Message From Dr. Scarsella
I want to wish all of our Palos 118 families a very Happy New Year! This New Year brings new beginnings for our Palos 118 community. On January 9, our pre-kindergarten and early childhood students walked through the doors of our new Early Learning Addition at Palos West for the first time. Thank you to the entire Palos 118 community for supporting our recent building bond referendum which provided the funding necessary to finance this project. Our early learners now have educational spaces designed specifically to meet their needs. I’m pleased to report to the community that the project was completed on time and on budget.
It has been a joy watching our early learners explore their new spaces. The new addition includes four bright and inviting early learning classrooms equipped with in-classroom toilet facilities, adequate storage space, and direct access to therapy and gross motor play areas as well as outdoor green space. Thank you to the community, parents, teachers, staff, administrators and school board members who made this wonderful addition possible. Generations of early learners will thrive in our new Early Learning Addition! I hope you’ll join me later this spring at the addition’s dedication.
The New Year also brings a new program to Palos 118. After a long period of thoughtful consideration and careful analysis, the Board of Education has voted in favor of offering a tuition based full-day kindergarten program for the 2018-2019 school year. As promised, a portion of the referendum proceeds is being used to provide the extra space required to accommodate full-day programming. At Palos West, existing spaces have been renovated to create four kindergarten classrooms adjacent to the new addition. Renovations slated for this summer will refurbish existing spaces at Palos East to create a total of five kindergarten classrooms. Without these renovations, a full-day program would not be possible.
Parents can still enroll their children in our free half-day program. Whether parents elect the full-day or half-day program, every kindergarten student will receive the core kindergarten curriculum aligned to the state’s kindergarten learning standards. The learning standards mandate what every kindergarten student should know and be able to do by the end of the academic year, regardless of the program in which they are enrolled. Students in the full-day program will have additional time to delve deeper into core curriculum content and concepts as well as participate in enrichment activities.
For those families opting for the full-day program, annual tuition has been set at $3,250. A $500 deposit is due by February 16 to guarantee placement in the full-day program. The balance of $2,750 will be due in monthly installments of $275 from August through May. Low-income families may qualify for a reduced rate through the school district’s fee waiver application process. For more information on our new full-day kindergarten option, please click on the following link www.palos118.org/kindergartenregistration. We are excited to offer this new program to our Palos 118 families.
Lastly, when it comes to new things in this new year, Palos 118 is studying the possibility of having late start Wednesdays next school year to provide teachers more consistent, uninterrupted time to focus on individual student data and plan more personalized lessons tailored to each child’s needs. Parents will soon be asked to complete an online survey designed to get feedback on the proposed plan. More information regarding our late start proposal can be found in Dr. Cozza’s Curriculum Corner.
2018 has brought about new beginnings for our school district. I’m optimistic as ever about the future direction of our school community and I’m proud to continue to serve as superintendent during these exciting times. I hope all of our families had an enjoyable winter recess and I look forward to seeing you throughout the second half of the school year.
Superintendent Dr. Anthony Scarsella