WIS Weekly

December 6, 2021

A Message From Mr. Longacre

WIS Families,

What to do about friends?

School friendships at the intermediate level can be fluid. While students may continue to enjoy the camaraderie of many of their current friends, relationships often ebb and flow-- students may discover new connections with different peers even as they leave behind other acquaintances who no longer share common values. As parents we want our kids to find friends who are supportive and demonstrate good judgment. Equally important to our children finding the right friends, though, is the need to help them be the right friend to other students. In this way, students of good character will inevitably be drawn to our children.

We cannot control the fluctuations in our children’s friendships nor who decides to like or not like them. However, we can keep our children focused on how they treat people of all ages. Whether in school, on teams and clubs, or just in everyday encounters, we can encourage our kids to be kind to everyone and to show loyalty in personal relationships because these are qualities that demonstrate “true friendship” and reflect positive character.

I constantly tell students this: You show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future.


Mr. Longacre

This Week at WIS

5th Grade

Language Arts

Last Week:

  • Students were tested on their NWEA for Reading and Language. Be sure to ask your child how they did.
  • New book clubs were formed. Book clubs picked their book that they will work on for the next two weeks.

This Week:

  • Continue working on the novel in book clubs. Students will be completing their reading packet that will help to cite the text as they continue reading their novel.
  • IRA: During IRA's this week we are going to be studying poetry written by Joyce Sidman.


Last week:

  • We began and completed a short unit on Measures of Central Tendencies, otherwise known as Mean, Median, Mode and Range, and Line Plots. We finished with a quiz on Friday.
This week:
  • We begin our long unit Fractions. We will continue working with fractions for most of Quarter 3.
Next week:
  • We will have QUARTER 2 Assessment on Wednesday, December 15.

Social Studies

This week in social studies we started chapter 4, "Life in the Colonies". Students glued a map of the 13 colonies into their spiral notebooks and began studying the three geographic regions of the colonies.

  • McKenzie Cochran - The geography related to the settling and to the development of the English colonies because the Southern colonies had farm grounds, so they planted rice and tobacco.
  • Alfonso Llamas - The geography of the English colonies greatly affected their development. Some of the thirteen colonies were much different from each other. Take the southern colonies for example. It's warm, flat, and along the coast! This made it perfect for farming. Even though these southern colonies were dependent on agriculture, some of the colonies up north might've had more trouble. Also, other colonies fished because that is what their geography was like. This is how geography affected the colonies.


In science, students participated in a virtual Gizmo lab. This lab allowed students to investigate how traveling from Earth, to the moon, to Mars, and then to Jupiter affected the mass and weight of an object. Students should have learned that while weight changes based on gravity, mass stays the same no matter where they traveled.

6th Grade

  • Sixth grade math will continue working with equations. This week will focus on multiplication and division. Students will have a quiz this week, and test over the unit before winter break. NWEA test for math for most students will be on December 10th.

Language Arts

  • Sixth grade ELA students will be taking their Reading and Language Arts NWEA test this week. Students are currently in the middle of their book club books. The second book talk will take place this week.

  • Honors ELA students are wrapping up the classic novel, Robinson Crusoe. Students will also be taking the Reading NWEA test this week.

Social Studies

  • Students have been learning about the Renaissance period. This week, they will research a prominent historical figure from the time of the Renaissance. They will follow a rubric to write an organized paragraph looking for contributions in art, technology, literature, science, and architecture. In their module, there is a link to their Quizizz to study for the Renaissance assessment on Friday.


  • This week in science, we are working on the difference between mass and weight and discussing gravity and inertia with regards to the solar system. Students will have a quiz over Chapter 1 lesson 1 and 2 on Wednesday. We will be utilizing the online,Gizmos interactive labs for the concepts of mass versus weight and orbital motion.

Related Arts


5th Grade:

  • Students will be focusing on Wayne Thiebaud & Andy Warhol, which will include a "Cupcake War"- working with their table members to design and draw a cupcake with a pop culture theme.

6th Grade:

  • We will be completing our Clay Ocarinas (whistles) this week, by decorating and adding details. Students choose what the theme of their ocarina will be, and use clay-building techniques to put their plan into action.


  • This week in music class we are learning to play a piece called Largo, which is the second movement of Dvorak's 9th Symphony. We're using this piece to create a special "remix" project in Garageband on the keyboard, and playing it on the classroom xylophones. We're also continuing to memorize the lines and spaces on the treble clef staff, and learning more about the instruments of the orchestra. Don't forget to bring your headphones/earbuds!
  • Students will be experiencing a couple different things this week. On Monday, we will finish our Football Unit. Wednesday, we will have our Sit- Up Test. Then at the end of the week, we will be starting our Frisbee Unit.

Congrats to Stella Strupek

Recently, Duneland Schools offered students the opportunity to design and create gift cards containing a theme celebrating the festivity of the holidays. Using shadowing technique which featured a shaken snow globe, Westchester's very own Stella Strupeck successfully captured the spirit of the season in her original drawing which wished happiness and cheer to all. Ho, ho, ho, and congratulations Stella!
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Art Club

Dear Families: We are starting our Westchester Art Club on Tuesday, Jan. 4th for 5th grade and Jan. 11th for 6th grade. It is open to all 5th and 6th graders, who will alternate weeks (so your child will attend every other week). It meets on Tuesdays from 3:15-4:30. A $5.00 donation toward Art Club supplies is expected when joining Art Club. I will be accepting the first 20 5th graders and the first 20 6th graders who turn in their permission slips and money to me.

Families are responsible for the prompt pick-up of your child after each session. If students are picked up late more than two times, then they will no longer be allowed to participate in Art Club. Students will exit out Door 5 (near Gym A) on the south side of the building. Park your car in the lot and wait for them. We will begin Art Club on Jan. 4th (for 5th grade) and Jan. 11th (for 6th grade. A schedule will be given out at that time.

This Art Club is an exciting opportunity for students interested in the visual Arts to explore new methods of creating and to develop their artistic abilities. We will follow all Duneland School Corporation COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Please sign the permission slip below and return it by Dec. 10th. I will be accepting the first 40 students to turn in their permission slips & money ($5). If you have a financial burden at this time, please let me know and we can work it out.

Looking forward to starting Art Club!

Ms. Aubrey Kurt


CHS Baseball Camp

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No School for Students on Dec. 9

There will be no school for all Duneland School students on Thursday, December 9, 2021. All faculty and staff members will be participating in professional development.

Food Assistance for Parents/Community

Looking for food assistance? FoodFinder can help.

FoodFinder is a map of food pantries nationwide. Click on the image to the right for access to a Food Assistance site map where individuals can enter a zip code to find the nearest area food pantries.

Skyward Family Access Quick Guide

Need some help in navigating your Skyward Parent Portal? Here is a Quick Guide with helpful videos attached to guide parents in familiarizing and utilizing Skyward.

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Nurse Tina's Note

Dear Parent/Guardians,

Starting soon, Health Services at WIS will be conducting Vision and Hearing screenings. All 5th grade students and new incoming 6th grade students, according to Indiana Law are required to have their vision checked. Hearing testing will only be performed on 5th and 6th grade students that are new to Duneland School Corporation.

We are asking that if your student wears glasses that they have them on their person daily so that there will be no delay in getting their testing completed. If you have any questions, please contact WIS School Nurse, Tina Sosby, R.N. at 219-983-3710 or via email at




Due to ongoing effects of the COVID Pandemic, many industries are suffering from labor shortages which is causing disruptions and shortages in the food chain. At present, Duneland School's Child Nutrition Department is experiencing unprecedented food order shortages causing many last minute changes to the breakfast and lunch menus. In an effort to communicate these changes to families in a timely manner, we ask that you please check this website daily for any changes to the menu.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these setbacks!

Visit the DSC Child Nutrition page for links to the menus for the Week of Nov. 15-19

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Covid-19 Information

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NorthShore Clinic

Consent paperwork needs to be completed prior to an office visit. The paperwork is attached and can be completed prior to the visit to save time. If you choose this option, the consent paperwork needs to be on file beforehand. If returning paperwork via email, please send to: Shawn Kroft, skroft@northshorehealth.org.

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Help us Nominate WIS Teachers of Excellence today!

Attention parents! Help recognize Teachers of Excellence by nominating a Westchester staff member today. Kenneth J. Allen Law Group is supporting Northwest Indiana teachers who go above and beyond for their students by honoring their outstanding contributions to education. To learn more about the educators who are Teachers of Excellence, or if you know of someone who should be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence, please nominate her or him by clicking here.

Parent Observer Account

Parents are encouraged to set up their Canvas observer accounts to monitor their students' progress.

Parents can click this link to view how to set up their Parent Observer Account

Link to the Canvas Log In

Job Opportunities in Duneland

The Duneland School Corporation is seeking candidates for the following positions:


Child Nutrition associates provide nutrition services to students and staff. Benefit-eligible positions available. Apply online at Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Transportation positions (Bus Drivers, Sub Bus Drivers) require eligible persons to operate all school vehicles or (Sub Bus Aides) to assist in the transportation of all special students needing additional attention. These positions are highly responsible roles in transporting and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Transportation personnel interact with individuals both inside and outside of the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Custodians are required to clean and sanitize all corporation facilities. This position has a highly responsible role in providing custodial services and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Custodians interact with individuals both inside and outside the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Custodians may be required to work in other Duneland School Corporation facilities. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Seeking substitute teachers for all grade levels. To apply for a substitute teaching position, please apply in person at the Duneland Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Ave. in Chesterton to complete an application.

Westchester Intermediate School

WIS Mission

  • WIS provides a safe and engaging environment where students are empowered to explore their talents, build on their curiosity, embrace high expectations, and become responsible, caring citizens.

WIS Vision:

  • WIS inspires learners to become independent, critical thinkers collaborating in an environment where responsibility, adaptability, and reflection are modeled and developed.