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School Office Hours: Mondays - Fridays 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Message From the Superintendent
Dr. Anthony M. Scarsella
Superintendent of Schools

Yvonne Leschkies
Administrative Associate to the Superintendent and Board

8800 W. 119th St.
Palos Park, IL  60464

Ph: (708) 761-5801
Ph: (708) 761-5815

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Back to School Business

I'm happy to report we've had a fantastic start to the school year.  Operationally, things went very smoothly.  All buildings were ready for staff and students and I couldn't be more impressed with the teacher and family turnout at our annual Back to School Picnic, Curriculum Nights, PFA sponsored Oberweis Ice Cream Social, and this year's successful Foundation sponsored Laps for Literature.

I'd like to take a moment to brag about the academic success of our students last year.  According to our spring MAP assessment results:

  • Grades 1-8 at all three schools outperformed their peers nationally in both reading and math.
  • Grades 1-8 at all three schools exceeded their projected academic growth targets in math from fall to spring.
  • All but two grade levels at all three schools exceeded their projected academic growth targets in reading from fall to spring.
  • In addition to our outstanding MAP results, on last year's 5Essentials Survey taken by South students:
  • Students gave Palos South the highest rating for ambitious instruction - "very strong."
  • Palos South's performance on Ambitious Instruction has improved from "neutral" in 2013 to "very strong" in 2015 - a significant increase.
  • Teachers and administrators will continue to use individual student MAP data to differentiate instruction in the classroom and personalize learning for all students.  I'm proud of the academic accomplishments of our students and the hard work of our faculty.
  • While we are on the topic of assessments, last week area superintendents had the opportunity to meet the new state superintendent of schools, Dr. Tony Smith.  I want to share some of the information Dr. Smith presented:

Last spring, our students along with 1.4 million of their peers in Illinois took for the first time the new state mandated online assessment known as PARCC.  Dr. Smith expressed his frustration that local school districts are still awaiting the results data but was unable to give a timeframe for when districts can expect to receive the data.  I share his frustration and remain hopeful we will find value in the data once it is received. 

  • On a brighter note, there were some positive changes to this year's PARCC test including:
  • Consolidating the two testing windows into a single window.
  • Reducing the number of test units from eight or nine, depending on grade level, to six or seven.
  • Reducing testing time for most students by 90 minutes.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) cited the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) for not administering federally mandated statewide science assessments in 2014-2015. The Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires states to test students in the areas of reading, math and science.  Dr. Smith indicated ISBE would be partnering with the D.C. Public Schools (D.C.P.S.) to administer an online science assessment to elementary students in grades five and eight.  He was unable to share any details regarding the actual exam or when it would be administered this school year.  We will share this information once it is received.

We are off to a great start to a new school year.  I look forward to partnering with you as we embrace this school year's theme to dream more, learn more, do more and become more as a school community.