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District 65 News Archives 2013-2014
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Posted May 17, 2014

The registration process for the 2014 - 2015 school year is now underway.  New and returning families should click here>> to learn more about how to register.
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:57 PM
Posted June 10, 2014

The second issue of the 
On the Bluff newsletter has been mailed. On the Bluff is a joint publication of the Village of Lake Bluff, the Lake Bluff Park District, and Lake Bluff School District 65 as part of ongoing efforts to cooperate, provide mutual support, and share services to increase efficiencies for our shared taxpayers. Read this issue and the first issue by clicking here>>.
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:54 PM
Posted May 14, 2014

On May 27, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., a meeting conducted by Lake Bluff School District 65 will take place at 900 North Shore Drive, Suite 220. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the district’s plans for providing special education services to students with disabilities who attend private schools and home schools within the District for the 2014 - 2015 School year. If you are the parent of a home schooled student who has been or may be identified with a disability and you reside within the boundaries of Lake Bluff School District 65, you are urged to attend.

If you have further questions pertaining to this meeting, please contact Dr. Kevin Rubenstein at 847-234-9400.

Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:54 PM
Posted April 22, 2014

Author extraordinaire Aaron Reynolds brought his talents to LBES on Tuesday, April 15. A special highlight of Mr. Reynolds' day at LBES was his presentation as part of the “Read With Me!” program, when 3rd grade students from Clearview Elementary (Waukegan) and Oak Terrace Elementary (Highwood) visited with their Lake Bluff 4th and 5th grade Reading Buddies. 

During their 50 minutes together, the reading buddies participated in a program with Mr. Reynolds, who wrote the books Chicks and Salsa and Buffalo Wild Wings. The program revolved around Mr. Reynolds’ book Joey Fly Private Eye. 

“Read With Me!” brings children of neighboring communities together for an hour three times a year to improve literacy and foster cross-cultural friendships. It is a large reading/mentoring program that combines the efforts of teachers, students, principals, and volunteers from Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Knollwood, Highwood, and Waukegan.

"Read With Me!" is sponsored by Lake County Cares and is an outgrowth of the Sarah’s Dream program, which collected and distributed thousands of books to children in neighboring communities.

Mr. Reynolds' visit was supported by the Alliance For Excellence and The Jennifer Harris Author Fund.

Link to photo gallery of Mr. Reynolds' program>>
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:53 PM

photo of Jay Kahn, Director of Finance and Operations

Posted January 26

At its Tuesday, February 25 Regular meeting, the Lake Bluff District 65 Board of Education named Jay Kahn as its incoming Director of Finance and Operations. Mr. Kahn will replace Jane Lair, who will be retiring in the 2014-2015 school year.

Mr. Kahn, a Deerfield resident, is currently Director of Fiscal Services for Round Lake Area Community Unit School District 116. He was previously Assistant Business Manager for Oak Grove School District 68 in Green Oaks. He served an internship in Finance in Deerfield School District 109.

Before entering the field of school finance, Mr. Kahn had a career in business, having worked at companies including Hewitt Associates, PepsiCo, and Procter & Gamble.

Mr. Kahn studied School Business Administration at Northern Illinois University. He holds an MBA-Finance degree with honors from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, where he was an Edmund J. James Scholar.

At the Round Lake Area Schools, Mr. Kahn implemented financial controls and new procedures to help the district maintain a good position as it recovered from financial troubles that had led to a takeover by the State.  He oversaw day-to-day operations and investments for the large unit district, as well as the financial aspects of foodservice and transportation.

Mr. Kahn reports that he changed careers in search of more fulfilling work. “I had grown tired of the corporate focus on meeting Wall Street’s short-term expectations,” he explained. “School districts focus on the long-term and see returns over many years. That appeals to me, and being asked to do more with less is a challenge that I enjoy.”

“I am looking forward to working in Lake Bluff – it’s a great community with very involved and engaged families, and high performing students. I envision staying in Lake Bluff for a long time,” he said.

“The Board and I were impressed with Mr. Kahn’s solid business background,” said District 65 Superintendent Dr. Jean Sophie. “He has a deep understanding of school finance and operations, combined with significant real-world business experience.”

I am excited to join Dr. Sophies team, Mr. Kahn said. I know that making finances available and transparent to the community are very important. In addition, some of my priorities will be to simplify operations and make them more efficient, and to ensure that we are providing a high level of service to the staff.” 

Mr. Kahn and his wife, Jodi, have a son in the Deerfield Elementary schools, and a pre-school daughter.

Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:53 PM
Posted April 2, 2014

Lake Bluff families and community members are invited to come get to know incoming Lake Bluff Elementary School Principal Margaret St. Claire at a “meet and greet” session on Wednesday, May 7 from 5:45 to 6:30 pm, preceding the Kindergarten Fine Arts program. Coffee and cookies will be served. 

Ms. St. Claire, a resident of Green Oaks, Illinois, is currently Principal at Daniel Wright Junior High School in Lincolnshire. She served as Assistant Principal at Daniel Wright before being appointed Principal. Before that, she was Assistant Principal at the Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade Academy of Our Lady School in Waukegan. She was also a classroom teacher in grades 1, 3 and 4 in Lake Forest District 67, and a long-term substitute in the gifted program of Oak Grove School District 68, and worked as an adjunct faculty member/student teacher supervisor at National-Louis University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education (Administration) from National-Louis University, and a B.Ed. Degree with a major in Elementary Education from Purdue University.

Ms. St. Claire will begin as Principal of Lake Bluff Elementary School on July 1, 2014.
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:52 PM
Posted June 5, 2014

On June 3, Lake Bluff Middle School recognized the achievements of students who have excelled in the areas of academics, attendance, character, citizenship, physical education and volunteerism.

Congratulations to the following students:

American Legion School Award, presented by Mr. Carl Schons of American Legion Post 510: Distinguished Achievement – Eliza Hoobler; Certificate of Honorable Mention – Ellie Thomas         

D.A.R. Good Citizenship Award, presented by Ms. Ann Grant: Ellie Thomas

Dr. Edward S. Noyes Excellence in Education Award, presented by Dr. Edward Noyes: Max Giangiorgi, Eliza Hoobler and Tessa Kerouac

Floyd l. Weshinskey Award for Scholastic Achievement and President’s Award for Academic Excellence, presented by Mr. Blackmer: Joe Chamberlain, Tiffany Duong, Grace Geraghty, Max Giangiorgi, Andrew Golde, Rebecca Guo, Eliza Hoobler, Tessa Kerouac, Madyllen Kung, Nancie Kung, Elizabeth Meulbroek, Elizabeth Porter, Isabel Rosa, David Tanna, Carson Tazzioli, Ellie Thomas and Camille Valentincic                      

Robert W. Rolek Community Citizenship Award, presented by Mrs. Joanna Rolek: Clayton Wilbur

Kathleen O’Hara Community Leadership Award, presented by Ms. Kathleen O’Hara: Elizabeth Meulbroek

Lake County Excellence in Character Award, presented by Mr. Blackmer: Charlotte Bell, Teresa Fawcett & Tessa Kerouac

President’s Award for Volunteer Service, presented by Mr. Blackmer: Eliza Hoobler

Ann Staranowicz Award for Creative Writing, presented by Mrs. Groth and Mrs. McNicholas: Teresa Fawcett and Rebecca Guo

Spelling Award, presented by Ms. Smith: James Lao, School Champion

Geography Bee Award, presented by Ms. Smith: Teddy Walinskas, 1st place

Mathematics Award, presented by Mrs. Tschanz: Tessa Kerouac

Science Award, presented by Mrs. Cuarto: Max Giangiorgi

8th Grade National Science League Award, presented by Mrs. Cuarto: Max Giangiorgi (medal), Tiffany Duong, Katy Wicks, Madyllen Kung, Elizabeth Porter, Hadley Seymour, Sam Pasquesi, Rebecca Guo, Barbara Canty, Finn Michaelis

7th Grade National Science League Award, presented by Mr. DeYoung: Jake Twichell (medal), Fiona Nugent, Ursula Nugent, Will Granda, Aidan Block, Katherine Jemian, Katherine Cook, Jake Koefelda, Julia Kuetmeyer, Kylie Prieto

6th Grade National Science League Award, presented by Mrs. Bailey: Chase Rupprecht (medal), Ben Scott (medal), Ethan Lane, Ethan Ellis, Ben Rosa, Christine Jie, Sarah Markee, Jimmy Burgess, Steven Liu, Nout Schimmelpennink

Social Studies Award, presented by Mrs. Schuetz: Elizabeth Kissel and Camille Valentincic

Foreign Language Award, presented by Ms. Schulz and Mrs. Szostak: Spanish – Carson Tazzioli; French – Eliza Hoobler

Chorus (Bel Canto) Award, presented by Ms. Cvitkovic: Kirsty Graham and Camille Valentincic

Band (Bach) Award, presented by Mr. Beese: Jay Grieve

Music Department Award, presented by Ms. Cvitkovic and Mr. Beese: Tiffany Duong

Drama Award, presented by Ms. Cvitkovic: Ellie Thomas

Jane Kearns Art Department Award, presented by Mrs. Engel-Julian: Alyssa Thunder and Ben Streightiff

Ferris Sportsmanship Award, presented by Mrs. Buksa: Ali Jackson

Rosenthal Sportsmanship Award, presented by Mr. Williams: Tyler Bornoski

John O. Stevens Award, presented by Mr. Williams & Mrs. Buksa: Veronica Giordano and Joe Chamberlain

Bluffer Award, presented by Mrs. Quick: Ali Jackson

Merit Award, presented by Mr. Blackmer:

6th Grade: Martha Clifford, Zachary Dove and Lucy Surkamer

7th Grade: Allison Quackenbush and Dominick Keating          

8th Grade: Skylah Metel and Jorge Blanco

Perfect Attendance, presented by Mr. Blackmer:

6th Grade, 1 year – Andrew Brown, James Burgess, Darissa Chavarria, Zachary Dove, James Lao, Steven Liu

7th Grade, 1 year – Mia Bellino, Samantha Dueringer, Jamie Francisco, Emma Johnson, Jake Koefelda, Elizabeth Pearson, Jacob Phelps, Kathryn Pierce

2 years – Kevin An, Dominick Keating, Kevin Ocampo, Nina Richardson

8th Grade, 1 year – Tyler Bornoski, Lexi Claussen, Tiffany Duong, Sarah Tiba

8th Grade, 2 years – Trinity Garcia

8th Grade, 3 years – Rebecca Guo, Ben Streightiff, Camille Valentincic

District 65 has also recognized staff members who have achieved milestones in their careers. Honorees were:

Five years: Jennie Lee and Tracy Roehrick

Ten years: Nancy Ark, Elaine Ellis, Janet Krolopp-Holland, Maureen Hominick, Kurt Kurtzhals, Melinda Morjal, Kim Novak, Alice Wegener and Anne Worthen

Fifteen years: Catherine Driver, Arick Ellis and Lizabeth Schuetz

Twenty-Five years plus: Thomas Beck (25 years), Jean Amundson (28 years), Thomas Brown (31 years), Mary Jo Stevenson (33 years), Sue Rote-Kay (35 years) and Doreen Buksa (36 years)

Degrees awarded: Kevin Rubenstein, Doctor of Education

Retirees: Marsha Crall, Mary Jo Stevenson and Kathleen Warfield

Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:52 PM
Posted May 27, 2014

The students of Lake Bluff Elementary School will present their spring show, 
Show Time 2014, on Thursday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the school gymnasium. A dress rehearsal is scheduled for 1:30 pm that afternoon, and is open to community members who might otherwise be unable to attend.

Show time 2014 logo

The show is made up of four original one-act plays written by fourth graders during their winter 2014 drama classes, and will be performed by students of other classes. The plays are:

  • Lost and Found written by 4th graders Luisa Hance, Natalie Kozel and Grace Wittman and performed by Mrs. Strauss' 5th grade class.
  • A Hairy Story written by 4th graders Riley Gifford and Alyssa Kawala and performed by Ms. Plapp's Multi-age class
  • A Piece of Cake written by 4th grader Catherine Morris and performed by Mr. Ellis’ Multi-age class
  • Frozen Frenzy written by 5th grader Bridget Seymour and performed by Mrs. Weinberger's 5th grade class

All cast members will perform three chorus songs: “Be On Stage,” “Can't Buy Me Love,” and “Friends on Broadway.”

Show Time 2014 is directed by Tom Beck with musical direction by Elaine Ellis and Susan Haugland.

All three are Lake Bluff Elementary School teachers.

For information, phone Lake Bluff Elementary School at 847-234-9405.

Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:51 PM
Important Information about Lake Bluff School District 65 Taxes

Posted May 3, 2014

Dear Lake Bluff School District 65 Residents and Tax Payers:

The Lake Bluff District 65 Board of Education is committed to transparent and open communications with the residents of District 65. Given this commitment, the Board wants to provide you with important information regarding the property tax bill that you have recently received, or will receive shortly.

For most residents, the portion of their new tax bill attributable to District 65 will reflect a marked increase over the previous bill. This is primarily because last year’s bill was significantly reduced by a one time tax abatement2 approved by the Board in 2012. Accordingly, comparing the current tax bill to two years prior, residents will note that the portion attributable to District 65 in both years has remained relatively stable, and in most cases decreased. In fact, District 65’s total pool of tax dollars collected this year will be the lowest since 2007, with the exception of last year’s one time abatement. Nonetheless, the Board recognizes that District 65 taxes represent the largest share, about 35 to 40%, of your total property tax bill, and that tax increases of any kind are a tremendous burden for residents.

With our promise to be careful stewards of your tax dollars firmly in mind, this letter provides a detailed review of the factors affecting your tax bill and the steps taken by the Board and Administration to manage those factors as they are related to falling EAV (Equalized Assessed Value of property), escalating debt payments and abatement and a return to paying district expenses from current tax dollars. We hope you will take a few minutes to review the detail below and be in touch with any further questions you may have. 

Last December, the Board adopted a levy1 that resulted in District 65’s new tax bill increasing relative to last year. This increase is primarily due to the fact that last year’s tax bill reflected the benefit of a significant one-time tax abatement2 approved by the Board in 2012. In other words, a substantial portion of the previous school budget that would normally be paid for with property taxes was covered with funds already on hand. Recall that in 2012, the Board decided to use $3.1 million from its Fund Balance reserves to pay down debt and provide tax relief to residents. For the owner of a $750,000 home in Lake Bluff this abatement2 resulted in a onetime year-over-year tax savings of roughly $800. Because this abatement2 is not being repeated individual tax bills are likely to be higher than last year. To be clear, the tax increase is NOT due to increased spending. Spending is down and tax extensions3 are at their lowest level since 2007.

In addition, you may notice that the tax rate for District 65 has increased nearly $0.48 since last year. The primary reason the tax rate is up is the continued downward trend in district-wide Equalized Assessed Value (EAV). District 65’s total 2013 EAV (i.e., aggregate assessed property value) declined 4.7% compared to the prior year. This drop in assessed value not only impacts the District but most of Lake County and the North Shore as well. In fact, EAV has been trending downward throughout the District since 2009, and is now at 2004 levels. Due to the way the state formula works for establishing tax rates, when EAV is down the Board must levy1 a greater percentage of your assessed property value (i.e., increase the tax rate) to achieve the same amount of funding for the schools. In the future, if EAV increases, tax rates will go down. 

The good news is that even with this rate increase the total pool of tax dollars collected by District 65 this year will be at its lowest level since the 2007 levy1, with the exception of last year due to abatement2. In fact, taxes collected this year will be about 6.6% lower than two years prior. Put simply, the District is collecting fewer funds from taxpayers than it typically has in the past. In addition, it should be noted that the Board is no longer levying to the maximum percentage allowed by law. The Board and Administration have worked diligently to control costs through line item budget review, contingency elimination and productivity enhancement without decreasing funds devoted to instruction or compromising our commitment to the quality of education. 

Going forward, the Board will continue to identify sources of increased fiscal efficiency, and we promise to safeguard your tax dollars as our own. If you have questions or comments regarding any of this information, or District 65’s finances in general, please do not hesitate to contact the Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jean Sophie at jsophie@lb65.org, Board President Mark Barry atmbarry@lb65.org, or Board Vice President John Marozsan at jmarozsan@lb65.org.

The Lake Bluff School District 65 Board of Education
Mark Barry, Leigh Ann Charlot, Julie Gottshall, Richard Hegg, Christine Letchinger, John Marozsan, Susan Rider-Porter

1  A levy is the amount of funds which the District asks the Assessor to collect on its behalf.
2  An abatement is a reduction.
A tax extension is the number of dollars collected by the District in taxes.
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:51 PM
Posted March 6, 2014

Summer will be here before we know it!  

As you start thinking about plans, please consider District 65 summer programming that will run Wednesday, June 11 through Friday, July 11 from 8:45 to11:45 a.m. at LBES. 

There will be a variety of classes offered for students entering K-8th grade, and we're looking forward to an extension of the school year that's both fun and educational! 

Course offerings and registration information will be posted prior to Spring Break. In the meantime, please email Carly Quick at cquick@lb65.org or phone her at 234-9407 ext. 3123 with any questions or concerns.
Posted by comm  On Jul 26, 2014 at 7:51 PM
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