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Principal's Message

Ms. Gabrielle Herndon

“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.”—Albert Einstein




August 2018


Dear Parents and Students,


On behalf of the staff at Berger-Vandenberg School, I am happy to welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year!!  The district theme for this school year is "Re-ignite Your Passion!"  As a school community we will dialogue about what this theme means to each one of us and how our passion can translate into greater academic achievement for our students.  We are dedicated to demonstrating our commitment to the theme by developing a productive partnership with all of our families.  Research shows that a strong partnership with families makes a great difference in your child’s education.  As part of this partnership we ask that you guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that they attend school daily, complete all homework assignments, read daily, share school experiences, and inform you if they need additional support.

The Berger-Vandenberg staff is energized and deeply committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our children.  We will accomplish this by setting high academic expectations for all children and providing supportive systems to assure they are met.  By addressing school culture, setting high standards for teacher performance, increasing academic expectations for all students and engaging the community, we are confident that all of our students will be on the path for college and career readiness.  We are committed to providing our children with an exceptional educational experience.  The combined efforts of our remarkable staff, involved parents and committed students will make everyone’s experience one of learning, fun and excitement. 


The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides additional resources to schools that serve students who are underperforming.  In June, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) identified Berger-Vandenberg School to receive comprehensive support to accelerate our academic progress in reading and math and to sharpen our focus on the well-being of the whole child.  Based on the preliminary 2017 PARCC scores Berger-Vandenberg has received a summative designation of Lowest Performing (in the lowest performing 5 percent of Title I eligible schools).  This means we have the highest priority for customized supports and additional resources to provide more and greater holistic support for our students.


We will continue our pathway in educating the whole child one-step at a time but with the help of the state.  We welcome this opportunity to build on the great work of our teachers and staff and look forward to including parents, families, and community partners in our efforts.


We will receive resources to address areas that need improvement.  In conjunction with those resources we will continue to work on the implementation of our school improvement plan goals relative to math and reading.  The building leadership team is committed to providing every teacher with the proper resources and support to implement the goals in our plan.  In order to ensure that we are providing appropriate interventions for all students, we will also take a deeper look at the NWEA student data to tailor student intervention plans.


District 149 has a specific “Uniform Policy” for all of our students.  The students are required to wear navy blue pants/skirts/jumpers with a light blue top.  The students’ shoes must be dark in color.  Students are not permitted to wear jackets in the classrooms.  Sweaters and/or sweatshirts must be navy blue or light blue.  Additionally, boys are not permitted to wear earrings.


We are pleased to inform you that Dolton School District 149 will continue the implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), an option available to schools participating in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, for 2018-2019 school year. Schools that participate in CEP are able to provide healthy breakfasts and lunches each day at no charge for all students enrolled in that CEP school.


We look forward to seeing all of our children on Monday, August 20th for the first day of school.  The official school day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m.  We offer an early breakfast program which is served in the gymnasium from 8:15 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. to all students that arrive during that time.  Any student who arrives after 8:40 a.m. will be served breakfast in their classroom. 


Please join us on Saturday, August 25th from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. at our Annual Back to School Carnival which is held at Caroline Sibley School located at 1550 Sibley Blvd. in Calumet City.  Also please mark your calendars for our Annual Parent Open House which is being held on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at 6:00 p.m.  On behalf of the entire staff at Berger-Vandenberg School, it is my pleasure to welcome your family to a new school year.

Educationally yours,
Ms. Gabrielle Herndon

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