Shark Tales

Southbury Elementary


Administration Letter

January News!

Happy New Year 2022, Shark Families!!! Welcome back, and we hope that you all had a safe and relaxing winter break. We are now in the second semester of the school year, and we look forward to all the learning that will occur through May!

Before winter break, our students worked really hard on FastBridge Progress Monitoring to show how much they have learned so far this year. We are seeing lots of growth in both reading and math, and this is due to the commitment and dedication of our students, families, and staff! As we collaboratively look at the data and find children who might need some more support, our teachers will be sure to differentiate and provide the necessary assistance to help each child achieve at a higher level. Thank you for working with us as a team to ensure your child(ren)s success!

Southbury has a new Assistant Principal, Mr. Jon Szychlinski, that was Board approved on Monday, January 24th, 2022. Mr. Szychlinski is joining us from Richland School District 88 where he previously served as Dean of Students. We are excited to have Mr. S join our Shark Family!

As we work in the second semester, please be sure to talk with your student(s) regarding the Character Counts! pillars and setting positive school goals for the remainder of the year!

We appreciate your support!


  • 2/ 3: HSO Meeting 6-7pm

  • 2/10: Culver’s Night

  • 2/18: SIP Day– 12:30pm Dismissal

  • 2/21: Presidents’ Day (Holiday-No School; District Closed)

Here’s to a wonderful 2022 – GO SHARKS!!

Samantha Sinovich


Jon Szychlinski

Assistant Principal

Home and School Organization Happenings

January was a quiet month for our HSO although a lot is being done behind the scenes for many fun spring happenings. Our Fun Run team is looking for a few volunteers to help with the sponsorship/ fundraising team. If you are willing to help, please reach out to Caroyln at

Thank you for all of the amazing entries in the yearbook cover contest. We have very talented Sharks and the entries are going to help the yearbook look amazing!!! If you have not ordered your yearbook, please do so today as you are running out of time. ALL ORDERS must be done by APRIL 7th. Follow these steps below.

Go to

Then enter our school code 208741 and click go to your school login. Click on the link below our school name and register as a new user, then follow the directions to purchase your yearbook for $20.

Thanks to those that signed up for a staff treat drop event. Here is the link below to sign up! Treats can be dropped off anytime this week!!

The HSO is also holding a fundraising night with Chick-fil-A on February 15th from 5-8pm. Look for the flyer to be emailed soon!

Finally, don’t forget to follow us on facebook for some exciting announcements and events!!

Stay warm!

Kristy Stith and Sarah Brown

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Happy New Year! We have enjoyed welcoming the students back after winter break and hearing about all their at home celebrations! We are excited to watch all the new growth of our learners this year!

ELA: As readers we started back focusing on Fiction while reading different versions of “The Mitten” and other Jan Brett folktales. The kids reviewed characters, setting, retelling and verbs. We ended the month studying non-fiction texts and videos about penguins and polar bears.

As writers we practiced note-taking, labeling and writing multiple telling sentences to share facts we learned. We also worked on opinion writing - Which version of The Mitten did you like best? Do you like penguins or polar bears better?

Math: Calendar and counting routines are being continued. We talked about starting a new year and a new month. We also reviewed 2D shapes and started our focus on 3D shapes. We learned to recognize the difference between flat and solid shapes, names of 3D shapes and 3D shapes in the world around us.

Science: We started our 2nd unit which is about Sunlight. We helped a school fix some issues on their playground by using what we learned about the effects of sunlight and weather can have on different materials.

Social Studies: We completed our learning objective that focused on “Then and Now”. We learned about how things change and people change over time.

Tips for at home:

Math around your house. Can you find any 3D shapes around the house? Skip counting patterns (2’s, 5’s and 10’s)

Letters and Sounds: Writing out words with beginning blends (cl-ap, st-op, sl-ip). Review and master Trimester 1 HFW. Retell beginning, middle and end of stories that are read to them.

Thanks for all the continued support at home!

1st Grade

January is an awesome month for 1st Grade. We get ready to celebrate the 100th day of school with activities about the number 100!


  • Narrative Writing process

  • Story Elements and Central Message

  • Practice reading high frequency words and/or fluency passages


  • Place Value discussions

  • Comparing Numbers

  • Counting and writing to 120


  • Light and Bright

  • Shadows

Social Studies

  • Timeline

  • Moving Forward

  • Everything Changes

2nd Grade

Happy New Year! We sincerely hope that everyone enjoyed their long winter break :) We returned back to 2nd grade and reviewed our expectations and routines.

We began unit 3A in ReadyGen. In this unit we’ve focused on the importance of questions and answers. We read a book about Theodore Roosevelt. The students learned about many text features while reading this book. We will end the month with an AVID One-Pager on Theordore Roosevelt.

In Math, we worked on adding and subtracting three-digit numbers. We had lots of practice with regrouping of ones and tens through our math lessons and games.

In Science, we continued working in Unit 2 Changing Landforms. We have been learning about the idea of erosion. We’ve watched a few videos that show what is erosion is. We’ve also taken it a step further and discussed how landforms change over time due to erosion. The students will learn how powerful water can be when it comes to the changing of landforms.

The Second Grade Team is thankful to be back at school with our wonderful group of Second Graders!

3rd Grade

The new year is off to a great start in 3rd grade! It’s been a busy couple of weeks, but students have done a wonderful job of getting back into the swing of things! Take a look at what we've been working on this month:

Math: Students have been learning how perimeter and area are related, and how they are different. In this unit, students have been utilizing different strategies to find the perimeter and area of different shapes and figures, including tiling figures, using the formula A = l x w, and the Distributive Property.

Reading: Students finished the text Deep Down and Other Extreme Places to Live where we focused on main idea/key details and using text features. We also readThe Song of Sky and Sand and determined the central message.

Writing: Students have been learning how to group information to compose paragraphs that compare and contrast two communities that live in “an extreme” place in the world. Once these are completed, we’ll begin focusing on opinion writing.

Science: Students have been learning all about weather and climate in this unit. They have been working together to collect data and conduct investigations to determine the best location for an orangutan reserve.

AVID: We continue to strengthen our writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading skills. We believe AVID...

  • Is effective in addressing academic and social needs

  • An avenue to building lifelong learners

  • Provides engaging structures

  • Brings out diverse strengths to build leaders

  • Strengthens communication and peer relationships

Thank you for your continued support!

4th Grade

January marked the halfway point in the school year, and the month also saw 4th grade students delve into fractions. The children reviewed their prior knowledge about fractions as parts of whole things. The students then expanded their skills to simplify fractions, to find common denominators and equivalent fractions, and to identify benchmark fractions. The children solved story problems involving food and recipes, money, and other realistic scenarios about parts of quantities. Throughout math, the students saw the connections among knowing their multiplication facts, finding factors and multiples, and being able to work with fractions.

Also this month, students continued an ELA unit that focused on natural disasters. The children learned about different types of volcanoes as well as tsunamis through both informational and fiction texts. Each 4th grader began doing research on a specific natural disaster and drafting and writing a report on that catastrophic event.

The students participated in activities such as Philosophical Chairs and Socratic Seminars in which they stated opinions about a topic and backed up their opinions with reasons. Similarly, the children continued the reading comprehension strategy of returning to a story or article multiple times to find text evidence to back up their thinking about a topic.

In science, the children learned how sedimentary rocks form in layers over time, and that fossils can form between these layers over millions of years. In a curriculum overlap between ELA and science, the students learned about tectonic plate movement in the earth and the connection between tectonic plates and earthquake and volcanic activity.

5th Grade

We are happy to be back with our 5th grade students after the long holiday break! Students jumped right back into their routines and have been learning a ton of new information in all subject areas. In ELA, we are reading the text George’s Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy & Stephen Hawking. This is always one of the students' favorites to read in 5th grade. Students have worked on comparing and contrasting characters, settings, and events of the story. They have also done work with descriptive details and figurative language. For writing, students have been focused on grammar, particularly parts of speech to aid in their writing. Their next PBA will be to write a science fiction narrative.

In math, students have been busy learning all about fractions. They learned how to relate fractions and division, change mixed fractions to improper fractions and vice versa, find the greatest common factor and least common multiple, compare fractions, and write fractions as decimals.

In science, students finished up their unit on The Earth System. They have been gathering data from simulations, books, evidence cards, and their very own water collection systems to try to find a solution. They have started the next unit called Patterns of Earth and Sky, which focuses on the solar system! This ties in with what we are learning in ELA!

In regards to AVID, our students have been doing a great job learning the components of the writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading strategies that we use in our classroom each day. Students have been trying different collaborative strategies to aid in their understanding of the material.

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Happy January from your STARS team!

It’s crazy to think we are in the second semester of this year. The STARS rooms have been working hard this month. A big focus has been placed on social skills including communication with peers and adults, play, and expected school behavior this month in the classrooms.

Due to the COVID surge, we have temporarily put a hold on therapy dogs to not add more exposures than necessary. We are sad for the time off from this as the students and staff all really love this time and hope to add it back into our monthly schedules soon.


We would like to remind everyone that with the colder weather and snow, all students will need snow pants, boots, coat, hat, and gloves in order to play on the playground. We will be going outside as long as the temperatures are 10 degrees or higher including the windchill!

Additionally, if your child uses a communication device, please be sure to have it charged up and ready to use at school. This is a big part of your child’s educational success at school and we would like to use it as much as possible. This can be difficult if we are having to pause in order to charge it.

Thank you!

Your STARS teachers


ACCESS Testing has begun! All EL students will be taking the ACCESS or Alternate ACCESS test. The testing window is January 12 - March 4, 2022. During this time the students will not have ESL Resource class. As soon as all of the EL students that attend Southbury are finished testing the students will resume ESL Resource class.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Mrs. Serio.

Kristen Serio


GE Math

Our fourth grade mathematicians transitioned from decimals to fractions. First we activated our prior knowledge of fractions and exploring the concept of what a fraction is by using a Frayer model organizer. We solved pixel arts, escaped from the bakery, worked in our small whiteboard groups, and of course, played lots and lots of Blooket games! We built an ice cream cone/sundae by adding a scoop of ice cream to our cone after each skill we mastered. We are currently learning to add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators. This sounds simple, but there are many skills within the standard with the most difficult being regrouping when subtracting mixed numbers.

In fifth grade we have been busy building, puzzling, decoding, and strategizing! We capped off 6th grade Number System standards by escaping Antarctica, which required calculating the distance on the coordinate plane. Then we advanced to a 7th grade math standard, integer computation. We learned to add and subtract negative integers using several strategies, such as finding zero pairs and modeling the equations on a number line. Taking notes on types of problems helped us notice patterns and form generalizations. Modeling and thinking of story contexts helped us make sense of subtracting negative numbers. We are now well on our way through our Algebra. We have been learning the language of Algebra, so we can translate English into Algebraic expressions and equations and vice versa. Using our math properties, knowledge of the order of operations, and integer computation is helping us combine and simplify expressions.

Speech and Language

Hello Shark families!

January was a very busy month for many of us. We hope you all stayed warm and healthy. We continued to work on everyone’s IEP goals. January was a great month to stay in and grab a book. Some of the STARS classrooms read several winter-themed books and learned about snow (and even made our own snow!). Our other students continued to work on those IEP goals whether they were in-person or virtual. Please reach out if you have any questions. GO Sharks!

From the speech-language pathologists,

Mrs. Debbie Convey


Mrs. Kelly Okel


Ms. Lauren Paver



Check it Out!

January in the library has been a time for exploring finding just right books (5 finger rule!), reading resolutions, and fostering a growth mindset.

The LRC’s Monarch and Bluestem Award Nominee Reading Incentive runs through Monday, February 28th. Several students have earned the lunch already and a few dedicated readers have read all 20 books on the list!

Kindergarten - 3rd grade: Monarch Book List 2022

  • Read 5 Books - get to vote for your favorite nominee.

  • Read 10 Books - bring your lunch up to the LRC to eat your lunch and some goodies with Mrs. Rossi

  • Read all 20 Books - win a gift card to the Spring book fair

3rd - 5th grade: Bluestem Book List 2022

  • Read 4 Books - get to vote for your favorite nominee.

  • Read 10 Books - bring your lunch up to the LRC to eat your lunch and some goodies with Mrs. Rossi

  • Read all 20 Books - win a gift card to the Spring book fair

Students may get the books from anywhere (Southbury’s LRC, Oswego Public Library, own purchase) and need to have a slip signed by an adult who saw them read or read with the student. These slips are available in the LRC. Some of these award nominees are read during library time. Students will automatically get credit for these books! DEADLINE for reading is Monday, February 28th, 2022.

Coming soon: Spring Book Fair week of March 7th!

Happy Reading,

Mrs. Rossi and Mrs. Dietz

From the Reading Department

Children love to know more about their favorite authors. The Reading Rockets website has a page devoted entirely to author interviews–perfect for curious readers who want to know more!

Each author interview comes with a short biography featuring a specific author along with a video clip of an interview with that same author. Some of the authors featured are Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular Magic Tree House Series.

If you have a curious reader at home, or even an aspiring author, be sure to check out this great website! Enjoy!


The art room is full of so many colorful and exciting projects! Many classes are creating art celebrating Chinese New Year. We have fresh art supplies arriving to replenish the art studio. Please ask your dentist or hair stylist for their old magazines! I’d love to have some for collage work. Thank you!

Mrs. Ayoung Chee


It has been wonderful to see all of the students’ smiling faces after coming back from Winter Break! In January, 1st-4th grade students focused on reviewing rhythms and creating rhythm patterns. Students use these rhythm patterns as the building blocks to reading music and playing instruments. Continuing into February, these students are gearing up for their 2nd Trimester Assessment. This assessment involves writing rhythm patterns and reading them to a partner and the music teacher.

Kindergarten students are learning a new music word: dynamics. Dynamics refers to the volume level of a sound. We are focusing on loud and quiet sounds and reinforcing this in class. Feel free to ask your child to give you examples of loud and quiet dynamics!

Additionally, 5th grade is working on their “recorder explorer” unit. However, we are substituting the recorders for instruments like xylophones to avoid the spread of germs. Each time the students pass a song, they level up and earn a bead on their keychain. They are doing a great job and I look forward to their progress in February.

As a reminder, honor choir rehearsals have started for 4th and 5th grade students that registered before winter break. Rehearsals are every Tuesday at 8:00am with a culminating performance on Thursday, April 21st!

If you ever have any questions, please email me at

Physical Education

Happy New Year! Southbury student athletes are rolling into the new year by learning the great sport of bowling! Younger students are focusing on the proper grip and stepping with the opposite foot when bowling the bowling ball. The older students will be focusing on the basic skills as well as working on some math in PE by adding up how many pins they knock down. Going to be a fun time in PE! Go Sharks!

News from Nurse Sara

Hello parents! Please take a minute to review the information below as it may apply to your student(s).

Hearing and Vision Screenings: This year we will start vision and hearing screenings in early February. All students in kindergarten through 3rd grade will have a screening completed. Depending on the grade level they are in, they would have either both screened or only hearing. If your student does not pass the initial screening, there will be a second attempt at another time depending on when the screeners are able to return to Southbury. After that, a notification of an unsuccessful screening would be sent home with your child.

If you have a kindergartener who has had a vision exam completed, but not yet turned in, you can still turn in a copy of that to the health office.

Health Forms: All kindergarten and 2nd graders need to have a recent dental exam on file. You can send a copy of that form with your child, or send via email/fax as well. Kindergarten students health files include: a physical with proof of up to date vaccinations, dental and vision exam.

Any students who move to Illinois from out of state will need to have a physical completed in Illinois as well as proof of vaccinations within 30 days of the student being enrolled in school.

Dental Information: The Miles of Smiles Dental program will be coming to Southbury this Spring. If you need a copy of the consent form that was sent out before Winter Break, please contact your child’s teacher to request a copy of the form. A completed form only needs to be submitted only if you’d like the dentist to complete a dental exam at Southbury. Please note: This examination does meet the state of Illinois requirements for dental exams for students who are in Kindergarten, 2nd and going into 6th grade.

Cold weather: If you’d like to send your child with extra clothing when they go outside for recess, this will help in getting students back to class after recess. The health office has some donated clothing but it’s not guaranteed that we will have the right size if a student's clothing gets wet or dirty.

If you have sorted through some of your children’s outgrown clothing, and are looking to donate, I am always looking to replace borrowed clothing that doesn’t find it’s way back to the office. Any items (pants especially) as well as clean underwear are always appreciated.

As always, thank you for your support in keeping our students healthy and safe.

Nurse Sara & Paige Brawdy &

(630) 551-9802

Social Work

Welcome to 2022! We hope you have had a great beginning to a New Year. How are your New Year’s Resolutions going so far? Did you know that setting goals with our kids can increase their self awareness, provide them with a sense of purpose for their actions, improve their self-confidence & independence, AND it helps teach perseverance! We learn by trying again after failing. Who knew!? Even better, we can help our children create goals with others in mind! Need a little help with where to start? Kid President has some great suggestions for all of us as we enter into 2022.

Looking for some community centered events/clubs? Check out the Oswego Public Library!

Community Resources:

Kendall County Community Food Pantry is open each Thursday from 12-6pm.

Kendall County Community Food Pantry Clothing Dept:

Every Monday: 9:00 - 11:00

First and Last Saturday of the month: 9:00 - 11:00

Local Cooling/Warming Shelters

The Oswego Satellite Location runs the first friday of each month from 6-7:30

As always, please reach out to your child’s teacher or the main office if you have any questions or concerns that our Social Workers may be able to assist with. Happy New Year from your Southbury Social Workers!

-Kristin Epstein, Tanya Yuvan, & Kristina Flinn