Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and families of the terrible tragedy that occurred last Friday in Newtown CT. To honor those affected by this terrible event, all three attendance centers on Monday December 17, 2012 will have a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives. The district will fly all flags at half staff throughout the rest of this week. Guidance counselors, social workers and other staff will be available for any student who may need assistance in dealing with the many emotions that will surely run throughout our community and nation during the coming days, weeks and months. As a parent of three young children, I will be holding them a little tighter and letting them know how much they are loved as often as possible. I encourage all parents and guardians to do the same for your child. If you need any assistance regarding addressing any questions your child may have feel free to contact your child's building principal and he/she will direct you to resources that are appropriate. I pray for the children and adults who lost their lives. I pray for the families and communities effected by this horrible crime. I pray for the healing of our country as we move forward.
Charles T. Stegall
Superintendent of Schools
Letter to Parents and Guardians Regarding Potential School Closings or Early Dismissals Due to Weather
I have attached a letter that will be sent home with your son or daughter on Wednesday December 5 regarding potential school cancellations or early dismissals due to inclement weather. Simply click on the link provided to read more.
I have attached a link to several "talking points" provided by the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the new Common Core Standards and the changes that will be taking place with the state assessments. If you have any questions feel free to contact any of our building principals or myself. This is an exciting time to be a part of our district. We will soon be opening up a new Lawrenceville High School. We have a wonderful elementary school that serves as a terrific educational facility for our children and teachers. Parkview Junior High has been an innovator in the area, implementing 1:1 computing for all of the students enrolled. The new Common Core will continue to push the educators and students at CUSD #20 to excel in providing the best education possible. Preparing all students for college and careers outside of the classroom walls! Follow the link attached to view the talking points.
Many of you may have heard of the term "Common Core Standards," many may not have heard of it. The Common Core Standards are being phased in, replacing the old outdated Illinois Learning Standards. The Common Core are 1) grade-specific standards in Math and English Language Arts for Illinois classrooms 2) Higher, clearer, deeper and based on what students must learn to succeed in college and modern careers 3) Creating the same expectations for all students so families can understand exactly what every student should be learning 4) Emphasizing skills students will need for the modern workplace: collaboration, critical thinking, communication and creativity and 5) Built upon strengths and lessons from the highest performing states and countries.
The Common Core Standards are indeed a "game changer" for students in Illinois and in particular here in Lawrenceville. Illinois was one of 45 states who have decided to raise the bar by adopting the Common Core Standards. Community Unit School District #20 has been working hard over the last two years to begin the process of implementing the Common Core Standards by the Fall of 2014. We are well on our way to meeting this deadline and teachers and administrators are excited about the changes.
A "Reality Check" regarding the standards. We will be expecting more of our students to better prepare them for real life; college and careers. Yet, shifting to the higher Common Core standards may temporarily mean lower grades and test scores. Families should make a plan with teachers to help their students succeed. To learn more about how you can help, go to www.commoncoreIL.org
At this website you can learn much more about the Common Core and even sign up to receive a newsletter to get the latest news on the Common Core. Take an active role in your students education. Contact your students building principal to work on any questions you have. Like most transitions we may have a few bumps in the road. However, the end result of a better prepared student for college and careers is worth any temporary hiccups along the way. Have a great day!
As many of you may be aware October is "Bullying Awareness Prevention Month." This month spotlights a problem in our society that is age old but continues to show no sign of stopping. One of the issues at hand is a clear definition of bullying. So what is bullying?
According to the website "stopbullying.gov", bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Bullying can be verbal, physical, or via the Internet. It can severely affect the victim's self-image, social interactions, and school performance―often leading to insecurity, lack of self-esteem, and depression in adulthood. School dropout rates and absences among victims of bullying are much higher than among other students.
Studies have shown that children who have been identified as a bully by age eight are six times more likely to have a criminal conviction by age 24. Children who are bullies may continue to be bullies as adults, and are more prone to becoming child and spouse abusers.
Community Unit School District #20 is committed to providing the best possible education for our students. Along with that we are committed to providing safe and secure learning environments for our students. All three attendance centers work hard to address bullying. This will never stop. However, it is something that we can't do along. We need the help of parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. We need the community as a whole to work with us to stop bullying. The following is a link that can be accessed for more information regarding bullying and bullying prevention: www.stopbullying.gov or visit the Regional Office of Education #12 website for a brief but powerful message regarding bullying, website is www.roe12.net
October also has Red Ribbon Week. The week of October 23 - 31 is deemed Red Ribbon Week. What is Red Ribbon Week? It is an ideal way for people and communities to unite and take a visible stand against substance abuse. Show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the symbol of the Red Ribbon. All three schools within our district will be recognizing Red Ribbon Week. Please speak to your child or grandchild about the importance of remaining drug free not only during this week, but throughout their entire life.
Have a great October!