District 65 raises childcare fees, announces High Five! award winners


Kunjal Bastola/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education members. The Board recognized two staff members and approved an increase in childcare fees.

Kunjal Bastola and Rachel Schlueter

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Board of Education recognized two staff members and awarded them the High Five! award on Monday.

Other items discussed by the Board increased childcare fees, with the largest increase being $24 a month.

The High Five! award highlights the work of one licensed staff member and one educational support staff member each month from September to May. 

This month’s winners were Jose Moya, a bilingual special education teacher at Washington Elementary School and Sadie Ruff, a lunch and recess supervisor at Lincolnwood Elementary School.

Moya has worked in D65 for a decade and currently works with students with Individualized Education Programs. His work includes sharing books featuring characters with disabilities with all students in an effort to help them understand the diversity at Washington, D65 family member Silvia Rodriguez said.

“He goes above and beyond by not only supporting kids with IEPs to achieve their academic goals, but is also enthusiastic about teaching all children about disability representation and culture,” Rodriguez said in a statement presented during the meeting. 

Ruff was recognized for her work beyond the lunch room and playground. Zack Howard, a teacher at Lincolnwood, said Ruff builds individual relationships with students by helping them with classroom activities. 

Lincolnwood Principal Laura Pinsof said Ruff is the school’s “unofficial family and community liaison,” saying Ruff helps students’ families feel connected to the school. 

Because of Ruff’s influence on Washington, Pinsof also requested the school board consider implementing a full-time community and family liaison position at D65 schools. 

“When asked in ‘What is Ms. Sadie’s job?’ in a Family Feud-style survey earlier in the year, the vast majority of Lincolnwood students said ‘boss,’” Howard said. 

The Board also approved an increase in monthly childcare fees for both three and five day AM/PM programs, effective July 1 for the 2023-2024 school year. The fees for registration and optional programs will not be affected.

Superintendent Devon Horton also made remarks recognizing the work of the Superintendent Student Advisory Committee, which recently took part in a bullying prevention workshop. At this workshop, students discussed safety in schools and the importance of having trusted adults.  

Horton also highlighted the most recent District 65 Community Chat ‘n Chew, a space for community members to have informal conversations with him and other D65 leadership. He said he discussed standards-based grading, general parental involvement and athletic and scholastic programs in D65 during the event.

The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Feb. 27. 

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Twitter: @kunjal_bastola

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @rschlueter26

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