WHS Principal Post- October 2019

The Monthly Hammerschmidt Family Newsletter

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Dear WHS Families,

October has arrived and we have lots to look forward to this month. Please check out the important dates below.!

Friday, 10/11

  • D44 Institute Day, No School

Monday, 10/14

  • Columbus Day Holiday, No School

Tuesday, 10/15

  • WHS School Improvement Day, No School
Wednesday 10/16

  • PTA Dine-out: Ramey's Bar and Grill
Friday, 10/18
  • WHS PTA Halloween Party, 6:30- 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10/19
  • Adults Only PTA Hammerween Event
Tuesday, 10/22
  • Picture Re-Take Day
  • PTA Meeting, 7:00 p.m., LRC (Ted Stec, D44 Superintendent will be providing an update about the future construction in the district)
Friday, 11/1
  • Early Release Day, 1:15 p.m. dismissal

School Wide Morning Meetings

On each of our Early Release Days this year, we will start off the day with a School Wide Morning Meeting. What is great about these meetings is that they are run by our students. Each month, a new grade level leads it. The meetings follow a common structure including the following:

  1. Greeting
  2. Sharing
  3. Activity
  4. Morning Message

Classroom teachers nominate a few students from their classrooms to facilitate the meeting. From there, Ms. Dowell and Mr. Danielski meet with the student team to plan, prepare, and rehearse for the big day. While I do not have live footage to share from our first one led by 5th graders on 9/27, the presentation template is linked below Check it out!

Grade 4 students will lead the next one on November 1st.

School Wide Morning Meeting Presentation w/ 5th Grade Leaders

Star Constellations Update

On Friday September 27th we held our Kickoff Assembly for Star Constellations. This was an exciting day as we gather in the gym to welcome the Kindergarten students as well as all the new students to the school to their Star Constellation Groups.

This year we have a total of 35 groups comprises of 13-15 students in each group. All grade levels are represented in each group. We meet monthly to do community building, school projects, and lessons related to Social Emotional Learning.

During our first lesson we took a group "Selfie", came up with our team name, created a poster by decorating people cut outs, and some groups even came up with a "chant". Our goal is to have each student closely connected to another WHS adult and a core group of students throughout the school. These monthly Star Constellation Group meetings also provide a great opportunity for student leadership from our older students.

Our next Star Constellations group meeting will be on Friday, November 1st.

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Celebrating our Hammerschmidt Family

THANK YOU to all the families who have uploaded a family picture. If you haven't yet uploaded one, please consider sharing one. Submitted photos will be displayed in our LRC as a way to celebrate all the members that make up our Hammerschmidt School Community. Click on the link below to upload a family photo.

If you have a split or blended family, please feel free to submit more than one, or share in whatever way you are comfortable with!

CLICK HERE to upload a family photo

Safety Drills at Hammerschmidt

Recently, you received a notification from Ted Stec, D44 Superintendent explaining our upcoming safety drills. This communication is linked below:

Upcoming Lockdown Drills at Elementary, Middle Schools

Below you will find a brief video explaining what the "Lockdown" drill will look and feel like at WHS. Once our WHS drill has been complete, you will receive a follow up email.

Lockdown Drill Explanation

Therapy Dog Visits to WHS

Dear WHS Families,

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Independent Service Dogs Foundation this school year to provide therapy dog services within our Specialized Academic Classrooms. Therapy dog teams (dog and handler) provide physical, psychological, and emotional benefits to individuals through episodic interaction. ISDF therapy dog teams are properly screened to ensure suitable temperaments and they are trained, certified, and registered to serve in this capacity. Our therapy dog, Bruno Cannoli, will be accompanied by his trained handler at all times and only within the Specialized Academic Classrooms. The team will visit every other Thursday beginning the second week of October.

For more information on this program, please visit:


Reflections Program Information- There is still time for your child(ren) to participate!

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Ted Stec, D44 Superintendent to present at WHS PTA Mtg. on 10/22

D44 Superintendent Ted Stec will be visiting our WHS PTA Meeting on Tuesday, October 22nd to share information about the future of D44. Click on the link below for more information.

The Future of 44 Presentations

Share Your News With Us!

The Star Cast crew would like to know what is happening with WHS students outside of school hours! If you have a news story or event that you would like WHS to know about, please fill in the following link. Please keep in mind that the StarCast Productions come out once they are complete (without a set timeline). If you know of an event date ahead of time, please give adequate time to get it into the Starcast.

Share your news with us by clicking on the link below.

CLICK HERE- To share your student news with us!

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Thank you to all the families who joined us at our 2nd Annual PTA Family Fitness Fair. Congratulations to the winners of the raffle prizes! The school related prizes went to the following students:

  • Front Row Seating, Spring Concert (K-2) - Stelle family
  • Front Row Seating, Spring Concert (3-5) - Leahy family
  • Principal 1/2 day (K-2) - Matilda Sproule
  • Principal 1/2 day (3-5) - Andrew Duffy
  • Extra Recess for the class, (K-2) - Caleb Dacanay
  • Extra Recess for the class, (3-5) - Abby Leahy

What does the WHS Staff really do on Early Release Days?

In addition to working on grade level projects and engaging in targeted professional development, every WHS Staff member serves on one of our five "Star Teams". Below you will find a brief summary of some our work:

Star Team Updates:

Student and Staff Engagement

The Student, Staff and Family Engagement Committee is excited to be rolling out several new ways to engage our Hammerschmidt community. In November, we will begin monthly recognition of students who are showing the 7 Habits, as well as those classes who are doing a great job at keeping their classrooms clean. Plans are also underway for both a WHS mini-library, and a family service night at Feed My Starving Children. We will also be publishing a school-wide newsletter each trimester designed to feature opportunities to engage with our WHS family.

Beginning with our November School-Wide Morning Meeting, we are going to be recognizing one student from each class who is doing an outstanding job exhibiting the habit featured in the previous month's meeting. (In November it will be Habit 1: Be Proactive.)

Star Constellations:

The STAR committee met and discussed the next ER day which will be Nov. 1st, a perfect day to start thinking about gratitude. A lot of ideas were contributed including a gratitude coupon book where students can give a gratitude note to someone. Another idea is to create a gratitude bulletin board by the lunchroom with more examples of reasons to be thankful. Our committee plans to meet again to finalize the lesson plan and is excited to bring this idea to our STAR Constellation families.

Student Growth and Goals:

The Student Growth and Goals committee members discussed how the STAR Binders are going at each grade level. We talked a lot about student reflection and how it is being used in relation to the binders. A folder was created in the shared folder on the Drive to house reflection sheets we have used in the classroom.

Student Leadership Roles:

We are working on a bulletin board for student club ideas. We are hoping if there are enough students who are interested in a club, a staff member will sponsor the club. Once the bulletin board is up, we will share with staff how to become a club sponsor.

Student Voice and Collaborative Decision Making

Our team is work on two separate action plan items to help increase student voice and collaborative decision making.

  • Principal Advisory Meetings: Each trimester Mr. Danielski will hold meetings with each grade level. Classroom teachers will identify 3 students each trimester to represent their class at their grade level meeting. These session will be informal and aimed at getting ideas and suggestions on how to make WHS better! A video will be created and shared with grade level teachers to explain this process. A google form will also be used to solicit ideas from the whole class to cast a wide net for student feedback. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
  • WHS Suggestion Box: In an attempt to get ongoing student feedback throughout the year, a schoolwide suggestion box is being created. This will be housed on the second shelf under the prize bucket. Suggestion slip templates have been created. Copies will be made and distributed to teachers to keep in their classrooms. Our committee will compile these forms and collect data on what percentage of students from each grade filled one out. Stay tuned for more information coming soon.
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Glenbard Parent Series

Join other parents, high school and middle school students, and professionals to learn about issues facing today’s youth. The Glenbard Parent Series engages top experts, parents and school staff to become proactive and informed in pursuit of the mutual goal to strengthen our communities. Programs are free and open to the public. Click on the button below to see the 2019-2020 lineup of speakers.

These events are FREE and do not require advanced registration!

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Click on the button below to see the latest from D44's Virtual Backpack!
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