Norton Creek Elementary

Thursday Tidbits - March 5, 2020


  • 2ND TRIMESTER REPORT CARDS available on HAC on March 4th after 8:00 a.m.

  • TONIGHT!! 2nd ANNUAL MATH MADNESS Thursday, March 5th from 6:00 - 7:35 p.m.

  • SPRING BOOK FAIR Sales during Math Madness Night on Thursday, March 5th from 5:00 - 5:45 p.m. and 7:35 - 8:15 P.M.


Click on this button to view the Norton Creek calendar


A big focus in today's society is about being fast. Get rich quick. Get in shape with a seven minute workout. Cell services moving to 5G. While, in 2020, it is true that many things can be accomplished well and more quickly than ever, the same is not necessarily true with learning. Take, for instance, programs that promise your child will learn their facts in a week or that will build their math fact fluency in two minutes a day. These sound great on the surface, but studies cited by Van de Walle, Karp, and Bay-Williams last year say these programs don't give students lasting results. Similar to that seven minute workout, one may see nice gains in the first few months, but without a change in diet and continued increase in physical activity, regression is likely.

Earlier this week, our math specialist, Michele Smith, and instructional support coach, Katie Boone, led our general and special education teachers in learning all about building math fluency in our Eagles. There are three phases of fluency as students come to know their basic facts: Counting, Deriving, and Mastery. The first phase of counting is exactly what it sounds like: students begin counting objects and as they learn addition and subtraction, they count up or down. Deriving is where students use reasoning strategies based on known facts. This was the phase of fluency building that many of our teachers did not know about when we were growing up. When we were students, schools moved us from counting straight to attempted mastery - where we have facts down cold to automaticity. An example of deriving would be when a first grader knows that 5+5=10, so when they are presented with 7+5, they think to themselves, "I know that 5+5=10, 5+2=7, so I can add 2 to get the right answer of 12." It's an important step in building fluency because students take what they know and apply it to what they are in the process of learning. As they build that schema and connect the dots in their brains, they take math fluency to a deeper level than many of us did when we were their ages.

The third phase is Mastery, and it does not come easily. When phase two is rushed or skipped, students don't have the stable foundation to fall back on and can fall back to phase one even in middle school (in which they are counting on in addition problems and the like). When your child comes home with tape diagrams, arrays, and tells you at the table when you're working on homework, "That's not the way my teacher said to do it," they just might be referencing their own learning in phase two. If phase one is the foundation of the house, phase two is definitely when we build the load-bearing walls. Each student will build fact fluency at a different rate and there is no "one way" to do it. However, we should always expect that it will take time.

If you would like to have some more fun with math (than reading this article!), we invite you to our Family Math Night tonight here at Norton Creek. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the teachers who have worked so hard on putting this awesome, educational, and fun event together: Michele Smith, Katie Boone, Lisa McNally, Kerri Vazquez, Laurelie Schaeffer, Terri Novotny, Kris Hahn, Sherry Hampton, Sara Gilroy, Kristin Berry, Cindy Caspers, Deb Klos, and Michelle Poelsterl. I would also like to thank our friends in the National Honor Society here in D303.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! We're supposed to be in the 60s Sunday!


Did you know that our Norton Creek nurses keep clothing on hand for students in case of spills and other accidents? Their clothing supply is now running low since some items have worn out or have been borrowed and not returned. Please help restock the closet by donating one or two items of clothing! Items needed: gently-used shirts, shorts, and pants (especially leggings and sweatpants) in all sizes 4-14 for both boys and girls. (This is a great way to get rid of old Norton Creek spirit wear shirts!) Also needed: BRAND NEW ONLY socks and underwear in all sizes 4-14 for both boys and girls.


Great News! McKenzie Smith in Mrs. Cribaro's class (McKenzie5571), has been selected as a finalist for this week's "Artist of the Week" award for the PreK-3rd age group on Artsonia, our on-line art gallery. The finalist who receives the most online votes between now and Saturday March 07 will be selected as our "Artist of the Week."

To view the finalists and cast your vote, simply click on the link below. Voting is limited to one vote per computer per day for each age group!

The "Artist of the Week" will be featured on the Artsonia homepage and will receive a commemorative plaque from Artsonia. In addition, Blick Art Materials has generously donated $100 gift certificates to the winning schools and $50 to the winning artists.

All fan club members from Norton Creek Elementary School have just been sent an email inviting them to vote, but we encourage you to personally spread the word at school, making sure all your students cast their votes right away!

Thank you for supporting the arts!



Please join us in the LRC for our monthly PTO meeting on Tuesday, March 10 at 7 PM. See the agenda HERE.


Dinner is ready! Head over to Chipotle, 3821 East Main St. in St. Charles on Tuesday, March 10 between 5 PM and 9 PM, tell them you’re supporting Norton Creek and Chipotle will donate 33% of your order back to our school! See flyer below.


Designs are due Friday, March 13. Please see flyer below.


It’s almost showtime! Everyone is invited to enjoy the show on Friday, March 13 at 6 PM. See flyer below. PARTICIPANTS: Don’t forget to be on time and at practice this coming Thursday, March 12 at 3 PM for our last practice before the show! See all rehearsal details HERE. DVDs of the show may be ordered HERE.


Please consider helping the Norton Creek team raise funds to fight pediatric cancer. You may donate HERE. You may also help by purchasing hair extensions for your student. Hair extension order forms were sent home in backpacks last week and are due March 10. The Cal’s Angels Just Shave It! event will take place on Saturday, March 14 at 5 PM at St. Charles North High School. See flyer below.




On the rare occasion that there will be a change to your student(s)' after school dismissal (i.e. bus), or if your student will not be taking the bus due to being registered in a PTO after school club, please send an email by 11:00 a.m. on the day of said change to:

Thank you for your assistance.

All Day Kindergarten Tuition/PushCoin:

All Day Kindergarten (ADK) tuition payment is due March 15th. All payments must be made through PushCoin or mailed to or dropped off at the District office at 201 South 7th Street, St. Charles, IL 60174. PushCoin directions can be found on the District website under the Parent pull down menu under Webstore/Pushcoin. Per District policy, tuition payments cannot be accepted at Norton Creek. If you would like to set up ADK monthly auto pay, please contact Wendy Sedwick at 331-228-4927. ADK tuition payments are billed in PushCoin on the first of each month and are due on the 15th of each month through April 15th.


Click on the button for lunch menu.



Kindergarten: 11:40 - 12:00

1st Grade: 12:00 - 12:20

2nd Grade: 12:20 - 12:40

3rd Grade: 12:40 -1:00

4th Grade: 11:00 - 11:20

5th Grade: 11:20 -11:40


Materials posted on this page are the responsibility of the organization represented, and endorsement by District 303 is neither direct nor implied.


Click on this button to view helpful Orchestra information