Wildcat Chat

Washington School: January Issue 2017

From the Desk of the Principal, Mrs. Daly

Dear Washington Families,

Let me take this opportunity to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year.

The month of January is filled with many opportunities for learning and community activities. I regularly see our parents visiting the school and helping with a variety of projects. Thank you for all that you do! Our first PTO Meeting of 2017 is on January 9th, which is the first Monday we return back to school.

Our students and teachers are working very hard to meet their individual learning goals in all curricular areas. Ask your student what learning goals they have set for themselves as well as some learning targets they are learning.

At Washington we are continuing to hold high expectations for the academic skills and knowledge your children need to be successful.

As you think about what you could do to support your child at home during winter break and throughout the whole year, here are some ideas: Remember to read to your children as often as you can and as long as you can. When you read to your children or when they read to you, have conversations with your children about what they are reading. Children are naturally curious about every day problems. Invite your children to figure out solutions to every day situations. You can do this by talking about the problem, asking your children for ways to solve it, and then asking how they came up with those solutions.

Over the years, our lunchroom and playground have been a concern of Washington parents who have felt that the lunch / recess experience has not always been a positive one for our students.

To be honest, I’ve always felt that our lunch supervisors have one of the toughest jobs in the entire building!

However, with that said, I’m very proud of many of the changes that have happened over the past year that have made the kids dining and play experiences better.

Our Assistant Principal, Ms. Lazor, has worked hard with our lunch supervisor staff to make some of the following changes:

- Inside recess is no longer in the hallways. The students enjoy time in the gym, playing games in the LRC or engage in activities/movies in the auditorium.

- The order of the lunchroom has changed to make things run smoother and transitions are more fluid.

- We have hired more supervisors, teachers and teaching assistants are also working in the lunchroom.

- Ms. Lazor has worked with the supervisors to build and maintain relationships with our students as well as how to use appropriate tone of voice when talking with our students.

If you have other suggestions for ways to make Washington’s lunch or recess programs stronger, please do not hesitate to contact me. My door is always open.

Please know that the cage is closed for students as we are in need of more parking. It is closed during the winter months as it has been in the past. I am working with the district to make it full time parking since we are pressed for spots for parents as well as staff members.

I have collaborated with the lunch staff as well as Ms. Lazor to see what activities there are for students to do during recess. There is adequate activities and equipment for students during lunch recess.

THANK YOU to all the generous families who participated in our Washington Cares Tree initiative. Due to your support, we were able to fulfill the holiday wishes of 10 Washington families (a total of 25 children). All children received items from their "need" as well as their "want" lists. We were also able to give each family gift cards to Jewel to assist in their holiday meals.

As in years past, when we notified you of your community's needs, you exceeded all expectations. It is a privilege to be associated with such caring individuals.

Thank you again for your ongoing support of our Washington Community.

I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. School is closed for two weeks beginning Friday December 23rd. Young children do best with regular schedules, and I encourage you to prepare for their return to school on Monday, January 9th by instilling in them an understanding about the importance of being rested and ready to learn.


Mrs. Daly

Washington School Security Survey

As you may know, Washington School is the first within District 64 to have a new secured vestibule and office area. We are interested to know more about your experiences so far this school year in using the school’s main entrance on Stewart Avenue since it was updated over the summer. Please take a few moments to complete a brief survey to share your thoughts. We will use the results in considering potential future enhancements in security at other District 64 schools.

The survey will remain open through Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Your responses are anonymous. ENTER THE SURVEY HERE

Thank you for your participation!

Washington Calendar of Events

Click here to view upcoming and planned events

Student Council Organizes and Classrooms Make Blankets for Lutheran General

Student Council is wrapping up its first service project. Every class took part in making fleece blankets to brighten the lives of patients at Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital. Over $600 was collected from Washington families to purchase fleece to make more than 30 blankets. The comforting blankets will be delivered to the hospital on Wednesday, December 21.

Thanks to all families, students, and staff members for participating in making a difference!

Calling All Young Authors!!!

District 64 Young Authors Guidelines

Are you an aspiring young author ready to share your work with others? The

Young Authors Contest is an independent, voluntary at-home project for

students interested in writing and publishing their work for others to read. One

winner from each grade level will be selected to represent District 64 at the Illinois

State Young Authors Conference in May 2017! See below for details.

● Maximum of two authors/illustrators per manuscript (must be in same grade & school).

Students can only collaborate on one manuscript.

● Written piece must be an original fiction short story —maximum 20 pages, no poetry, no

graphic novels, no nonfiction/informational text.

● Illustrations may be used to enhance the story.

● Content must be appropriate for peer audience.

● K-2 students may hand in a handwritten story.

○ Dictated books may be typed or handwritten by an adult, but the story must remain

in the student’s own language.

● 3 rd - 8 th grade students must hand in a typewritten manuscript.

● Students must complete their manuscripts without any teacher input.

● Manuscript must have a substantial cover (like a report cover) with 8 ½ x 11 paper

securely attached.

● Cover Page must include: Title, author’s name, grade level, school, homeroom number,

optional: illustration.

Manuscripts that do not meet these requirements will be returned to the

author .

Important Dates for 2017

December 22, 2016-- Guidelines shared in School Newsletters! It’s not to early to start writing!

Friday, February 10 —All manuscripts collected at the buildings.

Friday, March 3 —Winning building manuscripts (1 per grade level) delivered to district level


Week of March 13 —District winners are announced and invited to State Young Authors

Conference & May School Board meeting.

Wednesday, March 29 —District winners interested in participating in State Young Authors

Conference must submit registration forms.

*Saturday, May 20 —State Young Authors Conference at Illinois State University in

Bloomington-Normal, IL.

Monday, May 22 —D64 School Board Student Recognition.

Please contact your school’s Young Author Coordinator with any questions.

Washington: Ms. Kelly Amelse, kamelse@d64.org

District: Ms. Meghan Keefer, mkeefer@d64.org

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New Nurse at Washington School

We welcome our new nurse at Washington Elementary. Denise Tully comes to us from Roosevelt. She graduated from Valparaiso University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. She went to work as a Registered Nurse at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, working initially on the Hematology/Oncology unit and then in the Gynecologic Oncology outpatient clinic for a total of 15 years. She was then a stay-at-home mom until taking the Health Assistant position at Roosevelt School in 2008. Please give Mrs. Tully a warm welcome when you see her.

District Mission Statement

Inspire all students to discover their strengths, embrace learning, achieve personal excellence, and demonstrate care. Students thrive in a rich, rigorous, and innovative curriculum delivered by highly qualified teachers. Each student learns and grows in a safe, nurturing environment. In collaboration with student, parents, teachers and the community, District 64 provides opportunities for each learner to investigate, be successful, be resilient, and become inspired and empowered as they contribute to our global society.

Thank you ELF

Below is Washington's Innovation Fall 2016 video that was presented at the August Board Meeting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank ELF for their grant related to our 2nd grade classrooms 21st Century furniture. Above is a direct link to ELF's site for more information. The Casino Night on January 28 is the LARGEST fundraiser of the year for ELF, and all of you are welcome and encouraged to support this event that has benefitted innovation at Washington directly as well as the District overall. You can purchase tickets using the "early bird" discount through January 16.
Washington Innovation Fall 2016
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ELF's 10th Annual Casino Night


Don’t miss THE District 64 event of the year, D64 ELF Casino Night at Café La Cave! Saturday, January 28th, 6:30 – 11:30 pm. Full Buffet, Open Bar, Casino-style Gambling, Fantastic Auctions, and more. All proceeds benefit the District 64 ELF (Elementary Learning Foundation) and fund grants supporting innovative programming in D64 schools.

Tickets $100 until January 16, $125 thereafter. Purchase online at www.district64elf.org.

Last year this great fundraiser event allowed us to award the following grants:

  • Active Learning Environment Makeover, Lincoln School
  • 2nd Grade 21st Century Learning Environment, Washington School
  • Kindergarten Ready Set Work, All Elementary Schools
  • Portable PA System, Emerson School

Winter Break Family Activity

Winter break family activity:

Join District 64 experts for a guided conversation about helping children navigate online interactions
District 64's first Parent University podcast is on the web! The short presentation is designed as an opportunity for a family viewing and discussion to help students navigate the in's and out's of online interactions. The program is geared particularly for grades 3-8, although all parents may benefit. Students in this digital age have many types of interactions while online: positive, negative, friendly, hostile. A trio of District 64 experts -- Social Worker Linda Mirza (Roosevelt School), Psychologist Jocelyn Ortiz (Field/Roosevelt schools), and Instructional Technology Coach Beth Rihtar (Field School) -- discuss how we can teach children to cope with the actions of others as well as with their own reactions to a digital world. They also respond to questions students have submitted anonymously. View the "Take Care of You" podcast here!

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