Walden Weekly

School News You Can Use!

October 9, 2020
Good Afternoon Walden Families,

It's been a busy week at Walden School! We thank you for your continued support and partnership as we work to keep our Wildcat students safe. Please ensure that you are setting a high bar for safety in our community on Walden grounds and beyond. If you are here for drop-off or pick-up, please ensure that you and any younger siblings are wearing a mask. Also, please maintain social distancing with those around you. These precautions will go a long way as we continue to work as a team for student safety.

I have included many important announcements below. Thank you in advance for taking the time to stay informed.

Have a great weekend and we will see you on Tuesday!

Stephanie Strenger, Walden Principal

Library Update

As all grade levels have now returned to school, we have adapted our Library Book Exchange routines.

What is the same: Book Bundle Menu choices (Grades K-1) and Destiny Holds (Grades 2-5) will still be due on Tuesdays by 3:30 pm for both in-school and remote learners.

What is different: Books will be delivered to and picked up from students IN SCHOOL on Thursdays. Remote Pick-up will be for remote learners ONLY.

What is new: Remote students can pick up their books in the lobby anytime after noon on Thursday. Books can be picked up anytime during the school day. They can be picked up any day, not just Thursday. Books may also be returned in the lobby.

Halloween Update

As expected Halloween 2020 will look very different than it has in the past. Following our safety protocols we will not have a Halloween parade this year nor will we have volunteers in our classrooms. Students are invited to come to school in a costume. Below are the requirements for wearing a costumes at school:

  • Nothing is to be worn on the face (e.g. costume masks, make-up etc.) as this could impact the effectiveness and comfort of the required face covering.
  • Please do not send students with accessories (e.g witches broom, wand, etc).
  • Please make sure that your child is able to sit comfortably in their costume for nearly 2 1/2 hours (we ask that students not wear the inflatable costumes).

Families who are not comfortable sending their child in costume, please reach out to your child's teacher so that we can be sensitive to you or your child's feelings about dressing up for Halloween. We want everyone at Walden to feel comfortable.

DPS 109 On Site COVID Testing: How It Works

Veteran's Day

Though we are not able to celebrate our beloved Walden Veterans Day Assembly in person this year, we are still committed to helping all of our learners understand the meaning behind Veterans Day. We will be putting together a video that teachers will share with their students and are looking for some input from our Walden community vets!

If you or a family member are a veteran and would be interested in participating, please contact: Kelly Jakymiw (kbandur@yahoo.com). We would then work on recording a brief message from that special vet in your life to compile into the school wide video!

Thank you so much for your support!

MAP Testing

Starting next week (and continuing for the next few weeks), our district will engage in ELA and Math MAP testing. More specific testing information will be communicated by your child's teacher. Students who have returned to school will take these assessments in person. Students who are continuing to learn virtually will take these assessments remotely. K-1 students learning virtually will continue to receive communication directly from Dr. Schwartz, our Assistant Superintendent for Teaching, Learning, and Innovation.

For those students taking the test remotely, it is incumbent upon me to share the following reminders:

1) This is an adaptive assessment that provides helpful information to teachers regarding your child’s instructional strengths and areas of need. While you may assist your child getting logged into the testing session, please do not provide any assistance once the test has begun (ie. answering questions, defining or sounding out words, etc). Letting your child take this test independently will show our teachers exactly where they are in their learning journey, and helping your child will actually do more harm than good.

2) There can be no taking images, screen recording, or screenshots of test items

3) There can be no use of other devices or resources (cell phones, calculators, books, search engines, etc).

We appreciate your cooperation as your partner in learning!

Traffic Patterns

Please obey all street signs around Walden School. We need to make sure that we are keeping our community safe as traffic around our school has increased due to school reopening. Thank you!

Self-Certification Forms (2nd Posting)

Please remember to fill out the self-certification form each morning by 7:45am if your child attends in-person learning. It is difficult for our office staff to reach out to individual families each morning. If you do not certify your child, we have to certify them at the door which delays their entrance into the building.

We have created simple links that you are welcome to save and use each day:

bit.ly/walamsc (AM Students)

bit.ly/walpmsc (PM Students).

If you're interested in making this link as easy to access as possible, you may add it to either your iPhone or Android device by watching the following videos:

Thank you for your partnership in this process!

Safety Eyewear (2nd Posting)

As an added layer of precaution, all students are being provided safety eyewear in their classrooms. If you would like your child to wear them, they are welcome to, however we are only requiring face coverings for students and staff. Please speak with your child if you would like them to wear the safety eyewear and feel free to alert the classroom teacher as well.

Late Items (2nd Posting)

The Walden Office will not be accepting late items to school unless they are imperative to students (ex: glasses, hearing assistive technology, etc.). Items like water bottles, student devices, or folders will not be walked to student classrooms in order to reduce the amount of transferring and passing out of belongings. Our teachers have extra devices in the classroom just in case a student forgets one for the day. Thank you for your understanding!

Health Requirements (3rd Reminder)

We recognize and are mindful of the fact that many families may have had difficulty getting children in for physical, dental, and eye exams as the COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges to routine medical care; however, at this time, all child-health related requirements for school attendance, remain in effect for children in public, private, or parochial schools, as per 105 ILCS 5/27-8.1.

Health-related examinations and immunization requirements are due no later than October 15. There is no language in the Code that differentiates on-site/physical learning vs. remote/distance learning. Therefore all students are required to have the necessary documentation completed by October 15.

At this point in time you will have already received communication from our building nurse if your child is currently missing the required documentation. Students not in compliance with the health examination and immunization requirements will be excluded from school beginning Thursday, October 15, 2020. Please reach out with any questions as we want to partner with you to ensure compliance with these requirements. Thank you.

Upcoming Dates

  • Oct. 12 - Columbus Day (No School)
  • Oct. 15 - All Health Forms Due
  • Nov. 3 - Election Day (No School)
  • Nov. 11 - Veterans Day (No School)
  • Nov. 23 - Evening Parent Conferences (School In Session)
  • Nov. 24 - Daytime Parent Conferences (No School)
  • Nov. 25 - Nov. 27 - Thanksgiving Break (No School)

Community Events

For additional events and opportunities in our community, please visit our community fliers page on our website at dps109.news/communityfliers.