Shark Tales

Southbury Elementary


Administration Letter

Dear Shark Families,

It’s hard to believe that we are in the 2nd Trimester of school! We are now one full trimester into remote learning. Throughout the first trimester students were busy reading, writing, increasing math fluency and showing great character all the while building their digital literacy through platforms such as Google Classroom, Flipgrid, Nearpod, Pear Deck, and Jamboards! Whether you happen to have one Shark or more, there were so many fun, yet creative things happening in the remote classrooms!

Additionally, we have also set School Improvement Goals this year that encourage all students and staff to continue to grow:

  • Goal 1: Southbury staff have identified instructional practices as an area of focus for this year. Currently, 59 % of our staff use math talk activities at least one time per week in mathematics. Given ongoing professional development, 71% of staff will use "number talks in mathematics" AT LEAST one time per week, by May 2021.
  • Goal 2: Southbury staff have identified instructional practices as an area of focus for this year. Currently, 53 % of our staff use AVID focused note taking activities at least one time per week in language arts. Given ongoing professional development, 69 % of staff will use "focused note taking" by May 2021.
  • Goal 3: Southbury Staff has identified professional development using technology as a tool for collaboration as an area of need. Currently 53 % of staff use technology tools for collaboration. Given ongoing professional development, 67% of staff will use technology collaboration tools AT LEAST one time per week, by May 2021.

In order to achieve these goals, we hope to work closely with all our staff to make sure we are providing the needed professional development that will in part improve the learning of each of our students!

As we move into the chilly months, please remember to stay warm and stay safe!

Here are some upcoming December events:

December 23-January 5: Winter Break

Stay warm in this winter weather!!

Samantha Sinovich


Jack Olson

Assistant Principal

Read. Write. Think. Grow. Southbury: A Community of Learners.

Home and School Organization Happenings

Happy Be Thankful month!!

A few things from your HSO…..

Yearbooks for the current school year can now be purchased!!! Follow these simple steps.

  • Step 1: Visit
  • Step 2: Enter our school code 208741 then click “Go to your school account login”
  • Step 3: Click on the link below our school name
  • Step 4: Register as a “new user”
  • Step 5: Buy a yearbook for $20. Please be sure to complete your child’s name and teacher information.

Also, we need your help by submitting pictures to make our yearbook memorable!! Please follow these steps for submitting photos, Also note the Replay It app we used last year is no longer an option for submitting yearbook photos.

  • Visit
  • Browse to select the photo(s) you wish to upload, click on “Select My Images.”
  • Enter information about the photo, especially your child’s teachers name and provide contact information in case the staff needs additional information.
  • Click “Upload Chosen Images.”

If you have any questions about ordering your yearbook, please email the HSO yearbook advisor at

Don’t forget you can put our staff favorites list to good use with the holidays coming up. Here it is.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to reach out to us at

Sarah Brown and Kristy Stith

HSO Co-Presidents

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We are so Thankful for how hard our students are working and so thankful for the parents for their continued partnership and support.

ELA: We have been working on key details, sequencing a story using the words Beginning, middle and end. We are working on reading our High Frequency words and using them to write a complete sentence. We also work on labeling and making sure our picture matches our words in our writing.

Math: We are exploring composing and decomposing numbers 0-10. We have been using objects and using 2 colors to help with this skill. We are continuing to practice our counting and number sense daily.

Every day we work on having good character, listening and following directions.

1st Grade

We are thankful for how hard our first graders have been working! Here is what we have been up to this month:


  • Sequence of events
  • Genre study
  • Narrative Writing process
  • Writer’s Workshop: Making lists
  • Practice reading high frequency words and/or fluency passages


  • Number talks continue all year long
  • Addition strategies: counting on, doubles, doubles +1 and -1, making ten to add


  • Our new unit is Light and Sound
  • Identify how to make a dark area bright

2nd Grade

The second grade team would like to thank our parents for their continued support during remote learning. Please remember to check your child’s Google Classroom assignments for any missing/late work. Please continue to work with your child on subtraction flashcards and high frequency words.

November has been a very busy month for second graders! In ELA we finished our second Performanced Based Writing assessment that focused on Narrative writing, and currently we have just begun opinion writing. We have read the stories, “I Wanna Iguana,” and “Money Matters,” to help us better understand opinion text and opinion writing. In math, we finished our place value unit and have been working extremely hard on adding 2- two-digit numbers and expanding it to three and four two digit numbers. Everyday we are also engaged in math talks everyday which help us dive deeper into the strategies we use in math. It is amazing to hear how the students solve math problems!

3rd Grade

As we finish this month, there is much to reflect upon. During our ELA block, we’ve learned about the Athabascan people of Alaska in our historical fiction text, The Year of Miss Agnes. Studying their culture, way of life, and how very different school was for the children of small Alaskan communities has opened our eyes to the uniqueness of cultures and time eras different from our own. We’ve worked hard on skills such as main ideas and details, central messages, and character webs. We also wrote another narrative focusing on the narrator, characters, sequence of events, temporal words and phrases, and dialogue. This was our second attempt at a narrative, and it was important to challenge the students to produce an even stronger piece of writing. This writing assessment had the students add their own final chapter to The Year of Miss Agnes. Students enjoyed sharing their final chapter, and we all enjoyed hearing the creativity of the different story endings.

Students are getting stronger in multiplication and division as we work on those harder facts. Remember that multiplication and division flashcard practice is truly beneficial! Practicing those flashcards even 10 minutes a day can greatly improve how quickly and easily students can then solve multi-digit multiplication and long division problems!

Hopefully, students are starting to really get into our Inheritance & Traits science unit. Even though this is self-directed, the videos and lessons that are posted on google classroom are interesting, thought provoking, and full of facts. Who doesn’t like studying about wolves and their packs in fictional Graystone National Park?

Lastly, we want to thank our parents for meeting with us during Parent-Teacher conferences. We always enjoy talking with you about your awesome children! Virtual conferencing was new to all of us, but we made it work!

We hope all of you had a restful Thanksgiving with your family!

Mrs. Elliott, Mrs. Feliciano, Miss Morgan, Mrs. Rieser

4th Grade

As we wrap up the month of November, there is much to be thankful for-- and first on that list is our wonderful students! They continue to impress us with their resilience, perseverance, positivity, and care for each other. We could not be more proud of their academic progress and their amazing attitudes under these unique circumstances!

We’ve accomplished quite a bit in 4th grade over the past month. In ELA, we wrapped up our unit on tall tales by having the students create their own individual tall tales. It was so fun to see how the students utilized figurative language and the characteristics of tall tales to create fun and engaging stories. Be sure to ask your child to share their tall tale with you!

In Math, we recently completed our study of multiplication. The students learned how to multiply multi-digit numbers using three separate algorithms: the area model, partial products, and the traditional method. As we move forward, the students are welcome to choose whichever algorithm makes the most sense to their mathematical brains. In the days and weeks ahead, we will transition into division. As previously mentioned, automaticity with basic math facts is essential for success in these operations. We highly recommend the use of Xtra Math daily to help the students achieve mastery of these basic facts!

In Science, the students began an independent study of vision and light. They have been watching videos and completing activities related to this interesting topic.

In Social Studies, we compared and contrasted the environment and culture of Illinois today with the Illinois of the past. The students learned many interesting facts about the way of life of the Native Americans living in this area thousands of years ago. We even learned about the mounds of Cahokia that can still be visited in southern Illinois today!

Once again, the fourth-grade teachers would like to express our deepest, heartfelt thanks to you for your continued support at home. Without you, our jobs would be so much harder, and we appreciate you all more than you know. If you celebrate Thanksgiving, we wish you and your families a relaxing, enjoyable holiday!

Dr. Truax, Mr. Stephens, Mrs. Adams, and Mrs. Monti

5th Grade

We have accomplished so much in 5th grade this year. The 5th grade teachers could not be more proud of our resilient and hardworking students. In reading, we focused on point of view and determined the mood and tone of the text. In writing, we focused on informational writing as we wrote about different ecosystems. In science, we began our unit on Matter as students took on the role of food scientists figuring out the differences in various substances. Finally, in math, we finished up our unit on multiplication and division and moved on to decimals. It was wonderful talking to all parents who attended conferences. The 5th-grade team greatly appreciates the dedication to all our students’ education! We are excited to see what the second trimester brings!
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Hi STARS Families,

The first trimester is complete! This year seems to be flying by here at Southbury. It has been so fun to see many of the students in person. We sure missed their smiling faces. This month was filled with learning and seeing students grow! Although we may not all be together yet, we are proud of the resiliency of all the students with the many changes they have faced from remote learning to in-person and now back to remote learning. A big THANK YOU to the parents as remote learning is a challenge and requests a lot of support on the parent end. We absolutely could not do it without your help.

Here are some dates to look for in December (hard to believe it’s almost December):

December 22nd: Winter Break begins!

We hope everyone has a happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving! Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the recent changes, please reach out to your classroom teacher. We want to be sure to support every student the best we can.


Amanda, Cassidy, Nicole, Emily, Lesley, and Gen


Parent Teacher Conferences

We are glad we had the opportunity to meet with you during conferences. If we missed you or you’d like to set up an additional conference time please contact your child’s ESL teacher.

Important Reminders:

  • ESL GoLive! Sessions take place twice a week. Students need to participate unless they are marked absent from school for the day.
  • Students need to complete ALL assignments within their ESL Google Classroom. Before turning in your assignment, be sure you complete your work or attach a photo of your work.
  • Videos and slideshows are posted in your child’s ESL Google Classroom to support student learning.

We are excited to be working virtually with our students during Remote Learning!

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your child’s ESL teacher.

Kristen Serio

Alyssa Ahlstrom

Gifted Education

In November fourth grade covered a lot of math “ground,” so to speak. We “planted and grew” a lot of diverse math thinking, always showing written math work as counted our yield in our fields. We began the month with multi-step problem solving, which spanned into order of operations, exploring three types of grouping symbols and how and when they are necessary. The latter half of the month we began exploring decimal computation, just in time for your child to assist you calculate with money during the holiday season! Be sure to open the door for your mathematician to explain a second way of solving his/her mathematical thinking behind the money-related math. Shopping, cooking, and planning offers loads of opportunities for mental math!

Fifth grade finished unit rate conversions, also known as dimensional analysis. Emphasis was placed on writing equations to show units and checking for reasonableness in the final answers. The remainder of the month was devoted to percentages, just in time for Black Friday deals! Percents can be tricky. Always read the fine print. ;-) We learned percentages are a type of ratio. Your child’s number sense and mental math are growing, and solving percent problems in various ways meant understanding the relationships among the numbers. Solving for the part, the total, or the rate helped us bridge our thinking into our next unit, Expressions and Equations. Yay!! Algebra here we come!

Speech and Language

Hello Shark families!

November is a great time to work on our speech and language goals. The weather is changing and it is going to get cold and snowy soon! Here are some ideas on how to stay warm inside and work on our communication. There are so many winter books! Books are a great way to work on communication and literacy at the same time. Here are some goals you can target using winter books (e.g., The Mitten; Bear Snores On; Sneezy the Snowman): Answering WH-questions, labeling pictures, inferencing, core vocabulary (e.g., TURN the page, WHAT will happen next), sequencing, and story retell. If you are up for the cold you could do an experiment with snow! You can use describing words to talk about snow, talk about if it melts FAST or SLOW, mix some food dye in it, and have fun!!

From the speech-language pathologists,

Mrs. Debbie Convey


Mrs. Kelly Okel


Ms. Lauren Paver



Check It Out!

Although the Scholastic Book Fair will look different this year, we are excited to announce that it is still happening! Connecting students with great books they are excited to read is our favorite part of our job. You’re invited to shop our online Scholastic Book Fair from November 27th - December 11th by clicking here. All purchases benefit our school and connect kids with new books, favorite characters, complete series, and more. You’ll love the NEW option to shop for Book Fair exclusives directly from the interactive booklist and enjoy these special online shopping features:

  • Over 6,000 items, including new releases, best sellers, and value packs
  • All orders ship direct to home
  • FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25*
  • All purchases support our school and earn 25% in rewards

Click on the Book Fair image if you’d like a quick preview of what is available.

*Free standard shipping is available on book-only orders of $25 or more, after all discounts are applied. Free standard shipping (books) must be selected during checkout. Orders containing products other than books are not eligible for this shipping promotion.

Look for more information on the Southbury Elementary School home page.

Thank you to our families that have returned overdue library books. Overdue notices will be sent home over the coming weeks. Fines will now be issued for any books that have still not been returned from the spring. We still have over 100 books checked out that need to be returned. If you receive an overdue notice, we are expecting that the book be returned to the blue bin inside Door 1 or that the fine is paid immediately. Fines that are not paid promptly will be added to your Pushcoin account.

Oswego Public Library

Did you know that the Oswego Public Library has more than just books? Perhaps you’d like to listen to some new music, or watch a new movie? Maybe you’d like to start a book club with your friends or neighbors? Are you looking for STEAM activities to do with your children or your scout troop? The public library has everything you need! We encourage you to explore the library website, or visit either campus in person, to learn more! Click here to visit the website.

Happy Reading!

Mrs. Witcpalek and Mrs. Dietz

From the Reading Department

Creating Holiday Learning Traditions

Reading Rockets has some great ideas for adding new traditions to your holiday memories all the while strengthening reading and writing skills at home.

Listen, Laugh, Learn

  • Listen to audiobooks while you're traveling to visit family, wrapping gifts or cooking for the holidays.
  • Lyrics to holiday songs are fun to read and sing together. It is also good fun and good collaborative writing practice to make up your own lyrics to familiar tunes.
  • Start a story-telling tradition by revisiting holidays of the past. Old family photographs at holiday gatherings will help prompt stories about your own life and family traditions.

Read, Relax, Respond

  • Put reading and writing skills to practical use. Plan holiday meals by reading cookbooks together, writing the shopping lists and finding the needed items at the store by reading signs and labels. Read the recipe and cook together. During the simmering and baking, kids can write and decorate menus or place cards for special holiday meals.
  • Set aside time just for reading. Curl up on the couch together and read aloud an old favorite or check out books about another culture's winter celebrations.
  • Work on those letters. Improve writing skills with notes or letters to relatives and friends, thanking them for their holiday gifts.


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In the month of November we finished Trimester 1 and moved into Trimester 2! Now that we are starting a new musical unit we are focusing on rhythms. Students are working on creating, performing and analyzing different rhythms in our classes.

In December we are continuing to move forward as we finish reviewing familiar rhythms and start learning new rhythms! As previously mentioned, thank you for your patience and understanding as we are completing music virtually. Students are doing a wonderful job making music from home and I am so proud of all of their progress.

If you ever have any questions or additional ways I can support your student, please feel free to email me at

Physical Education

Wow! What a fun month of Southbury Remote PE!! We have been going through all kinds of healthy and fun activities with our students. We have been emphasizing the importance of continuing to GO OUTSIDE! Yes, it is getting colder, but we all still need to get outside because breathing fresh air and absorbing vitamin D is still a must! We have also been talking about the importance of a healthy diet and eating “treats” in moderation. With all of that being said, we are always dancing around and getting our exercise in a fun and engaging way!
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News from Nurse Sara

Just a friendly reminder, if you still need to provide a copy of a health exam (physical, proof of immunizations, dental, or vision exam), for your kindergartner or if you recently moved from out of state please do so via email: or fax (630) 551-9897. The main office has a drop box as well if you are in the area and prefer to drop off at school. Please keep in mind, students cannot return to in-person learning if physical and immunizations are not submitted (for kindergarten or out of state students).

Please take a minute to look through this directory and see what assistance Kendall County has to offer its residents: Kendall County Resource Directory

I’m excited to share my Bitmoji Health Office with our Shark families. I hope it helps you find the links and documents you may need for the school year. My virtual office includes a document with descriptions of COVID related symptoms students will need to stay home from school with, or sent home if they are experiencing. Please let me know if you have any questions, as we navigate through this together.

Welcome to Nurse Sara's Virtual Health Office

Please stay healthy and well!

Nurse Sara

(630) 551- 9802

Social Work

COVID-19 Parental Resources Kit – Childhood

Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being of Children during COVID-19

Updated Sept. 16, 2020 by the CDC

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) can affect children directly and indirectly. Beyond getting sick, many children’s social, emotional, and mental well-being has been impacted by the pandemic. Trauma faced at this developmental stage may have long-term consequences across their lifespan. CDC’s COVID-19 Parental Resource Kit: Ensuring Children and Young People’s Social, Emotional, and Mental Well-being can help support parents, caregivers, and other adults serving children and young people in recognizing children and young people’s social, emotional, and mental challenges, and helping to ensure their well-being.


Change in routines

Staying Connected with Family using Technology

In addition to other everyday steps to prevent COVID-19, physical or social distancing is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed to this virus and to slow its spread. However, having to physically distance from someone you love—like a grandparent, friends, your worship community, or sick family members—can be hard for children. It is important for adults to support children in taking time to check in with friends and family to see how they are doing.

Break in continuity of learning

School closures have meant that children stayed at home with parents and caregivers who had to juggle caretaking, learning supervision, and potential telework responsibilities. Participating in school from home is one way to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Online platforms and learning communities have become essential, as children and their families turn to digital solutions more than ever to support children’s learning. Unfortunately, the immediate need to have virtual school and learning revealed inequity in resources, access, and connectivity across students and communities. It is important for parents to reach out to teachers, school administrators, or school counselors to discuss the challenges your family may face supporting virtual learning. Together, you can discuss options that may be available through the school or county. Also, keep in mind that some students may experience nervous or anxious behaviors due to uncertainty about going back in-person to school. Families and communities can join together to troubleshoot ways to make the transition back to in-person school safe and healthy.

Break in continuity of health care

Parents may have avoided seeking health care due to stay-at-home orders and may continue to do so because they are afraid of getting sick with COVID-19. This includes important well-child visits, immunizations and oral health care. Additionally, school closures have impacted many children’s ability to receive mental health and speech therapy services. It is important to ensure children receive continuity of health care, including checking on their development at well-child visits, continuing mental health and speech therapies (e.g. via telehealth), and receiving vaccines for illnesses such as measles, influenza, whooping cough, and others—including COVID-19, when it becomes available.

Missed significant life events

Physical distancing can feel like placing life on hold. The truth is that the clock keeps ticking. Birthdays, graduations, talent shows, vacation plans, births, and funerals are just a sample of the many significant life events that children may have missed experiencing during COVID-19. Social distancing, stay-at-home orders, and limits to gatherings have affected the ability of friends and family to come together in person to celebrate or grieve in typical ways. Grief is a normal response to losing someone or something important to you. It is important to help children understand that hosting gatherings during COVID-19 could be dangerous to those who would want to participate. Family and friends can help them find alternate ways to connect and support each other at a distance.

Lost security and safety

The household income of many families with children was affected during COVID-19 due to job loss and lost wages. Economic insecurity is consistently linked to children’s adverse development, academic achievement, and health outcomes. It may affect their ability to consistently access healthy foods, safe transportation, and housing. Mounting economic stressors can increase children’s risk for exposure to violence. Along with stay-at-home orders during COVID-19, some children may have been increasingly exposed to child abuse and neglect, intimate partner violence at home, and sexual violence. Children’s increased online activity also puts them at increased risk for online harms pdf icons, such as online sexual exploitation, cyberbullying, online risk-taking behavior, and exposure to potentially harmful content. It is important for parents and caregivers to maintain a trustworthy relationship and open communication with children, watching for behavior changes that may signal distress.

What can you do?

Steps to Help Provide Stability and Support to Children:

  • Maintain a normal routine
  • Talk, listen, and encourage expression
  • Give honest and accurate information
  • Teach simple steps to stay healthy
  • Be alert for any change in behavior
  • Reassure children about their safety and well-being
  • Recognize and address fear, stress and behavior changes
Children might worry about getting sick with COVID-19, and about their loved ones getting sick, too. Excessive worry or sadness, unhealthy eating or sleeping habits, and difficulty with attention and concentration are some signs of stress in children. Adults can take steps to provide stability and support to help children cope.

Teach and reinforce everyday preventive actions

There are actions we can take to prevent getting sick and slow the spread of COVID-19. Be a good role model— if adults wash their hands often, stay at least 6 feet apart from others, and wear their mask in public spaces to help protect themselves and others, then children are more likely to do the same.

Help keep children healthy

Schedule well-child and immunizations visits for children. Seek continuity in mental and occupational health care. Help children to eat healthy and drink water – instead of sugar sweetened beverages – for strong teeth. Encourage children to play outdoors— it’s great for physical and mental health, and can help children stay healthy and focused.

Help children stay socially connected

Reach out to friends and family via phone or video chats. Write cards or letters to family members they may not be able to visit. Schools may have tips and guidelines to help support social and emotional needs of children.

Resources provided by the CDC.

Kids coloring book to discuss the pandemic and how it is affecting your children: