April 2023 Family Newsletter

April 6, 2023

Topic: Updates


Dear CCSD21 Parents and Community Members,


Dr. Michael Connolly
Superintendent of Schools


  • Monday, April 3, 2023 – Classes Resume
  • Friday, April 7, 2023 – No School – Good Friday Non-Attendance Day
  • Monday, April 10, 2023 – Institute Day
  • Friday, May 19, 2023 – School Improvement Day – AM Classes Only, No Pre-K
  • Monday, May 29, 2023 – No School – Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 31, 2023 – First Possible Last Day of Classes

For all other school calendar dates, click here


CCSD21 administrators present during IASB North Cook Division meeting on March 15

CCSD21 and London Middle School played host to the Illinois Association of School Boards North Cook Divisional meeting on March 15, during which four administrators presented under the theme “Schools as the Cornerstone of Community.” Board President Phil Pritzker also spoke during the dinner and reception, while several student musicians from across the district provided pre-reception entertainment.

For more photos of the event, go here.


CCSD21 to continue purchasing all school supplies, waive registration fees

For the fourth consecutive school year, CCSD21 will provide all enrolled students with school supplies required for the 2023-2024 school year. The district will also waive registration fees for each student.

The move was initially implemented during the 2020-2021 school year, when district administration decided that between the crunch of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact the year would begin remote, they did not believe families should have to pay for supplies.

“It was a burden that we could take on so [families] didn’t have to worry about these expenses,” said Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent for finance and operations. “We also do not see the district going back to it at any point in the future.”

The district has received much positive feedback for this decision and, knowing the impact it has on all families and their budgets, is focused on continuing this practice.


Several construction, renovation projects scheduled for summer

There will be a number of projects occurring across the district this summer, including new playground equipment at Riley and Field, and new LMCs for Field, Frost, Kilmer and London.

Read the full story here.

Kindergarten and new student registration – now open!

Registration for students new to CCSD21, including new incoming kindergarten students, is now open.

A child whose fifth birthday falls on or before Sept. 1, 2023, is eligible to enroll in kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year.

New registrants will need to provide the following documents:

  • Three proofs of residency

  • Birth certificate – official birth certificate issued by the county clerk in the county in which the child was born. Hospital certificates are not acceptable.

Depending on the child’s grade, additional forms may need to be completed.

To begin the registration process, please visit the CCSD21 Registration Portal. If you are unsure what school your child will attend, visit our School Boundary Map and enter your address. After families complete the new student online registration and upload all required documents, an email will be sent to the family confirming that the child is registered for the 2023-2024 school year.

If you have a student currently enrolled in CCSD21, including a preschool student, registration for the 2023-2024 school year will begin in May. Returning student information will be sent out on a future date.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected].


A future doctor who loves to swim and practice martial arts. Meet Rising Star Emma D.
A great friend with a passion for learning. Meet Rising Star Jonathan G.


Help CCSD21 celebrate 75 years of excellence!


CCSD21 will celebrate its 75th anniversary this summer, and we want you to aid us in that celebration. The district is asking former students and staff, as well as current staff members, to send a recorded video (or photos) of your experience with our district. You have all held a special chapter in our district and we are delighted to share your special memory with our community. To contribute, visit  this link.

IL-ASTA names Heidi Flowers as Outstanding Classroom Teacher for 2023

CCSD21 Orchestra Director Heidi Flowers

During its annual luncheon in late January, the Illinois chapter of the American String Teachers Association named CCSD21 Orchestra Director Heidi Flowers its Outstanding Classroom Teacher for 2023.

Read the full story here.

CCSD21 staff enter the ‘pickledome’ with weekly pickleball club
Once a week, as the figurative sun sets on the school day, several staff members across CCSD21 gather at Tarkington Elementary School to lace up and play pickleball.
Read the full story here.
London redesignated ‘Illinois Horizon School to Watch’
London Middle School has, for the fifth time, been designated an “Illinois Horizon School to Watch.” The program, designed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform, identifies high-performing middle schools that have proven academic excellence while being developmentally responsive and socially equitable.
Read the full story here.
London Middle School students Madison O. and Ender P. were honored during the North Cook Region of the Illinois Principals Association’s Student Recognition Breakfast on March 3. Criteria for their recognition includes showing responsibility with regard to attendance and behavior; demonstrating pride, dignity and respect in personal conduct and relations with others; acting responsibly and encouraging responsible actions by others; exhibiting dedication to school, staff and fellow students; and is a positive person to know. Congratulations to Madison and Ender!
The staff at Field Elementary School held their monthly themed luncheon, which began as a way to bring them together as a community. The theme for March was St. Patrick’s Day, and gave staff members the chance to bond over a baked potato bar, along with assorted desserts.
For more photos from the luncheon, go here.
Kilmer takes over Culver’s for PTO fundraiser
Anyone who walked into or utilized the drive-thru at Culver’s on McHenry Road in Buffalo Grove on March 7 were in for a treat, in more ways than one, as the staff at Kilmer Elementary School took over the restaurant for an afternoon as part of a fundraiser for the school’s PTO.

Read the full story here.

See more of the takeover here.
London students take learning to new, egg-cellent heights
The seventh graders at London Middle School recently took their learning to new heights! Following their science unit on force and motion, students constructed, built and tested their designs to preserve an egg by dropping them off the single-story roof of the middle school. The 30+ designs that made it past the first round then tried to survive falling from the third story of the new Community Service Center and Administrative Office roof.
See more from the event here.
Arlington Heights mayor visits Riley to discuss ‘changing landscape’
Arlington Heights Mayor Thomas W. Hayes recently visited Riley Elementary School to talk to the second grade students in connection with their social studies unit called “Our Changing Landscape.”
Read the full story here.
Meet Our Alumni – Noah Festenstein ’11
CCSD21 alumnus Noah Festenstein embraces life. Always has. “I like to take in new experiences, explore and embrace moments,” said Festenstein.
Read the full story here.



Did you Know that April is National Poetry Month?

National Poetry Month, April, is a marvelous opportunity to celebrate the expressiveness, delight, and pure charm of poetry. It is a special occasion that reminds us of the integral role of poets and poetry in our cultures. Poetry helps us appreciate the world around us and empathize with one another.

30 Ideas to Celebrate National Poetry Month

  1. Write poetry each day

  2. Staged: Act out a poem

  3. Poetry By Heart: Memorize a poem

  4. Become a Romantic: Write seasonal poetry

  5. Poiku: Create a Pop Haiku (with examples)

  6. Try performance poetry!

  7. Explore a new form!

  8. Practice Poetic Gift Giving Give a poem as a gift to friends and family

  9. Read aloud poetry to a child

  10. (Re)Discover famous poets

  11. Be an Inventor: Invent a new poetry form

  12. Wake Up with Poetry! Start each day by reading a poem.

  13. Learn how to write an Acrostic Poem

  14. Pictspiration! Try photo-inspired poetry

  15. Create poetic art! Create art from a poem

  16. Build an inspiration jar. Keep a jar of words, phrases, ideas, poetry forms. When you want to write but don’t have an idea, pull a slip from the jar and be inspired by it.

  17. Pocket A Poem! Tips for Poem in your Pocket Day

  18. Recite poetry to a pet: Inflection & Projection

  19. Create a book spine poem

  20. Read a poem backward

  21. Set up an event at your library for people to read aloud their favorite poems

  22. Write a Haiku

  23. Introduce children to poetry using games

  24. More Poetry and Pets: Posture & Movement

  25. Turn your favorite movie into a villanelle by writing a Hollywood Villanelle

  26. Write a structured poem

  27. Pick up color swatches from a hardware store and write a color poem, using each new shade as a different line

  28. Cut out words from a newspaper or magazine and arrange them to create a found poem

  29. Write a concrete poem (a poem in the shape of the poem’s topic)

  30. Submit one of your poems to be considered for publication on Family Friend Poems


Join Us at The Indian Trails Library:

Check out the calendar of events for specific activities and times for the month of April.

Advanced Learner Parent Group

In the Fall, we are looking to start an Advanced Learner Parent group. This group would meet once a trimester to discuss topics generated by the members about the needs of these learners.

Topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • What is an Advanced Learner?

  • Ensuring Advanced Learners are utilizing their talents

  • Self-esteem and coping

  • Stress, anxiety and perfectionism

  • Relationships (family and friendships)

  • Planning for the future with your Advanced Learner

If you are interested in joining this group, please fill out the attached Google Form so we can invite you in the Fall. Hope you will join us.

Language Services

Did You Know… As a district we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our learning community! These are some traditions and holidays celebrated and acknowledged in our community this month. This month we begin by celebrating RamadanApril Fool’s DayPass OverGood FridayEaster SundayOrthodox EasterEarth Day, and Arbor Day.  If you’d like to learn more, click on the links: Don’t hesitate to reach out and share it with our Language Services Department to add to our resources!



Nominate a staff member for CCSD21’s Staff Appreciation Week

CCSD21 will celebrate Staff Appreciation during the week of May 1. Help us celebrate the staff members that have supported your child and made an impact on your family by completing this short form. Staff members will receive a certificate with your note of appreciation!

Becoming a Substitute in District 21

We had some wonderful new sub candidates that applied to work with us this past Winter.  Many of these subs are right from our community!  We’re excited for these additions to our sub group but we’re not done yet.  We are continuing to hire subs each month.  Please let your neighbors and friends know that we are still hiring throughout the school year.

Whether you want to help us out one day a week or every single day, the choice is yours.

Below is the link for people to apply:

We still have openings in our sub pool for the following positions:

  • Secretary – $100/day

  • Health Assistant – $100/day

  • Teaching Assistant – $125/day

  • Teacher – $131/day

  • Long term teacher (more than 10 days in the same classroom) – $210/day

  • Registered Nurse – $250-$300/day

In addition, any subs who work 100 days this year will receive a $1,000 bonus at the end of the year.

Here is information from the Illinois State Board of Education about becoming a teaching assistant or teacher sub:

MY WHY – Madeline Bennett, School Nurse at Kilmer Elementary School

It’s no surprise that Madeline Bennett turned out to be a nurse. She is the oldest of five daughters and was the caretaker to her younger sisters. She spent a lot of her youth looking after her siblings, playing the role of mom.

Read the full bio here

MY WHY – Dawn Oda, Building Secretary at Riley Elementary School

Dawn Oda is the first face you see when entering Riley Elementary School. She is smiley and bubbly. As the baby of a large family, Dawn had to learn to get along with others.

Read the full bio here



School resource officers to be present in CCSD21 schools

In partnership with the Villages of Buffalo Grove and Wheeling, school resource officers (SROs) will support Community Consolidated School District 21 (CCSD21) schools, beginning with the 2023-24 school year.

Read the full story here.

April is National Prescription Drug Take Back Month. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, bring your unneeded medications to one of several drop-off Wheeling Township locations (no liquids or sharps accepted!). These locations are also open year-round:

Arlington Heights Police Department

200 E. Sigwalt Street (open 24 hours)

Buffalo Grove Police Department

46 Raupp Boulevard (open 24 hours)

CVS (Buffalo Grove)

20 E. Dundee Road (call pharmacy for hours)

CVS (Mount Prospect)

1700 W. Central Road (call pharmacy for hours)

Mount Prospect Public Works

1700 W. Central Road (M-F 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Prospect Heights Police Department

14 E. Camp McDonald Road (call non-emergency number for hours)

Prospect Heights City Hall

8 N. Elmhurst Road (M-F 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Walgreens (Buffalo Grove)

15 N. Buffalo Grove Road (open 24 hours)

Walgreens (Mount Prospect)

1028 S. Elmhurst Road (daily 6 a.m. to midnight)

Walgreens (Wheeling)

10 N. Milwaukee Avenue (daily 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.)

Wheeling Police Department

1 Community Boulevard (third Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. to noon)

Do you have prescription medication at home? Follow these three easy steps:

Guard: Take prescription medications as advised by your doctor. Never share your medications!

Store: Keep your medications in a secure location out of sight.

Discard: Reduce the change that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse your medications. Protect the environment by disposing of medications safely through drug take back programs. Cross off personal information from prescription bottles; when in doubt about proper disposal, contact your disposal location; share the message about safe Rx disposal with your community.

For more information, go here


North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic: Upcoming Tenant Rights Presentation

Join North Suburban Legal Aid Clinic Staff Attorney Elizabeth Temkin and Housing Outreach and Resource Coordinator Kadir Castellanos to learn about tenant rights, the eviction process and available rental assistant options.

April 11, 9:30-10:30 a.m. (Spanish)

April 13, 6-7 p.m. (English)

Location: District 21 Community Service Center and Administrative Office

959 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling

For questions, call (224) 805-5889 or visit www.nslegalaid.org

Hawthorne Early Childhood School will host an Arbor Day tree planting at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 27. There will be a number of students outside for the event, as well as staff from Wheeling Public Works



March 16, 2023 Board Meeting
The livestream video of the March 16 Board of Education meeting can be viewed here.

Next Meeting
The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting of Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Cook County, IL, will be held on April 27, 2023, at 7 p.m. at the District 21 Community Service Center and Administration Office, 959 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, IL 60090.