Friday Focus

January 21, 2022

In this Issue:

  • A Message from Marcie
  • Uncle Pete's Lunches
  • Counselor's Corner
  • 1st Grade Music Concert - Wednesday, 2/2 @ 6:00pm
  • 5 Essentials Survey Now Open

Don't miss the PTO Spotlight!

  • Order Marla's Lunch - January-June
  • Fun Lunch Volunteering - We NEED you!
  • Upcoming Zoom PTO meeting - Wednesday, 2/2 @7:30pm
  • Cute pictures? Send to the Yearbook!

A Message from Marcie

Happy Friday, South Park!

We had a great short week, despite some colder days that kept our students indoors for recess. Thankfully we got everyone outside today! For students who like advanced notice of whether or not we will be going outside for recess, consider downloading the AccuWeather app to see the forecast for Deerfield. We stay indoors for recess when the temperature/wind chill is 10 degrees or below. When it is warm enough to go outside, please remember that students need boots and snow pants to play at the park or in the snow when there is snow on the ground.

Speaking of outdoor recess, we also want to inform everyone that students who come back to school after testing positive for COVID should wear an age-appropriate and form-fitting KN95 or N95 mask outside at recess until the 10-day period has ended.

A reminder that although we SHIELD tested at South Park yesterday afternoon, we are still waiting for a few results to trickle in. Please be vigilant as you head into the weekend.

Enjoy the weekend!


Uncle Pete's Lunches

Yesterday, all students received a brown paper bag with directions as to the food items needed to prepare a lunch for Uncle Pete’s Lunches. All filled bags should be brought back to school on the morning of Wednesday, January 26th. Volunteers from Uncle Pete’s Lunches will collect all of the sack lunches and deliver them to local shelters that day. Thank you for your family's participation in this wonderful philanthropy project!

Counselor's Corner

As we begin 2022, children are continuing to feel the effects of the pandemic. Kids are experiencing these effects in so many ways; many of them are feeling anxious and scared. In this article, Renee Jain (founder of an online platform to help kids with anxiety) and Dr. Shefali Tsabary (clinical psychologist) explain their new book, Superpower: Transform Anxiety Into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience and the importance of acknowledging and accepting our anxieties rather than dismissing or getting rid of them. Take a look at their seven ways to help children manage anxieties-- or reclaim their superpowers: make friends with their worry, help them assess their risk, encourage mindfulness, reframe their thoughts, discover their "flow", encourage a growth mindset, and find their inner voice. If you have some time, listen to the podcast portion in the article as well. I just ordered the book myself this week; I am looking forward to using these skills in school as well as at home with my own kids!

Amy Goldberg

1st Grade Music Concert - Save the Date

We are cautiously optimistic about holding the 1st Grade Music Concert in person at South Park on Wednesday, February 2nd at 6:00 p.m.

Students and families should plan to arrive at 5:45 p.m. Attire for the performance will be white tops and dark bottoms.

Specific details will be shared with 1st Grade families next week.

Help us start a Chess Club

A small group of 5th graders recently expressed an interest in starting a chess club at South Park. We were able to find a sponsor and solicit interest from several 4th and 5th-grade students to join the club, but we have one problem: we don't have any chess sets!

If you have a chess set that you would be willing to loan to South Park, please consider reaching out to Mr. L (, our anticipated chess club sponsor, so that we can run this club in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your consideration!


Again this year, parents across Illinois have an opportunity to participate in the annual statewide Illinois 5Essentials Survey. This survey is designed to generate a detailed picture of the inner workings of your child’s school. As a parent, it allows you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness. Your responses also help guide district improvement.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey is administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago on behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:

· Effective Leaders

· Collaborative Teachers

· Involved Families

· Supportive Environments

· Ambitious Instruction

To take the Parent Survey, please visit and select the appropriate survey to begin. Your identity and responses will be kept completely confidential and will not be connected to you or your child. The survey should take no more than 5 minutes to complete.

In addition to parents, 4th through 8th-grade students will also be responding to this survey. Per school board policy 7:15, you may opt your child out of any survey. If you would not like your child to participate in the 5Essentials Survey, please contact Marcie Faust.

Important Dates

February 2 - 1st Grade Music Concert @ 6:00 p.m.

February 21 - No School - President's Day

February 22 - No School - Institute Day


This opt-out will be for testing on Thursday, January 13th.

Fill out this Google Form prior to 7 AM on THURSDAY, 1/27.

*Please note that if you have consented but want to opt out of a week, you must fill out the form every week.