Creekside Chronicle

October 2019 Newsletter

The 2019-20 school year has been off to a great start. As a school, one of the major aspects of kicking off a successful school year is the development of our school Improvement plan. Creekside has evolved over the years to focus on a variety of areas that impact student learning. For the 2019-2020 school year, Creekside has become more focused in specific areas of differentiation and is now effectively integrating this strategy within our everyday learning experiences. As a school, we have identified that we will grow in utilizing common formative assessment information, classroom instruction, and targeted feedback to further differentiate lessons to best meet the needs of individual students. With this overall instructional goal, each content area and department had determined what this may look like in the classroom.

Literacy teachers are implementing differentiation within our writing curriculum that is integrated within our current Collection series. Our science team has looked to incorporate these writing strategies and authentic feedback to students in their scientific writing samples. Our math team has embarked on their second year of the Discovery Education textbook curriculum and has identified opportunities to regularly assess students to reform small group lessons. Social studies has developed different inquiry units to further engage students and has also utilized the Newsela platform to differentiate reading material for students. Creekside teams continue to develop lessons that target students’ individual needs, and we look as a school to focus on effective practices within the classroom.

We are on the second year of our school’s A.V.I.D. implementation. Avid is a program that is offered to specific students that takes place in lieu of their exploratory classes. A.V.I.D. (advancement via individual determination) provides scaffolded support that educators and students need to encourage college and career readiness and success. With this being said, A.V.I.D. is not just something that positively impact the students in this class; it has also helped change the culture of our school to be more college and career readiness focused. It also lends itself as a guide to implement professional development at the building level. One of the core foundations of A.V.I.D. is the organization of their learning strategies. The program utilizes the acronym W I.C.O.R. to organize these different strategies. W. I. C.O.R. Stands for writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. Our late starts and faculty meetings offer professional development in this format and provide teachers training in the different strategies that are found within the A.V.I.D. program. We are excited to embark on this journey together and continue to do great things for students. To learn more about A.V.I.D. please visit,

College Pennants Needed

As mentioned above, the A.V.I.D. program is a means to shift the culture of the building to promote college and career readiness. One of the small ways that we can do this is by promoting different colleges and universities within our hallways and within our Innovation Studio. We need your help to do this. If you would like to provide Creekside with a college pennant, we would be happy to display it within our building to assist in promoting and helping students envision that college is accessible to them.

6th Grade

Be sure to talk to your child about the end of the quarter reward days. More information about the date and activity will be coming out soon. Your child should have brought home a permission slip discussing the criteria for staying eligible for these rewards.

Click here for a copy of the form.


The science classes have been working the big essential question of “ What solution creates the greatest growth of the gro-beast? Classes were able to pick liquids that they would submerge their polymer in for a 4 day period of time. Each day they would take measurements on length, width, height, mass and volume. After they created graphs that helped them to analyze data.

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The students are watching a presentation on about Ethiopian Culture presented by Ms. Senbeta.
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7th Grade

When it comes to literacy, reading usually gets the spotlight. However, it’s writing that is really stealing the show in 7th grade:

  • In literacy classes, students are beginning to craft narratives by creating fictional characters who are motivated by the obstacles they face.

  • In social studies, students have investigated the early settlers/Native Americans and have attempted to answer the question: How did the Native Americans arrive to the Americas? We have analyzed a few theories and have studied the Bering Strait as a possible solution to that answer. This week the students have been investigating several theories and writing their own proposals to that question citing evidence that they have obtained. The students have also learned how to effectively cite primary and secondary sources over the past month and have presented presentations among groups distinguishing the differences among them and how we can tell if a source is reliable. NEWSELA is being used weekly with articles and writing activities designed around our current topic of study. Students are also using Newsela to practice writing extended responses (CER) by supporting their inferences with evidence from articles.

  • In math, students are answering different levels of questions to help build their conceptual understanding. When students explain their thinking with writing, they are able to gain a larger understanding of the concepts being taught in math class.

  • In science, students are practicing developing their written extended responses by following the acronym claim, evidence, and reasoning (CER). For instance, students get to practice measurement in a metrics lab. Once their data is collected, they will construct a CER to analyze and evaluate the data and use evidence to prove their claims in their labs or interactive notebooks.

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In other 7th grade news, first dual-language parent meeting was on Wednesday, September 11th. Also, 7th grade students had Ms. Senbetta's aunt and father come as guest speakers to answer their questions about Ethiopia. During their time together, the guests taught students words in Amharic and then the students taught them the same words in Spanish.

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8th Grade

During Fall Conferences the 8th grade team would love to see students attend conferences with their parents. This helps to foster stronger lines of communication between home and school.

Upcoming Field Trips

On Friday, October 18, 2019, the eighth grade students will travel to Woodstock North High School to attend the McHenry County College Health Career Fair from 11:00-1:15 pm sponsored by Northwestern Health System. While at the career fair, students will have the opportunity to explore careers in numerous health related fields while participating in various hands-on activities.

Washington D.C. - 8th grade students will have an opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for a three day trip from May 30 - June 1, 2020. If you have any questions, click here for specific trip information.

Social Studies

Students are closing up their month long study on the Civil War and its effect on US History.

Students below in Mr. Ortiz’s DL Social Studies Class are reviewing the elements of good letter writing in preparation preparing for their Civil War Soldier Letter Assessment.
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The students in DL Science studying the properties of the matter in the laboratory, learning how to take notes and using deductive reasoning to solve a question proposed by Mr. Gancedo.
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PTO Fundraiser

Our PTO is also kicking off our annual Fannie May chocolates fundraiser. This particular fundraiser brings in the vast majority of the money used for funding different projects and opportunities that PTO provides for our students. Last year, the PTO was able to send our 8th grade students to the Holocaust museum in Skokie, Illinois. As you may have seen, every student received a paper assignment notebook this year, and this agenda was provided directly from the PTO. The PTO also assists in funding our 8th grade dance and other opportunities that our students have. Without the Fannie May fundraiser, many of these activities would not be possible for our students. If you are interested in being part of our PTO, the next meeting is Tuesday, November 5 at 6 p.m. in the main office conference room. We hope to see you there.

Box Tops

Box Tops are going digital! No more clipping, all you need is your phone. Download the ALL-NEW Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit Creekside’s Box Tops earnings online. Printed Box Tops are being phased out and will only be accepted through this fall. If you have any clipped Box Tops, Creekside will accept them only through October 15. Here is a video link that shows how to set up your phone to easily send Creekside money from your grocery receipts.\

Student of the Month

Congratulations for our September Students of the Month. The following students were recognized for demonstrating HONESTY.

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From left to right: Ms Fulcher (music & orchestra), Mr. Peiffer (music & chorus), Mrs. Storer (band), Mr. Rogganbuck (21st century), Mrs. Filetti (music), Mr. McGinness (art), Mr. Lee (health), Mrs. Bastian (orchestra), Ms Skandera (German)

Welcome to Creekside! We look forward to having you in our classes or one of these clubs that we sponsor:

Peiffer - School Musical

Rogganbuck - Game Club

McGinness - Art Club

Lee - Garden Club

Skandera - Color Guard

Our Exploratory classes include art, general music, health, 21st century skills, and German. Each lasts for 7 weeks and most all students will have these classes throughout the year. Band, chorus and orchestra (BCO) meet during the school day. BCO teachers will communicate special meeting times and performances so check your canvas pages, emails and read the newsletters.

Student Services

Self-management is the ability to successfully regulate our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations. During middle school, we focus on developing strong mindsets like courage, determination, and self-control in our students. To help them overcome obstacles and achieve their short and long-term goals, we also seek to develop organizational strategies and healthy habits to manage stress. Click on this link to access some at-home connections and have some conversations with your student about their own Self-Management in Middle School. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s social emotional learning during their middle school years, please contact one of us in the Creekside office at (815) 337-5200.

Mrs. Nieman; School Counselor

Ms. Hettermann; School Social Worker

Mrs. Perry; School Psychologist

A Note from the Nurse

All 6th grade students and all 7th & 8th grade new students to District 200, school physicals and immunization records are due on October 15th. If they are not turned in to the school nurse by October 15th, your child will not be allowed to come to school. Please contact the nurse with questions. Ms. Carla at 815-337-5200

Key Dates


10/1 VB vs NIPPERSINK 4 - 6:30 pm @ NIPPERSINK


10/2 XC vs MARLOWE 4 - 6 pm @ MARLOWE

10/3 VB vs JOHNSBURG 4 - 6:30 pm @ JOHNSBURG

10/3 POMPS TRYOUTS 3:45 - 5:15 pm @ PWE GYM

10/4 POMPS TRYOUTS 3:45 - 5:15 pm @ PWE GYM


10/7 VB vs McHENRY 4 - 6:30 pm @ McHENRY


10/8 VB vs NORTHWOOD 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS/PWE GYM

10/9 P/T CONFERENCES 4 - 9 pm

10/10 P/T CONFERENCES 9 - 9 pm



10/16 VB CROSSOVER 7th GRADE GAME 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS

10/16 VS CROSSOVER 8th GRADE GAME 4 - 6:30 pm @ TBA

10/18 HEALTH CAREER FAIR (8th Grade) 9 am - 3 pm @ CMS GYM

10/19 FVC VB TOURNAMENT 7th & 8th GRADE 8 am - 3:30 pm @ HUNTLEY HS

10/21 CONCUSSION TEST 3:30 - 5pm @ BOG


10/22 HALF A DAY 8:30 am - 12:15 pm


10/23 BOYS BB vs WESTFIELD 7th GRADE A/B 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS

10/23 BOYS BB vs WESTFIELD 8th GRADE A/B 4 - 6:30 pm @ WESTFIELD

10/24 CMS ORCHESTRA CONCERT 7 pm Call 6:30 pm @ STAGE CMS


10/25 ATHLETIC PICTURES 2:45 pm - 5 pm @ STAGE




10/28 6th GRADE HONORS RECOGNITION 7:30 - 8:05 am @ GYM

10/29 7th GRADE HONORS RECOGNITION 7:30 - 8:05 am @ GYM


10/30 CMS BAND FALL CONCERT 7 - 8:30 pm @ CMS

10/30 8th GRADE HONORS RECOGNITION 7:30 - 8:05 am @ GYM

10/30 CHORAL EXCHANGE (GIRLS) 3:15 - 5:30 pm

Creekside Middle School

Michael Wheatley, Principal

Francesca Favero, Asst. Principal

David Riesen, Dean of Students