Viking Newsletter

Jim Calabrese, Superintendent, Taft SD 90

March 12, 2023

Early Dismissal 11:30 AM - Wednesday, March 15, 2023 - School Improvement

Viking of the Week

This week we are excited to recognize Christina Williamson from 5th grade as our student of the week! I am so happy for Christina; she is such a hard worker and deserves recognition. Mrs. Davis was the teacher that nominated her, let’s see what Mrs. Davis had to say about Christina!

Christina is an all-around great student to have in class. She does all of her classwork on time and works to help others along the way. Christina participates in class and offers suggestions to classmates on how they can better solve hard problems. She even has A’s in all of her classes! She is truly a pleasure to have in class. Outside of school, Christina is in Basketball, Beta Club, and plays percussion in the band. Thanks for being such a wonderful student in my class!

So proud of you Christina, keep up the great work!

PTA Meeting

Please join our PTA on Thursday, March 16, 2023, at 6:30 PM in the auditorium for a PTA meeting followed by a spring cookie decorating event. Please sign-up using the flyer posted below so our PTA can make sure they have enough supplies. Our PTA is a wonderful group of parents who are continually looking to get more parents involved. We hope to see everyone there!

Sports Update

The Girl's 7th-grade Volleyball season came to an end Monday night in the sectional game at Taft. They lost to a tough Grant Park team in 2 sets. Congratulations on an amazing season. The 8th grade won the regional championship this week and now advances to the sectional game Monday night at Grant Park. Good luck ladies.

The Boy's volleyball team had 2 games this week. 7th grade beat Richland in 3 sets and 8th grade lost in 3 sets. The 8th grade beat Union on Friday in 2 sets. The boys have a busy week. They play Oak Prairie at home on Monday and Laraway at home on Tuesday. The 8th-grade team has a tournament at KG and Taft on Friday and Saturday. Good luck boys.

Message from Mr. Davini

I will be raising money for St. Baldrick’s, an organization that supports the research towards finding cures for childhood cancer. The culmination of 3 weeks of fundraising is celebrated with shaving your head in solidarity with children who suffer from cancer. 100% of your donation will go to the organization. If you can, please use the button below to view their page and consider donating. On March 17th, we will draw random names of students who A - donated, B - have no missing work, and C - no behavior referrals from now until then to help shave my head!

Snacks for Parties/Birthdays at School

We are in need of some help at school. With the amount of food, treats, and other items that are sent into school to be passed out to entire classes we cannot keep up with being able to adequately check everything to ensure every student in our building has a safe environment. We have a variety of kids who have a variety of food allergies including various nut and dairy allergies. On almost a weekly basis we are having to inform parents that we cannot allow whatever they purchased into the classrooms because they are a violation of our rules. While we have had our policies attached to the bottom of our newsletter for many months I know that parents are not always thinking about them.

We need to find a solution that can still allow our students to enjoy classroom parties and their birthdays without creating potentially unsafe environments for our kids. We have begun to investigate some alternatives by checking in with other schools but we are also looking for our community to provide some ideas. Some ideas that we have already received could be that instead of parents sending in a variety of food items for parties perhaps each parent sends in a dollar or two and the school can purchase a classroom snack. Another idea that was suggested at our last meeting of the Board of Education could be to have parents donate the same amount of money and instead of having individual classroom parties perhaps we could rent some inflatables and have each class spend some time in our gym playing instead of eating as part of a classroom party.

If you have any ideas can you please reach out to me or Mr. Davini to let us know? As we gather more information we will be sure to keep communicating with our community to inform everyone of any changes. We are through our class party season until the end of the year so we have a little time to be thoughtful. In the meantime, if you are planning on sending anything to school for birthdays please check out the guidelines near the end of our newsletter.

April Foolin' Comedy Show

The Bragi's Players is pleased to announce a unique fundraising opportunity that will take place at our school on Saturday, April 1, 2023, beginning at 7:00 PM. Please use the button below to access information about a Comedy Night that will take place in our Auditorium. This is a great opportunity for our community to come together to support two great causes, Bragi's Players and the Royal Family Kids Camp - Lockport. We hope to see everyone there!

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5essentials Survey

We invite all our parents and guardians to take the Illinois State Board of Education’s 5Essentials Parent survey using the button below. The survey is open until Friday, March 31st. Taft school will receive this data from the survey if 20% or more of the school’s parents or guardians participate in this survey. This survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. Your participation in this survey will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept confidential and will not be connected to you or your child.

Lockport App

Lockport Township High School District 205 is thrilled to announce our new app for mobile phones! Stay up-to-date with access to events, documents, school news, student stories, and even emergency notifications.

LTHS D205 New App

You can download the app for free on Google Play or Apple App Store.

Download for Android

Download for iPhone

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40 Book Challenge!

Taft's 3rd through 6th graders will be participating in the national reading program called the 40 book challenge. Mrs. Sturm and Mrs. Calabrese went to talk to all of the classes last week and explained the challenge. Paperwork also went home for parents to read. If you have any questions please reach out to Mrs. Sturm at or Mrs. Calabrese at We hope that this challenge gets our students excited about reading and will motivate them to read every day!

Health Reminders

Every fall when the weather changes there are some normal sicknesses that seem to spring up that we want to send some reminders home about. As we begin to enter the winter months we always see an increase in flu symptoms, sore throats, lice, pink eye, and other highly contagious sicknesses that we want to help our students avoid. Please remind your kids to wash their hands often, dress appropriately for the weather, avoid sharing food and drinks, and always get a good night's sleep. All of these things are easy to do and can help kids stay healthy and in school during the winter months. Please check out the communicable disease guide from the Will County Health Department below for more information.
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Snack Guidelines from Nurse McGraw

Each family should have received this letter regarding snacks in the classroom. We need to work together as a team to make sure all our students are safe! There is no obligation for any family to bring in treats or snacks for birthdays or holidays; bringing in any kind of snack is strictly on a volunteer basis.

Food allergies are common today for many school-aged children in the United States. With this in mind, we want to ensure a safe and healthy environment in our classrooms for all of our students. The following are basic guidelines that must be followed when sending edible food items to the school for distribution to the classroom. Be aware that there are multiple allergies in our school other than nut allergies that could impact your snack choice. It would be best if you called the school prior to bringing in any snacks and reviewing with the school nurse so we can work as a team to ensure the class will be safe with the snack you choose.

  • All food must be made and /or manufactured in the United States or Canada.

  • All food must be peanut nut/tree nut free and manufactured on a dedicated peanut/tree nut-free line.

  • Homemade food items are NOT allowed.

  • No treat bags unless you choose to fill bags with NON-FOOD items.

  • You may refer to the website to find appropriate snacks that may be acceptable for your child’s classroom.

  • All food /snacks and treats going to the classroom for any celebration ( i.e. birthdays and holidays) must be checked by the School Nurse before going to the classroom AND be individually wrapped AND in their original packaging.

For class parties, food items must be brought in at least 24 hours in advance to ensure adequate time to check all items before going to the classroom.

Physical and Immunization Information

The State of Illinois requires that all students MUST have an Illinois physical exam with up-to-date immunizations on file. Please see below and work with the office to complete these requirements as soon as possible.


  • Physical exam on an Illinois form within one year prior to the first day of school with updated immunizations. Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.

  • Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form completed and turned in by October 15, 2022.

  • Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.

2nd Grade:

  • Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.

6th Grade:

  • Physical Exam (Sports Physical form not acceptable) must be on the State of Illinois Certificate of Child Health Exam form and done within one year prior to the first day of school with up-to-date immunizations.

  • Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.

  • Dental exam on an Illinois Dental Exam Form Must be turned in by May 15, 2023.

New students enrolling in an Illinois School for the first time-Required regardless of grade level:

  • Physical Exam with up-to-date immunizations on an Illinois form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).

  • Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).

e-Learning Plan

We are in the process of completing all of the requirements to have an e-Learning Plan for the 2022-2023 school year. An e-Learning Plan can only be used for emergency days which are typically weather-related. Based on the school code they cannot be used for any emergency shuts downs due to COVID or other related emergencies.

Attached you will see our proposed e-Learning Plan that has been sent to the Regional Office of Education for their approval. We will be sending out more information within the next month or so to ensure we are prepared if an emergency day is needed. Over the past few years, we have decided to cancel school when necessary as early as possible to make sure everyone is as prepared as possible. We plan to continue this practice moving forward.


Taft is proud to have the “Stop It” program up and running for the 2021-2022 school year. Stop it is an online program that students can use to report bullying or any unsafe behavior while remaining anonymous. These reports come through to the Superintendent, Principal, and Social Worker via text so we can address the situation right away. This provides the student with an opportunity to share their concerns if they feel they cannot speak immediately to an adult.

We continue to teach our students to advocate for themselves in situations where they feel they can speak to a situation on their own. The students are reminded there are different approaches to stop bullying or unsafe situations outside of reporting things anonymously. Students are encouraged to share concerns with friends, staff, and family to learn to advocate for themselves. However, we understand that there are some situations where students may feel safer reporting discreetly.

If you have any questions regarding the Stop It program, please contact Mr. Davini or Mr. Calabrese.

STOPit Student Launch Video

School Calendar

3/13/23 - Boy's Volleyball Game @ Oak Prairie - 4:00 PM

3/13/23 - 8th Grade Girl's Volleyball Game @ Grant Park - 6:30 PM

3/14/23 - 5th & 8th Grade Illinois Science Assessment - During School

3/14/23 - Art Club - 3:30 PM

3/14/23 - Boy's Volleyball Game v. Laraway - 4:15 PM

3/15/23 - SIP Day Early Dismissal - 11:30 PM

3/15/23 - Improv Workshop - 3:30 PM

3/16/23 - PTA Meeting - Auditorium - 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

3/17/23 - End of 3rd Quarter

3/17/23 - Boy's Volleyball Tournament @ Taft - TBD

3/18/23 - Boy's Volleyball Tournament @ Taft - TBD

3/20/23 - Boy's Volleyball Game @ KG - 4:00 PM

3/21/23 - 5th & 8th Grade Illinois Science Assessment - During School

3/21/23 - Boy's Volleyball Game v. AVM - 4:00 PM

3/22/23 - 3rd and 4th Grade Fieldtrip - All Day

3/23/23 - Board of Education Meeting - 6:15 PM Closed Session - 7:00 PM Open Session

3/24/23 - Early Release - 1:45 PM

3/27/23 - 4/3/23 - School Resumes