Art Club 2015-2016

The first Art Club meeting will be on Thursday, September 3th, from 3:20-4:30 in the Grade School art room! If you participate in other extra-curricular activities, and can’t make it to some meetings, NO PROBLEM! Just come to as many of the meetings that are during your off-season. Make sure you have your permission slip turned in before the meeting. I am looking forward to a very creative year!

Ms. Olszanowski

Art Club Meeting dates & permission 15-16

5 Essentials Survey Now Open

The 5Essentials School Climate Survey will be administered January 12 through March 13. Survey results will be available in May to Principals and Superintendents and a summary of results will be included on the State School Report Card.

Teachers, students and parents can access the survey at the following site:

Bradford qualifies for 21st Century Grant

The Bureau Henry Stark Regional Office of Education has been awarded two (2) new federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants to provide extended day and extended year programming for over 500 area students. Schools that will benefit from these new grants include Alwood Elementary, Alwood Middle and High, Bradford Elementary, Bradford Jr. High, Cambridge Elementary, Cambridge Jr. High and High, Kewanee Belle Alexander, Neponset Grade School, LaMoille Van Orin, Ohio Grade School, and Ohio High School.

The 21st CCLC grant program supports extended learning and academic improvement opportunities that bridge achievement gaps and are aimed to help students in high-poverty, low-performing schools meet state and local performance standards in core subjects, such as reading and math. The programs offer a variety of services to students and their parents/caregivers to promote social-emotional development and cultural enrichment, including drug and violence prevention lesson, counseling, art, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, music and recreation classes, technology education and character education. Programs will also offer family events and provide literacy and related educational service for parents and caregivers to better engage families in school activities. All activities will allow students to spend more time in a learning environment and will occur during non-school hours (before or after school) or periods when school is not in session.

These two most recent grant awards provide a total of $1,034,444.00 in the first year of the five-year grant. Grant funds will allow for the creation of eight full-time site coordinator positions, as well as teaching, paraprofessional and other support positions that will be created as the programs at each school are established.

Angie Zarvell, Regional Superintendent of Schools, stated, “The Regional Office of Education has a long history of providing successful, high-quality academic, artistic, and cultural enrichment opportunities to students and their families. We look forward to continuing this tradition in partnership with these schools and their community partners.”

Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) received 142 proposals, requesting more than $53 million. Eighty-seven 21st CCLC grants on behalf of 300 schools and entities were awarded based on criteria including the need for the project, adequacy of resources, plan for sustainability and cost effectiveness. Each application was read and scored by three peer reviewers and three ISBE staff members then reviewed those scores.

The 2015 grantees can be renewed for four years, but subsequent fiscal years depend upon a sufficient appropriation for the program and satisfactory progress in the previous grant period. The award amount per site ranges from $50,000 to $150,000.

ISBE has outlined seven performance objectives for grant programs to use to gauge whether they are meeting the state’s minimum requirements for encouraging student success. These are: student

Involvement in school activities, student achievement, positive behavioral changes in students, community benefits, expanded learning opportunities, professional development opportunities for program personnel, and efficient and effective use of funds.

For more information on the services provided by the ROE, please contact Regional Superintendent, Angie Zarvell at 309.936.7890.

5Essentials Survey

5Essentials Survey Administration


In accordance with Illinois State Statute, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires each school district to administer a survey of learning conditions on a biennial basis.  Within the Illinois Essentials Survey fact sheet, ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education, 2014) outlines the goals of the survey administrations as follows:

  • To help present a more complete picture of what happens in our school classrooms.

  • To provide districts data to be incorporated into planning for improvement activities.

  • To help schools better target resources to the areas that need it most.

  • To engage all stakeholders in school improvement by calling to the attention areas of strength as well as areas requiring more attention or resources.


As a result of Public Act 098-0648, the Illinois General Assembly modified statute to provide local school districts the opportunity to utilize an approved alternate survey of learning conditions, as opposed to the 5Essentials.  After reviewing the alternate surveys, as well as the associated costs, it was determined that our school district would administer the State-funded learning conditions assessment, the 5Essentials.


This year the 5Essentials Survey will be administered to the Johnsburg School District 12 community between Monday, January 12, 2015 and Friday, March 13, 2015.  The survey, developed by the University of Chicago, uses an evidence-based framework to identify, “how school performance on five factors or essentials can indicate important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains” (UChicago Impact, 2014b).  In an effort to prepare impacted members of our school community for participating in the survey, UChicago Impact recommends that school download and utilize their communication kit (letters to parents and staff members, etc.) accessible by Clicking Here.  Additionally, a brief overview video (1:47) has been created that provides an engaging presentation regarding the elements that compose the 5Essentials survey:


Click Here to access video.


Survey Populations

All parents, students, and teachers in the District will be encouraged to access an online survey during the survey administration window.  Surveys can be completed from any device with an internet connection by accessing the 5Essentials survey portal accessible by Clicking Here.  It is important to note that while some populations will access the survey using credentials of some type (ex. student ID number and birthdate), ISBE nor the schools will be able to associate a specific survey with an individual.  Furthermore, we will not be able to identify those participants that did or did not complete a survey.  Specific information about each survey is displayed in the chart below.



Required % to Generate Report

Who is Surveyed?

Information for Accessing the Survey

Survey Questions



All parents; all buildings; one parent per household per school

Parents will be asked to indicate the number of children enrolled in the school; parents with children in multiple schools should take the survey for each school.

Click Here (Estimated 10 Minutes)



Students in Grades 6-12

Students will use their State Student ID Number and Birthdate to access the survey.

Click Here (Estimated 20 Minutes)

“Some questions will differ for students based on class and/or grade level. However, all students will be asked questions about their English, science, and math classes. In addition, the survey will ask specific questions about one of the following three areas: reading, science, or social science” (UChicago Impact, 2014a).



Licensed teachers “whose primary responsibility involves teaching students for the majority of the school day and year” (UChicago Impact, 2014a).

Teachers will need to enter their email address, county, school name, grade level, and gender to access the survey.

The survey, “must be administered during teacher meetings, professional developed days, or at other times that don’t interfere with teachers’ regular classroom and direct instructional duties. Teachers may also complete the survey outside of regular school hours” (UChicago Impact, 2014a).

Click Here (Estimated 20 Minutes)

Important Dates

  • No later than January 12, 2015: Principals and Superintendents will be emailed information to access the survey administration dashboard.  At this time, we will need to verify our student and staff counts.

  • No later than January 12, 2015: A hard-copy of the survey administration manual will be mailed to the schools district.  The manual can also be accessed online by Clicking Here.

  • January 12, 2015 – March 13, 2015: Survey administration window.

  • Prior to the survey administration: “Current law requires that all parents be notified in writing about the administration of the 5Essentials Survey. . . Passive consent assumes that the parent or guardian has consented to their child’s participation in the survey, unless some action is taken. Principals and/or survey coordinators are required to maintain a list of “opt out” students and notify their teachers” (UChicago Impact, 2014a).

  • May 2015: Principals and superintendents will be emailed information to access their school building’s report.

  • October 2015: Survey results will be published as part of the Illinois Report Card website.

  • Fall 2015: Detailed survey results will be publicly released and accessible through the 5Essentials website.


Our Anticipated Timeline

  • Thursday, January 8, 2015: Introduce 5Essentials survey and administration process to the leadership team.

  • Thursday, January 9, 2015 – Thursday, February 12, 2015: Designate time at a staff meeting to introduce the 5Essentials survey to the staff; provide an overview and questions and answer opportunity.

  • Thursday, January 15, 2015 – Friday, January 30, 2015: Distribute written notifications to parents regarding the upcoming survey.

  • Monday, February 2, 2015 – Friday, February 27, 2015: Schedule time for students in grades 6-12 to take the survey.

  • Thursday, February 12, 2015 – Friday, February 27, 2015: Schedule time for teachers to take the survey.



Illinois Public Act 098-0648. Retrieved from

Illinois State Board of Education. (2014). Fact Sheet: Illinois 5 Essentials Survey. Retrieved from

UChicago Impact. (2014a). Illinois 5Essentials Survey Administration Manual. Retrieved from

UChicago Impact. (2014b). 2015 Illinois 5Essentials Administration. [email].

7th Grade Science- DNA Unit Labs- How to construct a 3D model of a double helix, and how to extract real DNA like a scientist.

This week the 7th graders do “real” science activities with DNA.  First the students were able to apply their learning of the structure of DNA strands by building a 3 dimensional, edible model of a double helix.  The students used Gummy Bears, Twizzlers and toothpicks to represent the nucleotide bonds with the phosphate backbone. 

We just cannot believe that there is 6ft of DNA packed into each of our cells, AMAZING!   IMG_0036 - Copy IMG_0038(1) - Copy IMG_0040 - Copy IMG_0041 - Copy IMG_0042 IMG_0043 IMG_0044 IMG_0045 IMG_0046Soon to follow the students will extract REAL DNA from plant life! Check back for pictures…

PARCC Testing Updates For Parents

Parent video on PARCC Introduction

A Parents Guide to PARCC Testing In Illinois


PARCC Practice Tests


Sample Questions from PARCC

6th Grade Writing Lab

Over the course of our semester in writing lab, the students have been working on

typing skills using an online resource called Typing Web.  Our goal by the end of the

2nd nine weeks is to be able to pass at least three typing tests with 24wpm correct.

This is a tough challenge, but the students continue to work hard at it, with many

already reaching 21wpm at the end of the first nine weeks.

This is a free resource that can also be accessed anywhere with internet.

The website is

The students are also applying their typing skills into everyday writing by drafting

and editing two writing prompts per week.  In addition, students are learning to use

Microsoft Power Point to create multiple slide presentations, Excel to collect and

organize data, and will soon use Publisher to create different types of media projects.

I will upload some final projects as the students complete.