Caruso Connect - October 27th
Caruso Middle School is an inclusive and vibrant community where Blue Jays
take ownership of their social-emotional and academic growth by supporting,
challenging, and celebrating self and others.
Good Evening Blue Jay Families:
Thank you to those that were willing and able to attend our conferences. It was great to see so many families in attendance. We will have them again on March 21st and 22nd. If you have any feedback on them, please reach out to any of us.
As a last reminder, please make sure that you are aware of our dress-up guidelines for Halloween that can be found in this newsletter.
Have a great weekend!
Tim, Alli, Marcia & the Caruso Staff
Tim Brodeur - Principal - firstname.lastname@example.org
Alli Waller - Associate Principal - email@example.com
Marcia Klita - Coordinator of Student Support - firstname.lastname@example.org
Coffee With Caruso
Join us for coffee w/ Caruso; a way for the adults in our students' lives to build stronger connections with us at Caruso. Space is limited to 25 people per event. Please RSVP by calling the Caruso Main Office at 847-945-8430. Thanks to the PTO for Sponsoring Coffee.
Blue Jays of the Week
D109 Food and Supply Drive
Optional Cold Weather PE Gear
Last call for the optional cold weather gear for PE! The online store will close November 5th!
If there are any questions, please reach out to your student's PE teachers.
Physical Education/Health Curriculum
As part of the Physical Education/Health curriculum at Caruso, your child will take part in lessons designed to develop life-long health habits. Topics are aligned with the National Health Education Standards (NHES), which are designed to help establish, promote and support health-enhancing behaviors. Middle school units of instruction are as follows:
Social and Emotional Health (6th Grade)
Nutrition (6th Grade)
Mental Health (7th Grade)
Injury Prevention & Safety (7th Grade)
Violence Prevention (8th Grade)
Substance Abuse & Prevention (8th Grade)
Specific sexual health topics are addressed in partnership with outside agencies. In February, 8th grade classrooms partner with Candor Health for a live virtual session called Teen Sexual Health. Similar to the 5th grade session titled Puberty I, an on-demand parent webinar will be provided prior and an opt-out made available. In April, speakers from Childhood Victories, Inc. provide age-appropriate presentations focused on sexual-assault and abuse awareness (Erin’s Law). This program occurs for all grades and an opt-out is made available. While not a stand-alone unit, sexual health topics may be discussed in Health classrooms as a result of student questions or in connection to related topics. If parents/guardians have concerns, they should email their child’s PE teacher no later than November 10th.
Signs of Suicide (SOS) program
(Communicated 10/26/23 via email)
Dear Parent or Guardian:
The adolescent years are marked by a roller-coaster ride of emotions – difficult for students, their parents and educators. It is easy to misinterpret depression as “normal” adolescent moodiness; however, depression (among the most common of mental illnesses) appears to be occurring at a much earlier age. Depression – which is treatable – is a leading risk factor for suicide. In addition, self-injury has become a growing problem among youth.
To proactively address these issues, Caruso Middle School is offering depression awareness and suicide prevention training as part of the Signs of Suicide (SOS) program. The program aims to increase help-seeking behaviors among students concerned about themselves or a friend. Listed on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, the SOS program showed a reduction in self-reported suicide attempts by 40-64% in randomized control studies (Aseltine et al., 2007 & Schilling et al., 2016).
Our goals in participating in this program are straightforward:
To help our students understand that depression is a treatable illness
To explain that suicide is a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
To provide students with the training on how to identify serious depression and potential suicidality in themselves or a friend
To impress upon youth that they can help themselves or a friend by taking the simple step of talking to a responsible adult about their concerns
To help students know whom in the school they can turn to for help, if they need it
This program will be presented to our 6th to 8th graders during the week of November 13th. The SOS program is brought to us by Elyssa’s Mission, a nonprofit organization dedicated to suicide prevention. Elyssa’s Mission is the only organization in the state of Illinois to fund, distribute and implement SOS. To get more information on suicide prevention, visit their website at www.elyssasmission.org. Make sure to view their online Parent Presentation at https://elyssasmission.org/for-parents/ for specific information on warning signs and how to keep your child safe. We also encourage you to visit www.sossignsofsuicide.org/parent for information on warning signs for youth suicide, useful resources, and some of the key messages students will learn.
As part of the program, facilitators, which includes our social workers, counselors, psychologists and P.E. Teachers, will show SOS video clips and lead students in discussion. Students will then complete a brief depression screener, as well as fill out a Response Card indicating whether or not they would like to speak to an adult about themselves or a friend. The depression screening tool addresses thoughts and feelings which a parent may be unaware their child is having. This tool does not provide a diagnosis of depression, and rather alerts school staff to those students requiring further investigation. School mental health staff or a qualified community mental health partner will be available to meet with designated students; school staff will subsequently notify parents/guardians regarding any needed next steps.
If you have any questions and/or do NOT want your child to participate in the SOS program, please contact your student's grade level counselor (6th:Mr. Remeniuk email@example.com, 7th Ms. Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org, or 8th: Ms. Wynn email@example.com) prior to November 10th. If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child has permission to participate in this program.
Save The Date: 109 Gives Back Food Drive Starts November 3rd!
Our 3rd annual 109 Gives Back Food & Supply Drive kicks off in just a few weeks on November 3rd! Check those pantries and look for more information in the weeks to come!
Our school will be looking to collect:
Breakfast food items: Cereal, Oatmeal, Raisins, Dried Fruit, Juice boxes, Apple Sauce, Fruit cups, Coffee/Tea, and Jelly/Jam
ReferralGPS is a web-based service focused on assisting our community in finding local mental health and substance use-related treatment. You are invited to use this interactive tool at https://referralgps.com/find-help/D109 to search for treatment resources or connect with a Care Navigator anonymously. The platform has the ability to filter by mental health concern, clinician gender/specialty, location, and insurance acceptance. The service is available for all types of private and public insurance options including PPO, HMO, Medicaid, and families that are uninsured or underinsured. ReferralGPS is available for use by district students, staff, and families at no cost. All information entered on the ReferralGPS tool is completely confidential and securely stored. Please note, this service is an optional resource available by choice and is not mandatory in any way.
UPCOMING DISCUSSION: HOW TO RAISE AN ADULT
Deerfield Parent Network, in partnership with Districts 113, 109 and 112, is pleased to announce Julie Lythcott-Haim’s presentation, “How to Raise Successful Kids” on November 30th at 7:30 pm at Deerfield High School’s Auditorium. Julie Lythcott-Haim is the New York Times best selling author of “How to Raise an Adult''. Drawing on research; conversations with admissions officers, educators, and employers; and on her own insights as a mother and as a student dean, Julie Lythcott-Haims highlights the ways in which over-parenting harms children, their stressed-out parents, and society at large. Mark your calendars - this is sure to be a great program!
RSVP LINK: RSVP HERE
Caruso Halloween Guidelines
Caruso welcomes students to express their creative side and dress for Halloween while in school on Tuesday, October 31st. However, the following criteria are in place to ensure a safe and inclusive environment.
Families should have full knowledge of what their child will wear for school on October 31st.
Students should not wear costumes that turn someone’s identity into a stereotype.
Students can only apply make-up, spray colored hairspray, or put on costumes at home.
Students will not be permitted to wear any type of mask or any other costume that will obstruct the learning environment at school.
School rules for dress will apply. Students should not wear anything that has a sexual connotation or would be considered inappropriate dress.
Students should respect political views and religious beliefs.
Costumes that promote graphic violence are not permitted.
Students should not use costume props of a violent nature, such as toy guns, toy knives, and/or toy swords, to name a few.
Please be mindful of the impact of group costumes. We want to promote the social-emotional well-being of all students. If your child is participating in a group costume, please remind them to consider others and not intentionally exclude anyone.
Lake County STEM for Girls Conference
We are excited to share that the Lake County STEM for Girls Conference is back! The conference hosts women from various STEM fields who work with the attending students by engaging in hands-on activities with real-world applications. Each session is interactive and inspiring! Girls in grades 6th-8th are invited to attend.
We have a STEM fair (with lots of goodies) and also invite parents/guardians to attend adult sessions to learn more about saving for college, how to support students in high school academic paths, and mindfulness. We have a fantastic keynote and an enthusiastic closing for both students and parents!
Caruso Bell Schedules
Mrs. Klita, District Coordinator of Student Support
8th Grade at St. Robert Bellarmine School
Mr. Brodeur, Principal
8th Grade at Winston Campus
Mrs. Waller, Associate Principal
8th Grade at Hester Junior High