Words from Walsh September, 2018

Staying connected with Walsh School

Greetings from Principal Martin

I am excited to welcome everyone to Walsh School and anticipate a successful and fun-filled year for all our students. Our first days went well, and I can only assume that it was because of our energetic, supportive parents who worked with our staff to make each and every child feel safe and welcome.

We will again be using First Student bus service and their experienced leaders, dispatchers and drivers. Should you have any bus concerns, please contact Jen, the dispatcher, at 815-726-0033 or the office. For our early childhood students, transportation will be provided by Grand Prairie. The dispatcher, Connie, can be reached at 815-838-1012, or Elaine with Special Services at 815-836-7719, should you have concerns. I cannot express enough gratitude for everyone’s patience and understanding during our first few weeks, both with transportation and in our parking lots. Hopefully by now, all of the necessary bussing adjustments have been made, and we have settled into a regular routine.

For our car riders, I remind you to be alert when using our parking lot. Always use the circle drop off in the morning, and when picking up, remember that no child should cross the parking lot without an adult. There is, of course, absolutely no parking for pick-up or drop off in the front parking lot. Remember to only use the North Street parking lot. I thank you for your effort in helping to keep our children safe.

All physicals, dental and eye exams are now due for our kindergarten students. Please turn them in as soon as possible, if you haven’t done so already. Please contact our school nurse with any medical needs or concerns for your child.

Our hot lunch program is in full swing and the students are enjoying the different selections that are offered. If your child prefers a sack lunch from home, please make sure you pack healthy choices for them to enjoy. The lunch menu can be found online at www.d92.org.

As always, if you have any concerns, please feel free to contact me. ~ Mrs. Teresa Martin

Important Dates in September

Mark Your Calendars

3 – No School/Labor Day

4 - G.R.E.A.T. Program begins in 1st grade

6 – Super's Coffee 6:30 pm at Ludwig

6 - PFA Meeting/Ludwig 7:00 pm

11 – Patriot Day/Wear Red, White or Blue

12 – School Improvement - 11:55 Dismissal; No Early Childhood/Preschool

14 - 10:00 am - Cold Blooded Creatures Assembly

18 – Picture Day!

18 – Board of Education Meeting 7:00 pm

28 – Spirit Day/Hat Day!

Drop off times: no earlier than 8:40 a.m.

Please be prompt for pick-up at 3:30 p.m.

Remember to call the office by 9:00 a.m. if your child will be absent.

Office hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. ~ 815-838-7858 www.d92.org

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District 92 has a “no food celebration” rule for birthdays and holiday parties. We have a list of many examples of other fun ways to celebrate your child’s special day available in the office. Our media center is also helping out by making a “birthday book” available to purchase and donate to the Walsh library. Your child's name will be put in the book and she/he will be thanked during the announcements. Please contact Amy Rusick, media specialist, with any questions. There is also our famous pencil and notebook machine. Some busy parents find it easy to send in one quarter for each student, and the class parades down to the lobby to purchase a treat themselves!

There are 2 class parties during the school year: Halloween in October and the Holiday Party in December. Teachers will assign 3 room parents to help organize and run the party. There will be a costume parade before the Halloween party, and all parents and friends can come watch the students parade through the gym. More information will come home through the backpacks as we get closer to these fun events.

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PICTURE DAY - September 18th

Lifetouch Photographers will be at Walsh on Tuesday, September 18th. Order forms will be sent home as soon as they arrive with more detailed information and pricing. All students will be photographed (except those who have not returned their photo permission form, or marked no on the form). These pictures will be added to our yearbook, which will become available later in the year. Just in case your child is absent, or your picture isn't to your liking, there will be retakes on November 1st.

P.E. News by Mr. Wallace

Welcome back everyone! We are looking forward to a great year. In September, we are usually outside for PE. We will spend time getting to know each other, check out the garden, and try and get some good old vitamin D from the sun. Thanks for sending your child with gym shoes. If he/she wears flip-flops, please bring extra shoes to change into for gym. Let me know if there are any issues I should know about. Thanks again, I'm looking forward to a fun year!

Kindergarten News

In September, our main focus is to build a friendly classroom environment and help the children feel welcome at Walsh. The kindergarteners are very busy learning the routines that will be in place all year long. The students are adapting to the longer school day and building stamina to work independently. They are also enjoying getting to know their new classmates and Walsh staff.

We are excited to begin our Launch Unit of Reader’s Workshop. We will work on developing good reading habits. They will explore a variety of different books and texts. They will learn how to talk about the books and share with their partners. While exploring the different genres, we will promote a love for literacy.

We also are excited to begin our Bridges in Mathematics this year. We have started with learning about numbers one through five.

You can continue to support this smooth transition by providing a healthy snack, checking your child’s folder nightly, and making sure they get enough sleep at night. These three tips will help us sustain a successful year!

First Grade News

As we begin the new school year, there is a lot of excitement down the first grade hallway! Students have had a chance to see old friends and make new friends, too. Students have also been busy learning important new routines, rules, and procedures. We have started our reading curriculum, Schoolwide. During the Schoolwide launching unit, students will be learning about text and genre features, choosing a "just right" book, making connections, and discovering new vocabulary. We also began our Schoolwide Writing Unit which explores how writers work.

Our math series is called Bridges. In this program, students focus intensively on the four critical areas specified by the common core state standards for mathematics in grade one.

*Addition and subtraction within 20

*Whole number relationships and place value

*Linear measurement in non-standard units

*Reasoning with shapes and their attributes

In addition, students participate in math practice and math work places September is also a very important time at home. It is a time to establish homework routines, which will carry throughout the school year. Parents should allow time for reading and practicing math facts each night. We are off to a great start and we look forward to a successful school year!

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Early Childhood News

We have been so proud and excited to have our new Community Preschool launch this school year. With our Early Childhood Program, we have the most enthusiastic and engaging students, parents, staff, and teachers! Both classes have adjusted nicely to the school schedule and enjoy our specials, including physical education, art, music, and the media center. There have been new curriculums incorporated into the preschool programs including Second Step, Bridges Math, and Fundations, which are all in preparation for the kindergarten program. Our goal is to have each student reach the highest potential possible in every area and, most importantly, to instill a love of school and a positive self-image. Thanks to everyone for supporting us this school year!!

The Reading Corner by Mrs. Senders, First Grade Reading Specialist

-- Motivating Kids to Read -- Studies show that the more children read, the better readers and writer they become. But what can you do to motivate your children to read more regularly? As a parent, you know that reading is important, and you probably feel frustrated if your child does not like to read. Many forces in children’s lives pull them away from reading – television, video games and after-school activities – but finding a way to incorporate reading and writing activities into your child’s daily routine may not be as difficult as it seems. Try the following: Learn more about your child’s interest and suggest books, magazines, and articles that relate to those topics. Sometimes good movies are a starting point for pleasure reading – after seeing a movie based on a book, children will be motivated to read the book. Sometimes travel sparks reading, and finding books that relate to a place you visit on a family vacation can get a child hooked. Keep books and other reading materials in your home. Read books with your children! Children of any age can appreciate being read to. Be a good role model – let your children see you reading.

Music News by Mrs. Rutkiewicz

“Welcome back to a brand new school year, boys and girls.” I am so happy to be back as the music teacher here at Walsh School! It is wonderful to see all my students from last year – my, how you have grown over the summer. I also love meeting our new students at Walsh, including all my new kindergarten and first grade friends! We are going to have a great year learning all about music!

Parents, I hope you will soon hear your children singing songs we learn at school. We will be exploring many musical concepts this year beginning with soft/loud, fast/slow and long/short. We call these “musical opposites”. I have many exciting musical activities to teach and I am confident that together we will have a fun filled musical year!

Save the dates: First grade musical will be on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018

Kgtn musical will be on Friday, April 26, 2019

There will be more information to come home later.

Keep on singing!

Mrs. Bernie Rutkiewicz

News from the Media Center

Classes have begun working with iPads to locate apps and navigate to the Walsh Media Center Site.

Students have also been practicing using several links on our Walsh Media Center web site. Students can navigate to our Media Center page by starting at our district page: https://www.d92.org and then selecting “Walsh”. Next, use the drop down menu to navigate to the Media Center where the students have been practicing using several links.

Art News by Mrs. Deckinga

"Welcome!" to my new kindergarten friends, and "Welcome back!" to my first grade friends! The kindergarten classes will begin the year by reading the book, Why Do Leaves Change Color? We'll study photos of beautiful autumn landscapes, and then create one of our own using both painting and printmaking techniques.

The first grade classes will be studying the works of artist Henri Matisse. Inspired by his colorful still lifes, we'll be making apple still lifes using watercolor, tempera, and pastel chalk. It's one of my favorite projects and they always look amazing!

Making Math Count by Mrs. Romeo

Welcome back! We are very excited to begin our new year. With routines down, we are ready to begin academics. I have found this wonderful new App I would like to share.

Parents know to read to their kids at night, but what about math? Our mission is simple: to make math a fun part of kids' everyday lives, as beloved as the bedtime story. Choose the Math Problem of the Day, or explore over 1600 additional math problems with various zany topics, ranging from electric eels and chocolate chips to roller coasters and flamingos. Each has three levels of challenge ("Wee Ones," "Little Kids," and "Big Kids"), and many also have harder questions ("The Sky's the Limit") for really big kids, grown-ups, and anyone who's feeling brave!

Bedtime Math and Mini Math get kids jazzed about numbers. It's nothing like school. Make it a part of your family's routine today! It is free and fun. I have provided the links below.