Carpenter Courier

April 26, 2018

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Principal's Corner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is hard to believe that this is the final Courier of the year. As I wrote my letter for the yearbook and was reflecting about the year, I couldn't believe that we started this year with the eclipse! That feels so long ago, but really it was only a short 8 months ago. Maybe it is because it feels as if the winter has never ended and we haven't seen the sun so much. Anyway, as always, we've accomplished so much with our continued partnership, it has been another very memorable year.

May doesn't lend itself to a great theme month like "March Manners" or "April Attitudes." However, what it does do is provide us the opportunity for reflection in many ways and therefore it is fitting for it to be "APPRECIATE MAY." Over this month, at Carpenter, our staff are recognized and appreciated for their work. We recognize and appreciate our volunteers. It is also important to reflect on our year and appreciate the work that we've all done as a community. We've supported families in need in our own community and others. Looking back, as educators, families, and students, we should appreciate all of our work and effort to support our children's learning. Whether it be academic, social, or emotional, we've all worked together to help our students grow and learn. Our students should appreciate their own efforts and goal-setting, as well as appreciate those around them who have helped them meet their goals. "Appreciate May" also provides us the opportunity to say thank you and appreciate others around us; it is grounded in another aspect of Respect. Looking back on our themes of the year, we started with "So Kind September." Appreciating the efforts of those who helped us is a great way to start and end the year by demonstrating how we as a community value Respect. Encourage your children to continue to use their manners to say "Thank you," compliment others, and demonstrate appreciation. Encourage your children to continue to maintain positive attitudes and appreciate the gifts that they've been given, both within themselves and in the people around them that care and support their growth.

Even though when you likely read this, we still have five weeks left in school, I want to wish you a terrific summer! Enjoy the time to rejuvenate, get outside, and spend time with friends and family. Please continue to encourage your children to exercise and play. Continue to read and practice math facts. Encourage their imagination and inquiry. For our families not returning to Carpenter and our 5th Grade parents, once a Carpenter Family, always a Carpenter Family. We are honored to have been a part of your child's educational career and a partner to you in their learning.


Mr. Brett Balduf, Principal

Carpenter Elementary School

Inspire every child to discover, learn, achieve, and care.


Since we didn't lose any school days to extreme weather conditions, our last day of school will be Thursday, May 31st.


I would like to recognize the unbelievable service of Mrs. Gray, Mrs. Douglass, and Mrs. Stevens. They will be retiring at the end of this school year after being integral parts of our school community for years, positively impacting the lives of hundreds of students who came through their classroom doors. If you get an opportunity and have had the pleasure of getting to know these fabulous teachers over the years, please don't hesitate to send an email or write a letter thanking them and wishing them luck in their retirement.


Mrs. Lech has been offered and accepted a principal position in District 115 at Yorkville Grade School. Yorkville is a Kindergarten-3rd grade school with approximately 215 students. We wish her the best in the next step of her career and appreciate the four years of service she has provided to both Franklin and Carpenter Elementary Schools. Emily cared a great deal for our school community, our students, and our parents and she will carry our Carpenter Spirit into her new school.


Mrs. Walsh will be returning to a full-time special education/intervention role at Franklin School in 2018-2019. Mrs. Walsh has worked afternoons at Carpenter for the past several years in our primary grades. We appreciated all of her support to our students over the years and know that she'll continue to help students learn and grow in District 64.

A LOOKAHEAD TO 2018-2019

Based on registrations, our early projections are forecasting the following:

Kindergarten: 3 or 4 sections

1st Grade: 3 or 4 sections

2nd Grade: 4 sections

3rd Grade: 3 sections

4th Grade: 4 sections

5th Grade: 3 sections

We are currently in the process of reviewing internal changes and hiring for certain positions from retirements and grade level requirements, but as now, we do know that Mrs. Pamela Johnson will be teaching 3rd grade next with Mrs. Norman and Mrs. Hoffman. Mrs. Johnson taught 5th grade this year. Ms. King will be joining Mr. Toren, Ms. Truchon, and Mrs. Brayton in 4th Grade. Ms. King taught Channels of Challenge (C of C) 3rd and 4th grade math this year at Carpenter, and 3rd and 4th Grade C of C Reading at Franklin. We are in the process of interviewing for a second grade classroom position and monitoring our needs for K and 1st based on registrations. We will also be hiring for our part-time C of C position. Some positions will be filled prior to the end of the year while some may be finalized in the summer.

With Mrs. Lech's departure, we will also be filling our Assistant Principal role. Fortunately this year, the Board approved the hiring of a full-time assistant principal for Carpenter (and for Franklin) instead of the assistant principal splitting the role between the two buildings. This will be a tremendous benefit to our building for our students, teachers, parents, programs, and of course, this principal. We are looking to hopefully fill the role this month and bring a candidate forward for approval to our Board of Education.

Big Building Changes at Carpenter in 2018-2019

Carpenter School will be having a lot of exciting summer work completed, beginning on Friday, June 1st. Below are some of the highlights:

LRC - our LRC will be completely remodeled and updated. We are increasing the space by decreasing the amount of space the circulation desk takes up. New shelving will be installed as well as new carpeting. Our awesome PTO is helping to fund the purchase of new furniture in the LRC and we will be looking for next year's Track-a-Thon to finance. With the adoption of our new reading program next year, Units of Study, we are looking for our LRC to become an even more involved space for our teachers and students to use for years to come. Comfortable and colorful seating will create a welcoming place for students to read and learn together. The furniture will also be movable, allowing us to make adjustments based on what we require the space for. We are also continuing to build our IMAGINE lab and the storage required for the terrific purchases our PTO has made for us over the years in technology equipment and educational tools.

HVAC - given that there have been multiple problems over the years with our HVAC system, the district will be replacing the system (while utilizing some current features). The replacement project this year is taking place in our "main hallway" where the 3rd-5th grade classrooms and art/music classrooms are.

Flooring - given the amount of work that is taking place with the HVAC system, we will also be changing the flooring in the 3rd-5th hallway and classrooms. The carpeting in the hallway and classrooms will all be removed and replaced with tile. It's an extensive project and everyone will most certainly notice the difference upon return in August. Our staff is currently working together with me and district administrators in everything involved. It requires a complete classroom pack-up prior to the end of the year. If you happen to visit Carpenter over the next month and see a lot of boxes, carts, etc., you'll have an idea of what we are working on.

Tentative plans pending Board approval involve the remodel of our office next summer and finishing the rest of the building.

3rd Graders Treated to Terrific Fine Arts Performance

Our 3rd Graders were treated to wonderful puppet show performances by students in Fine Arts from Maine South High School, District 207. The program from Maine South is comprised of students in regular education programming as well as special education. It was an entertaining and meaningful performance and also demonstrated the vast abilities of all students, regardless of identified disabilities! It was also great to see Carpenter alumni.
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