Wildcat Chat

Washington School: March Issue 2018

Letter from Mrs. Daly

Dear Washington Families,

Happy March to you!

As spring is going to be approaching us rather fast, this seems like an appropriate time to include some information about tardiness and possible impacts habitual tardiness can have on your child’s educational experience.

Our morning announcements start promptly at 8:50 AM. Students walking in after that time miss important information relayed during these daily announcements. They also miss participating in the important communal experiences of saying the Pledge of Allegiance or acknowledging birthdays together. Instruction at Washington begins promptly at 8:55 AM. This also applies for our PM Kindergarten students. The bell rings promptly at 12:40. When they walk into the building after that bell, they are tardy.

Students arriving after the bell rings are missing out on valuable instructional time. They may miss a set of directions, review items, or an important explanation of a concept or skill; all of which support and enhance the learning process for our students. When students are late for school, they start their day rushed and hurried. This may make them feel a sense of anxiety and would not be the calmest or most effective way to begin a day. Besides its impact on your child’s educational experience, consider, also, that consistently being tardy may contribute to habits that become hard to break and can hinder children in other areas of their lives. We live in a society that values punctuality as a sign of reliability and dependability, and punctuality shows others courtesy and respect. Students benefit from consistently coming to school on time during his or her years at Washington and beyond. Please do not hesitate to call me if you have any questions. If you are bringing your child after 9:30 AM, please make sure you bring them into the office to sign them in. At this time, students cannot come into school without a parent signing them in. During lunch hours, please remember you need to sign your child in and out for the lunch hour. This helps us know what students are in the building and who isn’t for safety reasons.


Mrs. Daly

Washington Principal

Washington is a National Blue Ribbon School Nominee

George Washington Elementary School has been nominated by Illinois to join the esteemed community of National Blue Ribbon Schools.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools that are are producing outstanding results for all students. We have demonstrated consistent excellence, and made progress in closing gaps in student achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about effective school leadership and promising instructional practices.

Washington was nominated as an Exemplary High Performing School. As one of 16 outstanding public schools nominated from Illinois for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award, we are starting our application process and will find out next fall.

Planning for 2018- 2019 School Year

After spring break, the Washington faculty works together on a very difficult but important process. At this time, we begin to create class lists for the next school year. It is a very long process that has many stages.

Because the placing of students in classrooms for next year is such an important decision, we use a very specific and detailed process for all children. We consider six criteria in making our decisions, with no one being more important than another.

The following criteria are considered together as a whole before placements are made:

• The total number of children in all grade level classes needs to be equal.

• The ratio of girls and boys should be balanced in each grade level class.

• Ability levels of students need to be balanced in each grade level class.

• Leadership skills and other affective characteristics need to be balanced.

• Students’ learning styles should be matched appropriately with teachers’ instructional styles.

• Some student combinations should be split for social or academic reasons.

Next year, we will continue to coordinate co-teaching opportunities that may dictate how we group and cluster groups of students in all grade levels.

If you would like to provide specific information about your child to assist in the homeroom placement selection, please submit a letter by Friday, March 16, 2017. If you submitted a letter last year and nothing has changed, please don’t submit another letter. I have kept all of that information on file and will refer to that.

That information might include the parents’ view of how the child learns best, the environment that seems to suit him or her best, and any other pertinent details.

Such information will be considered as one component of our process, but the final decision about class assignments rests with the principal and the teachers.

Due to the nature and complexity of this task, we cannot reduce the process to simply accepting requests for specific teachers. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT LETTERS THAT CONTAIN TEACHERS’ NAMES WILL NOT BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION IN THE PROCESS.

Any letters received after Friday, March 16th will not be considered in the process.

Please note that the teachers and I spend an inordinate amount of time on this particular process. I will keep track of letters that I receive throughout your child's career at Washington. I will keep these letters for the future years.

March SEL Update

The month of March in each school year brings the word “change” to the forefront of the minds of students, teachers, and families. Not only is the weather constantly changing as we move into spring, but students are gearing up for the final stretch of the school year and thinking of the many changes to come. Our schedule at school changes temporarily for standardized testing for grades 3-5 which can spark feelings of anxiety in students. Teachers are preparing students on what to look for and practice for the upcoming PARCC tests, and students may feel pressure to perform well. Test anxiety, especially related to high-stakes, or standardized state testing, is a common feeling in many students during this time of the year. Washington teachers support our students by practicing the growth mindset, using self-talk strategies, giving breaks, and reminding students to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy diet. The Click here for a link from The Child Mind Institute with tips to help students overcome test anxiety.

Drop off and Pick up Safety Reminders

I know I sound like a broken record, but please make sure when dropping off your child(ren) that you use the crosswalks. This is for the safety of EVERYONE!

We have witnessed very unsafe behaviors of parents who walk their children across the street through traffic or allow their students to walk through the traffic.

Please don't allow this to happen.

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PARCC schedule - help your child be ready

Parents of 3rd - 5th Graders!

The PARCC Test, an assessment for all students in Illinois, will be administered in District 64 from March 12-23.

The best preparation for the PARCC has been the quality instruction our teachers have provided this school year. However, there are things you can also do to promote your child’s success:

  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.

  • Provide your child with words of encouragement. While we don’t want our students to feel anxious about any assessment, we do want them to do their best.

  • Please send earbuds/headphones to school by Wednesday, March 7. We will be using these for the English Language Arts test and Math test. These items will be kept at school and returned at the end of testing.

  • The PARCC is an online assessment and students will be using their Chromebooks to complete these tests. Please make sure your child brings his or her Chromebook to school each day, fully charged.

Below is our school’s schedule for test administration:

Monday, March 12: Math Unit 1 and Unit 2

Tuesday, March 13: Math Unit 3 and Unit 4

Wednesday, March 14: ELA 1

Thursday, March 15: ELA 2

Friday, March 16: ELA 3

Monday March 19: Make Ups

If you would like to learn more about the PARCC tests, English Language Arts sample tests, Math sample tests, and additional resources are available for your convenience.

Thank you for your support in helping your child be prepared for upcoming testing.

Healthy Living Month pledge cards go digital this April!

District 64 students in grades K-5 through the support of their school PTO/A’s will again have the opportunity to participate in Healthy Living Month in April. Each week, students will pledge their participation in activities to promote these themes: Health and Nutrition Week (April 2 - 6); Neat to Use Your Feet Week (April 9 - 13); Go Green Week (April 16 - 20); and Screen-Free Week (April 23 - 27). This year, pledge cards to track a student’s activities are being provided in digital form. Watch for more information in the April school newsletters!

Message from PE

Hello from the PE Department!

Click on the link below for our PE Newsletter!

Mrs. Cichon - @mrscichonpe on Twitter and Instagram

Mr.Engeriser - @mrengeriserpe on Twitter and Instagram

Ms. Pater - @mspaterpe on Twitter and Instagram

Follow Mrs. Daly on Twitter

FOLLOW US ON TWITTER….. We are always looking for ways to improve communication and to increase engagement with our parent community, please follow me on Twitter. I invite you to follow me @Dalytalk for news on student, classroom, and school accomplishments, important updates, informational items, and a glimpse at amazing moments of teaching and learning.
Washington Calendar of Events- Click Here

Click here to view upcoming and planned events

District Mission Statement

Inspire all students to discover their strengths, embrace learning, achieve personal excellence, and demonstrate care. Students thrive in a rich, rigorous, and innovative curriculum delivered by highly qualified teachers. Each student learns and grows in a safe, nurturing environment. In collaboration with student, parents, teachers and the community, District 64 provides opportunities for each learner to investigate, be successful, be resilient, and become inspired and empowered as they contribute to our global society.
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