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District 105 Announcements
District 105 Gifted Programming Renewal

As directed by the District 105 Board of Education, over the past two years, a Gifted Programming Renewal Committee, comprised of teachers, administrators, and parents from across the district, met to research best instructional practices for meeting the learning needs of our highest achieving students across the district.  This committee examined research around gifted education, consulted with outside gifted education experts, explored the advanced English-Language Arts (ELA) and Math programming available in districts around the Lyons Township area, analyzed District 105 student progress data, and examined program survey feedback from parents and staff.  

In the spring of 2013, after a year of research at the committee level, the Board of Education approved the addition of a district-wide kindergarten – 4th grade Math Instructional Specialist.  Over the course of this school year, the role of this new specialist has been to build teacher capacity around instructional strategies that best serve our highest achieving students in mathematics. This year, the Board of Education directed us to examine the strengths and needs within District 105’s SAIL program that currently serves our highest achieving 4th–6th grade ELA students.

After thorough examination of gifted education research and a close analysis of district wide SAIL student progress results, the committee will recommend to the Board of Education a redesigned instructional model to meet the learning needs of our highest achieving ELA students.  The recommendation will include moving from our current design of SAIL, a fixed program that pulls students out of the classroom twice a week, to a flexible instructional model supported by new ELA Instructional Specialists.  This model, aligned to grade level instructional goals, will allow new ELA Instructional Specialists, in conjunction with 3rd – 6th grade classroom teachers, to design specific materials, strategies, lessons, activities, and resources to support our ELA highest achievers within the classroom environment. 

To learn more about the proposed changes, please see letter sent home the week of April 14th. (attached here). The Board of Education meeting will take place on April 28th at Gurrie Middle School, 7:30 pm.  

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments regarding this upcoming recommendation to the Board of Education, please do not hesitate to contact Kathryn Heeke, Director of Curriculum and Instruction or Victora Faldani, Coordinator of Gifted Serives. 
School Announcements

February 28, 2014

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Each year students in third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade are required to take the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). This test is intended to measure student learning against the Common Core Standards. Third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders take ISAT tests in reading and math. Fourth graders take two additional tests in science. The data from standardized tests (including MAP and ISAT), report card information, classroom observations, developmental continuums, and individual classroom assessments are used to help determine the needs and strengths of Ideal students. All of these pieces of data are used every year to determine student learning over time and help inform our instructional focus throughout the year.

To ensure that your child performs at an optimum level, we are asking you to help in the following ways:
  • Please be sure that your child has a good night’s sleep prior to the test date.
  • Make sure that your child eats a nutritious breakfast. There is research evidence that a breakfast that included protein improves performance.
  • Provide a nutritious snack on testing days.
  • Please help your child be on time each day: Be Here & Ready. Testing will start for many grade levels right after our morning assembly. Your child will not be able to enter the classroom once the testing has started. 
  • Attendance is important throughout the two weeks of testing; however, do not send a sick child to school.
We know that you provide these helpful strategies on a daily basis, but wanted to take a moment to remind you during these very busy days. Please contact your child’s teacher or myself if you have any questions regarding ISAT testing. Thank you in advance for your efforts to support your son or daughter during this testing window.


Steve Bahn and the Ideal Staff
Images of Ideal
Ideal's Clip System: A School-Wide Initiative to Improve Consistency and Encourage Positive Choices

As a school, we have determined that a more consistent way to help students monitor their behavior across all areas of the building was needed. We have decided to adopt The Clip System. This system has been utilized by several school districts and has shown to be an effective way to monitor student behavior and improve communication.
Here’s how the system works:
Each teacher (classroom, P.E., art, music, resource rooms, library, and lunchroom) has a chart posted in his/her room that describes different levels of behavior that students typically demonstrate.  Each student is also given a clip with his or her name on it which attaches to the behavior chart.
Each day, students start with their clip on green: “Ready to Learn.” Students will move their clips up or down levels at their teacher’s direction. As students move to various classrooms throughout the day, they will take their clips with them, placing them on a different room’s chart at the same behavior level they were when they left the prior location.
Each classroom has spent time this week explicitly describing what behavior at each colored level looks and sounds like. We are confident that Ideal’s Clip System will improve students’ understanding of their academic and social expectations in all academic areas. It will also provide more opportunities for teachers to celebrate good choices made by students and engage children in meaningful conversations regarding their behavior. So, even if a mistake is made, at the very least it will be one that teaches a lesson for the future.  
Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we begin this new school-wide initiative. We are proud to partner with you to help make our students’ school experience a positive and meaningful!
Click HERE to view Ideal’s Clip System.
Friday Folder
Each Friday students bring home a collection of informational papers about things going on at Ideal and in our community.  Click below to see all the great information that went home in Friday Folders!

Friday, January 24th
Friday, February 7th
Friday, February 14th

Responsive Classroom and School-wide Expectations

Ideal Elementary School embraces the philosophy, teaching, and social practices of the Responsive Classroom Model.  Responsive Classroom is an evidence and researched-based approach to education that assists teachers as they engage their students in academics, create effective and safe learning environments, and build sincere, kind and supportive learning communities.  Although many facets to Responsive Classroom exist, one foundational piece is establishing learning environments that are calm and orderly and that stress the importance of student focus and autonomy.  With this key principle in mind, Ideal Elementary has developed clear and consistent social expectations for the common areas of our building.   All students have been taught these expectations and are practicing good decision making each day.  We sincerely appreciate your help as we build our positive, rigorous, and successful learning community for the 2013-2014 school year.

Thank you!
The Ideal Elementary School Staff

For more information regarding the Responsive Classroom approach, please visit its website:

Link to the District Curriculum Page

Click here to visit our District Curriculum Page. This page contains information about Common Core, instructional materials, specific grade level learning goals, curriculum renewal cycles, student performance data, and parent resources for each curricular area. We are proud to serve the children of School District 105.