Attention PTA Members:
A Special Message from the Superintendent
Winter is coming.
Dear District 153 family,

D153 had hoped to utilize "e-learning" days this school year instead of closing schools in inclement weather and having to make up those days in June.

Unfortunately, the Illinois State Board of Education has not released any guidance regarding required documentation and/or plans that we would need to follow to implement an e-learning day policy. Therefore, we will be holding off  for at least another year and revisit the issue once the guidelines have been released. 
If (big "if") we do not use any snow/emergency days, our school year will end as planned on Friday, June 5.  However, the school district is required to make up any missed days due to weather or another emergency.  I caution you against making any vacation plans until after June 12, in case we need to close. By mid-April, we usually are safe to assume that we will not need to use any more snow/emergency days and the final calendar is adopted by the school board.

Maybe Mother Nature will be kind this winter. We can all dream, can't we?

Dr. Dale Mitchell, Superintendent
School Board Approves FY20 Budget
The Board of Education approved the school district's FY20 budget at its September 16th meeting. A deficit of $741,000 is projected this year. Revenues from the working cash bonds approved in the 2016 voter referendum will bridge the gap between expenditures and revenues.

Under Illinois' new Evidence Based Finance system, D153 is still considered only 62% adequately funded. (Last year D153 was 61% adequately funded.) D153 is classified as a "Tier 1" school district with the most under resourced school districts in the state.

Click here for the District's FY20 budget.
HF Hosts Free Documentary Screening, Mon., Oct. 7
Are you watching kids scroll through life? Physician and filmmaker Delaney Ruston saw that with her own kids and learned that the average kid spends 6.5 hours a day looking at screens. She wondered about the impact of this and about the friction occurring in homes and schools around negotiating screen time. In SCREENAGERS, Delaney takes a deeply personal approach to explore struggles over social media, video games, academics, and internet addiction. SCREENAGERS reveals how tech time impacts kids' development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance. 

H-F High School is offering a free showing of this documentary on Monday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. in the school's Mall Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.  To reserve your free seats,   CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom of the page. Click the number of seats needed, free of charge.
Attention All Student Artists!

Does your student enjoy art, music, or dance? Perhaps they have an interest in writing, producing film, or taking photos? The PTA's Reflections program is a great way to unleash their inner artist!

Deadline to enter is Dec. 2.

Email for more information.

Future Dates
Sept. 27 Early Dismissal Day
Oct. 3 Choir Concert (6th-8th), JH Gym, 7:00 PM
Oct. 9 No School-Yom Kippur Holiday
Oct. 10 No School
Oct. 11 No School
Oct. 14 No School-Columbus Day Holiday
Oct. 15 School Board Meeting, 7:00 PM, James Hart Media Center

Don't forget to check the VIRTUAL BACKPACK on our website from time to time for local programs and activities that may interest you and your family.