Carpenter Courier

August 29, 2019

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Principal's Corner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome back to all of our Carpenter students and families! We are welcoming 23 new students to our school this year (1st-5th) and 58 Kindergartners. For all of you wondering out there, Carpenter has 449 students this year in total. We are so excited to have the opportunity to work with all of your children on a daily basis.

Despite the rainy first day, it's been a terrific week. On opening day, our Kindergartners had the opportunity to come to school with their families to see their classrooms and meet their teachers. While they were orientating to school, Ms. Creehan, Mrs. Huerta (Head Lunch Supervisor), and I hosted grade level "Expectation Stations" throughout the building to welcome back our students and review expectations for lunch, recess, and all other school areas. The children were exceptionally behaved, polite, and great listeners. In their classrooms, children set up their learning areas, created their own classroom management expectations, and got to know their new teachers and classmates. Our specials schedule is up and running, so we're already starting to get our routines established.

Our Kindergarten and 1st graders are being assessed with short timed curriculum based measurements in early literacy and numeracy. This is giving our teachers a good idea of where they currently are at so we know exactly how to guide our instruction. Next week, our 2nd-5th graders will take Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to help guide our instruction in those grades and set goals for the year. The following week we will have a Safety Week that is described below.

We are hopeful that you can all join us at Parent Night on Thursday, September 5th at 6:00 p.m. I don't know who on earth scheduled it the same night the Bears are opening their season against Green Bay, but most of us should get home by the end of the first quarter. Really, only the 5th Grade Camp Duncan meeting will still be taking place during the game. I apologize in advance for Mrs. Fuller wearing her Packers jersey that day.


Mr. Brett Balduf, Principal

Carpenter Elementary School

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For the first trimester, FALL FRIENDLY, we're highlighting our Life Rule of Respectful. With the start of school and as we are setting our expectations, it lends itself to the importance of being nice to each other, being kind. Students are working with their classroom teachers in setting classroom rules and most of their rules involve the importance of respect. So, as you are at home, help us to reinforce kind behaviors from your children. "Catch 'em being good" and praise/reinforce kind behaviors to help them generalize the skill. It is important for us to teach these pro-social behaviors and not assume that children innately understand kind behaviors. Help us to promote SO KIND SEPTEMBER.


This year, our staff chose and voted on our theme for the year: CAWow. We'll be looking to recognize our WOW moments throughout the year. We look forward to sharing our CAWow moments with you in all different ways! (For our Twitter users, look for #CAWow)

Parent Night

We are trying something a little new with Parent Night this year. We do understand that it is challenging when you have a couple to a few students in our school. In the past, the times were staggered to try to provide different sessions, but it really wasn't working out that well anyway. This year, all of our staff are here from 6:00-7:15 p.m. For the first 30 minutes, feel free to stop by our specials, Channels of Challenge, the library, special education/intervention personnel, etc. Ms. Creehan and I can also show you our newly remodeled office. All grade-level presentations will take place between 6:30-7:00/7:15 with the night officially ending at 7:15 p.m. Some teacher presentations may be anywhere between 30-45 minutes. The 5th Grade Camp Duncan Informational meeting will begin when all 5th-grade teacher presentations are complete between 7:00-7:15 p.m. and should only last about 20 minutes. It will take place in the auditorium.

Please keep in mind that this is not the time to ask the teacher about your child's individual performance or share information. Our teachers are trying to provide an overview of their classrooms, their procedures, the schedule, and their curriculum. It's challenging for them to try to have individual conversations with families, so you can always contact them via email to coordinate information sharing. Thank you.

Stuff the Squad and Donuts at Dropoff

Speaking of So Kind September, to start out the year, we're asking our children and Carpenter Families to join us in supporting giving back to those in need. On Friday, August 30th, the Park Ridge Police Department and AM Kiwanis will have a police car on our north and south blacktops at 8:30 a.m. collecting food donations that will be provided to our local food pantry. When we "Stuff the Squad," we'll be looking for canned and boxed goods, i.e. pancake mix, syrup, brownie mix, cake mix, pasta, pasta sauce, Mac n Cheese, etc. When your child arrives at school, they can bring their item to the squad car. It will be a nice community event in the morning before school. This event is in conjunction with the week-long program Mariano's coordinates with our police department.

Additionally, meet our PTO and get additional information at Donuts at Dropoffs. Our PTO will have a table set-up on the south blacktop and will have treats and terrific conversation about their fabulous efforts to support our school.

New Staff Additions - Since Last Update

Mrs. Erin Dyckman (Speech/Language Therapist) - We welcome Mrs. Dyckman's many years of experience providing speech/language services from Roosevelt School. Mrs. Dyckman has already started her schedule and is meeting and getting to know her students.

Mrs. Elena Ward (Assistant) - A former Carpenter lunchroom supervisor, Mrs. Ward comes to us from District 63 where she was a bi-lingual reading teacher assistant. She is replacing Mrs. Mancuso who retired.

Mrs. Aimee Bergeron (Spanish) - Mrs. Bergeron has been subbing in the district and last year filled a literacy intervention position at Field. Mrs. Higgs accepted a full-time position in another district.

Randy Smith (Custodian) - One of our new night custodians, Randy joins us from Lincoln. He is replacing Steve Hernandez who is now working over at Washington.

Board Meeting at Carpenter - Monday, September 23rd

This year, the Board of Education will be meeting at Carpenter on Monday, September 23rd at 7:00 p.m. This gives our Board a wonderful opportunity to see first-hand the awesome changes that have taken place with our building this year. This is the one time a meeting will be hosted at Carpenter. It is a great opportunity to come out to a Board Meeting to understand how it operates and learn more about local governance.

PTO Back to School Event: Volunteers Needed

Our Back to School Event - Aladdin Movie is in need of volunteers! Help make this event a success by volunteering for an hour or two. This is a fun and easy way to meet families, have fun with your kids, and help make this event run smoothly! Questions? Contact Jenny Adams if you have any questions about a specific slot at

This event is a great way for your tweens/teens to earn any needed service hours!

Click here to volunteer:

Back to School Movie Night

Save the Date! Carpenter's Back to School Movie Night will be held on September 13th at 6:30 p.m. Tickets will be available for purchase soon. More details to follow. Volunteers will be needed.


If you have a question about transportation, please email