Madison Memos

The Madison School Newsletter / January 22, 2016

Dear Madison Community Members,

It has been a very busy few weeks here at Madison Elementary and the last two Wednesday nights have served as a great opportunity to publicly share some of the great learning activities and future plans for our great school. On Wed., Jan. 13, we hosted the Board of Education meeting here at Madison.

Hosting the meeting gave our staff the opportunity to showcase our school and highlight some of the great new initiatives that benefit our students. We shared our Guidelines for Success program with the Board of Education, explaining how we focus on three terms: Respect, Responsibility, and Ready to Learn. We shared how we award a Madison Coin each trimester in each classroom and how we celebrate these students on our Wall of “Paw”sitive Behavior. During our presentation, we also showcased changes to our LLC with this video about our LLC FITlab and STEAM table. This and all Madison videos can be found on our school webpage under “Site Shortcuts”.

This past Wednesday night, District 200 hosted Community Engagement Session #3! It was a great chance for community members to get a look at concept architectural designs for fixing the physical needs of our buildings and renovating parts of our schools to better meet the needs of 21st Century learners. Parents who missed the event can stop by the Madison office or refer to the district Website to see possible designs for Madison School and Edison Middle School.

There is another new and exciting way that our students, staff, and parents can get the positive news about happenings at Madison out into our community! The Madison Mountain Lion Blog is up and actively telling the stories of new initiatives, funny stories, special events, and more! Using this 21st Century mode of storytelling, we encourage students and adults to think of and record an event for the whole world to read. Writers can click on the How To Share tab to get started.

Looking forward to some great writing,

Tim Callahan

Attend the Pancake Breakfast

Have breakfast with your Madison family at the annual Pancake Breakfast on Sat., Jan. 23 from 8:30-10:00 a.m. Madison staff will be making and serving pancakes. Don't forget the Book Swap. Bring your gently used books and swap them for new ones.

We are still in need of volunteers for both Friday set up and Saturday morning. When you send in your response please indicate if you would like to help with this fun event.

Questions? Contact Monica Fahey at

Reading Olympics: Be a Champion Reader!

Madison School’s 2016 reading incentive program begins Mon., Jan. 25 and ends Sun., Feb. 21. The goal for this four week reading challenge is to have students get in the habit of reading every night, learn about the Olympics and work toward and achieve goals. Reading with an adult or listening to stories on tape can also count toward your reading log.

Classes will be attending a Reading Olympics kick-off assembly to learn about this program and hear former Olympian race walker Debbi Sullivan’s presentation, “Believe It - Achieve It!

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Classes will be creating their own country to compete in the Reading Olympics.

At the conclusion of the program, students will receive medals based on the completion of their reading goals. Those students who win medals will participate in a Madison “Wacky” Olympic contest on Thurs., Mar. 3.

See the Reading Olympics Log for each grade level’s challenge and use the Log to record the number of minutes your child reads every day. Turn in the appropriate ring of the attached sheet when each goal is achieved! The final ring is due by Feb. 22.

Questions? Contact a member of the Reading Incentive Committee: Ms. Farmer, Mrs. Dern, Mrs. Schroeder, Mrs. Gatlin, Miss Clum, Mrs. Tomek, Mrs. Witnik or Mrs. Graham.

Winter Carnival coming soon

Mark your calendar! Madison's Winter Carnival is Feb. 5 from 5-8:30 p.m. The event includes food, carnival games, a cakewalk, face painting, and many raffle items.

Look for the Winter Carnival information that was sent home in your child’s backpack. The flyer will contain the information you need to pre-order your tickets and food, to sign-up to volunteer the night of the event, and to donate a raffle item and/or cake. You may also find the information online at Get ready for a great night of food, fun, and games!

Want to assist in the planning? Please email Suzie Weber at This fun night isn’t possible without the help of our parents.

Participate in Girls on the Run

Girls in 3rd, 4th, and 5th are eligible to participate in Girls on the Run, which is coming to Madison this spring. The program requires many parent volunteers to make it successful. I need parents to coach, co-coach and volunteer. The more coaches we have, the more girls can participate. Interested? More information? Contact Stephanie Brown at Registration will begin in February.

Spotlight on Miss Clum and Mrs. DeCraene

Miss Katie Clum was born and raised in Wheaton. She comes from a family of educators and she knew from an early age that she would be a teacher, too. Miss Clum is currently in her 7th year at Madison teaching first grade. Before coming to Madison, she was a reading aide at Johnson and a kindergarten teacher at Longfellow and Washington. She recently finished her Reading Master’s degree and is working on her ESL endorsement.

Miss Clum enjoys meeting and forming bonds with the children and their families. She finds that first graders make remarkable strides and progress over the duration of the school year. She believes in a firm foundation while providing a warm and nurturing safe place for students to learn. In her classroom she tries to instill positive values, behaviors, and character building.

In her free time, Miss Clum loves spending time with her family and friends. She enjoys being active outdoors, as well as baking and cooking.

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Mrs. Gretchen DeCraene teaches all vocal music classes at Madison. She also teaches at Weisbrook and Pleasant Hill. In total she teaches 1,100 students per week. The most joyful part of her job is singing with her students.

Mrs. DeCraene has taught some form of music for 24 years, but she has also taught PE, library skills, and junior high chorus. In addition to singing, she incorporates instruments. She and the other district music teachers recently applied for a grant and acquired Orff percussion instruments for her classroom.

Her favorite memories from year to year are the performances. That is the time that everyone pulls together a final cohesive product.

In her free time, Mrs. DeCraene enjoys tennis and staying active with sports. She is a cantor at her church and she is part of a rock band that performs at local venues and festivals in the summers.

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Join the Wheaton Warrenville Special Needs PTA

The Wheaton Warrenville Special Needs PTA is an association formed to provide resources and support for the parents, caregivers, students, and teachers of District 200. Our leadership are all parents of special needs children throughout the district. We believe that no one can better understand the unique challenges of working with and teaching a child with special needs than another parent of a special needs child.

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Special Education Resource Fair coming soon

Community Unit School District 200, is hosting our 6th Annual Special Education Resource Fair. The event will be targeting all individuals, parents, family members, and professionals who care for loved ones of any age with special needs in our community.

The event will be occurring Thurs., Mar. 10 from 6 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. This year families will be arriving at 6 p.m. to attend an informational speaker on topics pertaining to government benefits, special need trusts and guardianship, then will be provided an opportunity to gain information about local community agencies, services, and resources. Families are welcome to attend with their loved ones at Hubble Middle School (3S.600 Herrick Road, Warrenville, 60555) Door #1.

Questions? Please contact John Durachta, School Social Worker, Transition Program, Community Unit School District 200 at (630) 949-8850.

Missing Market Day? Schwan’s is coming!

Schwan’s provides high-quality foods such as hand-selected meats, wild-caught seafood, 100% Grade A vegetables and all natural fruits all conveniently delivered to your door!

Start clearing space in your freezer and look for more information next month. This incredible program will give 20% of proceeds directly to Madison PTA during the first month!

Group photo day coming soon

Color Portraits will be taking the following group photos for the 2015-2016 Madison Paw Prints school yearbook, on Thurs., Jan. 28 at 2:15 p.m. in the MPR:

•Orchestra (no instruments): 5th grade only

•Band (no instruments): 5th grade only

•Patrol (with belts): 5th grade only

•Madison School Outdoor Sign Changers: 5th grade only

•Chorus: 4th & 5th grade only

•Battle of the Books (with shirt): 4th & 5th grade only

•Math Club: 3rd, 4th & 5th grade only

•Chess Club (with shirt, if available): K-5th

•Before and After School Program: K-5th

•Reflections participants: K-5th

If your son or daughter belongs to any of the groups listed above, he or she is invited to be included in the group picture. An announcement will be made over the P.A. informing students when they need to leave class for the pictures. There will be no retakes.

Morning kindergarten students that wish to be included must arrive by 2:15 p.m. and be accompanied by a parent. Please sign in as a visitor in the office first. Any questions, please contact Dawn Draus ( or at Also, please advise if there are any other new groups or clubs that need to be included.

Make bookmarks, donate food

Join Madison Cares in the LLC on Mon., Jan. 25 from 12-1 p.m. during the recess portion of lunch. We will be making bookmarks and collecting “cold weather food” for the PRC in Wheaton. We will donate the bookmarks to the PRC for their reading room.

First through third grade, please bring canned soup and crackers. Fourth and fifth grade, please bring oatmeal or cereal.

Questions? Contact Shannon Klopfenstein at

Recycle Holiday Lights

The Go Green Club once again will be collecting old holiday lights for recycling. The collection box will be in the school office through Jan. 29, 2016.

This collection is in partnership with the City of Wheaton and Elgin Recycling ( The collection accepts incandescent and LED lights and extension cords in any condition. The lights will be collected and then stripped and recycled for their copper and plastic parts. No materials will be shipped overseas. Any questions please contact the Go Green Club at

Apply for a Special Education Teaching Assistant position

District 200 is still hiring Special Education Teaching Assistants for the 2015-2016 school year. Minimum starting pay rate is $11.51/hr. Interested individuals must submit an on-line application through the district website. To start an application individuals can go to the district website at – Employment Opportunities - (quick link on the left hand side of the page) - Support Staff - Teaching Assistant.

Put your donations to work for local families

Our district partners with Family Tree’s community voucher program. With every donation you make in the name of your CUSD 200 school, Family Tree donates vouchers to your school. Your social worker distributes these vouchers to families in need at your school, who then go to Family Tree and shop for FREE. Family Tree Resale's Wheaton store is located at 310 E. Geneva Road.

Order the Madison School yearbook

You can now place an order for the 2015-2016 Madison Paw Prints. A yearbook costs $17 and will be delivered to the student before the end of the school year.

Use the following link to order and pay with credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, or Discover) or check.

Please contact Dawn Draus at or 630-221-1514 with any questions.

Missing something? Check lost and found

Lost and Found is now located in the main office. There are many very nice clothing items, lunch boxes and light weight coats. As the weather becomes colder it fills with many more wonderful articles. Please stop by and check it out or encourage your child to look for missing items.

All items will be donated to Goodwill if not claimed.

Mark your calendar

The PTA offers both daytime and evening meetings to accommodate all of our members.

The noon meetings will be held in the music room and our evening meetings will be held in the LLC. Hope to see you there!

Feb. 18 at 12 p.m.

Mar. 17 at 12 p.m.
Apr. 21 at 7 p.m.
May 19 at 12 p.m. (new officer installation)

Save the dates

Click on the calendar on the Madison section of to view upcoming dates. See below for some highlights:

Jan. 23: Pancake breakfast

Jan. 25: Madison Cares

Jan. 28: Group picture day

Feb. 5: Winter Carnival

Feb. 12: Valentine's parties at 2:15 p.m.

Feb. 15: President's Day - No School

Feb. 18: PTA Meeting at noon

Mar. 2: Kindergarten Round-up 7 p.m.

Mar. 4: No School

Mar. 17: PTA Meeting at 12 p.m.

Mar. 25-Apr. 1: Spring Break

View the 2015-2016 school calendar here.