Knightly News

August 16, 2018

It's Back-to-School Time!

School begins next week! Here are some important back-to-school dates:

Friday, August 17 - Teacher assignments can be viewed in ParentVue beginning at 4:00pm

Monday, August 20 - Supply drop off for 1st grade only 3:30pm-4:00pm

Wednesday, August 22 - First day of school for grades 1-5 all day 9:15am - 3:30pm

Wednesday, August 22 - Open house for kindergarten

11:00am - 11:30am for AM kindergarten and ADK-Longhini

2:00pm-2:30pm for PM kindergarten and ADK-Weisheit

Thursday, August 23- First day of school for kindergarten

9:15am-11:45am - morning kindergarten

1:00pm-3:30pm - afternoon kindergarten

Friday, August 24 - PTA ice cream social 6:30pm - 8:00pm

Thursday, September 6 - PTA Knights on the Run information comes home

Thursday, September 6 - Curriculum Night

6:30pm PACE and English Learners

7:00pm Classroom teacher presentations

7:30pm Repeat of classroom teacher and English Learners presentations

Tuesday, September 11 - 5th grade band/orchestra recruitment night at Hubble and Monroe 4:00pm-8:00pm

Thursday, September 13 - 5th grade band/orchestra recruitment night at Edison and Franklin 4:00pm-8:00pm

Thursday, September 13 - PTA Dine-Out at Culver's on Schmale Rd. - Mrs. Craig will wait tables from 5:30pm-8:00pm

Tuesday, September 18 - PTA Meeting 7pm

Wednesday, September 19 - PTA Knights on the Run

Thursdsay, September 20 - Rain Date for PTA Knights on the Run

Friday, September 21 - NO SCHOOL - Inservice Day

Thursday, September 27 - WatchDOGS Kick-Off 6:30pm-7:30pm

Friday, September 28 - Picture Day

We Bid a Fond Farewell to Some of our Staff

In addition to retirees Mrs. Robin Ryan (music), Mrs. Diane Stanton (PE), and Mrs. Cindy Vegter (BASP), we have bid a fond farewell to several other Washington staff members. Mrs. Jackie Esarey taught at Washington for many years, most recently in 2nd grade. Mrs. Esarey and her family have relocated to Texas. She asked me to share a loving thank you to all of the families who have supported her work over the years. Ms. Sheryl Bernth, a longtime English Learner teacher, who taught 4th grade last year, has moved to Florida where she will be teaching 2nd grade and having fun at Disney! Ms. Althea Maharaj, our PACE teacher, has accepted a position at Pleasant Hill Elementary teaching 5th grade. Mr. Jason Dibbern has resigned his position as a part-time teaching assistant and part-time resource teacher. Finally, teaching assistants Mrs. Karen Simmons and Mrs. Lauren Walsh have resigned their positions. These staff members will all be missed, and we wish them all well!

Welcome, New Washington Staff!

This year, we welcome several new staff members to our Washington team.

Ms. Mia Cortopassi returns to Washington this year as a 1st grade teacher. Upon graduating from Butler University, she worked as a 1st grade teaching assistant at Washington three years ago. For the past two years she was the All Day Kindergarten teacher at Pleasant Hill Elementary School. In her free time, she loves spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, and decorating. Ms. Cortopassi is very excited to rejoin our Washington team!

Ms. Amy Consolazio joins our team as a 2nd grade teacher this year. She graduated from Elmhurst College and spent 9 years teaching 1st and 5th grades in Elmhurst. Last year, she made the move to D200 as a 3rd grade teacher at Madison Elementary School. Due to changes in enrollment numbers, Ms Consolazio transferred to Washington. She enjoys doing anything outdoors, running, crafts, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Ms. Cara Switalski grew up in D200 as a student and graduated from the University of Illinois with a BS in Elementary Education with a concentration in Spanish. She spent the last two years working as a teaching assistant in an instructional classroom at Wiesbrook Elementary. In her free time, she likes to roller blade, spend time with friends, and read books of all sorts. She also loves traveling and learning about different cultures and countries, and has been to Mexico, Colombia, Germany, and Argentina. Ms. Switalski is very excited to be joining the Washington team this year as a 4th grade teacher!

Ms. Rachel Regan will be our new Washington PACE teacher. Ms. Regan graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Elementary Education. She taught 5th grade in Phoenix, Arizona for one year. She enjoys reading, being outdoors, and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.

Mrs. Cathy Liebenow is an experienced D200 music teacher, and will teach and direct chorus at Washington, Whittier, and Sandburg this year. Mrs. Liebenow lives in Wheaton with her husband and two children Mark and Mia. Her oldest daughter McKenna is starting her sophomore year at college. Mrs. Liebenow looks forward to making music with all of the students at Washington!

Mrs. Juliana Nielsen has taught elementary art in CUSD 200 for over 20 years. She also loves to cook, bake, read, travel with her family, and of course create her own artwork! Mrs. Nielsen is a Wheaton native, and a proud graduate of Hawthorne, Franklin, and Wheaton North. She studied Art Education at Augustana College, and later earned her Master’s degree and Type 75 certification from Aurora University. She and her husband also spent some time teaching abroad early in their careers, both in Japan and Switzerland. Some of you may know her husband Dan Nielsen; he teaches English at Franklin Middle School. Currently Mrs. Nielsen is busy living life on the south side of Wheaton with her husband, two teenagers, and menagerie of pampered pets (dog, cat, bird, and bearded dragon). She teaches art at Pleasant Hill Elementary four days a week and is very much looking forward to being a new staff member at Washington Elementary School this year!

Mrs. Colleen Miles is starting her 25th year of teaching in Wheaton (over 30 years total). Mrs. Miles hails from Minnesota and followed the love of her life, husband Michael, on a career move to Illinois. When not traveling to see her four grandchildren in California, she enjoys biking, running, and reading. She has enjoyed coaching high school girls swimming and participating in Triathlons. All three of her children graduated from Wheaton Warrenville South. Mrs. Miles will be teaching PE at Whittier in the morning and at Washington in the afternoon.

Mr. Gabriel Payne is excited to join the Washington Elementary School team this year as

a teaching assistant. Mr. Payne graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a

degree in Philosophy, earned his Masters in Theology, and is excited to be pursuing a

Masters in Teaching. Mr. Payne has worked in a variety of positions in both private and

public schools and is very excited to join the Washington team this year. Mr. Payne

enjoys reading, playing sports, and doing a variety of outdoor activities.

Ms. Sophie Kent will be student teaching with Mrs. Burkard in 3rd grade this fall. She is a senior at Wheaton College and is originally from the Philadelphia area. At Wheaton she majors in Elementary Education with an ESL endorsement and also plays varsity softball.

Stay tuned for more new staff intros in the next edition of Knightly News!

New BASP Director

Mrs. Anne Schillinger, a veteran Washington teaching assistant, will be our new BASP Director, replacing the retiring Cindy Vegter. Mrs. Schillinger can be reached at The BASP phone line is (630) 682-2485.

Summer Building Projects

A lot of work happened across D200 this summer. At Washington work included: parking lot seal coating and secure entry. Once being buzzed into Door 1, visitors will enter the office instead of the hallway by the gym.

In addition, a lot of exciting improvements were made to our LLC. The district removed the carpeting and installed luxury vinyl tile in wood tones. They also painted the space and installed new ceiling tiles. The PTA continued their work to replace all LLC furniture. The stationary shelving around the wall has been replaced. The new shelving is lower, which improves student accessibility and also creates more wall space for displays. Half of the new shelving is mobile to allow for flexible room configurations. A soft seating bench and ottomans were also purchased by the PTA.

Thank you D200 and PTA! Our students are going to be so excited to see the changes!

Help Needed

Washington is looking for at least one lunch supervisor for the 2018-2019 school year. Parents, grandparents, or neighbors are welcome! This is a paid position with an hourly rate. Work times are approximately 11:45am - 1:15pm. We would consider your help even if you can only work a few days a week. If you are interested, please email Mrs.Craig at and apply via the CUSD 200 website.

Arrival and Dismissal

Students may arrive on school property beginning at 8:55am. Please do not drop your child off prior to 8:55am as they will not be under adult supervision; students attending BASP and band/orchestra/chorus practice are the exception.

Bus Routes will soon be posted on the Washington website.

Once arriving on school property, students should line up at their designated doors:

Kindergarten - Door 3 (west side of building)

1st grade - Door 4 (west side of building)

2nd grade - Door 4 (west side of building) *Change from last year

3rd grade - Door 6 (west side of building)

4th grade - Door 7 (courtyard north side of building)

5th grade - Door 8 - (northeast corner of building)

If you drop off or pick up your child by car, please familiarize yourself with the Flow Zone Procedures.

Also, please remember that it is illegal to pass a bus when it is loading or unloading children. There should be no car traffic at the front of the building during morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. For the safety of our students, please follow our procedures and use the flow zone. Also, it is illegal to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving. Doing so during arrival and dismissal greatly compromises the safety of our students. Please use the utmost caution when driving in the flow zone.

Don't Forget to Check your ParentVue Permissions!

Please remember to read the permissions section in your ParentVue account and answer each with a Yes or No. The Release of Directory Information pertains to much more than the PTA parent directory; a NO to Release of Directory Information means that we cannot use your child's name or photo. This would mean we cannot display your child's work with his/her name, list his/her name if they win an award, and we cannot include your child in the yearbook. At times there can be disappointment caused by misunderstanding of this permission. Please read it carefully and feel free to contact Mrs. Craig with any questions. We respect your decision on any and all of the parent permissions but want to make sure the impacts are understood.

Elementary Handbook

This year, the Elementary Handbook will be online. You can find it on the Washington website and by clicking here: HANDBOOK.

Health Requirements for 2018-2019

Physical examination and immunizations are required before entering school in specific grades. Health requirement information can be found here. All documentation should be submitted to the school nurse as soon as possible and is expected before the first day of school. If you have questions, contact Nurse Jody Gosain at (630) 682-2222 or