• Illinois Passes a Budget

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 7/7/2017

    On July 6 the Illinois Legislature passed a state budget for the first time since 2015. 
    The new budget does provide funding for K-12 education, including an increase in funding for school transportation, as well as early childhood and bilingual education. It also keeps special education payments level with last year.
    There are still a lot of pieces in play -- including additional pending funding legislation -- and we'll keep our families informed of any impact on the District.
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  • On the Road This Summer? Don't Forget Your D63 Globe!

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 6/5/2017


    Where will the road take you this summer? Whether you're traveling around the world, across the country, or to your local parks and pools, don't forget your D63 globe.

    Our Board of Education members already have their globes and they're ready to go! Your globe came home with your student at the end of the school year. This summer, snap a photo of your student with the globe and email it to Tell us where you are, who you are, and whether or not we should use your child's full name -- and you may see your summer adventures on our Facebook or Twitter pages!

    As a reminder, all of these instructions are on the back of the globe. Bon voyage!

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  • Success Without Boundaries: Eva Terrazas Honored with a Successory Award

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 5/22/2017


    Sixth Grade Teacher Eva Terrazas was delighted to learn that her name had been drawn from a pile of “Successory” forms to receive a special gift honoring her contribution to student success at Nelson. Each Successory form thanked a particular teacher or education professional for helping that student “become a success.”

    Kimberly thanked Ms. Terrazas for helping her "understand math more and how to treat others with respect and also to respect others' languages." Dr. Jean LeBlanc, Principal, added her congratulations.

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  • District PTO Welcomes D207 Career Coordinator Laura Cook

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 5/10/2017

    On May 17 our District PTO welcomed special guest Dr. Laura Cook, Maine Township High School District 207 Career Counselor. Dr. Cook spoke about recent employment trends for college graduates and the comprehensive range of career readiness opportunities D207 high schools -- including Maine East -- offers students, from mentoring programs and internships to actual job placement. 
    Mark your calendar now for our next District PTO meeting! After the summer break, join us on:
    Thursday, September 14
    6:30 p.m.
    Nelson School
    8901 Ozanam Avenue, Niles
    Refreshments served, child care provided. Learn more.
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  • Lauren Leitao Appointed as Nelson Principal

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 5/4/2017


    At its meeting on May 2, the East Maine School District 63 Board of Education approved the appointment of Lauren Leitao as Nelson’s new Principal. Leitao, currently Bilingual Program Director for Evanston/Skokie School District 65, will step into the role this July; current Principal Dr. Jean LeBlanc retires this June.

    Ms. Leitao began her career at Chicago Public Schools, where she served as an ESL Resource Teacher. Past positions also include Principal of District 62's Orchard Place Elementary School. "District 63’s diversity is such a strength, enhancing education for all of our students, and Ms. Leitao’s strong leadership skills and extensive teaching background – coupled with her bilingual education expertise – makes her a great fit for District 63 and for Nelson,” noted District Superintendent Dr. Scott Clay.

    Learn more about Nelson's new Principal!

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  • Alexandra Brook Elected President of District 63 Board of Education

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 5/3/2017


    At its meeting on May 2, 2017 the East Maine School District Board of Education elected Board Member Alexandra Brook to serve as President. Tom Simmons was re-elected to serve as Vice President. Brook replaces Janet Kaczkowski, who has served as Board President since 2013. Kaczkowski, first elected in 2007, will remain on the Board.

    Brook, a 6th-8th grade Math Teacher at Chicago's William P. Gray School, has lived in District 63 since 1999 and has served on the Board since 2013. Two of her children graduated from Gemini; one attends Washington. Learn more about our new Board President!

    "We are grateful to Ms. Kaczkowski for her strong leadership over the past four years and incredible dedication to our students," noted Dr. Scott Clay, Superintendent, "and I look forward to working with Ms. Brook, who has been such an engaged, committed member of our Board -- and an active parent leader in our schools."

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  • D63 Families: Thank You For Your Feedback!

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 4/5/2017
    Thank you to the 356 D63 families who chipped in their two cents about D63 and their schools through our Family Feedback Survey!  We received thoughtful comments from families at all seven of our schools -- in English, Spanish, and Polish -- and we're looking forward to crunching the numbers. Many people shared their "wish list" for our District, and we can share the good news in response to one or two comments right away: 
    • Yes! We are going to offer a full-day kindergarten - probably in the fall of 2019.
    • Yes! We are already on track to expand one-to-one devices into the elementary schools. Although "take home privileges" will be limited to Gemini students, next year, 5th and 6th grade students will have their own Chromebooks in the classroom.
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  • D63 Teacher Tina Daskalopoulos Receives Golden Apple Award

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 3/29/2017
    golden apple

    Nelson Art Teacher Tina Daskalopoulos had just kicked off her first class session of the day on March 29 when she was surprised by an unexpected visit from District leaders, news cameras, and local media. The occasion? Daskalopoulos is one of ten 2017 recipients of a Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching!
    This year's award recipients were selected from a pool of more than 600 nominations, and represent 4th-8th grade teachers throughout the Chicagoland area. Golden Apple's mission is to inspire, develop, and support teacher and school leader excellence in Illinois.
    "Ms. Daskalopoulos truly lives District 63's commitment to teaching excellence," noted Dr. Scott Clay, Superintendent. "We're thrilled that she has received this well-deserved honor, as she exemplifies our dedication to supporting each student's unique pathway to success."
    Daskalopoulos and her fellow Golden Apple recipients will be honored at a ceremony on May 20 at Chicago's WTTW/Channel 11 studios. WTTW will broadcast the awards following the event; details are available at the Golden Apple Awards website.
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  • Gemini's Kathryn Sjoholm Honored with Niles Night of Roses Award

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 3/15/2017 12:30:00 PM
    The last thing Gemini Science Teacher Kathryn Sjoholm expected during her final class of the day on March 14 was a surprise visit from the small crowd that entered the classroom! 

    Niles Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Katie Schneider, accompanied by D63 leaders, was there to congratulate her for being named the winner of the 2017 Niles Night of Roses Dedication to Youth Excellence Award, which honors "an individual who fosters a positive environment to teach, educate, instruct, counsel, or inspire our youth." Sjoholm is indeed a worthy recipient: since joining D63 in 1997, she has launched and led activities -- from the Gemini Cheerleading Team to the Girls Softball Team and the Gembots Robotics Team -- that offer students multiple pathways to success. We're proud to have Sjoholm on our D63 team!
    Photo (L-R): Superintendent Scott Clay, Schneider, Gemini Principal René Carranza, Sjoholm, Board President Janet Kaczkowski.
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  • Aaron Roberson Named Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning

    Posted by Janet Bishop at 3/2/2017


    At its March 2 meeting, the District 63 Board of Education approved the appointment of Aaron Roberson as the District’s new Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning. Roberson, currently Principal of the District’s Apollo Elementary School, will step into the role when the current Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Charlene Cobb, retires at the end of June after serving since 2009 in the position.

    Roberson joined District 63 in 2014 as Assistant Principal of Nelson Elementary School, moving on to Apollo in 2015. Superintendent Dr. Scott Clay noted, "Although it's hard to say goodbye to a talented leader like Dr. Cobb, Mr. Roberson has shown himself to be a talented instructor and leader himself – something he has proven over the course of his tenure here. His knowledge of teaching and learning coupled with his ability to work closely with children and adults, are remarkable and I am confident he will be outstanding in his new role."

    Learn more about our new Administrator

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