Prairie View Elementary School

October 2020

Building Brighter Futures


Prairie View Family,

I could not be more proud of our students and staff for such an amazing start to our school year. There is an excitement radiating through the halls at Prairie View. It is evident that our students are thrilled to be back at school. I have lost count on the number of times a staff member has stopped in my office to let me know how it "warms their heart" to have students back in our building. I couldn't agree more. Despite all the obstacles we've faced to reopen our building, despite new safety procedures, and despite the significant challenge of learning brand new technology platforms, our students and staff have arrived at school each day with a positive approach.

I want to take a minute and acknowledge the effort our families are putting forth at home to make our blended learning model a success. The COVID-19 pandemic has created what feels like an infinite number of obstacles for parents and schools alike to plan for, overcome, and endure. There is no denying that we are asking our families to take on a significant amount of responsibility during their student's remote learning days. While it is a less than ideal situation, it is vital that students are engaged in their remote learning tasks. Through guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, our teachers have narrowed their focus on essential learning standards and essential skills. In order for teachers to successfully cover these essential learning standards by the end of the school year, it is paramount that learning during remote days is prioritized. When working through your student's requirements on remote learning days, please structure this process in a fashion that works for your unique household. Take frequent brakes, add exercise breaks, healthy snack brakes, etc. If you are experiencing struggles please do not hesitate to reach out to your teacher with questions or concerns. I am confident that as a team we can find a way to work through struggles and find a path to success.

Similarly, I want to next acknowledge my staff for their astounding efforts over the first month of school. What makes educators amazing is their burning desire to help each of their students succeed. In a typical school year, teachers often take hours of work home with them each night to complete. This allows a teacher to be prepared to offer the best education for their students the following day. As you can tell, being an educator is challenging under normal circumstances. Our teachers accept these challenges because of the rewards they reap when they observe their students grow and succeed. During blended learning, our staff has been faced with the daunting task of completing a full day of in-person instruction while simultaneously working tirelessly to support their students who are learning remotely on a given day. Despite numerous hours of work being added to their days, their burning desire to do all that they can to help their students has never been more apparent. The selflessness that can be observed by our staff on a daily basis is both impressive and commendable.

The foundation for success this year has been built. Our students have adjusted to our new version of in-person learning, families are partnering with our teachers to make the best of remote learning, and we are successfully following IDPH safety guidelines. As we progress towards the second trimester I am excited to see how we continue to build upon our foundation. I am excited to see our staff continue to innovate, collaborate, and evolve. In many ways, our theme this year has never been more appropriate! We are building brighter futures here at PV!

Fostering a Growth Mindset

Below I have included some fun, family-friendly videos on the importance of fostering a growth mindset in our students. A growth mindset focuses on the importance of finding value in the process of learning and not just the product of learning. Mastery of a skill is not the only proof that learning has taken place! The process of learning, even when one struggles, creates many positives including grit, perseverance, and stamina. This is especially true when applied to learning new academic skills and content. I often have conversations with frustrated students about the importance of not giving up, and using language such as "I cannot do it YET" instead of saying "I don't know how" or "I can't do it." Some of our most memorable lessons are learned through failure and perseverance. Unfortunately, we are facing new challenges as we navigate a new world of blended learning that may cause struggle and at times failure. The key is to encourage our students to never give up. I encourage you to focus your praise and encouragement on their efforts and not just mastery or a correct answer.

When faced with new challenges we can often become frustrated which can lead to negative thoughts, a desire to give up, and loss of motivation. This is when praising effort and perseverance is key. If you see signs of frustration with your student(s) when working at home please refer back to the videos below. Talk to your students about having a positive outlook and encourage them to continue to try. Remind them that we do not always find success on our first try, second try, or even 10th try. When you observe frustration, I encourage you to have your student(s) take a break from what is frustrating them. Perhaps talk with them about a time they struggled to learn something/complete something. Ask them to share how it felt when they found success. Explain to them that if they would have given up and failed to keep trying they would never have experienced the feeling of feeling successful. These habits over time will help our students develop a positive approach to learning that will pay dividends as they progress through school.

Growth Mindset Episode 1: Click Here

Growth Mindset Episode 2: Click Here

Growth Mindset Episode 3: Click Here

Growth Mindset Episode 4: Click Here

Growth Mindset Episode 5: Click Here

Student Handbook

In a typical school year, Prairie View would send a paper copy of our student handbook home with each student. We typically send home a form for parents to sign to signify that they have looked over this document. Once again, due to COVID-19 considerations, we are trying to limit the exchange of paper between school and home. Therefore, this year we are not providing a paper copy of the handbook unless requested. We are also not requiring a signed form to be returned. Please click below to access the handbook. Please note that this handbook was developed and adopted prior to the pandemic.

Click Here


  • ****New Attendance Link***
  • This week your teachers will be sending out an updated attendance link. In an effort to simplify/streamline the attendance process we have created a new google form to fill out. Going forward, please use this new link in place of the link that has previously been shared.

  • Perhaps now more than ever attendance is of the utmost importance due to the potential learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • On days that your student(s) will be in attendance at Prairie View, our staff will take attendance.
  • On days that your student(s) are learning remotely, there is a required attendance form that must be completed. This attendance form has been shared by your student(s) teacher and can be accessed through either Seesaw or Google Classroom.
  • If you are unsure about how to fill out the remote day attendance form please contact your student''s teacher for assistance. You can also contact the main office at 815-786-8811.
  • Attendance forms can be filled out between 7:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.

Upcoming Non-Attendance Days:

  • Monday, October 12th: Columbus Day
  • Tuesday, November 3rd: General Election Day

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  • The carryover period for students who were receiving free/reduced lunch for the 2019-2020 school year will be until October 2, 2020. If you haven't turned in a new 2020-2021 application or received notification for approval for this school year, please re-apply! Per federal/USDA guidelines, applications for free/reduced meal service must be completed on a yearly basis. Currently, the "Free Meals for Kids Program" will run through December 31st, 2020. However, if/when the "Free Meals for Kids Program" expires, students will need to have had a completed free/reduced application in order to receive free/reduced meals when returning from winter break.
  • Free/reduced lunch applications for the 2020-2021 school year are available in the office of each school or on the Sandwich School District website at you have any questions contact 815-786-2187
  • In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, and Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Weekly Food Ordering

  • Each Friday your student(s) teacher will provide you with a link to a Google Form (often referred to as a survey) to fill out regarding your breakfast and lunch orders for the following week.
  • If this form is not completed by Monday morning each week we will assume you are not interested in receiving any meals for your student(s).
  • You have the option to choose from the following options: 1) My student does not need any meals provided this week, 2) Please provide my student with lunches on in-person days ONLY, 3) Please provide my student with meals (breakfast and lunch) on at-home learning days ONLY, or 4) Please provide my student with meals every day.
  • On days that your student(s) are learning in-person at Prairie View, they do not have to pre-order breakfast. Students can simply report to the gym upon arriving at school and receive breakfast.
  • If you would like to have meals provided on school days Monday - Friday for the rest of the calendar year or while the "Free Meals for Kids" program is active, please email with your child's name and classroom teacher. If you choose this option, you will not have to fill out the google form each week for your student(s)
  • Below is the link to the Google Form used for weekly food ordering. It can be filled out between Friday afternoon and 7:30 a.m. Monday mornings

Click Here to access the form

What is Erin’s Law?

Erin’s Law, or Illinois Public Act 097-1147, requires public schools to provide child sexual abuse prevention education for children in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grades.

How is Erin’s Law taught at Prairie View?

In order to meet the requirements of Illinois Public Acto 097-1147, Prairie View utilizes a local community resource called Safe Passage. Safe Passaged social workers provide age-appropriate instruction that will help students recognize unsafe situations, keep themselves safe, and how to respond to unsafe situations. In a typical year, Safe Passage's social workers would visit each classroom and deliver an in-person presentation. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, Safe Passage has created pre-recorded presentations for each grade level. These videos will be shared while students are attending an in-person learning day. Common themes instructed at all grade levels include:

  • Identifying safe versus unsafe or unwanted touching
  • The Safety Rule About Touching (The Touching Rule): Private areas are not for others to touch, except to keep a child clean and healthy
  • Understanding the difference between good and bad secrets

Any further questions regarding Erin's Law?

If you have further questions regarding Erin's Law please do not hesitate to contact the main office at 815-786-8811. If you'd like to opt your student out of viewing n Erin's law presentation please contact your student(s) teacher and let them know.


2020 Campaign

This year’s FPW campaign, “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen!TM” works to educate everyone about the simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves, and those around them, safe in the kitchen.

Did you know?
Cooking is the #1 cause of home fires and home fire injuries. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of fires in the kitchen.

Recipe for safety

Before you serve a meal, it’s essential to serve up fire safety in the kitchen. There’s nothing like spending time in the kitchen cooking a delicious meal for family and friends or an appetizing treat for yourself. But do you know the important steps to take long before anyone takes the first bite?


Each school year, Prairie View is required to educate students on how to safely respond to emergency situations. Most of us remember our time in school when we had to get down on the floor and practice covering our head and neck during a tornado drill. Similarly, as students, we would hear a fire alarm sound and quickly and quietly leave the building to a safe location with our teacher. Since the time most of us have been in elementary school there are a couple of new state-required safety drills that are now required. These drills include an annual bus evacuation drill and one Law Enforcement Drill (Intruder Drill). Some of our scheduled drills are coordinated with our local police and fire departments. So, if you are ever around the school and see emergency vehicles in the front pull-through please do not be alarmed. It is We hope that we never experience a real emergency, but in the event that the unforeseen does occur, we will have practiced these drills and know what to do to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

2020 U.S. Census Information

If you have not completed your census reporting, it’s not too late. The 2020 U.S. Census self-response deadline has been extended to September 30, 2020. The census is a count of all people living in the United States and takes place every 10 years. For the first time, one can respond online.

The census is important because it helps decide how much federal money our schools will receive over the next 10 years, and how much money our state will receive for parks, neighborhood improvements, public health, transportation, and many other programs and services.

Census resource information:

Counting For Dollars 2020: Illinois Fact Sheet

ISBE’s Census Info:

Illinois 2020 Census Info:

Welcome to Prairie View Mr. Mlot!

A message from Mr. Mlot:

I'm excited to be teaching and helping out at Prairie View for the 2020-2021 school-year; it's an honor and a privilege to work at the school where my own children (Mason and Max) have spent their entire academic careers. While I will maintain my position as the Reading Teacher at my home school, Woodbury, teaching in the morning there, I'll visit Prairie View to work as the Reading Teacher every afternoon. Having an established relationship with Prairie View, I feel very welcomed by all staff members and all families and look forward to the challenges that await. I feel very fortunate and lucky to be a part of two remarkable schools and cultures, and am grateful for this opportunity. I hope my ability to be successful with your children is matched by my enthusiasm. If you have any questions, I can be most easily reached at

Thank you!

School Custodian Appreciation Day

October 2nd is School Custodian Appreciation Day. We are very lucky at Prairie View to have two of the best! Mrs. Hall and Mr. Beverage have worked hard all summer to get our building ready for new school year. On top of the typical cleaning, waxing, painting, etc. Mrs. Hall and Mr. Beverage took on the tall task of rearranging every classroom in the building to allow for proper social distancing, marked our floors with directional tape/signs, hung dozens of hand sanitizer pumps, and attended training on new cleaning materials and processes. Our school is clean and safe because of their hard work!


October is almost here and for many of us this means one of two things. Fall colors or Halloween! Did you think I was going to say pumpkin spice latte?????? Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for elementary students. I want to share that we are working on plans on how we can make the best of our current pandemic restrictions and still make Halloween an exciting time for our students. We'll keep you updated as we get closer to the 31st.

Halloween Safety
Here’s a Halloween Safety article from the CDC.

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News from the Nurse

Thank you to all our families for a great start with the new daily self-certification process. Please continue to discuss with your child how they are feeling before sending them to school. If you need additional copies of the student certification forms please let your student(s) teacher know. We will send additional copies home with your student. Copies are also available in a plastic tub on the benches in front of the school.

Newest Guidance from IDPH

Sandwich CUSD #430 is following the most recent guidance from the IDPH when deciding if a student needs to be sent home from school. Students will be sent home or denied entry to school if ANY of the following symptoms are present: Fever (100.4°F or higher), new onset of moderate to severe headache, shortness of breath, new cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain from unknown cause, new congestion/runny nose, new loss of sense of taste or smell, nausea, fatigue from unknown cause, muscle or body aches. Per the IDPH, medical evaluation and testing are strongly recommended for all persons with COVID-like symptoms. Any siblings or family members of the symptomatic student that attend/work at a Sandwich school will also need to be sent home as noted in the guidance tree.

Health Plans
Health plans for certain medical conditions (ex: asthma, diabetes, seizures, food allergies, etc.) need to be updated every school year. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school nurse. REMINDER: Students who require an inhaler at school should also have a spacer/chamber available to be used with the inhaler.

Eye Exam
All Kindergarteners and any student attending school in Illinois for the first time are required to submit a State of Illinois Eye Exam or Waiver by October 15, 2020.

Flu Vaccine

Flu season is around the corner! Protect yourself and your family this season with an annual flu vaccine for everyone who is 6 months and older. Seasonal flu activity can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Visit for more information.

The Parent Institute

October Menus

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Learning Today, Shaping Tomorrow