Monday, January 28, 2013
Patch recently caught up with Summit Hill School District's four outgoing board members to discuss their time with the district and why they're not running for another term.
Mary Kenny has been a member of the Summit Hill School District 161 Board of Education for so many years that she’s lost count — she guesses it’s somewhere between 25 and 30. In the late 1970s, Kenny canvassed residential construction sites in the area, talking to families who were building their homes in the district, to create support for the construction of Indian Trail Elementary School. She was the president of the Lincoln-Way Area Special Education District 843 Board of Education for more than ten years and she is currently president of the Summit Hill board. During her time with District 161, enrollment has grown from approximately 1,200 students to 3,400 students. For the first time in decades, Kenny’s name will not appear on the …
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Just a few months after closing Mary Drew School, district officials voted Tuesday to lease some of the vacant classroom space to a church.
- Bob Bong
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Summit Hill School District 161 board members approved a contract Tuesday night to rent several classrooms at Mary Drew School in Frankfort Square to Cornerstone Church. “We’ve been working with the church to rent some space and decided to not make them wait another week,” said school board president Mary Kenny. READ: How Much Money Will be Saved From Closing Mary Drew? The school was shuttered at the end of the school year in June because of dwindling enrollment and to help the district cut its deficit. Church pastor Arvid Svendsen said the church would use two classrooms for office space for church staffers and then make use of other classrooms and the school gym as needed for classes and activities. “Most of our activities during the …
Friday, August 3, 2012
The 2012-13 school year brings new boundaries for the Summit Hill district. Do you know what school your child is attending?
- BACK TO SCHOOL
- Joe Vince
Friday, August 3, 2012
The school year is right around the corner, and Patch is making sure parents and students have the information they need before the first class starts. One of the biggest aftershocks caused by the closing of Mary Drew Elementary School in February was the restructuring of the school boundaries for Summit Hill School District 161. In March, the D161 board reworked the boundaries with an eye to distributing students so the district could maximize capacity in all of its schools, Supt. Barb Rains said at the time. The new boundaries were presented to the recently formed superintendent's advisory committee before they were brought before the school board. Do you know what school your child is going to this school year? The above map outlines …
Monday, May 28, 2012
Mary Drew Elementary School will close at the end of this month, but parents, teachers, staff and students can share their stories, photos and videos about what made the school so special.
In less than a week, Mary Drew Elementary School will close its doors after four years, a casualty of declining enrollment and district budget cuts. The decision to close Mary Drew was an emotional one for everyone involved—parents, teachers, staff, administrators. It's a testament to the kind of education students received at Mary Drew that so many people worked to try to keep it open. READ: Go to Our Section on Mary Drew's Closing for Details on the Decision After May 29, students and teachers will be going to different schools, but that doesn't mean they have to forget the good times they had at Mary Drew. This page is designed for members of the Summit Hill School District 161 community to share their memories of the school and what it…
Thursday, April 5, 2012
With the closing of Mary Drew Elementary School and the upcoming retirement of Hilda Walker's principal, officials move some district principals to new schools.
Some Summit Hill School District 161 principals will be in new schools next year thanks to some reshuffling announced in a district e-mail Wednesday. Sent by Supt. Barb Rains, the e-mail, which went to district parents, laid out the following changes (the parentheses denote the principals' previous schools): The moves come as district officials continue to adjust to the closing of Mary Drew. At the time, board members and Rains said Klein, Mary Drew's principal, would stay in the district. Another reason for the changes are because of the retirement of Hilda Walker Principal Jan Zevkovich at the end of this school year. The following is the complete text of the e-mail: Dear Parents, As we begin to plan for the next school year, I would …
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Because of decreasing enrollment, the Summit Hill school district board reduced its workforce, honorably dismissing teachers. The board also raised fees for clubs, band and sports at Wednesday's meeting to help with the district's bottom line.
CORRECTION: An early version of this story listed the wrong fee amount for clubs. It has been changed to the correct amount, $30. For the first time in its history, the Summit Hill School District 161 board of education approved the honorable dismissal of 22 teachers at its Wednesday meeting as part of an overall staff reduction in the district. The dismissals come as the district's student enrollment is projected to decrease and the board needs to cut more than $3 million from the D161 budget over the next three years. No tenured teachers were let go by the district, Supt. Barb Rains said, adding that a list of eliminated teachers would not be released in accordance with board policy. Rains said she would provide Patch with a full list of…
Friday, March 16, 2012
Patch lays out the item-by-item estimates generated by Summit Hill school district officials.
At the tail end of Wednesday night's Summit Hill School District 161 board meeting, Dean Gerdes, the district's finance director, went over the amount D161 is estimated to save after closing Mary Drew Elementary School, totaling it at $670,808. READ: Find Out About the New School Boundaries for District The estimates were based on this year's budget, and this financial model will be used to build next year's budget, Gerdes said. But Gerdes didn't go over the line-item estimates, because the meeting was moving into its fifth hour, and limited his presentation to questions from the board members. Patch was able to get a breakdown of the estimates the district has worked out so far. After Gerdes' short presentation, board member Sean William …
Thursday, March 15, 2012
With the closing of Mary Drew Elementary School next year, the Summit Hill school board gave the OK to a new map that distributes the students to maximize the remaining schools.
The Summit Hill School District 161 board unveiled and approved new boundaries Wednesday, outlining which schools students will attend in a post-Mary Drew world. The new boundary lines were drawn with an eye to distributing students so the district could maximize capacity in all of its schools, said Supt. Barb Rains, who presented the new map to the new superintendent's advisory committee earlier this month before bringing it before the board to vote on at Wednesday night's meeting. The new district map was needed after the board voted to close Mary Drew Elementary School as part of a three-year budget-cutting plan developed to eliminate a more than $3 million deficit. READ: Board Votes Again to Close Mary Drew Using the above map, the …
Sunday, March 4, 2012
You know how the vote turned out concerning the elementary school, but do you know why certain board members support that? Or how district residents have responded? Find out with this wrap up of what went down.
Last week marked a major turning point for Summit Hill School District 161 parents and community as the board of education voted to close down Mary Drew Elementary School in order to dig out of a more than $3 million defecit over the next three years. NEWSLETTER: Get Your D161 and Other Local Stories Delivered to Your Inbox That decision has rippled through the district, upseting parents who feel the board didn't have enough concrete information to close a school. But how did things get to this point? And how have district residents responded? Go back and read Patch's comprehensive coverage of the financial tumult D161 faces. You can check out the individual stories linked here or go to the Patch Topic Pages for the Mary Drew closing and …
Friday, March 2, 2012
In a symbolic gesture, community members from the Summit Hill school district came out Thursday to the Cooks Night Off event run by the elementary's school community organization.
The last time Summit Hill School District 161 parents came to show support for Mary Drew Elementary School--at Tuesday's special meeting where the board of education voted to close the school starting in 2012-13--the atmosphere was loud, heated and contentious. That was in stark contrast to the mood at Thursday's Cooks Night Off at Wendy's in Tinley Park where district parents and community members came together for the Mary Drew School Community Organization fundraiser. READ: Board Votes Again; Mary Drew to Close Next School Year The event, which is held the first Thursday of every month, raises money for the Mary Drew SCO, which uses it to fund student parties, assemblies and other activities. The wrinkle this Thursday was that many of …