May 2023 Family Newsletter

May 8, 2023

Topic: Updates


Dear CCSD21 Parents and Community Members,


Dr. Michael Connolly
Superintendent of Schools

  • Friday, May 19, 2023 – School Improvement Day – AM Classes Only, No Pre-K
  • Monday, May 29, 2023 – No School – Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – Last Day of ClassesFor all other school calendar dates, click here
CCSD21, Advocate Aurora Health enter contract negotiations to provide school-based health center in CSCAO
When the CCSD21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office officially opened to the public at the beginning of the year, a question that remained was what would occupy the empty office space on the north side of the first floor – initially designated as a health clinic.

Read the full story here.

CCSD21 initiates $20 million fund transfer for capital project consideration
CCSD21 is planning to transfer $20 million from its education fund into the operations and maintenance fund for future consideration as capital projects funds for any projects to be completed as part of the 10-year facilities and maintenance plan.

Read the full story here.

CCSD21 extends pupil transportation services agreement with First Student
CCSD21 and First Student extended their pupil transportation services agreement for the 2023-2024 school year at an increased rate of 10.6% over the 2022-2023 school term.

Read the full story here.

Competitive boys volleyball program to be introduced across middle schools in 2023-2024
A competitive boys volleyball program will be introduced across CCSD21 middle schools beginning with the 2023-2024 school year.

Read the full story here.

CCSD21 to offer free lunch throughout the summer

Community Consolidated School District 21 (“CCSD21”) will be offering free, healthy lunches throughout the summer for any child 18 years of age and younger. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday, beginning June 5 through August 4 from 10 a.m. to noon as part of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program. Lunch will not be served on the following dates: June 19 and July 3, 4, 7, 14, 21 and 28. CCSD21 in-person summer school students will receive meals on site. Current menus are posted at and updated monthly.

The locations of the free, healthy lunches can be found here.

2023-2024 registration for returning CCSD21 students

Beginning May 1, you may register your returning CCSD21 student for the 2023-2024 school year! We are implementing a new procedure for registration. SnapCodes will no longer be implemented for registration. You would need to login to your Parent Portal account by clicking here. Once you are logged into your account, on the left-hand side, you will see a link stating “2023-2024 Returning Student Registration.” This link will automatically take you to our registration portal. Fees for the 2023-2024 school year will not be collected during registration.

Please take time to complete this critical step for next school year beginning May 1.

Thank you!

A gardener with future aspirations of being a doctor. Meet Rising Star Alyson A.
Someone who always demonstrates kindness and loves her hamster, Cookie. Meet Rising Star Anastasiia D.
The Holmes Middle School Symphonic Band  received an “excellent” rating from its performance at the Illinois Grade School Music Association’s Northern Division State Festival on Saturday, April 29, at New Trier High School! The band qualified for the state-wide event after its performance at the regional level in March. “[I]t is an honor for us to be there and we’re very happy the kids are playing at a level well enough to inspire the judges to invite us to participate,” said Holmes Band Director Jeremy Budrow earlier in April.
Students at Hawthorne Early Childhood School celebrated Arbor Day on April 27 by planting a tree in their school yard. With the help of the Wheeling Park District, students learned about the benefits of trees, their lifecycle and the history of Arbor Day. An American Redmond Linden was planted, courtesy of the Village of Wheeling, which will grow to approximately 70 feet tall and 40 feet wide, forming a triangle. “We are grateful to the village for helping the students learn about the importance of trees and for celebrating Arbor Day in a meaningful way,” said Hawthorne’s Principal Lynne Duffy.
Whitman teacher secures magnolia bush donation to remember late Prospect Heights 14-year-old
Chad Bradish, a fifth grade teacher at Whitman Elementary School, was able to secure the donation of a magnolia bush at the school to remember Eric Casique, a 14-year-old resident of Prospect Heights who was killed in October 2022. Casique has family who currently attend the elementary school. “The Casique family was very touched that Chad was planting the magnolia bush in their son’s honor,” said Charlene Crooks, fifth grade dual language teacher.
For residents of Illinois House District 54, help decorate State Rep. Mary Beth Canty’s offices as it kicks off its very first art contest! The contest began on April 24 and closes on May 19. More information can be found here.
Mount Prospect Veterans announce exciting event on Memorial Day
Mount Prospect’s VFW Post 1337 and American Legion Post 525 will host Diane Carlson Evans as the keynote speaker at its annual ceremony on Memorial Day, May 29, at Lions Park Veterans Memorial Band Shell, 411 S. Maple St., Mount Prospect, IL 60056. Carlson will also be the grand marshal for the village parade. Prospect High School’s Marching Knights will provide wonderful and patriotic music. As the circus ringmasters say, it will be perfect for “children of all ages.”
Carlson served as an Army nurse in Vietnam, treating our wounded soldiers as well as those of our allies and civilians. Upon her return home, she experienced a nation that was hostile toward the war and its veterans. In 1983, she began a 10-year journey that, in spite of bureaucratic obstacles, deeply rooted sexism and numerous other obstacles, resulted in the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., located adjacent to the Wall.
Carlson’s address will highlight the sacrifice and devotion of our female veterans. In addition to being a dynamic speaker, Carlson is also the author of “Healing Wounds,” a book that recounts her military service and fight for women to have a place of honor in Washington, D.C. Copies of her book will be available for sale at the event, with all proceeds to benefit the Vietnam Women’s Memorial Foundation, of which Carlson is the founder and president emeritus.
For additional information, contact Bill Starr at [email protected]
Meet Our Alumni – Henry Allan ’14

Since he was 2 years old, CCSD21 alumnus Henry Allan has been performing. His first depiction, Jon Bon Jovi – and he nailed it!

Read the full bio here.

Whitman PTO to host Zumbathon fundraiser on May 6
Join the Whitman PTO from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 6, for a Zumbathon fundraiser to benefit families of Whitman Elementary School. The event is for adults only (18+) and will be held at London Middle School, 1001 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling IL, 60090. There is a $10 minimum donation, and donations can be accepted via Zelle, cash and check (with the memo to read “Zumbathon.”More info can be found here. We hope to see you there!
Language Services   

Did You Know… As a district we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our learning community! These are some traditions and holidays celebrated and acknowledged in our community this month. This month we begin by celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage MonthCinco de MayoMother’s Day and Memorial Day. If you’d like to learn more, click on the links: Don’t hesitate to reach out and share it with our Language Services Department to add to our resources!

Panorama SEL Surveys

Students are important partners as we work to improve our communication, academic program and overall experience for everyone.

In order to learn more about student experiences at school, we will be asking for feedback from students in grades 3- 8 via an online survey they will be completing at school. The survey shouldn’t take more than 20-30 minutes to complete.

We are asking that all students in grades 3 – 8 participate in the surveys, as their feedback will provide invaluable insights into their experiences and how we can improve and adapt our district to their needs.  The survey content will ask students to self-reflect on:

Emotion Regulation –  How well students regulate their emotions.

Self Management – How well students manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations.

Social Awareness – How well students consider the perspectives of others and empathize with them.

Supportive Relationships – How supported students feel through their relationships with friends, family, and adults at school.

If you have any questions about the survey administration, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s principal.

Join Us at The Indian Trails Library:

Check out the calendar of events for specific activities and times for the month of May.

Advanced Learner Programing 23-24

After completing our inaugural year of new elementary programming, we felt it would be a great time to review current and preview upcoming programming for the 2023-2024 school year.

High Achiever Programming


Though students are differentiated in all of their classes, the specific High Achiever programming is made available to identified students in reading and math.

Teacher delivered specific differentiated reading instruction begins with 3rd grade book clubs. Younger students (K-2) may be involved in book clubs as well, depending on the differentiation needs of the class. Identified 4th and 5th grade students will be pulled daily for an hour of  literacy instruction by the Information Literacy Enrichment Teacher. This class is designed to enrich and extend students with higher level texts and more rigorous expectations for thoughtful participation as they meet grade level expectations at a pace similar to that in the regular classroom setting.

Accelerated math programming begins in 5th grade. Identified students will be bussed daily to their feeder group’s middle school for math instruction from the Math Enrichment Teacher. Students in the accelerated math class will complete a compacted 5th grade Everyday Math with instruction targeted to be completed roughly mid-year  Students will then be using a new math curriculum entitled Desmos 6th grade for the remainder of the year.

Middle School Language Arts Courses

  • Accelerated Language Arts Classes/Cluster-Accelerated pace, higher text level, additional reading & writing content. Depending on the numbers of students eligible, this will be taught either as a separate class or as a small differentiated group in the regular classroom.

  • Advanced Language Arts Class-Higher text level, additional reading & writing content, pace of curriculum matches that of core classes

Middle School Math Courses

Curricular structure -Click this link for the course sequence.

  • Single Accelerated Class

  • Double Accelerated Class

High Achiever Identification Process

Elementary Identification Process

Middle School Identification Process

A data team meets each spring to identify students for the following school year. Identification and parent notification will be completed by mid-June. The process and data profiles can be seen in the document linked above. Data is looked at again trimester 1 and 2 to be sure all eligible students are included in the programming. Teachers may also reach out to the Advanced Learner Specialist in instances where linguistic or other concerns are barriers to identification.

For more information please visit our website:

Parent Group for Advanced Learners

In the Fall, we are looking to start an Advanced Learner Parent group. This group would meet once a trimester to discuss topics generated by the members about the needs of these learners.

If you are interested in joining this group, please fill out the attached Google Form so we can invite you in the Fall. Hope you will join us.

Looking for some fun and educational opportunities for the summer: Check out the Summer Advanced Learner Parent Newsletter

Talented Programming (New for 23-24)

In order to provide all students the opportunity to show their talents, we have begun implementing “exposure” activities so that all students will have the opportunity to build their skills in the areas of art, coding, engineering, and photography by the time they graduate from D21 schools.

Elementary Exposure Opportunities

For 5th grade this year, students will have the opportunity to delve into both 3-D art and coding. They will learn about coding and develop their skills through opportunities in STEM class. Students will also be able to explore and create 3-D art in art class. These exposure activities will be built upon  through new middle school opportunities that will be rolled out for the 2024-2025 school year.

Elementary Club Opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to join many district-sponsored clubs next year. Every elementary school will offer the following for students to participate in:

  • STEM club

  • Engineering Club

  • Robotics Club

Through these clubs students will have the opportunity to develop talents and skills in STEM.

Middle School Exposure Opportunities

Students in 6th grade will take a mini-unit on photography through art class next year.This exposure activity will be built upon through new middle school opportunities that will be rolled out for the 2024-2025 school year.

Middle School Club Opportunities

Students will have the opportunity to join many district-sponsored clubs next year. Every Middle  school will offer the following for students to participate in:

  • Engineering Club

  • Robotics Club

Through these clubs students will have the opportunity to develop talents and skills in STEM.

Becoming a Substitute in District 21

We had some wonderful new sub candidates that applied to work with us this past Winter.  Many of these subs are right from our community!  We’re excited for these additions to our sub group but we’re not done yet.  We are continuing to hire subs each month and will continue throughout the summer.  Please let your neighbors and friends know that we are still hiring!

Whether you want to help us out one day a week or every single day, the choice is yours.

Below is the link for people to apply:

The Board of Education approved the following substitute rates for the 2023/2024 school year:

  • Secretary – $100/day

  • Health Assistant – $100/day

  • Teaching Assistant – $125/day

  • Teacher – $137/day

  • Long term teacher (more than 10 days in the same classroom) – $220/day

  • Registered Nurse – $300/day

MY WHY – Nora Molina, Family Liaison for Early Childhood

Nora Molina, the family liaison for pre-kindergarten students in District 21, has a passion for helping people, education, and traveling. She is enthusiastic and free-spirited; but her life started out in a very conservative way.

Read the full bio here.
MY WHY – Olivia Aguado, Public Health Liaison

When the AIDS epidemic was in full force, Olivia Aguado was a student at Wheeling High School and asked her counselor if she could do something to educate her peers on this deadly virus.

Read the full bio here
CCSD21 hires two for administrative roles

The CCSD21 board of education on April 27 voted to appoint a new director of teaching and learning for science and social studies, along with a new assistant principal for Field Elementary School.

Read the full story here.

Student Chromebook Information

Like previous summers, all students returning for the 2023-2024 school year will be taking their District issued Chromebook home for the summer. We are happy to be able to provide this learning tool to students and families over the summer to allow for expanded learning opportunities at all times. We do ask that you please keep the device in a safe place and provide care for it over the summer, as this device will be needed and used for the upcoming school year. If you have any specific questions regarding this process, please reach out to your child’s Principal. Further information on the CCSD21 1:1 Chromebook Program can be found here which will include links to our 1:1 Chromebook Parent and Student Handbook and our Student Care Presentation.

As a reminder, students that will NOT be returning for the 2022-2023 school year, will need to return their Chromebook to their school prior to leaving for the year.

Schmidt works to help district’s McKinney-Vento families
On the first floor of CCSD21’s Community Service Center and Administrative Office (CSCAO) sits a corridor that a certain subset of the community regularly uses, but may rank among one of the most important resources the district offers.Read the full story here.
CCSD21, North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic team up to present tenant rights workshop
Community Consolidated School District 21, in partnership with the North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic, held two separate presentations on April 11 and 13 to teach interested parties about tenant rights, the eviction process and available rental assistance options.Read the full story here.
The Wheeling and Prospect Heights Police Departments hosted a seminar for parents on how to empower families with positive parenting strategies. Approximately 30 families attended the seminar, which was communicated in both English and Spanish and held at the CCSD21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office on April 27. Topics included best methods for responding to your child’s behavior and resources if your child is involved with police or court. Watch our sites for more helpful seminars.
CCSD21 to host ‘Empowering Families with Knowledge and Skills to Make Healthy Food Choices’ workshop on May 10Join us for a presentation on nutrition! The workshop will be offered thanks to our partnership with the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

When: Wednesday, May 10, at 10 a.m.

Where: Community Service Center and Administrative Office, 959 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling | Room B311 (English), Room B310 (Spanish)

Russian interpreter services will be available in the English session.

Child care will not be offered for this workshop.

Please see the attached flyer for more information.

We look forward to seeing you!

April 27, 2023 Board Meeting
The livestream video of the April 27 Board of Education meeting can be viewed here.
Next Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting of Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Cook County, IL, will be held on May 18, 2023 at 7 p.m. at the CCSD21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office, 959 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling IL, 60090