April 4, 2022

Topic: Updates

April 4,  2022

Dear CCSD 21 Parents and Community Members,

While the local weather didn’t exactly cooperate with the timing of our recent Spring Break, I hope you and your families were able to find some time to relax and enjoy a well-deserved break.

I think April is a time when we all look forward to more daylight and later sunsets, watching the grass start to green up and grow, seeing chutes of plants and flowers begin to make their way through the soil, and that we become increasingly excited at the opportunity to resume the outdoor activities we enjoy. Spring is truly a time of renewal as we come out of a long winter.

As we enter the final two months of the 2021-2022 school year, I hope you and your family have experienced the growth, enrichment, and achievement that is a part of every school year. Our entire learning community of students, parents, and staff, have worked tirelessly this year to ensure as successful and normal a school experience as possible during times that are anything but. I think we have a lot to be proud of this year and I hope you do too.

There is so much good and exciting work underway in CCSD21 this spring and summer as we look forward to the 2022-2023 school year. From the renovation of school libraries starting with Twain, Tarkington, Riley, and Cooper this summer, to expanding our community service partnerships with organizations like Omni Family Services and the YWCA to support greater access to mental health services and expanded parent educational opportunities, to the continued improvement and expansion of critical educational programming benefiting all students, our entire learning community has rolled up its sleeves to ensure that our students are ready to be successful in high school, college or career, and life.

We look forward to telling more of the story of the work we, as a community, are doing in the months ahead. In the meantime, I hope the spring ahead is one full of deep learning, exciting experiences, continued growth, and happiness for all.


Dr. Michael Connolly
Superintendent of Schools

Calendar Reminders
Mark your calendar with these important dates:

  • Friday, April 15 – No School Good Friday
  • Thursday, April 21 — Board of Education meeting
  • Early May — Returning student registration opens.
  • Thursday, May 19 – School Improvement Day
  • Friday, May 20 – Institute Day
  • Wednesday, May 25 – Middle School Promotion
  • Thursday, May 26 — Board of Education meeting
  • Thursday, May 26 – First Possible Last Day of School. This date will become official pending action at the Board of Education meeting on April 21.

Community Partnership Grant Awarded

CCSD21 is pleased to announce that it was recently awarded an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Community Partnership Grant in the amount of $635,000 that addresses the social, emotional, behavioral and mental health needs of students within our district.  The funds need to be used by September 2024.
“The COVID-19 global pandemic accelerated the need to provide emotional and social care to children who are suffering from COVID-related stress, including mental health challenges that are impacting not only their learning, but their psychological state,” said Kim Cline, Assistant Superintendent of CCSD21. “Many are suffering from anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and isolation, among other ailments and this grant will support programs to promote well-being among our students, including parental education.”
The grant expands and deepens the District’s partnership with OMNI Youth Services, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The funding will support a variety of initiatives, including offering an innovative, nationally renowned teen suicide prevention program, its warning signs, mental illness education, as well as other services to bolster students to enable them to meet their full potential.
Additionally, the grant will enable parents and guardians to engage with the community to create relationships for support while acquiring parenting skills in this complex area. “Expanding mental health services to students and offering counseling and parental education is paramount for the well-being of members within the District and the surrounding community,” said Cline.
For more details on the grant criteria and objectives, visit the ISBE website.

New Playground at Tarkington

A new playground was installed over spring break at Tarkington Elementary School that replaced the “Purple Playground” located on the east side. Fundraising efforts started prior to COVID to replace the aging set when Tarkington parent Tracy Allie-Hernandez –  who is also an Allstate Corporation employee –  heard that the company was looking to donate playground equipment after the campus was sold. With the help of district funding, the PTO and Tarkington Community, enough funds were received to relocate and install the nearly new equipment. The install should be done – complete with mulch – in early April. Thank you to Tracy Allie-Hernandez, the Tarkington PTO and district community members for bringing smiling faces to the Tarkington playground.

For more information on Tarkington, click here.

FREE Lunch

A free, healthy lunch will be provided throughout the 2022 summer to students and members of the public, 18 years of age or younger. The Seamless Summer Lunch Program, a component of the National School Lunch Program, enables school districts to offer free, healthy meals throughout the summer. The program has been in operation since 1946 and CCSD21 has been facilitating it since 2016. See details and locations below.

June 6 – August 5, 2022, Monday – Friday
(NOT served July 1, 4, 8, 15, 22)
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

1.Alcott Center
(530 Bernard Dr., Buffalo Grove)
2. Windsor Ridge Park
(780 Vernon Lane., Buffalo Grove)
3. Kilmer Elementary School
(655 Golfview Terrace, Buffalo Grove)
4. Poe Elementary School
(2800 N. Highland, Arlington Heights)
5. Indian Trails Library
(355 Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling)
6. London Middle School
(1001 W. Dundee Rd., Wheeling)
7. Childrey Park
(506 McHenry Rd., Wheeling)
8. Whippletree Playground
(525 N. McHenry Rd., Wheeling)
9. Twain Elementary School
(515 E. Merle Ln., Wheeling)
10. Hawthorne School
(200 Glendale St., Wheeling)
11. Chamber Park
(127 N. Wolf Rd., Wheeling)
12. Whitman Elementary School
(133 Willie Ave., Wheeling)
13. Frost Elementary School
(1805 Aspen Dr., Mt. Prospect)
14. Willow Trails Park
(Apple Dr. & Burning Bush Ln., Prospect Heights)

CCSD21 in-person summer school students will receive their meals on site. Current menus are available here and are updated monthly.

One School, One Book

On March 29, Tarkington launched a literacy initiative called “One School, One Book” whereby every family from the school received a copy of the book Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (courtesy of Title 1 funds). The goal is to encourage literacy and community participation by reading and discussing the book as a family throughout the month. At the end of April, students will add their wishes to the “wishtree,” which will be planted at Tarkington by the Village of Wheeling.If you’d like to read along, you can visit the Tarkington Wishtree website here.

Students Collect Items for Ukraine

Several Poe Elementary School students volunteered their time and energy to collect and load up donations for the BGHS “Drive for Ukraine.” BGHS sophomore and Vice President of the International Relations Club, Maya B., organized the drive to collect essential items, including personal hygiene products, safety and wellness supplies, children’s necessities and clothing. The items were sent through Meest Karpaty, a Ukraine-based package delivery program.  Monetary donations went to the International Rescue Committee. In the end, over 100 boxes with various supplies were sent and over $1,300 was raised.  “I am so honored to have played a part in this entire event. Knowing that our community made a tangible impact is extremely heartwarming,” said Maya.

Congratulations to Poe students, BGHS student Maya B. and others who helped in this effort.


School Board Update

The  livestream video of the March 17 Board of Education meeting can be viewed here.The next Board of Education meeting of Community Consolidated School District 21, Wheeling, Cook County, IL, will be held on April 21, 2022, 7:00 p.m. at the CCSD21 Gill Administration Center, 999 W. Dundee Road, Wheeling, IL 60090.