Kindergarten Registration

Posted February 8th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

Registration for the 2016-17 school year will be on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at Dirksen at three different times:

-9:00-11:00 am
-1:00-2:30 pm
6:00-8:00 pm

We are always excited to welcome new families to our school.  Feel free to spread the word to new neighbors so we can get them set for the upcoming year!

Valentine’s Day Parties

Posted February 8th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

Classroom parties will take place next Friday from 1:45-2:45.  Please note that due to food allergies in the school, any treats provided by the party planners must be commercially-manufactured and packaged with a detailed ingredient label.  Home baked goods or candy may not be brought in to share. Students with allergies must bring in their own treats to enjoy at the party.

Kindness Week at Dirksen

Posted February 1st, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

Today marked the start of a special week here at Dirksen…Kindness Week! The idea came about from one of our very own first-graders, Anushka. She wanted everyone to recognize how much power there is in being kind to others. Students can fill out a “Kindness Ticket” when they are kind to someone else. One half will be displayed on a bulletin board and the other will be entered into a drawing! Classrooms have also made signs to remind others about how cool it is to be kind. Additionally, one of our 1/2 classes is going to be making valentines that will be sent to a nursing home.

We hope that everyone at Dirksen will remember to choose kindness, during this week and beyond!

3/4 Explores Legoland

Posted January 30th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

This past week, the 3/4 classes had a great time learning and building at Legoland! Here are a few snapshots of the fun:

lego3 lego2















Our whole school was proud of the positive report the students received from the staff at Legoland. They were impressed with our respectful, responsible, and safe Dirksen Dolphins!

Dirksen TV: January 25, 2016

Posted January 11th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova


PTA Updates

Posted January 10th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

The forms for hot lunch days and pizza days went home last week and are due back by January 20.

The next Dirksen PTA meeting will be on Wednesday, January 13th at 7:00 p.m. in the teacher’s lounge. Hope to see everyone there!

Notification of School Closings

Posted January 10th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

Due to a change in the Federal Communications Commission regulations, District 54 needs to receive parent permission to call your phones when school will be closed due to extreme cold or snow. You will not receive a phone call when we are closed due to weather unless you sign up online. For instructions on how to sign up, please refer to the letter you received this fall, or visit our website. The website also shares our Cold Weather Response Plan and other sources of information when we have to close school.

Adult ESL Classes

Posted January 10th, 2016 by Mrs. Villanova

This winter, Adult ESL classes for District 54 parents will be held on Monday nights at Churchill School beginning January 25 and at the District Professional Learning Center beginning on February 29. For more information and to register, visit the Department of Language and Culture. It is a wonderful opportunity for parents to practice their English skills, meet other parents in the community, and learn about the culture in US schools.

PBIS Student Recognition

Posted December 15th, 2015 by Mrs. Villanova

At last week’s PBIS assembly, students were recognized from each classroom for living the key of “Speak with Good Purpose.” We are so proud of the positive example these students set for others!






Olivia C., Valerie R., Sophia S., Naya D., Lucy R., Fatima S., Yuna H., Brian T.






Ryan M., Andrea P., Ailyn L., Sukanya G., Ibraheem S.






Emma T., Sierra G., Jillian E., Bryan K., Malini P.

A Note from Ms. Kort: PARCC Results

Posted December 11th, 2015 by Mrs. Villanova

Yesterday the Daily Herald published results from the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. I apologize that we didn’t share that information with you first, but the Illinois State Board of Education had said that information was embargoed until Friday. The results are not even published on the state website yet. They should be posted by tomorrow here. On this site, you will be able to look up scores for schools and districts. This week, we are mailing home individual results to the parents/guardians of students who took the test in the spring. The PARCC score reports are different from previous state tests. We are including a letter with each student report explaining the score reports. You can also find more information here. Student scores, as well as the school and district averages, may appear lower than what you typically saw on previous state assessments. This difference does not mean our students know less or are less capable. Rather, the PARCC exam set higher expectations for what it means for students to truly master content and grade-level standards.

The results in District 54 are almost double the state average. This demonstrates the great work our staff is doing to prepare our students for the demands of college and careers. However, we also know that there is room for growth. The PARCC results are one of many tools our staff will use to measure progress and improve teaching and learning. Our ultimate goal is to provide a balanced learning environment rich with academic and social-emotional experiences for our students in order to ensure student success. As always, feel free to contact me or your child’s teacher should you have any specific questions.