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April 8, 2011 eNewsletter

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DuPage County
Regional Office of Education

421 North County Farm Road
Wheaton, IL 60187
630.407.5800

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We at the DuPage Regional Office of Education know that education is the currency of the information age. It is not simply a road to opportunity and success… but a prerequisite. Our role is to support DuPage County schools to ensure that every child meets or exceeds his or her potential. High standards, quality teachers and leaders, and strong accountability are hallmarks of our office.
- Dr. Darlene J. Ruscitti

The DuPage Regional Office is well aware of the financial difficulties currently facing the State of Illinois. We applaud efforts to impose fiscal responsibility and accountability to the local taxpayer. This is an opportunity to rethink and streamline how quality and efficient education services are delivered to better support our schools and children. As a major player on the Illinois Streamlining Education Task Force, my office made numerous recommendations about building new foundations and systems that address this very issue. We talked about radical efficiencies; different, better, cheaper, and proposed many innovative and cost savings ideas. I am now hopeful that we can be part of the solution and bring these new ideas forward as we provide a laser-like focus on helping schools districts educate Illinois to a better economy, which clearly serves the greater local and national good.

I see the new 4 Rs for the future....Responsive, Relational and Results oriented with a Regional approach.

Darlene J. Ruscitti, Regional Superintendent of Schools

Illinois Historic Education Reform Bill
The bill includes language regarding teacher tenure, teacher dismissals, and stipulations for contract negotiations before a teacher’s union may strike. For more information on SB7 bill, please click here.

Teacher Appreciation Week
May 1-7 has been designated as National Teacher Appreciation Week 2011, a special time to honor the men and women who lend their passion and skills to educating our children. Since 1984, National PTA® has designated the first full week in May as National Teacher Appreciation Week, understanding that sometimes a simple thanks is all a teacher needs to feel valued.

“Each year early May has been set aside to honor those wonderful individuals who have dedicated themselves to educating our children,” said Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage Regional Superintendent of Schools. “During Teacher Appreciation Week and all throughout the year we must recognize those individuals who put their heart and soul into making a true difference in the lives of their students. DuPage County has achieved great success due to their efforts. Their influence will be felt for generations to come.”

Crossing Guard Appreciation Day
May 3 has been set aside in the state of Illinois to thank our school crossing guards for the valuable work they do keeping the students of our communities safe. Crossing guards play an integral role in our communities, working hard to ensure the security of children as they walk to and from school. In addition, they teach children to look both ways before crossing streets and other essential safety rules. They are an important component of the Illinois Safe Routes to School program which makes communities safer for the kids to walk and bicycle to school, promotes physical activity and reduces harmful impacts to the environment and community health.

Take advantage of May 3 to recognize the services of the dedicated professionals who keep our citizens and their children safe.

Sustainable Design Challenge
On April 12th, students from DuPage County high schools showed their “green” building design projects to the public at the 5th Annual Sustainable Design Challenge for high school students held at DuPage County's Administration Building. There were amazing models of their designs along with posters explaining their research and the design elements that make their building “green.” The students were guided by their teachers to incorporate design strategies from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program to both reduce environmental impact and provide occupants with a healthy, productive space.

Dr. Ruscitti Speaks in the Senate Chamber
DuPage Regional Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, was one of forty delegates invited to the 2011 Senate Forum on Intergenerational Leadership on April 5 in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol, Springfield. The goal of the forum was for four generations to work together to develop policy on an issue of importance to the future of Illinois.

Dr. Ruscitti brought her expertise to the assembled group as they discussed the one of the most important building blocks for student success – reading. The objectives for the delegates included:
• Exploring the similarities and differences between the four generations
• Identifying leadership strategies that can stimulate connections between generations
• Setting strategies that will translate the Senate Resolution to action in our communities

In November 2010, the DuPage ROE convened a mini summit designed to generate ideas and next steps that can connect the 50+ age group and education. The work of the Senate Forum dovetails with the initiative Dr. Ruscitti headed in DuPage “As our population ages, we will need to tap into their knowledge and strengths. Mobilizing all generations to address critical issues in new ways can only have a positive impact on our society,” said Dr. Ruscitti.

ACT-SO Expanding The Minds Of Our Youth
ACT-SO stands for the Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics that provides career exploration in 26 subject areas encompassed by the sciences, humanities, business and the arts. It is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (NAACP's) principle youth initiative. The mission of ACT-SO is to encourage academic and cultural excellence among African American youth. More . . .

Celebrate School Library Month in April and “Create your own story @ your library”
The library is the place where your story begins. During School Library Month in April, join our nation’s libraries and librarians and “Create your own story @ your library.”
School Library Month (SLM) is the American Association of School Librarians' (AASL) celebration of school librarians and their programs. Every April school librarians are encouraged to create activities to help their school and local community celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's educational career.

For further information and ways to celebrate School Library Month check out the free resources offered by AASL at
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/slm/schoollibrary.cfm.

Dr. Ruscitti Named 2011 IEA Friend of Education
DuPage Regional Office of Education Superintendent of Schools Dr. Darlene Ruscitti was recently honored by the Illinois Education Association (IEA) with their Friend of Education Award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated commitment to the success of public education and to the ideals and mission of the IEA-NEA. The award was presented at the IEA-NEA Representative Assembly on Saturday, March 12 with 1,400 teachers from across the state in attendance.

“Darlene Ruscitti is being honored for her dedication to quality education and her commitment to collaboration and cooperation with local leaders,” wrote the IEA Awards Committee in their recognition of Dr. Ruscitti. “It would be easy to cite examples of Ruscitti being a friend to education by doing all of the things someone like her is supposed to do. But it’s the things that she doesn’t have to do that truly make her deserving of this award.”

In her remarks to the group Dr. Ruscitti said, “I am proud to receive this honor, but it’s an honor that recognizes the work of the Regional Office of Education – work that we do well on behalf of public education.”