Prairie View Elementary

November 2020


Prairie View Families,

It is hard to believe November is already here! October was an exciting month here at Prairie View. Our students are becoming more proficient with their Chrome devices and comfortable navigating their learning platforms (Seesaw & Google Classroom). Similarly, our students are continuing to improve upon completing their remote learning assignments and filling out their daily attendance form. I also want to recognize all of the adults in our students' lives for a great month of learning. We realize that if our students are taking care of business on remote learning days, there are adults in their lives who are also playing a significant role. Thanks for your support and follow-through at home. I know that this can be challenging at times, but please know your efforts are essential towards your student's successes.

Since our last newsletter, our students practiced their first fire drill of the school year. Fire drills can be an intense experience for some of our students, as the fire alarm is loud, and the flashing lights can be intimidating. Our staff did a great job talking with students in advance; and I am happy to report that everyone did a great job! We were all able to exit the building quickly and quietly. We cleared the entire building and took attendance in record time! Our students also learned how to exit a school bus in case of an emergency, as part of our state-mandated bus evacuation drill. For some students, it was their first time on a school bus, which was very exciting. Once again, the students did an excellent job learning bus safety! Thank you to Mrs. Martin for leading our students through this important drill.

An area of focus for the staff at Prairie View is to recognize and celebrate our students' efforts as they progress through the school year. As I referenced in last month's newsletter, we want our students to value the process of learning and not just find value in an end product. Last month, we began recognizing students for using the Lexia reading program on their Chrome devices. Students receive recognition for meeting their prescribed weekly minutes for Lexia or achieving a new "Lexia Level." These celebrations allow us to show students that we are excited to see their efforts towards becoming a stronger reader. As part of the recognition process, our students add a "Link" to our "Lexia Chain." Those who achieve a new "level" receive a Lexia Superstar certificate. The students have enjoyed standing on our stage, posing for a picture, and adding a "Lexia Link" to our school chain. Our goal is to get our chain to reach from one end of the school to the other. Students have enjoyed these celebrations and are eager to share with staff when they've "leveled up" or "completed their minutes." We have our Lexia Links hanging from the ceiling in our hallway to serve as a visual reminder for our students to focus on the importance of putting forth their best efforts each day!

Picture Days!

  • A-Day picture day is November 2nd
  • B-Day picture day is November 5th

Sensory Path Fun! Thanks Again Mrs. O'Neil

PV Path

Parent-Teacher Conferences

This year's parent/guardian-teacher conferences will take place on November 23rd and 24th. Conferences are an essential opportunity to get to know your student’s teacher(s) and receive insight regarding the first two and a half months of the school year. These meetings strengthen the connection between school and home, which is paramount under our current blended learning model. Unfortunately, this year our parent/guardian-teacher conferences will be taking place through a video conferencing platform, since we cannot allow visitors in the building. Be on the lookout for information from your student's teacher(s) on how to sign up for a conference time that will fit into your schedule.

  • Before the conference, spend a few minutes talking to your child. Let him/her know that you need help preparing for the conference. You might:
      • Ask what they would like you to talk about with the teacher.
      • Ask what they think the teacher will say.
      • Ask about the things they like, doesn’t like, their problems, and successes.
    • Let them know that after the conference, you will discuss what the teacher said.
    Prepare some questions for the teacher in advance. Here are some suggestions:
      • What is being covered in this grade?
      • What are your expectations for homework? Has my child missed any assignments?
      • Are we completing the remote day assignments and activities correctly?
      • How are my child’s work habits? Does my child use time well?
      • Does my child read at the level you would expect for this grade?
      • Is my child able to do the math you would expect for this grade?
      • Is my child in different groups for different subjects? Why?
      • Does my child get along well with others?
      • Does my child cooperate in class and follow directions?
      • What can I do at home to help my child be more successful at school?
    As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. Share the following information about your child with the teacher:
      • Favorite subjects
      • Outside interests and hobbies
      • Any medical or health needs
      • Things happening at home that may affect school work- moving, divorce, new sibling, changes in schedules, etc…
    During the conference, keep an open mind. Remember that both you and the teacher want to help your child succeed. Your goal is to work for cooperation between you and the teacher. Even if the teacher says something you disagree with, listen to what she has to say.
      • Ask to see your child’s work. There’s no better way to see how your child is progressing.
      • Ask the teacher to explain anything you don’t understand. Every profession has its own jargon which can be hard to understand.
      • Sum up what you think has been said. Make sure both you and the teacher agree on any decisions you have made about your child. If necessary, ask to meet again.
      • Ask for the best way to contact the teacher. E-mail? Phone?
    After the conference, follow up.
      • Stay in touch with the teacher.
      • If you think of a question you didn’t ask, contact the teacher.
      • Talk with your child. Stress the positive things the teacher said… and talk about suggestions for improvement.
      • Plan with your child how to carry out these suggestions

    I hope these tips help to make your first virtual school conference a success! Thanks for all of your support during these times! The staff and I appreciate it!

    • Please note that November 23rd is a Remote Learning Day for both "A" and "B" day students.

    • Conference times for November 23rd: 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 pm.-8:00 p.m.

    • Conference times for November 24th: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    New Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum

    A note from our school Psychologists and Social Workers:

    Dear Sandwich CUSD #430 Families,

    The district is very excited to announce our implementation of social-emotional learning curricula for all students in preschool through 7th grade using Second Step® and Habitudes® in 8th grade!

    We want your child to be as successful as possible at school. Success in school is not just about academics. It is also about knowing how to learn and how to get along with others. Second Step® and Habitudes® are research-based curricula that focus on skills for social and academic success, such as emotion management, problem-solving, growth mindset, and empathy.

    We understand that blended and remote learning has presented us all with new challenges for student learning and well-being. Please know that while your child’s participation in Second Step® and Habitudes® activities is important, the activities will not be graded. We are constantly evaluating the best ways to reach all students with this curriculum, while not placing undue additional burden on families. Please see below for a description of how these curricula will be delivered to different grade-levels.

    If you have any questions about the social-emotional curriculum, please do not hesitate to contact your building school social worker or school psychologist for more information (see below for staff names). Thank you for supporting your child in learning the skills that lead to success in school and in life!

    All Preschool - 5th Grade;

    6th and 7th-grade students in REMOTE LEARNING ONLY:

    For the 2020-21 school year, the Second Step® curriculum will be delivered via remote platform (Seesaw or Google Classroom, depending on your child’s grade level). On Seesaw/Google Classroom, weekly lessons will be delivered by a school social worker or school psychologist.

    Also via Seesaw/Google Classroom, you and your child will receive simple, fun activities for you and your child to complete together throughout the week to reinforce the lesson. They are a great way for you to understand what your child is learning and for your child to show you what he or she knows! In the upcoming weeks, please watch for information directly from your child’s teacher or the school social worker/psychologist to connect you to Second Step® on Seesaw/Google Classroom.

    6th and 7th Grade students in BLENDED LEARNING:

    For the 2020-21 school year, the Second Step® curriculum will be delivered when your child is attending school in-person during PE class. Your child may receive additional simple activities to complete at home as a way to reinforce the lessons.

    All 8th-grade students:

    Students in 8th grade will be receiving a separate curriculum called Habitudes®, which will transition them to high school. For students in Blended learning, Habitudes® will be delivered when they are attending school in-person during PE class. For students in Remote-only learning, Habitudes® will be delivered via Google Classroom by a school social worker.

    Staff Members:

    Preschool & Kindergarten:

    Alex Moore, School Social Worker

    1st & 2nd grade:

    Kim Teti, School Social Worker

    3rd grade:

    Amy Surprenant, School Psychologist

    4th grade:

    Christine Dewey, School Social Worker

    5th grade:

    Molly McDade, School Psychologist

    6th, 7th, & 8th grades:

    Sandy Davies, School Social Worker sdavies@sandwich

    Erin Pearlman, School Social Worker

    News from the Reading Room-Mr. Mlot

    Greetings from the Reading Room! This past month has been a whirlwind of excitement! Thus far, I've really enjoyed my time at Prairie View, as I've been welcomed by all students and staff. As previously stated, I am grateful for this opportunity. While we've received an extension on our Fall Benchmark assessments, the students and staff have been working hard to complete the tests so they can get back to learning! I don't know if I'm at liberty to discuss any school-wide news...but there are some pretty neat "literacy based" reading events on the horizon. As a reading teacher, there are not very many things that get me more excited than reading books with my kids. Having a third-grade student currently attend PV, parents of younger students can rest assured there's lots of reading and quality discussion taking place! (In case you're wondering, there are all kinds of reading activities going on here, all day, every day in each classroom!). I anticipated having a wonderful experience this year on the Prairie, but so far, my reasonably high expectations have been exceeded. So in case it's not stated enough, THANK YOU to all students and staff members! Keep up the hard work! Read on!

    Music News

    Students began the school year in a steady beat and rhythm unit of study in general music class. They practiced steady beat on several different rhythm instruments and using body percussion. They also marched, danced, and played some movement games. Second and Third graders will be using the steady beat of music to learn some basic note values in rhythm patterns. Kindergarten and First grade will begin to look at parts of a note and recognize some musical symbols. Over the next couple of weeks, students will continue to experience steady beat and rhythm in music. This week, K-1 learned a game and beat pattern that children in Africa will play in a traditional African drum circle called Juba. Also this week, 2-3 invented rhythm patterns while playing a children's drum circle game from The Republic of the Congo called Kee Chee. They also practiced singing in Swahili!
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    November 14th is World Diabetes Day

    In the United States, about 30 million adults and 200,000 people under the age of 20 have diabetes. Here are some website resources for Diabetes:

    Dental Reminder:

    Completed Proof of School Dental Exam forms are required for current Kindergarten and second grade students by May 15th. If you are unable to obtain the required dental exam, please complete the Dental Exam Waiver Form.

    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 for more information.
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    News from the PPA!

    PPA Read-a-Thon

    Each week of the Read-a-Thon students will have the opportunity to earn weekly prizes! You will receive information in your student's take-home folder the week of October 26th and the Read-a-Thon will conclude on December 10th.

    New PPA Facebook Support Group!

    This is a support group for anyone going to Prairie View Elementary. This is a place to ask questions regarding blended/e-learning, technical/Chromebook issues, or anything else revolving around our Prairie View kids.

    We are all parents to kiddos at Prairie View & we are all in this together! Let's support and cheer each other on!

    Box Tops for Education:

    Click Here to access information on how to use Box Tops for Education to help out our School.

    Next PPA Meeting information:

    Topic: Prairie View PPA November 11 meeting
    Time: Nov 11, 2020 10:15 AM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 539 357 0265
    Passcode: VRd4GB

    Election Day

    This school year an Illinois Legislative bill has been passed that mandates that Tuesday, November 3rd as a nonattendance day for Illinois Schools. This means, there will be no in-person or remote learning on this day.

    Basket Raffle Reminder!

    Each spring, Prairie View hosts a fundraiser to help support the educational efforts of our building. Most recently, our annual fundraiser has been an Ice Cream Social. During a typical school year, community members, students, staff, and family members were able to attend the Ice Cream Social and have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets to put into drawings for a variety of baskets. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school year ended in an unorthodox manner and we were unable to host our planned Ice Cream Social. This has left us with a plethora of wonderful baskets that have not been used. Many of these baskets contain gift certificates that have expiration dates. Therefore, we've decided to move forward with raffling the baskets in a virtual manner. We recognize that these are difficult times, so any and all participation in the basket raffle is very much appreciated. Thank you in advance for your support in helping Prairie View Elementary School!

    • The raffle will take place from October 23rd thru November 20th at 12:00 p.m. Winners will be notified the afternoon of November 20th.

    • Baskets can be picked up at Prairie View on Monday, November 23rd from 8:00 a.m. till 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, November 24th from 8:00 a.m. till 12:00 p.m.

    Click Here to access our Basket Raffle website!


    • If you are ever in need of school supplies to be used at home, please swing by the school. There are plastic tubs full of supplies (such as spiral notebooks, glue, glue sticks, markers, pencils, erasers, and rulers) located on the benches near the main entrance!

    • Similarly, if you are in need of additional COVID-19 student certification forms, they can also be found in a separate plastic tub near the front doors.


    Unfortunately, the weather has started to feel more like winter on some days, and a lot less like fall. Please make sure that you are sending your student(s) with a warm jacket; throw a winter hat and a pair of gloves in their backpacks, and perhaps send them with a spare sweatshirt for good measure!

    Halloween Fun

    Breakfast Lunch Menu

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    November Lunch Menu

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    The Parent Institute

    Additional Parent Resources

    Learning Today, Shaping Tomorrow