The Truth About That Aaa Bond Rating

A Parents Care Editorial by Executive Director Frank McCormick   Tonight, the District sent out two emails celebrating District 67's 14th consecutive year of earning an Aaa bond rating from Moody's. Good news, right? I wish it were that simple because behind the glowing emails is a cold reality: the District scores an Aaa Bond rating because of how much you're taxed.

April 15, 2024

A Cherokee Teacher Speaks Out

By Anyonymous Teacher Dear Lake Forest, We must advocate for the children in our community. It is not a secret in the Lake Forest community that Cherokee has serious behavior problems, and the district administrators are doing nothing about them.

April 11, 2024

Teachers at Cherokee Are Frustrated

New Admin policies are affecting their ability to teach; teachers allege retaliation for voicing concerns Meet Kate Cavanaugh, Cherokee Elementary School's principal. A review of Dr. Cavanaugh's mentions on Twitter and her published works shows she is passionate about "inclusive classrooms."  At first blush, one might think inclusivity is limited to demography or learning disabilities. But it appears that Dr. Cavanaugh's definition is much broader to include students with significant "social, emotional, and behavioral challenges". For example, she writes: "Seven years into our inclusive practices work [at District 67], things are not perfect. Some of the biggest challenges we face are supporting students with significant social, emotional, and behavioral challenges..." (Actions that Move Us Closer to Inclusion, 8/1/23)

April 04, 2024

An Unexpected Resignation

While the District hasn't formally announced it, Parents Care would like to inform you that Lake Forest High School District 115 School Board Member Marcus Schabacker has announced his resignation from the Board effective April 30, citing unforeseen personal and professional obligations. While we have not always seen eye to eye with Dr. Schabacker- mainly regarding his support of the drawn-out District COVID policies, which we believe hurt students, Parents Care wholeheartedly extends our gratitude to Dr. Schabacker for his service on the Board. 

March 13, 2024

Dr. Montgomery, Please Apologize for Your Unfounded Accusations

In the interest of transparency, we are happy to promote further last week's Lake Forest Podcast, which features Superintendent Matt Montgomery and District115 Board President John Noble. You can view it here. To be sure, we hope you enjoy this opportunity to hear about so many of the district's and board's positions directly from them during this interview. Regretfully, we must call your attention to a grave matter. Superintendent Montgomery’s allegation that Parents Care is an opposition group and, in particular, a very disparaging and baseless allegation he made:

March 11, 2024

Lake Forest Schools Disturbing Secrecy Concerning Child Predators

Reader Warning: Recognizing that this is a sensitive topic, and out of respect to our readers, we wanted to offer an advanced warning to our readers who may find this topic difficult to read about. This issue of our newsletter deals with issues surrounding child predators, sexual abuse, suicide, and substance abuse. Please see our confidential tip line at the end of this email.

March 01, 2024

Breaking: Worker at LFHS Fired for Soliciting a Relationship with a Minor

Note: At the time of publication, Lake Forest Public Schools did not make any announcements concerning this incident, nor did the administration or the Board of Education comment on it. Dear Community:  We are writing you regarding an incident that took place last week at Lake Forest High School. After receiving a tip from a concerned parent and verifying the story with a whistleblower who works at Lake Forest High School, we can confirm that an adult Lake Forest High School food service worker's employment was terminated for soliciting a relationship with a minor. As you can imagine, this is not something we take lightly. The steps we have taken to investigate this incident and promptly notify families and taxpayers in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff communicate just how seriously we take our obligation to child safety and the professional standards we expect from our schools. Our children look to teachers, staff, and building leaders for guidance, support, and mentorship. Anything less is unacceptable. As a reminder, we encourage anyone with knowledge of past or present misconduct to email [email protected] or contact local law enforcement. The Text-a-Tip crisis hotline is also available, provided by LEAD at 844-823-5323 (community code: LAKECO). You may also reach out to Parents Care at [email protected] if you have information about our local schools, positive or negative, that you think should be made public. We always respect privacy and requests for anonymity. Sincerely, Parents CareLake Forest and Lake Bluff

February 24, 2024

Special Report: The $30,000.00 Construction Documentary

At a STARTING cost of $29,424- plus $250/hour- District 115's  "Under the Hardhat" documentary is salt in the wound following Dr. Montgomery's "no fluff" promised $106,000,000.00 tax increase. SUBSCRIBE AND STAY INFORMED The majority of taxpayers agree: Lake Forest High School District 115's recent taxpayer-subsidized publicity stunt- ironically trying to convince taxpayers that their money is being wisely spent- is a bridge too far. We won't be manipulated into "feeling" that our tax dollars are being wisely spent when all evidence shows the contrary.

February 16, 2024

Op-Ed: Rethinking Snow Days

While Chicago winters require schools to balance the importance of school attendance with safety, the administration must update its school closure policies to align their decision with real-time conditions, not a forecast alert. Forecast alerts overstate the impact and magnitude of storm systems due to an industry-accepted practice known as “wet bias” under the rationale that the value to life in overprojecting risks outweighs the inconveniences of public overpreparation. Unfortunately, in their value calculation, meteorological organizations do not consider that school administrations would base closures on advanced alerts and forecasts instead of real-time conditions. However, to be fair, this burden should not fall on meteorologists; we should expect school administrators to differentiate between a public forecast alert and real-time conditions.

January 12, 2024

Community Op-Ed: "Portrait of a District: the Inconvenient Truth"

Last week, I heard an interview with Lake Forest District 115 & 67 superintendent Dr. Matthew Montgomery and District 115 board president John Noble on Lake Forest on Topic, a Lake Forest for Transparency program.  During the podcast, both men defended the disappointing 2023 Illinois Report Card proficiency rates earned by Lake Forest High School (LFHS) students. Mr. Noble downplayed school-to-school score comparisons, highlighting instead successful academic “growth” over the course of a student’s career at District 67 & 115, and Dr. Montgomery, likewise, emphasized a “constant state of improvement” among students. Dr. Montgomery went on to elicit his favorite talking point that, though 35% of students languish below proficiency in Math and Reading, LFHS ranks among the top 10% of Illinois high schools.

December 22, 2023

LFHS: 1 in 3 Students Left Behind

As fathers of children in Lake Forest Schools, we hoped that the 2022-2023 State of Illinois report card would demonstrate what the Lake Forest Schools administration has been emphasizing about 2021-2022's assessment data: that it was just one data point of minor concern. Yet, to our dismay, the release of the 2022-2023 ISBE report card reveals that the current leadership of the Board of Education and Lake Forest administration continues to leave 1 in 3 children behind. District 115 Percent Meeting Basic Proficiency(Per the State of Illinois)

October 31, 2023

A Disappointing"Post-COVID Recovery..."

Next week, the release embargo on the 2022-2023 Illinois Report Cards will lift, and we expect Lake Bluff and Lake Forest Schools to release assessment results soon after. However, a snapshot preview of District 67's proficiency rates has been released, and after careful consideration, we have decided to share our thoughts on the early preview of District 67's performance.

October 25, 2023

Is the District Doing All it Can to Protect Our Children from Sexual Abuse?

In the wake of recent developments at our local high school district, it's become increasingly challenging to determine how committed the D115 administration and school board are to maintaining a safe and sexual misconduct-free environment. Recently, the Board of Education and Administration directed its trial lawyers to plead in Federal Court that the District had "no duty to protect a student who was allegedly sexually abused by a teacher." Thankfully, the court rejected this argument.

October 10, 2023

No Duty to Protect Students?!

It has been alleged by multiple LFHS alumni that Dave Miller- a teacher for over 30 years at Lake Forest High School- sexually molested them while they were students. Now, a recent article reveals that Lake Forest High School District 115 made a legal argument that it "owes no duty to protect a student who was allegedly sexually abused by a teacher."  As community members and fathers, we found this news to be extremely disheartening and disappointing, especially considering that the alleged Dave Miller sexual abuse scandal is not the only such instance of abuse to occur at LFHS.  

October 05, 2023

Introducing our General Counsel

Parents Care is thrilled to introduce the newest addition to our team: Ms. Marina Diambri, of Counsel at Diambri & Vicari, Parents Care. Marina is passionate about advocating and serving for parental and child rights and school accountability. With both her experience and passion, we know she will be an invaluable asset in empowering Parents Care to hold our schools accountable to parents and taxpayers in producing high academic achievement, student-first budgets, and transparency. While we will be working hand in hand with Marina for the betterment of our schools and students' interests, we encourage you to contact her if you have any questions, concerns, or need for her services. Thank you for your warm welcome and support. We strongly encourage you to read her introductory letter to the Lake Forest & Lake Bluff Community below.

October 02, 2023

Lake Bluff Strategic Plan Questions

Dear Parents, Lake Bluff School District 65 recently published an important document called "The Road to Success, Strategic Plan."   CLICK HERE TO REVIEW DISTRICT 65's STRATEGIC PLAN DOCUMENT    We encourage the Lake Bluff community to carefully consider this document and share additional feedback and questions with us by replying to this email. While we appreciate that the District published this document to inform the Lake Bluff community about its vision, several Lake Bluff residents brought some questions and concerns to us, which we agreed merit consideration.

September 29, 2023

Meet our Board President!

Dear Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, First and foremost, thank you for supporting students through your involvement with Parents Care. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see so many of my neighbors support an organization that, at its heart, is about serving our children.

September 27, 2023

Another New Luxury Parking Lot forAdministration?!

You will recall that a few weeks ago, Parents Care brought to light more exorbitant spending by Lake Forest School Districts 67/115 in the form of a new parking lot at the Admin Headquarters on Waukegan Road.

September 14, 2023

What are they hiding?

There is something seriously strange going on in our district: a deliberate and consistent effort to obfuscate and deny access to public financial records, email communications, curriculum articles, etc. There is no way around it. How can we trust our children to administrative bureaucrats who are doing everything in their power to conceal daily operations inside our classrooms and district offices?

September 02, 2023

Oppose Food Allergy Pilot Program at District 67

Lake Forest School District 67 is testing a new Allergen-Free Pilot Snack Program. Many parents reached out to us concerning the policy, so we investigated. We are sharing with you our letter to the 67 School Board and relevant administrators articulating our opposition and laying out our recommendations for improvement.

August 24, 2023