District News

Welcome Back Letter from Superintendent of Schools-Mrs. Lea Damisch

July 24, 2014

Welcome back to the 2014-15 school year. The air is filled with excitement as the start of school draws near. The staff of the Marengo Union Elementary # 165 (Locust Elementary, Grant Intermediate and MCMS) has had a very busy summer preparing the schools for your arrival. Many long hours have gone into making sure your schools are bright, shining and ready for another great school year.  We offer a very special welcome and a heartfelt thank you to the parents/guardians whose students are entering our schools for the first time. We remain very HOPEFUL that the Grant Intermediate entrance will be open and construction completed by the time school begins. 

Locust Elementary has received a lot of attention over the summer with new windows, boiler, sidewalk upgrades, playground improvements and eleven additional SMARTBOARDS. Both Grant Intermediate and MCMS have received an additional computer lab to help facilitate the implementation of the new PARCC exams to be launched this spring.  The PARCC is designed to replace the ISAT and is aligned 100% to the Common Core State Standards (www.corestandards.org).  Students in grades 3-8 will be taking these exams entirely on a computer platform.  This just highlights some of the many renovations and curriculum work that has occurred during the summer months.

Quality instruction and intervention are of utmost importance to our success. We continue to implement strategies to achieve improved student performance in the K-8 program by supporting highly skilled teachers teaching the Common Core standards while enriching our schools with libraries, music, and increased capacity for technology.  We will continue to offer classroom and school-based intervention strategies and support services for all students who need them.   Our goal is to have all our students achieve at or above mastery level.  Throughout the year, we will continue to evaluate programs and identify more ways to expand our curriculum offerings to meet all students’ needs.  

With the hard work and dedication of the students, parents, faculty, and staff, we have an opportunity to “Be the Difference”. In fact, we do not have a choice. In today’s world, we must “Be the Difference”. It is absolutely essential for students to leave District # 165 adequately prepared to enter and excel at the high school level.  A quality education is no longer something nice to have. It is an absolute necessity! 

The school district continues to be as paperless as possible.  Please be as conscientious as possible in keeping the schools updated with new email and phone numbers.  Additionally always check your school’s web site for the latest information and announcements about upcoming events.  Student Informational Packets will be mailed Friday, August 8, 2014 for parents/guardians who have paid ALL of their registration fees.  For parents/guardians who still have outstanding fees, registration packets can be picked up at the YOUNGEST child’s school on Tuesday, August 12, from 7:00 am-6:00 pm. If you have any questions, please call your youngest child’s school {Locust Elementary—(815) 568-7632, Grant Intermediate—(815) 568-8323, MCMS—(815) 568-5720}.  We will use a reminder call through our School Reach system closer to that date with specific information.

As a reminder, the first day of school for students in grades 1-8 is Monday, August 18.  Kindergarten will start school on Tuesday, August 19 and Pre-School on Wednesday, August 20.   As children gather at the corners waiting for their buses that Monday morning, we ask everyone to please slow down and watch for youngsters.  Traffic will be a bit slow especially around our schools as parents, children, and bus drivers become accustomed to their new routines.  Parents should expect the buses to run a little off schedule, so please have your children at the bus stop early and be patient in the afternoon.  If the buses are running more than 30 minutes late, we will call you.

On behalf of our District, please accept my thanks for your support of our schools and our students and, on a personal level, for the opportunity to lead and work with you as your superintendent.

Yours in Education,


Lea Damisch

Superintendent of Schools

Accommodations for Students and Guests Unable to Climb Stairs   

The District office is located at 816 E. Grant Highway on the 2nd floor. Students and guests unable to climb stairs may call the District office at 815-568-8323 and we will be happy to set up a time to meet with you in a location of the school that best fits your needs.

Keep Your Students Information Updated

If you are withdrawing your child at any time during the school year, you must fill out the necessary paperwork releasing your child from our school district, the Notice of Student Withdrawal Form can be found as a PDF file below, please bring the form filled out the the school.  MCMS 815-568-5720, Grant Intermediate 815-568-8323, Locust 815-568-7632. Please continue to notify the school(s) of any changes being made to phone numbers and addresses as they occur.

Registration Fees for 2014-2015  K-8 - $175.00

Lunch for 2014-2015

Lunch - $2.50 Reduced Lunch - $ .40
Breakfast - $1.50 Reduced Breakfast - $ .30
Milk - $ .45

211 Emergency Services

McHenry County has many services available to its residents. By calling the phone number 211, residents can access information about: emergency shelter, food pantries, day care, availability of rent or utility assistance, elder care, mental health services, employment services, health resources, education/vocational training, disability resources, drub/alcohol rehab, domestic abuse, disaster recovery and more. Limited translation services are available. If someone needs emergency assistance, they should call 911 or the McHenry County Crisis line at 1-800-892-8900. The 211 line is new to McHenry County and information will continue to be added.


Mission Statement

District #165's mission is to form a community partnership dedicated to providing a solid educational foundation that enables students to become confident, self-sufficient and productive citizens. Students shall have the academic and technological opportunities to achieve their full potential in a nurturing environment.

Vision Statement:  Educating Today for Tomorrow's World


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