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Message from the Superintendent - September 27, 2019

Dear District 31 Community,

Happy Friday!  As we move into the upcoming three-day weekend, there are several news and announcements to share.



Last night at the District 31 Board of Education meeting First Student leadership discussed the ongoing bus concerns with the community and Board of Education members. The conversation included continuing challenges, areas of improvement and plans for the future.  In addition, the anticipated refund was discussed and we brainstormed the best way to administer the planned refund process. Stay tuned as First Student utilizes that brainstorming and communicates a final plan on the method of refunds. Finally, First Student leadership provided a memo to the Board of Education summarizing the current status of bus services in District 31.  Click here to see this communication.


Parents Needed to Participate in Upcoming Program Studies

The Department of Student Services will be conducting two outside evaluations, one will be specifically focusing on special education and the other study will be focusing on English Learners.  The special education study, will be conducted by West Ed, a non-profit firm specializing in research, development, and education. The focus of the study will be to determine if the continuum of services for students with disabilities is efficient and effective.  The English Language evaluation will be conducted through the Illinois Resource Center, which is a major statewide intermediate service agency, with a focus on determining if EL programing is effective for English language learners.

Both studies will be conducted in the month of October and will entail data and document review, classroom observations and focus groups.  West Ed will be conducting focus groups on October 18th. The purpose of the focus groups is for various stakeholders to provide input regarding the effectiveness of special education services and the general education interventions in West Northfield School District 31. If you are interested in participating in a focus group on October 18th at Winkelman School from 8:30 am to 9:30 am , please click here to complete the form. To review the questions please  click here

The Illinois Resource Center will also be completing focus groups and parents/guardians will be invited to participate. The time and date of the focus groups will be determined next week and information will be distributed by our EL Coordinator, Veronica Gott,  

If you have any questions regarding the special education study or focus group, please contact Dr. Janine Gruhn, Director of Student Supports,


Celebrating Students

Each year the Illinois Music Educators Association holds auditions for a Junior High Honors Band made up of band members from northern Illinois middle schools.  Around 350 students go through a lengthy audition process in front of judges to win a spot in this band.  

This year 12 Field band members made it into this prestigious band. The students who will be performing in the 2019 ILMEA Honors Band are 8th graders Bryan Gong (alto sax), Jessica An (clarinet), Claire Yum (clarinet), Sam Zelinsky (trombone), Chris Lee (trombone), Alex Rim (trumpet), Leo Zarzuela (percussion), Breanna Paek (flute) and 7th graders James Grayes (clarinet), Lena Kwon (clarinet), Sophia Hsing (bassoon) and Kaitlyn Jiang (trombone). 

These students will meet for a one-day festival on Saturday, November 2 for a full day of rehearsals, followed by a public concert.  This year's festival will be held at Maine West High School and will be conducted by Bryan Miller. The District 31 Band program is led by Band Director, Mr. Mike Miller.


Parent Teacher Conferences

Have you signed up for Parent-Teacher conferences? This is a great opportunity for parents and teachers to partner in support of their children.  If you have any questions about conference sign-ups, please contact the Field and Winkelman offices.


Parents Night Out

The Education Foundation and Parent Teacher Organization are co-sponsoring a “Parents Night Out” at North Branch on Saturday, September 28.  The event starts at 7pm and parents are invited to drop in any time. In addition, if you eat at North Branch (or order take-out) and mention this event, a portion of your bill will be donated to our wonderful parent organizations.  We hope you take advantage of this opportunity to connect with friends, both old and new.


Have a wonderful weekend.  Please remember that there is no school on Monday.



Dr. Erin Murphy

Superintendent of Schools