PACTT School - Jan. Parent Update

Your monthly collection of tidbits, reminders and photos

Happy New Year!

And ... we're back! Our classrooms have been enjoying a bit of not-quite-winter reprieve this week, as they get back into their regular routines. This month, in addition to our smattering of fun pics (lots from our annual downtown holiday trip), I have a few reminders and announcements including:

  • Calendar reminders
  • Staff news
  • Wintry procedures (snow days, sick kiddos, warm gear)
  • Sensory room update
  • How you can help

Thanks for reading!

- Paula

January Calendar Reminders

  • Wed., Jan. 13th - 1:45 Dismissal, Staff In-Service*
  • Fri., Jan. 15th - End of Quarter 2
  • Mon., Jan. 18th - NO SCHOOL (Martin Luther King Day)

* For this month's in-service, we are excited to welcome Rush pediatric neurologist Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis, to talk to our teams about autism & the brain.

Staff News

Last week, we said goodbye to paraprofessional Kirsten Hyer (High School 1, with Vanessa/Victor's team), who is making her way back to her home state of Wisconsin. We are grateful for Kirsten's contributions to her classroom team and the PACTT community during her year with us, and wish her all the best!

I am pleased to share that despite Kirsten's departure, we did not have an interruption in staffing. Kim Capulong joined our HS1 class on Monday, Jan. 4th. Kim was assigned to our HS1 class as a Loyola psychology intern last semester, graduated in December, and has now officially joined the team full-time. Please help us give Kim a warm PACTT welcome.

Ah - Ah - Ah - FLU!

With winter upon us, we are also running head-first into FLU season. So, please heed these reminders, courtesy of our sick student procedures, and help us all to stay healthy!

  • In an effort to keep all our students and staff healthy, we require at least a 24-hour wait time before students with contagious illnesses, fever, vomiting or diarrhea can return to school. That is, a student may return to school 24 hours after the last incident of vomiting or diarrhea, and fever-free, without the aid of medication.
  • If a student becomes significantly ill at school (particularly with flu-like symptoms), the student will be isolated as much as possible, and parents will be called to pick him or her up. PACTT group home residents will be sent to the group home, or to their family home, based on type and degree of illness, and after consultation with parents, residential team, and nurse if applicable.

How you can help

Help us stay as warm and germ-free as possible this season, by donating to our stock of the following:

  • Disinfecting wipes (e.g. clorox, lysol)
  • Kleenex tissue
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra gloves & hats

Hats and scarves and gloves, oh my!

'Tis the season for keeping track of all the "extras." From hats to scarves to the magical disappearing gloves, we do our best to stay on top of all our students' belongings, but we're not perfect. So, please help US help YOU by labeling everything with your child's initials … that way, when we find the random wandering hat or unfamiliar gloves, they will be easier to return to their rightful owner.

Everything you needed to know about snow days, PACTT-style:

I know I included this last month as well, but as we are finally rolling into some chillier temps, I figured it couldn't hurt to remind everyone of our snow / cold policy:

  • If CPS and other nearby districts close because the weather (typically snow-related) prohibits buses from safely transporting to school, we will likely close as well.
  • If districts close because of low temperatures, we will likely remain open, since we don't have to worry about students walking to school in the cold.
  • We will post weather-related updates on Facebook, Twitter, and our website, and send emails and Remind messages to parents. (To be added to our Remind notifications - you choose whether to receive email or text updates - go to:

If we are open, but your district transportation is closed, then you can still bring your child in. However, if you'd prefer to keep your child home, then please do so. Just email me (, or give us a call (773-338-9102 x1) and let us know not to expect him/her.

Sensory Room Update

Most of you remember that we received a large grant last year from the Special Kids Foundation to build out a sensory space in the basement. I am happy to share that the build-out has begun! A building crew started the construction project over winter break. After week 1, we had the walls and door framed out. I'll update progress on the blog as we go, at It's disrupting basement use a bit, but it should be well worth it in the end!

From our December holiday trip:

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