Congratulations to the Educators of Washington School in Schiller Park School District 81 For a Job Well Done

Little Mermaid Cast Picture—Washington School

It was clearly evident Friday night, February 15, 2013, to all of those who attended the Washington School musical, “The Little Mermaid”, that the entire community should be proud of the staff and students of their schools for the promotion of the arts in their educational experience.   The awesome abilities of the staff of the District in supporting and training the students for the musical were self evident in the quality of the performance by the students.  Clearly, the evening would not have been such a success without the commitment and skill of the educators in preparing the students to perform.

The community should be very thankful and appreciative for the opportunities that have been afforded to the students who attend Schiller Park School District 81.

What is the value of the arts education that the District has made available to our children ?

An “arts education” brings every subject to life and turns abstractions into concrete reality.   Research demonstrates that students who receive their education in an artistically promoted environment:

  • are more prepared for the global workforce as adults
  • increase their academic success
  • have higher self esteem
  • achieve higher test scores
  • develop higher success rates in group collaborations

The District needs to be recognized and thanked for encouraging the students’ creative and artistic expression, and development of interest in visual arts, music, dance and drama.   The Board of Education has done an excellent job of supplying the resources to achieve this significant success.

Finally, the children of the District have truly distinguished themselves in their performance and their commitment to excellence.

Schiller Park School District 81′s Washington School Students Perform in the Disney Musical, “The Little Mermaid”

Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”

The Schiller Park School District 81, Washington School students,  are putting on the school’s musical production of Disney’s  “The Little Mermaid” tonight, February 15, 2013, at 6:30 PM at the Lincoln Middle School’s Little Theatre.  Everyone is invited to see our talented students in action.  The energy and efforts of the school staff and students in putting together these productions is awesome.  Anyone attending will have a truly amazing time.   It is hard to believe that the performers are 4th and 5th grade students when you witness the professionalism in the production and the performance.   Last year’s performance of the Disney “Beauty and the Beast” was quite memorable.   Anyone attending will find it a great way to start a weekend.

Stanley Kubrick on Interest versus Fear

Not much time to post today, but I’ve been meaning to post this excerpt from John Baxter’s biography of Stanley Kubrick:

Kubrick’s three years at [Taft High School in the Bronx], from 1943 to 1945, were the unhappiest of his life. IQ tests rated him above average, but formal learning bored him. Alex Singer recalls, “Stanley and I had boundless curiosity, but not about the things they were teaching.” Kubrick agrees. “I think the big mistake in schools is trying to teach children anything. Interest can produce learning on a scale compared to fear as a nuclear explosion to a firecracker. I never learned anything at school and I never read a book for pleasure until I was nineteen years old.”
His school days were dominated less by a search for learning than by fear: “Fear of getting failing grades,” he wrote later, “fear of not staying with your class.” He got Fs by betraying his lack of interest in set books like George Eliot’s Silas Marner and failed English totally one year, forcing him to make up the lost grade during the summer. When he graduated, it was with a mediocre 70.1 average, his only high marks those in Physics.
Grades, however, don’t tell the whole story. Kubrick could and would work if his interest was engaged: this was the man who, despite his disdain for George Eliot, created in Barry Lyndon the cinema’s best adaptation of Thackeray. Once he left school and was no longer required to do so, he read voraciously.

I suppose this is anecdotal evidence of the worst kind. Maybe Kubrick was just an oppositional prima donna, or a unique “genius” from whose experience we shouldn’t generalize. But it’s not as if the world is made up of a lot of people who are basically the same and a few who are different. Isn’t everyone different from everyone else? Who are these standardized students who learn equally well whatever is dished up, regardless of whether they are interested? I’d like to meet them!

National Burn Awareness Week is February 5th through the 11th and the Topic this Year is Scalding


Some thoughts I would like to share for everyone since the first week of February is National Burn Awareness Week.

The U.S. Fire Administration, is spotlighting National Burn Awareness Week, February 5-11, encouraging parents and caregivers to take action in keeping their loved ones safe from fire and burn hazards.

The theme for this year is: Scalds.

Scald injuries are painful and require prolonged treatment. They may result in lifelong scarring and even death. Prevention of scalds is always preferable to treatment and can be prevented through simple changes in behavior and the home environment.

Young children and older adults are most vulnerable. Annually, over 500,000 people receive medical treatment for burn injuries. Approximately half of these injuries are scalds. Most burns occur in the home, usually in the kitchen or bathroom.

While everyone is vulnerable to scald injuries, especially in the winter months, scald burns appear to be most prevalent in children under five years of age and older adults, primarily due to developmental changes. In children, curiosity and lack of coordination may lead to many accidents. For adults, it is often changes in sensory perception that lead to a scald injury.

As we get older, many of us tend to get used to doing things a certain way and may become complacent and somewhat resistant to change. A few simple modifications in your routine can prevent a life-altering incident.

Two areas of most concern are scalds from bath water and hot liquids. The temperature of water used for bathing is especially significant for children and older adults, whose skin is thinner and more susceptible to a deeper burn. A bath or shower that is too hot can be fatal and it can all be avoided by simply lowering your hot water temperature.

Hot liquids, such as coffee, tea and soup pose risks as well and burn just as severely as fire. Hot liquids need to be treated with care, especially around children. It only takes an instant for a curious child to pull down a cup of hot coffee off a table.”



Scalds can be prevented through increased awareness of scald hazards and by making common sense changes in your home life. These include providing a “kid-safe” zone while preparing and serving hot foods and beverages, and lowering the water heater thermostat to deliver water at no more than 120 degrees.

Install anti-scald devices; these heat sensitive instruments stop or interrupt the flow of water when the temperature reaches a pre-determined level preventing water that is too hot coming out of the tap.

Additionally, some other things to be considered should include:

  • Homeowners should check the temperature of their water      heater and set the thermostat at 120 degrees. Thermostats set at higher temperatures      greatly increase your chances of a scald burn.
  • For those unable to lower the temperature on their      water heater, a meat or candy thermometer can be used to check the      temperature of the water in your home. This will increase your awareness      and allow you to make proper adjustments to the ratio of hot to cold water      you are using.
  • Infants and toddlers should NOT be bathing in water      over 100 degrees. If the water feels hot to an adult, it will be scalding      to a youngster and will need to be cooled prior to bathing.
  • Younger children cannot verbalize and older adults      often cannot properly feel pain from a scald burn until it is too late.      Taking proper precautions prior to using tap water in your home can      prevent injuries.
  • Keep all hot foods, especially liquids, away from      curious hands. Center them in the middle of a table or on back of a      counter, keeping cords and pot handles turned inward.
  • Limit the use of table cloths, place mats or anything      toddlers (especially those just learning to walk) may grab onto, causing      hot items to splash down.
  • Avoid carrying children while holding hot beverages;      never hold a cup of hot coffee or tea in the beverage holder of a      stroller. Consider using travel mugs, even at home to minimize risk of      scalds.

In the event of a burn, it is important to immediately take the following steps:

  • Cool all burns with tepid to cool water. Continue      flushing the area for up to 10 minutes. Do not apply ice, ointments,      butter or other “home remedies.” Remove all clothing or garments      to reduce the contact time with the hot items.
  • Cover affected areas with a clean dry cloth, towel or      blanket to protect the burn and minimize pain.
  • Seek immediate medical attention, especially in burns      involving children and older adults and in cases where skin is sloughing.

Critically burned patients require the expert, highly sophisticated care that can only be provided by an experienced team of medical professionals.   Calling 911 initiates the entry into the expert care needed.

The Schiller Park Fire Department provides trained personnel ready to address all medical emergencies.