Hands-Only CPR Saves Lives

download-1Did you know cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death in the United States?  Each year, over 350,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur and about 90% of the people experiencing such an event die.

Hands-only CPR, especially if done immediately, can double or triple a person’s chance of survival.  Please take 2 minutes to watch this short video to learn how.  Hands-only CPR and AED use

Here is also a link to more information from the American Heart Association. 2016 Hands-Only Fact Sheet

(And for those of you who may be wondering, all Illinois public school districts are mandated to share this information with parents and staff.)

Remembering Those Who Served


download-2Tomorrow is a day for our country to pause and remember the sacrifices made by those
who served in the Armed Forces.  Tomorrow also happens to be a day that school is in session.   Consequently, our schools have an excellent opportunity for our students to learn about service, citizenship and patriotism.  It is also an opportunity to demonstrate gratitude to those who have ensured our freedom.

Lake Villa 41 students will be observing Veteran’s Day tomorrow in a multitude of ways.  Students have already been busy preparing for tomorrow by designing cards and decorating bulletin boards.  Thompson School will be hosting a Veteran’s breakfast and a recognition assembly at 9:15 AM following which veterans will be visiting individual classrooms.  Martin School also has veterans visiting individual classrooms and grade levels throughout the day.  At 11 AM Hooper first graders will parade walk to the Lindenhurst Veterans Day Honor Service where they will be handing out cards thanking veterans for serving.  Hooper School also has an assembly this afternoon where students will be able to honor those who served.  Tomorrow at Palombi students will have a number of opportunities to interact with service men and women from the Airforce.

I know I am personally looking forward to attending some of these events. If you would like more information about what is happening in your child’s school, please contact your child’s teacher.

Strategic Planning Rescheduled

download-2The board believes it is critical that all stakeholders have a voice in moving the district forward.  As many of you already know,  November 5th was a conflict for a number of our parents because of their involvement in our wonderful PTO Holiday Extravaganza that same day.  Rather than push forward with a small parent group, the board has elected to reschedule the Strategic Planning Event to encourage more participation.                                                                                                          download-1

The new date is Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 8:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Please mark your calendars!   We hope you can join us!
Once again, thank you for your support and we will see you at
the Holiday Extravaganza!

Help Shape LV41’s Future!

download-1Every organization needs a road map to advance from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future.  You now have a direct opportunity to shape Lake Villa 41’s future.  On Saturday, November 5th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. our board will be hosting a Strategic Planning Event in the  board room at Palombi Middle School.  This event is aimed at engaging community members, business leaders, residents, recent graduates, and staff in planning the direction of the district.  It is a time for everyone’s voice to be heard. This meeting is open to the public.

The strategic plan is the driving force for the district’s actions. It guides all planning, fiscal decision-making and student achievement efforts.  A good strategic plan can improve student outcomes, keep great teachers and involve the community in the business of the schools.

If you are interested in joining us, please let the district know so we can be sure to have lunch for you and send you materials a week before the event.  You can simply fill out the form below and we will do the rest!

Our board is committed to gathering ideas from community and staff representatives to guide our school district’s planning activities.  Our board believes that by working together we can strengthen our efforts to continuously improve our schools.  On behalf of all the students in the community, the board and I appreciate your contribution to this effort.

Achieving excellence takes everyone!

Help our Kids Feel Safe


download-2You may have heard news reports about “creepy clown” sightings across the country, and recently in nearby school districts. We know that some of our students and parents have heard these reports as they have expressed concerns to each other and to school staff.

The safety of our students and staff is our priority and we work closely with the Lake Villa and Lindenhurst Police Departments to ensure that safety. Although there have been no “creepy clown” sightings around our schools, please know the police are taking the growing phenomenon very seriously and are on alert. In our schools, we always closely monitor visitors to our buildings.  Staff continue to watch around the buildings during recess, outdoor gym time, and during arrival and dismissal.

We ask for your help in keeping our community safe and in helping children who are concerned or anxious. If you see any suspicious activity, report it to the Lake Villa or Lindenhurst Police Departments and to your building principal. Please reinforce digital citizenship lessons with your children (i.e., do not “friend” or communicate with strangers at any time online or through text messaging, and always share messages of concern with an adult). Remind them to play outdoors in groups and always walk with a buddy.  This is a perfect opportunity to talk about “Stranger Danger” with your child.  Finally, reassure your children that school is a safe place and that there are lots of adults watching and taking good care of them.  If your child seems particularly anxious or afraid, please know our social workers and psychologists are available to meet with them. 

We will continue to monitor media reports to understand concerns in nearby communities, and will be in close contact with our own police departments.

Upcoming Parent Workshop

images-1I normally don’t promote workshops for parents because there are so many good ones, but here is one I don’t think you will want to miss, especially if you have teens (or tweens) in your house.  From Use to Abuse is being held at the  Warren-Newport Public Library on October 27th from 10 – 11:30 a.m. then again at 6:30 – 8 p.m.   Flyer

Not only will you learn about local drug trends and why prescription opiates are so harmful, but how to safeguard your own home.  There will also be an interesting interactive traveling exhibit of a teen bedroom that contains over 100 items that may be indicative of risky behavior.  I encourage all parents to save the date!

Gearing Up for a Great Start

50b0a1c5ebee49c6bfe772e19cef0bd6It is hard to believe, but the First Day of School is right around the corner.  Our staff is busy putting the final touches on classrooms, hallways and playgrounds.  We are looking forward to welcoming 2,700 smiling faces into our schools next Tuesday.

I am optimistic and confident that this year will be an outstanding year for all of our students.  Talking with a number of teachers and administrators over the summer, I have picked up on a sense of renewed excitement and enthusiasm  for the upcoming school year.

Recently, a number of staff volunteered to meet at Panera for a book study on a school 518+7JOSZmL._AC_UL320_SR210,320_transformation process.  (Seriously,  it MUST  be interesting for people to give up vacation time to talk shop.) The book that has folks buzzing is The Leader in Me by Sean Covey. It teaches leadership skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child (and every person) can be leader.  The Leader in Me is not an event and it is not a curriculum.  It is an integrated approach of leadership training that involves the entire school.  In fact, schools cannot become a Leader in Me school unless there is a commitment from 90% or more of the staff that this is something the entire school wants to do.  It simply won’t work if it is top down or administratively directed.  This year our schools are just beginning the initial exploration stage. Principals will be trying to gauge if this is something their schools support.  (By the way, every one of our principals is very excited about the Leader in Me.  Feel free to ask them about the Leader schools they visited.)   If you want to see what the excitement is about check out  The Leader in Me.

Picture3Finally, for those of you who are interested in how my Great Pyrenees puppy named  Jeep is doing with her training, I have started a new blog for students, staff and families to follow.  You can see Jeep in action at  Jeep the Dog    Become a follower!  I have posted some videos and articles that I know the kids in particular will enjoy watching.  I plan to add new photos and updates throughout the year. Hard to imagine that Jeep is now 7 months old and weighs over 75 lbs!


I am looking forward to a fantastic year ahead!!

Calling all Parents!

downloadJust a reminder  that tomorrow night there will be a presentation on how the brain learns to read at the Lake Villa District Library at 7 pm.  Reading is one of the most important skills children can develop in their lifetimes. However, learning to read is a complex process and is not easy for all children. Reading is not a natural part of human development. Unlike spoken language, reading cannot be learned by imitation or observation of other people. Reading requires multiple areas of the brain to work together.

Find out what you can do to help your child’s brain learn to read. Superintendent Dr. Lynette Zimmer will present on how the brain processes language, emotion and other stimuli to improve reading skills. You can register in person at the Adult Reference Desk, by phone 847-245-5115 or online at http://www.lvdl.org.  Hope to see you there!

Summer Rdg Flyer

Still NO Illinois Education Budget!

piggy bankThe 99th General Assembly legislative session ended shortly before midnight on Tuesday with a thud. Despite one proposed comprehensive budget and several stand-alone K-12 education funding plans floating through the Capitol, none were passed before the midnight deadline. After a lot of drama, political positioning, and finger pointing, we are right back where we were before the Spring Session began with no FY17 budget and no FY17 school funding plan (not to mention, no Social Services funding plan and no higher education funding plan).
Public school superintendents throughout the State of Illinois cannot envision the start of a school year without assurance of our state doing its part to fund the public schools.  We, hopefully, anticipate  that some interim agreement will be approved in Springfield in the weeks ahead to assure ALL public schools can start on time in August 2016.  However, our state has just passed through an historical period of going through an entire fiscal year without a state budget for many programs and services.
Please contact our legislators and urge approval of a 2017 K-12 budget. We need to hold our legislators accountable and responsible.  Our children deserve better!

Representative Sam  Ying Ling  contact Ying Ling

Representative Jack Franks                       jack@jackfranks.org

Representative Barabara Wheeler           wheeler@ilhousegop.org

Senator Pamela Althoff                              pamela@pamelaalthoff.net

Senator Melinda Bush                                 http://senatormelindabush.com/contact

Board Vacancy

bd vacancyRespected board member Michele Hawksworth is stepping down from her position effective June 13, 2016.  I have truly enjoyed working with Mrs. Hawksworth and sincerely appreciate her dedication and commitment to the students and families of Lake Villa 41.  I know I speak for the entire board when I say that her presence will be greatly missed.

In order to fill this vacancy, the district is accepting applications and letters of intent through June 3, 2016.   You can access the application here Notice – Board Member Vacancy 2016 or you can visit the school website, www.district41.org . Completed documents may be emailed to julie.ford@district41.org or be hand delivered or mailed to the district office.  The term runs through April 2017.download

You can find out more about the work of school board members by logging onto the Illinois Association of School Board’s website.  http://www.iasb.com/training/nbm.cfm