May 10, 2022

Topic: Updates

May 10,  2022


Calendar Reminders

Mark your calendar with these important dates:

  • Thursday, May 19 – School Improvement Day
  • Friday, May 20 – Institute Day (no classes)
  • Wednesday, May 25 – 8th Grade Promotion
  • Thursday, May 26 — Board of Education meeting
  • Thursday, May 26 – Last Day of School
  • Tuesday, May 31 – Registration deadline

Multiple Languages on the Web

CCSD21 takes the meaning of the worldwide web seriously and in doing so, has upgraded the District and all school websites to be read in 17 different languages. The dropdown bar at the upper right corner of each page will now allow the user to translate English text into one of 16 languages, including Arabic, Bulgarian, Simplified Chinese, Filipino, Gujarati, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, Telugu, Ukrainian, and Urdu. “This improved functionality will eliminate barriers to our communication and deepen our connection with the D21 community by spreading information, updates and news in various languages,” said Superintendent Dr. Michael Connolly. “We are pleased to provide this enhanced service to our parents, students, staff and the public.”

View the enhanced website here.

Airport Field Trip

Holmes Middle School media club students were flying high last month when CCSD21 staff member Jodi Greenspan, and administrators Chris Lapetino, Director of Science and Social Students, and Alicia Duell, Director of Technology and Information Services, escorted a group of students to the Chicago Executive Airport to support the 7th grade Project Lead The Way Flight and Space course. The students received a tour of the property, including the hangar and airfield, and interviewed customer service agents, operations personnel, quality control representatives and pilots about their roles and responsibilities at the airport. Students will work  on taking the video footage and interviews they recorded to create a presentation that will be shared with all CCSD21 7th grade students to connect learning to local jobs and careers.

“Students were able to take the lead on their learning outside the classroom, engaging with supportive staff from the Chicago Executive Airport. Students led much of the interviews and got a glimpse as to what it is like to work in aviation,” said Chris Lapetino. “We are grateful to the employees at Chicago Executive Airport for allowing D21 students this opportunity for first-hand observation,” said Alicia Duell.

Learn more about Holmes Middle School here.

Monarch Butterfly Project 

Butterflies are free but saving them and their habitats takes a lot of work. Longfellow 5th grade teacher Heather Popilek partnered with the Village of Buffalo Grove and members of the Environmental Action Team (“EAT”) to work with her students on a project called “Save the Monarchs.” Her class is building a butterfly habitat by planting and growing milkweed, a natural host plant for butterfly larvae and caterpillars. Additionally, the students are writing articles and social media posts to share the work of the EAT and show the importance of protecting natural habitats. “By getting their hands dirty, these students are learning valuable lessons about biodiversity and ecology. It’s a wonderful way to learn by doing,” said Heather Popilek.

Please join Heather Popilek and her class at the planting and restoration event on Saturday, May 21 at 9:00 a.m. – noon at Willow Stream, 651 Old Checker Rd, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089.

Arbor Day

Ahh! The beauty of a tree! They benefit us in so many ways… and the value and importance of these majestic plants is not something taken lightly at Tarkington Elementary School in Wheeling.

The 3rd grade students have been learning about trees, including the various parts of a tree, their lifecycle and benefits. Additionally, for the last month, the entire school has been reading Wishtree, by Katherine Applegate, courtesy of Title 1 funding, for a literacy initiative called, “One School, One Book.” “The goal is to encourage literacy and community participation by reading and discussing the book as a family,” said Tarkington Principal Joe Arduino. The story tells how a tree helped a community embrace their differences.

The 3rd grade students from Tarkington celebrated the completion of the book by adding their wishes to the “wishtree” outside the school, in hopes that their messages would come true. They also celebrated Arbor Day by planting a red oak tree on the Tarkington school grounds, courtesy of the Village of Wheeling. “We are so honored to help out with this project and teach the students the importance of trees,” said Vince Hoffman, Superintendent of Streets and Facilities at the Village of Wheeling Public Works.

For the red oak planted at Tarkington, thank you. You provided not only a lesson on trees, but an education on community relations.

The Best of the Best

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently awarded our very own District Superintendent, Dr. Michael C. Connolly, with the Award of Meritorious Service. This statewide award recognizes and honors administrators who have made outstanding contributions to public elementary education. Dr. Connolly is one of four administrators in the state who was awarded this distinction. By helping students’ dreams become reality, he is a vital partner in the district. Dr. Connolly is living the mission statement every day of Ensuring Engaging, Innovative, Equitable and Safe Learning Experiences for Every Student, Every Day.

Congratulations to Dr. Connolly on this incredible achievement!

Lessons through Music

Music education cultivates rhythm, social skills and so much more. Cooper Middle School band students also learned about achieving success and overcoming challenges over the last several months through music education and competitions they entered:

  • In February, the Jazz Band placed 1st at the Jazz In The Meadows Festival held at Rolling Meadows H.S.;
  • Students received 18 first place division ratings and three perfect scores on solos and on ensembles at the District Solo & Ensemble Contest;
  • In March, the Symphonic Winds received perfect scores from all three judges at the NIMCon Band Festival;
  • And for the encore, the Symphonic Winds were invited as the first ever band in District 21 history to compete in the prestigious Illinois SuperState Concert Band Festival which was held on May 6-7.

Let’s wish them all good luck! 

8th Grade Promotion

For the 8th graders in District 21, classes may be over for the summer, but the education continues on to high school. Ceremonies for London, Holmes and Cooper Middle Schools will take place May 25 at Wheeling and Buffalo Grove High Schools. Congratulations to all the students and best of luck as they enter the next chapter of their educational life. We are honored to help them through this transition and pleased to follow their successes.

Check back here for photos.

Student Chromebook Information

Like previous summers, all students returning for the 2022-2023 school year will be taking their District issued Chromebook home for the summer. We are happy to be able to provide this learning tool to students and families over the summer to allow for expanded learning opportunities at all times. We do ask that you please keep the device in a safe place and provide care for it over the summer, as this device will be needed and used for the upcoming school year. If you have any specific questions regarding this process, please reach out to your child’s principal. Further information on the CCSD21 1:1 Chromebook Program can be found here.

As a reminder, students that will NOT be returning for the 2022-2023 school year, will need to return their Chromebook to their school prior to leaving for the year.

Restorative Practice Work

Positive connections in schools contribute to a positive school environment, which is vital to our students after many months of remote learning. With the help of restorative practices coach, Meagan Novara, students are building healthy relationships, resolving personal conflicts and holding each other accountable for bad behavior. Endorsements from students also show the impact made: “[I benefit from] getting my feelings out instead of keeping them in,” said one student.  “[The circle] helps me on my worst days. I get to express from the back of my mind and the bottom of my heart. Then I realize that the day isn’t that bad. I find my inner Zen,” said another student.

View the impact of the restorative work done at CCSD21.

Shield Testing/Last Week and Schedule Shift

To ensure SHIELD results are in before the institute day of Friday, May 20 the testing schedule for the week of May 16 will be:

  • Monday, May 16:  London Strand
  • Tuesday, May 17:  Holmes Strand  (no change to current schedule)
  • Wednesday, May 18:  Cooper Strand (no change to current schedule)

This will be our last week of SHIELD testing for the school year.  Thank you for your understanding and support

Community COVID-19 Levels

COVID-19 community levels are a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high. Due to an increase in the number of positive cases, suburban Cook County is now at the “Medium” level of transmission.

What Prevention Steps Should You Take Based on the COVID-19 Community Level?



People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask.

First Student Recruiting Bus Drivers

Being a bus driver is not just a job, it’s an adventure. Join First Student, the leading transportation service, by helping provide transportation to and from school for our students. Begin your adventure with these benefits:

  • $21.00/HR starting wage; depending on experience
  • $5,000 Sign-on bonus for fully licensed drivers*
  • No experience necessary! We train!
  • Paid CDL training
  • Hours guarantee
  • Paid holidays
  • Additional hours available – charter route opportunities!
  • Child ride-along program
  • No nights or weekends

*Bonus expires on 5/31/22

About the Position

  • Join our team of professional drivers dedicated to getting students to and from school safely
  • Drivers enjoy the support of our industry leading technology to guide them through their daily routes
  • Prioritize vehicle maintenance by conducting pre and post trip vehicle inspections
  • Provide support to students by assisting with boarding and exiting the bus


  • Good verbal communication skills
  • At least 21 years old
  • Valid driver’s license for at least 3 years
  • Be subject to a drug screen and physical

Interested? Call First Student at 847-541-0220.

Student Registration

Is your child registered for the 2022-2023 school year?

Teacher placements and student schedules are important aspects to your students’ education. Register your child in a timely manner for the utmost planning and organizing!

New CCSD21 Students
All new CCSD21 pre-K through 8th grade students are required to register for the 2022-2023 school year. Please go to the District website to complete this important step as soon as possible so we can best plan and prepare for the fall.

Returning CCSD21 Students
Parents may check their email or call their child’s school to receive their student’s unique Snapcode. Using this Snapcode when registering will help save time by reviewing and verifying pre-populated information that is already on file with the District.

Questions related to the registration process can be directed to the CCSD21 Registrar, Carmina Martinez at 847.520.2610 or [email protected].

Please spread the word to family, friends, and neighbors! Registration information is available at


Kindergarten Preview

District 21 is rounding up incoming kindergarteners and hosting preview nights for new kindergarten students entering the 2022-2023 school year. Families are invited to local elementary schools between 6-7 p.m. at the following locations across the District to meet the principal, tour the school, learn about the daily schedule, gain ideas on how to prepare for the upcoming school year, and receive assistance with registration, which will take place between 5 p.m.-5:45 p.m. & 7-8 p.m.

Tuesday, May 10
Frost Elementary School, 1805 Aspen Dr., Mt. Prospect
Kilmer Elementary School, 655 Golfview Ter., Buffalo Grove

Wednesday, May 11
Whitman Elementary School, 133 S. Wille Ave., Wheeling
Twain Elementary School, 515 Merle Ln., Wheeling

Monday, May 16
Poe Elementary School, 2800 N. Highland Ave., Arlington Hts.

Wednesday, May 18
Longfellow Elementary School, 501 S. Arlington Hts. Road, Arlington Hts.

Children who will be five years old on or before September 1, 2022 are eligible to attend full-day kindergarten in the fall of 2022.

For more details on registration for incoming kindergarten students, including materials parents need to provide in order to enroll, visit

School Board Update

The  livestream video of the April 21 Board of Education meeting can be viewed here.

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting of Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Cook County, IL, will be held on May 26, 2022, 7:00 p.m. at the CCSD21 Gill Administration Center, 999 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, IL 60090.