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District Weekly News January 30

This Week in Valley View

News and Notes from Around the District

January 30, 2020


VVSD Board Approves Mrs. Rachel Kinder, Ed.S as Next Superintendent of Schools

Rachel Kinder

The Valley View School District 365U Board of Education voted tonight to approve Mrs. Rachel Kinder, Ed.S as Superintendent of Schools effective July 1, 2020.  Mrs. Kinder is currently VVSD’s Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services and will succeed current Superintendent Dr. James A. Mitchem, Jr. who will retire at the end of the current school year. She will be the district's seventh superintendent and the first female superintendent in the school district’s history.

“We are pleased to have found Dr. Mitchem’s successor within our organization,” said VVSD Board of Education President Mr. Steve Quigley.  “We will benefit from an easier transition of leadership.”

Mrs. Kinder earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish Translation and Business from Northern Illinois University in 2001.  She continued her education by earning her Master of Education Degree from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2004 and added a Master of Arts in Educational Administration from Governors State University in 2008.  Mrs. Kinder is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at Concordia University Wisconsin.

Mrs. Kinder began her teaching career in 2002 as a Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher in Joliet Township District 204 and then joined VVSD as a Spanish Teacher and Department Chair at Bolingbrook High School in 2007. In July 2009, she was named as Bolingbrook High School Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction and later Interim Principal.  She was instrumental in planning and implementing school and instructional improvements annually for more than 3,700 students and nearly 400 staff members.

Mrs. Kinder joined VVSD District Administration in 2011 as Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services for Grades 6-12 and was promoted to her current position in 2013.  She directed VVSD’s first-ever strategic planning effort and led the focus on college and career readiness, social-emotional learning, family engagement, and community partnerships emphasizing student-centered and equity driven allocation of resources.

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity and excited to continue to serve, lead, and support our staff, students and learning community to even greater levels of success,” Mrs. Kinder said.  “I am appreciative of the Board’s continued support and partnership to meet the needs of every learner and meet our obligation to the community of effective use of resources and positive outcomes for our children.”


Mrs. Kinder Addresses BOE Meeting Following Her Approval as Next Superintendent

The VVSD Board of Education approved Mrs. Rachel Kinder as the next superintendent of schools at the Regular Meeting on Jan. 27.  After the Board’s vote of approval, Mrs. Kinder shared words of appreciation to the Board, her colleagues, VVSD staff, and the community.


Congressman Bill Foster Visits Salk Elementary to Offer Congratulations

Congressman Bill Foster Visits Salk Elementary

Jonas Salk Elementary School is having quite a year so far.  First, they learned they are one of just 73 U.S. schools named a 2019 National ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Distinguished School for the extraordinary success of their students.  Then they received a congratulatory visit from Illinois Congressman Bill Foster.

Rep. Foster explained to students there are approximately 100,000 schools in the United States and only 73 received the ESEA designation.  To put that in context, he asked the students to picture in their minds a big football stadium with 100,000 people inside, and then, picture the marching band on the field at halftime.  Rep. Foster said the marching band represents the proportion of the number of people in the stadium that parallels the proportion of schools that have earned this honor.

Watch the video to see and hear Rep. Foster share with students the proclamation he will be reading into the Congressional Record about Salk Elementary School.


A.Vito Martinez Middle School Earns RAMP Designation

A Vito Martinez Middle School Goal 2 Goal 3

The counseling department at A.Vito Martinez Middle School is the latest Valley View School to achieve Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) designation from the American School Counselor Association.  In addition, Martinez is designated as a School of Distinction by the ASCA and is one of only five schools nationwide to achieve that designation in this cycle of recognition.

Congratulations to the A.Vito Martinez counseling team of Mrs. Donna Allgood and Mrs. Anita Hilton at our newest RAMP designated school. Mrs. Hilton is National Board Certified in School Counseling and Mrs. Allgood is the 2019 Illinois School Counselor Association Internship Supervisor of the Year.

Schools that receive the RAMP designation from ASCA are honored for making an exemplary commitment to comprehensive school counseling programs. The RAMP designation, awarded for aligning with the criteria in the ASCA National Model, recognizes schools that are committed to delivering a comprehensive, data driven school counseling program and an exemplary educational environment.

A.Vito Martinez joins Bolingbrook HS, Brooks Middle School, Jane Addams Middle School, Lukancic Middle School and Romeoville HS as RAMP designated schools in VVSD.

Meet Our Staff Members
Ms. Katie Paulson- Jane Addams Middle School 7th Grade Counselor

Ms. Katie Paulson Goal 3

February 3-7 is National School Counseling Week sponsored by the American School Counseling Association.  The week highlights the unique contribution of school counselors and the tremendous impact they have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career.

Here in VVSD, school counselors are a vital component of our student services staff. Our counselors look after more than just a students’ academic progress, but their social and emotional growth as well.

Watch the video to meet Jane Addams Middle School 7th Grade Counselor Ms. Katie Paulson.  We started our visit with Ms. Paulson by asking her why she decided to pursue a career as a counselor. Watch the video!



Summer is Theatre Season in Valley View

Beauty and the Beast Jr

For the third summer in a row, VVSD middle school students will have an opportunity to come together and create a District-wide middle school musical through the Valley View STAGES program. Students will have the opportunity to perform on the stage or backstage in a production of “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.”  Camp will culminate in up to two performances on Friday, June 12 at the Bolingbrook High School Auditorium.  Performances will take place on the final day of the camp.  Dates for the camp are weekdays June 1-12. Tuition of $250 includes daily breakfast and lunch, camp T-Shirt, and theatre instructions.  Early Registration (before April 1) is $225.  If you are registering an additional child, the tuition for a second participant is $175.

For more information or to register, visit Registration is only permitted for Valley View School District students and students who will attend a Valley View High School. Scholarships are available. Have questions? Contact Larry Fisher at or Andrew White at 


VVSD Early Childhood Online Registration for Community Based Tuition Program Opens Feb. 3

Valley View Early Childhood Center

Valley View School District’s Early Childhood Program will be offering a limited number of placements for the half and full-day Community Based Tuition pre-school program for the 2020-21 school year.

The Valley View Early Childhood Center offers a diversity of experiences for students, with a focus on pre-academic skills, social and emotional development, and hands-on activities.  Music and movement are also key attributes of the curriculum, which focuses on the development of the whole child and their self-esteem.

Full Day Community Based Tuition Program Pre-School students will attend 6 hours and 15 minutes per day at a cost of $600 per month, which includes breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  Before and after school care is also available through the Romeoville Recreation Department. Community Based Tuition Half Day Pre-School is for 2 1/12 hours per day at a cost of $245 per month. Valley View’s Early Childhood program offers early childhood education for children three years old by the first day of school and no older than five years old on Sept. 2, 2020.  This program is open to all Valley View 365U residents and outside residents, with families who reside within VVSD boundaries given first priority.

To register online for the lottery for available placements in either the Community Based Tuition Full Day or Half Day programs, visit beginning Feb. 3.  Online lottery application closes on Fri. Feb. 28.  The lottery drawing will take place on Tue. March 3. Parents will be contacted via email on Wed. Mar. 11 if their child has been selected through the open lottery system.  If you have any questions, please call 815-886-7827 ext. 6156.


Illinois 5Essentials Survey Now Open to Valley View Parents
Valley View School District 365U is joining the Illinois State Board of Education in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, the seventh statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools. Now through Feb. 14, students, teachers and parents can take a 25-minute research-based survey to help identify strengths and weaknesses in their school’s learning environment. This survey will serve as an opportunity for schools to reflect on progress since the last statewide implementation. Click here to take the 5Essentials Survey


Black History Month Celebration Set for Feb. 9

Bolingbrook Black History Month Celebration

The Black History Month Awareness Club & Valley View School District Present the 22nd Annual Community Wide Black History Month Celebration “Soaring to New Heights” on Sat. Feb. 8 from 2-5 p.m. in the Roger and Pat Claar Family Auditorium at Bolingbrook HS.  Admission is free.


A New Decade is Time for the U.S. Census- Everybody Counts

2020 US Censue

The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade there is a count— or a census—of America’s population. The census provides vital information for you and your community.

  • It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw congressional district boundaries.
  • Communities rely on census statistics to plan for a variety of resident needs including new roads, schools, and emergency services.
  • Businesses use census data to determine where to open places to shop. Each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on Census Bureau data.

The law requires the Census Bureau to keep your information confidential and use your responses only to produce statistics. The Bureau cannot publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you, nor share your information with immigration enforcement agencies such as ICE, law enforcement agencies such as the FBI or police, or allow it to be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits. To learn more about Census 2020, visit


Kudos for Noteworthy Achievements

The Romeoville HS Competitive Dance Team qualified for the IHSA Class 2A State Championship Competition.  The team, coached by Ms. Kristin Joy, will travel to Bloomington for the IHSA Championships to be held on Jan. 31 & Feb. 1.

Oak View Elementary School First Grade Teacher Ms. Stephanie Vavrina (Bolingbrook HS ‘13) is the recipient of the Benedictine University School of Education Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (IACTE), honors education graduates from designated universities. Ms. Vavrina is in her second year teaching at Oak View and will be honored at a reception in Springfield on Tuesday, March 31.


Seen Around Valley View This Week

Wood View SMART Grid Dr. Mario Guzman Ward Battle of the Books

Left- VVSD Library and Media Center Directors and Educators learned about circuits and smart technologies. The presentation by CeMaST is called Smart Grid for Schools and is designed to help children and adults understand the electrical grid and the installation of smart meters.

Center- Trinity Christian College Asst. Professor of Psychology Dr. Mario Guzman informed members of the VVSD Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee about the impact social media has on kids.  Dr. Guzman’s presentation was held at the Annerino Center in Bolingbrook.

Right- Elementary students all around VVSD are busy preparing for this year's VVSD Battle of the Books.  The B.J. Ward students in the photo above were taking part in their school competition to determine the team that will represent B.J. Ward at the District Battle.


Quick Notes- The next regular meeting of the Valley View School District Board of Education is on Monday, February 10, at John J. Lukancic Middle School, 725 W. Normantown Rd, Romeoville IL.  The meeting will be called to order at 6:30 p.m. and the Board will vote to go into Executive Session.  The Public Session of the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. In accordance with the Open Meetings Act, the Agenda for the meeting will be posted no later than 48 hours prior to the start of the meeting.  Click here to view the Agenda

The 9thth Annual Bolingbrook HS College, Trade, and Career Fair is coming on Thu. Feb. 6 from 10:15 am- 1 pm. Over 90 vendors will share information with students about post-high school graduation educational, work, and career opportunities.

The Bolingbrook HS National Honor Society and Navy Junior ROTC will host a Blood Drive on Thu. Feb. 13th with assistance from Vitalant (formerly Life Source).  This drive will be held in the Bolingbrook HS ROTC Drill Hall and will take place from 9 am – 2 pm. Walk-ins from the community are greatly appreciated.  All that is necessary is a photo ID. 


Upcoming Important School Calendar Dates

Fri. Feb. 14                               Parent Teacher Conferences- No Classes for Students

Mon. Feb. 17                             Presidents’ Day- No Classes

Wed. Feb. 26                            Early Release (BHS 12:43, RHS 12:45, MS 1:20, Elementary 2:15)



Events for the Coming Week

Thu. Jan. 30                              Ward Elementary School Family Bingo Night 5:30 pm

                                                McGee Elementary School Science Fair Preview 6:30 pm

Fri. Jan. 31                                Wood View Multicultural Fair 5:30 pm

Wed. Feb. 5                               Hermansen Elementary Global School Day of Play 9 am

Thu. Feb. 6                               Bolingbrook HS 9th Annual College, Career, and Trade Fair 10:15 am

                                               Hermansen PTO Sweetheart Dance 5:30 pm

Fri. Feb. 7                                 Hill Elementary Family Reading and Game Night 6 pm

                                                McGee PTO Sweetheart Dance 6 pm

                                                Brooks Middle School Sweetheart Social 6 pm

Tue. Feb. 11                              Bolingbrook HS Choir Concert 7 pm

Wed. Feb. 12                             Lukancic Middle School Nat’l Jr. Honor Society Dance 2:45 pm

                                                Bolingbrook HS Freshman Band Concert 6 pm

                                                Bolingbrook HS Symphonic Band & Wind Symphony Concerts 7:30 pm

Thu. Feb. 13                              Independence Elementary Sweetheart Dance 6 pm


New This Week in the Community Bulletin Board

Northern Illinois Food Bank Mobile Pantry Feb. 3 at New Hope Church


News from Our Community Partners

Heart Haven Outreach
Heart Haven Outreach is hosting their Annual 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament for middle and high school students at Brooks Middle School on Sun. March 1.  The deadline to sign up is Thu. Jan. 30.  For more details, call (630) 226-8403 or download the registration form at

Coaches are needed for the tournament and if you would like to volunteer, contact Ryan Lawrence at Volunteer coaches conduct three practices during February and coach on the day of the tournament.

Northern Illinois Food Bank

West Suburban Community Pantry (WSCP) in association with the Northern IL Food Bank will be hosting a Community Mobile Food Pantry in Bolingbrook at New Hope Baptist Church on Mon. Feb. 3 from 4-5:30pm. The Community Mobile Food Pantry will offer fresh produce, proteins and staple items for those struggling to put food on the table. Organizations from the community may also be present to connect community members and their families with jobs/services that can help put them back on their feet. The Church is located at 509 E. Briarcliff Rd, Bolingbrook. 

The Northern Illinois Food Bank is conducting mobile food banks and micro pantries in the vicinity in the near future.

Please bring bags or boxes. Micro Pantries are designed to allow anonymous food pick-up for those in need and a drop-off point for those who wish to help. Micro pantries are accessible 24 hours a day. To find a Micro Pantry near you visit:


West Suburban Community Pantry in association with the Northern IL Food Bank will be hosting a Community Mobile Pantry in Bolingbrook every first Monday of the month. Each Community Mobile Pantry will offer fresh produce, proteins and staple items for those struggling to put food on the table. Different organizations from the community will also be present to connect community members and their families with services that can help put them back on your feet. 


Will County MAPP Food Micro Pantries

Will County Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships conducts micro and mobile food pantries throughout Will County.  Click here for more details and a map of locations.



(That’s All for This Week)

Out Next Edition Will be Coming Your Way on February 13