October 3, 2013
 Our Vision: Ignite Passion. Inspire Excellence. Imagine Possibilities.

Tomorrow, Oct. 4, between 40-50 superintendents from across the country will visit Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin schools to see Project- (or Problem-) Based Learning (PBL) in action. EdLeader21, a professional organization for educational leaders, is sponsoring the tour as an opportunity for its members to visit innovative schools.  


 When learning is structured as a PBL, different subjects are integrated seamlessly and the problem the students are trying to solve is authentic because it is relevant to real-life. Kids learn by doing and make some of the decisions about what and how they will learn. For their part, teachers focus more on guiding their students' learning journey rather than delivering information.


The visiting superintendents may see projects similar to one that some STEAM students at Abraham Lincoln worked on last week as they were confronted by the engineering problem of how to move large, heavy boxes that had appeared mysteriously in their classrooms; or the Community Fair that Benjamin Franklin students held in order to learn more about the school district, its role in the greater community and identify improvements the students envision for the community.  


"We are proud to have this chance to share the great work going on in our schools," said Karen Carlson, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning and Accountability. Ms. Carlson noted that The Partnership for 21st Century Learning, a national organization, has selected Benjamin Franklin as an Illinois "Exemplar School" in recognition of its outstanding work on PBL. The organization explained that the high quality of work at all District 41 schools made it difficult to choose just one school to recognize in the district.

Churchill Level 3 Literacy teacher Dawn Payne received a surprise visit this week from Office Max, which delivered goodies valued at $1000, including a new office chair, a Kindle Fire and a huge box of school supplies. The "A Day Made Better" program, which is in its seventh year, is a way for Office Max to help schools celebrate their great teachers and to draw attention to the fact that teachers spend an average of $1000 of their own money each year on school supplies. Ms. Payne was nominated by parent Alicia Kekic, who said this in her nomination: "Dawn Payne ... has an amazing ability to bring so much joy and enthusiasm into her room that her class takes pleasure and pride in their tasks. Dawn is brilliant in terms of blending the perfect amount of humor into her teaching so that her students aren't just listening but fully engaged. She is nothing short of spectacular and we are so very proud that she is one of ours at Churchill!" Ms. Payne was one of 1000 teachers nationwide to be so honored. "I don't need to be thanked for doing what I love every day," said a surprised and delighted Ms. Payne.

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The Glenbard Parent Series: Navigating Healthy Families presents "Resilience in Action: Parenting Teens Who are Prepared to Thrive" with Dr. Ken Ginsburg, adolescent medicine physician at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the auditorium at Glenbard South High School, 23W200 Butterfield Rd., Glen Ellyn. Parents of children of all ages are encouraged to attend this free program. No registration is required.


Also from 8:00 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in the Glenbard South auditorium, Dr. Ginsburg will hold an expanded workshop "Resilience in Action: A Strength-based Approach to Working with Young People." This additional expanded workshop is free to all parents and educators in Glenbard District 87, plus District 87's feeder elementary school districts and other districts. All participants for the extended daytime seminar must pre-register at www.casedupage.com.


Additional information for both of these events can be found at  http://tinyurl.com/GlenbardParentSeries87

Please direct your questions or comments to District 41 Director of Communications and Grants Julie Worthen at jworthen@d41.org. We ask that you do not reply directly to this email because such replies cannot be answered. Thank you!