• The Journey to Gemini Middle School

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 1/3/2018

    planning ‚Äč

    How do we start the journey to a new middle school? Righ here. Right now. In the fall of 2019, Gemini will transform from junior high to middle school - welcoming 6th-8th grade students. But planning is already underway!

    In December, the D63 Middle School Design Team - comprising administrators, Board members, Gemini teachers, staff, and parents - met for a full day to begin formulating a vision and timeline for the transition.

    On the table? Everything from curriculum, service learning, and scheduling to teacher collaboration, community outreach, and parent communication.

    There's a lot of work ahead - and lots of opportunities to learn more about this exciting new chapter. Stay tuned for a dedicated webpage in 2018, updates, and more.

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  • Congratulations to our Winter Card Contest Winners!

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 12/7/2017


    Thanks to the 47 D63 students who submitted entries for our 2017 Winter Card Design Contest! Representing all seven of our schools, our young artists created whimsical, beautiful, wintery scenes that filled the District office with holiday cheer.

    Top honors went to Melzer 5th grader Shalini Patel, whose winter scene graces the front of the D63 2017 card. Congratulations are in order also for Honorable Mention winner, Apollo 4th grader Sky Hana and for the rest of our "Best in Grade" winners, who were honored at the December 7 Board of Education meeting. You can find all of the winning entries in our online photo album (just click the "i" in the top left-hand corner of each picture for details.)

    To catch a glimpse of all contest entries, stop by the Niles-Maine Public Library District throughout December. You'll find a beautiful display case (pictured above) on the first floor showcasing our students' work!

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  • Success Without Boundaries: Agnes Palucki Honored with a Successory Award

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 11/15/2017


    Agnes Palucki, 5th Grade Teacher, was delighted to learn that her name had been drawn from this fall's “Successory” submissions to receive a special gift honoring her contribution to student success at Apollo. Each Successory form thanked a particular teacher or education professional for helping that student “become a success.”

    Rudra thanked Ms. Palucki for "teaching me new things and helping me achieve things I believed I couldn't do - and for being the best teacher ever!" Principal Cassie Schwartz (right) added her congratulations.

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  • District 63 Teacher Bridget Hellstrom Recognized as a Symetra Hero in the Classroom

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 11/9/2017
    Washington Special Education Teacher Bridget Hellstrom was in the middle of a staff meeting on November 9 when she was surprised by an unexpected visit from a crowd of well-wishers. The occasion? Hellstrom is one of 16 2017 recipients of a Symetra Heroes in the Classroom Award
    Sponsored by the District's insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher, Gallagher's health insurance partner Symetra, and the Chicago Bears, the award recognizes the passion and dedication of K-12 teachers. Hellstrom, who works with 1st and 2nd grade special needs students, was honored for her strong, structured academic planning and implementation, unshakable positive attitude, and enthusiasm for the children she supports
    This year's award recipients were selected from a pool of 500 nominations. In addition to receiving a $2,000 donation to the school, Hellstrom will attend the November 12 Bears-Packers Game - where she'll be recognized during an on-field presentation!
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  • Halloween Fun Fills the Halls!

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 10/31/2017


    Apollo students came dressed as superheros, princesses, unicorns, Nija Turtles, skeletons, and even hamburgers on Halloween as they paraded through the halls, played spooky games in gym, and enjoyed the day.  Halloween is always a highlight of the D63 year -- even teachers get into the act! We love seeing all the great costumes and enjoy the excitement that fills our elementary schools on this special day.  Happy Halloween! 

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  • Apollo Families Celebrate With a Picnic!

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 9/15/2017


    The playground was jam packed on September 14 as Apollo families and staff gathered for a Back-to-School picnic on a beautiful evening. While students shot baskets, spun hulu hoops, clambered over the play equipment, and acquired some awesome face painted works of art, parents chatted, connected with teachers, and checked out the spirit wear.

    All enjoyed the chance to linger in the warm autumn air, listen to music, nosh on pizza and other goodies, and just spend time together as a school community. 

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  • Off to a Great Start!

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 8/18/2017


    On a beautiful Wednesday, D63 welcomed 3,600 K-8 students back to its seven schools! There were lots of smiles, greetings, photos, and great excitement as friends reunited. The rare first-day tears shed by a few of our kindergarteners quickly dried as they met teachers and began to explore the school.

    This year Opening Day went exceptionally smoothly; students quickly and easily found their classrooms, settled in, and jumped right into learning and fun. Parents chatted and reconnected on the playground before heading home.

    Thursday was wet, but that didn't dampen the spirits of our First Step preschoolers who joined us at Apollo, Melzer, and Washington. As we head into our first full week, D63 has a full house! 

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  • K-8th Graders Head Back to D63 on August 16

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 8/1/2017 2:00:00 PM

    welcome back

    On August 16 more than 3,600 students will come through the doors of our seven D63 schools -- followed by our First Step preschoolers on August 17. We're excited to welcome them all! Next week, our teaching team will be busy preparing for the big day -- because D63 is committed to providing all students with the opportunities they need to succeed!

    What's new this year? Here are few highlights:

    We wish all of our families a fabulous first day and a fabulous year - as all of us here at D63 pursue Success Without Boundaries!

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  • Angela Maki Appointed Apollo Assistant Principal

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 7/13/2017 8:00:00 PM


    At its meeting on July 13, the East Maine District 63 Board of Education approved the appointment of Angela Maki as Apollo Assistant Principal. Mrs. Maki steps into the role left vacant by Cassandra Schwartz, now Apollo Principal. She comes to D63 from Wauconda Community Unit School District 118, where she served as Assistant Principal for Robert Crown Elementary for five years. Previous experience includes four years as a 3rd grade teacher in District 118.

    Mrs. Maki holds a BA in elementary education from Wisconsin's Saint Norbert College and an MA in school leadership from Concordia University.

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  • Illinois Passes a Budget

    Posted by Janet Bishop on 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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