Health Fair at Hille

Our Health and Safety Fair is happening THIS THURSDAY! It’s sure to be a fantastic time! Please join us at Hille Jr. High for this annual event. There will be plenty of FUN, FOOD and PRIZES!!  Hope to see everyone there!

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Kerkstra School Wins Blue Ribbon

Kerkstra Elementary School in Oak Forest has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2015, the only school in the Southland and one of only 16 in Illinois to receive the prestigious designation. The award is granted by the U.S. Education Department and recognizes overall academic excellence or significant improvement in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is meant to honor schools that show all students can achieve at high levels of excellence. Forest Ridge School District 142 Superintendent Paul McDermott said Kerkstra, which serves students in the first through fifth grades, received National Blue Ribbon status because of improvements it has made in various aspects of education in recent years. “This is about overall academic excellence,” he said. “It’s not a fleeting honor. This is for the long term and something that will make us stand out for years to come.”

McDermott said the improved student performance at Kerkstra, 14950 Laramie Ave., is largely due to the efforts of its former principal, Lori Leppert, who’s now director of pupil personnel services for District 142, to change the curriculum and motivate students to do better. Leppert, who was Kerkstra principal from 2004 to 2014 and has been an educator in the Chicago area for 25 years, said her focus was on making students think they were capable of doing better schoolwork and achieving goals that might not otherwise occur to them.

She said one such tactic is getting students as early as the second or third grades thinking about attending college. “We will ask them, ‘Where do you want to go to college?’ ” she said. “You get them to think in terms of wanting to do more.” Leppert said her efforts to improve academic performance began in 2009, and she recently met with students who were the youngest when the changes began to be implemented then. “I was able to tell them, ‘We did it,’ and you could see they felt it as well,” she said. “This is their accomplishment as much as anyone else’s.” Leppert said her goal now is to apply the changes made at Kerkstra to the other schools in District 142, Foster Elementary School and Jack Hille Middle School. “We’re always looking at what works in our schools and trying to see how they improve the blueprint for us all,” she said. Of the 335 schools across the United States that were recently named National Blue Ribbon Schools, 285 are public schools and 50 are private schools. All of them will be acknowledged Nov. 9 and 10 in Washington, D.C., and each school will get an award flag it can fly outside the school. Gregory Tejeda is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.

Copyright © 2015, Daily Southtown

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Kenootz Pizza PTA Fundraising Night


This Tuesday, October 6th, the Forest Ridge PTA is having a dine out fundraiser at Kenootz Pizza in Midlothian!

Take your family out for an amazing pizza at Kenootz and the Forest Ridge PTA will receive 25% of the proceeds.

You must mention the Forest Ridge PTA when ordering.

This is an easy way to help our schools while enjoying a delicious dinner!


Kenootz Pizza

4659 147th St, Midlothian, IL 60445



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Kerkstra is named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School


The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U. S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. More than 7,500 of schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. Congratulations Kerkstra!!

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Family Bowling Night at Oak Forest Bowl

Family Bowling Night at Oak Forest Bowl!!
October 8th…space is limited!! Click the link below for more details!!

Illinois State Board of Education Parent Webinar

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois PTA are hosting a Back-to-School Webinar for parents at 7 p.m. Sept. 23. State Superintendent Tony Smith, Ph.D., and Illinois PTA President Matthew Rodriguez will discuss statewide education initiatives and how parents and schools can work together to help their students thrive.
“Engaged families are crucial to a child’s healthy development and education, and the State Board of Education is committed to providing the tools and resources necessary to build effective relationships between parents, educators, and the community,” said Dr. Smith.
During the one-hour event, he will outline his five key areas of focus to guide ISBE’s initiatives. These are:
  • Money – Establish an adequate and equitable education finance system
  • Quality – Common definition of, and fair access to, quality education
  • Autonomy – Maximize district autonomy to provide quality education to all families
  • Competency – Encourage competency-based learning
  • Community – Districts and schools as centers of healthy communities
“There are multiple studies that show and confirm that parent involvement directly relates to student success,” Rodriguez said. “I am very proud to join Superintendent Smith in this webinar so we can address in real time some of the concerns and questions from parents around the state. Our partnership with ISBE is essential to create the most effective parent, teacher, and student relationship.”
The webinar will discuss the upcoming score report release for the first administration of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam and how results will look much different than scores from previous state tests. This change does not mean Illinois students are learning less or are less capable. The PARCC exam scores will simply reflect higher expectations for what students should know and be able to do to stay on track for college and careers. The PARCC exam will return in spring 2016 with a shorter, simpler format to improve the testing process while still providing reliable and valid information about student achievement. Parents will also hear more about a new science assessment that will be given to students this school year.
Speakers will also discuss ISBE’s guidance for schools to strengthen and nurture family engagement to build meaningful and productive partnerships with parents and caregivers. Parents will also have the opportunity to learn more about helpful resources, including the award-winning Illinois Report Card and the 5Essentials Survey.
This is the second year that ISBE and the Illinois PTA have partnered to present a Back-to-School Webinar for parents. Nearly 400 people participated in last year’s event.



Forest Ridge Shoe Drive

The Forest Ridge PTA is going to be doing a “Shoe Drive”. So, please start saving your shoes. It will span across all four of our school and can be any shoes! (any gender any style).  These shoes will be sent overseas to help people in need, so please no holes or missing soles.




This event will be starting October 1st and end November 30th.


Reflections is Coming to Dist 142


September Fundraisers Were A Success!!

Thank You, District 142 Parents for coming out and supporting our fall fundraisers.  Our Special Needs Movie Night and Jump Zone events were both extremely successful and fun was had by all!!

THANK YOU on speech bubble price labels


Foster’s Teacher Appreciation Breakfast

I APPLAUD the Parents of Foster! I arrived this morning to food pouring in the front doors! Not to mention all of the drop offs yesterday too! Then this morning…the cars kept driving in with More!

There was so MUCH food, that we filled the Freezer with Bagels, Cream Cheeses, and Coffee Cakes…Our awesome Staff will be eating it for weeks…

The Teachers were Very Happy and Thankful to the Overwhelming show of Appreciation!

Thank You To The WONDERFUL Foster School Family!

Donna Gutierrez

Foster VP



Ridge’s Teacher Apperation Breakfast

Today’s Ridge PTA breakfast was a success!! Val Anderson and Mary Derman did a great job organizing the event. Food was catered from New Horizon, French toast baked by a parent, coffee from Dunkin Donuts, donuts, fruit, coffee cakes and more! Parents were very generous with donations to get all the food and drinks. Thanks to all the parents for the support and thanks to the teachers for all your hard work!!

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Kerkstra Teacher Breakfast

The PTA held our annual “Back to School” Staff Appreciation Breakfast.   Kerkstra parents were more than generous, donating everything needed to make sure no staff member left the lounge with out a full tummy!! Darcy Alaska did an awesome job heading up the event. Flowers were on every table and a basket full of goodies was won by Mr Robbins, the gym teacher.  A big thank you once again to all who donated, you made all the teacher’s feel extra special!!




Kerkstra Intramurals Have Begun

Forest Ridge PTA is sponsoring an intramural program for students in 5th grade at Kerkstra.  The program will run from Sept. 23rd to October 28th.  All classes will include instructional and competitive “Ultimate Frisbee”.  A big thank you goes out to Mr. Robbins for running these classes!!


Thank You!!

Just wanted to say a quick THANK YOU to everyone who came out to our PTA meeting last week.  It was exciting to see so many new faces!!  We hope to see everyone back next meeting.  Remember everything we do benefits your children!

Thanks Again!

Melissa Crim – President


Jump Zone Fundraiser

Monday, September 14th


Chicago Ridge Jump Zone

Pre-K – 3rd Grades

$8.00 pre sale/$10.oo at the door


Special Needs Family Movie Night

Friday, September 11th at Kerkstra Elementary

Doors open @ 6:30pm

$2.00 at the door

Refreshments will be available for  purchase

Parents MUST accompany their children

(all children are welcome!)