Halloween conjures up scary images of ghosts, goblins and
ghouls. Unfortunately, for many Illinois superintendents, the scariest
thought this October has nothing to do with Halloween - it has to do with the
Illinois General Assembly. You may have read my previous communications
regarding Senate Bill 16 and the potential $1.4 million cut in state funding to
District 118 should the bill be enacted as currently written. While that
is certainly a scary possibility, the scariest thing is the uncertainty school
districts face time and time again regarding potential legislation coming out
As superintendent, I am not interested in maintaining the
status quo. It is my job to collaborate with stakeholders to find ways to
effectively enhance and expand opportunities for our Palos students. But
doing so requires thoughtful long term planning, including the ability to
predict what financial resources will be available. Legislation like
Senate Bill 16 makes this an extremely difficult task.
On top of the uncertainty in state funding, school districts
across Illinois are continually bombarded with new mandates from
Springfield. Each spring, I receive the Digest of New Bills Passed
publication from the Illinois Statewide School Management Alliance. The
publication contains all the new unfunded mandates passed by the General
Assembly during its most recent session. This too makes long term
planning difficult, as school districts grapple with implementing (and
financing) all the mandates coming from our state capital.
In spite of the uncertainty in Springfield, Palos 118
continues to plan for the future. I am confident with continued community
support and parental involvement, the future is very bright.
Involved parents and volunteers are key to a thriving school
district. I would like to thank the volunteers who work throughout the year to
provide new opportunities and experiences for our students. The Foundation's
Laps for Literature fundraiser last month raised nearly $6,000 for iPads at all
three schools, and proceeds from last week's Harvest Fest will go directly back
to the Music Program. Everyone at the event was treated to great food and
entertainment from all of our choirs and bands. The PFA's Cardinal Chase
October 5 was a huge success, and now they are busy coordinating classroom
Halloween parties for East and West, a theme lunch at South, and planning the
Mother/Son Bash on November 15.
Once again this year, Palos 118 is hosting our Senior Holiday
Breakfast on Thursday, November 13 at Palos South for all senior citizens in
our community. Attendees will be treated to a delicious breakfast, and
entertained by the Red Jazz Band and Performing Arts Ensemble.
As a reminder, Parent/Teacher Conferences will be held
November 5-6, and Parent Visitations will be held November 18-20. Please don't
miss this opportunity to discuss your child's progress with their teacher.
Beginning October 22, you can go online to schedule conferenceswith your child's
teachers for a time that is most convenient to you.
Wishing you a safe and delightful Halloween.
Anthony M. Scarsella,
Superintendent of School