Belvidere School District’s elementary and middle school students will no longer be participating in summer school. Instead, students will take part in a “Summer Science Spectacular,” during which they’ll have the opportunity to explore and imagine new possibilities for summer learning as a result of a re-branding and revitalization of the traditional summer school model. The goal was to move away from the routine of what summer school has too often become, moving instead into more motivational instruction focused on opportunities for excitement and intrigue in learning.

This revamped program has higher attendance numbers. Over 260 students are enrolled in summer school at Washington Academy. Students are taking classes that provide academic enrichment and activities in areas of interest to the students. Each grade level has a focused theme, ranging from learning about the weather to how a microscope functions.

"I'm thrilled that our kids and parents are excited to participate in this new program," summer school principal Elin Anderson said. "There's a great interest in this community for this and we hope to expand it even more for next year."

Special Education students also have the opportunity to attend summer school at Meehan Elementary. 115 students are enrolled in the program that focuses on academic and functional skills. Students receive speech, occupational and physical therapies while working on their IEP goals. Summer school provides the students the opportunity to maintain and improve skills that they could lose over the summer break. The Belvidere Park District participates with hands on activities. The Boone County Sheriff's K-9 unit, Belvidere Fire Department and Summerfield Zoo provide on-site field trips for the students.

"I think we got the message out that summer school is not just about school," said Assistant Superintendent, Megan Johnson. "It's an opportunity to have fun and learn at the same time."

Below is a message from the Superintendent of the Illinois State Board of Education... he offers some tips and resources to make sure your children keep their brains engaged over the summer months:

The school year has ended, but that doesn’t mean learning should. We know it is important that children continue to exercise their brains over the summer to prevent the loss of critical learning gains, also called the “summer slide.” We encourage children and families to incorporate summer reading and learning into their activities in the months ahead. Children who keep their brains active and engaged during summer vacation are more likely to return in the fall confident and prepared for the new school year.

There are ample opportunities for continued learning over the summer. If you are looking for summer resources to share with families and students, you may consider starting with these tip sheets:

The Summer Food Service Program serves free, nutritious meals and snacks to children and teens age 18 and younger. Interested families can call (800) 359-2163, text “FoodIL” or “ComidasIL” to 877-877, or visit

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) offers tools to jump-start summer learning on our Summer Learning Program page. Children and families can select books based on a child’s interests and Lexile measure by using the online search tool Find a Book, Illinois. Illinois Reads also shares a list of recommended 2017 children’s titles. The Summer Math Challenge is designed to help children retain math skills learned during the previous school year. Families who enroll their children will receive daily emails with fun activities and links to educational resources. Families can take advantage of the summer weather by spending time outside exploring the plants and animals in their communities. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) provides fun learning activities on their Kids for Conservation webpage. The June edition of Kids for Conservation features Illinois perches and the July topic will be poison ivy. Children and families can learn basic facts about these species in the information section, watch the video podcast, and take a quiz to test their knowledge.

~Tony Smith, Ph.D.

The Belvidere School District will keep its Aa3 bond rating, placing the district near the top in credit worthiness.   According to Moody’s Investor Service, the Aa3 rating reflects a very healthy financial position and a healthy socioeconomic profile and tax base.

As an example of Belvidere’s strong fiscal management, Moody's cited the ability to generate positive operating margins that demonstrate strong financial management.  The report also cites the district’s strong economy and tax base. 

Despite Illinois school districts facing uncertainty stemming from state financial challenges, District 100’s ability to generate positive operating margins demonstrates strong financial management.

“This report confirms our commitment to provide the best quality education to all students,” said Superintendent Dr. Daniel Woestman. "We want to ensure we are giving the best to our community, and hope the community continues to be proud of the schools they send their children to."


To read the full Moody’s Investor Service report, click here.


Farmers Make a Difference in Rural Communities by Directing Donations from Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities Program to Local Nonprofit Organizations


  • The America’s Farmers Grow Communities program will provide more than $3 million in financial support to nonprofits across the US in 2017
  • Since 2010, the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program has given more than $26 million to more than 8,000 nonprofits across rural America.


BELVIDERE, Illinois (June 1, 2017) – Boone County Farmer Ron Pierce has won the opportunity to direct a $2,500 dollar donation from the America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

The Belvidere FFA will use the funds to help students attend leadership conferences, pay to support community service projects and help pay for projects designed to give students career readiness skills.

“Our FFA is grateful for the support the Ron Pierce Family has offered our chapter,” said Ashleigh Fisher, advisor for the Belvidere FFA. “This truly is an investment in our local youth. Thank you.”

The Grow Communities program’s purpose is to make a positive impact in farm communities by partnering with farmers to support the causes that are important to them in their communities. Each year, farmers enter for a chance to win a $2,500 donation that they direct to a local nonprofit.

Since the program began in 2010, farmers have directed more than $26 million in donations across a broad cross-section of organizations that reflect the makeup and character of rural America, including food banks, emergency response organizations, schools, youth agriculture programs and many others.

 “Farmers have directed funds to more than 8,000 community organizations across rural America since Grow Communities began,” said Al Mitchell, Monsanto Fund president. “Farmers are truly committed to this program because they see the difference the donation makes in their community.”

For more information or to see a complete list of the 2017 America’s Farmers Grow Communities recipients, visit


About America’s Farmers

The America’s Farmers campaign highlights the importance of modern US Agriculture through communications and community outreach programs that partner with farmers to impact rural America. To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at

About the Monsanto Fund

The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of Monsanto Company, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at 



Do you need help thinking of kid-friendly activities for summer? Here are some great ideas to get you started.

Summer may be a time to relax, but tell that to kids who are bouncing off the walls or shrieking "I'm bored." We all want each summer to be more memorable than the next, and with that comes the need for a few new ideas -- especially if your child is too young to go to a summer camp.

Here's some local links to get you started:

Here are 101 other ideas for your summer bucket list -- to keep kids from being bored and create memories that they'll have for a lifetime (or at least for that first day of school when they're asked "what did you do this summer?").

  1. Bake cookies for ice cream sandwiches.
  2. Volunteer at a nature center.
  3. Make a photo journal or a family yearbook.
  4. Have a luau in the backyard.
  5. Visit the beach and collect shells.
  6. Make a fort out of cardboard boxes.
  7. Visit a farmer's market.
  8. Stage an A to Z scavenger hunt, where you have to find something that starts with every letter. Here are 8 more scavenger hunt ideas.
  9. Pick berries.
  10. Have a picnic at a state park.
  11. Make ice cream. Tipograph loves using YayLab's ice cream ball, which you fill with ice cream base and kick around until frozen.
  12. Go canoeing at a local lake.
  13. Build a sandcastle.
  14. Write and illustrate your own book and have it published into an actual hardcover book using IlluStory.
  15. Forget cooking -- set up an ice cream sundae buffet for dinner.
  16. Clean up trash at a local park.
  17. Have a backyard campfire...or just use the grill! Roast hot dogs on sticks, pop popcorn and finish off with s'mores.
  18. Make homemade pizza.
  19. Go for a walk and then make a collage from nature objects you find along the way.
  20. Head to a creek and look at the ducks. (See some duck games)
  21. Set up a lemonade stand.
  22. Have a water balloon fight.
  23. Practice your origami skills and make objects to hang from the ceiling.
  24. Go biking on a trail
  25. Interview an older relative about what life was like when they were young.
  26. Plan a picnic at a local park -- or in your backyard.
  27. Print out a list of children's books that have won Caldecott Medals. Visit the local library throughout the summer and try to read as many as you can.
  28. Create salad spinner art: Place circles of paper inside a cheap salad spinner, dab tempera paints on top, cover and spin away.
  29. Practice making interesting shadow puppets and then put on a show with your characters.
  30. Plant a garden of herbs and veggies.
  31. Make a sidewalk chalk mural.
  32. Go ice blocking (sledding) in the grass with a towel-covered block of ice.
  33. Have an outdoor painting party using huge canvases or cardboard.
  34. Visit a fish hatchery.
  35. Plant a butterfly garden with flowers.
  36. Pretend to be pirates for a day -- dress up in costumes, plan a treasure hunt and talk like a pirate.
  37. Make an indoor sandbox using colored rice: mix 4 cups of rice with 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol and a few drops of food coloring and let dry overnight.
  38. Turn the backyard into a carnival -- set up a face painting area and games like ring toss.
  39. Make totem poles out of paper towel rolls and decorate them.
  40. Visit a museum you've never been to.
  41. Make a giant hopscotch or Twister game on the lawn (with spray paint) or driveway (with chalk).
  42. String beads into jewelry.
  43. Make a bird house out of Popsicle sticks.
  44. Learn about stargazing and identify as many constellations as possible -- see if there are any local astronomy groups for kids.
  45. Create leis with wildflowers.
  46. Go fossil hunting near a lake.
  47. Break out your baseball gloves and start a game, sandlot style. (3 baseball games you can play without a team)
  48. Make paper boats and race them in a kiddie pool using straws to propel them.
  49. Play mini-golf -- or set up a course in your driveway by laying different size containers on their sides.
  50. Make your own colored sand and create sand art.
  51. Get a map of the United States and mark off all the exciting places you want to visit -- create the ultimate road trip.
  52. Set up a net and play badminton and volleyball. Or try one of these 11 Backyard Games for Kids.
  53. Visit an amusement park or water park.
  54. Wade through a stream and search for minnows or tadpoles.
  55. Go zip-lining.
  56. Have a tricycle race at the park.
  57. Investigate an ethnic grocery store and make lunch using interesting spices and kid-friendly international recipes.
  58. Visit a fire station.
  59. Collect rocks and paint them to use as paperweights or pet rocks.
  60. Go roller skating.
  61. Visit a zoo or aquarium to learn about animals.
  62. Run through the sprinklers.
  63. Blend your own smoothie.
  64. Set up a bike wash and raise money for a local charity.
  65. Batter up at a batting cage.
  66. Let kids paint the sidewalk or patio with plain old water and sponge brushes. When their creation dries, they can begin again.
  67. Bake cupcakes in ice cream cones and then decorate them.
  68. Assemble a family cookbook with all your favorite recipes.
  69. Go horseback riding.
  70. Make popsicles in Dixie cups using fruit juices.
  71. Catch fireflies in a jar (and let them go at the end of the night).
  72. Stage your own Summer Olympics with races, hurdles and relays.
  73. Create a backyard circus -- kids can pretend to be animals and dress up as clowns.
  74. Decorate bikes and have a neighborhood Fourth of July parade.
  75. Take a sewing/crochet/knitting class.
  76. Make Mexican paper flowers using different colored tissue paper.
  77. Go to a flea market.
  78. Volunteer at an animal adoption organization.
  79. Visit a retirement home and read stories to residents.
  80. Attend an outdoor festival or concert.
  81. Pick a nearby town to visit for the day.
  82. Visit a cave.
  83. Get a map of your area, mark off all the local parks -- then visit them, take pictures and vote for your favorite.
  84. Take in a fireworks exhibit.
  85. Make crafts with recyclable items like stickers using old photos, magazines and repositionable glue.
  86. Make your own hard-to-pop bubbles with 1 cup of distilled water, 2 tablespoons of Dawn dish soap and 1 tablespoon of glycerin.
  87. Paint canvas sneakers with fabric paint pens or acrylic paint.
  88. Create three dimensional buildings using toothpicks and mini marshmallows.
  89. Make bird feeders by covering pine cones with peanut butter and rolling in birdseed.
  90. Paint with ice by freezing ice cube trays with washable tempera paint.
  91. Create unusual s'mores by experimenting with ingredients like cookies, bananas, flavored marshmallows and white chocolate.
  92. Have a fancy tea party.
  93. Make a giant slip-n-slide with a painter's tarp and shaving cream.
  94. Go camping in the backyard or at a campsite. Follow these tips for camping with kids.
  95. Let kids paint each other with washable tempera paint, then wash it off in the sprinklers.
  96. Visit a national park and help the kids earn a junior ranger badge.
  97. Go to a ballgame and teach your kids (and yourself!) how to keep a scorecard.
  98. Set up a tent in the backyard to use as a summer playhouse.
  99. Take a free kid's workshop at stores like Lowe's, Home Depot or Pottery Barn.
  100. Have a game night with charades, Pictionary and bingo.
  101. Take a boring brown paper bag and have kids brainstorm creative things to do with it -- you'll be surprised at how many things you can come up with.

101 ideas supplied by Ilene Jacobs,a freelance writier living in Dallas, Texas

Belvidere Community Unit School District 100 will continue to expand access to 1:1 devices for students in the 2017 - 2108 school year. 1:1 learning describes the ratio of students per device (Chromebook), with 1:1 providing one device for every student. This approach provides students continuous access to a wide range of digital tools and resources, allows teachers to enhance their instruction, and supports student development of skills critical to the 21st century.

The integration of technology into District 100 began in the 2014 - 2015 school year through a handful of “pilot” teachers and has since expanded into a scheduled roll-out as described in the table below. The initial focus of the plan was to create a 1:1 learning environment for our middle and high school students. Based on the results of our initial work, as well as feedback from parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community members, the school district will continue to expand 1:1 into our secondary schools as well as providing greater access to our students in elementary schools.


2015 - 2016

2016 - 2017

2017- 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020




5th Grade (1:1)

K - 4 (4:1)

4th Grade (1:1)

K- 3 (3:1)

3rd Grade (1:1)

K - 2 (2:1)


6th Grade (1:1)

7th Grade (1:1)

8th Grade (1:1)



High School

English & Careers Courses

9th Grade (1:1)

10th Grade (1:1)

11th &

12th Grades (1:1)


Every 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grader will receive a Chromebook at the start of the school year which they are expected to bring fully charged, to school each day. Chromebooks will be turned in at the end of the school year for summer maintenance and returned to students at the start of the next year. Students in elementary schools will have greater access to devices while at school, but will not bring their devices home on a daily basis.

As this plan continues to move forward, we recognize the need to provide training and support to our students, parents, and teachers for how to best integrate the technology into their classroom to give students opportunities that currently do not exist. Further information regarding the use of Chromebooks will be provided at a later date.

Summer Tech Boot Camp is an opportunity for students entering 5th, 6th, and 9th grade to fine tune their Chromebook, Google, and Canvas skills in preparation for entering a 1:1 environment. Students will be shown the basics of a Chromebook along with several shortcut keys to move efficiently around the chrome environment.  This is an optional class and not a requirement.  Click here for more information on how to sign up.

Summer Tech Boot Camp is an opportunity for students entering 5th, 6th, and 9th grade to fine tune their Chromebook, Google, and Canvas skills in preparation for entering a 1:1 environment. Students will be shown the basics of a Chromebook along with several shortcut keys to move efficiently around the chrome environment.

Students will become familiar with the sharing rights, comments, and daily uses of Google Drive. Students will be introduced to Canvas as they complete online discussions and assignments through this tool. Proper keyboarding skills as well as the importance of being a good digital citi-zen will also be stressed.

Dates & Location:
 Session 1 (July 11, 12, 13 9-10:30AM) at South Middle School
 Session 2 (July 18, 19, 20 6-7:30PM) at South Middle School
 Session 3 (July 25, 26, 27 9-10:30AM) at Central Middle School
 Session 4 (Aug. 1, 2, 3 6-7:30PM) at Central Middle School

Please RSVP by clicking here

*This class is optional and not a requirement*

The Belvidere School District honored 32 retirees at a dinner celebration on May 17, 2017.  The event was held at Tropical Oasis Restaurant at the former Bel-Mar Country Club and Golf.

The event was put together by District 100 and the Belvidere Education Association. The longest serving retiree this year is fifth grade teacher, Kathryn Brand, who will retire after 38 years of teaching.

Best of luck to all our retirees as they begin the next chapter in their lives. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of so many young people throughout your years of service.

Name Position Location Years of Service
Beatriz Anderson Teacher - Spanish BCMS 31
Norman Archer Custodian BCMS 10
Lois Balsman Paraprofessional SWES 11
Kathryn Brand Teacher - 5th Grade CES 38
Pamela Brown Teacher - ED BSMS 14
Diane Byers Teacher - 1st grade MES 33
Karen Cantele Teacher - Music BHS 23
Arthur Commare Director of Buildings & Grounds Building & Grounds 23
Jody Dahlseng Principal PES 12
James Dennison Level 1 Tech BSMS 6
Larry Doss Teacher - Tech Ed BHS 24
Daniel Druckrey Custodian BCMS 21
Susan Fanter Teacher - FACS BHS 12
Patricia Fetters Teacher - LD Resource CES 33
Jane Finnicum Teacher - Art SWES 17
Connie Fowler Reading Specialist WA 21
Catherine Gonet Teacher - LD/EMH BSMS 35
Linda Jarvis Teacher - Title I Reading LES 20
Margaret Mann Teacher - LD Resource SWES 24
Julie Morris Administrative Assistant to HR Central Office 11
Jayne Nelson Teacher - 2nd grade SWES 33
Patricia Regan Teacher - Language Arts BSMS 19
James Schoepski Teacher - Social Studies BHS 34
Cheryl Sturges Teacher - FACS BHS 23
Marybeth Sundberg Teacher - LD Resource MES 32
Christal Tompkins Teacher - LD Resource MES 20
Deborah Tracy Teacher - FACS BNHS 29
Pamela Weir Teacher - Math BCMS 21
Paul Widhalm Teacher - Agriculture BHS 23
Susan Williams Teacher - 5th grade SWES 27
Nanette Zickert Teacher - 2nd grade CES 30
Victor Zoellick Custodian CES 9


On Tuesday, May 9, 2017, 113 graduating Seniors received 95 scholarships from organizations and groups in the Belvidere community.  

Those awards totaled over $600,000.   Please see below for scholarship names and award recipients.













May 2, 2017

Belvidere High School Student Council Receives National Award

BELVIDERE, IL — Belvidere High School’s Student Council has been awarded a 2017 National Gold Council of Excellence Award by the National Association of Student Councils (NASC) for its exemplary record of leadership, service, and activities that serve to improve the school and community.

Read more ...
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Belvidere, IL 61008


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