Wildcat Chat

Washington School: February Issue 2017

From the Desk of the Principal, Mrs. Daly

Dear Washington Families,

I am proud to share that 21st century learning is embedded and alive throughout all of the classrooms at Washington Elementary.

All students in grades K-5 are learning to actively share new knowledge while working in collaborative groups throughout their curricular studies. Students consistently work during math class and target time to seek out new solutions to math problems. Here at Washington we thrive to teach our students to be lifelong problem solvers. During science lessons, students are learning to be careful and active observers, as well as create WeVideo videos to teach other students how to solve a long division problems or learn new exciting facts.

All of our students participated in the Hour of Code during the month of December to enhance and apply their coding skills.

In the area of collaboration at Washington you will find students working with peers and teachers on how to have a growth mindset. Throughout our K-5 grades, students and teachers collaborate together to set individual growth goals to enhance learning. It is amazing that our students work together to create WeVideo videos about unit rate which includes them using problems they have created together. On a daily basis, our

students use Google Docs to collaborate on writing pieces as well as create other products to show their teachers they understand what they are learning.

Communication is a top priority at Washington with both staff and students. We have created a new format for our Wildcat Chat online. I hope you are finding the new format of the Chat to be more manageable and easier to navigate. I am proud to say there are numerous Twitter feeds daily by administrators and several teachers at Washington. (#engageD64). We continue to connect with families while communicating on our Washington Facebook page and students continue to showcase work on Seesaw for their parents to see.

Speaking of communication, I would likely to strongly encourage you to communicate to us by completing the 5E survey. You can complete the survey by clicking on this link: http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/. The survey opened on November 16th and will close on January 30th. In order to be provided a report, we need a minimum level of parent participation, so please provide us your feedback as we are always interested in continuous improvement.


Mrs. Daly

Washington Principal

5E Survey

If you have not already done so, please take just a few minutes today to participate in the 5Essentials school climate survey for 2017. The survey is sponsored by the State of Illinois and will close on January 30. It takes about 10 minutes or less, and will help us better understand the conditions at your child’s school and help guide improvements.

The survey focuses on the five “essential” areas that research has shown are key components for school success: Leaders, Teachers, Families, Environment, Instruction. Your identity and individual survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child. If you have a student at more than one school, please complete a survey for each location.

Here is the link to begin: https://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/login/

Washington Calendar of Events

Click here to view upcoming and planned events

Fun time at Lunch

With January unseasonably warm temperatures students are able to spend a lot of time outside enjoying the fresh air. Our students are given a lot of opportunities to run around and socialize with friends. As you can see, jump roping and climbing on the playground equipment are two ways we keep ourselves busy. We are looking for more lunch supervisors, if you are interested please contact Ms. Lazor

News from the Art Room

The following WASHINGTON students have their artwork on display at the Educational Service Center, 164 S. Prospect, in Park Ridge. Examples of Andy Warhol inspired extinct animal close ups and realistically drawn, computer drawn and computer Cubist Still Lifes will be up until middle of February. Please stop in to see their work! You can also see their work on the Art Room page on Washington’s web site.

Talia H 202 Dominic M 206

Isabela S 112 Nadja T 224

Evan Z 202 Lucy R 108

Elina K 212 Eddie M 212

Sophia S 206 Matthew B 108

Lauren M 224 Sofia T 112

Bridget P 204 Sofia A 224

Olivia S 224 Ella K 228

Pennies for Patients

Washington's Student Council is organizing Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Students may turn in the pennies to their homeroom teacher any time during the collection, which runs January 31-February 24.

Thank you for helping raise funds to support people with blood cancer and blood cancer research.

A Look Ahead at Camp Duncan 2017-2018

Looking forward to 2017-18, we are excited to be providing a more focused Outdoor Education experience at Camp Duncan for our 5th graders. The overnight field trip in the coming year will include two full days of activities, and will eliminate the second night and extra half-day. We are focusing on all the favorite activities students have enjoyed over the years and that best meet learning needs aligned with the District 64 science curriculum. These include: the Night Hike/Drumming, 5th Grade Campfire Sing-a-Long, and the ever-popular Mission Impossible game, in addition to eight planned learning units. The two-day, one-night format means that students will be away from home and school for two complete days, returning at regular dismissal time on the second day. A District-wide committee of 5th grade teachers and the elementary principals carefully reviewed the Camp Duncan program, and unanimously support this compact format. We believe this two-day schedule will enhance the best features of a popular educational experience, support our science curriculum and goals for social-emotional learning, and places the program on a more sustainable basis for the future.

The Outdoor Education Program remains a valuable part of the District 64 curriculum for our 5th graders. The two-day, one-night schedule will enable us to maintain a rich outdoor education experience for students and introduce many other benefits. For your advance planning, the District anticipates that the $190 program fee paid by parents may also be reduced. The Board of Education was informed of this change at the Monday, January 23, 2017 meeting. You may read the full memo here that describes the wide range of considerations and benefits.

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Channels of Challenge Meeting for current 2nd grade students

There will be an optional informational meeting for parents of current 2nd grade students regarding the Channels of Challenge evaluation process. Channels of Challenge supports high-achieving/high-ability students in the areas of reading and math in 3rd-8th grade. The presentation will be held in the Carpenter School auditorium on Wednesday, February 15th beginning at 6:30 pm and ending at 7:30 pm. If you cannot attend, please visit our parent site for more information.

Developmental Screenings

On a monthly basis the Early Childhood Diagnostic Team at Jefferson School conducts developmental screenings of children ages three to five. In addition, they conduct screenings with children birth to three years of age twice a year. The screenings are conducted by a team, consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, psychologist and social worker. The areas assessed include motor, communication, play skills, pre-academic and thinking skills. Additionally, your child's vision and hearing will be checked. If you have concerns about your child's development in any of these areas, please call 847-318-5360 to schedule an appointment for screening.

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.

Happy 2017! Let's partake together in the new year!

For the New Year we will partake in new professional and personal responsibilities...

Rainer Marie Wilke stated, "and now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.” As educators, the task before us is truly momentous. Day in and day out we are charged with preparing students for an ever-changing future. We are tasked with imparting upon students the skills, dispositions, and attitudes that empower them to make the most of life within a future that looks different every passing day. Our oldest students will graduate high school in 2024, our youngest will be members of the class of 2029.

Current headlines include, the rapidly approaching reality of self-driving cars and plans for the human colonization of Mars. We live, and teach, in a time where the future is limitless in its opportunity, yet incredibly complex in its challenges. With that in mind, we must approach our work with the aim of making the incredible happen everyday. We must combine the best of our practice with new ideas and experiences to ensure our students are not only prepared for the next grade, but for impending challenges and opportunities and to prepare our students to live a meaningful, rich, and impacting life. My challenge to you and for all of us collectively, for the year ahead, is to find the “things that have never been” and make them happen! As a community, we all need "to be the best at what matters, and to stop doing what doesn't".

ELF Grant Update

The District 64 Occupational and Physical Therapy Team along with the Kindergarten teams at all school worked on a project to address student’s readiness for school. Children need to have fine and gross motor skills to be ready for school. School is not all about ABC’s and 1,2,3’s. A child needs to develop school readiness skills such as postural control, basic gross motor skills, basic fine motor skills and social skills. When we talk about gross motor skills, we are referring to running, jumping, climbing, and playing ball. These skills are not in a structured setting, such as sports, but seen more in independent play situations. Fine motor tasks are for both independence and function within the school environment. These skills include buttoning a shirt or zipping up a jacket, using scissors, drawing and coloring and basic writing of numbers and letters. As a child develops these skills, they learn body control, focus and listening skills. These are skills that are essential for Kindergarten.

To help address the concern of fine and gross motor skill development, the Ready, Set Move Elf Grant was approved in 2016 and is now up and running. Each Kindergarten Classroom received a standing table and 6 basic fine motor boxes. The task boxes were designed by the Occupational Therapy team to support cutting, pre-printing skills and visual perception skills in the school setting. The standing option also introduces the 21st Century Learning environment in our youngest classroom. Movement within the classroom is supported by the use of the table. Each teacher has the opportunity to use table within the classroom setting to support the Kindergarten curriculum. Student’s have the opportunity to stand during work time, during centers or play. Standing in the classroom helps to encourage postural endurance, core strengthening and interactive play.

Teachers have become very creative in the use of the standing table. Mrs. Mathe and Mrs. Rubeo have incorporated the table during station time for finger strengthening using manipulatives during reading to make core words!

The Elf Grant has helped with addressing Kindergarten skill development. Fine motor basic skills, postural endurance and advancement of skills is addressed by this innovative program. The OT team will be provide a follow up assessment of development of fine motor skills in kindergarten and compare it to past skills. Thank you to the ELF Committee for this opportunity!

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