Willow Parent Bulletin #17

December 17, 2021

In one of my recent meetings, we were discussing how our current 2nd graders have never know a full year of "normal" school. It's hard to believe it's been that long. As a building we have worked hard to provide an engaging, but safe environment. The teachers have truly worked hard to enable your wildcat to have both. The time and energy put into creating "normal" during this year has been both exhausting and immensely rewarding.

With the new year comes new goals. What do our students need? How can we meet those needs? What will that look like? These are questions that are part of continuous conversations amongst staff. We have a large number of students receiving interventions to shore up those foundational skills. These are also areas you can hep with at home... sounds for all the letters, blends, sight words and addition/subtraction. You can also help with fine motor (handwriting) by practicing letters and numbers. It can be fun...in the snow when it eventually gets here, in shaving cream, pudding, whipped cream or anything with a texture like sandpaper.

Both of my parents were educators, so you can imagine what homework was like in my house. I have to say, though, that they were sneaky about it. I learned to count money by making the change when we paid the bill at a restaurant. If we were baking, I had to read the recipe and measure accurately (ish). We played the ABC game in the car while traveling south to see my grandparents. To this day I know where the sign is that has "QRS" all in one location. I also think my love of books came from all the print with which we were surrounded. (Granted, there were no computers, cell phones, or internet back in those days... gasp!).

On one such trip home from the grandparents, the state police closed US 41 due to white out conditions. We were led off the road to the fire department in a little town called Earl Park, IN. Seated on the floor were other travelers whose trip had met the same abrupt end. It was Christmas Eve and the Fire Chief was super concerned about us having to sleep at the fire station. (Please note that we thought it was pretty cool and as close to camping as we'd ever been- don't judge).

The Chief called local families and asked them to take in the stranded motorists, which they did. Think about that a moment... opening your home, sharing your prepared meal, in a blizzard, with complete strangers. If that isn't the season of giving, I'm not sure what is.

So one of my most memorable holidays took place 45+ years ago, with people I never saw again. I know my dad kept in touch and sent them something the following years until they passed. In my family of educators, this lesson wasn't about the Geometry my dad taught or the pronoun I used at the end of the sentence that drove my mom crazy. It was about caring for others and giving. It was about helping those in need, even when you have little with which to start. It was about memories that last... and having nothing to do with the perfect holidays we see on TV.

My hope for you this holiday season is that you experience the same and give in return. Enjoy your break! We'll see you on January 4th!

book blurb: " Magnificent Homespun Brown"

Magnificent Homespun Brown, written by Samara Col Doyon is not so much a story but more of a scattered collection of poems describing the feelings of being confident in one’s own skin. What the color brown means to the characters, how it moves them and brings them joy. This delightfully illustrated book by Kaylani Juanita can be checked out at the Homewood Public Library.

singing with Mr. Bennett

Mr. Bennett worked with all the classes on different songs. A Covid-safe concert followed. You can hear our sweet wildcats at:


This week in pictures:


Dec. 20- Jan. 3: Winter break

Jan. 4: Students return to school

Jan 10-14: STAR testing

Jan 17: NO SCHOOL- in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday

Feb 1: EARLY RELEASE at 11:40AM

Feb 14: Valentine's parties 9-10AM

Feb. 21: NO SCHOOL- Presidents' Day