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Mead: 2019-20 Beginning of School

Dear Mead Families,

We are eagerly anticipating your child’s arrival to Mead in August and hope they are getting excited about the upcoming school year as a Mead Mustang!  This email is to inform you of important information as you prepare your child for the new school year.


Information Day is Wednesday, August 7, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  Due to the extensive remodeling at Mead, we will host Information Day entirely in the Mead gymnasium.  Please enter through door 5 on the northwest side of the building.  On Information Day, you will receive a checklist detailing what can be done during this time.  Please see below for the opportunities available to you when you arrive for Information Day:

  • Stop at your child’s grade level table to receive registration documents, check to ensure that all contact information is accurate, check that your child’s “Chromebook and Internet Usage” agreements are marked, and turn in completed registration documents.
  • Visit our front office table where you can pay for consumable fees, an optional milk fee, and optional Chromebook Insurance may be purchased (cash or check only).  8th grade parents: our milk ticket sales have changed for 19-20—starting this school year, you purchase your child’s milk for the entire school year as opposed to twice a month last year.
  • Visit our School Nurse to turn in completed physical form and update nurse with regard to your child’s medical information.
  • Pick up the orange “Welcome to Mead” folder.  Please take the time to read the contents in the folder to answer important questions about Mead and the upcoming school year.
  • Pick up your child’s schedule.  Please note that your child’s schedule will have locker assignment and locker combination on them—they will need this schedule during their first days of school!
  • Pick up/turn in completed Chromebook Protection Plan (whether or not insurance is purchased).
  • If applicable, pick up and complete the application for free/reduced lunch.
  • If desired, stop by the Yearbook table to pre-order a 2019-20 Mead Yearbook!  The pre-order price is $30.
  • Visit our Guidance Department table to learn about the “District 54 Food Pantry” and other community resources.
  • Make sure you stop by the PE Uniform table to purchase your child’s PE uniform (Shorts cost $13 and shirts cost $7).  Please note that a PE uniform is required to be worn every day in PE.

The best time to arrive is typically between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. as lines may be shorter.  Parents must accompany their student to Information Day.  Prior to your arrival, please check your registration/residency to ensure that it is complete and update all email addresses and phone numbers prior.  If you have not proven residency for the 2019-20 school year, please bring in proper documentation to serve as proof of residency (lease, closing documents, in lieu of lease).  Please know that if proof of residency is not current or registration is incomplete, then your child will not be able to attain their class schedule on Information Day until updated.  It is important that all students be properly enrolled with a complete registration and proven residency so they will have a smooth start to the school year.  If you are unable to attend Information Day, you may retrieve your Information Day materials during office hours after Information Day.

During this day, you will also have the opportunity to sign up for our PTA.  We have an absolutely amazing and dedicated PTA that works diligently to support our students.  Our PTA meetings will be held the second Tuesday of every month starting at 5:00 pm in the Mead staff lounge.  At the PTA table on Information Day, you will be able to pre-order weekly PTA Hot Lunch for your child.  Our PTA website will be updated frequently with information about how you can support Mead.  The Mead website, PTA website, and our bi-weekly emails serve as wonderful forms of communication to send out regular updates.  Also, please make sure to look over the Mead Parent-Student Handbook included in the Welcome to Mead folder.


In May, the Mead math teachers discussed with your child the importance of completing the summer math packets for Math 930 Accelerated Algebra and Math 830 Geometry and that these packets are an essential foundation for their mathematics success as they start the school year at Mead.  For our Math 930 Accelerated Algebra students, the packet is OPTIONAL and can be opened and downloaded here.  For our Math 830 Geometry students, the packet is REQUIRED, intended to be an algebra review before they begin to shift gears into Geometry next school year, and can be opened and downloaded here.  You can also download the packets by visiting the Mead homepage.  Please encourage your child to make a great first impression by trying their very best on these summer packets!


We will host our Accelerated Math Parent Nights on Wednesday, August 21.  Parents of students enrolled in Mathematics 715 Accelerated Pre-Algebra, Mathematics 930 Accelerated Algebra, or Mathematics 830 Geometry will be provided more information about this evening during Information Day on August 7.  Please see below for presentation times:

  • Pre-Algebra I (Math 715) at 5:30 PM
  • Accelerated Algebra (Math 930) at 6:00 PM
  • Geometry (Math 830) at 6:30 PM


Please know that our priority when creating your child’s class schedule is ensuring that your child is placed in the appropriate core content subject classes (language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and PE/health).  Once those classes are scheduled, every effort will be made to honor your child’s elective requests.  However, due to priority scheduling placed on core content class placement, we cannot guarantee that your child will get the electives they have requested.   With over 650 students in our school, the task of ensuring that all students are placed into both of their requested electives is challenging.  You will receive more information regarding your child’s class schedule in August.


If your child plans to try out for one of our athletic teams and/or participate in intramurals, per School Board Policy, current physicals are required of all students to be on file prior to try-outs and/or participation in any inter-scholastic or intramural sport.  All new students entering our district must present proof of immunizations and a health examination prior to the first day of attendance.  Please note that physical examinations are good for one year from the date of the exam.  If you have any additional questions about your child’s physical, please contact our school nurse.


Seventh grade families: please note that junior high school hours are earlier than elementary school hours.  We start the school day at 7:38 a.m. with the entry bell ringing at 7:30 a.m. and conclude at 2:15 p.m.  Please note:  Beginning Wednesday, August 21, every Wednesday is designated for staff development.  Students are dismissed 30 minutes early on Wednesdays at 1:45 pm.


District 54 will continue to implement a digital learning program that includes issuing a Dell Chromebook laptop computer to all junior high school students.  Students will receive their Chromebooks on Friday, August 23.


Seventh grade students: The 2019-2020 school year will start Monday, August 19, with a special day devoted to just the incoming seventh graders. The day is designed to provide positive experiences for our seventh graders that will ensure a smooth transition from the elementary to junior high and lessen the anxiety. We call the day “Move Into Mead”!   On this day, seventh grade students are asked to bring: lunch to eat, school supplies, and class schedule.

Eighth grade students:  The 2019-2020 school year will start for eighth graders on Tuesday, August 20 due to a special day devoted to just the incoming seventh graders on August 19.  The eighth grade students will join the seventh grade students on August 20 for the “We Are One Day”.


School office hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  Remember that our student absence line (847-357-6002) is available 24 hours a day. If your child will be absent from school, please call no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of the absence.

This year promises to be a great one!  We have a tradition of excellence at Mead and we know that your child is fully prepared to be a great success at Mead.  We look forward to supporting your child as they make this exciting transition to a new school year.  If you have any questions or concerns regarding the coming school year, please feel free to contact me at any time.  I look forward to seeing you soon!


M. Scott Ross


Important Dates to Remember:

August 7: Information Day

August 19: First day of school for seventh grade students ONLY

August 20: First day of school for eighth grade students

September 11: Curriculum Night

Summer Math Packets

Below you will find the math summer packets (with included answers) for students to review and strengthen their math skills over the summer.  Please click on the math level your student will be entering the 2019-2020 school year.

Incoming 930 Review Packet – Optional

830 Geometry – Summer Algebra Review – Not Optional

Excited To Join The Mead Community!

Dear Margaret Mead Community,

I would like to take this opportunity to officially introduce myself as the next building principal at Margaret Mead Junior High School beginning on July 1. I am truly looking forward to returning to the Mead community, where I started as an assistant principal 10 years ago. In the next two months, I plan to meet with every staff member and any interested community members to hear firsthand what makes Mead an outstanding learning community and what are the needs of our community.

To tell you a bit about myself, my wife Stephanie and I live in West Chicago with our 10-year-old daughter, Josephine, our 9-year-old son, William, and our 6-year-old son, Declan.

I began my educational journey at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where I received a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology and master’s degree in social work in education. During this time, I served as the director of an extended day academic intervention program in Champaign Schools Unit 4. I also had the great fortune to work for the Fighting Illini Men’s Basketball Team under former Coach Lou Henson.

Following graduation, I worked at Harvard High School and Harvard Junior High School in Harvard School District 50, and at Briargate Elementary School in Cary School District 26, before coming to School District 54 in 2004. In District 54, I was a social worker at Hanover Highlands Elementary School and John Muir Literacy Academy, during which time I completed my master’s degree in educational administration from Northern Illinois University. Over the past 10 years, I enjoyed serving as the assistant principal at Mead and Eisenhower junior high schools and then as the building principal at Robert Frost Junior High School for the past seven years.

While I will be new to Mead next year, I am very familiar with the current curriculum, instruction and culture in this District 54 community. This background will allow us to immediately focus on the individual needs of our students as we begin the 2019-20 school year this fall.

As we plan for next year, I would like to extend an invitation to meet with me. I am happy to meet with you at a time that is convenient for you starting on August 1. The meetings will be general in nature using the following questions as a starting point to begin our discussions:

  • What are you most proud of at Mead?
  • What should be my top priorities as a new administrator at Mead?
  • What are your expectations of your new principal?

If you have any questions for me, please bring them. Everything you share will be kept confidential, so please be as candid as you would like to be. If you are interested in meeting, please send me an email to schedule a time for us to get together. My hope is that these meetings will last around 30 minutes.

I look forward to getting to meet and know the entire Mead community. Until my arrival, Mr. Szwed, Mrs. Carey and I will work together to ensure a smooth transition for the students, staff and parent community. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your student’s instructional program, please do not hesitate to contact me.


M. Scott Ross


Sports Physicals

If your student plans to try out for one of our athletic teams and/or participate in intramurals, an approved and current physical is required to be on file prior to try-outs or any participation in an inter-scholastic/intramural sport per Board Policy. All new students entering our district must present proof of immunizations and a health examination prior to the first day of attendance. Please note that physicals are good for one year from the date of the exam. If you have additional questions about your child’s physical, please contact our school nurse.

Interscholastic Sports Permission form

Student Pick Up/Drop off

Safety for our students and staff is a top priority.  As a reminder, traffic needs to enter the Mead parking lot from Biesterfield and exit out to Gibson. Our parking lot is CLOSED for student drop off during arrival 7:15-7:35 and for student pick up during dismissal 2:00-2:20 p.m.  Please be careful where you park and drop off your children.  Parking too close to a crosswalk can restrict pedestrian visibility and result in a ticket.  All students should exit cars from the passenger side of the car only.  All students should cross the street only at the crosswalks at the corners of Biesterfield and Gibson.   State law requires bus drivers to use their stop signs when children are entering and leaving the bus.  Driving through the stop sign can result in a ticket.  This also holds true when students are exiting buses in the parking lot.  No cars should be moving when the buses are loading and unloading students in the Mead parking lot. Thanks for your attention to these guidelines as we work to keep Mead students safe.

District 54 Virtual Learning University

Are you searching for an innovative way to empower your children over the summer? Are you looking for a comprehensive approach to summer learning that combats boredom and keeps everyone engaged? Look no further! We have created a new website with a wide range of challenges at each grade level to help prevent the summer slide. Visit the School District 54 Virtual Learning University to tackle challenges for literacy, math, science, social science, language and culture too!  Each content area has multiple challenges to keep your children’s minds focused and active throughout the summer weeks! Within each category you will find family activities, individual activities and places to visit in our community and surrounding areas.  We hope you’ll encourage your children to visit our Virtual Learning University often throughout the summer to challenge themselves and to keep your family learning together. Click here to access the Virtual Learning University or find the link under Popular Links on the District 54 website.