Superintendent's Message - January 13, 2023

Superintendent's Message - January 13, 2023

Dear D53 Families and Staff:

Happy New Year! I hope that 2023 is off to a great start for each of you. We are excited to have our faculty, staff, and students back in the building after the winter break and geared up for the second half of the school year.

We are grateful for the service of District 53 Nurse Terry Hillen, who retired at the end of December. Nurse Hillen was a tremendous support and advocate for our students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping our buildings healthy and safe, and her continued care for our students. We wish her the very best in her retirement and our thanks for her service to our school district. That said, please join me in welcoming Nurse Julie Denson who has joined the Brook Forest team. Nurse Denson is working with Nurse Kathy Taylor at Butler Junior High to ensure a seamless transition. 

Kindergarten and First Grade registration begins on January 16, 2023 for new Kindergarteners, age 5 by September 1, 2023, and new First Graders, age 6 by September 1, 2023. More information about the registration steps and online pre-registration are available on the district's registration page

Please note: current Kindergarten students do not need to register for First Grade at this time.

The District 53 Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, January 9, 2023. At the meeting, District 53 special education team members presented a proposal for an Instructional Learning Center at Butler Junior High School. This self-contained classroom will bring students back into the district, meet individual student needs, provide flexibility in placement, curriculum and interventions, and utilize our in-district special education staff. We look forward to increasing small group teaching and individualized learning for our students.

Thank you to all of the families who participated in our Family Transportation Survey last month. The major themes in the results included minimizing ride time, higher transportation fees as opposed to cost-cutting measures, and evaluating a return to door to door service. Given these results, the Board of Education approved an increase in transportation fees to $500.00 per family per school for the 2023-2024 school year.

In closing, our plans for Phase II of the Capital Improvements Vision remain on track for another summer of construction at both buildings.

Stay well, be safe!

Dr. Paul O'Malley
Superintendent of Schools