Creekside Chronicle

January 2020 Newsletter

Creekside’s New Year’s Resolution

We are looking forward to an amazing 2020 here at Creekside. With only half of the year left to make an impact on all of the students, we are identifying key areas to support students academically, behaviorally, and emotionally.

We continue to strive for success with all students, and we want them to feel supported at school. We also want to continue to focus on involving and empowering you in your child's education. We hope to provide you with the information and resources you need to do this. Our hope is that you begin to notice some subtle changes on information coming home to you directly from your student’s teachers. Feel free to reach out because we want you involved. The greatest success with students is when we work together with you at home to support the students.

Parent Survey Feedback:

We want to take the time to thank you for participating in the parent survey. We use this data to reflect as a building and celebrate areas of success and also identify areas for growth. There were a few areas that stuck out to us as areas we would like to strive for continued growth. We want to continue to inform you about proper channels to help students obtain success socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. We will also continue to update you on different parent resources that come from our social worker and counselor. See the video below that was released last year about the services we provide as a building and the proper people to reach out to for support.

From an academic standpoint, you can view our intervention brochure to see some academic supports we have available here at Creekside. For any academic concerns, addressing these topics with the classroom teacher for that content area is your first step. For additional concerns or support, please reach out to the building administration.

The last item we would like to continue to work on is our updates about our building-wide school improvement plan. Feedback and growth on our SIP goals is released to you through our school newsletters. We will work to find different ways to update you on our goal progress.

Thank you again for your feedback and continued support.

Quarter 2

We are also looking forward to celebrating the success of so many students during our honors recognition. Many of these students have put in a tremendous amount of work to earn the grades they have earned, and they continue to strive to make honor roll each quarter.

Let’s see what this means to our students:

Honors recognition begins at 7: in the gymnasium for each grade level on the following dates:

6th Grade: January 14

7th Grade: January 15

8th Grade: January 16

Invitations for the event will be sent right after we return from winter break and grades are finalized. An email will be sent on Wednesday, January 8th by your student’s 9th period teacher. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Michael Wheatley at

8th Grade Information:

We are excited for our 8th graders as they begin to think about their high school courses. We want to continue to support them in becoming successful at the next level by targeting grade level standards and reinforcing skills such as prioritization, organization, and even coping strategies. Be sure to view the letter form the high school here.

Flyby parent request

Parents, we want to hear from you.

Select our next topic for our Creekside Flyby (Parent Informational Video Series)

Fill out this form to request an information video on a specific topic.

6th Grade

The sixth grade team has been focused on our notes, using AVID's focused note-taking process to increase students' ownership and understanding of their notes. Be sure to ask your child about Cornell Notes, and how this special process for taking notes helps improve their learning!

6th Grade Science

Science just finished stations on the moon phases and tides. They took part in a lab that showed them the predictable path of the moon and why we have phases. Students also took part in gravity stations and used cornell notes to help them understand Gravity’s role in the solar system.

6th Social Studies

We are in the process of building our knowledge blocks of Ancient Mesopotamia. From there, we will be discussing the foundations of Ancient Egypt. More exciting learning and inquiry to come.

6th Math:

Math: In math, we used Cornell notes to discuss finding percent of a number. Students focused on the idea of coming back to their notes, highlighting important pieces and using that information to summarize their notes. One main focus was using Cornell notes as a study tool.

7th Grade

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In Mr. Clement’s science class, the students have been learning about cell processes for the last month. Most recently they have been focusing on mitosis (cell reproduction). This is a lab where the students were looking at an onion root tip. They were trying to find cells that are at different stages of mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase).

When school resumes in January, Ms. Berg’s literacy block will begin their performance task assignment as Collection Two comes to a close. Students will be assigned one of four different folk tales that they will be identifying the theme, or message, within their folk tale. Students will then write an analysis of their folk tale identifying the message within. They will be learning how to write an effective thesis statement along with their analysis. Final papers will be due on Friday, January 10th.

Ms. Berg’s single literacy classes are learning how to identify different parts of an effective argument. They are learning how to develop a strong claim, or their position on a topic, creating reasons to support their claim, and researching evidence to support their reasons. They are also learning how to address the counterargument. Students will then select a topic to develop their own argument and will present their speech to the class.

Seventh-grade math is exploring multiple representations of ratios and rates to better understand proportional relationships. Photos are of our explorations of ratios found in Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

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8th Grade

Science classes will be starting an energy unit in January with a research project and energy fair concluding the unit in February. Many of the lessons and activities in the energy unit our from our grant we received from ESP/ We also have a sponsored activity provided by ISU where students will experience a hands-on electrical grid build to further our understanding of energy in our lives. Ask students about what connections they are making to our unit at school and how we can apply our knowledge at home.


Don’t forget to visit the D200 Art Show at the public library. You have until January 7. You’ll be AMAZED!!

Student Services

Many of our students do not have the funds or means to obtain basic items necessary to feel clean, confident, and prepared to start their school day. Creekside now has an area for students that may be in need of school supplies, personal hygiene products, basic apparel, and more. The Falcon’s Nest Student Support Resource Room will be accessible through online requests with the school counselor or social worker to protect students’ privacy and dignity. If you would like to contribute supplies to help stock our room, please click here to access a list of items needed. Thank you for helping us support our students!

Internet Addiction… is it really a thing? It has probably crossed your mind when your son or daughter just can’t seem to survive without their phone or electronic device. Click here for some research and tips on how to effectively manage screen time and identify possible underlying conditions that may be occurring. If you have additional questions or concerns about your child’s social emotional learning during their middle school years, please contact one of us in the Creekside office at (815) 337-5200.

Mrs. Nieman:School Counselor

Ms. Hettermann: School Social Worker

Mrs. Perry: School Psychologist

Band News

We have had such a full and amazing time in the first quarter in the band room! The Jazz Concert and the combined Band and Orchestra concert were both huge successes! And the First Annual Band Breakfast left everyone full and happy! Thank you so much for everyone’s help by contributing breakfast items and man power.

Solo and Ensemble contest is at Northwood Middle School on Saturday, January 25, 2020. Each child participating will need to pay $2 per event they are participating to help pay for judges. Those students performing solos with an accompanist will need to bring in $25 to pay for the accompanist.

8th grade parents: Please be sure to have Friday, April 3 and Saturday April 4 on your calendars. This date has been on my event calendar that was sent home at the beginning of the year. We are going to travel to North Central College in Naperville for the Prairie State Middle School Band Festival. The organizers have NOT YET assigned us our day, so I am unsure if it will be Friday afternoon/evening or on Saturday. PLEASE have these dates blocked out so that everyone can participate. We need everyone! We will perform in the beautiful auditorium for a panel of highly respected band directors from around the country. They will give us comments and then we will have a clinic with one of the judges. It will be an amazing experience and opportunity for our students.

Key dates that are coming up are:

Saturday, January 25 Solo and Ensemble contest at Northwood Middle School, all morning, schedule will come out in early January.

Wednesday, March 11 - CMS Bands and WHS Band progress concert at WHS

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Thanks to all the students and families who participated and attended our holiday concerts! Thank you to all the families who participated in our Poinsettia fundraiser too! We sold a lot of poinsettias helping our program and local greenhouse, Kolzes.

Coming up we have our big Pancake Breakfast (for Dinner) concert on 1/17/20 and Solo and Ensemble on 1/25/20. We look forward to working hard on our pancake concert music and continuing to progress on all of our Solo and Ensemble repertoire.

Be sure to follow the CMS/WHS orchestra program on facebook and/or Instagram.


Congratulations to our November Students of the Month

Jacob Kimble, Erin Doherty, Sadie Keenan, Brooklyn Delgado-Jones, Mikhi Parker, Ava Kleinschmidt, Jazlyn Pacyna

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Box Tops

Box Tops are going digital! No more clipping, all you need is your phone. Download the ALL-NEW Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, then simply scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit Creekside’s Box Tops earnings online. Printed Box Tops are being phased out and will only be accepted through this fall. If you have any clipped Box Tops, Creekside will accept them only through October 15. Here is a video link that shows how to set up your phone to easily send Creekside money from your grocery receipts.\

Key Dates

06 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

09 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

09 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

09 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

10 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

13 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

13 - Incoming 9th grade Student and Parent Night @ WHS 6 - 9 pm

14 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

14 - PTO Meeting 6 - 7pm @ Conference Room A

15 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

15 - Concussion Test 3:50 - 5 pm @ BOG

16 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

16 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

16 - CMS Wrestling vs Bernotas 4 - 6 pm @ Bernotas Middle School

16 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

17 - Pancake Breakfast/Dinner - Ms Bastian 3:30 - 8 pm @ Cafeteria, BOG & CMS Gyms

18 - CMS Wrestling @ Mathews Invite - Island Lake 6:30 am - 4 pm @ Matthews Middle School

20 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

21 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

21 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

21 - CMS Wrestling vs Parkland 4 - 6:30 am

21 - CMS Girls Basketball vs Parkland 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS & PWE Gyms

22 - Athletic Pictures 2:45 - 5 pm @ Stage CMS

22 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

23 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

23 - CMS Girls Basketball 7th grade 4 - 6:30 pm @ Spring Grove Elementary

23 - CMS Girls Basketball 8th grade 4 - 6:30 pm @ Nippersink Middle School

24 - Student Council Winter Dance 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ CMS & PWE Gyms

25 - CMS 8th Grade Girls Basketball Round Robin Tourney 8 am - 4 pm @ CMS & PWE Gyms

25 - Solo & Ensemble Contest 8 am - 12 pm @ Northwood Middle School

27 - CMS 7 & 8 Girls Basketball vs Harvard 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS & PWE Gyms

27 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS Cafeteria

28 - CMS Girls Basketball vs McHenry 4 - 6:30 pm @ McHenry Middle School

28 - CMS Wrestling vs McHenry 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS Gyms

28 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

28 - Girls in Engineering 3:30 - 4:30 pm @ Innovation Studio

29 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

29 - Color Guard 6 - 8 pm @ CMS gym

30 - CMS Girls Basketball vs Johnsburg @ Johnsburg Junior High School

30 - Game Club 3:30 - 5:30 pm @ Bog and Innovation Studio

30 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

30 - CMS Wrestling vs Johnsburg 4 - 6:30 pm @ CMS Gyms

31 - Girls Intramural Basketball 3:45 - 5 pm @ CMS Gym

31 - CMS Girls 7 & 8 Basketball vs Johnsburg 4 - 6:30 pm - Place TBA

Creekside Middle School

Michael Wheatley, Principal

Francesca Favero, Asst. Principal

David Riesen, Dean of Students