive. Chicago Survivors is an organization that offers a variety of supports to families who have been tragically impacted by gun violence.

Those interested in sponsoring will receive the name, age and gender of a child. They will then be asked to purchase two gifts totaling $25 or less, one “practical” gift such as winter weather accessories and one “fun” gift. Gifts, which should not be wrapped, can be dropped off at Manor Hill and Gates will deliver them to the organization.

For more information, or for information on other ways to help, please click here.
 
 
Local Author Visits Glenn Westlake
On Wednesday, November 7, all sixth grade Glenn Westlake Middle School students were fortunate to take part in a creative writing workshop conducted by local author TC LiFonti. LiFonti is a graduate of Glenbard East, a published author and conducts literacy talks and workshops for students of various ages. He facilitated two, one-hour and forty-five minute sessions with students covering topics such as story elements and figurative language. Photo Caption: Glenn Westlake staff members pose with local author TC LiFonti. LiFonti conducted a writing workshop for all sixth grade students on November 7.
 
 
 
Students Seek to Support Servicemen and Servicewomen
Sweet has taken on a different meaning for several students at Hammerschmidt and Park View Schools this year. Instead of consuming their edible Halloween treats, they passed them on to men and women serving overseas.
 
Hammerschmidt 
Organized by the Fourth Grade Buddies, the group encouraged their classmates to donate their leftover Halloween treats to the Candy for the Troops Project. On Friday, November 15, students gathered the donations, folded flags and wrote personal notes to military service men and women. These were then carefully packaged to be sent overseas.

Hammerschmidt teacher Jana Long helped support the students with their efforts by connecting them with Christine Breyne and members of the VFW 5815 and Auxiliary Lilac Post in Lombard.The VFW has been organizing projects for the Troops for more than 15 years. Breyne was on hand on Friday to support the Hammerschmidt students with organizing their care packages. Hammerschmidt has been involved with Candy for the Troops since 2014. 
 
Park View
It was an incredible all-school effort, with 192 lbs of candy collected for active servicemen and servicewomen. The candy was donated by the families of Park View who graciously shared their Halloween collections in support of the Candy for the Troops Project. 
 
 
October 2018
 
“Anonymous Poet's Society” Offers Students a Chance to Perfect & Share Poetry Skills
On October 25, the anonymity behind a new society at William Hammerschmidt Elementary ceased to exist thanks to the talented work of 75 students and the efforts of several teachers in Lombard District 44.

From 1:45-3 pm, three classes of students took the stage and bravely shared with their peers a beautiful collection of poems they spent the first part of the school year perfecting. Coined the “Anonymous Poets Society” the event was meant to be a celebration and true culmination of their work, both in terms of their ability to write as well as read out loud.

It was created and supported by teachers Kim Lynch, Kelly Summers, Anna Traficanti, Emily Drafta, Chris Prohaska, Rebekah Simaan, Julie Syperek and Morgan Dowell.

The event, which took place in the LRC at Hammerschmidt, also included the talented performances of several instrumental, band and orchestra teachers.

Utilizing the book Love That Dog as their supportive text, students have been learning about both structured and self-reflective poems. They were encouraged to write their own piece that was inspired by a famous poet to share as part of the Anonymous Poet’s Society event. All three classes will share their work that afternoon.
 
 
 
Early Childhood Center Earns State Recognition for Excellence
The District 44 John Schroder Early Childhood Center has achieved the Gold Circle of Quality in ExceleRate Illinois, the state’s quality recognition and improvement system for early learning and development programs.

ExceleRate unifies all of the state’s early learning programs under a common set of standards across multiple settings to provide families with important information about quality early learning programs in their community.

ExceleRate Illinois is anchored by a set of standards that focus on early learning and development and places a high priority on instructional excellence, family services, staff qualifications, professional development, and program administration. Central to its design is the recognition of multiple forms of evidence to meet the universal standards.

For Preschool for All programs, evidence is obtained through the monitoring visits conducted through National Louis University’s contract with the Illinois State Board of Education. During these monitoring visits, assessors collect evidence using the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale-Third Edition (ECERS-3) and the ISBE Compliance Checklist. Each Preschool for All program site is awarded an ExceleRate Circle of Quality based on its Compliance and ECERS-3 scores.

This incredible honor directly follows the Early Childhood Center earning the Award of Excellence for Inclusion by the Illinois State Board of Education.
 
 
 
Students Return to Share Musical Talents
Students at three schools from throughout Lombard District 44 recently ended their school day with a special surprise – a live performance outside their school.

Members of the Glenbard East High School Band visited several schools in District 44 in the month of October and performed outside while students were departing for the day. The mini-marching band performance was welcomed by the smiling faces of many students and teachers.

Lombard District 44 Band Director Julie Anne Syperek worked in collaboration with Glenbard East Band Directors Tara Cappelletti and Andrew Packer to develop this experience.
 
 
 
Butterfield Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School
Butterfield Elementary School learned on Monday that is has been awarded one of the highest recognitions for school excellence – a National Blue Ribbon.
 
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The coveted National Blue Ribbon award affirms the hard work of educators, families and community members in Lombard District 44 who collectively worked toward creating a safe and welcoming school where students master challenging and engaging content.
 
Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. On November 7-8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 300 public and 49 private school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
 
  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students over the past five years.
 
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE). Photo Caption: Staff members at Butterfield Elementary School pose for a photo outside the school’s marquee in celebration of the news that they were awarded the National Blue Ribbon Award.
 
 
 
Madison Elementary Students Rally Behind Glenbard East
Madison Elementary students showed off their future school spirit in honor of Glenbard East’s homecoming and the football team’s fight to the playoffs. On Thursday, students and teachers wore Glenbard East’s school colors – red and black.
 
Several photographs were taken and sent to the high school’s football coach. Pictures of Madison School were then hung around the locker room as a surprise to the team to help encourage a win.
 
 
 

Manor Hill Teacher is All About Treats...No Tricks...This Halloween

An idea that started years ago as a way to simplify gift giving has now turned into a mission direct from the heart for one Manor Hill teacher.

 

For years, Denise Glennon has been a host for the company Thirty-One gifts, a retailer of fashionable and functional gifts that women can sell as a way to dip their toe into the entrepreneurial pool. From backpacks to personalized totes, Mrs. Glennon has explored many aspects of the business as a way to generate some additional funds to support her family.

 

This Halloween season, though, Mrs. Glennon wanted to explore a different side to her business that wasn’t so much rooted in profit but much more in purpose. For the past several weeks, she has been spreading the word about Halloween caddies that can be purchased for children at Loyola  Children’s Hospital. She plans to deliver these beautiful bags in the coming weeks to children too sick to experience the excitement of trick-or-treating themselves.

 

Made of soft fabric and decorated with a touch of Halloween fun in the form of monsters, pumpkins, a scarecrow or bat, they can be purchased for just $18. The price covers the cost of the buckets, and all additional profits that are generated will cover the cost of candy.

 

Those interested in supporting this wonderful cause can click here to purchase a Halloween bag today. Mrs. Glennon also is accepting all candy donations.

 

“I am honored to be able to be a part of an event that brings smiles and brightens up a child’s day.  My thanks to the entire community-including our local teachers, principals and faculty who have purchased a Little Carry Caddy.  Purchasing a Little Carry Caddy for only $18 will go a long way to making a child’s day,” she said.

 

 

 

Lombard District 44 Seeks to Support Literacy Through Grant Funds

Lombard School District was recently awarded $4,900 from the Back to Books grant through the State of Illinois. 

 

The project was written to focus on the new district-wide Dual Language program to support literacy, therefore, the funds have been expended to purchase over 300 library books in Spanish/English. 

 

"This grant has allowed us to expand our book collection in support of literacy for our dual language learners in Spanish and English,” said Grants and Literancy Director Annetta Spychalski. “These books will support the curriculum and support our students in reading and responding to text in both languages.”

 

 

 

Teachers Dive In to Specialty Training Around Science Standards

Glenn Westlake Principal Mike Fumagalli recently brought forward a great opportunity for his staff. Earlier last week, coaches from the National Science Teachers Association provided nine teachers from Westlake with a full-day training program focused on science.

 

More specifically, the program is a standards- based, instructional strategy-specific, data-driven process that is both designed and implemented with fidelity by experts in the field. Each teacher is going to have their own coach assigned to them. That coach is going to work one-on-one with the teacher in goal-setting, instructional planning, assessment design, and execution of all of it in the classroom. The coaches are nationally recognized experts in the field of science teaching and learning as well as standards implementation that have been vetted through the National Science Teachers Association.

 

All together, the coaching program will consist of three, two-day site visits from their coach where their coach will push in to the classroom with them, co-teach with them, watch them teach other classes, and meet with the teams to help enhance their instructional strategies as well as revise and design assessments aligned to the standards.

 

Each teacher will also meet with their coach in a virtual meeting once a month. They will also participate in 3 different webinars around high quality instructional design at different points in the school year.

 

Glenn Westlake is one of only two middle schools in the country participating in this program, which was offered completely free to its teachers.

 
September 2018

Stakeholders Come Together to Chart Future of District 44 

Members of Connect 44 -- a 44-person team made-up of stakeholders from throughout the community--took the first step Wednesday toward designing a new future for Lombard District 44.

 

Wednesday was the first meeting for the strategic planning process. The team began their time together by engaging in a discussion about the "ideal graduate" of Lombard District 44. The purpose of this activity was to develop a picture of what experiences, accolades, skill sets and accomplishments students would need to attain or be exposed to throughout their time in the district in order to be best prepared for success.

 

This vision helped provide a clear focal point regarding the needs of students and will directly drive the work of the team over the next several months.

 

Superintendent Ted Stec also helped provided a current picture of the district. That was followed by the team digging into the results of the surveys that were recently pushed out district-wide as well as the results from the roundtable discussions that took place for staff on Opening Day. From that, they were able to understand the needs and priorities of staff, parent and community members and begin to populate an environmental scan that captures the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats of Lombard 44.

 

An executive summary of the survey results can be found by clicking here. Members of the Connect 44 Team appreciate those of you who completed the survey.

 

For further meeting highlights, please click here.

 

 

 

Student Artwork to be Part of Traveling Exhibit 

Glenn Westlake student Erica L. was recently selected to have her artwork be part of a traveling display that will visit several notable places throughout the state of Illinois.

 

More specifically, the artwork will appear at the Illinois Art Education Association state conference, Springfield State Capitol as part of Advocacy Day and the Illinois School Board Association conference.

 

 

 

District 44 Staff Rallies Around Village Blood Drive

Dozens of staff members from throughout Lombard District 44 showed their support to the annual Village of Lombard Blood Drive. Through their donations, the village was able to collect the highest donation volume since January of 2013.

 

Staff visited both the mobile unit at Yorktown Mall as well as Village Hall. It is estimated that more than 300 lives will be saved by the volume estimates alone.

 

Employees at Westlake were some of the largest contributors to the effort, which is a testament to both their passion in wanting to give back to the community as well as to honor Westlake Principal Mike Fumagalli’s late wife who greatly benefited from several rounds of blood transfusions. It was after a courageous and valiant 27-day battle with colon cancer that Kirsten Fumagalli passed away on March 14, 2018.

 

 

 

Madison’s Learning Garden Provides Education, Fresh Food Options

Thanks to the generous support of the Madison PTA as well as the hard work of several students, the school’s Learning Garden has produced some impressive produce as well as educational experiences.

 

On Thursday, September 13, two third grade classrooms helped harvest vegetables and herbs that were donated to the Lombard/Villa Park Food Pantry. Students collected bags of fresh items, including carrots, celery, tomatoes, peppers, kale, lettuce, Swiss chard, cucumbers, squash, basil, thyme, oregano and chives. Although this was the Learning Garden's fourth donation to the food pantry, this was the first time a classroom was able to help with the harvest as the other collections occurred before the school year began.

 

The Learning Garden at Madison School was first installed in the spring of 2017. The garden initially included eight raised beds and two in-ground areas for planting vegetables and herbs. This summer, thanks to the support of the PTA, it was able to expand by four additional raised beds.

 

 

 

Westlake Hosts Red Carpet Event in Celebration of STEAM

Glenn Westlake Principal Mike Fumagalli welcomed two special guests to his school on September 12 – and all in celebration of the school’s growing focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

 

On September 12, Westlake students and staff came together in a school-wide assembly to hear from the stars of the film “Happy Accident.” The movie, which focuses on the critical role of STEAM in extreme sports like skateboarding, made its official debut during the assembly. This was the first time the film was publicly viewed, with it soon to be released on Netflix.  

 

Jeremy Bout, the producer, as well as Prof. Paul Schmitt, the main character of the film, were in attendance at the launch party and spoke to the role of STEAM in the skateboarding industry.

 

The school-wide assembly directly followed experiences teachers from all subject areas integrated into their curriculum rooted in STEAM. For example, in math, students designed skateboard jumps, measuring the distance skateboards would need to travel and height they could reach based on different design elements.

 

For more information on the film, please visit http://www.edgefactor.com/coming-september-2018-happy-accident-skateboarding-film/.

 

 

 

Students Bring New Meaning to “Farm to Table” Food Offerings for Lombard Families in Need

Thanks to the efforts of several students who participate in the Park View Elementary Garden Club, Lombard families had greater access to organic, fresh food options.

 

Recently, the school partnered with Garden Works to build several garden beds in which they grew a variety of different fruits and vegetables to be donated to the local food pantry. The GardenWorks Project seeks to “empower, educate, and promote organic suburban agriculture to improve the wellbeing of our community, the environment, and families facing food insecurity.”

 

Students worked diligently at tending to the garden in order to grow seasonal produce. In total, the Park View Garden Club grew over 230 pounds of fresh produce, 120 of which was donated to the York Township Food Pantry. 

 

Currently, students are engaged in growing pumpkins just in time for the fall harvest!

 

 

 

Summer Reading Program Helps Prevent the Summer Slide

Coined the Green Bag Book Club, students at three schools in Lombard District 44 greatly benefited from a summer reading program that took place throughout the months of June, July and August.

 

This is the second year for the Green Bag Book Club, which took place at

Butterfield, Madison and Manor Hill schools. Students could sign up to participate and were provided books to read over the summer. At the end of this successful program, Title I teachers Stephanie Ganakos from Butterfield, Kristin Adams from Madison and Laurie Polanski from Manor Hill held an activity night where the students were invited to their school to turn in their book bags and participate in a variety of celebratory activities.

 

The Green Bag Book Club was created to help students avoid the “summer slide” and encourage them to continue reading over the summer as well as complete the journal and activity sheets that accompanied the books at each grade level.

This program is federally funded for the Title I schools in the district.

 

Photo Caption: Manor Hill Principal Eric Haren poses with Clifford the Big Red Dog. Clifford was a special guest at one of the culminating events for the Green Bag Book Club.

 

 

 

Chicago Magazine Ranks Butterfield School as a Top School in DuPage County

Chicago Magazine's recent release of its annual rankings of best public schools in the state included one of Lombard’s own -- Butterfield Elementary School.

 

Butterfield came in at No. 6 out of 10 for top elementary and middle schools in DuPage County. It is in good company with schools from throughout the area including Hinsdale, Oak Brook, Wheaton and Clarendon Hills.