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Dunlap Community Unit School District #323

Ridgeview Elementary School Hosts International Fair

Ridgeview Elementary School recently hosted the annual International Fair, which helps celebrate the rich diversity of the students who attend Ridgeview.  The countries of India, Pakistan, China, Belgium, Italy, Mexico, Tanzania, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, and Haiti were represented at the Fair.  Upon entering the International Fair, students received a passport, and their goal was to visit each country represented to learn more about the cultures and traditions of each country.  Passports were stamped when students visited each country, and there were a wide variety of ethnic food and artifacts available for guests to enjoy.  Many of our students also demonstrated cultural dances that celebrated their country’s heritage.

Submitted by: Todd Jefferson

Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

District Celebrates National School Bus Safety Week

Ensuring that more than 4,300 students in the Dunlap School District receive safe transportation to and from school every day is no small task. We are fortunate to have very dedicated and committed employees in our transportation department who put student safety first every day.

The Dunlap School District has joined the National Association for Pupil Transportation in calling attention to National School Bus Safety Week, which is October 20 – 24, 2014.

The bus driver plays an integral part in ensuring that the safety of our students comes first. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of our transportation employees for their continued service and dedication to our school district and the safety of our students. If you see a transportation employee this week, please take a moment to thank them for all that they do for our students.

Submitted by: Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Wilder-Waite Elementary School Supports ALS Research and the Ice Bucket Challenge

To support the ALS Foundation’s Ice Bucket Challenge, Wilder-Waite students made donations, hoping to meet a school goal of $1000. Teacher Angie Holmes’ father was recently diagnosed with ALS, and Wilder-Waite students and staff came together to support their family and research for a cure. Each grade level that met their class goal saw their grade-level teacher or teachers receive the ice bucket at an all-school assembly. The Wildcats not only met their goal, but raised $2045 for the cause. Since the school-wide goal was exceeded, Mrs. Berg received an ice bucket (actually a large Rubbermaid tote!) as well.

Submitted by: Stacy Berg

Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap High School to Host Parent Forum on Drugs and Alcohol

Dunlap High School will host a Parent Forum on drugs and alcohol on Thursday, October 30 from 7:00 p.m. — 8:30 p.m. The following individuals will provide information and will be available for discussion:

Detective Chris Watkins, Peoria County Sheriff’s Department
Ms. Vicky Lewis of Dominion Diagnostics

Drug Flyer 2014-15

Submitted by: Tom Welsh
Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap School District Partners with GlassLab Games

Critical thinkers:  During the 2014-2015 school year, Dunlap School District has agreed to pilot an educational video game for a non-for profit company, GlassLab.

GlassLab creates and enables commercial-quality, high-impact digital learning games for young people by bringing together leaders in commercial games and experts in learning and assessment.  The organization represents a groundbreaking collaboration between Educational Testing Service, Electronic Arts, the Entertainment Software Association, Institute of Play, Pearson,, and others.  GlassLab is made possible through the generous support of The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

All games are aligned with Common Core standards, and incorporate necessary 21st century skills, such as critical thinking and the ability to create a strong argument. The games come complete with online, real-time assessment.  Data collected within the game, played by the students, is relayed back to the teachers via the site. Teachers can use this information to help assess where students are in the learning process.

By utilizing the online assessment tools created by GlassLab, teachers can get a snapshot of which common core objective students have met, how well students are using subject content to solve problems, and what skills need to be worked on. It is an easy and fun way to engage students, either formally or informally.

In the months to come, teachers will have multiple games to choose from across at least five different content areas:  science, math, English language acquisition, social studies, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Last year, Dunlap Middle School students were featured on GlassLab’s launch video for SimCityEDU.  To learn more about GlassLab games, click on the following link:

GlassLab Games

Submitted by: Amy Stefanski


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap Middle School Hosts Cross Country Invitational

Dunlap Middle School had the pleasure of hosting the annual DMS Cross Country Invitational on Friday, September 26.  There is a great deal of time and effort by many that goes into making this one of the hallmark regular season middle school cross country events of the year.  The city of Peoria generously made the nostalgic Detweiller Park cross country course available for this invite. Detweiller Park is the home of the IHSA state cross country finals.

This year’s invitational included 1900 runners participating from 49 different schools!  The geographic draw for this event reaches from Geneseo, to Edwardsville and Champaign, to the Quincy area.   One of the comments made by a newly participating school was, “The meet provided a wonderful opportunity to showcase the park and its unique place in Illinois cross country.” An event of this magnitude would not be possible without the help of many people.  A special thank you to the following: Dunlap Middle School and Dunlap Valley Middle School cross country coaches, ShaZam Racing, Running Central, IESA cross country officials, Dunlap Middle School Parents Club, Dunlap Middle School cross country parents, Dunlap High School cross country team, Mrs. Carrie Tilly and Mrs. Holly Creel.

2014 DMS Cross Country Invitational

Submitted by:  Zac Chatterton


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Dunlap Grade School Holds Fun Week of Reading Festivities!

Goal 1:  To continuously improve student growth and achievement.  Dunlap Grade School had a busy week celebrating Homecoming in its own way. The week started with daily dress-up days that centered on the theme “Sir Read-a-Lot.” Students were seen dressing as dragons, princesses, princes, kings and queens. They wore their Royal Robes and Pajamas or silly hats.

A highlight of the week included the fall book fair. Grandparents were invited to attend a special grand event. At the event, grandparents joined the students at lunch time and shopped at the book fair. During this special time, they were serenaded by the Dunlap High School Madrigal singers. Nearly 200 grandparents were at DGS to celebrate! Later in the week, an evening book fair was held. Students perused books with family members and supported the purchase of birthday books.

Students met their reading goals, which will result in Principal, Mandy Ellis, scaling the “castle walls” of DGS! Teachers were also selected to “joust” with pool noodles to earn books for their classrooms. Concluding the festivities was a visit from the Dunlap High School Marching Band, and their performance included selections from their homecoming routine. The week was packed with fun and learning, and resulted in more books in the hands of the students and classroom libraries!

Submitted by:  Mandy Ellis


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Ridgeview Elementary School Students Enjoy Boosterthon Fun Run!

Students at Ridgeview Elementary School recently helped raise money for the Ridgeview PTO by participating in the annual Boosterthon Fun Run.  Students procured online pledges from friends and family members for the number of laps they ran during the run.  The goal for all students was to run 35 laps during the Fun Run, which we are proud to say that all students met!  The Fun Run not only helped raise money for the school, but also promoted overall personal development with the students by focusing on character and fitness.  Mrs. Dando, the school counselor, served as this year’s “Camp Counselor” and provided students with daily character awareness lessons.  Overall, the event raised approximately $7,000 for the school.  Congratulations to the entire Ridgeview community!

Submitted by:  Todd Jefferson


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent

Hickory Grove Elementary School 1st Graders Experience Pioneer Days!

First graders at Hickory Grove Elementary School experienced going back in time on Friday, September 12 as they enjoyed Pioneer Days!  Students “traveled” through eight different activities to gain a better understanding of life long ago.  Ice cream making, butter making, and coffee grinding all contributed to understanding the efforts that were required to make food.  Candle making and weaving helped students understand the many hours it took to provide clothing for warmth and light for the evening hours.  Students scrubbed “clothes” on the washboard, rung them out, and hung them to dry.  Writing practice with feather quill pens added a sensory experience to the learning.

Additional activities that students enjoyed included square dancing and pioneer games.  All of these hands-on activities extended the learning experience.  Making yarn dolls was a highlight of the day!  Students were excited to take home feather pens, candles, butter, and yarn dolls.

Approximately twenty first-grade parents and grandparents were able to share in this very educational experience.  The day was made possible with their wonderful support. Thank you to all who participated!

To view photos, click on the following link:

Submitted by:  Jessica Nauman


Dr. Lisa Parker, Interim Superintendent


Superintendent Search – Online Survey Available Now!

Dear District Staff and Community Members:

The Dunlap Community Unit School District No. 323 Board of Education has begun the search process for a new superintendent. We have selected SCHOOL EXEC CONNECT, an educational search firm, to assist us in this process.

The search firm consultants have facilitated staff and community focus group meetings and open public forums this week to receive your input about the new superintendent. We would also appreciate if you would take about five minutes to fill out an online survey, which will be available from October 3rd – 17th on the District website, or by clicking on the link below.

Online Survey – Superintendent Search

Findings from the survey, the open forums, and the focus group conversations will be reported to the Board on October 22nd.

As we move forward, our most important consideration is securing the strongest candidate pool and ultimately the best person to lead our District. We plan that all those involved in the search will hold candidate names confidential throughout the process. One or two Staff/Community Committees will be invited to interview the final three candidates and share their feedback to the Board of Education.

The Board of Education appreciates your support and assistance with this very important undertaking. Please feel free to contact the consultants assisting us if you have any questions or comments regarding the search: Dr. Linda Hanson, Dr. Robert Hanson, or Ms. Diane Robertson

We look forward to your input as we search for a new superintendent to lead Dunlap Community Unit School District No. 323.


Ms. Amy Fairfield Doering
President, Board of Education
Dunlap Community Unit School District No. 323