Creekside Chronicle

December 2019 Newsletter

Admin Update

It is hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2019. Things really pick up around Creekside during the holiday season with so many concerts, sporting seasons, and clubs and activities taking place. We are fortunate to have so many different opportunities to recognize the successes of so many students. We would also like to take this time to wish you and your family a happy holiday season. As parents and family members, you play such an important role in your child's outlook and achievement at school. We continue to look for different opportunities to connect with you to work towards our biggest goal of supporting students. We sincerely hope that all of you have an enjoyable winter break and we look forward to seeing you again in 2020.

Understanding Assessments and Grades

With the increase of student recognition and communication about grades accompanied with our new literacy and math standards based curriculum, parents have been asking more about what they can do to support student learning at home. Many parents have reached out to us administratively for different interventions or supports that can be provided to students based on the student's academic grade in a particular course.

The first step for us is assisting parents in understanding how many of our classrooms are now graded. Most of our class grades are produced from two main components and that would be formative and summative assessments. These assessments are all created and work towards demonstrating a student's level of mastery as it relates to specific standards and skills. Formative assessments are a student's progress in their learning. This provides teachers information throughout the course of a unit based on student responses. summative assessments are given periodically and are a final check on a student's ability to demonstrate Mastery of this particular skill or standard.

As a parent, if you are concerned about a particular grade, skill, or general academic concern, the classroom teacher is your first stop. They will be able to give you information on how your student is doing academically and can work with you to develop a plan to best meet the needs based on what they are seeing each day in class.

To explain formative and summative assessments in more detail, we have provided an article entitled formative and summative Assessments in the classroom that was published in the association for middle level education magazine. We hope this is Information is valuable to you in understanding standards-based instruction and Grading at Creekside. If you have any questions never hesitate to contact any of your students teachers or the building Administration for further guidance.

Coin Wars

The holiday season is a great time to give back and be thankful. At Creekside, we are thankful everyday for the students, staff, and community of which we are a part. As schools and students provide a lot to their community, the community provides a lot for our students and families. Around the holidays, our community - through programs like Christmas Clearinghouse - helps to provide food and holiday gifts for upwards of 1,100 families & 2,000 children from our district. At Creekside, we are taking this opportunity to do our part and help out. Coin Wars is a friendly competition that raises money to buy gifts for these children and families.

Happening now through next Friday, December 7, Creekside is collecting donations that will go towards supporting Christmas Clearinghouse. Coin Wars is managed by the Interact Club at Creekside Middle School as a way to raise funds for Christmas Clearinghouse. Students are encouraged to bring in coins to help their class raise the most money while using dollar bills as negative currency towards other classes. Students are collecting change in their 8th period classes. Winners of the competition receive a breakfast treat delivered by a surprise guest. Why not have fun while helping others?

Flyby parent request

Parents, we want to hear from you.

Select our next topic for our Creekside Flyby (Parent Informational Video Series)

Fill out this form to request an information video on a specific topic.

6th Grade


Science has been working on planets, stars and gravity. The students are engaging in many different station activities. They are investigating what the solar system is made of and how it works. They are also starting to discover the role of gravity in our solar system.

Social Studies

Social studies classes have been developing background knowledge about the Early Humans, and Ancient Mesopotamia. Activities such as vocabulary building, reading strategies, note taking skills, post video clip “POSERS” reflections, and Inquiry learning are all in the works.


In literacy, students are beginning to study our next Collection, titled “Dealing with Disaster.” We are learning about many real and fictional disasters that people have survived. Students are also learning about how authors bring stories about real events to life for their readers. Soon, students will begin demonstrating knowledge of the genre of narrative nonfiction by writing their own stories about real people who were on the Titanic.


As an introduction to the proportional thinking unit in the advanced math class, students discovered the mathematical premise of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. Using ratios of body lengths, students were able to determine whether or not they met Da Vinci’s criteria for the ‘ideal human.’

7th Grade

Dual language students were working in Escher; one of their tasks was to elaborate their argumentative essay. Some of the strategies used were communication lines and inquiry charts.


Students in Mrs. Thornton’s literacy blocks recently spent some time with William Shakespeare. First, students gained familiarity with his words and phrases by translating popular song lyrics from modern English to Shakespearean. Then, students analyzed one of Shakespeare’s poems and tried their hand at creating their own sonnets.

MCC A.V.I.D. Visit

Seventh-grade students from AVID visited McHenry Community College to learn about the different career possibilities and college credits available in high school. It was a great experience!

8th Grade

On December 19th the Advanced Science classes are going to the Fermilab facilities in Batavia, IL. They will have the opportunity of visiting one of the most important research centers in the world, where cutting edge technology is being used to understand subatomic particles. In the picture we can see some students solving chemical equations collaboratively.

Writing Instruction and Support-8th Grade DEC

Student Services

The days are getting longer and darker… you may notice that your child wants to sleep in a little longer and perhaps does not show as much enthusiasm for learning as in the past. Does your child lack motivation? There are many potential reasons that your child might be suddenly turned off by school. Click here for some steps you can take to investigate what might be happening. If you have additional questions or concerns about your child’s social emotional learning during their middle school years, please contact one of us in the Creekside office at (815) 337-5200.

Mrs. Nieman:School Counselor

Ms. Hettermann: School Social Worker

Mrs. Perry: School Psychologist

Box Tops

Box Tops are going digital! No more clipping, all you need is your phone. Download the ALL-NEW Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit Creekside’s Box Tops earnings online. Printed Box Tops are being phased out and will only be accepted through this fall. If you have any clipped Box Tops, Creekside will accept them only through October 15. Here is a video link that shows how to set up your phone to easily send Creekside money from your grocery receipts.\

Key Dates

02 - Dance team practice 3:30 - 5:15 pm @ cafeteria

02 - BBB practice 3:45 - 5:15 pm @ CMS gym

02 - Intramural BBB practice 3:45 - 5 pm @ PWE gym

03 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

03 - BBB vs McHenry 4 - 6:30 pm @ McHenry Middle School

03 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

03 - Dance Team 7 - 8 pm @ PWE gym

04 - Poinsettia Pick Up/Holiday Hot Chocolate Walk 2 -9 pm @ Stage and Cafeteria

04 - BBB practice 3:45 - 5:15 pm @CMS gym

04 - Intramural BB practice 3:45 - 5 pm @ PWE gym

04 - CMS Jazz Band Concert 6 - 9 pm @ WHS

05 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

05 - BBB vs Northwood 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS Gym and PWE gym

06 - BBB practice 3:45 - 5:30 pm @ CMS gym

06 - Intramural BBB practice 3:45 - 5 pm @ PWE gym

07 - BBB practice 8 - 9 am @ CMS gym

09- Cheer practice 3:45 - 5:15 pm @ Cafeteria

09 - Intramural BB 3”45 - 5 pm @ PWE gym

09 - Dance Team - 5:30 - 6:30 pm @ BOG

09 - BBB 8th grade Crossover vs South Division 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS gym and PWE gym

09 - Holiday Choral Concert 7:30 - 8:30 pm @ CMS gym

10 - Girls Engineering 3:30 - 5 pm @ Innovation Studio

10 - Pom/Cheer Exhibition 4 - 7 pm @ Cafeteria, CMS gym and PWE gym

11 - Intramural BB practice 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS gym

11 - 7th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Hannah Beardsley Middle School

11 - 8th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Bernotas Middle School

11 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

12 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

12 - Intramural BB practice 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS gym

12 - 7th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Hannah Beardsley Middle School

12 - 8th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Bernotas Middle School

13 - 7th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Hannah Beardsley Middle School

13 - 8th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Bernotas Middle School

13 - CMS Band and Orchestra Winter Concert 7 -9 pm @ WHS

16 - 7th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Hannah Beardsley Middle School

16 - 8th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Bernotas Middle School

17 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

17 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

17 - 7th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Hannah Beardsley Middle School

17 - 8th Conference Tournament Bernotas/Beardsley TBD @ Bernotas Middle School

18 - Girls BB Tryouts 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ CMS Gym

19 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Innovation Studio and BOG

19 - AVID Family Night 5:30 - 8 pm @ BOG, CMS & PWE Cafeteria

Creekside Middle School

Michael Wheatley, Principal

Francesca Favero, Asst. Principal

David Riesen, Dean of Students