Weekly Communique

November 5, 2021

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Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte



Never Say Never


Earlier this week, I found myself in my office watching clips of "Squid Game", a Netflix television program growing in popularity. While I’d heard of it, I hadn’t opted to watch it on my own. However, I was informed that this program has started to influence student behavior on the playground. So, while I don’t usually watch television in my office, I watched some of this show to gain a better understanding of what some of our kids are watching. It didn’t take long for me to realize this wasn’t my “cup of tea”. The main idea behind the game is a game master leads contestants through children's games (like Red Light Green Light), except in the show's version of the game, the losing players are punished or killed in violent ways. Please exercise caution in allowing your children to view this program, even if you are watching it with them. It is completely based on violence and fear. Both result in strong emotional responses from most of us. Children are often not prepared for this.


This year, we have seen physical responses between kids increase. Kids struggle to walk away. “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me…” isn’t a thing anymore. It is still not okay to call kids names, and our staff will certainly address that. Grabbing the name-caller to physically respond with a shove, hair pull, or punch isn’t good, either.


Now we have kids starting to ask to play red light, green light, which for my generation was a fun way to pass the time with friends. Some of our students now want to play these games as they are played on "Squid Game". I know we are all struggling with supporting our kids through isolation, masking, the influence of video games, social media, and popular television. I also realize it is difficult to monitor everything our kids do. The best we can do is be aware and talk with our kids about what they are viewing and help them understand what is appropriate for play and what is not. I know this sounds old-fashioned, but there is always a good book to read and our libraries are open.

Opportunities for Parent Volunteering Returns


Parent volunteers have always been a valuable part of our school programs. Many parents look forward to being able to help out in their child’s classroom and/or support special events being held in our schools. Minimizing the number of people in our schools has been a key mitigation strategy during this time of COVID. As we begin to open our schools for more events and activities, we are also looking to bring volunteers back into our buildings. Some classrooms, particularly those of our youngest learners, use volunteers in their classrooms for special activities, guest readers, or an extra set of hands with messy projects. If your child’s teacher is looking for volunteers, it is important to know the new procedures that are in place addressing COVID-19. The following process aligns with the legal guidance provided to allow use of Parent Volunteers:


Any volunteers wishing to assist in our schools, when students or staff are present, will be required to meet the same standard of COVID prevention as our employees. Volunteers will need to be either fully vaccinated or participating in COVID-19 testing.


Non Vaccinated Volunteers

Documentation of a negative COVID test, from within the six days prior to volunteering, would need to be presented to the building secretary when the volunteer signs in at the building. At home tests are not allowed.


Vaccinated Volunteers

Volunteers, who are fully vaccinated, are able to email their vaccination card to a school secretary. This information will be uploaded into their student’s Skyward account. This will allow us to create a daily report of our vaccinated volunteers that can be easily referenced by office staff. Parent volunteers with more than one student will not need to have their information uploaded at every school.


Visitor Badges

Every volunteer will need to obtain a visitor badge through the Raptor system, in each office, for each visit to a school. The Raptor system requires a state I.D. be presented. This system completes the necessary background checks.

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Covid-19 Update

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Tweet of the Week

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Spaulding School Kids Celebrate Good Behavior

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2nd Grade concert at Spaulding School

Second grade students at Spaulding School recently

performed a concert entitled "Jazz". First grade students were invited to attend the live concert, which was also recorded for viewing by families and other students.

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Viking's National Junior Honor Society

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Pumpkin Time Bomb

Pumpkin Time Bomb: 7th graders at Viking predicted how many rubber bands it would take to implode a pumpkin and then tested it.

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Beautification at Spaulding School

Shout out to the Spaulding Beautification Committee for planting new perennials along the bus doors and the east side of the building! A very generous donation of over 20 plants from Mary’s Greenhouse made this possible. Student and teacher volunteers offered their green thumbs to brighten up our school!

3D Printed Sugar Skulls

Señorita Kukla’s 8th grade Spanish classes at Viking and River Trail

used 3D pens to decorate 3D printed skulls to celebrate Día de los Muertos.

Prairie Trail School Book Fair 2021

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Viking Middle School Book Fair 2021

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2021-2022 Destination Imagination

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PTO NEWS

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27th Annual Jon Callaghan Turkey Trot

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Gurnee Park DIstrict

Breakfast with Santa

The big guy is coming to Viking Park in Gurnee on Saturday, December 11th! Enjoy a breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and Canadian bacon in between visiting with Santa Claus!

Swim School

Learn to swim with Swim School at Gurnee Park District! Children will learn lifelong skills and advance at their own pace, all while having FUN! Take a splash and sign up for Swim School!

Summer Camp At YMCA

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