The Wonderful World of Woodbury

December 2020

Advice for Remote Learning

A Note from Mrs. Kern

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones in good health as we bring this week of in-person learning to a close and venture, heavy hearted, into our adaptive pause of in-person learning. I know that times like this come with lots of uncertainty and stress. However, our goal is to support you through this transition with a positive mental mindset and with ultimate hopes of returning after January 19th.

I hope you enjoyed the positive and heartfelt message from one of our beloved full-remote second graders above. We appreciate her enthusiasm and well-wishes to all of our students who will be learning from home just as she has been. We currently have nearly 100 remote learners at Woodbury this year, and many of those families continue to navigate these same waters, braving the rapids, finding their rhythm and "just keep swimming". If you know a family who is currently remote learning they may have great advice for navigating the day to day or even simple words of wisdom or encouragement or ear to listen when times get tough.

I want to share that our staff is aware of the struggles that can come about as a result of remote learning five days a week. It is a challenge on many levels to manage daily life on top of having your students learn from home. For many of our staff members, we can directly relate as we have young learners of our own at home - many who have been experiencing their own rollercoasters within their children's school communities throughout the pandemic including those dreaded 14 day quarantines.

Please know that our teachers will continue to take these variables into consideration when planning. That being said, it is paramount that during our "adaptive pause" that we continue to push along in our curricular paths, develop necessary skills, expose our students to valuable content, and maintain connection between peers and with staff. Your student’s teacher(s) will be in contact with you regarding the structure of how their "class" will function during remote learning. Please provide them with the time and grace to adjust and shift their current plans and practice and communicate that with you. We have been so very fortunate to have received so much love, support, patience, and understanding throughout this wild year through your emails of encouragement, Facebook messages, phone calls, treats dropped off, and even your simple gestures of kindness and reassuring words when we run into our students and families in the community.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support and ideas. Throughout this time we have done home visits, offered tech support, utilized our family success liaison, met with families to help troubleshoot any difficulties or to learn how to use the learning platform, searched for tutors, and some days just been a shoulder to cry on. We are still here to offer those same supports in whatever way that we can.

Wishing you a joyous holiday with those you hold dear as you enjoy this precious time together.


Mrs. Kern

Keeping a Routine

It is important to mention that routines are important at a time like this. Keeping a "school like" remote routine will only serve to benefit your student(s) when they return on January 19th. Below are some suggestions that we hope will help during the coming weeks:

  • Sleep is very important to our students' physical, emotional, and educational development. Keep bedtimes reasonable and consistent. Try to wake your students up and have them start their remote learning day on the same schedule as a typical school day.

  • A healthy breakfast and lunch is a key to a successful day of remote learning. Try to limit high sugar foods. Instead focus on whole grains, proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

  • Set up an appropriate workspace for students to complete their learning. Good lighting, an outlet for your student's chrome device nearby, and all materials in an organized location will help minimize distractions and potential frustrations.

  • Encourage your students to take brain breaks and remain physically active. Take the dog for a walk, complete a GoNoodle, run around the house a few times, log onto cosmic yoga, and complete all of their P.E. assignments. Avoid free time being more screen time.

  • Encourage your students to approach each day of learning with a positive attitude. If, at any point in the day, your student becomes frustrated it is OK to take a break, move on to a different activity, and come back later and try again.

  • Ask questions! If you or your student is confused, ask for help! Use your Seesaw or Google Classroom platform to message your teacher(s) or simply email. Our staff will do their best to get back to you in a timely manner.

Materials Pick-Up

Since the announcement of the pause in blended learning, our staff worked feverishly to send home remote learning supplies with your students on the 18th and 19th of November. However, due to the timing of our adaptive pause, we were not able to be completely prepared. Therefore, we will have additional materials pick up on Tuesday, November 24th beginning at noon. There will be bins placed near the front doors labeled with your teacher(s) names. Please make sure to pick up the necessary supplies needed for your students. They will be left out throughout the week a weekend.

If there are other items that you are in need of prior to the holiday (student medications, forgotten items, etc.) our office will be open on Monday, November 23rd & 24th from 7:30-3:30. Please contact us at 815-786-6316 and we will collect those items for you to pick up.

We will be scheduling weekly material pick up for the duration of our adaptive pause and should it be extended we will continue to provide those pick up times. The following pick up times have been designated, but are subject to change.

Friday, December 4th

Friday, December 11th

Saturday, January 2nd

Friday, January 8th

Remote Learning Student Expectations

Remote Learning Attendance:

Attendance during our adaptive pause will be monitored closely. Students will be required to fulfill a daily attendance form within the times provided by each building (for example 7:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.). For students in Kindergarten through second grade, this requirement will be completed through a Seesaw activity. Students in grades three through twelve will fulfill their attendance requirements through Google Classroom. Per the Illinois State Board of Education, there is a minimum of a five hour day required for remote learning. This includes: student work time, viewing pre-recorded lessons, web-based and non-web based skill practice, etc. Students will be expected to complete daily work and turn in assignments as they are assigned. If your student is not able to participate in learning due to illness or a family circumstance, this must be communicated to our secretaries in a timely manner. They can be reached at 815-786-6316, or you can email Mrs. Hulon at If we do not hear from you and work is not completed, then your student will be marked as an unexcused absence. Unless already being monitored for truancy, each school year students receive 7 unexcused absences as cited in our student handbook. Please note that simply completing the attendance link does not count as attendance.

Communication with Your Child's Teacher(s):

Teachers will be available throughout the day via technology. Please understand that if a teacher is assisting another student or meeting with groups they may not be readily accessible throughout the day, but will respond to student questions and provide feedback in a timely manner. Staff will have 24 hours to respond to an email on a work day. If an email is received after 3:00 p.m. on a Friday the staff will have until 3:00 p.m. on Monday to respond.

Video Conferencing Expectations

Big picture

Adaptive Pause Free Meal Pickup

Meal Pickup:

Until the end of the calendar year, free food is available through the USDA's "Free Meals for Kids" program. During our adaptive pause from blended learning, our process for ordering and picking up meals will change. Each week, you will need to fill out a meal order form by Wednesday at 12:00 p.m. for the NEXT week. Meals will be picked up Mondays and Thursdays from 10:00-11:00 am behind Sandwich Middle School. Your first meal order will be due by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 25th.

Click Here to access the meal order form

Meal order deadlines during the adaptive pause:

  • November 25th at 12:00 noon
  • December 2nd at 12:00 noon
  • December 9th at 12:00 noon
  • December 30th at 12:00 noon
  • January 6th at 12:00 noon

Starting the week of January 18th, we will return to ordering food using the same process that was in place prior to the adaptive pause.

Winter Family Reading Night

Cozy up at home and join us for a mix of both live and recorded readings of winter and holiday themed stories and activities from Woodbury Staff.
Big picture

Important Dates

  • November 23rd: Remote Learning Day for ALL students, Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences 12:00a.m.-8:00 p.m.
  • November 24th: Non-attendance Day, Parent/Guardian-Teacher Conferences 8:00a.m.-12:00p.m.
  • November 25th-27th: No School, Thanksgiving Break
  • December 21st-January 1st: Winter Break
  • December 22nd: Virtual Family Reading Night 6:00-7:00p.m.
  • January 18th: Martin Luther King Jr. Day- NO SCHOOL.

School Improvement Survey

Dear Parents and Guardians,

In order to continue our school improvement initiative, we need your help! Each year we send a survey to parents and guardians asking for input. Please take the time to fill out a survey. The link for the survey is below. In advance, thank you for your help. We will be closing the survey on December 18th.

Click Here to access the parent survey link!

News from the Nurse

Dental Reminder:

Completed Proof of School Dental Exam forms are required for current Kindergarten and second grade students by May 15th. If you are unable to obtain the required dental exam, please complete the Dental Exam Waiver Form.

Healthy Sleep for the HOLIDAYZZZZ

Make the most of the season by staying well-rested with these science-based sleep tips:

  • Kids 12 and under need at least 9 hours of sleep each night.

  • Try to keep a consistent sleep schedule by having your family go to bed and get up at the same times every day, even on holiday breaks or when learning remotely.

  • Avoid caffeine and avoid large meals right before bed.

  • If you want to nap over the holiday break, aim for a 20-minute nap, which experts say is the best time length to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

  • We sleep better when the room is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (65-70 degrees for babies and toddlers).

  • Make sure to stay active over the holidays, as physical activity during the day can facilitate better sleep at night.

  • Turn all screens off at least an hour before bedtime.

For more health sleep ideas, visit

Holiday Safety Tips

Illinois Tier 3 Mitigation

Free Covid-19 Testing in Sandwich

Sitio de prueba de COVID-19 temporal auto-servicio y gratuito en el condado de DeKalb

Big picture

Free and Reduced Lunch

  • The carryover period for students who were receiving free/reduced lunch for the 2019-2020 school year will be until October 2, 2020. If you haven't turned in a new 2020-2021 application or received notification for approval for this school year, please re-apply! Per federal/USDA guidelines, applications for free/reduced meal service must be completed on a yearly basis. Currently, the "Free Meals for Kids Program" will run through December 31st, 2020. However, if/when the "Free Meals for Kids Program" expires, students will need to have had a completed free/reduced application in order to receive free/reduced meals when returning from winter break.
  • Free/reduced lunch applications for the 2020-2021 school year are available in the office of each school or on the Sandwich School District website at you have any questions contact 815-786-2187
  • In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, and Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.