The Hawk

Holmes Elementary School - Week Ending - 10/5/2018

Leader in Me: Habit 1 - Be Proactive

This year each class will be exploring the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and how using the habits will help each of us to be Learners and Leaders.

This newsletter will provide you with more information about being proactive, as well as with ideas to use at home.

Habit 1: Be Proactive - You’re in Charge of Your Actions

Understanding the Habit

To be proactive means to take responsibility for your choices and behaviors.

Proactive says “I am a responsible person. I take initiative. I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods. I do not blame others for my wrong actions. I do the right thing without being asked, even when no one is looking.”

Future skills that can be learned by being proactive:

1. Develop motivation; take pride in work.

2. Act responsibly toward self, family, school, community, nation and the world.

3. Show initiative and entrepreneurism.

4. Use unique talents and abilities to their fullest.

5. Think about choices, be accountable and responsible for actions and results, and understand that choices affect others.

How to Practice Being Proactive at Home

Most of us react to a situation immediately, without taking time to think about the results of our actions. Part of being Proactive is being able to stop and think before we act. With your child, do some role-playing to practice the skill of stopping and thinking in different situations. Your goals in these role plays is to encourage your child to stop and think before reacting.

Following each, discuss how he/she handled the situation.

1. (In this role play, you should play the part of your child’s friend.) Say that you have a new best friend who lives close to your house and you don’t want to play with him or her anymore. Apologize and then wait for your child’s reaction.

2. (In this role play, you will be your child’s sibling.) Tell your child that you broke his/her favorite toy by accident. Tell him/her that you don’t think it’s a big deal because he/she has many toys.

3. (In this role play, you should play the part of your child and your child should play you.) Tell your child that you are “soooooo bored” and there is nothing fun to do. Complain that no one wants to play and that he/she (as a parent) needs to amuse you.

Older children begin to rely more and more on their friends. They can allow a rude comment by a friend to ruin their whole day, and are easily led into misbehavior by a peer group.

As a parent, it’s important to help your child understand the importance of taking responsibility for his or her own life and choices.

1. Make a pact with your child to together stop an unhealthy habit. Identify the habit you want to stop and choose a start date, an end date, and progress check-ins along the way. Explain to your child that research shows it takes 21- days to start a new habit or stop an old one, so it’s important not to get discouraged or give up too quickly.

2. Have a discussion with your child about the things he or she would be willing to stand up for in the face of peer pressure. Tell your child you don’t want him/her to tell you what he/she thinks you want to hear. You might try role-playing this so your child can be prepared to stand up to a friend or group, if needed.

“Some people make things happen, some watch things happen, while others wonder what has happened.” - Proverb

PBIS Update

Our schools PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) are in full swing and we believe in partnering with parents or guardians to find the most success. Our vision is to create a positive school environment for all children that is equitable, inclusive and focused on the whole child. You are your child’s first and best teacher and you are our number one team member in supporting this process. You lay the foundation for the education of your children’s mind, heart, body, and spirit. No matter what’s going on in your child’s school, you can help your child discover the best person within and prepare for a great life of contribution and service.

Please use the Second Step links that Mrs. Asgharzadeh has been sending via email to reinforce the skills your child is learning in school. Second Step is our Social Emotional Curriculum used in grades K-5 district-wide. Social Emotional Learning is the process through which children develop awareness and management of their emotions, set and achieve important personal and academic goals, use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships, and demonstrate decision making and responsible behaviors to achieve school and life success.

Some exciting things that are supporting our Positive School Environment here at Holmes:

  • Feathers - Students earn “Hawk Feathers” for excellent behaviors. When a teacher notices a student being a positive member of our community they will reward the student with a feather. Please ask your child about all the exciting opportunities with feathers.

  • PBIS Boosters - Students have already enjoyed two PBIS Booster assemblies where the entire school comes together for a community building assembly, reinforcing the positive behaviors and school-wide behavior expectations.

  • Hawks Nest - All students have their “Hawks Nest Family” that meets once a month. This year in Hawks Nests students will be learning the Leader in Me language.

  • Play Brigade - many of our 4th and 5th-grade students have taken on leadership roles and are supporting our Kindergarten and First-grade classes during recess and lunchtime as well as before and after school.

Together we can make a positive school environment for our Holmes Hawks!

Equity Policy

In April, the District 97 Board of Education began working with its Committee for Community Engagement to collect feedback on the draft of the district's equity policy. The board's policy committee is getting ready to update the draft using the input, ideas and suggestions that were submitted by students, staff, parents/guardians and community members during the past five months. However, before that occurs, the board wants to provide the community with one more opportunity to weigh in on the draft. Learn more

Finance Oversight and Review Committee

Reminder – District 97 is seeking two people from the community with backgrounds in finance, banking or accounting who are interested in serving on our Finance Oversight and Review Committee (FORC). Learn more about this opportunity

GTD Ad Hoc Committee

Reminder – The teaching and learning department is looking for dedicated individuals from the community who are interested in serving on the district's GTD (Gifted, Talented and Differentiation) Ad Hoc Advisory Committee. Learn more about this opportunity

Celebrate Holmes Staff

Families, have you noticed a Holmes teacher or staff member who deserves a compliment or a thank you? Has this person made a difference for your child? Please share the reason in a brief email to me ( so that we may recognize and thank them!


  • Indigenous People Day - No School - October 8
  • International Walk to School Day, October 10
  • Community PTO Meeting, Link-To-Learning, Leader in Me! -Oct 17, 8:15-9:45am
  • Race, Allyship and America to Me at Holmes School: Saturday, October 20 1:00 - 3:00
  • DINE OUT! Noodle's and Company - October 25, 4:00-8:00pm
  • Picture Retake Day - Monday, Oct 29
  • Trivia Night! - November 9, 7:00pm

Community Celebration-The Carnival was a success!

Many thanks to those of you who came out to the Holmes Fall Carnival this past weekend! For the second year running, admission was free and, despite the gloomy weather, over 500 people attended!

HUGE thanks to the volunteers: parents, teachers, school staff, custodians, students, and other community members who stepped in to help with preparations, games, inflatables, concessions, face painting, pictures, and clean-up.

Finally, we are grateful to our sponsors, Academia, Lively, Magical Minds, School of Rock and Sugarcup Trading for helping us ensure all families are able to enjoy the Carnival.

If you have any suggestions on how we can make PTO events like the Carnival more inclusive and welcoming of all families at Holmes (or anything else!) please contact Community Engagement Co-Chairs: Afshan Syed ( and Nicole Sumida (

1. Please join the Holmes Community for an important workshop entitled Race, Allyship and America to Me at Holmes School on Saturday, Oct 20 from 1:00 - 3:00. Cynthia Brito,VP of strategy for the DivCo leadership team and an accomplished community organizer in immigration, racial justice and youth advocacy, will conduct an interactive and action-oriented workshop that will center on issues of race and allyship in our school community. Learn why addressing equity and inclusion matters to all families and walk away with tools and knowledge that you can apply in your everyday life and at our Holmes Community. This workshop is free and babysitting will be provided.
2. First PTO Community Meeting on Wednesday, October 17 at 8:15 AM - 9:45 AM: Leader In Me! Please join us for our first PTO community meeting to learn more about our school’s implementation of Leader In Me! Holmes teachers will share with us the Leader in Me framework and the exciting changes happening at Holmes. Want to know more? Visit the Leader in Me website: We will also provide other PTO business and programming updates at this meeting. The coffee is on us!
3. Noodles and Co Dineout Thursday, October 25 from 4pm - 8pm. Tired of having to figure out dinner between school and work and soccer practice and trombone lessons and homework and ... well everything? Come join the Holmes community and support the PTO with a Dineout at Noodles and Co in River Forest, October 25th, 4pm-8pm. 25% of the cost of your dinner will be donated to the PTO. Flyers will come home in backpacks soon and are also available here and in the digital backpack.

We need your help!! Request for Donations and Volunteer opportunities:

1. Auction Donations Needed: Mark your calendar and grab your favorite sitter, Holmes PTO Trivia Night Fundraiser is set for November 9th and we need your help. If you or a business you are associated with can contribute to our new silent auction or to trivia prizing, we’d be very grateful. Items may include tickets, gift cards, packages/baskets, unique experiences, etc. Please complete this form. [link:] THANK YOU!!!
2. Do you want to help support our children’s math development? Number Hawks Tutoring Program is a new tutoring program this year at Holmes! It is a volunteer-based tutoring program for students in K-2. The goal for this program is to:1) Increase number sense; 2) Build mental math capabilities (fluency); and 3) Encourage flexibility, accuracy and efficiency in math. If you’d like to help students with math at the school, we are looking for parent volunteers to help. Tutoring will take place once a week, on Tuesdays, for 30 minutes per grade level. All parent volunteers must have a background check prior to volunteering (visit the D97 website on how to get a background check here). Questions? Email Ready to sign up and want scheduling details? Click here.
3. Library help! Do you want to help volunteer for our new Holmes Library? Contact Jennifer or sign up now by clicking Questions? Email Jenny Balsten at