CIS November Newsletter

Keeping you informed about what's happening at CIS.

A Message from Mr. Hoelscher

This year is flying by! I can’t believe we are finished with the first nine weeks and that we have had our first big snow of the year! I am so pleased with the way the year is going so far and it was GREAT seeing so many of you at CIS for conferences. We deeply value the relationship we have with our parents and the fact that so many of you come to discuss your child’s progress is what makes our school successful. As Mr. Heidbreder put out in a message to all of you, CIS is once again designated an Exemplary School. This designation represents the collective effort of Board, Administration, Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Students and Parents working together to make sure ALL of our students succeed. Thank you for being a great partner in education!

Brian Hoelscher, Principal

Central Intermediate

You're invited to the Central Intermediate School Parents Cafe

Thursday, Nov. 14th, 9-10am

Central Intermediate School Small Gym

Mrs. Bush and I are looking for parents to attend our first Parents Cafe on Thursday, November 14 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. in the CIS Cafeteria. We will be discussing the CIS Mission and Vision and would love to get your take on how we are doing well and what we can do to continuously improve. It will be a great discussion and we will have plenty of coffee and refreshments for you! If you would like to attend, please sign up by clicking the button below!

Mrs. Bush and I look forward to meeting with you to improve the experience at CIS for you and your student.

Click below to sign up for the Parents Cafe!

A Message from Mrs. Bush

Parent Teacher Conferences

Thank you so much to the students and parents who attended Parent Teacher Conferences in October! Students who participated in Student Led Conferences did a great job informing parents about many of their learning opportunities from first quarter, and it was great for our fourth grade parents to have an opportunity to meet with parents as well!

I also want to thank our Central teachers and staff who worked so hard to prepare for conferences. Mr. Hoelscher and I appreciate teachers’ dedication to making conferences a positive experience for students and parents!

5Essentials Survey

Another big thanks to those families who complete the 5Essentials survey during conferences. The 5Essentials Survey gives our district information on areas of strength and growth in the following areas:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

November Update from PTO President, Stephanie Redlingshafer

October was a very busy month! Many events have taken place that could not have happened without our wonderful volunteers! A HUGE THANK YOU to those who:

  • donated items for the dinner and breakfast for our teachers during conferences
  • helped with the Book Fair
  • participated in or attended the Craft/Vendor Fair
  • volunteered as a room coordinator or helper in the Halloween classroom parties
  • worked with AR prize patrol

Looking ahead to November, we will be needing volunteers!

  • ROCK (Rewarding Outstanding Central Kids) will be taking place on Saturday, November 9 at CIS. Volunteers are needed for all the fun activities that take place.
  • Volunteers are also needed to help serve breakfast items during our Fall VIP Breakfast (formally known as Donuts with Dad) at CPS on November 14 & 15.
  • And our annual Rivermen game will be on Saturday, November 23! Please come join us for this fun family night!

Staggered Dismissal Reminder for CIS Students

Thanks to those parents who discussed expectations with your children as they wait for younger siblings outside CPS!

The following expectations have been shared with students via announcements, and our students have shown a big improvement!

  • Students should keep hands and feet to themselves at all times.

  • Bicycles should be parked while students wait for younger siblings.

  • Students should stay off of the blacktop area near primary classrooms.

  • Students should be at a safe distance from the construction area fence.

  • Students should use appropriate language and speak at a reasonable volume.

  • Students should act respectfully at all times.

Coats for Kids

It’s that time of year again! The Coats for Kids bins are now located outside of the CIS office. Your new or gently owned coat donations are greatly appreciated!
Big picture

Health and Safety Updates

Notes from our Nurses

Kim Martin RN- Central Intermediate School

Carrie Bright RN- Central Primary School

PE Restrictions

  • In order to be excused from PE, a written note signed by a parent must be provided. Student exempt from PE will also be restricted from participating in recess and sports.

  • If a restriction is to last 3 days a more, a note signed by a doctor is required. The letter should also states WHEN a student may resume regular activities.

  • Students with casts, splints, or other immobilization devices are NOT allowed to participate in PE for the safety of the student and others around the student. A doctor’s note is required stating level of restriction and date when student may resume regular activities.

Trending in the Nursing Offices now

  • Strep Throat: Fever, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, vomiting

  • Upper Respiratory Illnesses: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue

Tips to help your students stay healthy

  • Teach your student to WASH THEIR HANDS! They should use soap and water and scrub fingers to wrist for 15-30 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” 2 times).

  • Teach your student to cover their coughs & sneezes with their elbow… Then WASH THEIR HANDS!

  • Encourage your student to eat lots of fruits and vegetables

  • Get your student moving (aka exercise, shhh!)

  • Get plenty of sleep

Managing Symptoms While at School

Before you send any medication to school with your student, review these policies...

  • In order for Central Staff to give ANY medication (other-the-counter or prescription, oral, eye drops, lotions/creams, etc) to your student, a completed Medication Authorization Form (must be signed by a parent/guardian AND a doctor) must be on file.

  • Medications must be turned into the office. Students are NOT allowed to carry any medications on them or in their book-bags.

  • Medications must be provided to the school in the original container. Prescription medications must have a prescription label with correct information (the pharmacy can provide an extra bottle/label).

  • Do NOT send medication on the bus. This is a safety concern as our younger students may find lost medication and think it is candy. The only exceptions are epipens and inhalers as these are emergency medications.

  • Cough drops/Throat lozenges may be sent with your students, BUT…

    • Send a note signed by a parent (cough drops do NOT require a Medication Authorization Form

    • Cough drops are kept in the nursing office. Students must ask to go to the office, sit and eat/suck on the cough drops until gone in the office. This is for safety reasons.

  • Essential oils do require a completed Medication Authorization Form.

Student Learning


Does your child love to play games on an electronic device? Consider requiring your child to spend 10 minutes on a math facts app before he/she plays other games. There are several FREE math facts apps that can easily be downloaded to any electronic device. My personal favorite is “My Math Flash Cards App”. With this app, your child can choose a level (starter/advanced) as well as the type of operation (addition/subtraction/multiplication/ division). Your child will also be able to customize the number of questions, the number of digits that are used on the flash cards, and he/she can turn on a timer and sound alerts for correct/incorrect answers. The next time your child is bored at home, in the car, or while waiting at an appointment, have him/her do some math flash cards on their device.


ReadTheory - is a completely free online tool that offers reading activities for all ages. It will adapt to students’ individual ability levels and will help students practice comprehension skills. If you think your child could use some extra practice, this is a great website!

Staff book picks of the month:

Mrs. Armstrong - Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Mrs. A Ufting - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwaba and Bryan Mealer

Mrs. Clarke - Series of Unfortunate Events by Daniel Handler and Brett Helquist

Mrs. Woolard - Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

Mrs. Webster - The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Mrs. Dunnan - Holes by Louis Sachar

Mrs. Borlin - Any I Survived book

Big picture

Learning Committee Spotlight - Reading FLA

Each month, Central Intermediate School Foundational Learning Area (FLA) teams meet to discuss items specific to content areas.

Our Central Intermediate School Reading FLA works hard to share ideas, analyze reading data, reflect on what is working, and discuss options to continuously improve reading instruction at CIS. These teachers are committed not just to students at their own grade level. The CIS Reading Team understands the long term benefits of a love of reading, and their meaningful collaboration, varied teaching experiences, and commitment to student learning benefits students at all grade levels!

Central Intermediate FLA Team (left to right)

Mrs. Hardesty - 7th Grade LiteratureTeacher

Miss Davidshofer - English Learner Teacher

Mrs. Martin - 6th Grade Literature Teacher

Mrs. Woolard - 5th Grade Literature Teacher

Mrs. Karcher - CIS Reading Interventionist

Mrs. Ekena - 4th Grade Reading Teacher

Miss Karpowicz - 4th Grade Reading Teacher

Mrs. Dalberg - 8th Grade Literature Teacher

A sincere thank you to these individuals for your dedication to students!

Social Emotional Learning at CIS

Social Emotional Learning Corner - Mrs. Arms and Mrs. Freeman

As parents and educators, we want students to be successful in and out of the school setting. Part of helping a student be successful in life is teaching them how to be their own coach. Positive self-talk is one way students can cheer themselves on and overcome adversity. Parents, teachers, and counselors can be positive role models for students but we want to teach them that they can also cheer themselves on. Providing ourselves with positive self-talk will increase how we feel and think about ourselves. Positive self-talk can have a big impact on how we think and feel. Self-talk is a strategy that can help reduce stress, improve self-esteem, increase motivation, inspire productivity, and improve overall mental and physical health when used over time. As stated by, Self-talk is the inner voice that goes on inside our heads throughout our waking hours. Positive self-talk is when we talk to ourselves in a reassuring, kind, and more optimistic way. It’s the difference from saying to yourself: ‘I’m an idiot, I can’t believe I failed this math test’ or ‘I’m disappointed in how I did on the math test but I’m going to talk to the teacher and study more next time.’ ”

Below are 6 strategies from on how to build positive self-talk in students.

1. Model positive self-talk. Practice using positive thinking skills aloud when talking about yourself and others. A simple way to start is with positive thoughts in the morning such as, “Today is going to be a great day” or “I’m ready for whatever the day brings me. ”It’s helpful to highlight the positive, even in difficult situations or setbacks. After a bad grade on a test, you might talk with the child to say, “It’s one bad grade and you’ll be okay. You can learn from this can get better next time. The most important thing is that you try your best.” Similarly, give genuine compliments to others freely and encourage seeing the bright side of things. That type of optimism is often contagious.

2. Create a list of positive self-talk statements. Use this free list of 101 Positive Thinking Affirmations to help kids and young adults read through a list of positive self-talk statements. Kids can select from the list or come up with their own to create their own personalized list of ten favorite statements. Having a pre-made list can be helpful to start discussing exactly what positive self-talk sounds like.

3. Discuss the benefits to positive self-talk. Be open about what self-talk is and how it helps. Kids, especially teens, might be skeptical about why they should change their thinking at first. Many psychology and self-help resources online can be worth reading and discussing together. Also know that practicing self-talk out loud might seem silly at times, but you have to change your words before you can really change the silent thinking in your head.

4. Incorporate crafts as a way to remember positive self-talk. Creating simple crafts with positive self-talk can be a great way for kids and young adults to learn positive self-talk. Best of all, kids can keep their craft for times when they need extra support. They can use it to help them start the day on a positive note or when they are feeling anxious, stressed, sad, or angry. You can create crafts on your own or find sample crafts to use.

5. Practice changing negative thoughts into more positives ones. You can do this with made-up examples or real-life situations. Using an example like, “I only did well on this test due to luck”, challenge kids and young adults to turn the statement into a more positive one. Also, when a kid or young adult brings up a negative thought, encourage him or her to change it to positive self-talk.

6. Talk about real life challenges and situations. Talk about the challenges kids and young adults are going through and how they feel about those situations. This can be done in small groups, 1:1, or even in larger groups. Ask questions like, “What can you learn from that situation?”, “What could the positive to that be?”, “What did you do right?” and “How could that help you for the future?”. Try to focus on the positive, what went right, and what can be learned instead of dwelling on the negative. Setbacks and failures are great times to use positive self-talk because they are the prime time for feeling down. Use these real-life situations to show how positive self-talk can help you get back up again when faced with a difficulty or disappointment.

Remember that you don’t need to be a counselor or psychologist to practice positive self-talk with kids and young adults. It’s true that anyone can teach and practice it. The ultimate goal is for kids and young adults to develop a stronger sense of self-confidence, allowing them to become more independent and reach their individual potentials along the way.

Social Emotional Learning Corner - Mrs. Neal

The National Reading Panel of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) identified vocabulary instruction as an essential skill that kids need to improve reading performance. In fact, one particular research article (Joshi, 2006; Kame’enui & Baumann, 2012) found strong evidence to support vocabulary instruction/development not only improves students’ reading comprehension and writing quality, but also their listening vocabulary and speaking vocabulary. Although this article is geared more toward teachers, remember, as parents, you are your child’s FIRST teacher. Check it out to get answers to these burning questions:)

  • What is vocabulary development?

  • What is the relationship between vocabulary knowledge and comprehension?

  • What is the importance of vocabulary knowledge?

  • What can I do as a parent to help build my child’s vocabulary?

Student/Parent Handbook Highlights

Independent Study/Homework Assistance

Central Intermediate School offers an after-school Independent Study/Homework Assistance for fourth through eighth grade students from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday each week starting the third week of the school year. Students must be picked up promptly at 4:00 p.m. Students repeatedly not picked up by 4:00 will not be able to attend the program. If you have any questions about the homework programs, contact your child’s teacher, the principal, or assistant principal.

Procedures for Detention/Mandatory Homework Assistance

  1. Student will receive verbal warning from teacher(s).

  2. Student will receive a written warning posted to Skyward with the date, time, and explanation of behavior.

  3. If the student disobeys the warning, a referral for mandatory detention/homework assistance will be assigned to the student in Skyward.

  4. The referral will contain the reason for the detention/Mandatory Homework Assistance as well as the time it is to be served.

  5. The student is expected to notify the parent and arrange to serve the detention/Mandatory Homework Assistance.

Details for Detention/Mandatory Homework Assistance

  • Detentions/Mandatory Homework Assistance will be served Monday - Friday afternoons following the date it was issued.

  • Detention and Mandatory Homework Assistance begin at 3:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.

  • Students should bring books, appropriate reading materials, or assignments to complete at the detention/mandatory homework assistance. Students who do not bring the necessary work may be assigned other work.

  • Students are expected to provide their own transportation. Students need to be picked up at the main office circle drive promptly at 4:00. Repeated late pick-ups will result in not being able to attend homework assistance. If providing transportation causes a problem, students should alter their behavior so they do not receive a detention/mandatory homework assistance.

A detention/mandatory homework assistance that is missed due to student absence or other excused reasons will be reassigned to the next period. Missing a detention/mandatory homework assistance for reasons that are not excused will result in students serving the original one plus an additional one. If a student continues to miss, it will be considered insubordination (class II violation) and consequences could include denial of privileges, Saturday Supervised Study, or in-school suspension.


In order to maximize your child’s educational experience, it is necessary for the student to be to each and every class on time and ready to learn. Students late for class will earn a tardy. After three UNEXCUSED tardies, disciplinary action will follow. Excessive tardies will be handled with families and administration on an individual basis.

Automated Absence Notifications

Automated Absence Notifications

The district's student management system automatically sends a letter home to parents/guardians after

  • 5 absences (excused, unexcused)

  • 10 absences (excused, unexcused)

Parents/guardians are also notified via automated email when a student is absent and contact is not made. These absences are coded as “Unexcused, Unverified” until contact has been made.

Central 51 Activities

Central 51 Speech

Forty-two Central Speech students participated in an optional speech contest at Dunlap Middle School in October. Our students participated in 19 skits earning 17 firsts and 2 seconds.

On Friday, November 1st, our Central Speech students competed at the state competition in Metamora. Congratulations to the 104 students who competed bringing home 41 first place skits and 3 second place skits!

We are so proud of these dedicated Central students who put so much time into memorizing, rehearsing, and perfecting their speeches! A big thanks to our coaches, Mrs. Woolard, and Miss Davidshofer for their time and hard work as well!

Great season, Central Speech students and coaches!

Big picture

Central 51 Cross Country

Our Central Cross Country teams ended their season on a high note. On Saturday, October 19th, our girls and boys cross country teams ran in the IESA State Cross Country Meet at Maxwell Park in Normal, Illinois. Girls took 6th place, boys took 7th, and several students ran some of their best races!

Congratulations to our our runners and coaches on an amazing season!

Big picture

Holford Gym Expectations

Our girls basketball season is in full force, and boys basketball will start with the Tip Off Tournament in a couple weeks!

Please review our Holford Gym Expectations:

  • Popcorn and water are the only food and drink items allowed in Holford Gym.

  • K-3 students must be accompanied by an adult at all times during events.

  • Please remain on the bleachers when the ball is in play.

  • Please be respectful of players, coaches, officials, and spectators at all times.

Boys Basketball Tip Off Tournament

We are excited to host the Central 51 Boys Basketball Tip Off Tournament in November. All games will be played in Holford Gym, and the concession stand will sell dinner items for the event. Please see the schedule for games below:

Tuesday, November 12th:

Washington Central (home) vs East Peoria- 4:15pm & 5:15pm

St. Phils (home) vs Fieldcrest- 6:30pm & 7:45pm

Wednesday, November 13th:

Fieldcrest (home) vs East Peoria- 4:15pm & 5:15pm

Washington Central (home) vs St. Phils- 6:30pm & 7:45pm

Thursday, November 14th:

Washington Central (home) vs Fieldcrest 4:15pm & 5:15pm

East Peoria (home) vs St. Phils- 6:30pm & 7:45pm


Girls Volleyball will be starting soon!

Any 5-8th grade girl that is interested in trying out for volleyball this school year needs to have an updated physical. Please sign up in the office. Please pay attention to announcements for open gym times. They will be starting shortly after returning from Thanksgiving break.

Extracurricular Code of Conduct

Students and parents/guardians of students participating in extracurricular activities must complete the Central 51 Extracurricular Code of Conduct. Please note that the online form must be signed by students and parents separately by logging into Skyward Student Access and Skyward Family Access.

Please see the directions below for signing the Code of Conduct:

Parent/Guardian Instructions

  1. Log into Skwyard Family Access
  2. The Code of Conduct (Parent) can be accessed on the main page of Family Access or by clicking "Online Forms" on the menu located on the left side of the page.
  3. Click on "Fill Out Form."
  4. Click Step 1 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  5. Click "Link to Extracurricular Code of Conduct."
  6. Read the Extracurricular Code of Conduct.
  7. Click Step 2 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  8. Read through the coach, player, and parent agreements.
  9. Check the three boxes at the end of the agreement page to agree to the information.
  10. Sign and date the agreement page electronically.
  11. Click Step 3 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  12. Click "Submit Code of Conduct (Parent)."
  13. Check email for a confirmation of the signature.

Player/Participant Instructions

  1. Log into Skwyard Family Access
  2. The Code of Conduct (Student) can be accessed on the main page of Student Access or by clicking "Online Forms" on the menu located on the left side of the page.
  3. Click on "Fill Out Form."
  4. Click Step 1 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  5. Click "Link to Extracurricular Code of Conduct."
  6. Read the Extracurricular Code of Conduct.
  7. Click Step 2 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  8. Read through the coach, player, and parent agreements.
  9. Check the three boxes at the end of the agreement page to agree to the information.
  10. Sign and date the agreement page electronically.
  11. Click Step 3 under "District Message" on the right side of the screen.
  12. Click "Submit Code of Conduct (Student)."
  13. Check email for a confirmation of the signature.

Important Dates

Friday, November 1st

  • State Speech Contest @ St. Mary's in Metamora

Saturday, November 2nd

  • ILMEA District 4 Festival @ Western Illinois University, Macomb IL

Monday, November 4th

  • Girls Basketball Game vs. Dunlap Valley @ Home - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 5th

  • Girls Basketball Game @ Canton Ingersoll Middle School - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 7th

  • Girls Basketball Game @ Morton - 4:30 p.m.
  • PTO Meeting @ CIS Library - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 9th

  • ROCK @ CIS *Invites/Details were emailed to parents on Friday, October 25th.

Monday, November 11th

  • Girls Basketball Game vs. Pekin Broadmoor @ Home - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 12th

  • Boys Basketball Tip Off Tournament @ Home (See details below)
Wednesday, November 13th
  • Gecko Care Club @ CIS Library - 2:45 p.m.
  • Boys Basketball Tip Off Tournament @ Home (See details below)

Thursday, November 14th

  • Boys Basketball Tip Off Tournament @ Home (See details below)
  • Girls Basketball Game @ St. Pat's - 5:30 p.m.
  • Board of Education Meeting @ CIS Library - 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, November 16th

  • ILMEA District 4 Jazz Festival

Monday, November 18th

  • Girls Basketball @ Tremont - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 19th

  • Boys Basketball vs. St. Vincent @ Home - 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 20th

  • Girls Basketball @ East Peoria Central - 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 21st

  • Girls Basketball vs. Washington Middle @ Home - 4:30 p.m. (8th Grade Night)

Saturday, November 23rd

  • Central Night at the Riverman Game in Peoria (Boys Ensemble performs)

Monday, November 25th

  • Boys Basketball vs. Delavan @ Home - 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 26th

  • Early Dismissal - CIS Bus Riders - 1:45 p.m. & CIS Walkers - 1:55 p.m.
  • Boys Basketball @ Morton - 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 27th

  • No School - Thanksgiving Break

Thursday, November 28th

  • No School - Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 29th

  • No School Thanksgiving Break