Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dear D95 Parents and Guardians,

I hope the opening of the year continues is keeping your students engaged.  It appears there have been very few obstacles to a smooth start of the year.  When there are obstacles, our team of administrators and support staff will do their best to conduct reviews and determine the best course of action.  We are always grateful for your patience.

Examples of Excellence
At LZHS we have seven National Merit Semifinalists this year, an exceptional achievement, based on scores on the National Merit Student Qualifying Test (NMSQT).  Semifinalists are the top 10% of achievers and the National Merit Corporation has $50,000,000 in scholarships associated with the NMSQT.  Congrats to the following students on this recognition:  Mitchell Bader, Gretchen Guirmarin, Annie Li, Anagha Rajagopalan, Sarah Sobol, Andrea Tyson, David Zaccarine.

And we are excited to highlight the achievement of LZHS Thespians Teah Mirabelli, Alex Ketcham, Emma Belew, Charlie Frampton, Ed Pogalz, and Emily Groeller on being cast in this year’s All-State production of In the Heights!

Don't forget, the Ed Foundation's Color Run is October 14 at LZHS.  Register by September 24. Click here to register now.

Community Engagement Changes for 2018-19
We seek to have a Community Engagement series every year, but this year will be different.  Because we revised our strategic plan, we will not have a single topic for community engagement over a set number of dates.  Rather, we will vary topics over different dates, and we will target conversations with individual school communities on dates that work best with those schools.  The calendar online will be revised, but please be aware that the following events are district-wide and all are invited:
  • September 27 - "Most Likely to Succeed" documentary at Foglia YMCA (register at Foglia Y)

  • October 15 - Digital Citizenship Presentation by the "B3" organization
  • October 30 - Digital Citizenship Presentation by the "B3" organization
  • November 28 - Vaping update and prevention (ELA Coalition and D95)
  • February 26 - Community Leaders Forum (SEL and Leadership)
Some locations are being finalized.  We will reach out to individual parent communities about opportunities to engage around school-specific topics on other dates.  We look forward to seeing all of you when we hold any event.

Board Review / Preview (click here for BoardDocs)
September 13
  • PACE HS Counseling Framework - Presentation
  • FY19 Budget Hearing - Discussion without Action
September 27
  • Enrollment/Staffing Updates
  • Summer Internships
  • Annual Compensation Reports
  • Summer Construction Update
  • Learning Spaces - Discussion without Action
  • FY19 Budget Hearing - Discussion with Action
Have a great week!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Happy Labor Day Weekend to D95 Parents and Guardians,

Eight more days "in the books" and our start has been stellar, thanks to amazing collaboration among our staff members.  Below are a few pics from Day 1 on August 22.

The whirl of starting school can be disorienting, but our desire to engage does not pause. One "don't miss" event is the Education Foundation's Color Run on October 14th at the high school.  Click HERE to register for a D95 family tradition.

Our Ed Foundation is a bedrock of our focus on collaborating with community.  The Foundation played a role in our recently developed partnership with ECHO, a global power equipment company and one of Lake Zurich's largest manufacturers.  ECHO's new autonomous mower is using high school athletic fields for testing.  And the company is sharing the data from those tests with students from LZHS engineering, robotics, and computer science classes who are collaborating with the ECHO team to identify performance improvements for the proto-type.  And ECHO is generously donating $20,000 annually (through the Foundation) to the high school robotics program to empower that program's ongoing excellence.  Here is one pic from the kickoff event.
Thanks to Joe Fahey, VP at ECHO and his team for all their support. 
And thanks to Mayor Poynton for coming out to the kickoff.
Our partnerships manifest in many ways.  On August 23rd we had the official opening and dedication of the new administration building at 832 S. Rand Rd.  Re-purposing a long-vacant building is just one way we can add value to our community.  We have also ensured a substantial space to train staff - our most important human resource supporting our students.  Additionally, in recognition of his and his family's contributions to the Education Foundation, the school district, and the greater Lake Zurich community, 832 S. Rand was officially dedicated in honor of John Alan Sfire and his family as "The Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95 Sfire Family Center."  We welcome you to visit any time.

Strategic Spotlight - Goal 2, Strategy 1: PLCs
This month I want to note our teachers' work on developing robust Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  Research is unequivocal that collective teacher efficacy substantially raises student achievement over time (Hattie).  Our K-5 teacher team leaders were trained last year in best practices by our partner group, Research for Better Teaching.  This year our 6-8 teacher team leaders have been trained.  Teacher feedback has been outstanding.  This work is part Goal 2 to "Recruit, develop, and retain innovative staff who embrace collaboration and continuous improvement."  The strategy that PLC work underpins is our strategy to "Clarify and support district-wide expectations and practices through policies, professional development, coaching, and collaboration."  What you will see in your child's classroom are:  quality formative and summative assessments shared by teachers in a given grade; instructional practices developed in collaboration that align to important standards; over time, better and more focused feedback from teachers.  

Board Review / Preview
August 23
  • Consent Agenda - Personnel Report
  • FOIA Report
  • Overnight Field Trip Approval - Action
September 13
  • Consent - Personnel Report
  • PACE HS Counseling Framework - Presentation
  • FY19 Budget Hearing - Discussion without Action
Have a great week!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Dear District 95 Parents and Guardians,

Woohoo! One of my favorite times of the year is here - and I am betting it is one your favorites too.  The first day of school is Wednesday and the electricity in the air is palpable.

I will not go into detail, but here are some communication and engagement tips for the year.
  1. Follow me on Twitter -the first place you will get last-minute news (like Snow Days) - that's @KaineOsburnD95
  2. Email your child's teacher early with a brief note to let him or her know your insights into how your child learns best and asking how you can support learning at home
  3. Attend school events - we are all busy but your child is only "here" once - students are more engaged with school when they know their parents are also engaged
  4. Keep students active but not ovescheduled - out-of-school opportunities are important when possible
The common sense in these quick tips can be traced to our District 95 values and vision statements.  Take a look here and you can see how our values and vision are pillars of our work to help your child achieve personal excellence.

Kids Staying Active
Examples of how to keep kids active abound - in D95 and beyond.  Our First Lego League (FLL) is one example at our Elementary and Middle Schools.  Principals will send out registration for FLL soon after school starts.

Below are other examples from local youth activity groups where your student can get involved:

  • Back to Scouting (Grades K-5) on August 26 - Noon to 3 at Paulus Park
  • Back to School Picnic for Girl Scouts on August 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Paulus Park
  • Click here for info about Lake Zurich Flames Youth Football and Cheer events
  • And click here for more info. about ELA (Youth) Soccer
  • Or click here for info about Fall Baseball/Softball at Lake Zurich Baseball and Softball Association
  • And Youth Lacrosse is another great opportunity for kids, click here

Board Review / Preview
August 9 Board Meeting
  • Concussion Report
  • FY 18 Year-End Financial Report
  • Electricity Purchase - Discussion with Action
August 23 Board Meeting
  • FOIA Report
  • Overnight Field Trip - Discussion with Action
You can always see all the agenda and documents directly at Board Docs

Have a great start to the year and I look forward to seeing all of you soon!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Dear D95 Parents and Guardians,

We are rolling quickly into the 2018-19 School Year.  The annual Residency Event takes place at the high school August 6 from 1 to 8 p.m. and August 7 from 4 to 8 p.m.  This event affords every family the opportunity to establish their residency inside District 95 boundaries.  This event has no relation to any other type of residency status.  The next make up opportunity to complete the residency verification process for District 95 is Tuesday, August 14 from 4 to 8 p.m.  In addition to residency, you will receive your child's class schedule, have a chance to address any questions with the Transportation Department, and more.

After the Residency event, the pace of activity picks up and I encourage you to pay close attention to communications from your child's school.  For example, high school students intending to play golf or football should know the first day of activity is Monday, August 6 and all physicals and other information should already be submitted.  Other Fall high school athletics activities start Wednesday, August 8.  Questions can be directed to the Athletics Office at the high school at 540-4104 or (847) 540-4646.

Our certified staff officially report for work on August 17, with additional days of inservice on the 20th and the 21st.

"Meet your teacher" at our elementary schools August 21st from 1:30 to 3 and get acquainted or re-acquainted with your child's school and teacher.

And the first day of student attendance is Wednesday, August 22.  On this day, I do try to "pop-in" just to experience the energy of the first day of school.  

The Board of Education meets August 23rd.  It is also the official opening of our building at 832 S. Rand Rd., and its dedication as "The Sfire Family Education Center" in honor of the contributions of John Alan Sfire and family to District 95 and the community.  The dedication is at 6 p.m. and an Open House will run from 6:20 to 7.

Board Meeting Preview
August 9
  • Annual Concussion Report
  • FY18 Year-End Financial Report
  • Board Meetings for 2018-19 Calendar
  • Release: Closed Session Minutes - Discussion only
  • Destruction: Closed Session Audio - Discussion only
  • Electricity Purchase - Action
  • 832 S. Rand Dedication - Action
August 23
  • Copier Purchase - Action
  • Release: Closed Session Minutes - Action
  • Destruction: Closed Session Audio - Action
Have a great week and see you at the Residency Event!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dear District 95 Parents and Guardians,

Summer is certainly rushing past, which happens when we are relaxed, engaged, and spending time with people important to us.  I am grateful to serve as the Superintendent of District 95 and to have summers that rush past me this way.

Just this last weekend, I participated with colleagues in a long LZ tradition, The Alpine Parade.  Our "float" of nearly 20 participants followed our LZHS Marching Band and had a great time representing all of our schools, throwing candy to kids and parents alike.  It was a great day to see so many groups from our community come together for such fun.  Thanks to all who participated.

Later that day I had a chance to see our local Cricket Theatre's production of West Side Story at the LZHS Performing Arts Center.  A packed house were rapt by amazing performances from so many of our District 95 students, spending their summers learning, growing and demonstrating some amazingly hard won talents.  Congrats to Mary Beth Euker and all who make those productions possible.  Learn more about Cricket here.

I also saw amazing works by District 95 students, families, and staff at The Chapel's July Mobile Food Pantry on the 14th.  Serving over 50 families meals to take home, District 95 students, parents, and staff helped support The Chapel's service to our wider LZ community.

Coming Up - Residency, IHSA Fall Sports, and Start of School
All of these activities engage us in the summer, along with more formal learning, athletics camps, summer jobs, and family trips.  But our return to school is right around the corner.  Just a reminder:

  • Our District Residency Event is August 6 (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and 7 (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) at the high school.  This event is required for all families to attend and demonstrate that they live within the District 95 boundaries.  Upon doing so, students can receive schedules, confirm transportation with the District; parents can sign up for PTO participation; high school students can get student ID pictures, and more. 
  • IHSA Fall Sports begin the week of August 6.  To find out more about Fall 2018 high school sports tryouts, please click here.
  • Elementary School "Meet the Staff Day" is August 21 at the elementary schools from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This is a great way for your K-5 student to meet their teacher and get a brief re-acclimation or introduction to their school before ...
  • The first day of student attendance on August 22!

Board Review / Preview
July 19 Review

  • Copier Lease - Discussion with no action
  • Electricity Purchase - Discussion with no action
  • Strategic Plan 2017-18 Review - Discussion with no action
  • Strategic Plan 2018-19 Preview - Discussion with no action

August 9 Preview

  • 2017-18 Concussion Report
  • 2018 Fiscal Year-End Report
  • Review of Board Minutes - Discussion with no action
  • Copier Lease - Discussion with action
  • Electricity Purchase - Discussion with action

Have a great couple weeks of summer and see you soon!