6:00 PM - 11:00 PM Board of Education Meeting
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Candyland Dance
The state is requiring five additional student instructional days next year. As we did not receive an increase in funding to offset the cost of these days, we had to add a few more 1/2 days to the district calendar. We know that we have many working parents who this affects. (More)
After months of gathering information from community stakeholders through surveys, workshops, forums and other means, leaders of the Niles Community Schools district have developed a new strategic plan that will help guide the district in reaching future goals. On February 1, 2016, the Niles school board ratified the plan by approving the district’s new mission statement, vision statement, beliefs and goal statements — all of which are components of the strategic plan. “To use a Viking analogy, we wanted everybody to have their oars in the water at the same time and all pulling together,” said Greg O’Toole, school board president. “I think this was critical to getting to that point.”
When it comes to severe weather and the potential for a school closure, I know that the sooner the decision is made the better for staff, students, and parents. Typically, we make a decision to close for inclement weather collectively with Brandywine and Buchanan. Our goal is to make this decision before 6:00am. (More)
Howard-Ellis is unique in that it consists of two buildings approximately .3 miles apart: Ellis welcomes kindergarten and first grade students, providing a small, secure setting for beginning learners, and Howard, the larger facility, opens its doors to all second through fifth graders. Our school is also home to the county's Cognitively Impaired program and we take pride in the fact that our special needs students are integrated into the mainstream as much as possible.
Teachers and principals continuously review data from DIBELS, NWEA and MSTEP tests, as well as from formal and informal classroom assessments, to adjust curriculum and instruction to meet children's needs. Data Team Leaders make up our School Data Team and meet regularly to discuss goals and instructional strategies in all content areas. The district is in its fifth year of implementation of Collins Writing where students are writing daily across the curriculum. To strengthen their own educational practices, over half of our staff members dedicate their own time to participate in Niles Learning Communities. Howard-Ellis' positive and safe school culture is shaped by our Formula 4 Success (Attendance + Attitude + Appropriate Behavior = Achievement). Students who exhibit these behaviors are recognized with Viking Shout Outs daily. Our behavior specialist is trained in the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program and is available to help parents who need assistance meeting the changing demands of their child.
Our dynamic Parent Teacher Organization works to provide students with materials, equipment, and programs that enrich learning. including Apple TV/iPad projectors, subscriptions to children's news magazines, and multicultural assemblies. PTO leads the way in organizing Spirit Weeks, Staff Appreciation in addition to the multiple "fun"draisers such as Hacienda Night, Penny Wars and Holidays at Howard-Ellis. Evening events are often so well-attended that our parking lots are filled to capacity; Family Nights, sponsored by each grade level, featuring our students' projects, engineering activities or academic games are especially enjoyed. Holidays at Howard-Ellis is a much-anticipated annual tradition, an evening during which parents and students celebrate the Christmas season.
In ways both big and small, the community contributes to our school. The Niles-Buchanan YMCA provides swimming lessons and an After Care Program, the Niles Service League and area Lions Club offer school supplies, clothing and eyeglasses to students in need. Our school is home to Champs Field, a state-of-the-art baseball complex that was named for boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who has strong ties to the Howard-Ellis community and who financed the project to give our children free access to a quality athletic facility. The community's generosity is reciprocated as our staff and students strive to help those beyond our school's walls. Service projects have aided the American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army, military troops stationed overseas, local veterans and area women's and homeless shelters. Families in need of assistance know they can rely on our staff to connect them with resources for help, whether that help be required to pay a heating bill or to locate childcare or counseling.If you are a new or returning parent of a Howard-Ellis learner, I welcome you to a new school year and thank you in advance for your support.