Wishing all District 41 families and district communities a safe and happy holiday break!

Staff Culture and Climate Survey 

At the Board of Education meeting this past Monday, December 14, Nicole Degner, a representative from HUMANeX, presented results from a culture and climate survey that was administered to all District 41 staff. While introducing the results of the survey Nicole commented that 84 percent of staff participated and that we have "strong results within this district related to how people are feeling."

The survey, INSIGHTeX, is a scientifically-validated workplace survey which consists of 88 statements that align to 15 dimensions of organizational excellence. A recording of the Board meeting presentation can be found HERE. For all of the supporting materials and the entire survey results report, CLICK HERE.

Tax Levy and TRS Benefit - Action Items Approved 

A Tax Levy Public Hearing was held prior to the Board of Education meeting this past Monday evening. At the regular Board meeting following the public hearing, the recommendation for the 2015 Tax Levy to request an increase in the "capped" funds of 3.49% was approved with a 5/2 vote.

Over the past several meetings, the Board of Education discussed the district paying the TRS contribution as a benefit to some staff members. At the meeting this week, the Board approved (5/2 vote) "to continue the District's current practice of including in administrative contracts the benefit of Board payment of the administrator's required contributions to the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System and the Teacher Health Insurance Security Fund." The Board expressed that they would like to continue to talk about how this benefit will be administered.

For more information about both of these topics, please CLICK HERE for the Board agenda and supporting documents.

PTA Holiday Sharing Program

wrapped_presents.jpg Thank you to all of the very generous community members who participated in the District 41 PTA Holiday Sharing program this year! With our partners St. Petronille Church CCW, Village Green Baptist Church, and Westline Church, 195 families were supported. A special thanks to the District 41 PTA Holiday Sharing Co-Chairs Margaret Giffin and Erica Nelson.

A parent volunteer sent the following email and invited the district to share it with the community:

I have been participating in holiday sharing for a number of years while my son attends Ben Franklin elementary school. I applaud the district for creating a program to help us help our own. In an area that most see as affluent, it's wonderful to have a district and PTA who looks and sees all of the children and all of their needs not just those strictly based on education. As many times it is the things outside of the school day that can affect how the children learn as it affects their self-esteem and happiness. This is the third year that I have participated in the delivery of gifts for the holiday sharing program. This year, like each of those in the past, has brought a special feeling to my heart based on the thankfulness and kindness that was shown to me by those receiving the gifts. This year a family invited me in to have tea. A simple hospitable gesture to most, but to them, it was a way to also say thank you not just to me, but to the anonymous people in the district who care. We had a wonderful brief conversation and I was blessed to meet other family members of the child. I could clearly see that their family, while not wealthy in a material sense, they shared a great love that will see them through anything. This is the true meaning of the season. Thank you for the hard work of the District, the PTA and all of the parent volunteers and families who make this program a success and make our district a family.


Safe Technology Shopping Guide 

flatscreen-computer-room.jpgThis year's technology Safe Shopping Guide, released by the Office of the IL Attorney General, includes guidelines on creating a positive digital culture within the home and ensuring children's digital safety. Additionally, Common Sense Media created a short video identifying questions to consider as you purchase technology for youth. Here are some tech tips for parents being shared by the Attorney General's Office:

o Establish a household online agreement; set your guidelines/boundaries.
o Enable parental controls/restrictions on all children's devices.
o Learn the trends: parent blogs (i.e. Common Sense Media), tech news sources (i.e. Huff Post, Yahoo News), App & Google Play Store top apps
o Check in with parent peers, don't feel like you have to navigate this new world alone.
o Engage in conversation & learn with your child.
o If you are not comfortable with an app, site, game, etc, say "no."