Start of School 2020-2021

September District Newsletter
Posted on 09/30/2020
Superintendent Message

Dear Center Cass Families and Communities,

Dr. Andrew Wise, SuperintendentIt is an honor and privilege to lead Center Cass 66. From meeting the members of our learning community (students, employees, parents, and residents), I have seen firsthand the dedication, support, and partnership you provide our schools. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and collaboration!

Your students have been an absolute joy thus far. They appear happy, positive, and resilient. August and September blessed us with sunshine and warm temperatures, which is not only fantastic for outdoor learning, mask breaks, and play, but also for everyone's mental health. We hope that October and November will be as pleasant, but are prepared to move all learning indoors if the weather is severe. We plan to be outside as much as possible, so please ensure that your students are dressed properly for the conditions. Also, please pay special attention to your student's overall health during the fall and winter flu season, and report any abnormalities to the school office. We appreciate your children following the 3Ws when outside of your home. The only way we can stay open for in-person learning is by keeping our positivity rate down as a District.

3WsOver a month and a half ago we opened our doors and computers to learning. It has been a brand new adventure for all of us. An adventure full of challenges, which has forced our employees and students to problem-solve, think critically, be agile, adapt, persevere, overcome, and have a growth mindset. Although we may not have gained as much ground on academic skills as we did in September 2019, the ground we have gained in the self-skills above will be of great benefit to each of us in our development as humans.

I hope as time passes, I will have the opportunity to meet each one of you in person, to learn more about you and your family. Wishing each of you a fall season of happiness, health, and of course, learning!


Dr. Wise

Census 2020U.S. Census 2020 - Deadline September 30

It is not too late to be counted in the 2020 Census! Your response helps to direct billions of dollars in federal funds to local communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Results from the 2020 Census will also be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government. Visit to complete your census today. Each response is critical; shape the future!

Fall Preschool Screening

Preschool ScreeningDue to COVID-19, our Preschool Screening will look different this year. We will not be holding an in-person screening. Parents who have concerns about their children in any of the following areas - (speech, academics, occupational or physical therapy concerns) should contact the Office of Student Services at 630-783-5168 by Thursday, October 1, 2020.

Rating scales will then be sent out for parents to complete and return to school by Tuesday, October 6, 2020. Once rating scales are received by our Early Childhood team, we will review the documents and a team member will contact the parent(s) for clarification. A decision will be made as to whether the concern is still developmentally appropriate or a full evaluation for special education services is necessary.

Virtual Curriculum Nights and Parent/Teacher Conferences Information

This year curriculum nights are being held virtually. Our hope is by using this virtual delivery format, we can help maximize your time, as well as give you important information about your child's classroom in a safe way. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. Elizabeth Ide hosted their virtual curriculum night on September 23 and Prairieview's was held on September 29. Lakeview's Curriculum Night is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6.

Also, please watch for more information to come from building principals regarding upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences. Tentative times and dates are as follows:

Elizabeth Ide:
Wed., November 18 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. & Thurs., November 19 from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Mon., November 2 from 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. & Wed., November 4 from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Thurs., October 29 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. & Wed., November 11 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Fight FluA Note from Nurse Baek on Flu Shots

As the cold weather is right around the corner, the flu season is approaching quickly! The healthcare professionals recommend everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exceptions (children younger than 6 months old, people with life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine). It is important to get a flu vaccine before the flu season for better protection against flu, and now is a perfect time to get one!

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during the 2020-2021 flu season, to protect yourself and the people around you from flu. This will also help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, the DuPage Health Department is offering free flu vaccine vouchers for low income, uninsured, DuPage residents at Walgreens through December 31st, or while supplies last. Please bring the voucher (see links below) with you for the free flu vaccine! Get a flu vaccine and let's fight the flu! 

Free Flu Vaccine Voucher 
Free Flu Vaccine Voucher (Spanish)

Remote Learning Tips

Remote LearningWhether your child is in-person learning with remote learning in the afternoons or participating in fully remote learning, we need you, the parent, as a partner! These are unprecedented times in education and now more than ever parents and teachers need to work together to support the students.

Helpful Tips:

  • Establish routines and expectations. Where is your child participating in remote learning? Do they have a designated area? What are the expectations for remote learning in your home?
  • Stay in touch. Two-way communication between teacher and parent (or students, if developmentally appropriate) is a key to successful learning. If you have a question, reach out. Don't wait! We are in this together!
  • Help your child with their own learning. Remember, struggle is an important part of the learning process. It is okay to help your child, but have they tried to problem-solve on their own first? Create opportunities for independence and growth.
  • Begin and end the day by checking in with your child. Do they know what the plan is for the day? Did they have unanswered questions? Overall, how was the day? This is a great opportunity to teach our students about reflection. Reflection is an opportunity for growth. Ultimately, we want all our students to have a Growth Mindset as part of their core.
  • Encourage physical activity and exercise! Sitting in front of a screen is not "normal". Help your child find balance. Take a walk together. Enjoy nature and get some fresh air! Take a break from the screens!

New Faculty and Staff Members

A warm Center Cass welcome to our new faculty and staff members!
Dr. Andrew Wise - Superintendent Debbie Doyle - Director of Learning
Jennifer Banas - Speech Language Pathologist
Kimberly Rybicki - Readiness and Success Coordinator
Alexandra Nelson - K-5 Music Teacher
Heather Lopez - 3rd Grade Teacher
Marissa Mathias - 4th Grade Teacher
Jessica Rost - 4th Grade Teacher
Leah Urias - 5th Grade Teacher
Rusty Novotny - Technology Support Specialist
Scott Holakovsky - Technology Assistant
Andrea Arce - BACC Aide
Jude Dakak - BACC Aide
Sabera Electricwala - BACC Aide
Aileen Lu - BACC Aide
Veronica Mena - BACC Aide
Peyton Sesemann - BACC Aide
Jordyn Spencer - BACC Aide

Debbie Doyle, Director of Learning   Kimberly Rybicki, Readiness and Success Coordinator
L-R: Debbie Doyle and Kimberly Rybicki

New Staff
Back L-R: Alex Nelson, Marissa Mathias
Middle L-R: Leah Urias, Jessica Rost
Front L-R: Heather Lopez, Jennifer Banas

BACC staff 
BACC staff BACC staff
L-R: Jude Dukak, Sabera Electricwala, Peyton Sesemann, Jordyn Spencer, Andrea Arce, Aileen Lu, Emma Balinski, Veronica Mena

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) happens both in and out of the classroom. SEL instruction, at its best, is a live dynamic curriculum, growing and responding to students’ needs. By extending SEL learning in the home, it broadens the real-world experiences for students to learn and practice their SEL skills. Using SEL in the home, allows families  to help foster their child’s social emotional growth. Trips to the grocery store, playing a board game, responding to the experience of meeting new or different people add this additional layer to social emotional learning for students.

How can parents foster social emotional learning in the home? First and foremost, create those avenues for learning. Use your family experiences to talk through the five competencies with your child (self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills and responsible decision-making). When your student meets a new person, how do they react? Did they introduce themselves? Did they take turns?

Literature is filled with social emotional learning opportunities. Read with your child! Talk through the story. What might they have done differently? How do they think the character felt?

Model listening and reflection for your child. Use news headlines as springboards for such conversations. Teach and encourage your child to use self-talk. When they are frustrated, what can they do? Is this a big problem or a little problem?

Board of Education Elections

School Board ElectionLooking for a way to get involved in the school district? Would you like to have an impact on the district and surrounding community? Consider running for the Center Cass 66 School Board! There will be an informational meeting with current board members on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. at Elizabeth Ide School for interested candidates. Bring any questions you might have about serving on the school board or the process involved in becoming a prospective candidate. The election process cycle has begun, so we will provide any assistance you may need to get things going. Visit our website for more details.


The TEAM 66 Education Foundation benefits Center Cass School District 66 by providing funds for educational programs and activities, which are not funded by the normal operating budget. These funds are used to facilitate student achievement and skill development, to recognize and encourage staff excellence, and to expand community involvement from individuals, businesses, and civic organizations. Money raised through various fundraising efforts will help fund innovative teaching grants that will provide resources directly to the classroom for teachers to implement exciting new educational programs. To learn more about TEAM 66, or see all the ways in which you can support the foundation, click here.

TEAM 66 Grants

2020 TEAM 66 Grants Awarded:

Community Garden: Elizabeth Ide (Janet Schultz)
Funding the first year butterfly garden to enhance the current K-2 curriculum through a more hands-on approach. Students will receive practical, reality-based learning, by connecting lessons and activities to the natural world. This will also expose students to opportunities for hands-on environmental learning, inquiry, observation, and experimentation.

Supplemental Curriculum: 1st Grade, Elizabeth Ide (Ali Beseth)
Funding decodable texts and number racks to help the 1st graders apply their phonetic skills and provide hands-on manipulatives to develop their number sense.

Focus on Photography: Lakeview (Magen Newman)
Funding 12 Canon digital camera kits giving the Lakeview students the opportunity to explore digital art through encore rotations. Students will learn art elements and principles of photography and composing well thought out photographs. They will refine their photography skills through a focus on composition and light, practice various genres of photography such as portraiture and photojournalism. 

District Eat Out Fundraiser

Our October District Eat Out Fundraiser is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 20th from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Panera Bread on 75th Street. Up to 20% of the proceeds will be donated back to our school district. Please remember to bring the flyer or show an electronic version to the cashier when ordering. When ordering online, enter code PRFUND at checkout to ensure our school gets a portion of the proceeds.

District Eat Out at Panera Bread Flyer


Become a Substitute Teacher, Substitute Paraprofessional, or Short-Term Substitute at District 66

Interested in becoming a substitute teacher or substitute paraprofessional in District 66? If you are a qualified substitute teacher and are ready to begin working in District 66, please contact Diana Goldstein at or (630) 783-5155. Wondering what the qualifications are?

Sub Requirements:
A substitute teaching license (SUB) or a Professional Educator's License (PEL)
A bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
A physical and background check

Sub Para:
At least 19 years of age
One of the following:
- Associate's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
- 60 semester hours of college coursework
A physical and background check

Short Term Substitute:
A Short Term Substitute (STS) license (see below)
One of the following:
- Associate's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution of higher education
- 60 semester hours of college coursework
A physical and background check

The DuPage ROE has scheduled a STS (Short Term Substitute) Training for Thursday, October 29, 2020. The training will be held via Zoom. The STS license is a substitute teaching license that can be obtained with an associate degree or 60 hours of college credit. (The traditional substitute (SUB) license requires a bachelor's degree.)

Someone who holds the STS license can serve as a substitute teacher but there are some restrictions/conditions. The STS license holder must attend a training session before working as a substitute teacher for the first time. To learn more about STS training along with the requirements and more information on the STS license, click here.

Upcoming Appreciation Days

There are many opportunities in October and November to show our appreciation for the committed members of District 66. A few upcoming Appreciation Days are listed below:

Thank youOctober 2: National Custodian Appreciation Day
October 12-16: School Lunch Week
October 19-23: Principal Appreciation Week (also Digital Citizenship Week)
October 19-23: School Bus Safety Week
October 22: School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
November 15: Board Member Appreciation Day

Upcoming Events

October 5-16: Virtual District Magazine & Gift Drive
October 8: Board Election Informational Meeting, 7:00 p.m. at Elizabeth Ide
October 12: No School - Columbus Day
October 13: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
October 20: District Eat Out Fundraiser, 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Panera Bread
October 26: Possible Institute Day (No student attendance) - Stay tuned

November 3: No School - Election Day
November 6: No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences
November 10: Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
November 25-27: No School - Thanksgiving Break