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Simmons Middle School
 
 
 

School Day
(Horario escolar):
8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Office Hours
(Horario de oficina):
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

 

Address (Dirección):
1130 Sheffer Rd.
Aurora IL, 60505

Phone (Teléfono central):
630-299-4150

Attendance (Asistencia):
630-299-4199


State Board of Education will meet at 10:30 a.m. June 17 at Oswego East High School

  The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 17 at Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego. East Aurora Superintendent Dr. Michael A. Popp is expected to speak at the meeting about changing the state’s funding formula.

   Over the last four years, East Aurora School District has lost $36 million due to the state’s proration formula, which takes the most dollars from districts with the least local resources.

   Last week, in an open letter, Popp encouraged the community to attend the meeting and show they believe it is time to fix the state’s educational funding formula. To read Popp’s open letter, go here. A graphic explaining the effects of the state using an across-the-board percentage cut for school districts is available here.

   “A formula that heavily penalizes students who need the most support is simply unfair. It’s unfair to our residents who end up paying higher tax rates, and unfair to the students who don’t have access to the same resources as their neighbors,” Popp said. “Other districts have told us to wait for a better formula to come along. We have waited long enough. … It’s time to fix the formula.”

   The State Board confirmed the time for the start of Wednesday’s meeting today. The State Board will be touring Oswego East High School prior to the meeting, so there is a potential the meeting could start slightly late. For more information about the State Board meeting, go to here.

   Also last week, East Aurora School District 131 launched a “Fix the Formula” website with more information about the impact of the state’s educational funding formula; sample letters and contact information for local legislators; and letters of support from local officials.

  The State Board meeting is free and open to the public.



USDA sponsoring free meals during East Aurora summer camps

   Any children 18 years or younger can receive free meals this summer in East Aurora School District 131 buildings, thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    Meals will be served in all buildings while the District is hosting educational, athletic, fine arts and other summer camps, beginning June 17. Each school will have a color flier on the door, notifying residents of the meal times.

    All local children 18 years and younger are eligible for the healthy breakfast and lunch meals.

Meals must be eaten in the school. Small children must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling who will be responsible for them.

    To find a summer meals site close to you, call (800) 359-2163, text “FOODIL” to 877877, or go to SummerMealsIllinois.org.

    USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

 



East Aurora Superintendent urges community to show support for fixing the formula at State Board meeting on June 17 in Oswego

   In an open letter to the East Aurora School District 131 community posted on the District’s new “Fix the formula” website, Superintendent Dr. Michael A. Popp said it is time to for a long-term fix to the state’s educational funding formula.

    Over the last four years, East Aurora School District has lost $36 million due to the state’s proration formula, which takes the most dollars from districts with the least local resources.

    “A formula that heavily penalizes students who need the most support is simply unfair. It’s unfair to our residents who end up paying higher tax rates, and unfair to the students who don’t have access to the same resources as their neighbors,” Popp said. “Other districts have told us to wait for a better formula to come along. We have waited long enough. The current formula has cost our students $36 million in the last four years. It’s time to fix the formula.”

Community urged to attend June 17 meeting in Oswego

    The Illinois State Board of Education is scheduled to meet on June 17 at Oswego East High School, 1525 Harvey Road, Oswego. Popp will be testifying, along with an East Aurora student. The meeting is tentatively scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. If that time changes, the District will send out a notice.

   Ahead of that meeting, the District launched an informational website - www.d131.org/fixtheformula - and Popp released an open letter to the East Aurora community urging them to get involved:

To the East Aurora community:

  General state aid was designed to help the state’s neediest students; it was designed to close the educational opportunity gap that exists between the wealthiest and the poorest districts. However, the current state formula that prorates general state aid is turning that noble goal upside down.

   In East Aurora School District 131, the proration of general state aid has cost our students $36 million in the last four years. With that money, we could have built a school, hired 90 teachers and bought a laptop for every single student. Robust early childhood education, low class sizes and integrated technology are all proven to increase student achievement. Wealthier school districts take access to those opportunities for granted. Yet, our students are continuously told to wait until the state’s education funding formula can be fixed. While we are waiting, the opportunity gap persists, as do the achievement gaps that come with it.

  In 2014, our students lost out on $10.7 million due to proration; that’s $856 per student. Meanwhile, a wealthy school district in our same county - one with access to more local dollars - lost just $60 per student. Any loss in educational funding is disappointing, but that disparity should be shocking to anyone who cares about the future of our children. Many members of our community have expressed that they are stretched as far as they can go in the support provided to our schools through property tax dollars. Our citizens are taxed at a much higher rate than community members in the aforementioned school district; yet, our community members are told to wait for the formula to be fixed.

   A formula that heavily penalizes the students who need the most support is simply unfair. It’s unfair to our residents who end up paying higher tax rates, and unfair to the students who don’t have access to the same resources as their neighbors. Other districts have advocated to their legislators that we should have to wait for a better formula to come along. We have waited long enough. The current formula has cost our students $36 million in the last four years. It’s time to fix the formula.

   For change to happen, the voice of the East Aurora community must be heard in Springfield. Everyone who believes in equitable education - our residents, and our employees - need to speak up now.

What can you do?

- Get informed. You can learn more about the state’s funding formula by visiting the East Aurora School District 131 “Fix the formula” website: www.d131.org/fixtheformula

- Get involved. We need you to write, call or email your local legislators and let them know that equitable educational funding is crucial for our kids. The “Fix the formula” website can give you contact information for our local legislators, as well as sample letters to get you started.

- Spread the message. Even a something as simple as adding our “Fix the formula” website address (www.d131.org/fixtheformula) to the tagline of your emails will help inform people about the issue. Use #fixtheformula on Twitter, or share our website address on social media. Our voice needs to be as loud as the voices coming from all of the other districts who do not want to see a change in the current formula.

- Stand with us on June 17. We have heard from many public officials who support our belief that it is time to fix the formula. We need you to join us at the June 17 Illinois State Board of Education meeting at Oswego East High School. Let them see the faces of people who are fighting for a better education for East Aurora students.

I thank you for all that you do in support of education and our students.

Sincerely,

Dr. Michael A. Popp

Superintendent East Aurora School District 131

Popp testified in support of change

   The effort to change the state’s proration funding formula began in 2014 with the Senate Bill 16, introduced by State Senator Andy Manar. Popp testified in Springfield about the poverty penalty that was hurting students who happened to live in District’s without great property wealth. The bill was heavily criticized by wealthier District’s that stood to lose some funding in the gradual shift. The bill did not move out of committee.

   Manar introduced a new bill – Senate Bill 1 – in the latest legislative session. Popp testified again in Springfield, this time in front of the Illinois State Board of Education, which heard testimony on changing the educational funding formula. The budgets passed by the House and Senate propose an increase in the state’s educational funding. The state continues to debate a final budget.

 



Check out these opportunities for free summer learning!

Want to help your child continue learning over the summer? Click below to read more about resources for free online activities, student success guides, free books, science museums and summer camps.

We wish all students and families a summer full of fun and learning!

Parent toolkit

  Check out ParentToolkit.com where you can find tips to help your child with academics, as well as information about social/emotional development and health/wellness. In English and en Español

  Another great resource is Parents’ Guides for Student Success where you can find an overview of what your child will learn in each grade in mathematics and language arts/literacy. Here you’ll find guides for each grade-level in English and in Spanish, including activities you can do with your child to support learning at home. Go to PTA.org/parents. Click on Families to find guides. In English and en Español

Aurora library

Take advantage of the terrific programs offered at Aurora Public Library, including classes, access to computers, and a fun Summer Reading Program about Super Heroes. Learn when the Bookmobile is near you and help keep your child reading all summer. Go to AuroraPublicLibrary.org for info.

Summer reading backpack

All students in grades 1-3 will each be bringing home a Scholastic Summer Reading Backpack with 5 books along with suggested activities. Please enjoy these books with your children encouraging them to read, talk, and write about the books.

Lexia Core 5

Another resource for our students in grades 1-6 is an online reading program called Lexia Core 5. This is a program that students have been working on this year in their classes and it is also be available to them over the summer. It can be accessed from smart phones, tablets, or computers. Download the app or go to LexiaCore5.com.

We wish all students and families a summer full of fun and learning!

Science Museum

Don’t miss the family fun at the Aurora SciTech Museum which has over 150 interactive exhibits. Enjoy FREE admission from 6pm-8pm on June 5th with Creation Stations: Blending Art & Science. Go to SciTechMuseum.org to learn more.

Summer camps

Fox Valley Park District also offers active fun in many locations. For a complete schedule, go to FoxValleyParkDistrict.org. District 131 also has many offerings with our FREE Fine Arts Summer Camps.



Students encouraged to use free online summer reading tools

As the school year winds down, we encourage you to incorporate summer reading and learning into your children’s activities in the months ahead. Children who keep their brains active and engaged during summer vacation are more likely to return in the fall prepared and confident for the new school year.

Children can lose up to 60 percent of their skills during summer vacation. Children who read during the summer months, however, can sustain their reading gains. Let’s work to prevent the loss of those critical learning gains, also called the “summer slide,” this year.

As you prepare for summer, we invite you to check out the free “Find a Book” search tool, http://www.lexile.com/findabook. It allows you to quickly and easily search for books that will match your child’s reading level and interests, as well as to locate your selection at the local public library. Information is also available on our summer reading website at http://www.isbe.net/find-a-book/default.htm.

“Find a Book” uses a student’s Lexile® measure, a measure of reading ability and text complexity. Students can find their Lexile scores from a variety of benchmark measures, including many standardized tests. The search tool also features a search option to access appropriate book choices based on grade level and comfort with typical reading materials at that grade level. Attached is a flier about “Find a Book” that will explain how to use Lexile measures.

Additionally, the Summer Math Challenge is a free math skills maintenance program targeted to students who have just completed grades 2 through 6. It is designed to help children retain math skills learned during the previous school year. Parents who enroll their children in the program will receive daily emails from now through July 31 with fun activities and links to resources.

We encourage you to talk with your children about the fun and importance of summer learning and take them to your local public library and museums. Librarians have information about Lexile measures and other programs such as iRead, a summer reading program offered through the Illinois Library Association. The program’s audience is kindergarten through grade 8, but may provide supplemental materials for pre-schoolers, teens and adults. This year’s theme is

Read to the Rhythm!”

Thank you for your efforts to encourage lifelong learners and readers. Have a fun and safe summer.

Sincerely,

Bruce Rauner

Governer

Jesse White

Secretary of State State

Librarian

Tony Smith, Ph.D.

Superintendent of Education



Special needs parent support group to meet at 6 p.m. May 14

   The East Aurora School District 131 Special Needs Parent Support Group will meet from 6-7 p.m. Thursday, May 14 at Bardwell Elementary School, 550 S. Lincoln Avenue, Aurora. Claire Howes of the Fox Valley Recreation Center will be the guest speaker. She will share information on summer activities and programs that are offered.

   Families will also get feedback on future topics for the 2015-16 school year. Refreshments, Spanish translation and child care will be provided.

 



Incoming freshman can start strong with free summer high school readiness class

  East Aurora High School is offering a free summer transition program to help incoming freshmen start their high school career strong. Core Study Skills will focus on three main skill areas: algebra readiness, reading comprehension, and general study skills. Core Study Skills will run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday from June 15 through July 23.

   In the classes, students will work on computers, in small groups with a teacher, and independently to strengthen their abilities in these three areas and prepare for high school. Many of the programs are designed to meet students at their individual instructional level. The general study skills program will provide students with reading and note-taking strategies that will help them be successful in any high school class. Students who successfully complete the program will earn a one-half elective credit toward high school graduation.

   There is only space for 150 students, so this class will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Students who are required to attend mandatory summer school at their middle school will not qualify for this program.

   To register, go to the East Aurora High School Freshman Center and enter through door 45 on Smith Blvd. See Ms. Rosa to fill out the application. If you have any questions contact Assistant Principal Glynis Keene at (630) 299-7960 or gkeene@d131.org.

 



East Aurora School District 131 offering free fine arts summer camps

   East Aurora School District 131 will be offering free art, music and theater summer camps for students from kindergarten through high school. The camps are open to all students who are enrolled in East Aurora School District 131 during the 2014-15 school year.

   In order for students to participate in fine arts camps, registration forms must be turned in by May 15. Forms can be turned into the office at each students’ school.

   Camps are offered in the morning and afternoon, depending on the activity.

  The 15 fine arts summer camps include: art (2nd through 5th grade); art, music and fitness (3rd - 5th); acoustic guitar (3rd - high school); recorders and other instruments (3rd - 5th); drum line (8th – high school); American Pop (6th – high school); and theater/drama (1st – high school).

  The fine arts camps meet Monday through Friday at various schools throughout the District, depending on the activity and the age level. Fine arts camps start as soon as June 9 and run as late as July 25.

   A minimum of 10 students is needed to hold a camp. Fine arts camps are capped at 20 students. Assistant coaches will help staff higher-attended camps.

    Students can attend multiple camps, as long as they are designated at the student’s grade level.

For more information about the summer camp opportunities, contact Nestor Garcia at (630) 299-5530 or ngarcia@d131.org, or your student’s principal.


 
Mechelle Patterson
Principal

 
John Young

Assistant Principal

 
Jacqueline Gibson

Assistant Principal

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