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Interested community members are invited to sign up to receive Talk205 messages from the Elmhurst School District 205 Office of Communications and Public Relations. Talk205 is District 205's communication system, powered by Blackboard Connect. Custodial parents/guardians of District 205 students, as well as District 205 staff, are automatically included in messaging (both email and phone calls) sent through this system. Because Talk205 is connected to our Student Information System, parents need do nothing when students change grade or school - it will automatically be updated.

IF YOU ARE A CUSTODIAL PARENT/GUARDIAN OF A DISTRICT 205 STUDENT, OR A DISTRICT 205 STAFF MEMBER, DO NOT SIGN UP HERE FOR TALK205. You are automatically included if you have already provided your school with an e-mail address.

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Talk205 - December 15

In this issue –

  • Niche Listing Ranks District 205 Schools Among Top 100
  • Cold and Flu Season Are Here; Please Take Precautions
  • Intro to Computer Science: Hour of Code
  • Hawthorne’s Lucy Baird Wins McHugh Holiday Card Design Contest
  • Sandburg Students Raise Money for UCCA at Elijah’s
  • Talk205 Messages on Break Until January 2015
  • Be Ready for Weather-Related Late Start or School Closures
  • York ECO Club Sponsors Holiday Lights/Cord Recycling Program
  • Purchase Ticket Now for the D205 Foundation’s Silver Ball
  • Postings on the Virtual Backpack Page

NICHE LISTING RANKS DISTRICT 205 SCHOOLS AMONG TOP 100  York Community High School was ranked 28th out of 100 top public high schools in Illinois. Sandburg Middle School was ranked 10th; Bryan Middle School was ranked 15th; and Churchville Middle School was 23rd among the top 100. All District 205 elementary schools also made the list, although elementary districts were not included in the research data, only high school and unit districts. Elmhurst Community Unit District 205 was ranked 10th in the state.

Factors considered in the methodology include: academics, health & safety, student culture & diversity, extracurriculars & activities, sports & fitness, resources & facilities and a grade for teachers - which incorporates statistics and student, alumni & parent surveys by Niche. To view the Niche list of Best School Districts in Illinois, visit www.k12.niche.com.

COLD AND FLU SEASON ARE HERE; please take precautions – Like many other school districts, Elmhurst District 205 is experiencing higher than usual absenteeism rates in its elementary and middle schools, due to fever, cough, etc. Some of these point to influenza-like illness, which the District nursing staff are monitoring in conjunction with DuPage County Public Health guidelines.

With the arrival of cold and flu season, the DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) is recommending increased awareness and precautions to help control and prevent the spread of influenza (flu). DCHD has created a fact sheet in both English and Spanish which lists important guidelines. Parents: if your child is sick, please keep him or her at home. Note
 that vaccination against the flu is recommended for all persons six months and older.

INTRO TO COMPUTER SCIENCE: HOUR OF CODE – District 205 recently participated in the world-wide event known as the Hour of Code. Thousands of students tried their hand at computer programming for 30 or more minutes last week across seven schools: Field, Hawthorne, Jackson, Jefferson, Bryan, Churchville and Sandburg. Whether or not your child spent time at school coding, you may provide them with additional opportunities to experience computer programming at home by pointing them to www.code.org. Reports gathered from participating schools demonstrated student enthusiasm for the tutorials. Students do not have to create an account to practice coding on the website, but that is an option if they want to track their progress over time.

Thanks go to Elaine Warren, a Jefferson Elementary School parent, for alerting D205’s Learning and Teaching Team to the event and sparking additional interest in programming across the District.

HAWTHORNE’S LUCY BAIRD WINS MCHUGH HOLIDAY CARD CONTEST – Each year since 2006, James McHugh Construction Company has asked District 205 elementary school students to design a holiday/construction card which McHugh uses for the cover of their annual holiday card. This is completely voluntary project. The school with the winning artwork always receives a $500 check from McHugh and the winning artist is also honored by McHugh Senior Vice President Mike Meagher. The winner receives copies of his/her card and a personalized hardhat, along with a few other cool prizes, and the class receives goodies as well.

This year, Hawthorne fifth grader Lucy Baird, daughter of John and Heidi Baird, drew the winning design. Her card and pictures/video from McHugh’s visit to Hawthorne are posted on the Hawthorne Facebook page.

SANDBURG STUDENTS RAISE MONEY FOR UCCA AT ELIJAH’S – You may remember that last year Sandburg Middle School art students sold mini "espresso" mugs at Elijah's Coffee shop in downtown Elmhurst to raise money for the UCCA Food Pantry. This year, the cause has been picked up by the Sandburg Crochet Club, sponsored by Nancy Bensfield. The club has created coffee cup sleeves that are for sale at Elijah's on First Street (now through winter break) for only $5 each - great stocking stuffers and hostess gifts!

TALK205 MESSAGES ON BREAK UNTIL JANUARY 2015 – Due to Winter Break, which begins at the end of the school day on Friday, December 19, Talk205 will take a brief hiatus until early January. Please remember that District 205 classes resume on Monday, January 5, 2015.

BE READY FOR WEATHER-RELATED LATE START OR SCHOOL CLOSURES – Five years ago, District 205 implemented a Late Start plan as an alternative to cancelling school for an entire day due to an emergency, such as inclement weather. A Late Start schedule (not to be confused with Student Late Arrival days) would be used if weather conditions are expected to improve and/or clear up following an overnight storm, allowing students and staff to travel to school safely.

The Late Start option allows District 205 to avoid losing a full day of instruction, maintain the school calendar, meet the State requirements for number of school days, and capture a significant portion of the instructional day. In the event that a Late Start is implemented, there would not be a need to use an end of-the-year emergency make-up day. As we approach winter, it is important to remember that if a Late Start schedule is activated:

  • Schools will begin exactly two hours later than usual.
  • All buses will operate exactly two hours behind their usual schedule.
  • Student drop-off time will be two hours later than usual.

When District 205 determines that weather conditions or an emergency situation warrant implementation of the Late Start schedule, families and employees will be notified in the same manner they are notified of a school closing. A phone call and email notice will be sent via Talk205.

Please note that the first place this information will be posted is on the District 205 homepage (by 5:45 AM). An important distinction between the two emergency options should be noted: if there will be two hour delay to the school day the notice will read “Late Start – Two Hour Delay” and if there is a school cancellation, the notice will state “School Closed Today.” For complete details, please visit the Emergency Closings page of the District 205 website.

School closing (and other) information will also be posted on the District 205 Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ElmhurstCUSD205and on Twitter @Elmhurst205.

YORK ECO CLUB'S HOLIDAY LIGHTS & CORDS RECYCLING PROGRAM – York High School’s ECO Club is again coordinating a holiday lights recycling drive in conjunction with several other schools in District 205. Broken or old Italian mini lights, traditional rope lights, LED lights from any holiday are accepted, along with extension and appliance cords, as well as computer cables. All may be dropped off in bins located in the lobbies of the “A” and “C” buildings at York (or at Emerson, Jackson and Hawthorne) for recycling. The program runs now through the end of January. Elgin Recycling is paying the ECO club for these materials, and the funds collected will go to support environmental projects within the District. Contact ECO Club sponsor, Bob Blaus, for more information at bblaus@elmhurst205.org.

PURCHASE TICKETS NOW FOR THE D205 FOUNDATION’S SILVER BALL– Tickets to the District 205 Foundation’s Silver Ball, to be held on February 7, 2015 at the newly refurbished Drake Oakbrook Hotel, are now on sale. This 25th Anniversary celebration and fundraiser will be a new and exciting experience for Foundation guests, but the mission of raising significant funds that will enhance educational opportunities for our students remains the same!  Guests who purchase tickets prior to December 31, 2014 will be entered into a drawing for a one-night stay and brunch at the Drake Oakbrook Hotel. The force behind the Drake's resurgence and renovation is a York alumni who is thrilled that we are hosting this milestone event at his brand new venue.

Ticket price includes beverages, plated dinner, a variety of musical entertainment and the opportunity to participate in raffles, as well as both a silent and live auction. Proceeds will support Foundation programming, as well as the D205 Mobile Learning Initiative, with the goal of funding additional Chrome books for York High School and laptops for the elementary schools. For details, sponsorship opportunities and to purchase tickets visit www.elmhurst205.org/foundation_25.

POSTINGS ON THE VIRTUAL BACKPACK – The District 205 virtual backpack page is a great place to find student and family-oriented activities offered by non-profit agencies in our community. Please check it often under the Community Events link on the District homepage or access it directly at http://www.elmhurst205.org/flyers. The following items were recently posted:


  • Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra – Visual Vivaldi – January 25 – 3 PM – Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church
  • Elmhurst Public Library and Middle School PTAs Present  Brain Benders for Grades 6 to 8 – February 7 – 6 to 9 PM at EPL – Register Beginning January 5 – Drop In or Call to Register
  • District 205 PTA Council 13th Annual Summer Recreation Open House –  January 28 – 6 to 8 PM – York High School – Learn About Summer Camps – Something for Everyone – Free Event


  • Winter/Spring Program Guide


  • Musicianship for Children 15 week spring term begins in January  Ages 3 ½ to 4 – Ages 4 to 5 – Ages 6 to 7 – Free Demonstration January 10 at 9:45am



  • Calendar of Events


  • Teen Night  December 20 –  Basketball –Dodgeball –Swimming – Pizza & More – For Grades 5 to 8–  From 8 PM to 10 PM – $5 at Door (Members and Non-Member)
  • School's Out Days  Winter Break – December 22, 23, 26,29,30 & January 2 – Activities Include Field Trips, Swimming and Ice Skating – Ages 5 to 12 – Time 7 AM to 6 PM
  • Girls Hockey Day  Hosted by the Y and Chicago Blackhawks – For Girls Interested in Learning to Play or Sharpening Skills – Ages 5 to 12 Years – December 23 – 8:30 to 11:30 AM
  • New Year's Eve Family Party  December 31 – 4 to 6 PM – Skating – Swimming – Pizza – Balloon Drop – For Families With Children 12 and Under – Pre-Registration Required


  • Brian E. Wagner Scholarship Fund  Fifth Annual Bags for Wags Fundraiser – January 31 – 6 PM – Visitation Valentino Center – Ages 16 and Older – Discount for Registration by January 24


  • Christmas Celebration  Celebrate the Reason for the Season –December 20 - 5 PM – Clarion Inn – RSVP by December 17 to:nlbcconnect@gmail.com – Sponsored by New Life Bible Chapel


Elmhurst Historical Museum

  • Main Page

Elmhurst Art Museum

  • Programs and Classes for Kids and Adults

Elmhurst Artists’ Guild

  • Chicago Artists Interpret Shakespeare: As They Like It – November 16 to January 2

DuPage Children’s Museum

  • December Programs


  • Volunteer at Aspire – Many Opportunities Available Single Project – Group Activities – Special Events Call 708-547-3550 x 3554 for More Information


  • District 205 STEM Education – Importance of STEM  & Opportunities  – Watch Video Presentation AND PowerPoint with Summer STEM Opportunities for Students
  • Tree Town Cooperative Nursery School  Registration Opens January 5 for 2015 Fall Classes –
    Now Offering Kid Town Kindergarten Enrichment
  • Elmhurst Children's Theatre – Audition Workshop for Grades 5 to 8 – January 6 from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Epiphany Lutheran Church– Register by January 4
  • Elmhurst Children's Theatre – Physical Comedy and Character Development  for Grades 3 to 5 – January 20 to February 24from 6:30 to 8:00 PM – Register by January 18
  • Worlds of Wisdom and Wonder Classes in Elmhurst  January 8, 25, February 1,8, and 15 – 10% Discount – Use Code HD205W15
  • Glenbard Parent Series  Guest Speaker Paul Tough – How Children Succeed – Beyond Smart: How Grit, Curiosity and Character Help Kids Thrive – January 21 at 7 PM – College of DuPage – Free Event
  • ProActiveKids – 8 Week Sessions – Improve Health Through Exercise – Nutritional Lessons – Open Discussion – Free Program for Ages 8 to 14 – Location – Addison Park District


  •  Access Sports – Recruiting New Athletes With Disabilities in Grades K to Transition – Winter Basketball Program Beginning SundaysJanuary 11 to March 1 – Register at Elmhurst YMCA December 8 to 31
  • The Soccer Academy and DTD Athletics Present  Futsal Tournament/Skills Schools/Holiday Camps
  • York Boys Volleyball Winter Clinic  Grades 5 to 8 – January 2 – 2 PM to 6 PM – Includes Pizza Party at 5:30 PM