January 6, 2023

Topic: Unassigned


Dear CCSD21 Parents and Community Members,


Dr. Michael Connolly
Superintendent of Schools

  • Monday, January 9, 2023 – Institute Day (No classes)
  • Tuesday, January 10, 2023 – Classes resume (K-8th grades)
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2023 – Classes resume (Pre-K)
  • Monday, January 16, 2023 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (No classes)
  • February 17, 2023 – School Improvement Day (No attendance for PK students; morning classes for others)
  • February 20, 2023 – Presidents’ Day (No classes)

For all other school calendar dates, click here.

Save the Date

You are cordially invited to commemorate the opening of the new District 21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour. Reserve your spot by emailing [email protected].
Her favorite color is yellow because it’s vibrant and represents warmth and joy. Meet Rising Star Clara S.
She likes sharing stories and always includes others. Meet rising star Hanika.
What’s Going on at Field?

A Welcome Display

According to ancient myth, the sunflower symbolizes loyalty and adoration. And with their sun-like appearance, sunflowers are known for being a happy flower and for brightening someone’s mood. It is also Ukraine’s national flower as well as a major export. So when the war in Ukraine started last spring, the idea of the sunflower mural was born as a way to acknowledge the war and stand with the Ukrainian community.  Little did Field Elementary School staff and students know that within days of the mural going up, they would welcome their first student whose family recently fled the warzone.

What’s going on at Frost?

A Time of Change and Growth

Change can be scary. It requires people to step out of their comfort zone and face the unknown. At Frost Elementary School, the administration, staff, and students have faced many changes over the past several years. They have learned to embrace change and view it as part of a positive growth process. Aside from the pandemic, Frost has persevered through several other transformations in the district, all towards constructive growth.

Over the years, the leadership at the building has changed. From interim principals to others that served short term, to Catherine Joy, who is now at the helm. Like her namesake, Mrs. Joy took a forward-looking stance and embraced change while mentoring others to adopt and grow along with them. Last year, for instance, Frost welcomed 22 new staff members. Twenty-two! With fresh ideas and new perspectives, the staff was encouraged to welcome this group of new Falcons who have provided some novel conversations and different viewpoints, all in an effort to grow.

Our Impact

We are pleased to provide our CCSD21 family with our first annual Impact Report. Our mission, core values and vision statements are only the beginning. With these guiding principles, CCSD21 staff have faced the challenges of the last few years head on and forged forward in a positive direction to accomplish much.

Here is our IMPACT.

Join Us at The Indian Trails Library

Check out the calendar of events for specific activities and times for the month of January. Indian Trails Public Library has received a 3-star rating in Library Journal’s national rating of public libraries. 5,359 libraries were indexed, and only 258 received stars.


In the expenditure range of $5M-$9.9M, only ten libraries earned a 3-star rating nationwide. Seventeen star-rated libraries in this expenditure range reside in Illinois; regionally, the Midwest has the most significant number of star libraries. The rating is based on data from library use, circulation, e-circulation, computer use, website visits, program attendance and library visits.


This is the 15th year in which Library Journal has scored U.S. public libraries on the LJ Index of Public Library Service and awarded Star Library ratings. The 2022 scores and ratings utilize FY20 data from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Public Library Survey (PLS).

ACCESS Assessment for English Language Learners – Assessment Window Jan. 17 – February 28
This is an assessment required by the state of Illinois that measures the students’ academic English language proficiency. Only students that qualify for language services will be taking the test. This assessment helps schools see the students’ growth in their English language development and helps our district determine program support. If you have questions about this assessment, you can contact our Language Services Department or your child’s school. For more information, please click on the links; EnglishSpanishRussianUkrainian.



MAP Growth Progress Reports

On December 22, your students’ MAP Growth Progress Report was sent home via Parent Square. The Student Progress Report is a summary of how your child is performing academically, as measured by the most recent MAP Growth test your child has taken. These tests and scores help teachers check student performance by measuring achievement and growth. Teachers use results to tailor classroom lessons and set goals for students.

MAP Growth tests are unique, and it adapts to your child’s responses to measure your child’s skill level. If your child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. These results will provide a more complete picture of what your child knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below their grade level.

Since MAP Growth tests provide immediate and accurate information about your child’s learning, it’s easy for teachers to identify students with similar scores that are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics, and then plan instruction accordingly.

Your child’s MAP Growth results are represented as RIT scores. A RIT score is the overall score for a subject based on a Rasch Unit (RIT), and you’ll see it referenced in the Student Progress Report that has been sent.

If you have questions, please contact your child’s principal.

For more information about MAP Growth, visit NWEA.org/familytoolkit.

Language Services

Did You Know… As a district we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our learning community! These are some traditions celebrated and acknowledged in our community this month. If you’d like to learn more, click on the links: New Year’s DayMartin Luther King Jr. DayHolocaust Remembrance DayLunar New Year. Don’t hesitate to reach out and share it with our Language Services Department to add to our resources!
MY WHY – Octavio Alvarado, Head Custodian Tarkington Elementary School

You’d be surprised to know that Octavio Alvarado, head custodian at Tarkington Elementary School, is afraid of heights… as he has to climb ladders, paint classrooms and ascend to the roof of the school to fix, clean and maintain the building. But the fear of heights doesn’t stop this industrious employee from doing what needs to be done.

My Why – Emily Ford, Instructional Coach

A challenging math class in 6th grade and a teacher who spent the time working with Emily Ford sent her on a path to become a teacher. As with many who go into education as a profession, it takes a favorite teacher and a transformative experience to change perspective. Emily’s 6th grade teacher, Mrs. White, took the extra time to work with Emily, gave her the tools and confidence to turn her math aptitude around, so much so that math became one of Emily’s favorite subjects. And with that, Emily knew she had to give back in the same way. She studied education at Illinois State University, participated in District 21’s PDS internship program as a student teacher, and then went on to earn her M.Ed. in English as a Second Language (ESL) from the American College of Education.

Podcasts for Kids & Families

Podcasts are a great way for children to spend quality, screen-free time by themselves or with their families. A podcast is a series of episodes about a certain topic or theme, including bedtime stories, diversity, science, current events, travel, mindfulness, growing up, etc.. Kids can listen to podcasts alone or with family, which can often lead to rich discussions sparked by podcast topics. Common Sense Media has published a Best Podcasts of the Year (for Kids): 2022, which includes titles such as “Bearily Bear Stories” and “Sarah Jones Breaks It Down: A Kids News Podcast.” Common Sense Media also published “Best Bilingual and Spanish Podcasts for Kids”, “Kids & Family Podcasts with Black Hosts and Black Lead Characters”, “Kids & Family Podcasts with Latino Hosts and Latino Lead Characters”, “Podcasts Featuring Inspiring Women”, and “Great Podcasts for Tweens and Teens.” Platforms on which listeners can access each podcast is included (eg. Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, etc.).
Be Smart – Secure Storage Resources

Access to unsecured firearms contributes to gun violence among children and teens. Read recommendations in English and Spanish from the experts in public safety here.

Last Month’s Board Meeting

The livestream video of the December 15 Board of Education meeting can be viewed here.

Next Board Meeting – ** NEW LOCATION **

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting of Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Cook County, IL, will be held on January 19, 2023 7:00 p.m. at the District 21 Community Service Center and Administration Office, 959 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, IL 60090.
959 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, IL 60090
(847) 537-8270