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District Weekly News December 2

This Week in Valley View

News and Notes from Around the District 


December 2 Message to VVSD Families from Superintendent Kinder

Every Learner Every Day

We are in the homestretch of Fall Semester, and we are getting ready to welcome the much- anticipated Winter Break.  There is no doubt that this school year has brought a steady stream of challenges, but I am grateful that the entire VVSD Community continues to work together and push forward to support our kids. Together we must stay focused and continue the momentum we have all worked hard to build since school resumed in August.

Health & Safety

As you are likely aware, there is currently a large increase in the number of COVID cases both locally and within our VVSD community.  In the last few days since Thanksgiving Break, we have seen a spike in positive cases for staff and students as well in the number of students required to quarantine as a close contact to a positive case. We have greater knowledge and tools to mitigate risks and impact than we did nearly two years ago; however, we still must stay diligent with symptom monitoring/reporting, testing, hand hygiene, distancing, and mask wearing to minimize disruptions to in-person school attendance. 

Safety & Security

Another critical partnership is around school safety and security.  Please talk to your child about online safety and reporting concerns to an adult at home or at school. Also stay familiar with their usage of social media platforms as this is where threats of harm, bullying or unsafe behaviors commonly surface.  Each and every one of us has a responsibility to be observant and to say something if we hear or see anything that causes a concern regarding the safety of our students, staff, and school community.  Our shared efforts will help to maintain a safe school environment. 


Early Release & Winter Break

Finally, a couple of calendar notes for December.  Our regular monthly Early Release date for December is on Wednesday, December 8. We have also added Tuesday, December 21, which is the final day of classes before Winter Break, as an Early Release date for grades K-12.  We are making this change in order to assist in the closure of the Fall Semester, before students, families, and staff members begin a much-needed break. Please note that Early Childhood and STEP programming will follow regular schedules on December 21.  Winter Break will be Wednesday, December 22-January 5. Students will return to school on January 6, 2022.  

Thank you for your continued partnership. We are stronger together!  


Rachel Kinder, Ed.S

Superintendent of Schools


VVSD Staff Spotlight- Lois McDermott, Library Director, Jane Addams Middle School 

Lois McDermott

Jane Addams Library and Media Center Director Lois McDermott followed her mother’s footsteps to a career as a school librarian.  Lois’ passion for the written word and her ability the match the interests of young teens with books that are relevant to their lives and experiences have made her an invaluable part of the Jane Addams school community for three decades. 

Lois’ mom provided more than just inspiration and a career path to her daughter.  The evidence is visible in the Jane Addams Library every winter when hundreds of snowmen go on display!

Watch the Video!



VVSD Asst. Supt. Gary Grizaffi Named IASBO Distinguished Service Award Winner

Gary Grizaffi

Valley View Community Unit School District 365U Asst. Superintendent Garrick Grizaffi is the 2021 winner of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials Dr. R.E. Everett Distinguished Service Award.  The Everett Award celebrates IASBO members for their dedication and service to the school business profession.

“I thank the IASBO Board of Directors for recommending me for this very prestigious award,” Grizaffi said.  “I also want to thank my family and especially my colleagues through the years who have supported me and blessed me with their friendship and professionalism, allowing me to be part of a profession that is much bigger than any individual.”

Gary began his career working in Cook County School District 89, which is the same district he attended elementary school as a student.  In 1998, he became Assistant Superintendent for Business in West Chicago School District 94, and then in 2005 assumed his current position as VVSD Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services.  In his role in VVSD, Gary oversees the business, operations, and finances of the ninth largest school district in Illinois.

The Dr. R.E. Everett Distinguished Service Award presentation was part of the annual Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Association of School Administrators, and Illinois Association of School Business Officials Joint Conference held November 19-21 in Chicago.

Watch the Video



VVSD Transportation Employment Opportunities Available 

As in the case of several other service-oriented organizations, VVSD Transportation is facing staffing challenges during the pandemic.  So far, our transportation staff has been able to satisfy all our commitments.  However, there have been times since the start of the school year we’ve been forced to alter routes and find creative solutions to provide the level of safety and service that VVSD’s students deserve and parents, guardians, and the entire community have come to expect.

We are approaching a point where we might be forced to limit our services simply because the demand for services cannot be met by our current supply of drivers. The simplest solution to this challenge is to increase our supply of personnel by adding new members to our transportation team.

In addition to competitive wages, VVSD is currently offering a signing bonus of up to $1000 and you’ll be eligible for insurance benefits, a pension plan, and a six-hour per day guarantee.  VVSD maintains a modern bus fleet (all buses are under five years old) and you’ll have the option of earning additional wages for field trips and co-curricular activities.  We especially encourage our community’s seasoned citizens who might be looking for a well-paying way to spend a few hours each day while also helping our current learners.

If you, or if anyone you know is interested in joining our team, please visit to view our openings and apply for employment.  


VVSD BPAC Presents Parenting Workshop with Dr. Ferney Ramirez
Mon. Dec. 13 6:30-8:30 pm via Zoom (This event will be conducted in Spanish)

Parents play a decisive role in the lives of their children. The words of parents, their advice and life experiences will to a large extent form their children’s expectations of life. Obviously, to achieve success, parents must know how to reach their children so that they listen and understand the principles parents seek to instill in their children. In this workshop, we will analyze the Theory of the Three I’s: Instill, Influence and Impact. Please click here to enter the workshop 

Los padres juegan un papel determinante en la vida de los hijos; de sus palabras, consejos y experiencias de vida, va a depender en gran parte, el que sus hijos formen sus expectativas de vida. Obviamente, que para lograr esto, los padres deben saberles llegar a los hijos para que ellos les escuchen y pongan en su cerebro sus indicaciones como principios de vida. En este taller analizaremos la Teoría de las tres I’s: Inculcar, Influir e Impactar. Presione aquí para el link 


Fall is Back to Being Theatre Season in Valley View

Secret Garden at Humphrey Middle School

Humphrey Fall Play Rescheduled to Dec. 9 & 10

The Humphrey Middle School Drama Club will present their production of one of the classics of children's literature live on the Humphrey stage. The Secret Garden follows Mary Lenox, Dickon Sowerby, and Colin Craven as they discover the magic of a garden and its ability to bring hope and new life into everyone they touch, including each other. 

The Secret Garden will be performed live on Thu. Dec.9 and Fri. Dec.10 at 6 pm in the Humphrey Cafeteria Theater. Tickets are $5 per person or a family 4-pack is available for $16. The Drama Club produces two shows each year, a fall play and spring musical, and is open to all HHH students with an interest in theater.

Kudos for Noteworthy Acheivements

Five VVSD students have been selected to participate in the Illinois Music Education Association Annual Conference January 26-29 in Peoria.  From Romeoville HS, Richard Gibbs, senior, Jazz Band. From Bolingbrook HS, the students selected are: Grace Avery, senior, Honors Chorus; Joshua Bozarth, junior, Honors Chorus; Blake Whatcott, junior, Jazz Band, and Roya Zaucha, junior, All-State Chorus.

Seen Around Valley View This Week

Bolingbrook HS Basketball Team Visits McGee ElementaryOak View Elementary Guest GobblersThe Grinch Visits Lukancic

Left- The Bolingbrook HS Boys’ Basketball team visited the students at Jamie McGee Elementary School to demonstrate their skills and teamwork.  

Center- Oak View Elementary School Asst. Principal Joey Horn and Principal Jennifer Duffy were given the high honor of serving (literally!) as lunchtime Guest Gobblers just prior to the Thanksgiving break.

Right- The staff at Lukancic Middle School celebrating National Grinch Day on Wed. Dec. 1 (Yes, Grinch Day is an actual thing!) Starbucks in Romeoville on Weber Rd donated coffee and the cart pushed by the Grinch and 7th grade math teacher Rebecca Gunderson was full of options including coffee, hot chocolate, Grinch donuts, and other sweet treats.  Unfortunately, 7th grade math teacher Kathleen Gallione could not be found during the Grinch visit. Wait….you don’t suppose??????? 


Quick Notes- The next regular meeting of the Valley View School District Board of Education is on Monday, December 13, at John J. Lukancic Middle School, 725 W. Normantown Rd, Romeoville IL.  The meeting will be called to order at 6:30 pm, at which time the Board will vote to move to Closed Session. The Public Session of the meeting will begin no earlier than 7 pm. 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 Meeting is available via live stream on the VVSD YouTube Channel, VVSD365U

Tickets are available now for the 26th Annual Bolingbrook HS Madrigal Dinner.  The dinner will take place at Ashton Place in Willowbrook on Sat. Dec. 4. Door open at 4:30 pm, dinner will be served and the show will begin at 5 pm.  Tickets are $40 for adults, $25 for those 18 years old and younger.  Click here to purchase tickets. 

The following night, Romeoville HS presents their 37th Annual Madrigal Dinner “A Royal Wedding”. The dinner will take place at Ashton Place in Willowbrook on Sun. Dec. 5. Doors open and the pre-show music begins at 4 p.m. with dinner and the main show beginning at 5 p.m. Tickets are $40 for adults, $25 for children.  Click here to purchase tickets.

Upcoming Important School Calendar Dates

Wed. December 8          Early Release (Elem 2:15, MS 1:20, HS 12:43)

Tue. December 21         Second Grading Period Ends

                                   Early Release (Elem 2:15, MS 1:20, HS 12:43)

Wed. December 22        Winter Break Begins

Wed. January 5             Teacher Work Day (No Classes)

Thu. January 6              Classes Resume

Events for the Coming Week

Sat. Dec. 4       Bolingbrook HS Madrigal Dinner at Ashton Place 4:30 pm

Sun. Dec. 5      Romeoville HS Madrigal Dinner at Ashton Place 4 pm

Mon. Dec. 6      Brooks Middle School 6th Grade Band Concert 7 pm

Tue. Dec. 7       Brooks Middle School 7th & 8th Grade Band Concert 7 pm

Thu. Dec. 9       Humphrey Middle School Fall Play “Secret Garden” 6 pm

                        Martinez Middle School Winter Concert 6:30 pm

                        Lukancic Middle School Winter Band Concert 6:30 pm

                        Lukancic Middle School Winter Band Concert 7:30 pm

Fri. Dec. 10       Humphrey Middle School Fall Play “Secret Garden” 6 pm

Wed. Dec. 15    Martinez Middle School Beginning Band Concert 6:30 pm

Thu. Dec. 16     Hermansen Elementary PTO Virtual Snowflake Craft Night 6:30 pm

News from Our Community Partners


Bolingbrook Park District

Bolingbrook Park District residents and Valley View School District students are now able to register for the REACH All-Day Care program.  All of the information and how to register is located at the following:


Fountaindale Public Library

The library has compiled a variety of resources for VVSD students, parents and teachers to use this school year. Whether you're looking for homework help, a new book to read or exciting technology to learn, you can use your Student Success library card to access all that Fountaindale has to offer! Please visit for details.


West Suburban Community Pantry

West Suburban Community Pantry’s Virtual Food Pantry makes it easy for people facing tough times to order free groceries online so they can make ends meet. You can place your order anytime from a phone or computer with internet access. There are no crowds and no reason to feel rushed. Shop when you want by simply choosing your no-cost groceries and a convenient pickup time and place. Just be sure to place your order a couple of days before you need food. The Virtual Food Pantry is a quick and private way to get a little help with groceries so you can get back on your feet. Start shopping today at 


Romeoville Community Pantry

The Romeoville Community Pantry has updated their procedures and days of operation due to social distancing regulations. Instead of being a “choice pantry,” food is distributed in boxes in a drive-thru style. Clients remain in their cars and check in through the window glass as workers place food into their trunks. The pantry WILL be open the first four Saturdays of the month 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Please check the Romeoville Community Facebook page for any further updates  

Northern Illinois Food Bank

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:  


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!