Public invited to forum on Senate Bill 1, which would restore state funds to East Aurora
On Feb. 24, State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit will host an open forum on Senate Bill 1, which would change the school funding formula. Senate Bill 1 would restore some of the funding low-income districts lost when legislators decided to partially fund education.
East Aurora School District 131 has lost $35 million in four years as a direct result of the state’s partial funding of education. Senate Bill 1 is related to former Senate Bill 16, which died during the previous legislative session when the General Assembly failed to vote on it.
The Senate Bill 1 forum will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at Wheatland Elementary School, 2290 Barrington Drive West, Aurora. State Senator Andy Manar, who proposed Senate Bill 1 and its predecessor, will also be in attendance.
The new bill would still look to restore some funds to districts like East Aurora School District 131, where more than 90 percent of the students meet the state’s low-income criteria. Some of those dollars would come by shifting state money away from wealthier Districts, some who lost less than $500,000 in the state’s partial funding formula.
“Opponents of Senate Bill 1 say that it does not go far enough to truly bring reform to education in Illinois. They go on to say that we should all rally around funding for educational adequacy and that if an education equity bill passes, it would be worse than our current situation. I disagree with those opponents,” East Aurora Superintendent Dr. Michael A. Popp said. “Our students have lost $35 million due to budget cuts at the state level. We cannot afford to wait.”
The forum is free and open to the public. There will be an opportunity to hear more about the details of the bill, and ask questions of the legislators.
Kifowit is a State Representative for the 84th District, which includes a significant portion of East Aurora School District 131. For more information about the forum, please contact Kifowit’s constituent service office at (630) 585-1308, or Stephanie.Kifowit@att.net, or www.ILDistrict84.com.
Anyone who is interested in sharing their opinion of Senate Bill 1 can contact their state legislators, including those that represent East Aurora School District 131.
Governor Bruce Rauner
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0244
State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit
Office: (630) 585-1308
State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
Office: (630) 264-6855
State Senator Linda Holmes
Office: (630) 801-8985
Help improve your school by taking the 5Essentials survey
East Aurora School District 131 is always striving to make our schools a better place for all students. The thoughts and opinions of our parents are essential in helping us give students the best educational experience. We want to hear from you!
You can share your thoughts through 5Essentials, a survey that all Illinois public schools use to gather feedback from students, parents and employees.
The free survey is voluntary and anonymous. You do not have to enter any of your own, or your students’ personal information. They survey only asks which school they attend and what grade they are in. The rest of the questions ask you to evaluate the school’s performance in several areas, including preparation and communication.
The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. It is available in English and Spanish.
There are two ways to take the 5Essentials survey:
Online: Go directly to the survey at: https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/
Or, you can find the survey through the East Aurora School District 131 webpage at www.d131.org. Click the button on the right side of the page.
Select “Parent Survey”. Type “Kane” in the county box. Then type your student’s school name in the next box.
If you contact your school’s parent liaison, they can also help you fill out the survey online through a computer at school.
On paper: Contact the parent liaison in your student’s school and they can provide a paper copy of the survey to fill out.
We’re hoping that before March 13, all our families will take a few minutes to complete a survey for each school their children attend. It is important to hear from you!
Fifth grade boys basketball players, young cheerleaders compete on Saturday, Feb. 14
The public is invited to see elementary school basketball players and cheerleaders compete at the Intramural Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14.
Thirteen elementary schools are participating in the basketball tournament. All basketball games will take place in the Ponquinette Fieldhouse or the Kivisto Gymnasium at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Place, Aurora.
The elementary school teams will begin their tournament as follows:
- Game 1: Dieterich team vs. Beaupre team, 9 a.m. in Kivisto Gymnasium, with the winner playing Fred Rodgers Magnet Academy at 10 a.m.
- Game 2: Hermes vs. Gates, 9 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse, with the winner to play O’Donnell at 10 a.m.
- Game 3: Krug vs. Rollins, 9 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse
- Game 4: Brady vs. Oak Park, 9 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse
- Game 5: Allen vs. Bardwell, 9 a.m. in small gymnasium, with the winner to play Johnson at 10 a.m.
Based on the results of those games, teams will advance in winner and consolation brackets. Each team will play at least two games in the tournament.
The championship, third-place and fifth-place games are scheduled to be played at 2:30 p.m. Awards and photos will be handed out in the Kivisto Gymnasium at the conclusion of those games.
Thirteen elementary schools will also be competing in cheerleading, which will begin at noon in the main gymnasium. The Esmeralda Chapa Gorski Trophy will be presented at the conclusion of the competition.
The teams from Gates and O’Donnell elementary schools won last weekend’s girls intramural basketball tournament.
The intramural tournament is just one of the public events happening at the high school on Saturday. Also:
- The East Aurora Band Boosters Annual Pancake breakfast will take place from 7 to 11 a.m. in the school cafeteria. Tickets are $6 at the door.
- Five former Tomcats will be inducted in the East Aurora High School Athletic Hall of Fame. There will be a reception at 4:30 p.m. and induction ceremonies between the sophomore and varsity boys basketball games against West Aurora High School.
Free admission days at area museums
Looking for something to do? Check out these Free Admission Days at local museums.
Information was accurate at time of printing, please check each venue before visiting.
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue
Free for all Illinois Residents on Thursdays from 5-8:00p with ID.
3300 Golf Road
Free admission in January and February on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Active Military Personnel receive free admission daily.
Chicago Childrens’ Museum
700 E. Grand Ave
Target Family Free Night Thursdays from 5-8:00p
First Sunday of every month is free for kids 15 and under, $14 adults, $13 seniors, kids under 1 free
Chicago History Museum
1601 N. Clark Street
Illnois Resident Discount Days – free admission with ID
Feb – every weekday
Aug 18-20, 24-27, 31
Clark House Museum
1827 S. Indiana Ave
Free admission every Wednesday
DePaul Art Museum
935 W. Fullerton Ave
Free admission daily
DuSable Museum of African American History
740 E. 56th Place
Free admission every Sunday year round. Free admission for all active or non-active military duty personnel.
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Illinois Resident Discount Days offer free general admission Feb 1-28
Glessner House Museum
1800 S. Prairie Ave
Free admission every Wednesday year round.
Lincoln Park Zoo
2001 N. Clark Street
Free admission daily
Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave
Free admission every Friday. Free admission daily for active military personnel.
Loyola University Museum of Art (LUMA)
820 N. Michigan Ave
Free admission every Tuesday. Free admission every day for active military personnel and their families and children 17 and under.
Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Free admission daily
McCormick Bridgehouse and River Museum
Southwest Tower of the Bridge
376 N. Michigan Ave
Free admission on Sundays
Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
3001 Central Street
Free admission every first Friday of the month.
Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Ave
Free every Tuesday for Illinois residents with ID. Free for military personnel and children 12 and under.
Museum of Science and Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Illinois Resident Discount Days
Jun 1-5, 8
Sept 8-11, 14-18, 21-25, 28-30
Oct 5, 6
National Museum of Mexican Art
1852 W. 19th Street
Free admission daily
The Oriental Institute Museum
1155 E. 58th Street
Free admission daily with suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
2430 N. Cannon Drive
Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents with ID
1200 S. Lake Shore Drive
Illinois Resident Discount Days
Feb 2, 3, 9, 10, 13-17, 23, 24
Jun 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16
Sept 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
Oct 5, 6, 12, 13. 19, 20, 26, 27
Nov 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 2, 24
Smart Museum of Art
5550 S. Greenwood Ave
Free admission daily
Swedish American Museum
5211 N. Clark Street
Free admission on the second Tuesday of each month
East Aurora’s Black History Month celebration on Feb. 19 is open to public
East Aurora School District 131 will celebrate Black History Month with a motivational speaker, cultural dancers and student presentations on Thursday, Feb. 19.
The theme for the event is “Who Am I?”, an exploration of the multiple facets of African American identity.
The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 19, in the Hawks Auditorium at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane, Aurora.
The speaker for the event will be best-selling author and education expert Baruti Kafele. Additionally, there will be student presentations; performances by Ayodele, an African Drum and Dance group; and the Community Gospel Choir.
The event is free and open to the public.
Kafele was an elementary school teacher in East Orange, New Jersey, where he was selected as the district and county Teacher of the Year. He went on to work as a middle school and high school principal, transforming four different urban schools to institutions that were recognized as some of America’s best.
“I’m looking forward to bringing a message to East Aurora that is inspiring, informing and empowering,” Kafele said. “At the core of what I’ll be speaking about is attitude. You can’t close the achievement gap without first closing the attitude gap. You have to change the students’ and change parents’ attitudes. ”
Kafele will be offering practical tips that families can do at home to reach students.
Kafele was the recipient of the prestigious Miliken National Educator Award, the so-called “Oscars of Teaching”, which is given to teachers who are shaping the future. Additionally, Kafele received the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award and the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence.
Kafele is the author of “Closing the Attitude Gap and Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and Life”. His newest book, “The Principal 50: Critical Leadership Questions for Inspiring School-wide Excellence” is scheduled to be published in March.
To learn more about Kafele, go to: www.principalkafele.com.
Within East Aurora schools, there are art and essay contests for all grades related to Black History Month. All participants will be honored.
For more information, contact Director of Bilingual Services Diane Argueta at (630) 299-7300 or Dieterich Elementary Literacy Interventionist Avis Miller at (630) 294-1155.
Fifth grade girls will star in intramural basketball tournament on Saturday, Feb. 7
The public is invited to see fifth-graders from 12 elementary schools compete in the East Aurora Girls Intramural Basketball Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 7.
All games will take place in the Ponquinette Fieldhouse or the Kivisto Gymnasium at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane, Aurora.
The day starts with the fifth-grade girls all-star game at 9 a.m., followed by the fifth-grade boys all-star game at 9:35 a.m. A free-throw contest in the Kivisto Gymnasium will begin at 10 a.m.
Following those competitions, the elementary school teams will begin their tournament as follows:
- Game 1: Beaupre/Johnson Oak Park team vs. Allen team, 11 a.m. in Kivisto Gymnasium
- Game 2: Magnet/Hermes team vs. Bardwell, 11 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse
- Game 3: Rollins vs. Gates/O’Donnell team, 11 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse
- Game 4: Krug vs. Brady/Dieterich team, 11 a.m. in Ponquinette Fieldhouse
Based on the results of those games, teams will advance in brackets and consolation brackets. Each team will play at least two games in the tournament.
The championship, third place and fifth place games will all be played at 2 p.m.
Awards and photos will be handed out in the Kivisto Gymnasium at the conclusion of those games.
The fifth grade boys intramural basketball tournament will be held on Saturday, Feb. 14, in the same locations.
All East Aurora schools closed on Monday, February 2; Board will meet
With heavy snow expected to fall through the night, all East Aurora School District 131 schools will be closed on Monday, February 2. All after-school activities are also cancelled for Monday, February 2.
The Board of Education meeting will take place as scheduled. The Board will meet for a work session at 5 p.m. in the McKnight School Service Center. The regular Board meeting will begin at 7 p.m.
All District administrative buildings will remain open on Monday. Twelve-month employees should report to their buildings at 9 a.m.
Custodial and maintenance staff should report to first shift Monday in order to monitor the conditions of the District buildings.
East Aurora School District 131 families are reminded that there are multiple places to check for information about weather-related closings.
Information will released through:
- The phone message to parents in both English and Spanish.
- The East Aurora School District 131 website: www.d131.org
- The East Aurora School District 131 Facebook page: www.facebook.com/EASD131
- The East Aurora School District 131 Twitter account: @EASD131 (www.twitter.com/EASD131)
- Local newspapers, television stations and radio stations.
- The Emergency Closing Center website: www.emergencyclosings.com
The District Superintendent, in consultation with other administrators, makes the final decision on whether to close school due to inclement weather. The decision is based on the ability of students to make it to and from school safely. When making his decision, the superintendent considers multiple factors including temperatures, snowfall and wind chill.
The City of Aurora has opened multiple warming centers for anyone who needs shelter during the extreme weather. More information is available at www.aurora-il.org.
Families invited to free Parent Leadership Academy starting Jan. 29
East Aurora families are invited to join a free Parent Leadership Academy that will put them in the driver’s seat for their child’s education. The first session will take place from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Simmons Middle School, 1130 Sheffer Road. Enter through Door 6.
Dr. Lourdes Ferrer, a nationally known education expert, will help parents become advocates for their child’s education, learn more about navigating the educational system, and share ideas for making students more successful. She will discuss what to do – and what not to do – to help children succeed.
Each session will open with food from 5:30 to 6 p.m. Ferrer will speak from 6 to 8 p.m. The presentation will be in Spanish, with English translation.
Triple Threat Mentoring will provide activities for students who accompany their parents.
The sessions are open to all parents, but the content is focused on parents of elementary and middle school students.
There is no cost for any of the sessions. If you are interested in attending, contact the parent liaison in your student’s school. Parents do not need to attend all the sessions, but each one will cover a different topic.
Ferrer grew up in Puerto Rico and moved to Guatemala in 1979, where she directed or set up schools, an orphanage, clinics and a feeding center. She moved to the United States in 1990, where she was a math teacher and then an assessment specialist.
Ferrer’s workshops are sponsored by a Title I grant from 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
For more information, contact East Aurora 21st Century After School Grant Facilitator Alfred Morales at (630) 345-2027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future parent engagement sessions will be held:
- Thursday, February 12, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Cowherd Middle School
- Thursday, March 5, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Simmons Middle School
- Thursday, March 19, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Waldo Middle School
- Thursday, April 9, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Cowherd Middle School