Heavilin Elementary

February 2018 Newsletter

For Your Calendar


3 Robotics Competition at Cooks Corners

5-9 Jump Rope for Heart

9 Pajama Day

9 Movie Night - Pick up at 5:30pm

13 PTO Meeting at 6:30pm

15 Spirit Wear Day

16-19 No School

19-23 Follett Book Fair

21 Heavilin PRIDE Day (wear your house colors)

22 Math Bowl Competition at 6pm at VHS

26 ISTEP Window opens (grades 3-5)


2 Spirit Wear Day

7 Read-A-Thon KickOff

16 School IN SESSION

Great Kids

Dear Parents,

Thank you for sending us such wonderful, kind, thoughtful children. Every day, they bring joy and love to our school. It is absolutely a privilege to be a part of their lives.


Heavilin Staff

Snow Make-Up Day

Please mark your calendar that school is IN SESSION on Friday, March 16. This was previously scheduled as a weather make-up day.


Valentine's Day is a special day at school. If students plan to bring Valentines for their friends, we encourage them to include everyone in the class. Just like with birthday treats, only NON-EDIBLE treats are allowed to be distributed at school. Thank you for helping to keep our school safe!


In April, we will be offering a Chinese language experience for our students. It will be after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays (8 sessions.) More information will be coming before spring break.

Kindergarten Round Up

Our Kindergarten Round Up is scheduled for Friday, April 13, 2018. Please tell your neighbors with upcoming kindergarteners and mark your calendars. More information will coming... stay tuned!

Book Rental

All book rental is now due. Please login to Skyward or send your checks to the office.

Movie Night

Valentine's Movie Night is Friday, February 9. Permission slips are due by February 2nd. February 9 will be a pajama day! Students may bring a pillow, sleeping bag and ONE stuffed animal if they are attending Movie Night.

Robotics Competition

Our Robotics teams have their big competition this Saturday, February 3 at Cooks Corners Elementary. This is an amazing event to attend! If you are looking for something to entertain and excite your kids on a cold, winter weekend, this is the place to be. Come for all or part of the day:

9:00 Event begins

9:30 Qualification Rounds

12:00-1:00 Lunch Break

1:00 Qualification Rounds

3:15 Championship Rounds

Best wishes to our teams!

Gold Team: Kaenen, Finn, Alyssa, Grayden, Jordan, Landon, Alexa, and Molly

Green Team: Lily, Ava, Ben, Chris, Tulip, Xavier, Julia, and Mark

Geography Bee

On January 24, Heavilin Elementary hosted its first National Geographic Geography Bee. Congratuations to the following participants:

Ethan Poisel

Cayden DeSmet

Grayden Lash

Landon O'Halek

Christian Dennis

Vincent LaFollette

Ava Hearn

Carter Tanis

Maeve Ransom

Lilyana Ward

Our winner is... Ethan Poisel. Well done, Ethan! Ethan will be taking the National Geography Bee winner test to see if he qualifies to advance. Good luck!

Plastic Lids

Thank you to everyone for collecting plastic lids. This month, we already collected 222 pounds!!! Keep up the great work. If we win the Valpo competition, we will be awarded a special chair for our school. When we get to 400 pounds, we will have enough for a recycled-materials bench for our school. Thank you to our Heavilin Girl Scouts for all the work to make this happen.

(As a side note, please wash your lids. Our girls scouts had quite an experience with a particular bag of milk lids that hadn't been rinsed - I'm sure you can imagine! - and we actually had to throw them away.)

Help Our Library

We will be hosting a Follett Book Fair February 19-23. All profits benefit our Heavilin library! Flyers and more information to come. We are looking for some parent volunteers to staff the book fair that week. Please email Mrs. Clines at dclines@valpo.k12.in.us if you are interested.


If your child has had 5 or more absences and tardies, you will receive letter notifications with a printout of our record of your child's attendance attached. We ask that you review the record and if there are any discrepancies, to contact Mrs. Szmagaj so we can make sure our records are accurate.

Please call or leave a message at 219-476-8820 every time your student is absent, even for a doctor or dentist appointment. You can even call outside of school hours to leave a message. It is very important we verify every absence daily. Thank you so much for your help.

Math Bowl

Our Math Bowl competition in on Thursday, February 22 at 6:00pm at Valparaiso High School. Come out and wear green to support the first Heavilin Math Bowl team!

ISTEP for 3-5

The ISTEP Part 1 test window is from February 26 through March 9 for students in grades 3-5. Information and schedule will be coming home later in the month for students who will be taking the test. Please make every effort to not schedule doctor appointments or other avoidable absences during the test window.

5th graders - get ready!

Incoming 6th graders must have updated immunizations before school starts in August. Appointments fill up quickly! Schedule now with your physician or the health department to be ready for middle school.

From Our Social Worker: Media... Friend or Foe?

Our media has become a large part of our lives. Electronics, the number of television and radio stations, gaming and streaming have all become more commonplace in our society, schools and homes. There is a great deal of content to choose from, and ultimately filter through to find what we like.

Have you ever heard about a book, movie, video game and wondered if it was appropriate for your child? As a parent, I think one of the hardest things to navigate is media of any kind. What our kids listen to, watch and read affect their development, personality, character and overall well-being. We are all influenced by our surroundings but in individual ways. One size definitely does not fit all.

It is important to remember that our brains develop throughout our years and while certain subject matters may not affect us adults negatively, children’s brains are still developing. Our kids may not always be able to sort out fact and fiction. They may see actors or you tubers do something that gets attention or a laugh in an episode and not realize fully that the action was staged. They may hear songs on the radio with explicit lyrics and not connect that they would be inappropriate to repeat. They may see things in movies, games or shows that confuse or scare them. The impact of media input can often be overlooked until your child gets in trouble or has fears or nightmares that they verbalize.

I wanted to share a couple of resources I have found helpful. Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org) is a website that offers reviews and suggestions for all types of media. They list a suggested age range and also allow for peer review so you can hear what other users are saying. As I was looking through all the options the website offers, I found some great useful information. I value the insight of others, especially when there is so much to sift through.

Another monitoring that is coming for most families, if not there already, is monitoring apps on tablets, phones and other devices. While some applications appear harmless, there are hidden features that allow users to do things undetected. It is important, again, for the adults to stay current and there are plenty of websites that offer guidance on what apps do and which could be dangerous. Here is a link to one article (there are many) that you may find interesting.


After all this information, you may think “no technology ever!” Like most things in life, media is good with guidance and moderation. If you are concerned about your child’s usage, talk with them, do a family “fast”. Choose one or more items you will all abstain from and use that time to connect with your kids more. Sometimes, even as adults, we get sucked in to the immediacy of social media or the relaxation that comes with kicking back listening to music or our favorite shows. Taking time to talk about media boundaries now could save heartache in the future.