February 25th

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Dates to Know

Tuesday, March 7th - REGISTRATION BEGINS

Thursday, March 9th - 5th Grade to Emerson for musical

Friday, March 10th - NO School - Records Planning Day

Monday, March 13th - IAR testing begins for 3rd-5th Graders (One test a day for 6 days: 3 ELA/3 Math)

Thursday, March 16th - 4-7 Parent Teacher Conference (Teacher-Requested)

Thursday, March 16th - 7:00 pm Board Meeting with Carpenter Presentation

Monday, March 27 - Friday March 31st - No School - Spring Break

Gr 3-8 IAR schedule - Help your child be ready

The Illinois Assessment of Readiness Test, an assessment for all students in Illinois in grades 3-8, will be administered in District 64 from March 13-March 24.

The best preparation for the IAR has been the quality instruction our teachers have provided this school year. However, there are things you can also do to promote your child’s success:

  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.

  • Provide your child with words of encouragement. While we don’t want our students to feel anxious about any assessment, we do want them to do their best.

  • The IAR is an online assessment and students will be using their Chromebooks to complete these tests. Please make sure your child brings his or her Chromebook to school each day, fully charged.

Pictured below is our school’s tentative schedule for test administration.

If you would like to learn more about the IAR tests, sample tests are available for your review. Thank you for your support in helping your child be prepared for upcoming testing.

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5E - 51%

I've put away the pigeons and Mr. Degman has been granted his weekend off. We have reached 51% for parental completion of 5E survey. If you haven't done it, please consider completing it, but I am going to stop the pleas. After we get the results, I'll decide whether or not we should've requested everyone's voices. :) Totally kidding, we're a reflective bunch at Carpenter and we're always looking to improve!


I wanted to take the time to explain our positive office referrals and Bingo Board as we've had many questions and I realized it's been some time that we've communicated about it to everyone.

"Green Slips" are a positive office referral process that we started at Carpenter several years ago. In the past, the referrals were done on paper and you guessed it, they were on green pieces of paper creating the name. Once we shifted the referral process digital, we just kept the name because it just became part of our "educationese."

The Carpenter Staff have access to a Google Form link to refer students to the office for recognition of an above-and-beyond behavior(s). Once the referral comes in, Mr. Degman has an email template that he's able to use to notify parents that a referral was earned.

In one of our showcases at Carpenter, we have a 10x10 notecard grid that we refer to as our Bingo Board. When students earn green slips, we randomly assign them a number 1-100 that corresponds with one of the notecards on the grid. Once an entire row or column gets filled, those 10 students earn BINGO. Mr. Degman and I have been awarding the Bingo winners with a token for our new purchased book vending machine (thank you PTO!). The board then gets cleared and we start again.

Previously, Mr. Degman and I were bringing students down for their green slips and having them spin a wheel randomizer to get their number. However, we had a good problem and had too many kids and we began falling behind. So, about a month ago, we simply started to randomly select about 10-20 students a week to add to the Bingo Board from our list. We then use a digital representation of the Bingo Board (small picture) and share it with the students in our video announcements typically on Friday notating who the new students are that have been added that week. We also write their names up in our showcase. When there's a Bingo, we announce the winners and then the students are brought to the vending machine to earn a book.

So, if your child earns a green slip, they will eventually get their name up on the Bingo Board, but it doesn't happen immediately the way we are currently doing it. It typically will be within a three-week period or so based on how many positive office referrals are coming in. If they haven't earned a green slip, that doesn't mean that they aren't being good. :) This is an intermittent reinforcement system and isn't necessarily designed for all students to earn green slips. It's just another part of our school culture that is focused on the positive and a way to reinforce behavioral expectations to the entire school.

Recent Bingo Winners (2/24): Derek M, Ruby P, Andrew S, Joseph C, Damon R, Logan G, Vivian P, Abigail M, Aveer A, Giulietta L who will be getting a token.

We just cleared the board and have 47 names to get to for our next round. Sounds like another Bingo will hit sometime before Spring Break.


The countdown begins! Considering the success we had with a little extra "push" on 5E, I'm going to start my encouragement, prompts, reminders, and perhaps other strategies to get us all to focus on registration. Registration for ALL students begins on Tuesday, March 7th. You will all be receiving some district communications about it, but I will be using my updates to continuously emphasize the importance of everyone registering. A June 1st due date is being set by the district, but I'd prefer that everyone gets it done as soon as possible.

Let me explain why I'll be overemphasizing. The district utilizes class-size guidelines for making determinations on the number of homerooms per grade level. When we get registered numbers above/below the numbers below, it is when we add/subtract homerooms.

K- 22 students (22, 44, 66)

1st/2nd - 24 students (24, 48, 72)

3rd/4th - 26 students (26, 52, 78)

5th -28 students (28, 56, 84)

If students are not officially registered, they are not "counted" and as a result, we could potentially decrease homerooms per grade level or possibly not "add" a homeroom. The children may have come every year for four years, but if they aren't registered for the next school year, they aren't counted.

So, this impacts:

Current Teacher Employment - some of our teachers who are in grade levels that are considered "bubbles" (close to the number), do not know if they will be in that same teaching position next year until students officially register. (=unnecessary stress, shift to new grade level?, professional development timing)

Future Teacher Employment - we cannot hire new teachers until "bubbles burst." Again, our numbers are only considered official when students are registered, not because we think they'll be returning next year. (=may be late hiring in August, loss of professional development opportunities, preparing for year, etc)

Schedule - our master building schedule is predicated on the amount of homerooms we have because the amount of homerooms dictates the specials, placement of specials, etc. Typically, I have to create two schedules because of bubbles. It's a lot of intense, detailed work that would be nice if we could just create one.

Homeroom placement - next week I'll share out information about homeroom placement letter requests. However, the creation of homeroom placements gets dictated by registrations and the amount of homerooms we have. If we have "bubble" sections because we are waiting for people to register, it makes it difficult to complete that challenging work. There have been years that I haven't been able to send out homeroom placement letters in August because of late registrations and bubble sections (= frustrated students and parents and teachers and principals).

In full transparency, I don't understand why we just can't get all of our students registered by June 1st the latest. Again, I'd prefer it to be sooner, but I'll just use the target date of the district for now. It would make the start of the school year so much smoother (bus lists, homeroom lists, tech assignments, rosters, schedules, staffing, etc.) if as a school community, everyone just registered their children. My last thought about that is one that I remind parents of every year. Mrs. Aimers and Mrs. Petrielli do a fantastic job with this entire process and helping out our parents if/when they run into questions or have a hard time with the process. They know our kids/our families and some unique circumstances with registrations. Once summer hits, the process gets managed through the district. Wherein they do a nice job as well, they simply do not know our families the way that we do, so as a school community, let's just get this taken care of. Then, come June, we can just all pat ourselves on the back and say, "We're already done with all of that!"

If you already know that your child will not be returning to District 64 for the 2023-204 school year or if your child is moving out of Carpenter boundaries, please email maimers@d64.org, jpetrielli@d64.org and bbalduf@d64.org.

Here's the link to complete 5E Survey :)


We have one Spring Conference Night on Thursday, March 16th from 4-7 p.m. For those of you who may be new or may not remember, because it is only one night for three hours, these conferences are designed as teacher-requested conferences only. We will be coordinating on our end, and those parents who are invited to conference will be able to schedule starting on Thursday, March 2nd, so more info to follow.

Recycling Plastic Bags

Did you know? A plastic bag doesn’t degrade, it only breaks down into smaller pieces and has negative impacts on ecosystems and food chains if not contained. Only about 2% of bags are actually recycled. Support the Maine South Environmental Club by bringing in your plastic grocery, ziplock/sandwich, newspaper, bread and cereal bags. Their goal is to collect 500 pound of plastic bags to build a bench near their front pond. Send your child with clean plastic bags and will ensure your plastic bag goes to a good cause! ~ Carpenter Green Team.

CoVid Communicating

This year, instead of sending out an email for CoVid cases, we will be updating a slide on our website. Please bookmark this page if interested in keeping tabs of our current cases and associated homerooms. I'll leave this in my weekly updates as well, but I'll gradually move this towards the bottom of the reading material.