Ferson Creek eNews

May 15, 2020

From the Principal...Kristy McKnight

How have we already made it to the last week of school? You should have received two communications from me regarding plans for next week. One explained the procedures for picking up student materials and the other gave an overview of what Remote Learning will look like next week. If you have questions regarding either of these topics, don't hesitate to reach out.

Ranger Josh from Gray Willows has put together Part 2 of the video series celebrating the planting of the Children's Prairie. You can view the video series here. He's also shared some pictures from the prairie, which you can view below. As a reminder, the park is open and has ample room to keep a social distance, if you're looking for a new outdoor space to visit!

I encourage all students to contribute to the End of Year Flip Grid that was shared by our specials teachers. It will be a great way to share a positive message to our Ferson friends for the end of the year. As a reminder, this Flipgrid will open on Monday and the clips will be compiled into one video that we will share with families.

Have a great weekend,

Kristy McKnight

Instrument Clarification

I have additional information regarding instruments, that will hopefully give you more clarity:

  • If you have a school owned instrument, you keep it until the Fall.
  • If you are renting your instrument, you need to reach out to the company to make an appointment for a non-contact drop off at the store.

School Tool Box

You can now order school supplies for next year. Click here to access School Tool Box and place your order!

All Day Kindergarten Tuition

Please see the flyer below for new information regarding All Day Kindergarten tuition and the early bird discount.
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It's Time for Band Recruitment!

Mrs. William has put together a band recruitment website. You can learn about instruments, be introduced to Mrs. William, and hear from some current 5th grade band students!

Join the Band!

Get Ready for Orchestra!

Orchestra begins in 3rd grade for district 303. The instruments in the orchestra are string instruments. String instruments range from small and high pitched to big and low pitched. The instruments of the orchestra are the: violin, viola, cello and bass. The most important factor in choosing an instrument is what the instrument SOUNDS like. Check out the small descriptors below in addition to the videos of professionals and students playing!

  • The violin is the highest and smallest of the instruments. It usually carries the melody and has faster notes. The violin’s bright sound often attracts the greatest amount of students.
  • Professional Violin solo video Student Violin

  • The cello is the only string instrument for which the player must sit down. The cello often switches between the melody, harmony, and bass lines in music. It is incredibly versatile.
  • Professional Cello solo video Student Cello

  • The string bass is the lowest and largest of the instruments. The bass provides the foundation for the orchestra with its full, rich sound. The bass is also commonly used in jazz.
  • Professional Bass solo video

Students should choose their instrument because of how that instrument sounds. It is ok (and encouraged) to play a different instrument from your friends. We ultimately play all together for the most fun. Check out these combinations of instruments:

Violin & Viola with symphony

Violin, Cello, Bass

String Quartet (Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass)

Viola with Symphony!

Violin with Symphony!

All students entering 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades are welcome to participate in the D303 elementary strings program. Our staff has an exemplary reputation in providing meaningful learning experiences in music and developing individual student achievement and appreciation of music. The elementary instrumental music program also provides excellent preparation for the middle school and Grammy winning high school orchestra programs. Almost 80% of the 3rd graders at Ferson Creek and Corron schools participate in our orchestra, and we hope that your child will be one of the newest members of our fantastic orchestra family!

Not quite sure? Hear it from a current orchestra student!

You should play in orchestra!

Please reach out to our orchestra teacher, Rachel Saldana, with any questions.

Online Student Registration - Closes Friday, June 5th.

The deadline to register for elementary school is Friday, June 5, 2020. If your family is moving and you know that you will not return to District 303 schools, please call or email the office with that information. Returning Student Registration for 2020-2021 has moved to an online format that is now open. In years past, parents completed the necessary paperwork in paper format. This year, all acknowledgments and authorizations are contained in a single electronic, online registration form that will be easily accessible from most electronic devices (computer, Chromebook, and Smartphones).

Parents can sign into the Returning Student Online Registration form using their Home Access Center (HAC) credentials, select individual students, and complete their registration. The form will be located in the Parents/Community menu of the District website.

Registration fees for elementary and middle school are now available in Pushcoin, and billed to reflect the early bird discount of $10.00 if paid by May 22. High School fees will be available in June. For families who may qualify for a fee waiver, and are not directly certified by the state, a 2020-2021 district fee waiver application will be available on the District 303 website in July, accessible from the Parent/Community menu.

Staff Announcements

As we look to next school year, we have a few staff members making changes. Mrs. Naatz and Mrs.Turner will join the 1st grade team. Dr. DuCharm will shift to become the Student Support Interventionist at Ferson Creek. Please help me in sending well-wishes for their new adventures!

A Note from Former 1st Grade Teacher, Mrs. Foss

Dear Ferson Creek Family,

I have felt quite conflicted about returning to my full time position following my FMLA time and my extended unpaid leave of absence. The decision was made a bit easier when my husband and I learned we are expecting another baby this October! I have truly bonded with my son, Mason, and have decided to stay at home with him and his new brother or sister for the first several years of their lives.
I have known I would be a teacher since the third grade, so when I was hired to teach at Ferson Creek three days before my college graduation, it was a dream come true. I'm so grateful for my time to learn, grow and contribute in this space. I’m even more grateful for the relationships I formed with Ferson Creek students and their families over the years. I treasure the memories we made together in first grade. Shared memories and successes are some of the greatest rewards of this profession and I feel very lucky!

I hope not to become a stranger to the Ferson Creek community. I’ve established a new email at familyfoss.email@gmail.com. Will you please keep in touch?

Wishing you the best as you wrap up this unique school year and head into summer.

Jaime Foss

Social Emotional Learning

SEL Lessons:

Thank you for engaging in the weekly Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) lessons. Across the past five weeks, parents and students have engaged in learning around each of the CASEL core competencies connected to SEL which are:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

  • Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward achieving personal and academic goals.

  • Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  • Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

  • Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

This has been a very different school year. The collaborative relationship between home and school, established and made stronger by this health crisis, has supported students' ability to continue to come together to learn and grow. Remote learning has taken a toll on students and adults. As you enter the summer months, know D303 staff continue to be accessible to you. Do not hesitate to reach out via Let’s Talk or by connecting with your building administration. All previous SEL lessons are available through the D303 Remote Learning for Students. We are hopeful the resources shared will be a continued support to parents/guardians and children across the summer months. If you have any questions on the information provided or are seeking additional support for yourself or child, please contact Patti Palagi, Director Instructional Interventions (patti.palagi@d303.org or (331-228-6457).

Additional resources to support you over the summer months are included here:

Coping with Quarantine

Coping During Times of Uncertainty

Self Care is defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress

Self Care: CDC, 40 Things You Should Do for Yourself During Self-Quarantine, 25 Simple Self-Care Tools for Parents and Parents Self-Care: Prioritizing Your Own Well-Being Benefits your Whole Family

Yearbook Update

The Ferson Creek Yearbook printing has been put on “hold” for the year. Unfortunately the printers are down due to the stay at home orders. This gives us an opportunity to work on it some more and print at the beginning of next school year. THERE WILL still be a yearbook, (the yearbook committee will personally deliver to the graduating fifth graders if you can’t make it to the pick up). Online sales are still open through May: https://inter-state.com/YearbookEntry/43057E

(FYI- there was no pre-orders for this at the beginning of the year, only high school and middle school do that)

The good news.. we can include more photos!! Please send Kristi and Ashley any photos of your child e-learning or learning from home with your siblings or pets! We want to include these memories.





Sending Ferson Creek hugs from your yearbook committee!

D303 Food Service and Meals - Updated!

District 303 is expanding our meal service to include additional school and residential locations beginning on Monday, April 6, 2020. Any student in District 303 is eligible to pick up breakfast and lunch grab and go meals at any of the following locations throughout the week.

Thompson Middle School, 705 W. Main Street
9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Monday through Friday

Anderson Elementary School, 35W071 Villa Marie Rd.

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. - Monday through Friday

Wasco Elementary School, 4N782 School Street, Wasco

10:00 - 10:45 a.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the front of the school

Cumberland Green Cooperative, 1798 Cumberland Green

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the office parking lot

Prairie Point Apartments, 1820 Wessel Court

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.- Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the park facing the road at the front entrance (Entrance nearest to Randall Road)

The Crossings, 1690 Covington

10:40 - 11:10 a.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to the area near the clubhouse

St. Charles Place, 15th Street and Indiana

11:20 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - Monday through Friday

A District 303 bus will deliver meals to an area in front of the apartment complex

COVID-19 Updates

Please visit the District 303 website that is designed to answer your questions about e-Learning, assist you with finding community resources, and link you to information from reputable agencies about COVID-19.

Por favor, visite el sitio web del Distrito ya que está diseñado para responder sus preguntas sobre el aprendizaje electrónico (e-Learning), ayudarle a encontrar recursos, y enlazarlo con información de agencias confiables sobre el COVID-19

Tech Support

  • Live Chat will remain available M-F from 8 am - 4 pm
  • Phone support is also available at (331) 228-4357. Families should leave a message and expect a timely call back during business hours.

Device Exchange for families will resume, if necessary, at TMS on 4/6. Please use the live chat for device assistance if you have a need. Up to date tech information can be found on the technical support resource page.

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Pandemic EBT Application

Pandemic EBT Application Available

The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) launched the Pandemic EBT application for families on May 1 at https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/. P-EBT is a new special benefit that can help families buy food for their school age children who would normally receive National School Lunch Program (NSLP) free or reduced-priced meals when schools are in session. All families with school age children who attend schools approved for Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) are eligible for the benefits as they receive NSLP meals at no charge.

Families that currently receive SNAP benefits do not need to apply for P-EBT benefits. These additional P-EBT benefits will be loaded into Illinois LINK EBT accounts along with regular SNAP benefits. Families who do not currently receive SNAP benefits but do have children who receive NSLP free or reduced-priced meals will need to apply directly with IDHS. The fastest way for families to receive benefits is to complete the application for P-EBT available online (Click “Apply for Benefits” at the link.) A paper application in English and Spanish is also available and can be submitted by email to DHS.FCS.PEBT@illinois.gov. IDHS created a flyer to help families with the application process. We are asking NSLP sponsors to share this flyer with their families.

ISBE is working in partnership with IDHS to ensure that this validation is available for all NSLP sponsors, both public and non-public. Thank you to all the schools that participate in the NSLP for submitting data by the April 17 deadline. We are asking that you please continue to verify that count, so that all families who are eligible can access the additional financial support provided by P-EBT. Instructions for this crucial verification can be found online.

If NSLP sponsors need assistance with the data submission/update, please email the ISBE Nutrition Department at cnp@isbe.net. If families need technical assistance with the application, please direct them to email IDHS at DHS.FCS.PEBT@illinois.gov.

Nutrition Department, Illinois State Board of Education
100 N. First St., Springfield, IL 62777
cnp@isbe.net, www.isbe.net/nutrition

Across the Board Newsletter

Interested in finding out details from the school board meeting? View the Across the Board newsletter!