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Dunlap Community Unit School District #323

Back-to-School Important Dates!

We are excited about the start of the 2014-15 school year and students filling the classrooms!  Below are some important dates to remember:

 School Secretaries Return  July 30th
 New Teachers’ Orientation  August 4th and 5th
 Pre-K Open House for Bright Futures and ECSE (Parents/Students)  August 11th at 6:00 p.m. at Hickory Grove  Elementary
 Kindergarten Open House (Parents/Students)  August 12th at 6:30 p.m.
 Teachers’ Institute  August 13th and 14th
 Freshman Orientation  August 14th
 Grades 1-5 Open House (Parent/Students)  August 14th at 6:30 p.m.
 1st Day of School for Students  August 15th (Full Day)
 Back to School Night – Dunlap High School  August 18th at 6:30 p.m
 Back to School Night – Middle Schools  August 19th at 6:30 p.m.
 Back to School Night – K-5 Elementary (Parents Only)  August 21st at 6:30 p.m.

Submitted by: Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap High School Construction Project Update

The Dunlap High School Construction Project continues to make progress. Substantial completion is slated to be done before school starts in August.

This new phase of classrooms will allow us to accommodate approximately 600 more students at the high school. Highlights of the construction include a renovated, much larger cafeteria, renovated existing science classrooms and locker rooms, a Robotics Lab, two new drivers’ education classrooms, more lockers, twelve new classrooms, four new science labs, and three new computer labs.

Below are some photos showing the progress in various areas.

Submitted by: Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

2013-2014 End-of-Year Review in Athletics

On Wednesday, June 18th, the Dunlap Board of Education heard a report on how athletics performed throughout this past school year. The presenters were Greg Crider (District Athletic Director), Holly Creel (Assistant Principal at Dunlap Middle School) and Antonio Johnson (Assistant Principal at Dunlap Valley Middle School). Each presenter highlighted the many accomplishments by the athletes, teams, and coaches of our District. It was a tremendous year for all athletics. Some of the highlights included a four- time state champion at Dunlap Valley Middle School, the first softball regional title in Dunlap Middle School history, and the first boys track sectional championship at Dunlap High School. Allof the schools are extremely proud of the sports and activities we provide for the students in our District. Please take a look at the attached presentation.  GO EAGLES!

Submitted by:  Greg Crider


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

English as a Second Language (ESL) Family Night a Success!

GOAL 4: To ensure a satisfying and productive partnership with families and the community.  Dunlap English language learners gathered with their families at the Peoria Public Library-North Branch for an ESL Family Night on Friday, May 9 at 4:30 pm.  Over 70 participants attended!  They signed up for library cards, listened to a story being read, and signed up for the summer reading program called ‘PAWS to Read’.  Families were informed of learning opportunities that the library offers for children as well as adults.  Families networked while enjoying cookies, and children checked out books.

Submitted by:  Anna Bailey


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap Valley Middle School Track Student-Athletes – State Champions!

Dunlap Valley Middle School would like to recognize three very special accomplishments. Two Dunlap Valley Middle School track student-athletes earned three state championships during the 2014 IESA State Track Meet held on May 23 - 24 at the Eastside Centre in East Peoria, IL.

7th grader Kiara Pauli won the Class AA 100 meter dash with a time of 13.00 seconds.  Kiara became the first Peoria area runner to capture the state title in the 100 meter dash.

8th grader Francesca Verville earned state championships in two events.  Francesca won the 800 meter run in a time of 2.22.18.  She then earned a state title in the 1600 meter run with a time of 5.12.67. Francesca finishes her middle school career with four state championships, one in cross country, and three in track.

The 8th grade girls’ track team tied for 6th place at the state meet!  Congratulations to Kiara, Francesca and all of the Dunlap Valley Middle School student-athletes that competed during the IESA State Track Meet.

For individual track & field results from the 2014 IESA Class AA State Meet, please visit the following:

Submitted by:  Antonio Johnson


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap Grade School Hosts Explore More Day

Goal 1:  To continuously improve student growth and achievement.  Dunlap Grade School hosted Explore More Day on campus, Friday, May 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.  Explore More Day offered students learning experiences that were unique, enjoyable, and of personal interest.  The day offered 18 mini-sessions, presented by community members and other experts, of which the students selected five to attend.  Sessions included horseback riding, commercial production, karaoke, an obstacle course by the Dunlap Fire Department, bowling, golfing, cartooning, costume design, and much, much more.

explore more 2014 from Mandy Ellis on Vimeo.

Submitted by:  Mandy Ellis


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Project Lead the Way – Engineering Design & Development Students Leading the Way

The Dunlap School Community will empower all students to excel in a global society:  Self-motivated learners, critical thinkers, effective communicators, skilled collaborators, and technology capable creators – these terms described the Project Lead the Way-Engineering Design and Development presenters on Monday, May 12, 2014.  The Project Lead the Way (PLTW) curriculum is noted as one of the top nationwide STEM programs.  Dunlap High School has four of the courses for this curriculum, and the senior capstone class is entitled PLTW-Engineering Design and Development.  This is the first year that the course has been implemented at Dunlap High School.  Students collaborate within a self-made company in this course to go through the flow process of design.  Developing problem statements, researching existing patents, developing and testing a prototype and communicating the outcomes to a panel of experts in the field were just a few of the accomplishments demonstrated by the students during the evening.   The professional presentations were given in front of a panel and an audience of family and peers.  The evening gave insight into how students are learning 21st thinking skills to incorporate the caliber of science, technology, engineering and math concepts learned thorough the district curriculum.

Thank you to this year’s panel: Ken Klotz – Managing Director of the Bradley Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Julie Reyer – Assistant Dean of the Bradley College of Engineering and Technology; Dr. Mary Wickham – Engineer from Caterpillar; Robert Bloompot – Engineer, Consultant, and Adjunct Professor of Illinois Central College; Micheal McTavish – Electrical Engineer from Dewberry (Architects, Engineers and Planners).  Also, a special thank you to McKenzie Taylor, a DHS junior, who volunteered and served as a student event planner to assist in arranging the night’s set up and program for the evening.

To learn more about Project Lead the Way, visit the website at

Submitted by:  Anne Fox


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Many Successes for the Dunlap High School Art & Photography Students

Goal 1:  To continuously improve student growth and achievement.  The Dunlap High School Art and Photography students had another successful spring with several local art shows. Several students submitted work for the Mid Illini Annual Student Art Show. The Merit winners were: Ami Deshpande – drawing & painting, Jasmine WIlliams – drawing, Bekah Kozinski – painting, and Nidhi Suthar – drawing. The Honorable Mention winners were: Travis Brooks – photography, Jordan Webber – photography, Daniel Christophe – photography, Margaret Hintz – painting, and Nidhi Suthar – painting.

Students also submitted work to the Contemporary Art Center’s Juried Student Show; Zack Blessman and Nidhi Suthar both took home ribbons. Other students displayed in the show included Ben Chadwick, Amy Streitmatter, Daniel Christophe, Nicole Brix and Laney Ruby.

Ami Deshpande was selected for the Top 10 at the 18th Congressional District Student Art Show. Her pastel drawing will be on display for one year in Congressman Schock’s office in Washington, DC.

Justin Vozzo’s photo was selected as a finalist for the 34th Annual Best of College and High School Photography 2014, a contest and book that is sponsored by Nikon.

Congratulations to these students for their outstanding achievements.

Submitted by:  Lindsay Powers and Jody Hale


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent


Enrichment Eagles Expo Night

Goal 1:  To continuously improve student growth and achievement.  On Monday, May 12, Enrichment Eagles students at Ridgeview Elementary School held an Expo night to share some of the projects they have been working on throughout the school year.  Students were able to choose topics that interested them, as well as the type of products they shared.  The audience was treated to demonstrations, scientific experiments, popplets, PowerPoint presentations, and videos about topics ranging from Olympic history, to bottle nose dolphins, to stacking liquids with different densities.  The students did a wonderful job, and Expo night showcased all of their hard work from this school year.

Submitted by:  Becky Kuethe


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Fantastic Attendance for Study Smart Parent Night

Goal 4:  To ensure a satisfying and productive partnership with families and the community.  On Wednesday, May 8th, the Dunlap Elementary School Counselors hosted a Parent Education Event entitled Study Smart. The event took place at Hickory Grove Elementary School, and attendance was outstanding. Over 140 parents were in attendance for the evening focused on study skills, homework help, and transition tips for 3rd and 6th grade. Elementary counselors Chris Barrow, Kelly Bailey, and Jen Dando organized the evening as a way to help address common questions and concerns that many parents have regarding homework and transition.

The goal of the event was to provide parents with information to optimize their child’s study time and learn ways to avoid the frustration homework can bring. One of the major themes of the night was to allow children to experience both success and failure in order to help build their sense of competence.  As Chris Barrow stated, “There is a fine line between helping and hovering.”

After the presentation, parents had an opportunity to discuss the information with other parents. This time proved to be an excellent way for parents to learn from one another and recognize ways they can improve.

We were highly encouraged by the attendance and participation of parents. The Dunlap Elementary Counselors look forward to offering similar events in the future. We also want to extend special appreciation to veteran counselor Chris Barrow. Chris will be retiring after 12 years of service in the Dunlap School District. Her spirit of advocacy has touched countless children in the district. We want to wish her well as she begins a new chapter of life.

If you were unable to attend the event and are interested in receiving the information, please contact your child’s school counselor.

Submitted by:  Jen Dando


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent