The Hawk

Holmes Elementary School - Week Ending - 10/12/2018

So What is this Leader in me stuff anyway?

About 3 years ago, Dr. Kelley led a community book chat on The Leader in Me (LIM). It was about the time I was interviewing for the principal position at Holmes. I joined the book chat and instantly bought into the philosophy and how it empowers students and teachers to truly be leaders.

There were also several Holmes staff that participated in the community book chat and this became a topic of discussion at PBIS meetings and school improvement planning meetings. We specifically discussed the district vision of creating a positive learning environment that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. What we found was how well the LIM framework aligned with our vision and provided opportunities for our students to have a voice and to have choice.

Our PBIS team developed the structure for our Hawk Nest program.The nests were designed to build and strengthen our school's culture and climate and to foster our students sense of belonging. During the 2017-2018 school year, we focused on reteaching school-wide behavior expectations and social-emotional learning standards such as problem solving and empathy. Our nests have been a huge success and are a favorite day each month for our students and our staff.

In February 2018, several staff members and parents participated in site visits to schools in other districts who have adopted the LIM framework. Our visits inspired staff to share what they learned with the entire Holmes staff and at the March 2018 PTO Community meeting. This was the beginning of our LIM journey.

The Leader in Me provides our school with the vision and language to lead the school in a way that addresses all areas of development. As each child discovers and develops their unique gifts and talents, they are given opportunities to lead. As leaders, they become active, engaged partners in their own education and their self-confidence, responsibility, and initiative grows. The children quickly understand the benefits of different gifts and talents; they learn to listen to new ideas, work together to achieve results, and motivate one another to be the best.

What will your child be learning?

Holmes students will be learning the 7 Habits of Happy kids. These habits are:

  1. Be proactive
  2. Begin with the end in mind
  3. Put first things first
  4. Think win-win
  5. Seek first to understand, then be understood
  6. Synergize
  7. Sharpen the saw

Each month, students will be learning a new habit through our Hawk Nest. In September students learned what it means to be a leader and in October students learned how we can be proactive. Students will be introduced to a new habit each month. I will share what students are learning with you, so you can apply these principles at home.

Please know that this is a learning year for all of us. We are by no means experts and are learning alongside our students and our community.

Please join us for our October 17 PTO Community Link to Learning where Mrs. Rehfield and I will share more information about Leader In Me. The meeting begins at 8:15 and will be held in The Hawk Cafe (formally know as the multi-purpose room)

School Improvement Plan

All of the school improvement plans for the 2018-19 school year have been posted on the district website ( Our school's plan can also be found under the "Quick Links" in the left navigation of our website.

OPEF's Super STEAM Saturday!

Please join the Oak Park Education Foundation for a free fun morning of crafting, collaborating, and creating. Drive a robot, write a poem, unleash your inner artist and learn more about OPEF with great activities for kids ages 5-12. Saturday, November 3 from 10-12 at Beye School. You can learn more about the event on OPEF's website or their Facebook page.

Celebrate Holmes Staff

Families, have you noticed a Holmes teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment or a thank you? Has this person made a difference for your child? Please share the reason in a brief email to me ( so that we may recognize and thank them!


  • Community PTO Meeting, Link-To-Learning, Leader in Me! -Oct 17, 8:15-9:45am
  • Race, Allyship and America to Me at Holmes School: Saturday, October 20 1:00 - 3:00
  • Parent Teacher Conferences Students dismissed at 11:00am - October 25
  • DINE OUT! Noodle's and Company - October 25, 4:00-8:00pm
  • Parent Teacher Conferences Students dismissed at 11:00am - October 26
  • Picture Retake Day - Monday, Oct 29
  • Halloween parade and classroom parties - October 31 - Parade at 1:10pm
  • Trivia Night! - November 9, 7:00pm - PTO sponsored adult event

Community Hawk Nest

1. Please join the Holmes Community for an important workshop entitled Race, Allyship and America to Me at Holmes School on Saturday Oct 20 from 1:00 - 3:00. Cynthia Brito,VP of strategy for the DivCo leadership team and an accomplished community organizer in immigration, racial justice and youth advocacy, will conduct an interactive and action-oriented workshop that will center on issues of race and allyship in our school community. Learn why addressing equity and inclusion matters to all families and walk away with tools and knowledge that you can apply in your everyday life and with our Holmes Community. This workshop is free and free babysitting will be provided.
2. First PTO Community Meeting on Wednesday, October 17 at 8:15 AM - 9:45 AM: Leader In Me! Please join us for our first PTO community meeting to learn more about our school’s implementation of Leader In Me! Holmes teachers will share with us the Leader in Me framework and the exciting changes happening at Holmes. Want to know more? Visit the Leader in Me website: We will also provide other PTO business and programming updates at this meeting. The coffee is on us!
3. Noodles and Co Dineout Thursday October 25 from 4pm - 8pm. Tired of having to figure out dinner between school and work and soccer practice and trombone lessons and homework and ... well everything? Come join the Holmes community and support the PTO with a Dineout at Noodles and Co in River Forest, October 25th, 4pm-8pm. 25% of the cost of your dinner will be donated to the PTO. Flyers will come home in backpacks soon and are also available here and in the digital backpack.
4. You Have Answers, We Have Questions: Holmes Trivia Night is Friday Nov 9!

The Place to Be?: Holmes PTO Trivia Night Fundraiser on November 9th at the Nineteenth Century Club from 7-11P.

What’s in Store?: Trivia! Silent Auction! Raffle Prizes! Dinner as an additional option (provided by Hecho en Oak Park)

What Can I Do?:

1) It won’t be a party without you. Buy group or individual tickets here

2) If you can donate an item for our silent auction, please fill in this form

3) if you can donate your time, look for the signup soon. All help is appreciated. And all ideas are welcome. Email