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D15 E-News
D15 E-NewsJanuary 13, 2012
January 2012 Art Wall
The Art Wall at the Joseph M. Kiszka Educational Service Center
showcases students' work throughout the school year.
District News
Next forums will seek stakeholders' solutions

Community Consolidated School District 15's second round of budget information forums will be held Monday, January 23, at Walter R. Sundling Junior High, 1100 N. Smith Street in Palatine. A forum for staff will be held from 4-5:30 p.m., and a forum for community members will follow from 7-8:30 p.m.

In contrast to the District's first round of informational forums held in December, these next forums will be designed to elicit participants' feedback on solutions to the District's structural deficit.

Earlier this fall, the District 15 Board of Education directed Superintendent Scott Thompson and his administrative staff to compile a list of potential budget cuts totaling $10 million. That list is intended to guide the District as it works to determine how much to reduce its expenditures for the 2012-13 school year, as recently updated financial forecasts show growing annual budget shortfalls draining the District's reserve funds over the next five years. 

The District is projected to run a $6.2 million deficit this year, and, without any reductions, a nearly $10 million deficit in fiscal year 2012-13. If not addressed, annual budget shortfalls such as these are projected to reduce the District's current fund balance of about $55 million, which represents roughly 40 percent of its budget, to about $4.8 million, or roughly 3 percent of its budget, by the end of fiscal year 2015-16.

The District's Leadership Team will use the input received from the January 23 forums to finalize a budget reduction proposal that will be presented at the Board's February 8 meeting. That presentation will include the list of $10 million in potential budget cuts and the amount of expenditures the administration recommends cutting in order to keep the District in a strong financial position through at least the 2014-15 school year.

Once the budget reduction proposal is presented to the Board, the District will solicit the community's feedback on the plan, and incorporate that input into a revised proposal for the Board to act upon at its March 14 meeting.    

District 15 Board approves 2012-13 calendar
The District 15 Board of Education approved the District's official 2012-13 calendar during its December 14 meeting.

The 2012-13 calendar includes the following key dates:

Beginning of the School Year: Staff Institute Days are scheduled for Thursday, August 23, and Friday, August 24. Grades 1-8 begin classes on Monday, August 27. Kindergarten and early childhood classes begin on Tuesday, August 28.

Thanksgiving: Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Thursday, November 22. There will be no school that week, but parent-teacher conferences will be held on Monday, November 19, and Tuesday, November 20.

Winter Break: There will be no school from Monday, December 24, through Friday, January 4, with schools reopening on Monday, January 7.

Spring Break: There will be no school Monday, March 25, through Friday, March 29, with schools reopening Monday, April 1.
End of the School Year: The school term is set to end on Thursday, June 13, but that date is subject to change in April 2013 as the school year will be shortened by any remaining unused emergency days.

The complete calendar can be viewed at | About District 15 | Official School Calendars.
D15 parents share perceptions about schools 
Results of the District's recent parent satisfaction survey indicate that a great majority of the District's parents are satisfied with their schools.

The District conducted the online parent satisfaction survey in November. A full set of its results, including written comments, totals more than 320 pages.

The purpose of the survey was to gather the perceptions of the parent community so that schools' improvement efforts can incorporate the thoughts and desires of parents. Approximately 1,800 of the District's 8,600 families completed the survey, which equates to a response rate of almost 21 percent. In nearly every survey category, more than 90 percent of those families indicated that District 15 is doing a quality job educating their children.

"That being said, there is always room for improvement," said Jim Garwood, deputy superintendent of schools. "Both at the District level and at the individual school level, administrators will be analyzing the results with their staffs and searching for opportunities to improve."

Districtwide survey results have been posted to the District's website. Survey results for individual schools, as well as written comments pertaining to each building and action plans developed from the survey results, will be posted to each school's webpage in February.
Tdap booster required for 2012-13 school year 
Due to recent whooping cough outbreaks throughout Illinois and neighboring states, beginning with the next school year, a Tdap vaccine will be required for 6th- through 12th-grade students.
Tdap is a booster dose of the tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccines.
Pertussis, which is more commonly known as whooping cough, is an illness caused by an infection that lasts about six weeks. At first, symptoms are flu-like with mild coughing and possibly a fever. After a week, the mild cough becomes powerful coughing fits. The coughing is frequent and so intense that dangerous complications such as vomiting, broken ribs, and broken blood vessels in the eye may occur. The coughing is followed by a deep inward breath that causes the distinct "whoop" sound.
While most students have previously received these vaccines, the protection they provide decreases over time. Consequently, a booster dose of Tdap is needed to decrease the risk of becoming ill with pertussis.
To comply with the new state law and to keep your child safe, please arrange for your fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and/or eighth-grade students to receive this vaccine prior to the beginning of the 2012-13 school year.

For more information, contact your school's nurse.
2012 District 15 Spelling Bee Participants
Twenty students competed in the District 15 Spelling Bee, which was held Monday, January 9, at Walter R. Sundling Junior High.
Plum Grove eighth grader wins
District 15 Spelling Bee
2012 District 15 Spelling Bee Winner
Mary Zarr, assistant superintendent for curriculum, special services, and school improvement, congratulates Tony Lu, the 2012 District 15 Spelling Bee winner. 
Tony Lu, an eighth grader at Plum Grove Junior High, won the District 15 Spelling Bee, which was held Monday, January 9, at Walter R. Sundling Junior High.
Tony held off a game challenge by second-place finisher Arash Abbas, a sixth grader at Willow Bend School, to win the contest in the 24th round. His winning word was enthusiasm.

Tony and Arash both won their respective school spelling bees to advance to the District competition, as did 18 other students:
  • Aviral Saxena, Grade 6, Jane Addams School
  • Rebecca Mathew, Grade 6, Central Road School
  • Sathvik Kakanuru, Grade 4, Winston Campus Elementary
  • Natalia Koval, Grade 6, Winston Campus Elementary
  • Madison Mayer, Grade 6, Kimball Hill School
  • Sharon Kim, Grade 6, Hunting Ridge School
  • Marcelina Kosla, Grade 5, Thomas Jefferson School
  • Tim Okonek, Grade 5, Marion Jordan School
  • Bruno Funez, Grade 5, Lake Louise School
  • Gabrielle Cervantes, Grade 6, Lincoln School
  • Besher Jabri, Grade 5, Stuart R. Paddock School
  • Flora Zheng, Grade 5, Pleasant Hill School
  • Joseph Edozie, Grade 4, Gray M. Sanborn School
  • Kiley Fletcher, Grade 5, Virginia Lake School
  • Pragya Kansal, Grade 5, Frank C. Whiteley School
  • Sydney Hill, Grade 8, Carl Sandburg Junior High
  • Jade Danford-Klein, Grade 7, Walter R. Sundling Junior High
  • Matthew Teehan, Grade 7, Winston Campus Junior High
Tony will now move on to compete in the Suburban Cook Northern Area Spelling Bee, which will be held Wednesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. at Joseph Sears School in Kenilworth. The winner of that contest will advance to compete in the Suburban Cook County Spelling Bee, which will be held Wednesday, February 22 at Mannheim Middle School in Melrose Park.

The winner of the Suburban Cook County Spelling Bee will advance to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which will be held May 27 through June 1 in Washington, D.C.
D15 students' artwork advances
in PTA's Reflections program
PTA ReflectionsDistrict 15 students recently received 23 Reflections arts education program honors awarded by Illinois PTA District 37.

Reflections is a national PTA program that asks students to create works of art based on an annual theme. This year's theme was "Diversity Means ... ," and students created works of art to reflect that theme in six different categories: visual arts, photography, musical composition, literature, dance choreography, and film/video production.

The program has several levels. Judging first takes place within individual schools' PTAs, and then within the Northwest Suburban Council (NWSC) of PTA/PTSA, which represents District 15. The NWSC of PTA/PTSA selected 66 submissions by District 15 students for judging by Illinois PTA District 37. Students whose works were selected by the NWSC of PTA/PTSA will be recognized at the Reflections Showcase on Monday, January 30, at 7 p.m. at Carl Sandburg Junior High, 2600 Martin Lane, Rolling Meadows. A complete list of those students is posted in the News Section of the District's website.

Illinois PTA District 37 reviewed nearly 1,500 projects and selected 54 of those works of art to be judged in the state Reflections program in February. Of its 54 state-qualifying submissions, 23 of them are from District 15 students. Those students will be recognized at the Illinois PTA District 37 Reflections Showcase, which will be held Wednesday, February 29, at 7 p.m. at Lincoln School, 1021 N. Ridgewood Lane, Palatine.

Those students are:

  • Sean Forman, Kindergarten, Virginia Lake School PTA, Diversity for My Taste Buds
  • Kevin Forman, Grade 2, Virginia Lake School PTA, Train to Everywhere
  • Emma Forman, Grade 4, Winston Campus Elementary PTA, Vegetable Visions
  • Joey Runde, Grade 5, Kimball Hill School PTA, Musical Instruments
  • Lily Fell, Grade 2, Stuart R. Paddock School PTA, Diversity Means Colorful
  • Edward Nieman, Grade 2, Gray M. Sanborn School PTA, Pumpkin Power
  • Samantha Nieman, Grade 3, Gray M. Sanborn School PTA, The Bird Bath
  • Ally Sheehan, Grade 4, Hunting Ridge School PTA, Wild Flowers
  • Maggie Scovic, Grade 6, Winston Campus Elementary PTA, Diverse Converse
  • Aidan Busch, Grade 7, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Looking at the Familiar with a Different Perspective
  • Rhett Allord, Kindergarten, Pleasant Hill School PTA, Diversity Means ... Colorful Handprints
  • Emma Milligan, Grade 3, Hunting Ridge School PTA, So Many Snowflakes
  • Christiana Kirchner, Grade 4, Gray M. Sanborn School PTA, A Basket of Choices
  • Danielle Sauerland, Grade 4, Winston Campus Elementary PTA, Unity of Color
  • Chris Schmit, Grade 6, Pleasant Hill School PTA, Tiki Masks
  • Jennifer Sobkowiak, Grade 7, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Life in the Ocean is a Reflection of Life on Earth
  • Christine Rollinson, Kindergarten, Virginia Lake School PTA, Chrissie's Diversity Show
  • Kirsten Juskiewicz, Grade 7, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Originality
  • Braden Kobeski, Grade 8, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Diversity Goes to the Dogs
  • Rebecca Duran, Grade 8, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Despaired to Hope
  • Ryan Jannak-Huang, Grade 8, Walter R. Sundling Junior High PTA, Etude: A Journey Through World Music History
  • Zen Wang, Grade 1, Pleasant Hill School PTA, My Super Golden Dragon Dance
  • Anna Selleck, Grade 5, Virginia Lake School PTA, Black & White by Anna Selleck
Mark Your Calendar
MLK DayNo school on January 16 and 17
In observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, all District 15 schools will be closed on Monday, January 16. There will also be no school on Tuesday, January 17, which is a teacher institute day in District 15.
SPARK to present 'possibilities' of inclusion
SPARK eventSpecial Education Parents Accessing Resources and Knowledge (SPARK) will hold its next monthly meeting on Monday, January 23, from 7-8:30 p.m. at Walter R. Sundling Junior High, 1100 N. Smith Street, Palatine. The meeting will feature a workshop titled "Dwell on the Possibilities," which will be presented by Nancy Brown, an inclusion consultant with the Illinois State Board of Education, and her daughter, Bridget, who has Down Syndrome.

Bridget, who is now a national public speaker and advocate, was the first person with a disability included in her school district. Her inclusion was facilitated and supported by Nancy, who has had the unique experience of working with many different school districts in Illinois helping them develop and sustain inclusive educational programs for students with disabilities. Their workshop will cover person-centered planning, adaptations and accommodations, social and emotional supports for all learners, and teaming for inclusive education.

SPARK is a committee of the Northwest Suburban Council of PTA/PTSA that serves families of children with special needs in District 15. It was formed in response to the growing needs of families whose children learn differently or have special needs. It is comprised of parents who are trying to navigate the special education system who have realized the importance of networking with families of other special needs children and sharing resources related to special education.

SPARK has representatives at each District 15 school, and all parents, educators, and administrators are encouraged to attend its monthly meeting, which feature presentations by special education experts.
For a list of SPARK events scheduled for the 2011-12 school year, visit | For Parents/Students | Parent Resources | SPARK. For more information, e-mail, or contact Ani Erickson, SPARK chair, at 847-907-4732 or Jen Kurrie, SPARK co-chair, at 847-963-8087.
Parent workshop to tackle toilet training
District 15 Student Services is sponsoring a toilet training workshop for parents of special needs students on Wednesday, January 25, from 6-8 p.m. at John G. Conyers Learning Academy, 2800 Central Road, Rolling Meadows.

Titled "Toilet Training for the Child with Special Needs," the workshop will be presented by Patti Boheme, a licensed clinical professional counselor and the executive vice president of the Little Friends Center for Autism. Her workshop will provide parents and professionals with strategies for developing a toilet training program for home and/or school settings. At the end of the workshop, participants will know how to implement a toileting program.

Specific topics that will be addressed include emotional, communicative, and developmental issues, rewards, toileting chairs, toileting readiness, urine training, bowel training, and overcoming some of the most difficult problems when toilet training children with developmental disabilities. The Little Friends Visual Toilet Training Program will also be reviewed.

To register, please call Genna Guttman, District 15 social worker, at 847-963-3434 by January 18. Please provide the names and ages of all children who will participate, as babysitting will be provided for this workshop.
Dinner dance to benefit D15 Special Olympics
BlueJaysDistrict 15 Special Olympics will present "A Night for the Blue Jays" on Saturday, February 4, at Brandi's Banquets, 1170 E. Dundee Road in Palatine.
The evening will feature dinner, dancing, an open bar, and a live DJ, as well as raffles and silent auctions. Cocktails and appetizers will be served at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $60 per person and must be purchased no later than Tuesday, January 24.

Proceeds from the benefit will support District 15's Special Olympics team, the Blue Jays, which competes in eight sports throughout the year: bowling, basketball, cheerleading, soccer, softball, snowshoeing, swimming, and track and field. These teams offer District 15 students with intellectual disabilities, cognitive delays, and/or significant learning or vocational problems a chance to be part of a team through an extracurricular program designed specifically for them. They help students learn how to make friends and play with others, as well as gain a better sense of self while developing social and self-help skills.

For more information, contact Terri Storino, coach of the District 15 Special Olympics team, at or by calling Marion Jordan School at 847-963-5564.
Kindergarten and new student registration scheduled for Wednesday, February 15  
School RegistrationKindergarten and new student registration for students entering Community Consolidated School District 15 will be held Wednesday, February 15, from 9:30-11 a.m., 1-3 p.m., and 6-8 p.m. at all District 15 elementary schools.

For the 2012-13 school year, kindergarten students must be five years old on or before September 1, 2012.

Enrollment requires the following information:
  • A transfer slip from the previous school attended (if applicable)
  • An official birth certificate (not a hospital-issued certificate) or other government document verifying the date of birth
  • Physician's telephone number and address, if known
  • The name and phone number of two reliable local persons to call if you are unavailable in an emergency
  • Two proofs of residency (copies of driver's license, lease, or utility bills)
  • Any pertinent health information including health, dental, and eye exams at required intervals. A physical examination is valid so long as it was conducted on or after August 27, 2011.
Students are usually assigned to their neighborhood school, but in special circumstances, they may be assigned to schools outside their neighborhoods. Parents who are not sure which school their children will attend may call the District's Joseph M. Kiszka Educational Service Center at 847-963-3000.

More information is available at | Our Services | Instructional Services | Enrollment Procedures: Kindergarten and New Student Registration.
District Fifteen Educational Foundation
D15 Royale offers evening
of art and entertainment
The District Fifteen Educational Foundation is inviting you to spend an evening enjoying great food, original artwork, and charitable gaming with your friends and colleagues from across District 15.

The D15 Royale and Art Extravaganza will be held Saturday, March 3, at the Meadows Club in Rolling Meadows. As the Foundation's premier fundraiser of the year, D15 Royale serves as an annual celebration of the Foundation's work to enhance and supplement the educational experience of all District 15 students.

This year, D15 Royale will once again offer music, drinks, and a variety of delicious dishes served at "Royale Cuisine" stations situated throughout the event. Also, revelers will again be able to place their bets at the black jack table and roulette wheel. New this year, will be a benefit auction of original artwork.

Last year, the event featured a wide array of live and silent auctions. Among the many donated items that sold, a number of beautifully crafted bowls made by some wonderfully talented District 15 students proved incredibly popular. So popular, in fact, that the Foundation decided to add the benefit art auction to this year's proceedings.

A collection of original artwork produced by District 15 students, teachers, and other members of the local artistic community is currently being compiled for D15 Royale. Their works will be displayed in a juried exhibition prior to being sold. Also, the Foundation Board of Trustees will name a "Best of Show" winner from among the participating artists, and those attending D15 Royale will cast their ballots for the "People's Choice Award" winner.

Tickets for the D15 Royale and Art Extravaganza cost $75 per person and include dinner, beer, wine, soft drinks, and $25 in starter gaming chips. Foundation supporters must be 21 or older to attend D15 Royale. Cocktail attire is suggested, but not required.
Tickets to the D15 Royale and Art Auction Extravaganza can be purchased online at, or by contacting Donna Kennedy, Foundation coordinator, at 847-963-3160 or
About District 15
Community Consolidated School District 15
The mission of Community Consolidated School District 15 is:CCSD15 logo
"To produce world-class learners by building a connected learning community." Producing world-class learners in today's complex and fast-paced world is the single most important responsibility of the district. Schools, teachers, administrators, and support staff work together to ensure that all students enrolled in district schools receive the highest quality of educational opportunities that will not only enable them to meet or exceed state standards, but also will position them for success in future educational and career endeavors.

Community Consolidated School District 15 is the third largest elementary district in Illinois, serving a diverse population in all or part of seven northwest suburban communities: Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, South Barrington, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg. District 15 has fifteen elementary schools, four junior high schools, and one preschool early childhood center and alternative public day school. For more information, please visit the District's website,
In This Issue
BUDGET UPDATE: Next forums will seek stakeholders' solutions
District 15 Board approves 2012-13 calendar
SURVEY SAYS: D15 parents share perceptions about schools
Tdap booster required for 2012-13 school year
Plum Grove eighth grader wins District 15 Spelling Bee
D15 students' artwork advances in PTA's Reflections program
REMINDER: No school on January 16 and 17
SPARK to present 'possibilities' of inclusion
Parent workshop to tackle toilet training
Dinner dance to benefit D15 Special Olympics
Kindergarten and new student registration scheduled for Wednesday, February 15
TICKETS NOW ON SALE: D15 Royale offers evening of art and entertainment

Be sure to check out the flyers from
nonprofit groups, intergovernmental agencies, and other business partners online at | Links | D15 E-Flyers.
December 2011 Connections  
The December 2011 issue of Connections has been posted! Check out the full-color online version at | Links | Connections Newsletter.

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Community Consolidated
School District 15

580 N. 1st Bank Dr.
Palatine, IL 60067

Board of Education
Timothy Millar
Scott Herr
Vice President
Peggy Babcock
Richard L. Bokor
Gerard Iannuzzelli
David W. Seiffert
Manjula Sriram

Superintendent of Schools

Scott B. Thompson