Cheney and WSCAE to host student art expo

“West Suburban School Districts Host Sixth Annual Student Art Expo”

The West Suburban Consortium for Academic Excellence

Kevin L. Suchinski, Ed.D., 708-449-6490



On Saturday, April 30, more than 446 pieces of artwork created by local elementary and middle school students will be on display at Cheney Mansion (220 N. Euclid Avenue, Oak Park, IL). This free event is open from 10:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m. This marks the sixth year that 15 school districts in the West Suburban Consortium for Academic Excellence (WSCAE) are hosting the expo to showcase K-8 student artwork.

Student artists will be present to discuss their pieces during the display period. A number of professional artists from the Oak Park Art League and surrounding communities will be on hand to view the artwork and provide feedback. All guests will have the opportunity to submit “fan mail” to the student artists, as well, highlighting what they like most about the pieces.

Represented districts include: Butler District 53, Community Consolidated School District 181, Franklin Park District 84, Gower District 62, LaGrange Highlands District 106, Hillside District 93, Komarek District 94, LaGrange District 105, LaGrange District 102, Oak Park District 97, Pleasantdale District 107, Riverside District 96, River Forest District 90, Union Ridge District 86, and Western Springs District 101.

For more information, visit


Order of Vaccination Proof and Masks Lifted


Dear Patrons,

Effective Monday, February 28, Park District of Oak Park will no longer require proof of vaccination or masks to participate in our programs or enter our facilities. This includes all individuals, regardless of age, who participate in programs, events, or activities as well as visitors and spectators.

On Friday, February 25, the Oak Park Department of Public Health issued a new Public Health Order rescinding the order dated December 31, 2021 requiring proof of vaccination and face coverings in public spaces. As a result:

  • Park District staff will no longer check the vaccination status of patrons or obtain a negative Covid test from patrons upon entering our facilities.
  • Face coverings in our facilities are optional for patrons and visitors with the following exceptions:
  • Preschool Programs – A face mask mandate remains in place for our preschool, playschool and Pre-K. All participants must wear a face mask while attending this program, including staff who work in these programs.
  • Clubhouse Afterschool Programs – In alignment with D97, all Clubhouse program participants must wear a face mask while indoors for this program, including staff who work in this program.

Please note, while masking is no longer required indoors, it remains optional for individuals who feel comfortable in doing so. It is likely many individuals will continue to wear face coverings for a variety of reasons, including comfort, vaccination status, and personal or family health status. Park District staff will respect and accept all individual preferences with regard to face coverings.

Thank you for your continued support during these unprecedented times.


Dear Patrons,

Asnesday, January 12, 2022, the Oak Park Public Health Department issued two amendments to its Proof of Vaccination in Public Places order.

On January 6, an exemption was added to the order for newly turning 5-year-old children allowing them to participate in recreation programming while they are getting vaccinated:

Any individual who attains five (5) years of age on or after the effective date of the Order (January 6, 2022) shall be entitled to a grace period of six (6) weeks to allow time for the individual to become fully‐vaccinated

On January 12, a new amendment was added allowing individuals 18 years of age or younger to participate in youth athletics/programs under certain conditions:

Any individual eighteen (18) years of age or younger can participate in youth athletics or recreation if they provide either a vaccination card OR a negative COVID‐19 test administered at a proctored facility (non‐at‐home test) within forty‐eight (48) hours before participating.

The Park District of Oak Park staff will continue the protocols already in place per the Health Department order which includes confirming vaccination status prior to entering our facilities with the following changes:

Thank you for your patience and grace as we navigate these new Covid-19 mitigations.

Stay safe,

Jan Arnold, Executive Director


Dear Park District Patrons,

On Thursday, December 30, 2021 the Oak Park Public Health Department issued an ordinance mandating proof of vaccination in public places including health, fitness, and recreation centers effective Monday, January 10, 2022. That said, any individual over the age of 5 will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated before entering any Park District facility. This includes participants and/or spectators of a class, program, or event held inside. Indoor masking is still a requirement and is included in this order.

Beginning Monday, January 10, Park District of Oak Park staff will be confirming proof of vaccination for all class participants, spectators, and visitors prior to allowing entry into the program space.

Proof of Vaccination means:

• A CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Card; or

• An official immunization record from the jurisdiction, state, or country where the vaccine was administered; or

• An ‘app’ that provides a digital record of vaccinations; or

• A digital or physical photo of such a card or record that includes the individual’s name, the vaccine brand administered, and the date the vaccination was administered.

Identification to accompany vaccine proof:

• For those age 16 and older, identification must accompany vaccination proof. Identification includes a driver’s license, government ID, passport, work or school identification card, etc. that corresponds to the vaccination proof.

What constitutes fully vaccinated:

• Two weeks after their second does in a 2-dose series: Pfizer or Moderna Vaccines, OR

• Two weeks after a single dose series: Johnson & Johnson

Exemptions to this order:

• Preschools and childcare centers, which include our 2 and 3-day Preschool offerings and Clubhouse Afterschool participants.

• Those who are medically unable to receive vaccination, for any reason, if they:

(1) show proof of the exemption from a medical provider, AND

(2) show proof of a negative COVID test within 24 hours of coming into any facility. This includes providing a NEW negative Covid-19 test from a medical professional, indicating the test date and results. Please note: at-home tests are not accepted.

•Caregivers dropping children off for participation who will be in our facility less than 10 minutes.

Masks and physical distancing when possible are still required indoors:

• Masks are required indoors for any person age two or older that can medically tolerate it (regardless of vaccination status). This applies to all indoor activities and sports participants, including children, parents, coaches, officials, athletes of all ages, & spectators without exceptions.

• Physical distancing of six feet or more is required when feasible.

Helpful Tips:

✓ Have Proof of Vaccination on hand: The Park District of Oak Park will not be collecting or maintaining records of vaccination status. Park District staff will be checking vaccination status each time an individual enters a building.

✓ Have medical exemptions and testing results met before every session of a class, program, or event: This includes a NEW negative Covid-19 test 24 hours before every session of a class, program, or event.

✓ Please stay home if you are feeling sick or are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms in order to reduce community spread.

✓ Please note that food is not permitted at this time in any of our facilities.

✓ Water/Water bottles are the only drink permitted in our facilities.

✓ Please continue to follow updates on our website, social media, and through email.

✓ Feel free to contact us with questions:

Kelsey Tumpane

PDOP Risk Manager

Ann Marie Buczek

Communication & Community Engagement Manager

The Park District of Oak Park is committed to servicing the needs of our patrons. If you or a member of your household are unable to participate in a program due to this Oak Park Health Department ordinance, please contact Customer Service who will assist you in canceling your participation and providing a program fee refund. Please email us with the program/activity name, participant name, and whether you prefer a refund or Park District account credit and we will process accordingly.

We sincerely appreciate your cooperation, understanding and patience, and we look forward to providing safe and healthy programs and services for the Oak Park Community.

Stay Healthy,

Jan Arnold, Executive Director


Resources and information from the Community Mental Health Board

Face Coverings Required Indoors

Per the order issued by the Oak Park Health Department view here, effective Friday, August 6, 2021, the Park District of Oak Park will require all individuals (patrons and staff), regardless of their vaccination status, to wear a face covering in all indoor public settings. This includes inside all park centers, the Gymnastics and Recreation Center, Ridgeland Common Recreation Center, Cheney Mansion, Pleasant Home, Oak Park Conservatory and Hedges Administrative Center.  Signs will be posted on doors and face coverings must be on before entering any park center, facility, or historic property.

The Oak Park Health Department also recommends that “individuals wear a mask outdoors if they are not able to practice social distancing by maintaining at least a six (6) foot distance from other individuals not from the same household. This shall include playgrounds and other recreational spaces.” Please be advised that this includes pools, concerts and movies in the parks, and special events.

We will continue to monitor updates from the IDPH, CDC and the local health department and follow the guidance accordingly, as we have since the beginning of this pandemic.

In addition, the following safety protocols should continue to be followed:

  • Stay home if you are sick until you are free of fever (100.4 F or greater) and any other symptoms have diminished for 24 hours
  • Social distance whenever possible

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times together. Our focus remains on keeping patrons and staff safe.

5.14.21: State of Illinois Moves to Bridge Phase

Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have announced that effective immediately, the State has moved to the Bridge Phase. While the CDC has announced recommendations regarding face-coverings, the State has not changed its guidance and thus face-coverings remain required for both indoor and outdoor activities.

Additionally, here are the guidelines as they relate to our programs/facilities: 


For Park District Facilities, Parks, and Programs

  • Face masks, covering both mouth and nose, is required upon entry to and in all areas of buildings at all times. 
  • A minimum of 6ft. social distance is required at all indoor and outdoor facilities. 
  • Frequent hand washing and regular use of hand sanitizer are strongly recommended.
  • When applicable, please bring your own equipment (towel, mat, etc.), and water for use during your visits.
  • Stay home when you are sick or experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness with fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing.
  • Avoid contact with others that are sick or experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Park District Receives State Recognition


For the fifth year in a row, the Park District of Oak Park was the recipient of the Illinois Association of Park District’s Best Green Practices Award. The District was recognized for the Passive House design and construction of the Carroll Center addition which uses superinsulation and airtight construction along with continuous mechanical ventilation to achieve a comfortable building temperature year round while using very little energy. Sustainability is engraved throughout the Park District with significant strides made over the last few years to lessen our impact on the environment through the installation of cisterns, solar panels, geothermal systems, LED lighting and much more. For more information on Park District environmental efforts visit