Central Primary School

November Newsletter

A Message from Mr. Cox

Welcome to November! We are being led into November with some exciting news. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released our annual School Report Card on Oct. 30 at www.illinoisreportcard.com. The Report Card shows how well our schools are progressing on a wide range of educational goals.

I am proud to announce the 2019 official summative designation for Central Primary School as reported by the Illinois State Board of Education. A Summative designation is a descriptor of how well our schools are meeting the needs of all students.

Central Primary School received an exemplary rating for 2019. This shows remarkable growth from a previous commendable rating in 2018.

Exemplary schools had “all students” index scores at or above 80.12 according to the Illinois State Board of Education. Of the 3058 elementary schools in Illinois that were tested, only 332 schools received the exemplary rating. Our school is in the top 10% of elementary schools in Illinois.

Congratulations to our students, parents, teachers, and staff! This is a tremendous accomplishment and a time to celebrate our school and community.

A Message from Ms. Johnson

November 1st marks the end of our first trimester, and a third of our school year. We should celebrate an amazing day and a half of parent/teacher conferences, Scholastic book fair, and PTO craft fair. It was wonderful to see all of the CPS families and we value the parent feedback from the 5 Essentials Survey that many parents were able to complete. If you missed the opportunity to complete the 5 Essentials parent survey please complete at your earliest convenience. Your feedback serves an important role in our future strategic planning.


Important November dates to remember:

  • CPS Picture Retake: Wednesday, Nov. 6th
  • Report Cards available on Skyward: Thursday, Nov. 7th
  • PTO VIP Breakfast (A-L): Thursday, Nov. 14th 7:15am-8:15am
  • PTO VIP Breakfast (M-Z): Friday, Nov. 15th 7:15am-8:15am
  • Early Dismissal: Tuesday, Nov. 26th 2:15pm
  • No School: Wednesday, Nov. 27th- Friday, Nov. 29th

Social Emotional Learning Corner- Mrs. Arms and Mrs. Freeman

As parents and educators, we want students to be successful in and out of the school setting. Part of helping a student be successful in life is teaching them how to be their own coach. Positive self-talk is one way students can cheer themselves on and overcome adversity. Parents, teachers, and counselors can be positive role models for students but we want to teach them that they can also cheer themselves on. Providing ourselves with positive self-talk will increase how we feel and think about ourselves. Positive self-talk can have a big impact on how we think and feel. Self-talk is a strategy that can help reduce stress, improve self-esteem, increase motivation, inspire productivity, and improve overall mental and physical health when used over time. As stated by thepathway2success.com,

Self-talk is the inner voice that goes on inside our heads throughout our waking hours. Positive self-talk is when we talk to ourselves in a reassuring, kind, and more optimistic way. It’s the difference from saying to yourself: ‘I’m an idiot, I can’t believe I failed this math test’ or ‘I’m disappointed in how I did on the math test but I’m going to talk to the teacher and study more next time.’ ”

Below are 6 strategies from www.thepathway2success.com on how to build positive self-talk in students.

1. Model positive self-talk. Practice using positive thinking skills aloud when talking about yourself and others. A simple way to start is with positive thoughts in the morning such as, “Today is going to be a great day” or “I’m ready for whatever the day brings me”. It’s helpful to highlight the positive, even in difficult situations or setbacks. After a bad grade on a test, you might talk with the child to say, “It’s one bad grade and you’ll be okay. You can learn from this can get better next time. The most important thing is that you try your best”. Similarly, give genuine compliments to others freely and encourage seeing the bright side of things. That type of optimism is often contagious.

2. Create a list of positive self-talk statements. Use this free list of 101 Positive Thinking Affirmations to help kids and young adults read through a list of positive self-talk statements. Kids can select from the list or come up with their own to create their own personalized list of ten favorite statements. Having a pre-made list can be helpful to start discussing exactly what positive self-talk sounds like.

3. Discuss the benefits to positive self-talk. Be open about what self-talk is and how it helps. Kids, especially teens, might be skeptical about why they should change their thinking at first. Many psychology and self-help resources online can be worth reading and discussing together. Also know that practicing self-talk out loud might seem silly at times, but you have to change your words before you can really change the silent thinking in your head.

4. Incorporate crafts as a way to remember positive self-talk. Creating simple crafts with positive self-talk can be a great way for kids and young adults to learn positive self-talk. Best of all, kids can keep their craft for times when they need extra support. They can use it to help them start the day on a positive note or when they are feeling anxious, stressed, sad, or angry. You can create crafts on your own or find sample crafts to use. Use crafts to teach and practice positive self-talk

5. Practice changing negative thoughts into more positives ones. You can do this with made-up examples or real-life situations. Using an example like, “I only did well on this test due to luck”, challenge kids and young adults to turn the statement into a more positive one. Also, when a kid or young adult brings up a negative thought, encourage him or her to change it to positive self-talk. Use positive thinking task cards to reinforce positive self-talk

6. Talk about real life challenges and situations. Talk about the challenges kids and young adults are going through and how they feel about those situations. This can be done in small groups, 1:1, or even in larger groups. Ask questions like, “What can you learn from that situation?”, “What could the positive to that be?”, “What did you do right?” and “How could that help you for the future?”. Try to focus on the positive, what went right, and what can be learned instead of dwelling on the negative. Setbacks and failures are great times to use positive self-talk because they are the prime time for feeling down. Use these real-life situations to show how positive self-talk can help you get back up again when faced with a difficulty or disappointment.

Remember that you don’t need to be a counselor or psychologist to practice positive self-talk with kids and young adults. It’s true that anyone can teach and practice it. The ultimate goal is for kids and young adults to develop a stronger sense of self-confidence, allowing them to become more independent and reach their individual potentials along the way.

Leader in Me

Please join us in not only learning about the 7 Habits, but also incorporating them into your homes with your families! The Family Learning Team at CPS will be sending monthly newsletters home describing each habit. Each month will be a different habit. You should have already received the October newsletter for Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind. Along with educating you on each habit, the newsletter will also include books and activities that you can use at home that pertain to that! We look forward to your participation with incorporating the Leader in Me at school and at home.

Social Emotional Learning Corner- Mrs. Neal

Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Research is continually pointing to the need for more exposure to written text so that kids have plenty of opportunities for practice. Throughout my career, I continually hear from parents, “How can I help my child at home? What should I do?” These are excellent questions and may seem overwhelming if education and teaching are not your choice of profession. However, the good news is that teaching reading comprehension strategies can really come easily to parents. This article (link below) digs into 5 strategies/tips straight from the classroom that parents can use at home!

  1. Lay a strong foundation for reading success

  2. More reading time and less TV time

  3. Reading aloud and thinking aloud

  4. Let your child be the teacher

  5. Keep it interesting and relevant


PTO News!

October has been a very busy month! Many events have taken place that could not have happened without our wonderful volunteers! A HUGE THANK YOU to those who:

  • donated items for the dinner and breakfast for our teachers during conferences
  • helped with the Book Fair
  • participated in or attended the Craft/Vendor Fair
  • volunteered as a room coordinator or helper in the Halloween classroom parties
  • worked with AR prize patrol

Looking ahead to November, we will be needing volunteers! ROCK (Rewarding Outstanding Central Kids) will be taking place on Saturday, November 9 at CIS. Volunteers are needed for all the fun activities that take place. Volunteers are also needed to help serve breakfast items during our Fall VIP Breakfast (formally known as Donuts with Dad) at CPS on November 14 & 15. And our annual Rivermen game will be on Saturday, November 23! Please come join us for this fun family night!

Notes from the Nurses- Mrs. Bright and Mrs. Martin

PE Restrictions

  • In order to be excused from PE, a written note signed by a parent must be provided. Student exempt from PE will also be restricted from participating in recess and sports.

  • If a restriction is to last 3 days a more, a note signed by a doctor is required. The letter should also states WHEN a student may resume regular activities.

  • Students with casts, splints, or other immobilization devices are NOT allowed to participate in PE for the safety of the student and others around the student. A doctor’s note is required stating level of restriction and date when student may resume regular activities.

Trending in the Nursing Offices now:

  • Strep Throat: Fever, headache, sore throat, stomach ache, vomiting

  • Upper Respiratory Illnesses: Running nose, cough, sore throat, fatigue

Tips to help your students stay healthy:


  • Teach your student to WASH THEIR HANDS! They should use soap and water and scrub fingers to wrist for 15-30 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” 2 times).

  • Teach your student to cover their coughs & sneezes with their elbow… Then WASH THEIR HANDS!

  • Encourage your student to eat lots of fruits and vegetables

  • Get your student moving (aka exercise, shhh!)

  • Get plenty of sleep

Managing Symptoms While at School:

Before you send any medication to school with your student, review these policies...

  • In order for Central Staff to give ANY medication (other-the-counter or prescription, oral, eye drops, lotions/creams, etc) to your student, a completed Medication Authorization Form (must be signed by a parent/guardian AND a doctor) must be on file.

  • Medications must be turned into the office. Students are NOT allowed to carry any medications on them or in their book-bags.

  • Medications must be provided to the school in the original container. Prescription medications must have a prescription label with correct information (the pharmacy can provide an extra bottle/label).

  • Do NOT send medication on the bus. This is a safety concern as our younger students may find lost medication and think it is candy. The only exceptions are epipens and inhalers as these are emergency medications.

  • Cough drops/Throat lozenges may be sent with your students, BUT…

    • Send a note signed by a parent (cough drops do NOT require a Medication Authorization Form

    • Cough drops are kept in the nursing office. Students must ask to go to the office, sit and eat/suck on the cough drops until gone in the office. This is for safety reasons.

  • Essential oils do require a completed Medication Authorization Form.

Intervention- Mrs. Mertens, Mrs. Guse & Mrs. Holmes

After the first 12 weeks of school, we sat down with the teachers and look at the progress students are making. This is a great time to reevaluate who we are seeing and if any additional students need some extra assistance. So many students have made great gains with the extra intervention help we have provided along with the classroom work they have done. If your student will be receiving intervention support in either reading or math, you will be getting a letter through skyward by the end of the week. If you have any questions or concerns about intervention, please contact the interventionists or your child’s teacher.

Here are some new activities to work on with your child in a fun way at home for reading and math.

Math Activity for Fun

Number Top-It is an easy to play and fun math card game which teaches kids number recognition, comparing numbers and you can also throw some fact fluency in this game to continue to make it challenging for all ages and levels. You play it similar to a WAR game. Kindergarteners can work just on single digits, 1st graders can add the 2 cards together and see who has the higher amount, 2nd grades can make 2-digit numbers and compare and 3rd graders can multiply the cards together to see whose product is greater. All you need is a deck of cards, which I bet you already have. Card games are a great, low stress way to practice math skills with your kids. You get a little quality family time as well as helping your kids learn their math facts.

Reading Activity for Fun

Sight words are an important part of reading. You can work with students on recognizing sight words at home. You can turn any game into sight word game by making your student read a sight word before they are able to move. For instance, if you are playing Chutes and Ladders, spin the dial, then have players read a sight before they are able to move their spaces. If you are not sure of what sight words your child should be working on, feel free to reach out to me or your child’s teacher.

Art Corner- Miss Gleason

This month in the art room, second and third grade students studied artists such as Georgia O’Keefe and Pablo Picasso. We had fun creating works of art that used their ideas, but we put our own spin on things. We created Halloween drawings in kindergarten and First grade learned how to use liquid watercolor to create autumn trees! Art to Remember orders are set to be shipped to school on November 13th and ready for the holidays! Orders will come home the week of the 18th. You can continue to order your students art work after the due date, however, orders would need to be shipped to your home. Thank you for everyone’s orders and for supporting the art program here at Central Primary!

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A little note from Music class

The weather and trees are starting to change and we have settled into our routines in music class. The students come in and are ready to learn. We enjoy making music together.

Kindergarten just finished their unit on farm animals. We have song many traditional songs and nursery rhymes that center around different animals and the farm. They have learned to play many non-pitched percussion instruments with proper technique. We will now be learning more seasonal songs while gaining a greater understanding of beat and rhythm.

First grade has been working on reading rhythms. They are getting quite comfortable reading quarter notes and barred eighth notes We have also been singing some very fun seasonal songs together and then adding instruments to accompany the song.

Second grade has already started working on their music for their upcoming Winter Concert. Lyric sheets will be coming home this week. If they have the opportunity to look them over, it will help with memorizing each song. The concert will be held on December 4, 2019 in the CPS gym. There are two performances that evening. The schedule is as follows:

5:30 pm Performance- Mrs. Tanner, Mrs. James, Mrs. D. Brown, and Mrs. L. Brown

7:00 pm Performance- Mrs. Hartman, Mrs. Hranka, and Mrs. Taseff

Third grade is learning to read music on the staff. They are beginning to memorize the lines and spaces of the Treble Clef staff. We do a lot of singing and playing of instruments together. The third graders worked on improvising a 4 beat phrase. I was so impressed with what they came up with! Also, be looking for information this week about their upcoming recorder unit.

Physical Education Notes- Mr. Dalberg

This year we have been working on both individual and team building activities through competitive situations. We have also been working on agility, fitness and other movement activities. The students spend 20 of 25 minutes being very active in PE class. Some of the fitness activities we have done this year are the PACER test, fitness dice, and deal or no deal. My goal for each student is to take away a fitness activity they enjoy that they can continue throughout their life and help them lead a healthy lifestyle. Just a couple of reminders to help the PE department out, if your child needs to sit out of PE for 1 or 2 days please send them with a parents note. If a student needs to sit out of PE for more than 2 days please send them with a note from the Doctor.