Note from the Principal
Dear KG Parents,
We appreciate the parents that have taken the 5Essentials survey last month. Unfortunately, we have not reached the minimum threshold of parent responses to receive a score on many measures. The University of Chicago is reporting only 58 parental surveys have been completed for KG which represents only 7% of our population. We need more than double that number to receive a score. This information plays a large role in our school improvement planning process and has significant implications in our school’s rating by the Illinois State Board of Education. Please take the time to complete the survey if you haven’t already done so through this link (https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/?target_name=parent).
All students at KG will also be taking the survey this month with questions relating to the supportive environment and instruction they experience at school. Our school was designated as ‘Well Organized for Improvement’ in 2020 and demonstrates the collaboration and high standards our students, staff, and parents have for our school.
The staff and students are also preparing for the state mandated assessments: the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA). Last year, students only took one unit of the IAR before schools were forced to begin E-learning. Our current fourth grade students never experienced the assessment and will be taking it for the first time. Teachers will be getting students familiar with the computer-based testing platform this month, and the tools they will interact with as they take the assessments. Testing will begin in April and anticipate it lasting into May. Similar to the MAP assessment, testing sessions will be spread out throughout the month to avoid students experiencing testing fatigue. Additionally, remote students will be required to test at KG and not at home, as directed by the Illinois State Board of Education. We will provide a testing schedule specifically for our remote students at each grade level toward the end of March.
Last month, we felt privileged to announce the return of athletics to school. We are even more excited to announce the return of some additional extra-curricular activities and clubs. Students will have the opportunity to participate in Choir, Debate Club, Drama Club, Nature Club, and Student Council. These activities will meet after school on a specific day each week. There will be limits to the number of participants in each of the activities due to social distancing requirements within the classrooms. Extra-curriculars provide an excellent chance for students to regain the in-person social interaction that had been lost when everyone was forced to shelter-in-place a year ago. This marks another step in our district’s move toward more in-person learning. Mitigation measures will continue to be in place such as: hand washing, wearing of masks, sanitizing classrooms, and social distancing to the greatest extent possible.
March also marks our month for spring break, which will occur March 27th-April 5th. The school also determined our date for 8th grade graduation on Wednesday, June 2nd but details of the ceremony have yet to be determined. For being the shortest month on the calendar, February has felt like the longest, coldest, and snowiest month ever. I hope March brings warmer weather and the time to reconnect with family and friends we haven’t seen for awhile. KG continue to be #HornetStrong!
From The Building and Grounds Department
As part of our “Integrated Pest Management Program”, Lockport School District 91 will, as the weather permits, start applying herbicides and pesticides to both of our properties in March when students are not in attendance.
The chemicals that we apply are similar to the ones that you would use at home; i.e., Preen® for weed control in the planting beds, and Roundup® for weed control along buildings, fence lines etc. All applications are done by an Illinois Department of Agriculture licensed applicator.
Should you have any questions, please contact Mr. Jim Pierson, Director of Building and Grounds at 815-838-0737, Ext. 1146 or by Email, email@example.com.
Note from the nurse
March is National Nutrition Month
National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This campaign encourages everyone to learn healthful physical and eating habits. You are also encouraged to learn about making informed food choices.
Good nutrition is key to good health - remember to eat the rainbow!!
Fruits and vegetables are good for snacks and meals ~ plenty of colors to choose from
Besides fruits and vegetables, we should include lean meats and protein, calcium, whole grains, and oils in our diets. We should limit the amount of sugars (especially added sugars), certain fats, and grains in our diets. When shopping, always read the nutrition label and ingredients. Try to avoid foods that have sugar as one of the first 3-5 ingredients.
Be sure that you are drinking enough water, also! Water is one of the most essential nutrients for our bodies. It is needed to carry out all functions within our body. We all need a different amount, depending on a few different factors. A good rule of thumb to ensure you are properly hydrated is to take your body weight and divide it half. That number is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. For example, you weigh 150lb - 150lb/2= 75; you should drink 75oz or more of water a day.
This last year has changed the eating habits of many families. Many families began cooking more at home than they previously did. If you haven’t already, bring your kids into the kitchen with you and allow them to help with tasks that are age appropriate. If you have picky eaters at home, let them help plan the menu for the week. Meal planning will also help your grocery budget. I have included links to a few recipes:
Breakfast or snack idea: Rainbow Yogurt Trifle Cups
Snack or side dish: Cucumber Watermelon Salad
For more information and resources, head over to:
School Counselor's Corner
This time of year can be challenging for us all as we are becoming tired of the cold weather and routines and responsibilities. This is especially true for this year. We have all been social distancing, limiting contact with others (including friends and family), wearing uncomfortable masks and challenged with health concerns and stresses for a year! Teaching our children resilience to enable them to keep going even through challenges is essential for their success in life. The following tips about teaching resilience to our children have been taken from the American Psychological Association (https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience/guide-parents-teachers). I hope you find them helpful.
“10 tips for building resilience in children and teens
Teach your child the importance of engaging and connecting with their peers, including the skill of empathy and listening to others. Find ways to help children foster connectivity by suggesting they connect to peers in-person or through phone, video chats, and texts. It’s also important to build a strong family network. Connecting with others provides social support and strengthens resilience.
Help your child by having them help others
Children who may feel helpless can feel empowered by helping others. Engage your child in age-appropriate volunteer work or ask for assistance yourself with tasks that they can master. At school, brainstorm with children about ways they can help others in their class or in grades below.
Maintain a daily routine
Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who crave structure in their lives. Work with your child to develop a routine, and highlight times that are for school work and play. Particularly during times of distress or transition, you might need to be flexible with some routines. At the same time, schedules and consistency are important to maintain.
Take a break
While some anxiety can motivate us to take positive action, we also need to validate all feelings. Teach your child how to focus on something that they can control or can act on. Help by challenging unrealistic thinking by asking them to examine the chances of the worst case scenario and what they might tell a friend who has those worries. Be aware of what your child is exposed to that can be troubling, whether it’s through the news, online, or overheard conversations. Although schools are being held accountable for performance or required to provide certain instruction, build in unstructured time during the school day to allow children to be creative.
Teach your child self-care
Teach your child the importance of basic self-care. This may be making more time to eat properly, exercise, and get sufficient sleep. Make sure your child has time to have fun, and participate in activities they enjoy. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help children stay balanced and better deal with stressful times.
Move toward your goals
Teach your child to set reasonable goals and help them to move toward them one step at a time. Establishing goals will help children focus on a specific task and can help build the resilience to move forward in the face of challenges. At school, break down large assignments into small, achievable goals for younger children, and for older children, acknowledge accomplishments on the way to larger goals.
Nurture a positive self-view
Help your child remember ways they have successfully handled hardships in the past and help them understand that these past challenges help build the strength to handle future challenges. Help your child learn to trust themselves to solve problems and make appropriate decisions. At school, help children see how their individual accomplishments contribute to the wellbeing of the class as a whole.
Keep things in perspective and maintain a hopeful outlook
Even when your child is facing very painful events, help them look at the situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Although your child may be too young to consider a long-term look on their own, help them see that there is a future beyond the current situation and that the future can be good. An optimistic and positive outlook can enable children to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times. In school, use history to show that life moves forward after bad events, and the worst things are specific and temporary.
Look for opportunities for self-discovery
Tough times are often when children learn the most about themselves. Help your child take a look at how whatever they’re facing can teach them “what am I made of.” At school, consider leading discussions of what each student has learned after facing a tough situation.
Change often can be scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life and new goals can replace goals that have become unattainable. It is important to examine what is going well, and to have a plan of action for what is not going well. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.”
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about your child or if your family needs resources to help you through a difficult time. I am happy to help in any way I can.
815-838-0737, Ext. 1132
A Note from the Parent Liaison/Student Interventionist/Problem Solving Coach
It’s hard to believe that we have surpassed 100 days of school! In that time we have been very busy. We are moving right along in all curricular areas. Be sure to ask your child about all they have been learning.
Students have been learning about theme and text structure and have been applying those skills to the short stories in our Basal reader. They have also been learning vocabulary using the Word Wisdom series and have been applying spelling words in context.
Students have been learning about fractions.
Please work with your child on fact fluency.
Students can use the think central online component of the Go Math Series to practice concepts learned.
Students have been learning about plate tectonics.
Students have been learning about the Northeast region of the United States.
Please make sure your child is bringing in all necessary materials, including, but not limited to, pencil case, earbuds/headphones, and charged chromebook.
In math students have been working on multiplying and dividing fractions. Please continue to practice basic math facts with your child. In social studies students are wrapping up on their explorer project, and we will be moving onto learning about the 13 original colonies. In science students are learning about the sky. In reading we are studying vocabulary in our Sadlier books.
Please check Infinite Campus weekly for updated grades. Students who are hybrid should be bringing all their materials to school, as well as, writing utensils and headphones.
4th & 5th Grade Technology Class- Mrs. Lakics
4th and 5th grade students are working on understanding their Gmail inbox and how to correctly format and send an email. Students will focus on the different parts of an email, different parts of their inbox, email vocabulary, difference between an email and text, formal vs. informal language, and they will end by practicing formatting an email to show what they learned.
Lockport Area Special Education Cooperative
Mr. Whitcomb’s Opening Message TURNING PAGES...
It is hard to believe that we are already turning the page and moving into March. The months continue to fly by! As I enter page 126 of my Daily Lesson Plans, it never ceases to amaze me at how fast each school year goes. As each month continues to blink before our eyes, LASEC Academy continues on a positive trajectory of growth and achievement.
I look forward to what is in store as we finish the second trimester on a strong note. As we transition into the third trimester, there are many of great learning opportunities in store. Third trimester is also a time that signals warmer weather, which is always exciting (for me, anyways). February has truly reminded us what "normal" looks like, at least on the weather front in Chicago during this time of year.
With the vaccine distribution continuing to increase at a steadfast pace, I optimistically await the day that we have all our LASEC Academy learners back in the building for in-person instruction. Please continue to keep an eye on communication updates from our team, which will be delivered through email and/or ClassDojo, depending on family communication preferences.
As always, I thank you for your continued partnership. Stay safe and healthy!
Partners in education,
LASEC Academy Teaching and Learning Highlights…
In Mathematics, students are currently studying Section 11 of GoMath, which involves populations, random samples, percentiles, quartiles, dot, and box plots. Sixth grade students will be transitioning to Module 12, which involves analyzing relationships in two variables. Part of our study will also involve analyzing data within tables and graphing on a coordinate plane. In Science, we are currently finishing an extended research project on elements, molecular structure, compounds, and atoms. I look forward to sending the finalized projects home in the near future. All units provided are aligned specifically to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
In Language Arts, we are currently finishing up our extended novel study on "The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton. I have greatly enjoy working through this unit with learners. As we move into March, we will be reading the book "Goodbye Stranger," by Rebecca Stead. Throughout the reading, we will uncover key comprehension questions; learn vocabulary from the novel; take assessments to evaluate learner understanding; and construct short responses to a myriad of ideas presented in the text. We will also be moving into the research and information collection process and how research strengthens our writing. Lastly, we will continue to work on grammar, punctuation, capitalization, editing, and revising a variety of documents, through our grammar unit. Lastly, we will continue our work on Idioms.
In Social Studies, we have concluded our unit on the Roaring 20s and are currently learning about The Great Depression, exploring the curriculum available in Discovery Education. We have also worked on a "Heroes in History" project throughout the month, in celebration of Black History Month. Moving into March, we will be taking a brief step back in time to learn about the Ancient era, studying Ancient China, Egypt, Greece, India, and Rome. Later in March and into April, we will also be studying cultural history, as well.
For our rotating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) block, we will be diving deeper into our discussion on courage and positive mindset. We will also be completing interactive activities that develop effective problem-solving strategies. Meanwhile, for our rotating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) block, students will continue learning about careers for the future. We will also continue our work in typing, coding, and utilizing Google Apps for Education to increase efficiency and accessibility.
DAILY SELF-CERTIFICATION, VIA PARENT SQUARE
As a friendly reminder, on each day of in-person attendance, families will need to complete the "Self-Certification" form, via Parent Square. The screener is available between the hours of 7:00 pm (the night prior) to 7:30 am (on the day of attendance). Families do not need to complete this step on remote learning days.
Please remember to have students bring their Chromebooks to school each day, charged. Should the Chromebook need to be charged, we do have a limited number of outlets that learners can use.
Thank you for continued support! I am truly amazed at the dedication that our families have demonstrated this school year to make it a success.
Academy Quote of the Month
"Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today."
Junior High CAD
We have been reading many stories including folk tales, plays, and some fiction. In Math, we have been practicing time, money skills, fractions, graphs and area. In Science, we have learned about our 5 senses and how nerves bring all messages to our brains. We are also learning about the respiratory and circulatory systems. Our bodies are fascinating!
All of the students are continuing to strengthen their skills in language arts and math. Please continue to have your child read for 20 minutes every night and study vocabulary words. In social studies we are learning about the geography of the United States. In science we are learning about Earth’s water and atmosphere. Just a reminder that my office hours are daily from 2:30-3:00pm. I will be on my google meet during that time if you need to speak with me.
Students are preparing for the Illinois Assessment of Readiness. This test covers skills learned in Math, Reading, and Language Arts classes. The exact dates will be announced soon. For curriculum updates, please make sure you are receiving the weekly emails from the sixth-grade team. This will provide dates for tests and quizzes as well as important announcements for parents. Additional information can also be found on the teacher websites.
ELA will focus on I Will Always Write Back novel study, the students are really relating with each character in this true story. Please ask your student to share their thoughts and reactions with you as they go through this novel. Students will continue to work on their writing skills as we prepare for the IAR and MAP tests coming up in the next months. Short stories, poetry and narrative writing are in the upcoming weeks.
Throughout the month of March, students will be working on applying algebra to real life scenarios. Following algebra, students will proceed to the geometry unit! It seems appropriate to get in shape before the weather breaks.
Students have gone through the body, starting from the microscopic world of cells, to exploring how each of our body systems interact with each other. We have moved on to our chapter on Sensory Receptors. Here students see how our bodies respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories.
SOCIAL STUDIES Chapter 9 which includes the following; Washington’s Presidency, how the new congress began to set up a new government, Challenges to the new government, and explains how political parties began to grow. Chapter 10 brings Thomas Jefferson to the White House along with his changes and expanding the country.
Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop: https://www.sadlierconnect.com/@1952592
The students will be preparing to write their argumentative essays. They will also be reading the novel Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac. Students have been informed that they should presently be reading a novel of their choice for silent reading time.
Journal writing is done on a regular basis. Vocabulary study continues with the online Sadlier Connect program.
SOCIAL STUDIES - Discovery Education
Online Textbook: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/
Techbook - Civil War to Present
Students will explore multiple causes and impacts of WWI.
Online Textbook:http://stemscopes.com/ (login with school email and password)
The students have started a new unit. Earth’s Materials, Systems and Natural Hazards. We will be exploring the Rock Cycle, Weathering and Erosion, Geoscience Processes, and Natural Hazards that affect our planet.
Online Textbook:https://my.hrw.com/ (login with school email and password)
Students will start the month with a test over Unit 3 of the Go Math Grade 8 Series, Solving Equations and Systems of Equations. This is the final Algebra focused unit of the school year. They will then begin Unit 4, Transformational Geometry. Daily homework will be posted on the Google Classroom.
6th, 7th & 8th Grade Technology Class- Mrs. Lakics
6th, 7th, and 8th grade students are working on digital citizenship. Digital citizenship is the responsible use of technology by anyone who uses computers, the Internet, and digital devices to engage with others. 8th grade students are learning about their digital footprint and how to create a positive one that will help them in the future. 7th grade students are learning how to share with care. Students discuss and learn what they should share online and with who they should share it with when appropriate. 6th grade students are learning what phishing is, how to tell when something is to good to be true, and if something is fake.
We are just finishing up our winter fitness testing, and plan to start our volleyball and basketball units with the students. They will learn a variety of skills related to each sport and play socially distance lead-up games! We are excited to have sports back at KG and can’t wait to teach the students the skills they will need for the teams!
HAPPENINGS VIRTUALLY AND IN-PERSON FROM THE BAND ROOM:
We are continuing to focus on solos and ensembles in Intermediate and Concert Band! Some groups are getting close to being able to record their performance! I continue to hope that we can put together a virtual recital later in the year. We also continue to work on rhythmic independence, instrumental fundamentals, music theory, and individual growth. Students should be practicing at least 30 minutes 4 times a week. Musical success this year will come from attending lessons and individual practice.
Each week students need to complete the following for Concert Band and Intermediate Band:
Practice their instrument - recommended at least 4 times each week
Complete Practice Log and Lesson Assignment
Complete Google Classroom Assignment
I try to update Infinite Campus at least once a week, so please check there for missing or low scoring assignments.
Just a couple of reminders for those coming to school for lessons:
Make sure to bring your instrument, book(s), and binder for each lesson as I am unable to supply resources this year.
Don’t forget to bring your bell cover (oboe, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, and trombones), as the students cannot play without them. These covers should be washed each week between lessons.
Beginning Band will continue to work on rhythm, note reading, and music theory to prepare us for playing an instrument. We are going to be testing out the students on instruments in early March. Please watch for information coming home about how to rent an instrument and get the required supplies to get started. My goal is to have instruments in hand and students playing the first week of April!
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel to contact Mrs. Plagman at (815)838-0737x1139 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
KG Music News -
D91 Families: Making Music Together.
Check Music Web Pages for links to songs to sing and play together.
Contact Mrs. Randolph K-8 Music & KG Chorus Director Email: email@example.com PHONE: 815-838-0737 ext. 1140
Let’s SING! KG Choir starting March 2021
This Choir (Limited to 50 students) is Open to students in Grades 4-8 students who come in person to school (Green, Gold, Blue Sections). We are getting together to enjoy singing a variety of styles of music. There are no fees, no uniforms, no competitions nor trips this year - just lots of fun singing with some choreography.
Rehearsals: 1 day each week on Tuesdays (3:10-4:45 pm) in Feneli Gym when we have a full day of school
1 - Must follow school Health Screening Requirements PRIOR to coming to Choir
2 - ENTER (Green and Blue Groups enter through Door #2 for check-in at 3:10)
3 - MUST wear Masks at all times - keep all things with you in the bleachers
4 - NO Food, but may have personal water bottle with your name on EVERYTHING
5 - Be in your assigned place by 3:20
6 - SPORTS: excused at 4 pm for sports’ practices and from choir on game days
7 - ABSENCES: emailed to Mrs. Randolph by noon or ASAP day of rehearsal. Absences related to detentions, homework help, etc. are not excused. You are to take responsibility for your behavior and academic requirements. Try and schedule doctor appointments, music lessons, etc. on days when the choir does not rehearse.
ALL CHOIR MEMBERS will EXIT Rehearsals from KG Door #1.
Grades 4-8 Music Classes - Trimester 2 ENDS March 5
CONTINUED REQUEST: when contacting me, please include student’s first and last name, grade, and homeroom teacher. Thank you.
1 - have one WEEKLY Google Classwork check-in question to answer by the end of the first class they have that week. That grade will be averaged in at the end of the Trimester. Students have only one day to make up late work. After that all missing work will be a zero and can’t be made up.
2 - are to complete the assigned LESSON & GAME in Harmonic Vision - Music Maestro - referred to as MM
1 - have one DAILY Google Classwork check-in question to answer by the end of that day’s class. That grade will be averaged in at the end of the Trimester. Students have only one day to make up late work. After that all missing work will be a zero and can’t be made up.
2 - are to complete the assigned LESSON & GAME in Harmonic Vision - Music Maestro - referred to as MM
3 - are creating original music compositions using Noteflight software
The Art Update
Our fourth and fifth grade art classes have been focusing on a variety of design related art careers. We have covered Interior Design, Architecture, Industrial Design, and most recently Commercial Design. A Commercial Designer is an artist that designs the package we see in stores that are appealing to our eye, as consumers. Students will be tasked with creating a package from our Industrial design invention from last week OR they can redesign their favorite cereal, candy, or ice cream container or wrapper. We will also look at the awesome Commercial Art inspired paintings by Burton Morris.
Our junior high artists have been exploring the drawing skills required for portraiture. Students will learn basic shading techniques and how to utilize the tools that help achieve a variety of value within their work.
District 91 Art Teacher