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Washington School: December Issue 2019

Letter from Ms. Brito

Dear Washington Families,

The holiday season has officially arrived, and we have so much to celebrate and be thankful for. I am very proud of the Washington School community, and am grateful for the opportunity to work with our students, staff and families everyday.

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate our wonderful Washington staff. I feel privileged to work with such a dynamic and dedicated group of educators, and appreciate that you always go above and beyond for our students. I am also very grateful for our supportive and engaged parent community. Thank you for the many ways you give your time in support of our students and staff--we could not do this work without you. Finally, I am inspired and honored to work with our amazing students. They impress me daily with their hard work, honesty and kindness. Being in the presence of these young people everyday brings such joy and purpose to my life.

We are all very fortunate to be a part of this wonderful school community. In the spirit of giving, please consider contributing to our annual PTO Washington Cares initiative to support local families in need. Please see below for additional information about how you can participate.

Our students and teachers have been working hard to prepare for our annual Holiday Sing, and we welcome families to attend performances on Friday, December 20th. Please see below for program details--we look forward to seeing you all there!

I hope everyone enjoys a safe and relaxing holiday break, and takes time to create meaningful memories with family and loved ones. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Ms. Brito

Washington Principal

Book Fair - December 3rd - 5th

Dear Washington Families,

Our school is hosting a Follett Book Fair!

Supporting a love for reading is critical to student success. Supporting your school is just as important. The Follett Book Fair encourages your child's reading habits, builds their personal libraries and raises funds for our school, all at the same time.

What makes Follett Book Fairs different?

Follett has been supporting schools for more than 140 years which means you can expect an awesome selection of titles, from a wide range of publishers. A flyer will come home with your child with examples of book selections.

Book Fair Dates:

December 3rd 4pm to 8pm, December 4th 1pm to 4pm, and December 5th 4pm to 8pm.

Support our school and avid readers in your family by visiting the book fair. We hope to see you there!

Thank you so much to our wonderful PTO for all of your help volunteering and coordinating this event.

If you would like to volunteer at this event, click here to see open slots.


Mrs. Joyce

Library Information Specialist

All sales benefit the school. Find out more about Follett Book Fairs online at follettbookfairs.com.

2019 Washington Cares

Strength of the Washington Community – Making a Difference

We are all so fortunate to live in such a wonderful, safe community. It is easy to forget that many families living in our wonderful community are struggling. The Washington PTO wants to make a difference in the holidays of our own families in need.

December 2nd through December 13th, we will have a Washington Cares Tree set up in the front office. There will be paper bells on the tree. Each bell will contain a holiday wish/need for a single child and/or gift card needs. Each item is valued between $25-$50.

If you are able to donate, you may do so in the following ways:

1 Go to the Washington School front office. Our holiday elves, Lea and Michele, will assist in assigning you as many bells as you'd like.

2 Donate via RevTrak on the Washington PTO website by clicking here!

3 Cash and/or gift cards will also be accepted. Please drop off at the Washington School front office. Please clearly label "Washington Cares".

We ask that all wrapped gifts and donations be brought to Washington School and/or be made online by Friday, December 13th. Please clearly label your gifts with your assigned child number.

Should you have any questions, please contact Eve Kuczura at ekuczura@gmail.com or 773.386.4368.

As a reminder, if you or your family are in crisis, Washington School Social Worker, Julie Cullotta, is available to assist you. You may contact Julie at jcullotta@d64.org.

Thank you all in advance for your ongoing support of our Washington Community.

Winter MAP Window Opens Soon!

The Winter MAP window will be open from December 10th through the 20th. More information will be forthcoming. Please see your child's teacher with any specific questions or concerns about your child's testing schedule.

Cold Weather Reminders and Lost and Found

Now that the weather is changing and temperatures are dropping, dressing your child appropriately for the weather is important. Students will be sent outdoors for recess, weather permitting. It is important for the students to go out in the fresh air and exercise.

Additionally, there are multiple items in the lost and found. We will be returning everything with students' names in them. Please have your child check the lost and found to see if they lost anything. We will be donating all unclaimed items before Winter Break.

Family Vacation Reminders

As the holiday travel season picks up. we wanted to remind parents of the District policy for vacations. Please see below for details from the Parent Handbook, and thank you in advance for your support.
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Annual Holiday Sing is Around the Corner!

In order to better accommodate the families of Washington School and to help alleviate overcrowding, the Holiday Sing schedule of performances will be the same as last year. This model is used by the other big schools within the district.

The Holiday Sing will take place on Friday, December 20th, 2019. If the student's last name begins with A - L, or they are an AM kindergartener, then the parent/guardian performance will be in the AM.

If the student's last name begins with M - Z or they are a PM kindergartener, then the parent/guardian performance will be in the PM.

Please see the schedule of performances below.

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5Essentials Survey Details

Beginning December 10th, students and teachers across Illinois will have an opportunity to participate in the eighth annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child’s school. As a parent, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about your child’s school.

On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:

· Effective Leaders

· Collaborative Teachers

· Involved Families

· Supportive Environments

· Ambitious Instruction

Prior research in more than 400 schools has shown that schools that were strong on at least three of these “5Essential” indicators were 10 times more likely to improve student learning gains in math and reading than those that were weak on three or more Essentials.

All teachers and 4th through 12th grade students will be responding to this survey. 5Essentials Reports will be generated for schools if their teachers and/or students meet the response rate threshold of 50 percent. These reports will be sent to schools and districts in April 2020 and will also be included in the State School Report Card.

Additionally, your district has chosen to provide the optional Parent Supplement survey. If at least 20 percent of Washington parents complete this survey, a parent supplement report will also be generated. The parent data will not be reported on the State Report Card.

Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the conditions at your child’s school and guide improvement. Your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey for students and teachers will be conducted December 10, 2019 through February 14, 2020. The Parent Survey Supplement will be conducted from October 24, 2019 through February 14, 2020. To take the survey please visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/ and select the appropriate survey to begin.

For more information about the Illinois 5Essentials Survey, or to view previous years’ reports, please visit https://www.5-essentials.org/illinois. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact 5Essentials Client Services at 1-866-440-1874 or 5essentials@uchicago.edu.

Primary Challenge

Primary Challenge is an enrichment program of services for students from kindergarten through 2nd grade with advanced learning needs in the specific academic areas of reading and math. The program is designed to use a flexible identification process and provide services as a student demonstrates need. Visit the Primary Challenge/Channels of Challenge website or watch the Primary Challenge webcast to learn more about Primary Challenge.

Washington ROARS Winners!

Washington Monthly Highlights!

Washington Calendar of Events- Click Here

Click here to view upcoming and planned events

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Tips for Cold Weather Safety

Recent weather trends have brought January-like weather conditions to our area unexpectedly! Hypothermia (abnormally low body temperature) and frostbite are both dangerous conditions that can occur with exposure to very cold temperatures. Stay safe during the cold weather by learning more about hypothermia. For an infographic about avoiding, spotting and treating frostbite and hypothermia, click here.

Defending Against Influenza and Respiratory Illness

Fall months also herald the start of cold and flu season. Since influenza viruses vary from year to year, it is difficult to predict the season’s beginning and peak. Flu activity in the U.S. tends to peak between December and February, but can begin as early as October and continue into May. Current recommendations state that everyone 6 months of age and older, especially those considered at high risk, receives influenza vaccination annually. To prepare for the upcoming flu season, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for basic flu facts, prevention tips and treatment information by clicking here.

Review Guidelines to Prevent Head Lice

With the return of colder weather along with hats and scarves, it's a good time to review guidelines for health lice prevention. Although the focus of head lice is usually on treatment, prevention is just as important. Since head lice cannot jump from child to child, preventing head lice may not be as difficult as it sounds. Please take the opportunity to read the following information. Experts recommend:

•Avoiding head to head contact during play and other activities.

•Encouraging your child to avoid sharing items that have been on or near another child’s head, such as hairbrushes, combs, and hair accessories, hats, scarves, towels, pillows, helmets, etc.

•Teaching your child to hang up hats and coats on individual hooks. Avoid piling coats/jackets.

•Reviewing pictures of head lice and nits (eggs) to help you understand what you are looking for when checking your child’s head.

•Checking your child for lice and/or nits on a weekly basis.

•Recognizing symptoms of head lice: itchy scalp and small red bumps on the back of the head and neck.

•Reviewing head lice prevention steps with your child before sleepovers or trips. If your child is found to have head lice, check with your healthcare provider for recommended treatment. Please inform your child’s school health office. Health staff members are available to answer questions about treatment and prevention.

•For more information, please visit these sites:



•Brochure on Head Lice

As the seasons change… keep school closing guidelines in mind

District 64's guidelines focus on wind chill and use the National Weather Service distinctions between an advisory and a warning (among other factors) when considering whether schools will be closed. As always, our first priority is the safety of students and staff when making decisions on when schools are closed. Make sure you know about our School Closing Guidelines before the bad weather hits! Here's to a safe winter ahead!
See what’s going on in our community!

From the library to the park district, our communities of Park Ridge-Niles have lots to offer. For information on all the latest happenings, be sure to check the Community Info & Events webpage.

District Mission Statement

Inspire all students to discover their strengths, embrace learning, achieve personal excellence, and demonstrate care. Students thrive in a rich, rigorous, and innovative curriculum delivered by highly qualified teachers. Each student learns and grows in a safe, nurturing environment. In collaboration with student, parents, teachers and the community, District 64 provides opportunities for each learner to investigate, be successful, be resilient, and become inspired and empowered as they contribute to our global society.