Carpenter Courier

November 21, 2019

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Principal's Corner

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Another fantastic month at Carpenter! Thank you to everyone involved in making the PTO Halloween Party another great event for our students and families. Thank you to everyone who joined us in the ELF Halloween Hustle, helping us to once again win the participation trophy. Thank you to all of the families who donated their time and cooking/baking expertise to provide our staff with some great nourishment for conference nights. I know it is not "Appreciate May" but it's such a joy working in such a terrific school community, we just wanted to take the time to say we are thankful for our great parents and school community!

Next month will seem even shorter than last year. We had a full four weeks between Thanksgiving Break and Winter Break; this year we will only have three weeks. Besides the typical excellent instruction and learning taking place, the major events will be winter MAP Testing for 2nd-5th-grade students as well as the Holiday Sing. MAP Testing will be taking place the week of December 9th, so please try to limit scheduling any appointments that week. The exact days/times of testing hasn't yet been scheduled, but we've found the test to be taking longer for the students to complete and typically it extends over several days for the Math and Reading assessments. Information is given below regarding Holiday Sing. It is scheduled for Thursday, December 19th.

Below, I've shared our framework for our monthly social-emotional learning (SEL) themes. These themes correlate with the lessons that are taught in Second Step throughout the year, throughout the grade levels. This past month we are focusing on feelings and it has appropriately been titled, "Know How You Feel November." To help the students better understand it, we've attached it to "Remember December." Basically, we've shared that it isimportant to know how you feel because your feelings have an impact on your behaviors. (IDENTIFICATION) It is also important to understand how others around you may feel to help you better understand them. Once we know our feelings and can identify them, it helps us to learn how to manage our feelings (or manage how we interact with others). (STRATEGIES) For example, if you are angry, you should take deep breaths, walk away, or think of a positive. As we always encourage you, help us to generalize this skill by talking to your child(ren) at home about their feelings and strategies that they can use to manage them.

We look forward to a great month and we hope to see you at the Holiday Sing later in December.


Mr. Brett Balduf, Principal

Carpenter Elementary School

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School Closing Guidelines

As the seasons change… keep school closing guidelines in mind

District 64's guidelines focus on wind chill and use the National Weather Service distinctions between an advisory and a warning (among other factors) when considering whether schools will be closed. As always, our first priority is the safety of students and staff when making decisions on when schools are closed. Make sure you know about our School Closing Guidelines before the bad weather hits! Here's to a safe winter ahead!

Tips for Cold Weather Safety

Tips for cold weather safety

Recent weather trends have brought January-like weather conditions to our area unexpectedly! Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can occur with exposure to very cold temperatures. Stay safe during the cold weather by learning more about hypothermia. For an infographic about avoiding, spotting and treating frostbite and hypothermia, click here.

Health Tips

Defending against influenza and respiratory illness

Fall months also herald the start of cold and flu season. Since influenza viruses vary from year to year, it is difficult to predict the season’s beginning and peak. Flu activity in the U.S. tends to peak between December and February, but can begin as early as October and continue into May. Current recommendations state that everyone 6 months of age and older, especially those considered at high risk, receives influenza vaccination annually. To prepare for the upcoming flu season, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for basic flu facts, prevention tips and treatment information by clicking here.

Head Lice


Review Guidelines to prevent head lice

With the return of colder weather along with hats and scarves, it's a good time to review guidelines for health lice prevention. Although the focus of head lice is usually on treatment, prevention is just as important. Since head lice cannot jump from child to child, preventing head lice may not be as difficult as it sounds. Please take the opportunity to read the following information. Experts recommend:

•Avoiding head to head contact during play and other activities.

•Encouraging your child to avoid sharing items that have been on or near another child’s head, such as hairbrushes, combs, and hair accessories, hats, scarves, towels, pillows, helmets, etc.

•Teaching your child to hang up hats and coats on individual hooks. Avoid piling coats/jackets.

•Reviewing pictures of head lice and nits (eggs) to help you understand what you are looking for when checking your child’s head.

•Checking your child for lice and/or nits on a weekly basis.

•Recognizing symptoms of head lice: itchy scalp and small red bumps on the back of the head and neck.

•Reviewing head lice prevention steps with your child before sleepovers or trips. If your child is found to have head lice, check with your healthcare provider for recommended treatment.

Please inform your child’s school health office. Health staff members are available to answer questions about treatment and prevention.

•For more information, please visit these sites:

•Brochure on Head Lice

Primary Challenge

Primary Challenge is an enrichment program of services for students from kindergarten through 2nd grade with advanced learning needs in the specific academic areas of reading and math. The program is designed to use a flexible identification process and provide services as a student demonstrates need. Visit the Primary Challenge/Channels of Challenge website or watch the Primary Challenge webcast to learn more about Primary Challenge.

Holiday Sing - Thursday, December 19th

Doors will open 15 minutes before each show


9:15 a.m. - A.M. Kindergarten & 1st grade

10:15 a.m. - 2nd & 3rd grades

1:00 p.m. - P.M. Kindergarten, 4th & 5th grades


Park Ridge Holiday Food Drive

The dates for the Park Ridge Holiday Food Drive are November 11 – December 13, 2019. A special collection bin and sign for non-perishable food items has been placed in Carpenter's secured vestibule by the front office. Food donations will be picked up periodically by volunteers and taken to the Maine Township Food Pantry for distribution. Every Friday at Carpenter (11/15, 11/22, 12/6, and 12/13) will be our designated food drop-off date (but we'll accept any day you may be here). Next Tuesday and Thursday's conferences and bookfair may be the opportune time!

Donation checks made payable to the City of Park Ridge - Holiday Food Drive will also be accepted. Checks can be mailed to Holiday Food Drive - City of Park Ridge, 505 Butler Place, Park Ridge, IL 60068. Monetary donations will be contributed to the Park Ridge Police Department Emergency Fund, which provides food certificates from a local grocers to qualifying individuals in need.

COAT (& Winter Item) DRIVE

We will be supporting a Chicago Coat Drive. Here is the associated story.

St. Sabina is coordinating coat drives throughout the South Chicagoland area in some of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago.

Accepting new and gently used:

Children coats

  • Hats (they really need hats)
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Snow pants
  • Snow boots

We will have bins available at Carpenter for donations. We have a coordinator who will pick up the items in mid-December.

Kiwanis Holiday Food Baskets for D64 Families in Need

Holiday Food Baskets - Here's how to contribute

The Park Ridge Kiwanis Club has again taken up the challenge to provide holiday food baskets to School District 64 families in need. But this year the Club will do it without a fundraising event at a local restaurant.

Instead, the Kiwanis will focus on accepting donations online to help nearly 200 families in District 64 that fall below the poverty level. Click here to make a donation.

Donations will also be accepted through the mail at Kiwanis Holiday Food Basket Fundraiser ℅ Frank Kaminski, 200 S. Vine, Park Ridge, IL 60068.


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