Shark Tales

Southbury Elementary

May 2020

Administration Letter

Dear Shark Families,

It’s hard to believe that the 2019-2020 school year is already coming to an end! Although the end of the year did not go as anyone could have imagined, it truly still has been an amazing year --- lots of learning has taken place, friendships have developed and strengthened, and parent involvement continued to grow! We are so incredibly proud of our Shark family (students, parents & staff) and how we persevered through remote learning!

Several parents have asked about summer school opportunities for their children. Unfortunately, summer school will not occur for most elementary students. If your student is in 5th grade, please be sure to check out the district website at and on the right side is a banner that says: “2020 Summer School” for jr. high classes.

Thank you to everyone for an outstanding year! For the fifth graders who will be moving on to the junior high, we wish you the best of luck and will miss seeing your smiling faces everyday! We know you will be successful! For those who will be moving away and not returning to Southbury in the fall, we hope that you continue to excel at your new school. For those who will be returning to Southbury Elementary School in the fall, we can’t wait to see you back in August (hopefully in person)!

Everyone have a wonderful summer! Be sure to continue reading, writing, and stretching your brain! Go Sharks!

Samantha Sinovich


Jack Olson

Assistant Principal

Letter from the Front Office

Hello Shark Families!

The Front office is working hard on wrapping up the 2019-2020 school year and preparing for the 2020-2021 school year. Mrs. Sinovich and Mrs. Quick will be working over the summer months. Please call before you make the trip over as we may be out of the building and would not want to miss you. 630-551-9800. ☺

It is very important to review your child’s profile online with payment (via Pushcoin) to ensure that your child will be placed in a classroom for next year. Please remember that if you still need to provide us with proofs of residency and/or any other paperwork, your student will not be registered for the 2020/21 school year. Also, if your lease expired during the current school year or during the summer months, you will need to provide us with a copy of a current one. If you have any questions, please contact the front office. These documents can be emailed to me at or faxed to 630-551-9819.

Have a wonderful, healthy and safe summer break. See you in August! GOOOOOO Sharks!

Mrs. Hathaway and Mrs. Quick

Home and School Organization Happenings

Happy Summer Sharks!

Thank you for your support and participation during this unique 2019-2020 school year with all of our HSO events and activities. We can’t wait to make some fun and exciting plans for the upcoming school year!

Best of luck to all of the 5th, you will be amazing in Jr. High!

We hope you enjoyed looking through the school yearbooks! Thank you again to Stella Parthenios for all of her dedication and countless hours in creating these memories for all of our families.

Have a fabulous summer and we will see you all soon!

Sarah Brown and Kristy Stith

HSO Co-Presidents

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Kindergarten has been really enjoying our Google Hangout class meetings. During our meetings, we have had some fun visitors like Mrs. Rodino, Mrs. Sinovich, Coach Parr and the new Art teacher Mrs. R. We love seeing our kindergarteners smiling faces and love our conversations we get to have.

Reading/ Writing: We have been working on Opinion writing. Students wrote about their favorite dinosaur and why. We also reviewed question words and how to ask good questions about a text you have read. Students have been hard at work practicing their high Frequency words with fun hands on activities. Some are even working on First grade and Second grade words.

Math: Students have been focusing on their addition and subtraction facts. They have been working on building their fluency to 5 and 10. They have also been practicing their counting to 100 by 1’s and counting to 100 by 10’s.

Science/So.Studies: Kindergarteners have also been exploring the website of Brain Pop. This is a great website where they watch informational videos on science and So. Studies topics and can even take quizzes after. Coming up, we will be exploring the life cycle of the plants and learning about plants.

We can’t believe that our time is so close to being over with these kiddos. We are so incredibly proud of how much they have accomplished in this year but we are also so proud of how well they have adjusted to our new “normal” these last 2 months. THANK YOU PARENTS for your support and being our partner in educating your child through Remote Learning.

This will be a year we never forget!!

1st Grade

Hello first grade families! We cannot believe the year is already coming to a close! We want to thank you for all you have done to help your children with Google Classroom the past two months. We truly could not have done it without you!

Here are some highlights of what we have been learning in May:

  • Writing more opinion statements and reasons

  • Reviewing our high frequency words

  • Identifying and comparing 2D and 3D shapes

  • Reviewing basic addition facts and adding 1 and 2 digit numbers

We have absolutely loved having your children in our classrooms this year. This truly is a year we will NEVER forget! We hope you all have a wonderful, safe summer!

2nd Grade

It is so hard to believe that this is our last newsletter for the year! This year has just flown by! Unfortunately, this is not how we wanted our year together to end. We wanted to say thank you for all your time, effort, energy and patience that was put into our Remote Learning. We are so proud of the work your children accomplished and how responsible they have become.

In ELA, we finished our last unit. We have read the books, 68 Ways to Save the Planet Before Bedtime and On Meadowview Street. Through these books, the students understood and applied strategies they can use to improve their understanding of texts. In Writing, the students focused on understanding that opinions and reasons are connected. Students formulated their opinions on their favorite books and shared them during our Google Meet.

In Math, we finished time, measurement, shapes and fractions. Continue to practice these skills over the summer. In addition, please continue to have your child practice three digit addition and subtraction. You can continue to utilize Prodigy and espark.

In Science, we enjoyed our Mystery Doug lessons through our Remote Learning. As Mystery Doug says, “Stay curious!” :)

Summer ideas:

  • Prodigy

  • Review High Frequency Words

  • Visit the Public Library, when it opens back up, until then, use the resources shared by Mrs. Landers

  • espark

  • Reading and Writing for enjoyment!! ☺

Thank you for a great year best of luck to all our new 3rd Graders!


The Second Teachers

3rd Grade

Hello fabulous Shark Families! 3rd grade has been doing a great job with their e-learning. We know it has been challenging at times, but we did it! We have covered our ELA standards that included foundational skills and working with main idea and details. Students worked on opinion writing. In math, we practiced time intervals and looked at data. Also, we finished our geometry unit that included attributes of polygons.

The ¨Heroes of History Wax Museum¨ was always a highlight in 3rd grade and we were thrilled to still do it! The students picked a hero, completed research, and wrote a speech. Finally, they chose a way to present. Some recorded themselves dressed as their hero and reading their speech. Others created a poster or google slides. The third graders worked so hard and we are so proud of them! Thank you for a great year and we miss you.

4th Grade

May seemed to bring a welcome routine and rhythm to remote learning. The teachers learned -- from students, parents, and each other -- which assignments worked well and which applications they needed to let go of. The students adapted to new modes of learning, new types of assignments, and each morning, many students eagerly anticipated the next installment in a novel read aloud. Students and teachers stretched their technology skills.

A range of geometry concepts took center stage in math lessons during the month. Fourth graders clicked slides, drew pictures and emailed photos, and sang songs to show what they had learned about points, line segments, lines, rays, and various types of polygons. Teachers made and shared videos and slide show presentations demonstrating many of these concepts and skills. So in a sense, all fourth-grade students were taught by the entire fourth-grade team of teachers.

In ELA, the students refined their opinion writing skills, learned more about prefixes and suffixes, practiced making inferences in a text, and identified character traits and story setting details. The children had the chance to learn about the 13 English Colonies and the American Revolution.

Weekly Google Meets provided a consistent, but still too distant and infrequent, way to stay in touch and share news about new siblings and new pets. Sometimes it was just nice to see each other and wave hello.

Now, the teachers have cleaned out the children’s desks and packed their belongings into brown paper grocery bags labeled and stacked in alphabetical order. The homework from September and the aged snacks -- including a cheese stick and a shriveled tangerine -- went in the garbage. The classrooms are quiet, and the school is empty. We won’t get the chance to say a proper goodbye to the friends we love so dearly, but that makes us all the more hopeful and excited to see the children next year as fifth graders!

Have a great summer!

5th Grade

Happy May Shark Families! This time of year is always bittersweet for us in fifth grade. Even though we were not able to celebrate our 5th graders the way we usually do at Southbury, the 5th grade teachers were able to bring a smile to their faces from a distance. The teachers teamed up with our wonderful HSO and delivered signs congratulating each student on completing elementary school and wishing them luck next year in junior high. We completed ELA through remote learning focusing on main idea and opinion writing. In math we completed our final units on geometry focusing on polygons, volume, and measurement conversions. We enjoyed seeing our students on Google Hangouts each week and hearing about their adventures in quarantine. Finally our fabulous principal Mrs. Sinovich created a farewell video of all the students saying “Goodbye” to Southbury. It was not the same as the traditional parade through the hallways, but it was a perfect way to celebrate our 5th graders. We finished another great year, definitely a memorable one, and the fifth grade teachers wish all fifth graders good luck next year and hope they will visit again soon! Have a great summer and GO SHARKS!


Dear STARS Families,

We wanted to let you know how proud we are of each of you for working so hard during remote learning! This has been a challenging time for us all and everyone has done an amazing job through it all. Also, huge shout out to our “co-teachers” during remote learning...parents! We know many of you have had to juggle so many different roles during this time and are so appreciative of everything you’ve done to help our students continue to learn and grow.

It breaks our hearts that we are not with you all to end the year and say “goodbye”, but please know that we are so grateful to have been your teachers this school year! Here is a short and sweet “goodbye” from each of us STARS teachers:

-To Miss Bolton’s class: Thank you for making my life brighter! I was so lucky to have been your teacher this year. Even though the school year is over, here are a few gifts to keep with you: use your coping skills, always be you, keep smiling, and NEVER give up! Good luck in your new schools! Love, Miss Bolton

-To Mrs. Dunne’s class: I am so proud of you all for all of your hard work this year! I feel so blessed to have been able to teach each one of you and watch you grow. Thank you for the smiles, laughs, hugs, and memories! I miss you all so much and hope everyone has a wonderful summer! Please keep in touch; & I hope to see you all soon! Love, Mrs. Dunne

-To Miss Jungels’ class: It was an unusual year for sure and is ending less than ideal, but it was so fun to know and teach all of my sweet students this year! I loved the giggles, hugs, and fun I had with this class and I hope everyone has a great summer! I’ll miss you! -Miss Jungels

-To Mrs. Kurth’s class: Have a great summer Kurth kiddos! I had a wonderful year with you all and miss you so much. Please stay in touch, take time to relax and read!

-To Miss Lynch’s class: We have had a year filled with laughs, learning, and adventure. I miss you all greatly and I hope you all have a great summer! Go Sharks! -Miss. Lynch

-To Mrs. Wilson’s class: I am so proud of all my students! Have fabulous adventures this summer. I can not wait to see all of you in the fall!

Have a FINtastic summer!! Enjoy spending time with your families. We miss you and hope to see you soon! :)

~Your STARS Teachers


We want to take a moment to wish everyone a safe and happy summer. We’ve missed seeing our students shining faces in class daily. If you need any support during the summer please feel free to reach out to your child’s ESL teacher. Have a great break!

Mrs. Serio


Alyssa Ahlstrom

630-551- 9885

Gifted Education

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Speech and Language

May is Better Speech and Hearing Month

There are over 123,00 Speech Language Pathologists in the world. Almost half of them work in schools!

School Speech-Language Pathologist Work on Many Areas Including:

Articulation- Saying different sounds, such as R and L.

Voice- Focusing on the sound of your voice and remediating vocal abuse such as a hoarse or raspy voice.

Stuttering- Targeting strategies for fluent speech.

Language- Higher order language skills, vocabulary, grammar, syntax etc.

Pragmatics- Eye contact, turn-taking, peer-to-peer socialization, coping strategies, etc.

Augmentative Communication- The use of alternative devices such as picture symbols, sign language, and technology to communicate.

Phonology/Phonemic Awareness- Pre-reading skills, sound letter awareness, phoneme segmentation, blending, etc.

Executive Functioning- Organization, sequencing, problem solving, etc.

Mrs. Debbie Convey


Mrs. Kelly Okel


Mrs. Stephanie Tarmann



Check it Out!

It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of the school year already. This has certainly been a year to remember! In the experiences of joining Google Classroom Meets, it has been amazing to see how well the students and parents have adjusted distance learning! We have all learned so much together.

Hearing from several students, it been exciting to the enthusiasm about summer reading. Summer reading logs for the Monarch and Bluestem books can be found under the LRC tab of the Southbury Elementary School website.

Lastly, there is a reading program that Mrs. Landers and Mrs. Witcpalek would like to share with you that has been created by Scholastic called Home Base. Home Base is an online environment where children can meet their favorite book characters, write stories, and hang out with other readers in a safe, moderated space. Many favorite authors will host live events in Home Base. Parents, teachers, and students are encouraged to log in and participate. We hope you will join Mrs. Landers and Mrs. Witcpalek in this fun adventure.

Travel a lot this summer. Open a book and let the adventure begin!

~Mrs. Witcpalek and Mrs. Dietz

From the Reading Department

Check out the 2020 Summer Book Lists!

Keep Reading,

Mrs. Landers and Mrs. Townsend


Hello Shark families, I cannot believe how fast the last few weeks have gone by!! I want to take this opportunity to first thank all of you, E-learning(especially for art) would not have been possible without your support. I have had the unique opportunity of being introduced to your children only through their artwork and I truly appreciate the time you have taken to send in their assignments. I would always look forward to seeing the pictures of their artwork,some of which were turned in within a few hours of the assignment being posted! We have more than 120 published artworks on Artsonia as of May 14th, Great going, Sharks!!

During the month of May our students worked on different art/craft projects like Fun with numbers, art based on a book they read, cityscape based on Rizzo’s painting, mother’s day arts and crafts,crafting with nature,silhouette painting,making a milk carton bird feeder,Foil embossed art,Henna art, chalk art, 3-D art, DIY play dough and much more. I have enjoyed creating these lesson plans and from the feedback I have received, I am happy that they enjoyed making them too. It’s been an incredible teaching experience,one that will remain with me forever, I will definitely miss being a part of the Shark family. Have a great summer and hope you continue creating art.


Hello Shark families! The students have been doing a wonderful job with our e-learning activities. Students have been listening to different songs each week and reflecting. My goal is that your students are exposed to new songs and new genres of music through these activities. While it is not what we originally planned, I have loved reading your reflection answers this past month. I feel that I have learned many new things about all of you and that we can keep connecting through music! I hope you all have a great summer and I look forward to the day where I get to see all of your smiling faces in person!

Physical Education

Southbury student athletes have been doing a fantastic job with their virtual PE activities! It has been awesome seeing all the great videos from students about how they are staying active and having fun during our stay at home time. Be on the lookout during the last week of school for our virtual field day games! We hope you have a great time!!! Be safe and Go Sharks!

News from Nurse Sara

Wow, can you believe we are done with school? Remember we all miss seeing everyone at Southbury!

Medication pick up: Any student who has had medication(s) stored in the health office must have a parent/guardian pick up medications by the last day of the school year. Any medications that are not picked up will be disposed of. We are starting student belonging pick up the week of May 18-21st. Please pick up your child’s belongings in the back of the school first (per the alphabetical schedule created). Then drive to the front of Southbury, by the main entrance. You will see me waiting with the bag of medication(s), and a form to sign off the returned medication.

2020-2021 Annual Health History- The health history forms are now being added to the online registration process. Be sure to complete this for your child. It is important to keep medical information up to date.

Required Medical Documents: The required documents for the upcoming school year include:

Kindergarten: Physical with up to date immunizations, dental, exam, and vision exam.

2nd graders: Dental exam

Medical documentation- The SD 308 website has Asthma Action Plans, Food Allergy Emergency Action Plans, and the School Medication Authorization Form available to print. These must be received before the first day of the upcoming school year along with any medications the student will need.

Clothing sent in will be sent home the last week of school. Thank you for washing and returning borrowed clothing as well!

I hope everyone goes out and enjoys the warm weather over the summer. I will provide my contact information below in case you are in need of forwarding any missing health forms to me. The best way to do so, considering our current situation, will be via email.

Nurse Sara

(630) 551-9802

Social Work

Coping with Social Distancing: 6 Ideas for Kids-Adapted from Pediatric Associates

Social distancing has been embraced around the globe as the most effective way to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. But for children, the inconveniences of social distancing may be harder to understand, and harder to accept. Younger children may struggle with the idea that they can’t go play with friends or visit communal destinations like their local playground. Older children, meanwhile, may struggle to spend all of their time at home instead of interacting with their friends. If you’re looking for ideas, here are six to consider.

  1. Set up video chats with their friends, aka “virtual play dates.”

Online video sessions are one of the best ways to help kids stay in touch with friends while respecting the rules of social distancing. Depending on the age and school of your children, they may already be using Skype, Zoom and other video messaging tools to meet with classmates and teachers in virtual classrooms. But children can also use video conferencing technology to host video chats that are purely for fun. As a parent, you can help set up and organize these play dates so that kids continue to get the social interaction they crave.

  1. Throw a Netflix movie party.

Netflix parties are made possible through a simple Google Chrome extension that lets you steam the same Netflix show in unison with your friends. You can even hold a live online chat during the show to mimic the experience of watching the movie in the same room, even though everyone will be safe and sound at their own homes.

  1. Write letters or make art to mail to friends.

Teach children the joys of old-fashioned interaction and correspondence: While everyone is stuck at home, use the postal service to send letters to friends, as well as artwork that can be mailed without a trip to the post office.

This activity can help keep kids busy and relatively quiet while also providing an inventive new way to interact with friends and family.

  1. Use computers and mobile devices to play games with friends.

Whether or not you allow video games in your house during normal day-to-day life, this can become a valuable outlook for entertainment and interaction during periods of social distancing. Help your kids go on your computer, mobile devices, or a video game console and connect with their friends virtually. It may not be your ideal method of having kids interact with others, but given the limited circumstances, it can be a lifesaver for both children and their parents.

  1. Find safe spaces to enjoy the outdoors.

Going outside can be challenging if you live in a high-density neighborhood where other people are crowding sidewalks and public spaces. But if you have easy access to empty outdoor spaces, going outside can be a great way to get your kids some fresh air, exercise, and stimulation outside of the home.

“Staying indoors isn’t required as long as you take certain precautions when going outside,” says Dr. Alexander. “If you have a private backyard, that’s an ideal space that will prevent you from running into other people. But sidewalks, trails, walking paths and outdoor spaces can all be safe spaces as long as you stay six feet away from other people. And avoid playgrounds, since there’s a small chance that the virus can be transmitted by touching contaminated surfaces like playground equipment.”

  1. Make sure kids have time and space to themselves.

Being quarantined at home can be stressful for everyone involved, and claustrophobia can set in among any member of the household. But older children can be particularly affected by the inability to steal away time for themselves and enjoy moments of quiet and solitude. As much as they might miss their friends, they may also be in need of alone time. To whatever extent possible, try to find ways to give your children the space they’re seeking while ensuring that they stay inside and don’t risk unnecessary exposure to the virus.

Children of any age can struggle with the limitations created by quarantines and social distancing. As a parent, you might not be able to address these frustrations entirely, but you can give them the outlets they need to cope with these circumstances and continue interacting with their friends during this difficult time.




Contact Information:

Tanya Gryniak, MSW


Kristin Epstein, LCSW