DeWitt Clinton Elementary School

December 2018 Newsletter

Principal's Message

Dear Clinton School Parents, Alumni, and Community Members,

I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the holiday season with family and friends. Last week the school was buzzing with excitement as students and teachers eagerly anticipated winter break.

Today the building is quiet except for the sounds of the custodians cleaning and the construction crews continuing their work on the roof and foundation of the building. During the past month, crews have moved onto the front of the building and began working on the exterior walls of the gym. The work is tedious and causes noise at times, but we are grateful to be receiving these necessary repairs. The work has begun to install a lift in the auditorium and should be completed in January. This will ensure all students will be able to access the stage for assemblies and events.

This year our teachers have worked tirelessly to continue to improve the level of education we give to our students. One reason we continue to be a top rated school in Chicago is because our teachers never stop learning and challenging themselves to improve their professional craft. They are constantly seeking out new resources, programs, strategies, and partnerships.

In 2019 we pledge to continue working on creating high quality unit plans which challenge all of our students. Personalized instruction will be a focus for the remainder of this school year as we recently received acceptance to two grants on this topic. We will utilize this professional development and resources to fine tune our current work in order to create a school where all students are able to flourish and excel. We will do all this while continuing our commitment to visual arts, physical education, and music. While at Clinton students will continue to have additional opportunities to explore robotics, debate, student leadership, coding, fitness, and many other enrichment classes. We pride ourselves in the fact our students have options and programming not common for many neighborhood elementary schools. Through these programs students are able to begin to develop their talents and explore their passions which will prepare them more fully for high school and their eventual careers.

May 2019 be filled with laughter, love, and good health for you and your family.

Happy New Year,

Maureen Delgado


Donors Choose Projects

Today's Readers Become Tomorrow's Leaders! - Project by Mary Icho

Through Mrs. Icho's project, students will be provided the chapter book "Sylvia and Aki." They will have the opportunity to read a chapter book in which they can relate to. Sylvia and Aki is a story about two girls who have experienced racism, segregation, and relocation. These are many issues Clinton students face. Whether its coming to a new country or being treated differently because they speak another language.

Students will have an opportunity to resonate with children their age and learn how to handle certain situations in their lives.

Consider donating to Mary's project so that children are given opportunities to discuss and share their ideas around powerful topics:

Bringing STEM Stories to Life Schoolwide! - Project by Elaine Mernick

All students throughout our school will read the book "Rosie Revere, Engineer" by Andrea Beaty as part of our 4th annual One Book, One School initiative. It tells the story of Rosie, a shy girl who keeps her imaginative inventions to herself. When her Aunt Rose (modeled after Rosie the Riveter) visits, Rosie is inspired by her aunt's lifelong dream: "Could she build a gizmo to help her aunt fly?" Self-doubt and failure, and a little perspective from Aunt Rose, teach Rosie that persevering through adversity is the greatest achievement of all.They will build on these themes by exploring companion works, including: Iggy Peck, Architect; Ada Twist, Scientist; and workbooks for all three titles.

As part of our Social Emotional learning efforts, One Book, One School aims to bring our community together around one text. With this book specifically, students from pre-k through eighth grade will engage in various activities relating to engineering, finding inspiration in everyday materials, the history of Rosie the Riveter, original stories of famous inventions, etc., before going on a gallery walk to discover how other classes interpreted the book and built skills across the curriculum. We hope they, like Rosie, learn that "the only true failure can come if you quit!"

Consider donating to Elaine's project:

Clinton's Preschool Program

This year Clinton was part of a group of schools who switched from half day to full day preschool. We have two classrooms led by teachers Ms. Rachel Tarnoff and Ms. Kerry Griffith and teacher assistants, Mrs. Waheeda Nasser and Ms. Nancy Ramos. As part of this new initiative our teachers have worked to involve parents in their child's education.

Each month the teachers have been hosting monthly literacy meetings with their families. In December, families joined the classes for story time in the classroom reading a student favorite: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Students then worked with their families to cut out the different characters from the book and practiced retelling the story from the beginning to the end. Retelling is a great way for children to develop early literacy skills before learning how to read.

Thank you to all the families who joined us and we hope to see you again in January!

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Celebrating the Arts at Clinton!

This month we held a music concert with many of our first grade students and celebrated our Fall Art Show. We are fortunate to have dedicated music teachers such as Mr. Michael Madonia and Mr. Thomas Ng.
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We are also fortunate to have two dedicated art teachers in Mr. Peter Mariani and Mr. Will Wenzel. For many years, students at Clinton did not have art. That all changed when Mr. Mariani was hired about six years ago. When he first started he was given paper, crayons, and markers. From that meager beginning he has been able grow our program into what it is today. With the addition of Mr. Wenzel, they have created a cohesive PK-8 visual arts program which teaches students the 8 Studio Habits. Students explore art through a variety of mediums and learn proper art vocabulary and techniques. We are grateful for their dedicated and work in growing our program over the past five years!
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