August 2015
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Superintendent's Message: 
Welcome Back
Welcome to the start of the 2015-2016 school year!  I hope your families have enjoyed a safe, fun and memorable summer.
When your student returns to school, they may notice some changes.  At Palos East, eight classrooms in the second and fifth grade hallways have been renovated to include all new movable casework that feature whiteboards on the reverse side.  The new casework will allow teachers greater flexibility in arranging their classrooms.  At Palos West, a new U.S. map and games have been striped on the asphalt to provide additional opportunities for play during recess.  Also at Palos West, a new playground designed specifically for our Early Childhood students will open for the start of school.  Although designed to support our new Capstone Program for eighth graders, all Palos South students will benefit from the build-out of three new state of the art 21st century classrooms.  Eighth grade students will utilize the rooms during their zero hour Capstone classes.  All teachers will have the opportunity to utilize the rooms the remainder of the day.  Lastly, students at all three schools will hear something new this school year.  New public announcement systems were installed at each school with enhanced security features that will improve safety district wide.  I'm excited about these improvements and I hope our students will be too!
Our theme this school year is, "Dream more, learn more, do more, become more."  I believe this is a theme we all can relate to - students, teachers, administrators and parents.  These are activities that successful people and successful organizations engage in on a consistent basis.  Through the lens of our professional staff, I'd like to see us dreaming more about new and innovative opportunities for our students; learning more about ways to enhance every student's educational experience; doing more to contribute to the overall success of our schools and the communities we serve; and becoming more as professional educators and community servants.   I'm looking forward to the many ways our staff will be dreaming, learning, doing, and becoming more this school year.
To celebrate the new school year, we will hold our annual Back to School Family Picnic on Monday, August 24 from 5:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Palos South. Please come out and join us on this fun family evening to kick off a new school year.  Parking is extremely limited, so we encourage picnic-goers to carpool and to take advantage of the shuttle bus service at St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church at 8410 131st St. Rain or shine, I look forward to seeing your family there.
Our schools are excellent because of our outstanding students, dedicated staff, parents, PFA, Foundation, Board of Education, and supportive community.  We are looking forward to a wonderful school year. 
Welcome Back!

Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of Schools



& Bus Assignments


Classroom/Bus Assignments will be available through the Skyward portal on the district website beginning August 18. Your child must be registered for the new 2015-16 school year to access this information. Click here for registration instructions.

With the start of school just around the corner, I encourage all of our 118 families to cram in some last minute summer memories. In District 118, the summer is an essential planning time for preparing to meet our students' instructional needs. Over the past few months, I have been working with teachers from all three schools setting instructional goals and planning for the upcoming year. Much of this work has been focused on ensuring that we continue to consistently implement sound instructional practices that align with the New Illinois Learning Standards. Each of our 3 buildings will focus on goals for the 2015-2016 school year that will elicit more thought provoking student conversations, engage children by having them solve real-world problems, promote a common language using academic vocabulary, and continue to provide differentiated instruction to meet personalized learning goals. For a complete list of this year's instructional goals, you can visit Exploring the Core on the District 118 website.
Additionally, we are busy preparing for the transition to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The goal behind the new standards is to better prepare students for the rigor of career and college-level scientific study by stressing the importance and integration of three dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. To help with this transition, science teachers at all three District 118 schools will have access to STEMscopes, a digital curriculum which was developed by researchers from Rice University, which aligns fully to the NGSS. Lessons are hands-on, inquiry-based, and include opportunities for project-based learning and engineering solutions. As a district, we will continue to seek opportunities to get students excited about Science, Math, Engineering, and Technology (STEM).
To conclude, our Capstone Team at Palos South has been planning curriculum for Capstone's inaugural year. The district has transformed three classrooms at Palos South into "state of the art" 21st century learning environments to support our 8th grade students as they work to solve real-world problems that impact our community. The program will begin during the first week of school and wrap up in late May with a culminating "Capstone Day" celebration for the community. Updates will be posted on the Capstone webpage throughout the school year.
I invite all families to attend our September Curriculum Nights to hear more about the exciting things happening in Palos 118. Here's to another promising school year! 
People You Should Know
New Teachers 2015

This school year, Palos 118 welcomes ten new teachers to the district. From left to right are:
Laura Ghera 
Music, East
Renee Bellini 
Special Education, East
Katherine O'Connor 
Bilingual Polish Teacher, East
Brittany Kawa
Third grade, East
Maggie Green 
Fifth grade, East
Lindsay McCool 
Social Worker, East and South
Naheel Shehadeh 
ELL Teacher, East
Heather O'Connor 
Third grade, East
Samantha Dermody 
Special Education, West
Stephanie Daley 
Early Childhood/Pre-K, West

An electronic copy of the 2015-16 
Calendar/ Handbook 
is available online at www.palos118.org under 
the Parents/Students tab

One child per household will bring home a hard copy during 
the first week of school.

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