Viking Newsletter

Jim Calabrese, Superintendent, Taft SD 90

November 21, 2021

Viking of the Week

We head into the week off with our last student of the week for November, and we are so proud to announce it is Alexa Calvillo in 7th grade!

Alexa was nominated by Ms. Irving, her ELA teacher. I know I can speak for many people, whenever I see her in the office, in the hallway, or after school at different activities Alexa always has a smile on her face and is so polite. Ms. Irving shared some things that she notices daily in her class.

Alexa is a wonderful student that comes to class every single day prepared, positive, and engaged. She puts forth her best effort in all of her classes and is ready to accept any challenge. Alexa is always willing to help her classmates and contributes to every class discussion. Not only is she an amazing student, but she is an incredible person that is kind to everyone she meets. She brings an infectious energy with her everywhere she goes, and we are honored to have her as part of our class. Alexa consistently displays exactly what it means to be a proud Taft Viking.

Alexa plays softball and volleyball and is on the student council committee at Taft. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her adorable dog named Leo!

We couldn’t be more proud Alexa, keep crushing it!

Sports Update

The Lady Vikings Basketball teams finished out their regular seasons this week with some exciting games. Both teams split their games with Richland and Laraway. Both 8th grade games finished in overtime. The 7th grade ended the regular season with 11 wins and 4 losses. The 8th grade finished with 10 wins and 5 losses. Both teams locked in the number one seed in their regional tournament which Taft is hosting. The 7th grade played their first round game yesterday against Fairmont. The regional championship will be Tuesday at 4:30 at Taft. The 8th grade regional tournament begins 11/30 at Taft. We play at 4:15 against Fairmont.

The boys played Washington and Kelvin Grove this week. Both teams came up short against Washington. However, both teams rebounded well and came up with great victories over Kelvin Grove at home. 7th grade won by a score of 28 to 25 with Colin Peloso leading the team with 14 points. The 8th grade won by a score of 44 to 37. Colin again lead the team with 13 points and Daniel Welcome had 12 points.

Holiday Shop

The Taft PTA is still looking for some parents to help volunteer at our Holiday Shop. The Holiday Shop is coming to Taft School on December 1-2! Students will have an opportunity to shop for their families during the school day. PTA is looking for volunteers to help run the Holiday Shop. Volunteers' hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30-11:00 and 11:00-2:00. Please send an e-mail to Julie Chesser ( if you would like to help. Be sure to include your name, your child’s name and teacher, cell phone #, and the day/time you are available. This is such a fun event for the children, so please consider being a part of it. Thank you in advance for your help!

Taft Foundation

For longer than a decade the students at Taft have greatly benefitted from the Taft Education Foundation which is made up of a dedicated group of parents led by Chris Jelinek. Over the years the foundation has provided funding to bring so many opportunities to the Taft students. They have raised over $100,000 for sports, music, Bragi's Players Theater, extracurriculars, equipment, and technology for our school.

The Taft Foundation is looking to get back into becoming more active and re-engaging our community. Please use the bottom below as a link to their Facebook page and like their group. The Facebook page will provide more information about what's happening with the Taft Foundation.

Updates from Mr. Davini

Congratulations to our homerooms that earned their PBIS reward for the month of November! Our goal was for each homeroom to improve upon their morning tardies as well as being prepared by having their laptops charged fully. These are things we expect to be happening every day, but thanks to our Behavior Improvement Forms and feedback from staff, we were able to hone in on these two behaviors that students were struggling with prior to November. The students who earned their prize were rewarded with a movie and snack on Friday afternoon.

We are excited to see you all at Parent-Teacher conferences on Monday. If there is anything you need from me during that time I will be close to the main office. Thank you for a great start to the school year, I am very thankful to be a part of the Taft family and to feel so welcomed these first few months. Enjoy the break, be safe, and I hope you all get to spend quality time with family and friends. School will resume on Monday, November 29th with lots to accomplish those few weeks before winter break!

Important Reminders - Drop off/Pick up

One of the most dangerous times at our school is drop-off and pick-up. It is also one of the times that we, as a school, have the least control over. While we do not have a lot of control over the way people drive around the school, you, our parents, do. Just this past week I personally witnessed two near accidents by cars that were driving students to school because I believe the cars were driving way too fast. On the worst days, both drop-off and pick-up times last less than 15 minutes. Please, for the safety of all of our kids, take what will amount to a couple of extra minutes and make sure you are driving safely around our school, and remember to follow simple procedures.

Drop off and pick up for all students is on 16th and 17th streets. Washington Street should be used by parents who plan to park and walk their kids to their respective doors. We have seen some parents stopping in the middle of Washington Street and having their students hop out of the car in the middle of the street. Please take a common-sense approach and stop doing that immediately. On 17th street, especially during pick-up times, please pull all the way up as far as you can go. At times we have some parents who begin to line up really early, especially on 16th street and start the line by the playground entrance which causes cars to back up around the corner on Hamilton Street.

One of my biggest worries is that one of our kids will be seriously injured because of a traffic accident. While I know we cannot avoid every possible issue, if we all commit to each other that we are going to slow down to take our time while at school we can all help keep everyone's kids as safe as possible.

Important Reminder - Masks

Over the past few weeks, we have seen a growing number of students come to school without masks. While we have purchased and provided masks for students when needed the number of masks that we have passed out this week is staggering. This past week alone we have given out well over 100 masks which may not sound like a lot, but when it happens week after week it becomes a problem for our district.

Please make sure that you are sending your students to school with masks. Packing an extra mask into a backpack is also a good idea as well. This will help ensure that everyone is safe while allowing us to focus all of our funding and efforts on education.

Assistance for Families

Please see the attached letter from our Social Worker, Keri Dyer, regarding assistance for families in need. We know that now, more than ever some families may need various forms of assistance and we are ready and able to help. If you are in any need please complete the form and send it to Mrs. Dyer so we can begin to offer any assistance necessary.


Taft is proud to have the “Stop It” program up and running for the 2021-2022 school year. Stop it is an online program that students can use to report bullying or any unsafe behavior while remaining anonymous. These reports come through to the Superintendent, Principal, and Social Worker via text so we can address the situation right away. This provides the student with an opportunity to share their concerns if they feel they cannot speak immediately to an adult.

We continue to teach our students to advocate for themselves in situations where they feel they can speak to a situation on their own. The students are reminded there are different approaches to stop bullying or unsafe situations outside of reporting things anonymously. Students are encouraged to share concerns with friends, staff, and family to learn to advocate for themselves. However, we understand that there are some situations where students may feel safer reporting discreetly.

If you have any questions regarding the Stop It program, please contact Mr. Davini or Mr. Calabrese.

STOPit Student Launch Video

Market Day is Back!

Taft's PTA is once again working with Market Day to provide our families with the opportunities to order from Market Day and help raise money for our PTA. All orders will be delivered directly to your house and the PTA will make 10% off of each order. The order is open all year long so families can order as much as they would like. Our PTA is excited to be able to offer Market Day to our families.

School Calendar

11/16/21- Girls Basketball Game vs. Richland - 4:15 PM

11/17/21- Girls Basketball Game vs. Laraway - 4:15 PM

11/18/21 - Boys Basketball Game vs. KG - 4:00 PM

11/18/21 - Board of Education Meeting - 6:15 PM - Library

11/19/21 - Fall Picture Retakes and Fall Sports Pictures

11/22/21 - No Student Attendance - Parent/Teacher Conferences - 1:00 PM- 3:30 PM & 4:30 PM -7:00 PM

11/23/21 - 11/23/21 - No School - Thanksgiving

11/30/21 - Boys Basketball Game @ Laraway - 4:15 PM

12/2/21 - Boys Basketball Game @ Fairmont - 4:15 PM

12/3/21 - Boys Basketball Game vs. Rockdale - 4:15 PM