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March 28, 2014 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

March STEM Newsletter Now Available

In order to support and advance Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) programs in the DuPage County area, the DuPage Regional Office of Education publishes a STEM - News You Can Use newsletter. Click here to view the March edition.

DuPage County Spelling Bee Promotes the Best in Education

“The Spelling Bee is an exciting and important opportunity for DuPage students to showcase their academic skills in a county-wide competition,” stated Dr. Darlene Ruscitti, Regional Superintendent of Schools. “It provides an opportunity for public and private school students to meet and compete with their peers. I would like to praise all of the students who participated. Getting to this level is an impressive feat and I congratulate them on their success.”

Twenty-eight students in third through eighth grade representing 21 public and three private schools demonstrated some impressive spelling during the DuPage County Spelling Bee on February 26. The competition, held at Wheaton North High School in Wheaton, saw Nafisa Asad of Herrick Middle School in Downers Grove District 58 crowned as the DuPage Champion. Compliments of ComEd, Nafisa and her parents, Asad and Farah Cheema, received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee on May 25-31.

First runner up went to fifth grader Adi Badlani of Brookforest Elementary School in Butler District 53 and second runner up was claimed by eighth grader Evangelia Analitis of St. Raphael Catholic School.

Participating schools hold their own bees and send their champion to the county competition. On Wednesday, February 12, 2014, Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park hosted the DuPage County Private Schools Spelling Bee. Dr. Darlene Ruscitti served as the opening speaker for the event as she promoted educational excellence for all DuPage County students. 

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the bee and good luck to DuPage Champion Nafisa Asad as she represents our county at the national competition in May.

The Rising Cost of Not Going to College

According to findings recently published by the Pew Research Center, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater. On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education.

The full report can be found at http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/

Heroin DuPage Website Unveiled at Heroin Prevention Forum
In 2013, 46 people died from heroin overdoses in DuPage County. The victims ranged in age from 15 to 64.

The DuPage Coalition Against Heroin was formed to raise awareness and educate the public about this growing problem. DuPage Regional Office of Education, a founding member of the Coalition, co-sponsored a Heroin Prevention Forum for educators and the community on January 23. During the forum, the Coalition unveiled a Heroin DuPage website to educate the community about this growing problem.

All members of the community are encouraged to go to www.heroindupage.org to educate themselves about the dangers, signs, prevention strategies and treatment associated with this drug.

Additionally, the DuPage Regional Office of Education developed a Toolkit for Educators related to heroin awareness, education and prevention efforts. “We developed this resource to provide educators with the tools they need to help in the efforts to stem the tide of heroin use in DuPage,” said Regional Superintendent of Schools Dr. Darlene Ruscitti. “I applaud our schools for stepping to the plate and supporting this initiative.”

DuPage School Earns National Blue Ribbon Honors
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' academic achievement. A National Blue Ribbon Schools flag overhead has become a mark of excellence in education recognized by everyone from parents to policy-makers in thousands of communities. This year, one DuPage County school received nation Blue Ribbon honors. Congratulations to:

Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205
Sandburg Middle School
345 E St Charles Road
Elmhurst, IL 60126-3655
Ms. Amy Read, Principal

DuPage Educators Earn Those Who Excel Honors
Twelve DuPage County school personnel, school board members and community volunteers were among those honored by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) at the 39th annual Those Who Excel/Teacher of the Year banquet in Normal. Among the educators is Bensenville District 2 teacher Amy Walsh who was one of 11 Teacher of the Year finalists.

Click here for a list of this year’s DuPage honorees.