Monday, April 15, 2013
This video tells the story of second-grader Penelope, and what it means for her as a student with disabilities to be fully included at Willard Elementary School.
This is a story about a 2nd grade student with disabilities, Penelope, who is fully included into her home school of Willard Elementary School in Evanston, Illinois. In this piece, Matt and Megan Lassman discuss what they went through as parents to get to this place. Including Penelope full time with her classmates shows that the benefits are two way. Integrating her with her peers allows for improved understanding, tolerance, patience and the possibility for friendship beyond what some might have thought possible. Please watch, comment and share. www.pepsiwithbrigid.com
Monday, October 22, 2012
Patch columnist Christine Wolf wonders whether middle school students are mature enough to handle the results in a school setting.
An email circulated recently among parents about District 65’s Body Mass Index testing in middle school physical education classes. The writer’s concern was not about the test itself, but about whether kids at this age are emotionally ready to handle such information. It’s a complicated issue. On one hand, I’m thrilled that kids are learning how to calculate this index and, more importantly, being made aware of this aspect of their overall health. On the other hand, I too am concerned whether kids can handle this information in a mature way, and also wonder what the kids are expected to do with this knowledge moving forward. As a District 65 parent, I wasn’t aware the BMI testing was being done. Granted, I can’t possibly know everything …
Friday, September 7, 2012
Members of the District 65 Educator’s Council (DEC) will vote on a tentative contract this Friday, Sept. 7. The administration and the union have been negotiating since March.
Union president Jean Luft said she is “optimistic” that a tentative contract agreement will be ratified by the District 65 teachers’ union during a vote this Friday. Teachers and the administration have been negotiating a contract since March, and both parties agreed to bring in a federal mediator in August. After five sessions with the mediator, they reached a tentative agreement at 4 a.m. Monday, Aug. 27. At issue was the district’s proposed 2012-13 budget, which would leave nine vacancies or retirements unfilled, reassign 22.5 positions and eliminate 4.5 temporary positions and two fine arts teachers. Board members approved a tentative version of the budget at a meeting last week; a final vote is scheduled for Sept. 24. The district…
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The District 65 Educator’s Council will vote on a tentative contract agreement next week. School district officials and representatives of the union have been negotiating since March.
Members of the District 65 teachers’ union will vote next week on the tentative contract that union representatives and district officials agreed to on Monday. Details of the contract will be shared with the District 65 Educator’s Council (DEC) on Thursday, Aug. 30, the first day of work for teachers, according to a press release from union president Jean Luft. Teachers will vote by secret ballot the week school begins. “The District 65 teachers are eager to begin a successful school year with the students on Sept. 4,” Luft said in the release. Teachers and the administration have been negotiating a contract since March, and both parties agreed to bring in a federal mediator in August. After five sessions with the mediator, they reached …
Monday, August 29, 2011
When will they end?
I’ve experienced District 65 registration frustration since 2003 when my oldest child entered kindergarten. Seems almost everyone has a registration frustration story, like the District 65 mom whose incoming kindergartener received a permissive transfer application from District 65 because her son’s attendance-area school has yet to meet AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) standards two years in a row. The AYP figures were as eyebrow raising as the application itself -- for Chute Middle School. In years past, I’ve stood in registration lines that snaked through the glowing hallways of the Joseph E. Hill Education Center. I’ve watched tempers flare and toddlers scream with boredom while parents inched toward the multitude of registration …
Friday, August 26, 2011
It was the first raise since 2008.
The District 65 school board voted 4-3 Monday night to essentially give Superintendent Hardy Murphy a raise. The Pioneer Press reports it will be his first raise since 2008. “The amount of money, in relation to our whole budget, is very, very small," said Kim Weaver, who voted in support of the raise, according to the Pioneer Press. Frustrated parents and others spoke out at the meeting, wondering why Murphy is getting a raise during such tough economic times. Read the full story here.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Why does it always seem that District 65 Superintendent Hardy Murphy's contract comes up for renewal in virtual secrecy?
Last year, on a hot June night with very little warning, I was informed that Dr. Hardy Murphy, Superintendent of District 65 Schools, would have his contract renewed at a school board meeting that evening. I'm a tax paying parent of three children in the district, and it was news to me. I only learned of the agenda item from a friend. I don't usually attend school board meetings. I trust the elected members to guide our district. Until that night last June, I felt well-informed and appreciative of the work the board does. That night, however, I was completely surprised -- and shocked -- that the topic of our superintendent's contract renewal was up for discussion without any forewarning. It felt like a big, nasty secret. I went to the …