WIS Weekly

November 8, 2021

A Message From Mr. Longacre

WIS Family,

Tips for Parents:

Reading is the foundation for all learning. Read to your younger children, encourage your older children to read to you, and spend time together reading as a family. All these practices help your child develop strong, independent reading habits that will serve her/him well through life. Fostering the habit of reading is one of the most important contributions you can make to your child's education.

Letters, journal entries, e-mail messages, and grocery lists are just a few examples of writing. Never pass up an opportunity to show that writing is an effective form of communication and that you can write for a variety of purposes in a wide array of formats.

Make math part of everyday life. Cooking, gardening, paying bills, and even shopping are all good ways to help your child understand and use mathematical skills. Show that there may be many ways to get to the right answer, and encourage your child to explain her/his method. We have noticed that several students do not know their basic multiplication facts. By being able to immediately recall multiplication facts, your child’s mental energy can stay fully engaged on the problem at hand, and their mental energy is not consumed by switching back and forth to work on both math facts and the new concept.

Discuss with your child her/his problem-solving process. Ask her/him to explain who, what, when, where, why, and how when forming an answer. Children should be able to explain their reasoning, how they came up with the right answer, and why they chose one answer over another.


Mr. Longacre

This Week at WIS

5th Grade

Language Arts

Last Week:

  • IRAs: Started the theme of grit and perseverance. We read the IRA Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and learned how he used grit and perseverance to save his entire family.
  • Hello, Universe: Virgil is in the well thanks to Chet the bully. How will Virgil deal with his number 1 fear in life, the fear of the dark?

This Week:

  • IRAs: We will continue the theme of grit and perseverance. Rikki-Tikki-Tavi was the genre fiction/fantasy. This week we will see grit and perseverance through the genres of biography and historical fiction.
  • Hello, Universe: Monday we will have our chapters 1-19 test. Remember all reviews and tests are open book and open notes. As we continue to read the novel why is the term punctuality so important? Have your child give context clues that tell why being punctual can help to save the day.


Last week:

  • We finished our unit on multiplying decimals with a 10 point quiz.

This week:

  • We begin dividing decimals.

Social Studies

This week students learned:

  • Kaylee Collins: "The Pilgrims at Plymouth had a hard life. During the first winter, half of them died. When the Wampanoag helped them, they got food to eat. Everybody was expected to work, even kids! They also had to go to church."

  • Herschel Hardwick: "The life of the Pilgrims was hard. Half of the 130ish Pilgrims died. They got help from the Native Americans."


  • The students have been busy with science. On Monday, the students tested out their catapult designs. Then on Thursday and Friday, the students investigated how mass affects the distance a balloon rocket will travel. Throughout the week, students have been working on their Solar System Booklets.

6th Grade

  • Students will graph positive and negative integers on a coordinate plane. Students will also be asked to reflect points over the x and y axis. Students will be tested over this unit by Friday.

Language Arts

  • Sixth grade ELA students will rotate book clubs this week as they continue to discover the inspiration and creativity that others have to offer.
  • Students will also demonstrate their understanding of inference, mood, and theme with this week’s IRAs.
  • The honors class will continue their study of the classic novel, Robinson Crusoe.

Social Studies

  • Students are finishing and submitting their European Political Maps. We have encouraged them to study with their European map or by practicing on the websites given in the modules. We will cover two sections in the book on the physical geography of Eastern & Western Europe. By the end of the week, students will be creating a physical map of Europe. Next week, they will have an Eastern & Western Geography Test.


  • In science, we are learning about the biomes of the world. Students will be creating a presentation that encompasses seven of the biomes of the world.

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Food Drive

The WIS Food Drive will be running November 10 thru 19th. Students and staff are asked to bring non-perishable items in support of the Westchester Food Pantry. They are also accepting paper products. Top 5th and 6th grade classes will be awarded a prize for most items collected.

DSC Winter Card Contest

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DSC Enrollment Equity Committee to Create Balance at Intermediate/Middle School Campuses

In the fall of 2023, the Duneland School Corporation (DSC) will serve students in grades 5-8 at renovated Liberty and Westchester campuses. Each school will serve 900-1,000 students. Without making any adjustments to current school enrollment boundaries, Westchester would have close to 1,000 students and Liberty would have just over 700 students. In order to provide maximum opportunities for all students, DSC will look to establish enrollment equity at each of the two schools.

In an effort to develop an equitable enrollment plan, DSC will form a committee consisting of parents, community members, teachers, principals, district administrators and one or two school board members. This committee will be responsible for developing options regarding possible elementary, intermediate and middle school attendance boundary adjustments for the DSC. Ideally, the goal is to have the same elementary school students matriculate to the same intermediate and middle schools as they do currently; however, the change will impact some of the elementary school boundaries as the committee strives for enrollment equity in these new 5-8 schools.

The committee will be charged with developing a proposal in the Fall of 2021 to be sent to the Superintendent for consideration and ultimately, to the DSC School Board for approval. Robert McDermott, Assistant Superintendent, will serve as the facilitator for the committee. The committee structure is as follows:

  • Facilitator -1

  • District Administrators – 2

  • Building Principals – 5

  • Teachers – 4

  • Parents – 15 (three per elementary school)

  • Community Members – 2

  • School Board Members – 1 or 2

Committee Responsibilities - The Enrollment Equity Committee is charged with developing options regarding possible elementary, intermediate and middle school attendance boundary adjustments for the DSC.

The committee will recommend boundary adjustments that conform to the following parameters:

  1. Each school should have a total student population consistent with the number of classrooms planned to serve the general population, exclusive of rooms set aside for other uses.

  2. When possible, recommended boundaries should take into consideration space to accommodate anticipated enrollment growth.

  3. Consideration should be given to all schools’ demographic profiles during the attendance boundary development process.

  4. Changes from the present attendance boundaries should be minimized.

  5. Students with disabilities should be placed in accordance with applicable laws with consideration given to appropriate services, specialized spaces, and sound educational practices that meet students’ identified needs.

  6. All students within the new attendance boundaries shall be required to attend their assigned school except when approved through the pre-defined DSC transfer processes where transportation is not provided.

  7. Student travel time on school transportation should be considered.

The committee will make progress reports to the Superintendent periodically as they work toward the goal of bringing forward a final enrollment equity recommendation by December 31, 2021.

If interested in participating in this process, please email Bridget Martinson, director of Public Relations and Marketing.

Inclement Weather Information - School Closing/Delay Procedures

As we approach the winter season, please review the procedures for school closings and/or delays that may occur due to inclement weather. The decision to close school and engage in an eLearning day or alter the school day is done after collaborating with multiple district personnel, local, state departments and agencies, including: law enforcement, national weather service, highway/street departments, and transportation. In addition, other Porter County school districts are consulted due to partnerships that impact special education and career-technical education students.

Decisions about school delays due to inclement weather will be made as early as possible. In some instances, a school cancellation may follow a two-hour delay. In the event of a two-hour delay followed by a cancellation, we will do our best to make the decision to cancel school before 9:00 a.m. Delay or cancellation information will be delivered through the Skylert notification system. These notifications are based on the contact information provided in the General category within your Skylert notification system. Please review and update (if necessary) your contact information to receive these notifications. School closing/delay information will also be posted on the DSC website (www.duneland.k12.in.us) and sent to the following media outlets:

  • Radio: WAKE 1500 AM; Indiana 105.5 FM; WEFM 95.9 FM; WDSO 88.3 FM; WGN Radio 720;

WBBM Newsradio 780

The following options will be considered during weather emergencies:

Option 1: Start of the school day will be delayed 2-hours. Delayed start times are:

Elementary - 10:00 a.m.

Intermediate - 10:15 a.m.

Middle School - 9:50 a.m.

High School - 9:40 a.m.

Option 2: Students will not report to school; students will participate in inclement weather eLearning day

Option 3: Schools will dismiss early

Skyward Family Access Quick Guide

Need some help in navigating your Skyward Parent Portal? Here is a Quick Guide with helpful videos attached to guide parents in familiarizing and utilizing Skyward.

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Nurse Tina's Note

Dear Parent/Guardians,

Starting soon, Health Services at WIS will be conducting Vision and Hearing screenings. All 5th grade students and new incoming 6th grade students, according to Indiana Law are required to have their vision checked. Hearing testing will only be performed on 5th and 6th grade students that are new to Duneland School Corporation.

We are asking that if your student wears glasses that they have them on their person daily so that there will be no delay in getting their testing completed. If you have any questions, please contact WIS School Nurse, Tina Sosby, R.N. at 219-983-3710 or via email at




Due to ongoing effects of the COVID Pandemic, many industries are suffering from labor shortages which is causing disruptions and shortages in the food chain. At present, Duneland School's Child Nutrition Department is experiencing unprecedented food order shortages causing many last minute changes to the breakfast and lunch menus. In an effort to communicate these changes to families in a timely manner, we ask that you please check this website daily for any changes to the menu.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these setbacks!

Visit the DSC Child Nutrition page for links to the menus for the Week of Nov. 1-5 or click the menu links below.

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Covid-19 Information

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NorthShore Clinic

Consent paperwork needs to be completed prior to an office visit. The paperwork is attached and can be completed prior to the visit to save time. If you choose this option, the consent paperwork needs to be on file beforehand. If returning paperwork via email, please send to: Shawn Kroft, skroft@northshorehealth.org.

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Help us Nominate WIS Teachers of Excellence today!

Attention parents! Help recognize Teachers of Excellence by nominating a Westchester staff member today. Kenneth J. Allen Law Group is supporting Northwest Indiana teachers who go above and beyond for their students by honoring their outstanding contributions to education. To learn more about the educators who are Teachers of Excellence, or if you know of someone who should be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence, please nominate her or him by clicking here.

Parent Observer Account

Parents are encouraged to set up their Canvas observer accounts to monitor their students' progress.

Parents can click this link to view how to set up their Parent Observer Account

Link to the Canvas Log In


The WIS PTO is looking for generous donors to show our wonderful staff just how much we appreciate them. Instead of asking for food donations, we are collecting monetary donations. You can send cash, a check made out to WIS PTO, or paypal money to WIS PTO. If you choose to use paypal, please click the hyperlink and leave your name and P/T conferences in the comment box. If you send in cash or check, please just have your child take the money to the main office. No amount of money is too small, and all amounts, whether it is $2 or $50 are truly appreciated. If you have any questions, please email westchesterpto2@gmail.com.

Job Opportunities in Duneland

The Duneland School Corporation is seeking candidates for the following positions:


Child Nutrition associates provide nutrition services to students and staff. Benefit-eligible positions available. Apply online at Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Transportation positions (Bus Drivers, Sub Bus Drivers) require eligible persons to operate all school vehicles or (Sub Bus Aides) to assist in the transportation of all special students needing additional attention. These positions are highly responsible roles in transporting and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Transportation personnel interact with individuals both inside and outside of the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Custodians are required to clean and sanitize all corporation facilities. This position has a highly responsible role in providing custodial services and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Custodians interact with individuals both inside and outside the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Custodians may be required to work in other Duneland School Corporation facilities. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Seeking substitute teachers for all grade levels. To apply for a substitute teaching position, please apply in person at the Duneland Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Ave. in Chesterton to complete an application.