December 2020

December District Newsletter
Posted on 12/03/2020

Winter Update from Dr. Wise

Dear District 66 Community,

Dr. WiseCenter Cass 66 made the most of our summer and fall learning opportunities.  I have seen tremendous growth individually and collectively, in our learning, capacity, and skills. The entire learning community has shown great adaptability, teamwork, and perseverance in overcoming challenges and providing solutions. After witnessing the character, resilience, and determination displayed by everyone during this pandemic, I am so optimistic about the future of our students and our school district.

When the vaccine arrives early 2021, it will not be the end of the pandemic, but the beginning of the end of the pandemic. Thus, in-person learning January 2021 through May 2021, will look much like the fall of 2020, as we adhere to all IDPH regulations while our nation builds immunity. In order to keep everyone safe, we will need open and honest communication about testing, symptoms, vaccinations, quarantines, travel, and any other COVID-19 consideration. We want in-person learners back in the building as much as you do. Nurse Baek and her team have done a great job monitoring our individual, cohort, school, and district health, in conjunction with the local health department and D66 administration. Our COVID-19 positive cases and quarantines were miniscule in August and September, and we need another successful start in January to keep the kids inside the school buildings.

John Maxwell, in his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, shares that "everyone has bad experiences and no one likes bad experiences, but when they are over, most people like what the bad experiences teach us." He shares that instead of "going through life" we should "grow through life". At D66, our focus has been on growth, and I hope that you are seeing growth in your child's learning, dispositions, capacity, and skills. If not, please reach out to us so we can intervene. I appreciate the trust and support you have provided D66 through the pandemic. Together, we will grow through this process and be prepared to reach new heights in 2021. I wish each of you a happy and healthy holiday season.


Dr. Wise

District News

Adaptive PauseAdaptive Pause - Remote Learning for ALL Students
In response to all COVID-19 metrics increasing significantly at the county, local, and school level the Board of Education approved the Adaptive Pause at their November 10th meeting. This means all students will be learning remotely until at least Tuesday, January 19th. 

2020-2021 School Calendar Updated
The district calendar has been updated and was approved by the board at the November 10th meeting. Please click here to view the updated calendar

Chromebook and iPad InsuranceDevice Insurance
District 66 will be insuring all student devices for the 2020-2021 school year. You will not be charged this year for insurance but all devices will be covered. Please use the information below to submit a repair request. 

At Home Helpdesk TicketsHelp Desk
All tech help requests for remote learning should be directed to the link below. Please complete the form and a member of the district technology department will get in touch with you.

Submit a tech help request here.

School Board Member Appreciation Day

November 15, 2020 was designated as “School Board Members Day”. We would like to publicly recognize the service that members of the Center Cass School District 66 Board of Education provide to our learning community on an ongoing basis. Our Board Members selflessly donate countless hours to public service with no compensation in order to advocate for quality educational opportunities for each of our students.

Board of Education
We express our sincere gratitude to the District 66 Board of Education!

Back row:
Joan Cullen, Secretary;  Liane Raso, President

Middle row:
Maureen Gibbons, Member;  Glenn Olsen, Member;  Janeise Schultz, Vice-President

Front row:
Lori Hoffman, Treasurer;  Beth Bukey, Member 

School News

Lakeview Musicians Selected to Area Honors Band
ILMEACongratulations to three of our finest instrumental music students on being selected to the 2020 Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District 1 Honors Band. TJ Harvat (8th grade bassoon), Jessica Ford (8th grade flute), and Brennan Gillespie (8th grade tuba) were selected by a competitive blind video audition in late September. Many hours of individual preparation went into their audition for a spot in the ILMEA Jr. Honors Concert Band. Hundreds of students from the surrounding area competed for a spot in the Jr. Honors Band with only the top players selected to participate.

This year, in place of a live performance, these students will be participating in a virtual event featuring a motivational/leadership speaker and two Master Classes on music and performing. Congratulations to these fine young musicians on their hard work and dedication.

PV PTO PV PTOPrairieview PTO Chalk-toberfest
On October 8th, the Prairieview PTO held their Chalk-tober event. This popular socially-distanced fundraiser was both creative and fun! Each participant received a box of chalk pastels to create a colorful design in their assigned square in front of Prairieview School or at home on their own sidewalk.

Ide scarecrowIde scarecrow lionElizabeth Ide PTO Scarecrow Stroll
Ide families showed their Ide Pride during the Elizabeth Ide PTO Scarecrow Stroll. Families had the opportunity to work together to create a homemade scarecrow. Elizabeth Ide students and families were then invited to take a socially-distanced stroll on the new Pride Prairie trail to view these homemade creations and vote for their favorites. Special scarecrow trophies and prizes were awarded to the winners!

Veterans DayDistrict 66 Honors our Veterans
Over the last several years, our schools have celebrated Veterans Day by welcoming veterans who are friends or relatives of District 66 students and staff to join us for special assemblies and activities to honor them. Although our district activities looked much different this year, without our traditional in-person "meet and greets", our students and staff still found meaningful ways to honor both past and present veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. Ide and Prairieview students and staff compiled special video tributes that included photos of veterans, audio recordings, and student artwork as a way of honoring these heroes. Lakeview also developed an alternative way of honoring veterans by incorporating a virtual lesson that included students watching video interviews of veterans speaking about their experiences in different branches of the military.

Staff Highlights

Those Who ExcelISBE 2021 Those Who Excel Awards
Since 1970, the Illinois State Board of Education has sponsored Those Who Excel to honor individuals who have made significant contributions to our state's public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools. Awards are presented in five categories: school administrator, student support personnel, educational service personnel, community volunteer, and teams. Nomination materials are evaluated by a selection committee comprised of individuals who represent a variety of educational organizations.

We would like to congratulate the following employees for being recognized through the Those Who Excel Awards for their outstanding performance!

Windsor, Paul Horeni, Gina Gannon, Maria Henry, Samantha Holtrup, Melissa

From left to right:

Paul Windsor, Principal of Lakeview Jr. High, received the Meritorious Service Award in the category of Administrator.

Gina Horeni, Social Worker at Lakeview Jr. High, received the Meritorious Service Award in the category of Student Support Personnel.

Maria Gannon, Administrative Assistant at Lakeview Jr. High, received the Meritorious Service Award in the category of Educational Support Personnel. 

Samantha Henry, 5th Grade Teacher at Prairieview School, received the Excellence Award in the category of Early Career Educator. 

Melissa Holtrup, 2nd Grade Teacher at Elizabeth Ide School, received the Meritorious Service Award in the category of Classroom Teacher.

Team 66 and PTO
Center Cass 66 Super Raffle

TEAM 66 and the Prairieview Playground Committee have teamed up and present you with a virtual SUPER RAFFLE. Items are dropped on Sundays and will remain open until all tickets are sold. If the auction closes, winners will be drawn live on Thursdays. All winners will be contacted via email to arrange for local delivery options. Items needing to be shipped may be subject to shipping fees. To see raffle items and to purchase raffle tickets, join the Facebook group. Not on Facebook? No worries, an alternate way to join the raffle is coming very soon.

Holiday Hoopla
Heat up some hot cocoa, turn on the holiday music, and dust off those ugly holiday sweaters, it's time to join the Holiday Hoopla Challenge! Donate $15 and enter your home in the Holiday Hoopla Decorating Challenge. Your home will be on the Hoopla map, ballot, and a family bingo card. Residential and business locations are welcome to participate. Donate $10 and receive a Hoopla map, ballot, and a family bingo card. Register for your map or enter the decorating contest here.

FundraiserDistrict Eat Out - December 9, 2020
Our December District Eat Out Fundraiser is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, December 9th at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria on 75th Street in Downers Grove. Order between 4:00 - 10:00 p.m. and 20% of the proceeds will be donated back to our district. Please remember to mention this flyer when ordering! 

AmazonSmileSupport District 66 While Holiday Shopping on Amazon
How would you like to support District 66 while doing your normal Amazon shopping?!?! Just watch the video below to learn how to link your account to support our Education Foundation and PTOs!  
AmazonSmile Video

Trivia Night
A virtual version of the annual trivia night will be held early next year. Keep an eye out for more information to come on this popular event.

Join the TEAM
Are you interested in utilizing your skills to benefit the students of District 66?  TEAM 66 is looking for people with finance, PR and marketing, event planning, and fundraising experience to join our non-profit team!  This is a great opportunity to volunteer your time, build your network, and have fun!

If you're interested in joining our mission to differentiate Center Cass School District 66 as an innovative leader in providing superior educational opportunities and support for all students by promoting creative funding, building relationships between parents, educators, and the community, and supporting the needs of the district, please reach out to us at To learn more about TEAM 66, please click on the following link - We look forward to hearing from you!

Community News

Center Cass Community Band Annual Food Drive
CCCB Food DriveOver the past 4 years, the Center Cass Community Band has teamed up with the District 66 band families and the West Suburban Community Pantry to help families in our community. This year we are also including the Darien District 61 band families to help support this cause. According to administrators at the Community Pantry, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the needs of the WSCP by 40 - 50%.
Since we cannot collect at our concerts this year, we have designated two collection days for you to drop off your non perishable donations or new toys. You can also make a financial donation by following the link on the flyer.  Let's help make a difference this year in our community! Thank you for your support!! Please click here for more information.

DuPage safetyDuPage County Opens Another Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing Site
In response to the exponential spread of COVID-19 cases and the increased need for testing, the DuPage County Health Department is announcing the addition of a second community-based drive-thru testing site to provide additional testing resources in DuPage County. For more information, click here to read the DCHD News Release.

Have You Found Us on Twitter and Facebook?Facebook and Twitter
Stay connected with District 66. Follow us on Twitter at @ccsd66 and tweet to #ccsd66. "Like" us on Facebook at Center Cass School District 66.

Center Cass Community Connections
District 66 strives to keep all of our community members informed about the outstanding education we provide our students, as well as partnership opportunities with our residents. If you are not currently a student, family, or staff member of District 66, but would like to receive district newsletters, Board of Education updates, or occasional public service announcements, please click here to subscribe to our District 66 Community List.

Upcoming Events

December 5:  Center Cass Community Band Food Drive at Eisenhower JHS, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
December 8:  Board of Education Meeting, 7:00 p.m.
December 9:  District Eat Out at Lou Malnati's Pizzeria, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m.
December 12:  Center Cass Community Band Food Drive at Lakeview, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
December 21:  No School - Winter Break Begins

January 4:  Remote Learning Resumes
January 15:  Last Day of Adaptive Pause
January 18:  No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
January 19:  In-Person Learning Begins (Tentative)
January 29:  No School - Remote Learning Plan Day