SUPERINTENDENT MESSAGE ARCHIVES
Late Start Days for 2016-17 School Year
May 27, 2016
For the 2016-2017 school year, CCSD 46 has implemented nine late start days. These days will allow us to provide staff development to our teachers in the areas of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and changes in math and social studies curriculum. In addition, staff will be provided instruction in technology integration.
We have eliminated four half-days from our calendar and have coordinated our late start days with the Grayslake District 127 high school calendar. The high school has late starts weekly.
Providing these training days allows the students more day-to-day consistency in the classroom and will improve teaching strategies, which ultimately will lead to improved student performance.
Right At School will be providing late start services on those days. Access to these services will be listed on our website.
Please contact the District Office with any questions.
Download the Late-Start flyers: English | Español
Premature Release of PARCC Assessment Data
December 10, 2015
Superintendents across the state woke up to do their first email check of the day and were greeted by a message sent late last night from State Superintendent Tony Smith explaining why data from the PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career) assessment was released prematurely, days before districts were told they were allowed to discuss the information publicly.
Most districts, including CCSD 46, had timelines in place for thoughtful communication with our staff and communities on a topic that is already challenging. That the data was then released early by the press, on the directive of a lone staff member of the State Board of Education, is a serious breach of trust for districts across the state, and adds to the already murky understanding of the goal of the PARCC assessment.
CCSD 46 will continue to follow the plan that is in place for communication with parents using the original directive timeline. While there are many more important issues facing our schools, this breach just reflects the continuing erosion of our ability to have confidence in the leadership decisions and the unsettled state of the State in all arenas including public education.
PARCC Assessment Communication Timeline
12/11/15: Data will be included on the interactive school report cards available on the D46 website: www.d46.org
12/16/15: PARCC student scores and parent letters mailed
01/13/16: Presentation to the Board of Education at the 6:30PM meeting at Grayslake Middle School
Download the State Superintendent Message
Seasonal Conditions Affect Student Safety
October 28, 2015
Fall is a great time to remind drivers as well as school children about seasonal conditions that may impact pedestrian and traffic safety. The Secretary of State, Jesse White, has put out information that emphasizes the community's collective role in safeguarding children.
Likewise, our students need to be reminded of what is expected from them to ensure own safety:
- The sun has dropped low to the southern horizon, making visibility difficult in many driving situations. Motorists need to take into account the sun's glare and take extra caution when driving when kids are present on the streets.
- As autumn transitions into winter, driving conditions change and precipitation causes difficulties for motorists. Alter your schedule to allow for extra time so that you won't be rushed to accommodate appointments.
- Daylight Savings Time ends November 1. That means some students will not arrive home from school until after the sun sets. Keep an eye out for kids coming home from school in the dark.
For more information on sharing the road safely with school buses and pedestrians, please download the National Safety Council's publication, Back to School: Safety Tips for Motorists.
- As more kids find themselves out after dark, they should be advised to wear at least one article of light-colored or reflective clothing so they can be spotted by motorists.
- The most dangerous time in a child's day is likely the trip to and from school. We teach several important school bus safety lessons, but we constantly remind them to look both ways whenever crossing the street. Each year, for example, children are killed when they cross the street to board or after exiting their bus. This is a safety lesson that applies to all kids, whether they ride a school bus or not.
- As the weather turns cold, kids need to dress in warm clothing. We want our students focused on staying safe in and around their school bus; it's hard to think about safety if you don't protect yourself from the elements.
Essential Resources for Food Allergy Parents
September 14, 2015
CCSD 46 has been taking proactive steps to ensure the safety and comfort of all of our students, but we have been working diligently to make sure that our students with food allergies are safe while at school. An allergy committee of parents and staff members was formed several years ago and as a result of the committee's work, we have implemented a Food Allergy Management Plan which contains important information and guidelines for staff members to refer to as they care for our students with special dietary needs in all D46 schools.
I'd like to share with you an article from FARE - the Food Allergy Research & Education website, of 10 Essential School Resources for Food Allergy Parents from August 17, 2015. It contains many helpful links of downloadable information and webinars. We hope you will find this information helpful.
Wednesday Morning Update
September 2, 2015
As a purely precautionary measure, I have asked our building principals to keep our students inside today, so no outdoor recess or physical education classes. We have received no police reports to indicate that there is any danger in our area, but I still want to keep our students as safe as possible. It is going to be a very hot and humid day, so the students probably should be indoors, in the air conditioning anyway! Hope you all have a great day and if I have any news, I will share it as soon as possible!
District 46 Soft Lockdown
September 1, 2015
I want to thank our D46 community for their patience and understanding today. We worked with the local police departments all day and used their guidance in our decisions. We keep the family and friends of Fox Lake Police Officer Joe Gliniewicz in our thoughts and prayers.
Back to School Mindset
August 17, 2015
We are nearing the middle of August and back to school time is almost upon us. Backpacks have been selected. New folders, crayons, pencils, and school shoes have been purchased. Children have excitedly shared who their new teachers are with their friends. But are they ready to head back to class?
For kindergarteners, going to school is a new and exciting adventure! They are finally old enough to go to school like their big brothers, sisters, or neighbors. But it can also be a scary time as well, full of unknowns. Here are some tips to help make the transition to school a successful one:
- Get the lay of the land. Hopefully you were able to visit your child's school on Kindergarten Meet & Greet night back in March. If not, make sure to attend Kindergarten Orientation day on August 26th. Just being familiar with the hallways and classrooms helps to stem fears of the unknown. Meet the ladies in the office - they are always there to help with smiles on their faces. And make sure to visit the playground as well.
- If your child has medical needs, and you have concerns, contact the school office to set your mind and your child's at ease about how they handle emergency situations. CCSD 46 has two certified nurses in the district in addition to a health clerk in each building to address any health or medical situation. Visit the Health webpage: ww2.d46.org/health.asp
- A week or so before school starts, begin preparing your child by setting up your morning routine. Getting up early, having breakfast together, even packing a lunch is fun that you can enjoy later in the day. Talk to your child about the "what ifs." What happens if he/she misses the bus or forgets a lunch?
- During Kindergarten Orientation (August 26) speak with your child's teacher to see how she handles students who are a bit more apprehensive about leaving Mom or Dad. She has been through this situation a number of times before.
- First day of Kindergarten is August 27th. Make the first day special. Include a special note or picture in your child's lunch if they attend full-day kindergarten. And make sure to take a photograph to capture the first day!
For older students in grades 1-4, the newness of school may have worn off, but each new year brings new adventures and challenges. Here are some suggestions for helping them fit in socially and succeed academically:
- It is important for parents to stay upbeat about going back to school. Talk about the new things your child will be doing this year, new supplies they get to bring. Everyone loves a fresh new box of crayons!
- Share your family calendar with your kids. Show them the upcoming events and plan to attend some of the wonderful family events put on by the PTO/PTF organizations in the schools. Scholastic Book Fairs take place during Conference Week in early October and it is a great time to pick up a new favorite book or two.
- Start incorporating some time in the evenings for homework time. Perhaps share an extra story, or begin looking at some flashcards to get your child in the swing of things.
- Remember, in addition to school, and sports, and other activities that keep kids busy, they also need downtime to relax and unwind.
- And on the first day of school...don't forget to take a photo.
Middle schoolers are dealing not only with new schools, new classmates, but hormones and pre-teen angst as well. It is a challenging time for everyone! It is also a rewarding time when your children are beginning to develop their own identities. Here are some suggestions to stave off the anxiety:
- Have your child attend the Frederick Kick-Off Camp (Aug. 17-18), or the Grayslake Middle School Locker Tryout Day (Aug. 20). Nothing strikes fear in the heart of middle schoolers like not knowing where they are going, or how to open their lockers! Frederick students do not have locker combinations to worry about, but a new two-story school to navigate can be harrowing. And older students at GMS or Park Campus suddenly have to remember a locker combination AND figure out how to open the lock!
- Make sure your child is getting plenty of praise for who they are, rather than being compared to older siblings. They need to feel their experiences are important, that they are being heard, and their opinions matter.
- Try to lessen some of the pre-teen drama by talking to your kids about hormones and the ups and downs they are bound to feel at their age. Remind them that while you went through the same situations, you want to hear about how things are going for them.
- Even if your child gives you "the look" be sure to snap a photo. You will be glad you did, even if they are scowling.
We greatly look forward to welcoming all of our students for their first day of school August 26th for first through 8th grade students, August 27th for kindergarteners, and August 31st for our pre-k students. If you have any great tips to share, or just want to share a first day of school story, visit the CCSD 46 Facebook page, or Twitter page. We love to hear from you!