Leyden High Schools To Be Open on Friday, September 27, 2019

September 26, 2019

Dear Leyden Community, 

I would like to take some time and communicate as much information as possible with you about the past few days here at Leyden.  I am writing this message in conjunction with Mike Witz, the Director of Police in Franklin Park. What I will include in this letter is public and can be shared.

Tuesday’s Altercation

At approximately 9:30 am on Tuesday morning, one student was stabbed by another student in our hallway during a passing period.  We now know that the incident can be traced back to an argument that started in class. Several days later, the issue apparently continued to intensify and culminated in this confrontation.  The Franklin Park Police Department’s investigation determined that the origins of this situation were not gang-related.  

The entire confrontation lasted approximately ten seconds.  Following the fight, the injured student received medical care from our school resource officer, dean and Leyden security staff within five seconds.  That student was in the nurse’s office within thirty seconds before being taken to the hospital. Those staff members and first responders should be credited with saving that student’s life through their quick actions.

When the building was placed on lockdown, the student who committed the stabbing was caught by a Leyden security guard and dean in approximately three minutes.  The Franklin ParkPolice Department promptly arrived on the scene and placed that student in custody. He is being charged with attempted murder and remains in custody.  The lockdown remained in place until approximately 11:30 am so that police officers were able to check every area of the building and assess the lack of additional threats.

Social Media

Throughout the day on Wednesday, we became aware of a number of social media posts.  We appreciate all of the students, parents, community members and staff members who came forward to share that information with us.  In reviewing those messages, it was clear that there were multiple gang references in the content. Some of the messages were linked to former Leyden students, while others came from current students or were simply anonymous.  Overnight, we received over one hundred tips from students on our anonymous tip line.

From the timing of our messages, you can see that administrators and local police officers have been up all night working through all of this information.  As we reviewed that information, we need to keep in mind that Leyden students live in seven different communities. So each time we came to a student’s name, we needed to coordinate with a different local police department which adds time to the process.

The need to coordinate with multiple entities in order to fully investigate each concern is what led us to call the E-Learning Day this morning.  We needed to provide our local law enforcement agencies some time and space to investigate the various aspects and social media posts. At 11:00 am today, we held a joint meeting at East Leyden High School with representatives from the following agencies and municipalities:

Cook County Sheriff’s Police Department

Franklin Park Police Department

Melrose Park Police Department

Northlake Police Department

River Grove Police Department

Rosemont Police Department

Schiller Park Police Department

Leyden Township

Village of Franklin Park

City of Northlake

Village of River Grove

Village of Rosemont

Village of Schiller Park

At that meeting, we were able to share information, update one another, and discuss plans for moving forward.

I can report to you that collectively, we have identified and spoken with over forty students/families responsible for the social media posts over the past 24 hours.  Local police and school officials are collaboratively working with students and families to address those issues. Again, I cannot comment on the specific outcomes, but I can say that those issues have been addressed.  Those processes have yielded the conclusions that there is no credible threat from those posts.

Moving Forward

Tomorrow, school will open on a regular schedule.  Our counselors and social workers continue to be be available in Room 217 at East Leyden.  And just like any other day, counselors and social workers are available at West Leyden as well in case any students there need to discuss any of this week’s events.

As a precaution, we will have an increased police presence both inside and outside both Leyden High Schools.  That partnership is merely preventative as we look to move forward from the earlier events of this week.

We will continue to monitor social media, and just as you have done this week, please reach out to the building administration with any concerns or information to share.  Through this process, we learned that some students were aware that the fight on Tuesday was going to happen, but they did not report it. Hopefully moving forward, we can subscribe to the “See Something (or Hear Something), Say Something” approach to report possible issues.

Thank You

Once again, thank you to our students, our faculty and staff, our first responders, our communities, and all of our local law enforcement agencies.  This was a truly collaborative effort on behalf of the entire Leyden community. We all look forward to having students and staff back in the building.  

With #leydenpride,

Nick Polyak                                                           Mike Witz

Superintendent                                                     Director of Police

Leyden High School District 212                          Franklin Park Police Department




6 de septiembre de 2019

Estimada comunidad de Leyden,

Me gustaría tomarme un tiempo y comunicarle información en más detalles sobre los

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Leyden High School District 212 Posts A Link For Anonymous Information in Ongoing Gang Activity Investigation to Assist Area Polices

Here is a link to the anonymous reporting form. Please don’t spread rumors that could be false. Even with good intentions, it just causes panic. Instead, report posts using this.



These moments don’t define Leyden and we will persevere.




Posted in #leydenpride, Bloods, Crypts, Latin Kings, Leyden, Leyden High School Dostrict 212, News, Northlake, politics, referendum, Rosemont, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, Schiller Park Commentaries, Social Media, student discipline, vaping, West Leyden | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leyden High School Closes Schools and Takes an E Learning Day Over Social Media Post’s After Stabbing Of Student Revealing Gang Turbulence in the Area

Good Morning,

This is Dr. Nick Polyak, Superintendent for the Leyden High Schools.  Thank you to all of you who have reached out in the last 24 hours with information related to social media posts.  We take the safety of our students and school community very seriously. We would like to create some time and space for our local law enforcement professionals to look into these issues.

With that in mind, we are declaring an  E-Learning Day today, Thursday, September 26, 2019.  We will take this opportunity to meet with representatives from the local police departments of all the communities we represent.  That meeting will happen later today. Our intention is to resume school as normal on Friday morning and we will update you with our plan. 

We thank you in advance for your assistance and support,

Dr. Polyak


Buenos días,

Gracias a todos los que se han comunicado en las últimas 24 horas con información relacionada con publicaciones en redes sociales. Nos tomamos muy en serio la seguridad de nuestros estudiantes y la comunidad escolar. Nos gustaría crear un poco de tiempo y espacio para que nuestros profesionales locales encargados de hacer cumplir la ley analicen estos problemas.

Con eso en mente, estamos declarando un Día de E-Learning hoy, jueves 26 de septiembre de 2019. Aprovecharemos esta oportunidad para reunirnos con representantes de los departamentos de policía locales de todas las comunidades que representamos. Esa reunión sucederá más tarde hoy. Nuestra intención es reanudar la escuela normalmente el viernes por la mañana y lo actualizaremos con nuestro plan.

Le agradecemos de antemano su asistencia y apoyo,

Dr. Polyak


Posted in #leydenpride, #metoo, #taxation, Bradley Stephens, Chicago, East Leyden, Education, Franklin Park, gangs, Illinois, illinois politics, LASEC, Latin Kings, Leyden, Leyden Area Special Education CoOp, Leyden High School Dostrict 212, Mannheim School District 83, News, Norridge, Norridge School D80, Northlake, Pennoyer School District 79, politics, Rosemont, Rosemont School District 78, Roy F. McCampbell, Schiller Park, Schiller Park Commentaries, Schiller Park School District 81, Social Media, Special Education, Triton College, vaping, West Leyden | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tour of The New Addition to East Leyden High School by Dr Nick Polyak, Superintendent

Posted in #leydenpride, capital projects, East Leyden, Illinois, illinois politics, Leyden, Leyden High School Dostrict 212, News, politics, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New Illinois Legislation Makes Significant Changes In Special Education Procedural Requirements To Benefit the Students

I have had my eye on House Bill 3586, which has been awaiting the Governor’s signature since June. Well, the time has come; Governor Pritzker signed the law on Friday, August 30, 2019 (PA 101-0515).

And there were no amendments to the law to address some of the areas of confusion that were identified after the bill was passed by the legislature. The amendments to the Children with Disabilities article of the School Code brought by the law are immediately in effect, although revisions may be on the horizon during the veto session.

For now, special education professionals should promptly implement the significant procedural requirements under the law. I will keep you posted regarding any changes or guidance from ISBE that may impact the implementation of the law, but for now, make plans to meet the following requirements.

IEP Meetings
The amendments in the law require all Illinois districts to provide parents/guardians with copies of all written material that will be reviewed at the IEP meeting no later than 3 school days prior to the meeting. Written material must include all evaluations and collected data that will be reviewed at the meeting and (except at initial eligibility meetings) a copy of all IEP components that will be discussed (not including service minutes and placement). While providing reports, data, and drafts prior to an IEP meeting has always been best practice to facilitate parent participation and meaningful discussion at the meeting, in reality busy schedules and the coordination of multiple team members can make this new requirement a challenge. The school districts will have to start planning for meetings early and consider calendaring the due date for documents to be sent home. Hopefully this practice will make the actual meeting more productive and maybe even quicker. The school districts will have to mark documents draft and be open to changes at the meeting to avoid claims of predetermination.

Related Service Logs
The new law also requires all Illinois districts to make related service logs available to parents at IEP meetings and upon request. Districts must notify parents/guardians within 20 days of the beginning of the school year or upon establishment of an IEP of their ability to request related service logs. Consider creating a log template so that providers keep consistent records.

Compensatory Services
If a student’s IEP services are not implemented within 10 school days after the date or frequency provided for in the IEP, the district must notify the parent/guardian in writing within 3 school days. The notice must also inform parents/guardians of their ability to request compensatory services.

Response to Scientific, Research-Based Intervention
The new law also requires all Illinois districts to use response to scientific, research-based interventions or multi-tiered systems of support as part of the special education evaluation process to determine if a student is eligible for services due to a specific learning disability. This requirement is not new and does not limit the district in conducting other assessments as part of an evaluation. The new law also allows districts to utilize RTI or MTSS data when determining eligibility for any category of disability. Parents/guardians must be involved in the RTI or MTSS data sharing and decision-making process. Parent participation in this intervention (pre-eligibility and pre-evaluation) stage of the process may be new for many districts. The law provides that ISBE may provide guidance and resources to districts on how to implement this process. In the meantime, start planning for how your RTI or MTSS process may be revised to include parent participation

If you have questions about your child’s IEP or your child receiving special education services please contact me at 708/878-7957 or contact me by email at roy_mccampbell@comcast.net.

Posted in Chicago, Education, IEP, Illinois, illinois politics, legal services, Leyden, Leyden Area Special Education CoOp, News, Pritzker, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, Special Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Begin Your Planning Early For Children With Special Needs

Don’t wait until your child with special needs turns age 18 to begin planning.

Becoming a legal adult leads to many changes in available benefits, needs, and your ability to act on your child’s behalf. Here are just a few of the many items for your to-do list.

Government Benefits

If your child receives SSI (or SSDI as a minor on a parent’s work record), then when your child turns 18, the Social Security Administration will automatically review his or her file. The SSA uses a different test to determine benefits eligibility for adults than for minors. The adult test asks whether your child has a lasting physical or mental impairment that “results in the inability to do any substantial gainful activity.” Your child could lose benefits or need to appeal a denial because of this different test.

On the bright side, the income requirements are different too. Minors’ eligibility for SSI turns on financial requirements that include their parents’ income and resources. Adults’ eligibility looks only to their own income and resources. Your child may therefore qualifyfor SSI even if he or she did not as a minor.

Keep in mind, if your child has not received it before, you cannot actually apply for SSI or Medicaid until the first day of the calendar month after he or she turns 18.

Government Requirements

Now is the time to get a state-issued identification card or driver’s license and to make sure you have your child’s Social Security card. You will need these cards to apply for many services. Also, your child may need a bank account to accept SSI checks or employment checks (these should be separate accounts). You also could help your child register to vote and, if he is male, he must submit Selective Service paperwork.

Practical Steps

If your child has intellectual disabilities, we recommend that your child take an adult IQ test between the ages of 17 and 18. The Social Security Administration considers IQ test results in figuring out whether your child qualifies for benefits. Obtaining a test result of 70 or below may make qualifying easier.  Moreover, this testing may help with proving eligibility for the PUNS (see previous blog post on the topic of PUNS).

Legal Steps

If your child needs significant help with activities of daily living, now is the time to start working on the guardianship process. The courts take time to process guardianship petitions, so talk to a lawyer about preparing now. You may instead need to help your child get a power of attorney.

McCampbell and Associates provides compassionate special needs legal and future planning to guide our fellow Illinois families of children and adults with intellectual disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental illness down the road to peace of mind. For more information, email us at roy_mccampbell@comcast.net or call 708/878-7957

Posted in #mentalhealthmonth, #metoo, Autism, benefits, Chicago, Disability Employment Month, East Leyden, Education, Employing Disabled, Finance, Illinois, LASEC, legal services, Leyden Area Special Education CoOp, Leyden High School Dostrict 212, make a wish foundation, Medical, mental health, mike madigan, News, Social Media, Special Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Happens When a Priest Does Not Show Up for Sunday Mass?

With the shortage of priests, not having a priest for a Sunday Mass is becoming more and more common.

I naively thought that I would never see such a situation, having graduated from a Catholic grammar school and high school,  but my  own parish in the western suburbs of Chicagoland experienced the lack of a priest on this last  Sunday to celebrate Mass.  This brought “home” to me and the other almost 400 attendees that the Chicago Archdiocese has to complete their restructuring as painful as it may be to all of us to continue to fulfill their religious mission. The priest shortage is real and is becoming more critical each and every day.


Even with the best of planning and communication, schedules get confused or electronic calendars get deleted. A priest who has to travel in may have car trouble or get stuck in ice or snow. A priest may be too ill to get out of bed. As one of cleric who is my friend once put it—what will they do if I “wake up dead?” Clearly, despite our best efforts, emergencies do happen.

There is a shortage of priests everywhere, certainly all over the United States. In some countries the priest is peripatetic. He moves from parish to parish, stopping for a day to consecrate enough wafers of the Eucharist bread to supply the masses for weeks ahead. He then leaves it to the lay servers or Eucharistic ministers to distribute them.
The tradition of there always being a priest available to say Mass in any church has already died out. This is not like the America I knew as a child where, on a Saturday morning, four priests might be hearing confessions and four rows of pews at each confession box would be filled with penitents waiting their turn.
The bottom has fallen out of the market.

Which would not be a problem if the staffing of the Church declined at the same rate as the demand for the sacraments, but it hasn’t. It has proceeded at a faster rate.
Certainly, fewer Catholics go to Mass every week than did 20 years ago. Indeed, fewer still go to confession. Almost none want to be priests, but about half of them still want to go to Mass about once a month.
That means that the ratio of priests to members of a congregation has fallen.
Even in a rapidly secularising in the US  there is demand for more Masses than there are priests to celebrate them.

In our unfortunate  event,  a trained lay person stepped up and  lead a Liturgy of the Word service; this  resembles the  Mass with the exception of a priest to preside. Of course, other ministers assisted as lectors and musicians.  There was a distribution of Holy Communion, remember Mass is more than receiving Communion—it is the prayer of the Church and the Eucharistic sacrifice that makes the Lord Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist which is later received in Communion. Anything less than a Mass is not a Mass.
In any event, an announcement was made: “I am sorry to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, there is no priest to celebrate Mass today. In this emergency situation, we were invited to stay and pray together with our Sunday community as we celebrated the Liturgy of the Word, remembering that Christ is present when the Church prays and sings and when Christ’s Holy Word is proclaimed.
While a Liturgy of the Word can never replace Sunday Mass, in an emergency situation such as this, it will fulfill your obligation. Saint John Paul II in his Apostolic Letter Dies Domini (Day of the Lord) calls for Sunday to be “protected” and states, “In situations where the Eucharist cannot be celebrated, the Church recommends that the Sunday assembly come together even without a priest.”
Although the obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days still stands, the unexpected absence of a priest is not a reason to think that you have not met the obligation. After all, the congregation made the effort to be there and can be in good conscience.

Fortunately, our senior parish leaders stepped up to the occasion .  They demonstrated an adept and unique ability to lead the congregation in a meaningful celebration.

We must continue to pray for vocations as a Church, so that such a “priestless Sunday situation”  is  rare.

Posted in benefits, Chicago, Chicago Archdiocese, communion, Harwood Heights, Health, health risk, IEP, Illinois, Illinois Pensions, illinois politics, Ireland, political satire, politics, priest, Religion, renew my church, Saint Maria Goretti, Social Media, springfield diocese | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gene & Georgetti’s Affirms That They Fully Intend On Continuing It’s Operations In Rosemont and Continue to Deliver To It’s Customers The Usual Fine Dining Experience For Which They Are Famous for Years to Come

Gene and Georgetti’s has made it clear that they are remaining in business in Rosemont and that there is no negotiation with Rosemont.

Thus this is a retraction of the original story.

Gene and Georgette’s has made it clear that there is no discussion for a lease but-out and further denies that the restaurant is not meeting expectations.

It is great news to hear that everyone will have the opportunity to continue to enjoy the fine food of Gene & Georgetti’s in Rosemont for many years to come.

Thank goodness that information was not accurate, they are here to stay to everyone’s delight and appetite.

Buona Petite

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Illinois Taxes Too High For Chicago To Open A Casino, A Bit Ironic

Illinois residents face taxes all of the time, but now Mayor Lightfoot complaining that Illinois taxes are too high to open a financially successful Chicago casino.

Gee whiz, how did they screw that up?

Chicago tries for decades to get a casino, and when the stars finally align with a supportive governor, mayor and legislature, they pass a law that we’re now told won’t work.

It’s not just a matter of the locations proposed on the city’s South and West sides being less than optimal from a revenue-generating standpoint, which everyone knew from Day One.


Worse than that, a study commissioned by the Illinois Gaming Board found that ANY Chicago casino project, regardless of location, is “generally not financially feasible” given the “onerous” tax structure set forth under the new law.

As things now stand, say the consultants from Union Gaming Analytics, building a casino in Chicago would likely be a losing proposition for developers, and therefore a bad bet for the city.

Chalk it up to one more casualty of our state and city being broke.

In this case, our political leaders were so eager to solve the state’s and city’s financial problems on the backs of gamblers that they failed to take into account that casino owners need to make a profit, too.

According to the study, the final straw that makes a Chicago casino unworkable is a 33 1/3% city “privilege tax” to be imposed on adjusted gross receipts — which is over and above the existing tax structure for all other Illinois casinos.

The result, they say, is an effective tax rate of 72%, which would give the Chicago casino a distinction that’s become all too familiar — “the highest effective gaming tax and fee structure in the U.S.”

Shouldn’t somebody have seen this coming?

Mayor Lori Lightfoot says she did.

Indeed, there were rumblings from the start that the city wasn’t satisfied with the viability of the revenue plan, which is why the legislation called for an independent financial feasibility analysis.


No dice on 5 Chicago casino sites or ‘onerous’ taxes, study finds — but mayor, gov not leaving the table

Downtown casino shuffle: A few aces in the hole, some wild cards — but no Trump card

Opposition voices went silent, grew weary or were ignored — and gambling roared in

New suburban racetrack comes spinning out of the turns of gambling bill

Pritzker: Forget downtown, put Chicago casino in area that has ‘been left out, left behind’

But it’s also true the legislation was passed in the waning hours of the General Assembly at a time when the city was at a weak point with Mayor Rahm Emanuel just having left office and the newly elected Lightfoot still getting her feet on the ground.

Having covered the issue in Springfield at the time, I can tell you the Lightfoot team was less than transparent about what it wanted to see in a gaming bill.

Emanuel had always insisted on a city-owned casino, which wasn’t going to fly with Downstate legislators, who chafe at Chicago getting its own special deals.

Lightfoot was willing to give up on that notion to get a deal done, but as is now apparent, the last-minute maneuvering produced a flawed result.

The question now is whether the city can go back to the Legislature to come up with something that will work.

Union Gaming Analytics suggests removing the Chicago privilege tax to make the city casino more profitable for a private developer.

The problem with that idea is the city needs to generate as much money as it can from the casino and won’t give up its expected share without looking to the state to compromise as well. That gets us back in the realm of Chicago looking for a special deal.

The city lost a lot of its leverage with the passage of the casino expansion bill. Most of the competing gambling interests in Illinois, who had succeeded in blocking Chicago in the past, already got what they wanted in the horse trading.

Weighing in favor of a deal getting done is that the state needs the money from a Chicago casino just as much as the city, which means Gov. J.B. Pritzker will be doing what he can to accommodate Lightfoot.

As long we’re going to do this, I’m all for milking a Chicago casino of every last cent of public benefit, but we also have to take into account business realities if we don’t want to end up with a bankrupt boondoggle.

Posted in #madigoon, #taxation, casino, Chicago, politics, Pritzker, Rauner, referendum, Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon, Roy F. McCampbell, senator durbin, senator Mulroe, Social Media, Sports, sports betting, state representative, Taxation, teamsters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

August 13, 1979, Rosemont’s Horizon Stadium Collapsed

On August 13, 1979, the uncompleted roof of the Rosemont Horizon collapsed, killing five construction workers and injuring 16 others.[5] The collapse was featured in the “Engineering Disasters” episode of Modern Marvels, first broadcast by The History Channel on April 20, 2006.

The wooden roof of the 20,000-seat arena was 90 percent complete when it suddenly collapsed. Shortly after the collapse, officials speculated about a low-flying aircraft causing the collapse, and Rosemont Mayor Donald E. Stephens told the AP that it was probably a gust of wind. However, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation revealed, “The building was in such unstable condition that anything could have set off the collapse. You could have blown on it and knocked it down.”

According to an engineering case studies project, shoddy planning and missing bolts are what caused the unfinished roof to collapse.

A post-collapse investigation carried by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration revealed that the cause of the collapse was the unstable condition of the wood roof frame. Over 53 percent of the required connection bolts were missing from the building’s roof. Of the 944 girder bolts required for the connections already installed, only 444 were in place. Of these, 338 had no nuts, and some of the nuts in place were only finger-tight. OSHA also discovered that only 27 percent of the “compensating steel plates” were properly installed. Although the missing bolts were found the triggering cause, it was proved that inadequate bracing and the stockpiling of materials in the roof contributed to the collapse. Several other violations were attributed to the roof erector, who was severely fined by OSHA. The project’s architect and other subcontractors were also fined for diverse irregularities. Even the independent engineering firm retained by the city to investigate the collapse was fined by OSHA for unnecessarily exposure of their employees to fall hazards during field inspection.

In an interesting note, one year after the roof collapse, concrete stands under construction also collapsed at the Rosemont Horizon, dumping 34 tons of concrete to the ground. No fatalities or major injuries resulted from this accident.

The tragedy was featured on the History Channel’s Engineering Disasters in 2004, if you’d like to learn more.

The facility, originally named Rosemont Horizon, was intended to be the home of the Chicago Horizons of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL) and was home of the 1980-1981 season but the franchise folded in 1982. It was also intended to be the home of the WHA’s Chicago Cougars, but the team folded in 1975, three years before construction on the arena started. The first concert held at the Horizon was Fleetwood Mac on May 15, 1980, as they cut a red ribbon on the stage during the opening of the show.

The Rosemont Horizon was featured in many music videos, including the 1985 music video “Big City Nights” by Scorpions.[6]

Insurance company Allstate signed a 10-year contract worth more than $10 million on June 9, 1999, to acquire naming rights to the arena and renovate it.[7]

On December 29, 2002, Creed had an infamous concert at the arena, where the lead singer Scott Stapp had a bad reaction with a combination of pills and alcohol, causing Stapp to be inebriated during the concert. After mumbling incoherently for 5 songs, he later fell asleep and after a few minutes woke up and continued to sing until the concert was ended early. This resulted in a $2 million lawsuit against the band.[8]

On December 14, 2003, the floor at the Allstate Arena was named “Ray and Marge Meyer Court” in honor of Basketball Hall of Famer Ray Meyer and his wife. Meyer coached DePaul’s men’s team for 42 seasons and is the school’s all-time winningest coach.

Posted in Allstate Arena, boxing, Bradley Stephens, Economic Development, Entertainment, heavy weight fight, I 294, Illinois, illinois politics, Jonathon Cane, Journey, O'Hare Noise, politics, Rosemont, Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont School District 78, Roy F. McCampbell, Social Media, Sports, sports betting, Taxation, Uncategorized, Union | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment