Jim Calabrese, Superintendent, Taft SD 90
May 14, 2023
Viking of the Week
I can’t believe I am writing this, but this week will be the last full week for our graduating class of 2023! With graduation looming, we thought it was fitting to make our 8th grade class the students of the week. I know I am proud of them and am sure the rest of the staff feels the same. I asked Mrs. Campbell, our 8th grade teacher and sponsor, to share a few thoughts with me. Here is what she said about our graduating class.
Eighth graders started the graduation festivities with a trip to Six Flags Great America on May 12th. Everything about the day was perfect - the weather, the enthusiasm, and the students! It's been a great year! They have learned and grown in so many ways this year. The students are well-prepared and ready for their next 4 years of high school, but that doesn't make it any easier to see them leave. I'm looking forward to celebrating with the class of 2023 in these last few days we have left with them. Congratulations 8th graders - I am so proud of you and wish you all the best in high school and beyond!
Well done, Taft Vikings. I am proud of you and can’t wait to watch you walk across the stage.
Spring Band Concert
Two students from each band were recognized Wednesday night: Celeste Rangel and Jakub Senberger were named this year’s “Most Improved Band Students”, and Chase Brzuszkiewicz and Cole Boyko were named “Band Students of the Year.” We would also like to recognize Christian Bates, who performed in his final Taft band concert this week and will be graduating on Thursday. Christian has played the trumpet in band for three years and has been a soloist for several performances this year. We wish you all the best in high school, Christian!
Congratulations again to all of our Beginning Band and Concert Band students on a great concert season. We admire the commitment, drive, and talent shown by each of you this year, and we look forward to making music again with you in the fall!
Little Mermaid Tickets
Vikings Basketball Camp
May ABC Celebration Agenda
ABC Agenda Directions for Days that require help from home
Snacks for Parties/Birthdays at School
We need to find a solution that can still allow our students to enjoy classroom parties and their birthdays without creating potentially unsafe environments for our kids. We have begun to investigate some alternatives by checking in with other schools but we are also looking for our community to provide some ideas. Some ideas that we have already received could be that instead of parents sending in a variety of food items for parties perhaps each parent sends in a dollar or two and the school can purchase a classroom snack. Another idea that was suggested at our last meeting of the Board of Education could be to have parents donate the same amount of money and instead of having individual classroom parties perhaps we could rent some inflatables and have each class spend some time in our gym playing instead of eating as part of a classroom party.
If you have any ideas can you please reach out to me or Mr. Davini to let us know? As we gather more information we will be sure to keep communicating with our community to inform everyone of any changes. We are through our class party season until the end of the year so we have a little time to be thoughtful. In the meantime, if you are planning on sending anything to school for birthdays please check out the guidelines near the end of our newsletter.
Snack Guidelines from Nurse McGraw
Each family should have received this letter regarding snacks in the classroom. We need to work together as a team to make sure all our students are safe! There is no obligation for any family to bring in treats or snacks for birthdays or holidays; bringing in any kind of snack is strictly on a volunteer basis.
Food allergies are common today for many school-aged children in the United States. With this in mind, we want to ensure a safe and healthy environment in our classrooms for all of our students. The following are basic guidelines that must be followed when sending edible food items to the school for distribution to the classroom. Be aware that there are multiple allergies in our school other than nut allergies that could impact your snack choice. It would be best if you called the school prior to bringing in any snacks and reviewing with the school nurse so we can work as a team to ensure the class will be safe with the snack you choose.
All food must be made and /or manufactured in the United States or Canada.
All food must be peanut nut/tree nut free and manufactured on a dedicated peanut/tree nut-free line.
Homemade food items are NOT allowed.
No treat bags unless you choose to fill bags with NON-FOOD items.
You may refer to the website https://snacksafely.com/guide/peanut-treenut-free/ to find appropriate snacks that may be acceptable for your child’s classroom.
All food /snacks and treats going to the classroom for any celebration ( i.e. birthdays and holidays) must be checked by the School Nurse before going to the classroom AND be individually wrapped AND in their original packaging.
Physical and Immunization Information
The State of Illinois requires that all students MUST have an Illinois physical exam with up-to-date immunizations on file. Please see below and work with the office to complete these requirements as soon as possible.
Physical exam on an Illinois form within one year prior to the first day of school with updated immunizations. Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.
Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form completed and turned in by October 15, 2022.
Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.
Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.
Physical Exam (Sports Physical form not acceptable) must be on the State of Illinois Certificate of Child Health Exam form and done within one year prior to the first day of school with up-to-date immunizations.
Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.
Dental exam on an Illinois Dental Exam Form Must be turned in by May 15, 2023.
New students enrolling in an Illinois School for the first time-Required regardless of grade level:
Physical Exam with up-to-date immunizations on an Illinois form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).
Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).
Attached you will see our proposed e-Learning Plan that has been sent to the Regional Office of Education for their approval. We will be sending out more information within the next month or so to ensure we are prepared if an emergency day is needed. Over the past few years, we have decided to cancel school when necessary as early as possible to make sure everyone is as prepared as possible. We plan to continue this practice moving forward.
Taft is proud to have the “Stop It” program up and running for the 2021-2022 school year. Stop it is an online program that students can use to report bullying or any unsafe behavior while remaining anonymous. These reports come through to the Superintendent, Principal, and Social Worker via text so we can address the situation right away. This provides the student with an opportunity to share their concerns if they feel they cannot speak immediately to an adult.
We continue to teach our students to advocate for themselves in situations where they feel they can speak to a situation on their own. The students are reminded there are different approaches to stop bullying or unsafe situations outside of reporting things anonymously. Students are encouraged to share concerns with friends, staff, and family to learn to advocate for themselves. However, we understand that there are some situations where students may feel safer reporting discreetly.
If you have any questions regarding the Stop It program, please contact Mr. Davini or Mr. Calabrese.
5/23/23 - Special Education Timely and Meaningful Meeting - 10:00 AM
5/23/23 - Board of Education Meeting - 6:15 PM Closed Session - 7:00 PM Open Session
5/25/23 - Kindergarten Graduation - 9:00 AM
5/25/23 - 8th Grade Graduation - 6:30 PM
5/26/23 - Early Release - 1:45 PM
5/29/23 - No School - Memorial Day
5/31/23 - Last Day of School - 11:30 AM Dismissal