The Western Weekly

Issue 18: January 13th, 2019

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Ringing in the New Year!

Welcome back, everyone! The children had a wonderful start to the New Year this week at Western Avenue. We were very busy jumping back into our academic routines. The children have also been working on New Year's resolutions and goal setting for our winter testing sessions. This week, we tested all students in AimsWeb, a math and reading fluency assessment. Next week, MAP testing will commence for all grade levels. Western Avenue will begin with math, and the following week we will test students for reading.

Please make sure your children have a healthy breakfast and enough sleep in preparation for their MAP testing. We hope to have completed all testing by the end of January. The testing schedule will always be included in the Western Weekly Calendar so that you are aware of who is testing each day of the week. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher. Go Wolves!

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MLK Day of Service: Western's Literacy Project Plus Western's Brownie Troop Project at Homewood Science Center!

Our 3rd grade Brownie Troop will sponsor a Crayon & Marker Recycling Project as part of MLK Day of Service on January 21st from 2:00-3:30 pm at the Homewood Science Center. Old crayons & markers (any brand) can always be sent with children to school for recycling bins we have in each classroom. However, you may also drop off your old crayons and markers at Homewood Science Center during the MLK event! Volunteers during the project will help sort the donations and peel crayons, and the Brownies welcome anyone ages 4 and above. Markers will be recycled through Crayola's ColorCycle Program. Crayons will be recycled through SCARCE's Tools for Schools and Super Crayons project. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Karen Cheung at

Western Avenue will be partnering with HF High School's National Honor Society (NHS), and our local middle school junior chapters of NHS to host a Book Drive/Book Share/Literacy Awareness Event on MLK Day. A vibrant committee of high school students, Mrs. Bachus, and Mrs. Ermshler have been meeting to plan the important work for this day, and we are SO excited!

Western Avenue's Library will be open on MLK Day for all families in the area to come and participate in this event. This is not your typical book drive! We want to message the importance of building a LOVE for reading. We also wish to raise awareness about access to books. Therefore, in addition to being a drop-off site for new and gently used books, we are also asking that families stay and perhaps write a personalized note in one of their books that they are giving away to the next reader who will receive the book. There will also be high school and middle school volunteers who are available to read any book to a little one on this day of service.

The committee has also organized to share important information about a non-profit organization, Pangea Education Development, stationed in Uganda. This organization was co-founded by former Western Avenue teacher, Mr. Andrew Bauer. To learn more about Pangea and its work in raising literacy awareness through publishing projects and mobile libraries, please visit for more details!

Cook's Night Out at Lou Malnati's!

Join Western Avenue's P.T.O. for a Cook's Night Out at Lou Malnati’s on Tuesday, January 15th from 4:00-10:00 pm. You must mention our Fundraiser at time of ordering, and present this flyer at carryout or delivery. 20% of the proceeds will come back to our P.T.O. and will be used to fund many of the important events and programs at Western Avenue. Thank you for your continued support!
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Girls on the Run!

Registration for the 2019 Girls on the Run Season opens January 1, 2019.

You can register by visiting or via the bilingual (English and Spanish) call center at (312) 224-8385 open Monday - Friday 9 am -5 pm.

*Online registrations must be submitted via a laptop or desktop computer. Cell phones or tablets are not compatible.

This season Western Avenue is only capable of allowing 45 girls to participate. First come, first serve- no exceptions.

See the pink parent letter that was sent home to all girls in grades 3-5 for more information.

Please contact Jana Budz at with any questions.

5Essentials Parent Participation: Keep up the Amazing Work!

Western Parents, we have met our goal of 20%, but why stop there? Let's keep going! The survey is meant to give us valuable feedback about our school, and we would love to hear your voice! 5Essentials should take no more than ten minutes to complete.

If you haven't done so already, please click this link to the parent survey site at

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

Please contact the Main Office with any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Supporting Girl Scouts as They Earn the Silver Award

Please read the message from Madi Philbin, a former Western Student who is looking for donations as she earns her Girl Scout Silver Award:

Hi! My name is Madi and I am an 8th grader in Cadette Troop 70971. My troop is working on our Silver Award this year and needs your help. We have chosen to create comfort kits to donate to the local Red Cross office. We have all heard about all of the natural disasters, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods, but disasters happen close to home too!

When the Red Cross is sent out to a disaster they pass out these kits, 1 per person, which is to last 3 days. At this time we are asking for donations of the following items: individually wrapped toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, razors, hair shampoo, hair conditioner, soap, new washcloths, and gallon size "Zip Lock" type bags. We ask that these be hypoallergenic and not expired.

You can place items for donation in the box labeled with our Donations Needed flyers located in Western Avenue's Main Foyer.

Thank you very much!


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Traffic Flow at Arrival and Dismissal

Parents, we understand that everyone is rushing to get their days started in the morning. However, we need to do a better job driving safely in the drop-off and pick-up lines. We have three staff members directing traffic at the front lot, two staff members posted at door I (primary playground), and multiple people posted at the playgrounds and blacktop area between the playgrounds. We also have one person stationed in the North parking lot. Please remember that there is a traffic flow. Students must be dropped off in the designated car lines. Please do not drop off your children on any other street or sidewalk other than the designated lines. Please do not wait in line to make sure your child walks to the door because that stops the flow for other parents behind you. And please be very mindful when you are pulling away from the car line. There should only be one priority for morning drop off and afternoon pick up--and that priority is the safety of all our kids at Western Avenue. If we all work together, we can ensure the safety of all students. Thank you!

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful week!