Office of the
Welcome to Grayslake Community High School District 127!
It is hard to believe we are already three months into the 2014-2015 school year. However, our students and staff wasted no time diving into the work of teaching and learning, as classrooms are abuzz with dialogue and debate and our athletic spaces resonate with the sounds of cheering fans and determined athletes. Such sounds warm our hearts and remind us each day of our collective mission to prepare students for the challenging tasks before them. It is the culture of support in our schools and our communities that enable our students to meet rigorous standards, challenge conventional thinking, and excel in the classroom and on the field. Of the many staff members in our buildings who help build that culture of support and challenge, we are thrilled to announce that several were recently recognized for excellence by the State of Illinois.
Each year, the State of Illinois holds a recognition ceremony, titled Those Who Excel, to acknowledge and celebrate the teachers, administrators, and support staff members from around the state who model excellence in the field of education. Though hundreds of nominations and applications were submitted, Grayslake North Social Studies teacher, Emily Weiss, was named amongst the top 12 teaches in the State. Grayslake North Associate Principal Jeff Schagrin and District 127 Infrastructure Operations Manager John Sartoris were also recognized for excellence in administration and technology support, respectively. We couldn’t be more proud of Emily, Jeff, and John and know that they exemplify what we all believe in D127, that every student is capable of greatness, and with the right combination of challenge and support they can each realize their potential.
While our dedication to students and families remains constant, the State is considering significant changes to the state funding formulas in Illinois. Known as the School Funding Reform Act, Senate Bill 16 proposes a radical shift in the variables used to determine how much money a school district receives from the State by redistributing existing funds among the 860 school districts in the state, while not increasing the pool of available monies. While the goal of said legislation is admirable, to make more equitable the school funding structure so that all students have access to a high quality education, the current proposal will result a significant loss in revenue over time for District 127 and many other area schools. Grayslake D127 takes tremendous pride in offering an excellent education while remaining fiscally responsible, but our continued ability to do so is at risk should this proposed legislation become law. Cuts would be likely over time and the quality of our programs and offerings could be dramatically impacted. As educators, we believe whole-heartedly in the importance of equal access to quality education, no matter where a student lives. A funding change should not result in state-wide diminished capacity to educate our students by taking so much from districts that function well within a modest budget. Please know that I am working hard with my fellow superintendents and lawmakers to find a better and fairer solution to our funding dilemma. To learn more about Senate Bill 16 and the efforts to draw attention to potential impact of the proposal, click the links below.
To see the full text of the bill: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/98/SB/09800SB0016sam003.htm
While changes to state funding are still pending, there are significant changes in state mandated assessments which will take effect this year. For the first time, public schools in Illinois will participate in the PARCC tests. An acronym for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, this Common Core-based, technology-enhanced assessment will occur over two windows of time in the spring to measure students’ college readiness in math, reading, and English. This year, most students in Junior English and American Studies and those enrolled in Advanced Algebra Trigonometry are assigned to take the test. This test replaces the former PSAE tests which included the ACT and the WorkKeys assessments taken by juniors. Because ACT is still the primary college entrance exam, the State has agreed to also make that test available at no charge to current juniors. This year’s ACT test will take place for all juniors on March 3rd. More information on the PARCC schedule will be forthcoming in the spring of 2015. To learn more, please visit the Illinois State Board of Education resources at www.isbe.net
Thank you for all that you do in support of our students, families, and staff members.
Catherine M. Finger, Ed.D.