Happy New Year and welcome back to what I believe will be a very successful second semester!
With the support of our parents and our Tinley Park community, we have developed an educational environment that ensures our student's needs are met and that they are moving forward in academic achievement. I want to encourage all of us to continue to raise the bar, to build on our strengths and successes, and to ensure our students are achieving at the highest levels.
Students in grades four through eight brought home the results of their PARCC assessments at the end of the first semester. In addition to receiving individual student scores, our District and school information became available on our website under our School Report Card link. We encouraged parents to look these reports over, but not to read too much into the outcome of these first-time tests. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that all students are prepared for success in college and beyond. The PARCC exam is a tool we will be using to make that goal a reality. No test provides a complete picture of student performance, and the PARCC exam results are simply one of many factors that we use to measure progress. We will continue to recognize and value the great teaching, innovation, leadership, commitment, and achievements that make our schools unique.
Although we have had a mild winter so far, I would like to take a moment to review our school closing notification process. When making a decision to close school due to inclement weather, student safety is always our number one concern. After evaluating National Weather Service forecasts, receiving input from our operations and transportation personnel, and consulting with our partner schools, we make the call as to whether or not we think students and staff can travel safely to and from school. In the event that KSD 140 needs to close school, families will receive notification from SchoolMessenger, our electronic messaging system, and an alert will be posted on our district/school websites. KSD 140 also communicates school closure information through Facebook, Twitter, and the Emergency Closing Center (ECC). If emergency days are used during 2016, students may be required to make up the days on Presidents' Day and/or Casimir Pulaski Day. Parents will be notified. In the event the District keeps schools open, but a parent or guardian determines conditions are not safe for their child to travel to or from school, the parent or guardian has the right to keep their child home.
As always, I am so grateful and honored for the opportunity to work with you to ensure our students are receiving the very best education. Together, I look forward to the continued success of our children.
Michael J. Byrne, Ed.D.