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School Office Hours: Mondays - Fridays 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
Message From the Superintendent
Mr. 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
Introducing New Capstone Program for Eighth Graders 

When it comes to leading an accomplished school district like Palos 118, the challenge is finding ways to expand opportunities for students that complement the outstanding programs that already exists.  Since the adoption of the new Illinois Learning Standards, we've talked a lot about enhancing our curriculum to focus on the development of critical thinking skills; providing continuous opportunities to apply those skills to real world problem solving; and teaching our kids how to effectively communicate and collaborate with others to problem solve.  As a result of those discussions, it is with great excitement that I announce next year all eighth grade students will have the opportunity to take part in the Palos South Capstone.  Our new Capstone program will focus on developing those important skills discussed above as well as those skills all too often ignored in school - creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance.

Capstone will afford students the opportunity to work in small teams to select and explore a problem of local or regional significance, spending the entire year working with their team and outside experts to develop a solution to their identified problem.  Each team will be assigned a faculty advisor who will serve as a co-learner, co-planner, co-producer and co-evaluator.  At the end of the school year, our eighth grade Capstone teams will present their findings and proposed solutions using a multimedia platform to their fellow Capstone teams, faculty, parents, and community members in a celebration of their successes.

The program is built on the premise that our kids can do amazing things, if just given the opportunity to do so in an environment that champions creativity and not test scores.  Students will receive a pass/fail grade for Capstone, which will not impact their G.P.A.  Capstone is not designed to make our students' eighth grade experience overwhelming, as we are cognizant of the academic demands already placed on our eighth grade students.  In order to incorporate this program into each eighth grade student's schedule, students will be required to attend one day of Zero Hour per week.  Capstone schedules will be coordinated with Zero Hour band schedules.  Students may utilize Zero Hour bus transportation on Capstone days. 

While the framework for the Palos South Capstone has been developed, much work remains in building the final curriculum and program design. I believe it's important for parents to be involved in this process.  To that end, I'm inviting current seventh grade parents to volunteer to be members of our Capstone Steering Committee.  The committee will meet several times during the 2015-2016 school year to review the progress of the program and provide parental feedback on its strengths and weaknesses. I encourage you to consider getting involved.  Space on the committee is limited.  If you are interested in serving, please email your contact information to .

Capstone also affords parents additional opportunities to get involved during the crucial middle school years.  Once our Capstone teams select a problem to spend the year exploring, they will be seeking individuals working in a field related to their problem who can assist them in understanding the problem and formulating proposed solutions.  Serving as a resource for our Capstone teams is a great way for parents to be involved.  We will be providing more information on how you can volunteer to assist our Capstone teams once next year's problems have been identified.

I'm excited about this new innovative program at Palos South.

Warmest regards,

Anthony Scarsella
Superintendent of Schools