Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Fiscal policy think tank director runs for District 90 board.
Ralph Martire, a River Forest resident, is one of three candidates running uncontested for a spot on the District 90 School Board. Liz Fischer and incumbent James Weiss will also appear on the ballot. (Editor's note: Weiss was sent a candidate questionnaire, but has not returned it.) Martire currently serves as executive director of a bipartisan economic and fiscal policy think tank called the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability. Patch: District 90's Board of Education has recently been considering a full-day kindergarten program. What are your thoughts on this? Ralph Martire: Full day kindergarten is certainly a good idea, and merits consideration. It can help in a child’s development (socially as well as academically), and has the…
Monday, February 28, 2011
River Forest teachers and school board approve a contract extending the school day — and pay bumps.
Teachers have signed a new three-year contract with the River Forest School District 90 Board of Education that includes longer class hours and pay increases. Included in the contract is a major change that switches the start times at Lincoln and Willard elementary schools, which will begin 40 minutes earlier. Teachers will also be paid more based on the increased hours. The board approved the contract Feb. 22 after the River Forest Education Association approved the contract a week earlier, with a vote of 82 percent in favor and 18 percent against. Jim Weiss, the school board’s personnel committee chairman, said he was pleased to see the longer school hours included in the contract. “That was something we had made a high priority – to …
Friday, February 11, 2011
Group forms to coordinate the learning efforts of schools, institutions.
What do you get when you put 20 librarians in a room together? There’s no punch line, just plenty of new ideas. Librarians with Oak Park Elementary School District 97, River Forest School District 90, OPRF High School District 200, and both the Oak Park and River Forest public libraries have combined to meet on all things librarian twice a year. The group, called the Oak Park and River Forest Vertical Team, met last week for their third-ever meeting, this time at Horace Mann Elementary School's library, where the topics ranged from the potential of E-books for students to the implementation of a “Big 6” research method — a learning strategy for students aimed at creating uniform research skills from elementary school through high school. …
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Additional costs, staffing among main concerns.
Despite the backing of many district teachers and the administrators, the plan to expand the River Forest Public Schools District 90 has hit a wall of opposition by the school board. No decision was reached at Tuesday’s school board meeting, but there was a serious two-hour debate by the board, teachers and administration. "I don’t see a compelling need, based on what I’ve seen,” said board member David Latham. One of the key issues was the cost – the addition of new teachers and materials for full-day kindergarten would add a total of $1.1 million in the first three years, according to an estimate by finance director Anthony Cozzi. There’s also the issue of space. Currently, District 90 can’t house any additional students from a full-day …
Friday, January 28, 2011
Residency, enrollment packets due Feb. 4.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD FILES
- Casey Cora
Friday, January 28, 2011
Registration for 2011-2012 kindergarten in River Forest Public Schools District 90 begins Feb. 4, school officials have announced. Current District 90 families can pick up enrollment packets at school offices at Lincoln School, 511 Park Ave., or Willard School, 1250 N. Ashland Ave. The registration packets should be turned into whichever school prospective students are headed for — families who reside north of Chicago Avenue will send students to Willard School, and those living south of Chicago Avenue will send students to Lincoln School. In either case, both schools will be open from 8 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. to 4 p.m. for the Feb. 4 registration day. Those new to the school district are asked to pick up a residency and …
Monday, January 10, 2011
Committee confident River Forest's reputation can attract good candidates after Hagerman's surprise exit.
River Forest District 90’s Board of Education will have about five months to replace outgoing Supt. Thomas Hagerman. On Thursday, Hagerman announced he had accepted the superintendent position at Winnetka Public Schools District 36, effective July 1. The news comes just two months after Hagerman signed a five-year extension with District 90. “It was certainly a surprise, given that we’d just extended his contract this fall,” said District 90 Board of Education personnel committee chairman Jim Weiss. “On the other hand, he’s a professional [with] a lot of talents.” The Board of Education again will work with search firm School Exec Connect to find its superintendent, which it used to find Hagerman, as well as a principal at Willard. “They …
Thursday, January 6, 2011
District 90 superintendent to leave River Forest after three years.
River Forest Public Schools District 90 Supt. Thomas Hagerman is leaving his post to become the new head of Winnetka public schools, school officials in the North Shore suburb have announced. Hagerman will take the helm of Winnetka Public Schools District 36 on July 1. He'll make $220,000 a year along with "customary retirement and health benefits," according to a District 36 news release. District 36 has about 1,900 students placed throughout five schools — an increase from River Forest District 90's estimated 1,350 students in three schools. Hagerman said in the release, issued by District 36 on Thursday, the district's "vision is not simply words on a page, but a dynamic and real approach to educating its children. It is one that I…
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Study group presents financial, location details to school board.
A study group comprised of River Forest Public Schools District 90 teachers and its superintendent unveiled plans for a proposed expansion to full-day kindergarten in River Forest. The three options, detailed during Tuesday night's school board meeting at Roosevelt Middle School, call for expanding the current half-day program in District 90. They include: The plans are still in the preliminary stages and school officials are figuring out ways to create and pay for more classroom space. The full-day option would be paid for by the district, officials said. The extended day option could include a charge of roughly $20 per day for parents who participate, according to the Superintendent's Leadership Council, a group that presented the …
Monday, December 27, 2010
Oak Park nonprofit increases its musical offerings to low income families.
As the Oak Park nonprofit PING! was hosting one of its recruitment nights this fall, a heartbreaking scene unfolded. A line of children had formed to sign up for the instruments provided by PING! (Providing Instruments to the Next Generation) to students from low income families. As the event was coming to a close, four elementary school girls who had been patiently waiting at the end of the line asked for a small violin. There were none left, and the disheartened girls burst into tears over the disappointment. PING! usually collects its instruments through donations, and the group doesn't generally have a large budget for purchases. But the event organizers had pledged never to turn down an instrument request from a child. This night wasn…
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Location, cost of new program to be discussed before next month's decision.
Full-day kindergarten may be coming next year to River Forest. The River Forest School District 90 Board of Education will examine and discuss various options at its public meeting at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at Roosevelt Middle School, and then likely make a decision later in the month. Oak Park's District 97 already has implemented a full-day kindergarten at all eight of its elementary schools. But River Forest, with its two elementary schools already full, is likely to face more difficulty with space than Oak Park. District 90 Supt. Thomas Hagerman said the Superintendent's Leadership Council, made up of a group of teachers, has been examining various options and visiting numerous sites to consider what might work best. Among the options are …