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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

 

A sincere and heartfelt thank you to the Benjamin District 25 community for supporting our school district and helping us maintain strong schools, a strong community, and invest in a strong future for our students and families.

 

Yesterday’s referendum passed with an abundance of community backing and commitment which will enable us to move forward with plans to fund capital projects including safety/security improvements, educational improvements and building maintenance at Benjamin Middle School and Evergreen Elementary School. We are pleased that the effective  learning environment for our students will continue to be maintained.

 

Voter approval provides the district a unique opportunity to address these facility needs by paying off some debt and taking advantage of very favorable bond market interest rates.

 

We are thrilled with yesterday’s election outcome and excited to know that both students and taxpayers are the real winners.

 

Our thanks to the entire Benjamin District 25 community for your unwavering support, encouragement, and assistance as we work to ensure that our two neighborhood school buildings remain sources of pride, opportunity, enrichment and academic excellence.

 

Yours truly,

 

Philip Ehrhardt, Ed.D., Superintendent

 

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 4/5/17




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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 4/5/17




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Benjamin District 25 seeks money for building repairs, upgrades 

Benjamin Elementary District 25 voters on Tuesday will decide whether to give the district permission to borrow $4.9 million to pursue a list of capital projects, including upgrading science labs and replacing aging technology. 

Read the complete article at  http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20170330/news/170339864/

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 4/2/17




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We have received inquiries about a robo-call and a postcard opposing our

ballot proposal.  The source of the  robo-call and postcard is the Americans

for Prosperity, a political organization with the state office in Naperville

and the national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  We are uncertain why

this organization is interested in our local election on April 4.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 4/1/17




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Governor Rauner signed SB 0550 on January 16, 2017. The statute requires pre-K through grade five schools to test for lead in water used for drinking and cooking by December 31, 2017. Benjamin School District 25 hired Environmental Services, Inc. to test the water at both schools for lead content. Per the statute, the analytical results we just received are posted on the district's website and are being submitted to the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Please see the two attachments for details.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 2/28/17




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We are proud to partner with Glenbard District #87 in offering the Navigating Healthy Families Parent Series. Please see the attached flier for the details or click on the logo above to view their website for the most updated information.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 2/27/17




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It’s said necessity is the mother of invention, but for 11-year-old Eftihia Giannoudakos of Carol Stream, it’s perplexing and often baffling challenges which spark her interest in design and development.

 

Known to her friends and classmates at Benjamin Middle School as Effie, the sixth grader is drawn to combine technology and new skills learned in the school MakerSpace to create products which help solve challenges and meet unique classroom needs.

 

For example, using the 3-D printer, Effie recently completed two versions of an originally-designed classroom stylus holder to house the many stylus pens used in the sixth grade math classes.

 

“Creating cylinders the right size and arranged at the right tilt was the biggest challenge,” explains Effie, who says she was first introduced to the 3-D printer in the fifth grade and now uses her directed study periods to delve deeper into 3-D printing—learning to create stars, renovating squares to form rectangles, and creating three dimensional cylinders from circle patterns.

 

In addition to her interest in choir, art and scouting, Effie frequently can be found working on design challenges in the school MakerSpace and has become a student leader in 3-D printing and innovation. 

 

“Effie says I taught her everything she knows about building 3-D projects,” explains Ellen Behrman, Benjamin technology specialist.  “However, she’s taught herself a lot about the 3-D printing program. It was seeing her projects that made me think of helping her learn easier ways to build using the tools provided in the 3D program. She took it from there.”

 

With dreams of possibly becoming a doctor and putting her graphics and design skills to the test helping patients, Effie has already begun experimenting on hand designs, using cylinder shapes to recreate fingers, and other designs featuring unique shapes and figures.

 

“Engineering and design are all about trial and error,” explains the technology-savvy sixth grader who says she also enjoys coding activities using Benjamin’s new Ozobot smart robots and programming Spheros balls.  “The capabilities for 3-D printing are great and there’s a lot more to learn.”

 

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 1/31/17




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How well our students who have graduated from Benjamin School District 25 are performing at the high school level is evaluated each year.  Specific information in a variety of areas  is included in the attachment. The results indicate our students are well-rounded and well-prepared.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 1/12/17




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The attached file contains the recent BenCARE presentation to the Board of Education.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 1/12/17




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In the event of inclement weather, a decision will be made to either close school for the day or, if conditions are expected to improve, delay the start of school for two hours. In the event school has a delayed start there will be no morning Pre-K classes. If necessary to close school or implement a delayed start, information will be given to the media through the school closing network. In general, all major news, radio, and TV stations will broadcast this information. Additionally, we will use the automated service (if there is no power outage), that will telephone each parent's/guardian's phone number to inform them that school is closed for the day or on a delayed start. The closings are also communicated via email or the following websites can be consulted:

 

www.bendist25.org

www.emergencyclosings.com

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 1/11/17




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Your input is needed regarding the proposed projects that are being considered.  The projects include educational upgrades, safety and security improvements, and facility repairs. Part of  funding  the projects would be through a referendum in April, and if passed would lower the debt service tax rate by 16%. Complete the on-line survey or the survey located in the schools’ office by December 16. Your feedback is important to determine the next steps in funding the projects to benefit our students and taxpayers!

 

Thanks,

Benjamin CARE (Connect And Reinvest in Education) Team

 

 

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 12/5/16




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Benjamin District 25 To Host Dec. 1 & Dec. 3

Community Open House Events

 

West Chicago, IL (Nov. 14, 2016)---Benjamin School District 25 residents are invited to special Open House events to learn more about an opportunity to benefit students and taxpayers while improving facilities and continuing stable finances---without increasing the tax rate. 

Learn more about ongoing maintenance and needed security improvements, how to improve classrooms to better facilitate 21st century learning, responsible fiscal management, and future-ready facilities at Open House events planned from 4:30-6:45 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1 or 9 a.m.- noon Saturday, Dec. 3 at Evergreen Elementary School, 1041 Evergreen Dr., Carol Stream.

District planners, educators, accountants and architects will be on hand providing current information, tours, and information on planning for educational facility and security improvements. 

“While our facilities are in good condition, there are repairs and updates that are needed to support current practices in teaching, to create secure learning environments and maintain the district’s strong financial health without increasing Benjamin’s tax rate,” notes Phillip Ehrhardt, Ed.D., superintendent.  “Building improvements will support the high quality teaching and learning that occurs in our classrooms every day to prepare our students for their futures.”

Among educational improvements being considered are upgrades to the middle school science labs, changes in STEM elementary school spaces, updated technology devices, renovations to the elementary cafeteria to also accommodate large group instruction, updated furniture, and enhanced storage solutions. 

 

Vital security needs to be addressed include reconfiguring the elementary school main entrance to better control and secure building access, replacing an outdated phone system, improving playground safety, boosting accessibility for those with mobility impairments by installing an elevator/lift at the two-story middle school, upgrading roof sections and windows at the end of their life expectancy, bringing school water fountains and sinks up to code, and installing gymnasium wall matts to help prevent injuries in the elementary school gymnasium shared in partnership with the Carol Stream Park District.

Benjamin District 25 serves students from the far southwest corner of Carol Stream and portions of West Chicago at two schools.  Pre-K through fourth graders attend Evergreen Elementary School, Carol Stream, and students in grades 5 through 8 attend Benjamin Middle School, West Chicago.   It is one of the oldest school districts in the county and consistently recognized among the academically top performing districts both in the county and state.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 11/14/16




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A recent Chicago Tribune article reports on how often school districts teachers miss school. Our own Evergreen Elementary was mentioned as an excellent-attendance school. Please click on the attached file for the article.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 11/7/16




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Governor Rauner has designated Friday, October 21 as Principal Appreciation Day in Illinois.  We are blessed to have two outstanding principals, Laura and Mike, who lead with enthusiasm, conviction, and commitment to our students, faculty, and students.  Research studies indicate that the principal is the key person to help shape the culture, climate, and learning environment in schools.  Mike and Laura are highly accomplished in doing that!

 

At times, serving as a principal can be a thankless job with working long hours, resolving a variety of issues, and making decisions that are in the best interest of students. Please join me in thanking the them for their tireless efforts! In honor of them, I will sub for them for a day so they can pursue a professional development interest of theirs.

 

Yours truly,

 

 

Philip Ehrhardt, Ed. D.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 10/20/16




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A summary of the proposed projects and financing options are explained below.  A detailed description can be accessed by viewing the attachment.

Examples of projects addressing educational programming include updating three Benjamin Middle School science labs, purchasing two portable science labs for Evergreen Elementary School, renovating the Evergreen Elementary School cafeteria to also serve as a large-group instruction room, upgrading the technology infrastructure, and replacing the student computer devices.

Samples of safety and security projects include reconfiguring the Evergreen Elementary School front entrance to better control entry to the building, upgrading the burglar system and interfacing it with the security system at both schools, and installing an elevator/lift at Benjamin Middle School so there is access to the second floor for students, staff, and visitors with mobility issues. Also, specified sections of the roofs and blacktop/playgrounds that are nearing life expectancy would be replaced.

The one facility project is to replace the interior fluorescent light fixtures with LED fixtures that are much more energy efficient and last longer.

Financing Options

Every five to six years bonds have been sold to fund capital projects since the needs exceed the annual budget revenue.  In 2005 bonds were used to pay for phase 1 of the heating and air conditioning project for sections of both schools. The remaining parts of the schools except the middle school large gym were completed in phase 2 in 2012 along with security projects. In 2017-2018, there will be the opportunity to sell bonds and lower the debt service tax rate by about 16 %.  An owner of a house assessed at $250,000 would experience an estimated $73 annual tax decrease.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 5/31/16




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We are now offering enrollment in our preschool for the 2016-2017 school year to children in our district who are three or four years old. The Benjamin District 25 Preschool serves children age’s three to five and is consistent with the district’s inclusion philosophy. The Evergreen preschool will include children with special needs, children considered at risk of academic difficulties, and tuition-based students. Tuition based students are students who are not at risk of academic difficulty. The program is five-days a week, class taught by certified teachers with early childhood endorsements. A speech-language pathologist and other educational specialists assist the teachers, as needed. Children also attend music, physical education, library story time, and technology classes taught by district certified staff members.

All students must go through the Preschool Screening process in order to be eligible for the Evergreen Preschool program. Students must be three years old.

Registration is currently open for the tuition based students and enrollment will be decided through a lottery system due to a limited space. The tuition-based program costs a total of $2000.00 per year. Payment schedule:

1st payment – Time of Registration

2nd payment – August 1st

3rd payment – October 1st

4th payment – December 1st

 

Names will be drawn after August 26 and you will be notified by mail.

 

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 4/14/16




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Benjamin students are high achieving in academics, leadership, graduation rate, extra-curricular participation, attendance, and behavior throughout their high school career as shown by the results compiled by Community High School.  Our students excel at other high schools including St. Francis and Wheaton Academy.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 2/11/16




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I am pleased to inform you that Mike Fitzgerald has been named the 2015-2016 Middle School Principal of the Year by the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) DuPage Region.  What a wonderful honor to Mike and to the many talented staff in Benjamin School District 25! This is a tribute to Mike's skills and experience along with the contributions of our students, faculty, parents, and community to make this honor possible.

Attached is a news release with additional information.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 12/16/15




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Benjamin School District 25 has earned a Digital Learning Award for its outstanding use of the Knovation Content Collection to personalize learning with reliable and engaging online resources. News release is attached.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 12/16/15




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The Illinois State Board of Education has released the PARCC district- and school-level results. The attached file explains the process of how Benjamin School District 25 measures student growth.

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Posted by: Greg Martin
Published: 12/10/15