Homewood School District 153 schools again received a "commendable" rating on the 2018-19 Illinois Report Card released Wednesday.

"While we are pleased that all three of our schools once again were rated commendable, our district's educational philosophy is to maintain a proper perspective about state mandated standardized tests. The state report cards get an over-sized amount of public and media attention, but standardized tests are just a small piece of the overall academic puzzle," said Board of Education President Shelly Marks. 

Superintendent Dr. Dale Mitchell said District 153 places greater faith in teacher assessments and observations along with district-wide STAR tests as a more accurate reflection of student and school performance. He said those measures show District 153 students doing well and on track for their next stages of schooling.

Mitchell pointed to another piece of information on the state report card: state funding adequacy.

"It should be noted that District 153 schools continue to be rated commendable even though we only receive 61% of the funding that the state itself says we need to provide an appropriate education. We continue to perform similarly to many of school districts that are much better funded," he said.

Marks said she wishes as much attention was focused on the values and student attributes our community holds dear as on test scores. 

" Precious little attention is paid to all the other really important things our community values about our students, staff and schools. Kindness. Helpfulness. Work ethic. Persistence. Creativity. Artistic and/or athletic ability. Appreciation of differences. Good citizenship. A sense of humor! These are things that will never be measured on a standardized test, but we know they are just as important to student success. We work on these things every day in District 153," said Marks. 
Parents/Guardians: Please Take the Annual Parent Survey

The annual parent survey about our schools is available online through Feb. 14, 2020. Please take a few minutes to tell the State Board of Education how wonderful our schools are and what needs improvement.

*5% of our state report card grade depends on parent participation in this survey, so your participation is important!

District Begins Search for Next James Hart Principal

Starting Nov. 5, those hoping to be the next principal of James Hart school will be able to apply for the position on the school district website, HSD153.ORG. James Hart Principal Dr. Scott McAlister will move to the district office next school year to begin his transition to take over for retiring superintendent, Dr. Dale Mitchell.

"While I look forward to working with Dr. McAlister next year, we now face the unenviable task of replacing him at James Hart. Big shoes to fill!" said Dr. Mitchell.

Job announcements will be distributed to other school districts and via educator professional associations and networks.

Dr. Mitchell said he is gathering a group of staff, parents, and community members to be a part of the finalist interview committee with goal of filling the position early next year.
Out of This World Field Trip!

An inflatable sky dome took up residence in the Churchill School gym on Oct. 29th enabling 5th-graders to travel to and learn about the solar system without leaving the school. The solar system is part of the 5th-grade science curriculum.
No Tricks. Just Treats from HPD

Many thanks to the Homewood Police Department for being a part of our Halloween festivities! Chief Alcott and several officers visited Willow and Churchill Schools on Halloween to drop off some treats and talk to the students about safe trick-or-treating. 
Get a Jump Start on Your Holiday Shopping &
Support  6th-Grade White Pines Trip
Future Dates
Nov. 11 Veterans Day Program & Breakfast, JH, starts at 8:10 AM
School Board Meeting, JH Media Center, 7:00 PM
Nov. 14 8th-Grade Step-Up Day at HF High School
Fall Band Concert (6th-8th), JH Gym, 7:00 PM
Nov. 18-22 American Education Week
Nov. 25 No School: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Nov. 26 No School: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Nov. 27 No School
Nov. 28 No School: Happy Thanksgiving!
Nov. 29 No School: Thanksgiving Holiday

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.