Simon Elementary School Newsletter

Back to School Edition: August 2018

From the Principal: Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year

It's my hope that you have had a fantastic summer. As we near the beginning of our upcoming year, I am excited for the opportunities for learning and growth that await all of our learners!

If you happened to drive by the school this summer, you likely noticed that a great deal of work has been taking place in regard to building and grounds. Some of the work that has been completed this summer includes new windows and doors, new cafeteria flooring, new security systems, improved HVAC controls, and new paved surfaces. The work here at Simon is slated to be mostly complete by the start of school, with only minor finishing touches needed in a couple of areas.

Class lists for Simon and McNair will be posted at Simon on the front doors by the sign, on the doors adjacent to the office, and on the west doors off of the playground starting Friday, August 17th at 8:30 a.m.

As we get set to begin the year, I want to emphasize that the process of learning is most effective when there is a solid partnership between school and home. Some strategies you can use to help strengthen this collaborative effort include:

  • Contact the school when you have questions or need us to know something about your child.
  • Check bookbags daily for notes coming home from the classroom and respond as needed.
  • Create a time for your child to read or practice word work at home, roughly 15 minutes per day for grades K-2 .
  • Ask your child about his/her day. Go beyond asking, "How was your day?" Instead try, "What did you read about today," or "What was your favorite part about today," or even "What was the most exciting thing you learned?"
  • Attend parent/teacher conferences.
  • Volunteer within the school when possible.

If you are interested in ways that you can become active with your child's education or the school-at-large, please contact your child's teacher or the office.

I look forward to working with you in your child's education as we progress through the year.

Warmest regards,

Mr. Ben Hickerson, Simon Principal

Back to School Night and 1st Day of School

Back to School Night at Simon is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st from 4:00-5:30 p.m. This is a time for you and your child to drop off his/her school supplies, see the classroom, and say hello to your child's teacher. This night is not intended to be a time for conferencing. It is important to note that classrooms will not likely look as robust as they will even two weeks into school due to a shortened timeline with the construction that has taken place this summer.

Our first day of school for K-2 will be Wednesday, August 22nd.

The first day for preschool classes will be Thursday, August 30th. More important preschool dates are below.

Preschool information

Aug. 23: Preschool screening 12:00 - 6:00 p.m.

Aug. 24: Preschool screening 8:00 - 12:00 a.m.

Aug. 28: Parent orientation - 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Aug. 29: Meet the teacher - 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Aug. 30: First Day of Preschool classes

Our school day & attendance info

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Student School Hours 8:05 a.m. - 2:55 p.m

Breakfast 7:40-8:00 a.m.

Kindergarten-Grade 2 Earliest Student Arrival Time 7:40 a.m

K-2 Bus Dismissal 2:45p.m.

Kids Club/Parent Pickup/Walkers Dismissal 2:55 p.m.

Winnebago Special Education Cooperative Early Childhood/District At-Risk Preschool AM Session 8:05 a.m. -10:35 a.m. / PM Session 12:10 p.m. - 2:40 p.m.

If your child is ill or is not able to attend on a given day, please be sure to notify the office by calling 815-335-2318.

2018-2019 Parent/Student Handbook

The 2018-2019 Parent/Student Handbook is available on the school website. Please take some time to talk about the points covered in this document with your child. If you are not able to view it and would like a hard copy, please let the office know, and we will send one home. (Click here to access the handbook.)

Help is needed in our cafeteria

Looking to volunteer? Our kitchen staff relies on volunteer help to make things operate more smoothly. If you are interested, please visit our sign-up to reserve your time!

Stay up-to-date on happenings at our school

This school newsletter will be published monthly (usually the first Friday of the month) for all students who attend Simon Elementary and their families. Stories from this newsletter may also be posted on the district’s web site at

In the newsletter, you will find information about what is going on in classrooms and in the school. We hope that you share this information with your child and the rest of your family. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. The office hours will be M- F 7:15 am – 3:45 pm.

If you want a hard copy of this publication, please notify the office at 815-335-2318, and we will send a copy home with your child.

Many teachers use digital communication platforms such as Class Dojo. These are excellent ways to stay connected. Please also read the information below about Remind and also our social media information.

Keep in the loop with Remind

Remind is a is a free text messaging service that allows teachers and schools to communicate with parents. Once again this year, it will be used as a method of getting information about our school out to you. It will be used to send school-wide announcements and updates aimed at keeping you informed about what is going on at Simon Elementary.

If you are interested, follow these steps to register to receive Remind messages:

1. Click here for a link that will allow you access.


2. Text the message @dorothysi to the number 81010. If you’re having trouble with 81010, try texting @dorothysi to (815) 401-9303.


3. Click here for additional directions.

By joining your the group on Remind, you’re choosing to receive class messages via push notifications, SMS, or email. Contact information is kept confidential; your phone number will not be shared with anyone else in the group.

Once you have registered, you will begin receiving messages that are sent!

Upcoming calendar events


17 Kids Club registration @ Simon

20 Institute Day

21 Institute Day

21 Back to school night - 4:00-5:30

22 First day of student attendance K-2

23 Preschool screening 12:00 - 6:00

24 Preschool screening 8:00 - 12:00

28 Preschool parent orientation - 6:00-7:00

29 Preschool Meet the teacher - 1:00-2:00

30 First day Preschool student attendance


3 No School - Labor Day

6-7 Erin’s Law presentations

11 Fall Pictures

28 Early Release - 12:40

Preschool screening 3:30 - 6:30 p.m

Visit our social media sites!