Central Primary School

February Newsletter

A Note from the Office...

February is upon us and we are looking forward to Valentine's Day Parties and moving closer to Spring with each passing week. Groundhog's Day even confirmed it, an early Spring this year!


Important February Dates to Remember:

  • PTO Meeting: Thursday, February 6th @ 7:00pm
  • 3rd grade Winter Concert: Wednesday, February 12th @ 5:30 Mrs. Burke, Mrs. Fritz, Miss Turner, and Mrs. Walsh
  • 3rd grade Winter Concert: Wednesday, February 12th @ 7:00 Mrs. Hillegonds, Mrs. Kastl, Mrs. Seckler, and Mrs. Standish
  • School Board Meeting: Thursday, February 13th @ 7:00pm
  • Valentine's Day Parties: Friday, February 14th @ 10:15am
  • Early Dismissal: Friday, February 14th @ 11:30am
  • Teacher Institute: Friday, February 14th, 12:30-3:30pm
  • President's Day, No School: Monday, February 17th
  • Report Cards: Thursday, February 20th

PTO Update- Mrs. Stephanie Redlingshafer

Thank you SO MUCH to all who attended the Trivia Night!! It was an extremely fun night that brought in $1255 for the PTO! This money will go back into the budget to meet the needs of the students, teachers, and the schools!! Our next meeting is Thursday, February 6 at 7 pm in the CIS library. The school year is moving fast, but we will still have several events left! The next ROCK is Friday, Feb. 7 for CIS students. Valentine parties will take place on Friday, Feb. 14 in the morning at both buildings. The next VIP Breakfast at CPS is coming up in March. Look for more details to come home in a few weeks. Thank you for your continued support of the PTO!

Leader in Me- Habit 5

Please join us in not only learning about the 7 Habits, but also incorporating them into your homes with your families! The Family Learning Team at CPS will be sending monthly newsletters home describing each habit. Each month will be a different habit. You should have already received the January newsletter for Habit 5: Seek first to Understand, Then to be Understood. Along with educating you on each habit, the newsletter will also include books and activities that you can use at home that pertain to that! We look forward to your participation with incorporating the Leader in Me at school and at home.

Social Emotional Learning- Mrs. Arms and Mrs. Freeman

Making Bravery a Family Lifestyle

Psychology Today-Posted Jan 25, 2020

Annie Simpson, Ph.D.-Author of Anxiety is Not the Boss



It was a beautiful day in July. My husband and I decided to take our then 6-year-old daughter to our local amusement park, Playland. As we approached the gates, she excitedly listed all the rides she was going to go on: the Ferris wheel, the carousal, the teacups, the Superslide.

When we got up to the gate, where the height measurement was, she realized that this summer she was tall enough to go on the Wooden Roller Coaster which she had heard so much about from her older brother. (The Wooden Roller coaster was built in 1958 and is the oldest roller coaster in Canada, and you can tell! How a 6-year-old is tall enough for one of Canada’s scariest roller coasters, I’ll never understand.)

We walked in, saw the roller coaster, and the questions started flying at rapid speed.

Daughter: “Mom is it scary?”

Me: “I have no idea. I have never been on it.” (Innervoice: “YES!!!”)

Daughter: “Is it safe?”

Me: “I guess so – seems to be?” (Inner voice: “I don’t know how that possibly could be safe!)

Daughter: “Should I go on it?”

Me: “If you want to. But you’re still young there will be other years” (Inner voice: “NO!”)

Daughter: “I’m scared – I don’t want to” (Inner voice: “Thank goodness! Dodged that bullet!”)

And that was the end of the questions about the roller coaster. We rode the rides, ate donuts and cotton candy, and after a long day, got ready to go home.

But as we were leaving my daughter said, “I want to go on the big roller coaster!”

So, I said, “ok, if you want to. You are tall enough. I’ll wait right here while your dad and you go on it and I’ll see you when you get off.”

Daughter: “No mom I want you to come too!”

Now, I’m a child psychologist who treats anxiety disorders. We have many conversations about anxiety in our home and about being brave and facing our fears one step at a time. So, I responded:

“Oh sweetie, I really don’t want to. I’m way too scared to do this. This is like a 10 out of 10 for me! You go. I’m so proud of how brave you are! You and daddy will have so much fun.”

Daughter: “What kind of brave doctor are you. You call yourself a psychologist?”

And that was that. I have given hundreds of lectures where I tell families that rewards have to be proportional to the fear, and that even for 2 million dollars I wouldn’t go on the old wooden roller coaster at Playland. Apparently, having my six-year-old daughter shame me was the motivation I needed!

As the roller coaster began, and I started going up the rickety old wooden tracks, higher and higher, I thought to myself, “How did I get here????”

I know exactly how I got here – by creating a family culture where anxiety is not the boss of my family. Anxiety is a normal and important component of life. However, it doesn’t need to be the boss, dictating and controlling what you do and importantly, don’t do. So how does one create a family environment that keeps anxiety where it belongs, with you (or apparently your 6-year-old) in charge?

1. Teach your kids that although normal and important, anxiety can sometimes be a false alarm.

Anxiety and fear are normal and important human emotions. They keep us safe and motivate us to do our very best. When there is a real danger –a bear in caveman times or a speeding car today – fear is our bodies alarm system. It shouts loud and clear, “Danger!” Similarly, anxiety helps us try our best at things — it motivates us to study for that big test, or practice for that piano recital.

When we feel anxious our “fight-flight-freeze” response gets triggered. As a result, we spring into action. Our body is prepared to react – for example our heart beats faster to pump blood to our muscles – so we can run or fight off that big scary bear! It is important to teach your children that anxiety is important, the feeling although uncomfortable, is not dangerous, and it serves a very important purpose. We need anxiety.

However, we also need to make sure it’s not the boss. Some children experience anxiety more easily, and more often – even when there is nothing to be anxious about. Talking about anxiety as sometimes being a false alarm is helpful. Just like how the fire alarm will go off when dad burns the toast, even though there is no fire, so too can our alarm system when there is nothing truly threatening.

My daughter was clearly anxious about going on a roller coaster (as was I for that matter). However, she knew that this was a false alarm. (After all, thousands of people go on the ride each day!)

2. Identify the anxiety as separate from the child by giving it anxiety a name.

When anxiety becomes really bossy, it becomes easy to mistake your child for their anxiety. By giving anxiety a name, and externalizing it from the family, it becomes easier to show anxiety who really is the boss.

Parents often will say things like “you are so anxious right now,” or why are you so scared of that little dog?” Children often like to name their anxiety something like, “worry dragon,” “the bully,” or even “destroyer.” With older teens just referring to it as “anxiety” or “the worry” but in the third person is important. Now, instead of saying things like “you are really too anxious to go to that birthday party” we can say “the worry bully” is really bossing us all around right now and saying we need to miss the fun. Let’s show the worry bully who is really the boss!

Why is externalizing anxiety so important? It sends an important message that you and your child are on the same team against an external third entity. Anxiety in the home tends to create high levels of conflict – when you name the anxiety as a third party – it decreases the conflict with each other and puts it where it belongs. Now everyone can fight back together. It also allows your child to realize that they are not their anxiety, it does not define who they are – instead it is a temporary situation that they can be empowered to cope with.

3. Teach your family that anxiety goes away on its own. We don’t need to avoid anxious situations to feel better.

This point is key! When anxiety hits, it feels really crappy. Our body alarm is going off loudly and our natural reaction is to do anything and everything to stop that unpleasant feeling by any means possible and as fast as possible. So… we avoid. We stay away from that scary dog, or other kids, or giving that big speech, or being away from our parents, or the roller coaster!

Avoidance works well in that it decreases anxiety in the short term. However, the problem is when your child avoids, they never get the chance to learn they can actually cope and handle the situation.

When kids avoid things that feel scary and frightening, they are even more anxious the next time they encounter that thing and even more likely to avoid the situation. By facing your fears one small step at a time, children learn that the feelings pass, and they can cope.

4. Model bravery daily by showing anxiety who is the boss with your own fears and worries.

When my daughter said, “what kind of brave doctor are you – you call yourself a psychologist?”, I knew exactly what I had to do – even though I really didn’t want to. When you create a family culture in which anxiety is not the boss, it’s not about hiding your anxieties from your child. Quite the opposite. In fact, actively looking for opportunities when you feel worried and scared and modeling bravery for your children goes a long way. Making bravery a “family lifestyle” means that everyone is sharing in each other’s successes. Anxiety is surely not the boss in that type of home.

There are endless opportunities that come up in everyday life where you can model bravery. It could be that big scary spider in the bathtub, or traffic causing you to be late for an important meeting at work. Maybe it’s that turbulence on the airplane going on a family vacation. In these moments, identifying and acknowledging you are scared is the first step. You could say, “I’m feeling very scared right now with all of this turbulence on this airplane.” And then model coping by saying, “I’m going to take some deep breaths and show anxiety who is boss! Turbulence is just normal bumps in the air, and they will soon pass.”

By using these four strategies, you can start to create a family culture where anxiety is not running the show.

Now, am I glad that my daughter is good at showing anxiety who is the boss? Absolutely. Will I ever go on that roller coaster again? Absolutely not!

Annie Simpson, PhD., Author of Anxiety Is Not the Boss



Notes from the Nurses- Mrs. Bright- RN, Central Primary School and Mrs. Kim Martin-RN, Central Intermediate School

Trending in the Nursing Offices now:

  • Strep Throat: Fever, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, vomiting

  • Upper Respiratory Illnesses: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue

  • Pneumonia: Cough with (low-grade) fever, fatigue- Please see a doctor immediately!

  • Influenza A & B: Sudden onset of sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches and soreness, congestion, and cough.

  • Stomach flu: Stomach ache (severe pain reported by some students), vomiting, diarrhea, fever


It’s NOT too late!

Tazewell County Health Department website, is reporting a HIGH incidence of influenza A & B in the Peoria-Tazewell area. Affected Central students are missing 3-5 days of school as a result.


It’s not too late to get a flu vaccination! While getting the flu vaccine does not guarantee you will escape the flu, several studies have found that flu vaccination can reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated. If you do suspect you have influenza, antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense. Studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications.(IDPH.gov)


Medication Rules

If you would like your student to have access to medication (prescription or over-the-counter) available at school, you must submit a completed Medication Authorization Form. NOTE: It must be signed by a parent/guardian AND a doctor. DO NOT send medication to school with your student without a completed Medication Authorization Form.


Of course there are exceptions to every rule… COUGH DROPS/SUCKERS do NOT need a Medication Authorization Form. However you still need to send a note with the cough drops stating your student may take the cough drop. Don’t forget to include a parent signature. Cough drops are kept in the nursing office. Students must ask to go to the office, sit and eat/suck on the cough drops until gone in the office. This is for safety reasons.


Please refer to the Central 51 Parent & Student Handbook for other policies pertaining to medications at school



Interventionist Corner- Mrs. Mertens, Mrs. Guse and Mrs. Holmes

Math Facts:


We see a lot of kids struggling with math fact memorization. This does not mean your child will never know their facts, but in order to build that math fact library in their heads it is important to teach the kids strategies to help them learn their facts. We introduce these strategies in math class and play a lot of games utilizing these strategies. Here is a list of great addition strategies to start with if they are struggling with facts. Subtraction has their own set of strategies that can be worked on to. If they are able to use the strategies mentally, this will help with their ability to process facts at a quicker pace and at some point eliminate the reliability on fingers. If you are working on math facts, remind them to use a strategies instead of relying on their fingers as much.



Reading Tips

How important is reading every night?

We know that reading is important, but did you know that the amount of time spent in reading has a direct correlation to how well students will perform in reading. The more text a student is exposed to, the more words they know, they better reader they become. Does that mean that you have to have your child sit and read quietly for 20 minutes every night? Do you have to have new books for them to read every night? No. Schedules are busy between dance, sports practices, family activities, meal times. You may have to get creative. Do you have 5 minutes in the car while you are waiting to pick up a sibling from another activity... bring a book! Do you have a 5 minute drive to the next practice... bring a book! Do you have a bedtime routine... add in a 5-10 minutes of reading a fun book together. Have your student read a book to you while you cook dinner. Maybe 20 minutes straight is difficult in your schedule, so break it up. The minutes add up quickly.

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PE Notes- Mr. Dalberg

The month of February is Heart Health month so in PE we will be working on introducing students to new and different fitness activities that can help promote a healthy lifestyle. We will discuss why exercise is important for your health and the short and long term benefits it has. So far this year we have worked on yoga, strength training through body weight exercises, and cardiovascular endurance with the PACER test. These are some of the fitness related exercises that we have and will continue to work on as well as having the students work on leading certain parts of these fitness exercises.

Art Corner- Miss Gleason

Our third graders have been busy working on projects that coincide with their upcoming music program. Each class will be representing a different continent. The students are really excited to share their work with their family and friends.

Second graders are working on watercolor winter trees. The students are learning watercolor techniques and all about the Northern lights.

First graders are studying the Canadian artist Ted Harrison. We are creating works of art using his colorful and playful style. This has been a fun project for the students as they are using liquid watercolors.

Kindergarten is working on shape, cutting, and exploring new supplies. We are getting ready to start an exciting lesson on shape using robots.

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A little Note from Music- Mrs. Cunningham


Kindergarten is still learning new songs, rhymes, and dances. We love playing music games together and playing instruments. Kindergarten will start working on their Spring Concert music. Their concert is on April 22 at the CPS gymnasium. A letter with more information will be coming home in the next few weeks


First grade has started working on music for their Spring Concert. Their concert is March 11 at the CPS gymnasium. Please look for a note coming home with more information.


Second grade has been learning many folk songs and dances. They are also learning new drumming techniques on the African drums.


Third grade The 3rd Grade has been preparing for their upcoming Winter Concert on February 12, 2020 in the CPS gymnasium. Please mark your calendars. Please remind your student to practice their recorder pieces that are in the rehearsal packet that was sent home a few weeks ago. They should run through each piece a few times a night. The concert times are below. Students should be in their teacher’s classroom 10 minutes before their concert time. I am looking forward to a great evening!


5:30 pm Concert- Mrs. Burke, Mrs. Fritz, Miss Turner, Mrs. Walsh

7:00 pm Concert- Mrs. Hillegonds, Mrs. Kastl, Mrs. Seckler, Mrs. Standish