Milne Grove Messenger

December 2020 & January 2021

Highlighted Dates to Remember

PTO Holiday Treasures Gift Shop- November 29th- December 11th

Blizzard Bag Pick Up for ALL STUDENTS - Dec 2nd

Report Card Distribution: Dec 4

Board of Education Meeting: Dec 8

Drive Thru Santa Event - Dec 16 - pre-registration is required

Pop's (PTO Fundraiser): Dec 18

Winter Break - No School: Dec 21-Jan 3

School Resumes: Jan 4

Board of Education Meeting: Jan 12

Early Dismissal (11:30am): Jan 15

MLK Day - No School: Jan 18

Mangia Pizza Night (PTO Fundraiser): Jan 20

Celebrate the Season with a December Countdown!

Each school day, you can dress up with us - please see the picture below for a summary!

We have also prepared loads of fun for you each day!

See the link below for our Countdown Calendar filled with activities.

Check back each day to reveal lots more things to do!

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Principal's Page

Dear MG Parents & Caregivers,

Thank you to all the parents and guardians who were able to participate in Family Reading Night & Parent Teacher Conferences in November. We hope you found the Meet the Teacher platform to be effective and easy to use. The dedication to your children's education over the past year has been phenomenal, thank you for being their at home teachers; I am sure that our faculty learned a great deal from you about your child during conferences.

Our administrative team will monitor community mitigation efforts closely to determine when COVID positivity rates are at an acceptable level to allow the blended learning model to resume. Due to the newsletter being written several weeks in advance, all communication regarding school schedules will be provided through ParentSquare. Although it looks different this year, I sincerely hope that your December is full of family activity & celebration.


If your family is impacted by illness this winter, we would like to remind you to call the district attendance line to report absence from remote learning due to illness or other circumstances. If your family has a confirmed or suspected case of COVID, we ask that you contact your school nurse. Having a handle on the prevalence of the virus will help us determine when in person learning can resume.

Families struggling with food instability can access food resources by clicking on the embedded link. In addition, we encourage any family struggling to meet their basic needs to reach out to our social worker, Melisse Reynolds at extension 2103.

Although unlikely, it is possible that a winter weather emergency will cause an interruption in power and/or internet access. As a part of our e-learning plan, we are asking all parents to pick up a "Blizzard Bag" at Milne Grove Door E (behind the school) between 11:30am and 12:30pm on Wednesday, December 2nd. Parents may email Mrs. Koziol to request a pick up time between 7:30 and 8:30am or 3:00 - 4:00pm instead. Each folder is labeled with the child's name and contains three days of educational material to be used ONLY IF an emergency communication is issued to do so. Please store the folder in a safe and easily accessible place. In case of and emergency weather event, the district will send out a call, email, and text. In addition, our website, WJOL, and the Emergency Closing Center will be updated.

School will be out for winter break from Saturday, December 19th through Sunday, January 3rd. Students return to class on Monday, January 4th. This holiday season, I wish your family peace, love and happiness.


Mrs. Koziol

Notes From the Nurse

Celebrate the winter holidays safely during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The winter holidays mark an important time of the year for many families. These end-of-year celebrations have traditionally meant gathering with friends and extended family. But this year must be different. The COVID-19 pandemic persists, and as colder temperatures keep us indoors, cases are quickly rising to record levels. We owe it to ourselves, those we love and the communities we cherish to change our behavior. Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid activities that are higher risk for spread. Consider fun alternatives that pose lower risk of spreading COVID-19.

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others

  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family

  • Shopping online rather than in person

  • Watching sporting events, parades, and movies from home

This winter, avoid gathering with anyone outside your immediate household. Eating meals with others-even extended family members and friends-poses risks of transmission. Make sure you stay at least six feet away from others outside your household at all times. Avoid all gatherings, especially large ones. Always be meticulous about washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day.

As you plan for winter holiday celebrations, know that any activity involving people outside your household can be dangerous. Staying home is the only truly safe option.

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household poses no added risk for spread of COVID-19. Please, stay home this holiday season so that you can celebrate with extended family and friends in the future. Let’s be sure to protect that future by making the right choices in the present.

Mrs. Gilkerson, RN

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 815-838-0542 ex. 2106 or at

PTO News

PTO Holiday Treasures Gift Shop- November 29th- December 11th

Email with questions!

Like the D91 PTO on Facebook!

The Latest from the LRC

Book Notes

Students now have the opportunity to check out books from the school library! There are book request forms, and more information, available in the LRC Google Classrooms. We encourage all students, both in-person and remote, to take advantage of this opportunity. Soon we will be introducing the kids to ebooks as well!

During our LRC Live meetings we have begun reading the 2021 Monarch Award nominated books and will be concentrating on these until the kids vote for their favorite in March.

White Oak Library

By now all D91 students should have received their Student Success Cards - library cards for our public library! The White Oak library offers books, ebooks, movies, video games, grab and go activities and access to many online resources. See what your card gets for you - all for free!


Our annual pumpkin decorating contest went virtual this year. We had quite a few creative book-themed entries. The Fan Favorite, Patricia T., won a $30 gift certificate to our online Scholastic Book Fair. See my webpage for a link to contest entries and winner:

Scholastic Book Fair

Our book fair went virtual as well! Many of you purchased books for your families and supported the D91 LRCs in our only fundraiser of the year. Thank you!

Family Reading Night

Our annual Family Reading Night in November also went virtual this year! We had lots of fun reading with our families at home.

Bluestem Bunch

Beginning in January, we will be offering this virtual book club for third graders. Interested students will be required to read at least four of the books nominated for the state’s Bluestem Award on their own. We will meet to discuss the books until we vote in March. Third grade students will be receiving information soon.

Six Flags Read to Succeed

We expect this annual program to start in December. Watch for forms! ~ 815-838-0542, x2122 ~

Physical Education Feats

Please continue to complete your child’s daily PE choice board activity for any day they are not in person. Google forms should be completed at the end of the week. The forms are closed on Sunday’s.

Be on the lookout during the month of January for information regarding The Kids Heart Challenge! The Kids Heart Challenge is formerly known as Jump Rope for Heart. This is a fundraising activity that our school will be participating in again. Fundraising will continue through the month of January and February. Each year our school raises over $10,000! We’re hoping to have another great year!

-Mrs. Draper

Please contact Mrs. Draper at with questions about what your child is learning in gym!

Bags of Hope Weekly Food Donation Pledge

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3rd Grade

Third Grade Winter Newsletter

Thank you for coming to our virtual conferences. We really enjoyed discussing your child’s progress with you and look forward to continuing to work with you throughout the remainder of the year.


  • The out loud version of each story can be found on the third grade website under reading and Trophies stories.

  • Please read with your child over winter break and help them continue to grow in their fluency and comprehension at home.


  • Please work with your student on fact fluency for addition, subtraction, and multiplication over winter break. They need to work on accuracy as well as speed when practicing their facts.

  • You can use the Go Math link to review lessons at home and assist with concept questions.

Remind students to use the third grade website over break so they can continue working on their foundational skills. There are a variety of links that will help them increase their ability with the material that has been taught so far this year.

Please feel free to contact your child’s teacher with any questions or concerns and have a wonderful winter break!

Thank you,

The Third Grade Team

Mrs. Georgopulos, 3rd grade teacher,

Mrs. Lyons, 3rd grade teacher,

Mrs. Steed, 3rd grade teacher,

Mrs. Visser, Reading Specialist,

Mrs. Fiday, Special Education Teacher,

Mrs. Phillips, Reading Aide,

2nd Grade

The second grade teachers want to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday!


  • Continue to practice the addition facts

  • 2 digit addition with and without regrouping

  • Problem solving


  • Continue to practice phonetic patterns and vocabulary words

  • Some activities you can do at home to practice these skills are: making words, writing the words in sentences or in a story, or drawing pictures

  • We will be reading fiction and non fiction text

  • Students are learning to go back to the text to find the answers. They also will begin to answer questions in complete sentences by restating.

Social Studies

  • Our new topic will be,”The World Around Us.” Students will learn about physical features of specific places around the world, and maps and globes.


  • We will continue with our study of The Earth’s Systems.

  • Topics will be: mapping our world and forms of water on Earth

The Second Grade Team

Mrs. Bolte, 2nd grade teacher,

Miss Podwika, 2nd grade teacher,

Mrs. Visser, Reading Specialist,

Mrs. Fiday, Special Education Teacher,

Mrs. Phillips, Reading Aide,

1st Grade


  • Students will be concentrating on the phonics/spelling patterns of endings of -ing, -er, and -ed on short vowel words. Students will be learning how to double the consonant before adding the -ing ending.

  • We will be focusing on comprehension topics such as cause and effect, drawing conclusions and identifying character attributes.

  • In writing, we will be working on creating opinion pieces. This is a good way for students to express their own points of view. We will also begin learning about what narrative writing looks like and sounds like.

  • Grammar will be all about using and identifying nouns, verbs, and adjectives correctly in sentences.


  • December/January will be full of connecting addition and subtraction to see how they are related. This will include creating fact families and working on fact fluency through 20.

  • We will begin counting by 10s and learning about tens and ones.

  • Please continue working on the flashcards that are sent home to help improve your child’s fact fluency.

Social Studies

  • Our focus in Social Studies during the month of January will be focusing on learning about culture and traditions. Students will be bringing home a family activity to discuss their family traditions during the holidays.


  • During December we will be focusing on learning about the patterns in the sky. We will be looking closely at the moon and all its phases.

The First Grade Team

Mrs. O'Halloran, 1st grade teacher,

Mrs. Stanly, 1st grade teacher,

Mrs. Visser, Reading Specialist,

Mrs. Fiday, Special Education Teacher,

Mrs. Phillips, Reading Aide,


At this point in the second trimester we are beginning to use more of our “Kindergarten Writing” as we label pictures and create sentences. “Kindergarten Writing” is when the students write the letters they hear in a word. It helps them separate the sounds and sequence them on paper. Please be sure to encourage this kind of writing at home too. Please watch this video for more information.

Phonetic Spelling for Kindergarten
The students will begin working reading memory words along with decodable words. Here is some helpful information on the differences.
Decodable Words vs. Sight Words
In Math we will be working on numbers to 20. We will learn how to read, write and make sets of numbers. The students will then begin working on adding and subtracting to 10. By the end of the second trimester students are expected to count to 75 independently and identify numbers 1-20.
Numbers in the Teens (They Start with a 1) (song for kids about teen numbers)
We hope all families have a wonderful holiday season and a great start to your 2021!

The Kindergarten Team

Mrs. Adams -

Mrs. Preboy -

Mrs. Richardson -

Mrs. Visser, Reading Specialist,

Mrs. Fiday, Special Education Teacher,

Mrs. Phillips, Reading Aide,

Early Learners Preschool

Upcoming Events:

Week of November 30 - The Early Learners will continue their study of Music Making. They will also be introduced to the letter X for Xylophone and the number eight.

Week of December 7th - The Early Learners will continue their study of Music Making. They will also be introduced to the letter T for triangle both the instrument and shape. The Early Learners will also be introduced to the number nine.

Week of December 14th - The Early Learners will continue their study of Music Making. They will be introduced to the letter J for Jingle bells and Jazz. The Early Learners will also be introduced to the number ten.

Week of January 4th - The Early Learners will start their study of clothes. They will be introduced to the letter C, the number eleven, and the color white.

Week of January 11th - The Early Learners will continue their study of clothes. They will also be introduced to the letter Z for zippers and the number twelve.

Week of January 18th - The Early Learners will continue the study of clothes. They will also be introduced to the letter U for unbutton and unzip. The Early Learners will also be introduced to the number thirteen.

Week of January 25th - The Early Learners will continue the study of clothes. They will also be introduced to the letter H for hats and the number fourteen.

Dates to Remember:

Monday, December 21, 2020 through Friday, January 1, 2021, NO SCHOOL, Winter Break

Monday, January 4th, School Resumes

Friday, January 15th, NO SCHOOL Early Learners, School Improvement Day

Monday, January 18th, NO SCHOOL, Martin Luther King, Jr. Da

The PK Team

Miss Robin, PK Teacher,

Miss Sonya, Bilingual Liaison,

Miss Ginte, PK aide,

Mrs. Nikki’s Speech News

You can teach at home

Arts and crafts are multisensory experiences that are ideal for language learning. Research has

shown that engaging children emotionally with familiar adults leads to better learning! These

experiences can occur during play or even while running to the grocery store.

Here are some examples of how you can shape the way you interact with your child to target

speech and language at home.

Modeling-model the type of language you would like to hear in your child. Example:

Instead of saying “what color is this?” try “Oooo! A red pompom! A red pompom on

the paper, glue it on the red paper!”.

Expanding- expand your child’s utterances by inserting adult grammar. Example: If your

child says “I am cutting paper” you can say “I cut blue paper, I cut out two squares”.

Talk about Concepts- colors, sizes, shapes, function, location, etc.

Use verbs- crafting activities can include many verbs such as /cut, tape, tear, color,

glue/. You can talk about what you are going to do (future), what you are doing

(present), and what you just did (past).

Retell- Have your child recall the steps that were needed to make the creation. Model

and assist with transitional words such as /first, next, then, last/ to “make a story”!

From Super Duper Handouts #607


Please feel free to contact Mrs. Nikki McGushin at 815-838-0542 x2107 or email at:

Mrs. Visser’s Reading Corner

Another important part of learning to read and write words is being able to recognize patterns in words. Patterns in words help children learn how words are the same and different. It also helps children to learn, “ If I can read the word at, then I can read the words: sat, mat, pat, flat.” Once children recognize patterns when they are reading words then they can begin to recognize those same patterns when they are learning to write words. You can do things such as: rhyming games, give the child a word such as cat and then have him/her change the beginning sound to make a new word, or word sorts.

Mrs. Visser:

Relationship Roundup with Mrs. Reynolds

This month’s topic: The Most Challenging Parenting Struggles

Here we are. Still in the situation we were in months ago. Just because time is passing, doesn’t mean that parenting and helping our kids with school on the computer is easier. We might just be really tired of it all!

We don’t have to get our parenting “right” all the time. We can make mistakes. We can call for a do-over. We can allow ourselves to be less than perfect.

But then, let’s remember that time spent focusing on our relationship with our kids is time well spent! Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, PhD, a clinical psychologist explains, “Kids can’t learn if they’re not feeling safe and loved. If there’s a strain in the connections at home, and it feels very tense and miserable, your child’s brain isn’t going to take in what they’re learning because they’re stressed and angry. Your relationship is the precursor for everything else falling into place.”

An article on has advice to manage some of the most challenging parenting struggles we have right now. Here are the main points:

You’re doing a lot of yelling

“Let’s be honest,” says Stephanie Lee, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute. “It’s not as though parents didn’t yell at their kids before. But since things are more stressful right now, parents need to be extra conscious of their own big three: nutrition, activity level and sleep. They impact our mood, as well as our ability to problem solve, stay calm, concentrate and focus. If any of those things are really off, which is likely right now, it can have a major impact on your ability to be your best self.” When you do lose your cool, apologize for yelling and let them know you will work hard to do better.

“If we look at it from their perspective, we are their safe place,” says Dr. Hershberg. “We are the person from whom they seek reassurance. Your kids want extra connections with you.” So take care of your nutrition, exercise and sleep so you can provide them more of what they need.

Everyone needs your help at the same time

What parents are being asked to do is difficult or potentially impossible, so you need to prioritize. Most importantly, make sure everyone is safe and their basic needs are met. Next, determine what you and your children can realistically accomplish.

You’re throwing tantrums

We know it’s our job to model appropriate behavior. But we are human after all. Once you begin to throw a tantrum, it’s hard to rein it in, so plan in advance. For example, when you feel yourself getting upset, take some quiet time to yourself — even if it’s just five minutes in the bathroom.

When you can, it’s also helpful to be proactive about recharging. Scheduling small amounts of time to do things you enjoy can be a way to head off your own frustration before it starts. Try setting aside 15 minutes for reading, exercise, or whatever else helps you feel centered. Remembering that this time is there for you can be a source of calm in especially challenging moments.

Your kids aren’t technologically savvy

Children are struggling to log on, use a mouse correctly, manage the various apps, or even send an email. Staying calm until they get it is difficult.

To alleviate your frustration, set aside some time to review the technology together so you can teach your children the skills they need. Create a list of common computer problems. Create a plan of what they can do if the problem occurs, then write it down. Think of it as building independence.

Reduce stress by celebrating successes, no matter how small

No matter how someone tries to spin it, this is a difficult time. Celebrate the small victories each day. “Make a daily list of what you did well,” advises Dr. Lee. “Did we all get dressed or half-dressed? Did everyone bathe today? Did we get most of our work done and then go on a family walk? Those are all victories!”

If you are in need of help to calm yourself or you just don’t know what to do, call the Crisis Line of Will County any time day or night at 815-722-3344. Someone will answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you prefer to send a text, contact the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Text HOME, or any word, and you will get a reply. You are not alone. Ask for help when you need it; you and your children are worth it!

Contact me at and read my blog at


As we approach the winter months ahead, all classes will be focusing on the exciting chill of cold weather with Winter landscapes. Students will learn how to divide up a landscape drawing into different sections to highlight the foreground, middle ground, and background. We will look at several historical Wintry landscapes and notice these elements within them. Students will then choose their own landscape focus, add color, and conclude with a hit of white chalk to create the illusion of snow.

Please remind students to check Google Classroom for missing work daily.

Thank you for taking interest in the art program at Milne Grove.

Happy Holidays and enjoy your time with family and friends!

Mrs. Cravens

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Technology Class- Mrs. Lakics

In technology class Kindergarten and 1st grade students are learning how to use the keyboard by typing lessons on Typing Club Jungle Junior. Jungle Junior teaches children to associate each letter on the keyboard with the correct finger while improving alphabet recognition, dexterity, and familiarity with technology. 2nd and 3rd grade students are working on improving their typing technique and skills by typing lessons on Typing Club.

-Mrs. Lakics

Technology Teacher

Digital Citizenship Family Activity

Topic: ABC Searching

Music Notes

D91 Families: Making Music Together.

Check Music Web Pages for links to songs to sing and play together.

Contact Mrs. Randolph K-8 Music & KG Chorus Director Email: PHONE: 815-838-0737 ext. 1140

CONTINUED SPECIAL REQUEST: when contacting me, please include student’s first and last name, grade, and homeroom teacher. Thank you.

REMOTE MUSIC RULES: Now that we are going fully remote, please make sure your child’s camera and microphone work. If they don’t please let the school know so that it may be repaired. Students will be required to leave cameras on and pointed at student so I may view their movements in playing rhythms, moving, seeing the music they create, etc. for grading purposes during class. Students will need paper and pencils or have white marker boards with markers, to use during classes. Students will be asked individual questions for graded responses and will need to be able to turn microphone on and off when requested. All microphones must start and stay off until requested to turn on or for questions.

3rd GRADE will be learning to play recorders starting Trimester 2. The deadline was extended if you haven’t purchased one yet. Return the Parent Square Form or email me if you need to purchase a recorder and book. We will not be able to loan recorders this year.


( Help buy music instruments & equipment for school + See Music Web page for more pictures)

Mrs. Randolph bought these and enjoys them - your family & friends will, too.



METAL TABS off cans. Please send tabs in a ziplock bag or WIDE Mouthed container, then have students empty it into the Music Tab buckets at school

D91 Music Web sites:

Music HOME Page

Kelvin Grove Page

4th Grade Music

5th Grade Music

6th Grade Music

7th Grade Music

8th Grade Music

Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with me. Happy Holidays!

Musically Yours, Mrs. Randolph

Substitutes Needed!!

If you like interacting with the kids, and can be flexible. If you enjoy different settings, and different age groups of kids. This is what you have been looking Contact Athena Dingels for details (must possess a bachelor's degree and be willing to obtain the sub teacher credential through ISBE).