Even if you don't have kids, I think it's good to be in the know about things happening with the local school district, so here's the latest news:


District 97 Earns Bright Red Apple Award
For the 11th time in the past 12 years, District 97 has earned a Bright Red Apple Award for educational excellence. Seventy-nine out of 868 Illinois school districts were honored with the award this year, which is based on five categories:

  • Academic performance
  • Pupil/teacher ratio
  • Operating expenditure per pupil
  • Educational level of teachers\Average teacher salary

The full list of award winners can be viewed by visiting http://www.wdstudio.net/schoolsearch/aple2012.htm.

District 97 Teams Qualify for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals
Three teams of students from Mann Elementary School and a team of students from Julian Middle School have qualified for the Odyssey of the Mind World Finals, which will be held at Iowa State University from May 23 to 26. Odyssey of the Mind is an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college. Additional information about Odyssey of the Mind and the World Finals can be accessed by visiting http://www.odysseyofthemind.com/default.php.

Scripp's Great American Spell Check at Lincoln School
Lincoln School will be participating in the Scripp's Great American Spell Check on April 25, 2012. The event is not a traditional spelling bee, but a special spelling test of 50 grade-appropriate words with participants collecting pledges for each word they spell correctly.

"Celebrity Guest Word Readers" will read each word to a particular class level (kindergarten through fifth grade), and then read the word in a sentence. The tests will be administered during the school day (8 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. Among the guest readers scheduled to participate in the event include Lisa Parker from NBC5 Chicago, Oak Park Police Chief Rick Tanksley and Megan Podkowa, a student-athlete from Trinity High School.

Julian Middle School and Sequin Services
On April 11, Julian will be hosting a game night for some of its students and approximately 20 clients served by Seguin Services. The event, which will be held from 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Commons at the school, will provide an opportunity for the two groups to get to know each other while they play Wii and board games. It also corresponds with the schools participation in the “One Book, One School” program. The Mental Health Board of Oak Park and Seguin helped purchase more than 2500 copies of “The Man Who Loved Clowns” for Julian and Brooks. The goal of reading the book and hosting the game night is to help reinforce Julian’s commitment to fostering open-mindedness and inclusion.

On April 25, Julian and Seguin will be hosting another event at the school that will include the screening of a 30-minute film about students helping kids and adults with disabilities. It will also feature a panel discussion during which students will have the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Seguin clients and professionals.

District 97 Elementary Schools Hosting Booth at Oak Park’s Earth Fest
District 97’s elementary schools will be sharing information about their sustainability efforts at the 2012 Earth Fest being hosted by the Village of Oak Park on April 21. In addition to highlighting their accomplishments to date, which include diverting more than 12 tons of solid waste and reducing the district’s landfill waste by approximately 50 percent during the past four years, members of the schools’ Green Teams will be offering waste demonstrations and games, gardening and nutrition information and activities, and tips on how to live greener. For additional information about the event, please visit http://www.op97.org/digital- backpack/documents/2012EarthFest.pdf.

One Earth Film Festival
From April 27 to 29, Green Community Connections will be hosting the inaugural One Earth Film Festival at venues throughout Oak Park and River Forest. The goals of the festival are to:

  • Create thought-provoking, transformative opportunities for understanding climate change, sustainability and the power of human involvement.
  • Pack an intensive “education and awareness punch” in rich, two-hour stories on film.
  • “Expand the movement” by reaching out to people who passionately committed to green, and others who may have more of a casual interest in the topic.
  • Help move Oak Park and River Forest forward as sustainable communities and as green community leaders in the Chicago area.
  • Have fun bringing like-minded people together.

For additional information about the festival and Green Community Connections, please visit http://greencommunityconnections.org/one-earth-film-fest.

Three District 97 Schools Participating in Chicago Green Festival
Representatives of the Green Teams from Beye, Holmes and Longfellow will be serving on panel titled "Wild About Waste: Our Zero Waste School District" at the Chicago Green Festival, which will be held at Navy Pier on May 5 and 6. In addition to participating on the panel, the schools will have green student leaders known as “Green Ambassadors” helping sort waste at the event. For additional information about the festival, please visit http://www.greenfestivals.org/chi/updates/.

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