Castle Street USA

December 2019


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Dear Parents and Guardians of Prairie View School,

A little song trivia to take us into December…. What traditional holiday song was originally written for Thanksgiving over 162 years ago by James L. Pierpont in a tavern in Medford, Massachusetts? This tune (at least the lyrics in some of the stanzas) was considered a little too racy for school children. Keep reading for the answer!

I have written about school improvement in past newsletters. Sandwich CUSD #430 belongs to an organization (Cignia…formerly AdvancED) to help guide this process. Periodically, we ask for input from the community, parents, staff, and students. This information is closely reviewed and folded into the improvement process. If you are interested in the results of the most recent parent and student surveys, please go to our website: for the links to review this data. If you participated in this survey, we appreciate your response. If you missed this opportunity, please stay-tuned, as there will be additional surveys in the future.

Our “literary pumpkins” were replaced with some wonderfully disguised turkeys. These crazy birds were displayed outside my office and it was amazing to see all of the creative ideas that our families came up with to camouflage these Thanksgiving celebrities. This was another fun idea from Mrs. Gudmunson. Keep sharing those ideas, Mrs. G.! Hopefully, your Thanksgiving turkey wasn’t too clever and all of our Prairie View community enjoyed family, friends, and a bountiful feast! Other November activities included fall picture retakes, parent/teacher conferences, and Veterans’ Day. A heartfelt salute to all of our local and not-so-local veterans, many joined us for an assembly on November 11th. Mr. Heinekamp and the Sandwich High School Band performed a couple of patriotic marches which added to the celebration. The student body showed their approval by waving small American flags in the air during the band’s performance. Madrigal singers from Sandwich High School entertained our students on November 25th.

The Franklin Mall Collection is a sure sign that we are approaching the holidays. Once again, I would like to thank you for opening your hearts and being so generous to the many Sandwich families in need. To date, your generosity has filled two large boxes! Also, thank you to the Lion’s Club for coordinating this project. We will continue to collect non-perishable and paper items through December 13th. Just a little teaser…..plans are in full swing for the FY20 One School One Book event! The “reveal” will be after Winter Break, but get ready….it’s sure to be a show stopper! For the second year in a row, our PV students will be heading to JC Fitness for a PE field trip. The Holiday Book Fair will take place from December 2nd through December 6th. If you’re looking for a perfect holiday gift for the child(ren) in your life, visit the Book Fair for a wide selection. Family Night will take place on Thursday, December 5th with additional activities taking place on this evening. Hope to see you there! The last day of school before Winter Break is December 20th. We will have our school Sing-a-Long on the last day and while I would love to invite everyone, our gym cannot accommodate and seat that many people. Since third grade students are more involved in the sing-a-long, we do allow each student two tickets for two family members to attend. A note with more details and the tickets will be sent home with third grade students in December.

The final clue on that Christmas carol trivia question…..the song was originally titled, “One Horse Open Sleigh”. If you guessed ‘Jingle Bells’, give yourself a pat on the back and a candy cane! Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year….and to all a good night!

Sherrie L. Stricklin


District News

We all know optimal learning takes place when students attend school on a regular basis. When students are not in school on a regular basis and the absences are unexcused, the DeKalb County Regional Office of Education intervenes. To assist with their intervention, the City of Sandwich has approved a truancy ordinance reinforcing the importance of students attending school on a daily basis. Click here to read the truancy ordinance.

Parents & Guardians,

Sandwich CUSD #430 is preparing to rollout SMS or text messaging notification for reminders, emergency and other notifications. Prior to using this method of communication, the district will be sending an email to parents containing instructions for sending an Opt-In text message to a Group code.

The Opt-In must be done from the mobile device that is to receive these messages in order to begin receiving them. Also, the number for this mobile device must be included in your child’s parent profile in the Tyler Parent portal. Please contact your child’s attendance center for updating this information.

Sandwich CUSD #430

Follow Sandwich CUSD 430 on Twitter @SandwichCUSD430

Have a Twitter account? Follow Sandwich CUSD 430 for information regarding programs and activities throughout our learning community.

District Dashboard

The Sandwich CUSD 430 district dashboard has been launched and is linked to the district website. While the dashboard includes data the ISBE report card generally includes, the dashboard highlights in greater depth the many types of positive programs and services offered throughout the district.

The dashboard addresses five main indicators:

1) Overall School Achievements and Accomplishments (this indicator highlights success stories from each attendance center such as learning environment activities, academic growth and extra-curricular activities);

2) Student Success (this indicator highlights success stories such as AP course work, Career & Technical Education, student growth performance and academic achievement results);

3) Learning Environment (this indicator highlights success stories such as our AdvancED model of school improvement, professional development experiences, our wellness, technology & safety initiatives and extra-curricular involvement);

4) Finance and Operations (this indicator highlights information such as Evidence Based Funding revenue, expenditure costs, total fund balance); and

5) District Characteristics (this indicator highlights information such as enrollment data, attendance, and mobility).

Handbook Committee

Sandwich Community School District #430 will soon begin the process of reviewing the

handbooks for each of the school buildings. This is an annual series of meetings to review the

policies and procedures in the handbooks to ensure that all users of the handbook have a clear

understanding of the contents. Please consider this great opportunity to become involved with the district. The dates and the times of the meetings will be given out at a later date. All of the

meetings would be conducted at Sandwich Middle School and last approximately 60-90 minutes. If you would like to serve on this committee, please contact your building principal.


Michael S. Herzog

SHS Assistant Principal

Volunteer Information

We welcome and encourage anyone who cares about children and education to consider volunteering their time to the district. Volunteers may include parents, grandparents, neighbors, community members, relatives and friends. The school district will utilize volunteers in a variety of capacities such as field trip chaperones, classroom helpers, increasing students’ educational achievement, promote increased community involvement, allow more individualized attention to students, provide enrichment of experiences for students, increase effective use of staff time and skills, etc.

In order to be a volunteer, the district requires everyone to fill out a Volunteer Packet. The Volunteer Packet was included in the original registration documents for the 2019-2020 school year. However we did run into a "glitch" in our system and we are unable to access the completed forms. If you have not filled out a Volunteer Packet for the 19-20 school year yet and you do plan on volunteering in any capacity, please take time to print and fill out the Volunteer packet and return to the Prairie View office. For your convenience, you may click on the link below to access Volunteer Packet. Thank you.

Veterans's Day Assembly

Prairie View would like to thank the area veterans from the Sandwich VFW and the Sandwich High School band for their participation in the Veteran’s Day Assembly. The veterans participated in a color guard flag ceremony, a Moment of Silence for soldiers who gave their lives to ensure our freedom and they answered questions from third grade students. The Sandwich High School band played patriotic arrangements. Once again thank you to our veterans, Mr. Heinekamp, director of the Sandwich High School band, and students of the band.

PPA News

Mrs. Corbin's class won the Box Tops for Education competition! Thank you to everyone who participated. We will be starting another Box Tops competition after winter break. Keep clipping those Box Tops!

Thank you to everyone who donated to the teachers dinner for parent teacher conferences. The teachers really enjoyed it! Our next

PPA Meeting will be December 11th at 1:30pm. If you were unable to make it, to our last meeting please feel free to contact us via our email or Facebook page with any questions or ideas.


PPA Facebook:

Thank You,

Prairie View PPA

News from the Nurse

Flu season is here! 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 or check out this Parent's Guide for more information.


The holidays can be a busy and exciting time, filled with schedule changes, travel, and special events. Make the most of the season by staying well-rested with these science-based sleep tips:

  • Kids 12 and under need at least 9 hours of sleep each night.

  • Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule by having your family go to bed and get up at the same times every day, even on holiday breaks.

  • If you are planning to travel to a time zone that is East of yours, have your family go to bed AND wake up a little earlier than usual, as this will help your internal sleep clocks adjust to different bed/wake times while on vacation. If you are traveling West, go to sleep and wake up a little later than usual.

  • Avoid caffeine after lunchtime and large meals right before bed, as consuming those can disrupt sleep.

  • If you want to nap over the holiday break, aim for a 20-minute nap, which experts say is the best time length to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. Turn down the temperature, even though it may be cold outside. We sleep better when the room is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (65-70 degrees for babies and toddlers).

  • Make sure to stay active over the holidays, as physical activity during the day can facilitate better sleep at night.

For more sleep resources like this one, visit

Franklin Mall Christmas Project

The Sandwich Lions Club is collecting non-perishable food, canned goods, boxed food items, paper products, etc. (no glass containers please) for the Franklin Mall Project. Items will be collected at Prairie View School from Tuesday, November 11th - Tuesday, December 13th.

Classrooms may be starting a friendly competition to encourage students to bring a contribution for the Franklin Mall Project. Any donation that you can give to our efforts to help the underprivileged families in our area would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your support!


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Kindergarten kicked off the month of November by celebrating their 50th day of school 1950's style. Students and staff dressed in '50's attire to enjoy the day. Students wrote words on jukeboxes, read words, letters and sentences on records, and even had a special root beer float snack! Kindergarten has also been continuing to work on their letters, sounds and new sight words. We are applying this to sound out unfamiliar words in our reading and independent writing. In Math, we are working on understanding and exploring addition. We have been playing dice games and integrating many hands-on addition games to reinforce this concept. We began our poetry binders this month and look forward to sharing them with our families every weekend, as new poems are being added.


First grade just kicked off their STEM unit in science. The kiddos are working hard at being engineers. They've been learning about growth mindset and perseverance. Each class has around 10 STEM bins filled with various materials. Things like legos, brain flakes, zoobs, magnets, and cubes are included in the bins. Students work together to engineer, or build, to complete a task (a tower, building, car, etc.). They have so much FUN all while using creativity, ingenuity, teamwork, experimentation, and so much more!


Second grade has gone back in time and made pinch pots. Both classrooms used clay to mold and pinch into a cup or bowl. They realized clay was much harder to work with than playdough. There were many great conversations while they were making their pots regarding Indians and Pilgrims. After they spent time drying, the classes painted them and able to take them home. Have fun using their creations in your home!


The PV third graders are mastering their multiplication facts at record pace, including the difficult 6x, 7x and 8x facts! Students from Mr. Steimel's class have been challenging one another to "Multiplication War", using a regular deck of playing cards. They've removed the Jokers and Jacks from the deck, and count Aces as "ones", Queens as "elevens" and Kings as "twelves". Some students have reported sporadic victories at home against adult members of their family!! (But we're still awaiting verification on those claims.)

Mrs. Baker's students have been using multiplication, addition, and estimation to find the area of regular and irregular shapes. Her students created "Area Robots" collages by assembling arms, legs, a torso and a head using the formula for Area, A = L x W.

Mrs. Stahl and her third graders have been studying the history of the Pilgrims, their journey across the Atlantic, and their many challenges during the first year at Plymouth. The students have read from several sources, including P.J. Lynch's book, "The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower." The students also constructed a Mayflower art project.

STARS 1,2,3

The Prairie View STARS classroom had an awesome time at the Dupage Children's Museum. Our theme for this month has been Let's Play Music! We were able to explore many different instruments at the museum.


The kindergarten students, who get reading support, have had a lot of fun learning! The students spin a fidget spinner and see if they can say their sight words before it stops. They’ve also enjoyed jumping on letters and saying their sounds while making the gestures that go along with it. When we read we always go into the reading nook and they enjoy holding their reading buddy.

Resource News!

Third graders created turkeys and then enjoyed sharing the poems with all of the third grade classrooms. They also asked the students and teachers questions about the turkey facts they shared. Do you know what a baby turkey is called? (A poult) Where does a turkey sleep? (Up in a tree) What do turkeys eat? ( small insects, berries , nuts & seeds). What size are turkey eggs? (Twice as big as chicken eggs) Hope you learned some new turkey facts. Happy Thanksgiving!


Sandwich high school madrigal singers demonstrate melody and harmony for Prairie View second and third graders.

Just a few friendly reminders............

**Thank you to everyone that uses the hot lunch program and for keeping a positive balance on your account. When sending in lunch money with your student, please remember to put the first and last name of the student, their grade, and also indicate "lunch money" on the envelope.

**Any adult entering the building please remember to stop by the office first to sign in. If your student is late arriving, you must come into the office to sign them in.

**Parents and/or Guardians....If your child is going home a different way or being picked up by someone else, please send a note with your student to their teacher. In the event of an emergency or last minute change, please call the office (815-786-8811) with the information. Please do not text or e-mail the teacher. Thank you for your cooperation.

Helpful Reminders from the student handbook


School personnel are assigned on a daily basis to supervise students on the playground or in the gym in case of inclement weather. This supervision starts at 7:36 AM each day. Please plan your children’s trip to school so that they do not arrive at school prior to 7:36 AM.


In the event of severe weather, or other unforeseen circumstances, the administration will determine whether school is to be held. If a cause of closing occurs before the start of the school day, parents/guardians and teachers will be informed about the closing between 6:30 AM & 8:30 AM through the following:


Through an automated notification and communication system, parents/guardian(s) will be able to be contacted via telephone numbers and e-mail addresses that have been provided to the school in an attempt to inform parents of school closings and other school information. Should your phone numbers and/or e-mail addresses change at any time, please contact your student’s school.


WSPY FM 107.1 WGN-TV Channel 9

On inclement weather days, the school district encourages parents/guardian(s) to check for up-to-date information on school closings by listening to the radio or watching television for closing information. Sandwich CUSD #430 closing information can be heard on WSPY-FM 107.1 and/or on WGN-9 television station. Parents/Guardian(s) may also go to for school closing information and can sign up for e-mail of notification of school closing through this site.

The Parent Institute

Do you wish you had a monthly tip sheet that gave you advice on anything from helping your child to read better, study more effectively, or correct bad behavior? The Parent Institute newsletter is for you! Every month, this newsletter is packed full of ideas and inspirations to make parenting just a little bit easier. Click on the button below to access the latest news!

Important Dates for December

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