Viking Newsletter

Jim Calabrese, Superintendent, Taft SD 90

September 18, 2022

Early Dismissal September 21, 2022

We have our first School Improvement Day on September 21st, 2022. Our school day will run from 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM. Our morning Kindergarten will attend school during their normal hours of 8:30 AM-11:10 AM. PM Kindergarten will NOT be in attendance that day. Staff will be working on our Strategic Plan in the afternoon.

Viking of the Week

Our student of the week was nominated by our new 3rd and 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Kelly! Congratulations to Anastasia Reimer! Anastasia is such a polite and enthusiastic student, I am so proud of her! Here is what Mrs. Kelly shared with me about Anastasia.

Anastasia is always ready to learn. She tries her best on all her work. She is helpful and a great example to all the students in the classroom. I know whenever I need something in class she will always be one of the first to volunteer. Anastasia is always willing to help a friend in need and is a great role model for her classmates. I am so happy to have her in my class and can’t wait to see all the great things she accomplishes this year!

Well done Anastasia! I am very proud of you!

Subject Level Focus

Our classroom spotlight finds us in junior high Science with Ms. Valentine! There is always a ton of fun things going on in science. Take a look at what Ms. Valentine shared with me.

Things are off to a great start in Science. Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing how scientists engage and interact with investigations and data. The past two weeks students learned how to use scientific tools for measuring in the metric system, and 6th- 8th graders designed and ran their own investigation to determine which household liquid cleans pennies most effectively. It has been so great to see them getting hands-on and active in the classroom. I'm looking forward to a great year!

Thanks for sharing, Ms. Valentine! Sounds like we are off to a great start.

Sports Update

The Viking’s baseball team had their regional semi-final game yesterday against South Wilmington. They ended a great season with a loss of 13 to 2. We are very proud of all of you. It was fun to see the growth throughout the year.

Girls Basketball Tryouts are here! They are on Monday 9/19 from 3:15-5:00. These tryouts are for 5th through 8th-grade girls for our 7th and 8th-grade teams. Contact Coach Howard with any questions.

Student Council

Are you looking to get involved, plan events, and raise money for Taft? If so, come to the student council general interest meeting on Monday, 9/16 after school in room 207. At the meeting, you will learn about the responsibilities of being on the student council and the events we are planning for this year. This meeting is for anyone in grades 5-8. See you there!

Basketball Registration - September 22nd

The Taft Parent's Athletic Association, which the Taft Education Foundation supports, will host sign-ups for all students in 3rd-6th grade who want to play organized basketball against other schools in our area. Registration will take place on September 22, 2022, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM in the school's main lobby.

Message from Mr. Davini

It was another great week at Taft! Coming home this week you should see your child’s AIMS Web and MAP scores along with a letter that explains the test and what we use it for. Our 5th-8th graders are also coming home with their Progress Reports. We would like those forms signed by a parent or guardian and sent back to your child’s homeroom teacher.

October Lunch Orders Due

Please make sure to get the October lunch orders into school by September 22. We truly appreciate everyone's help with this. Since our last communication, we have done a much better job of ensuring that we are not being wasteful with food or district resources by ensuring all students are ordering lunch. Please print out and return the attached form.

Election Information

We have received some questions about the upcoming election for our Board of Education. Please check out the button below for some information from the Illinois Association of School Boards.
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Snack Guidelines from Nurse McGraw

Each family should have received this letter regarding snacks in the classroom. We need to work together as a team to make sure all our students are safe! There is no obligation for any family to bring in treats or snacks for birthdays or holidays; bringing in any kind of snack is strictly on a volunteer basis.

Food allergies are common today for many school-aged children in the United States. With this in mind, we want to ensure a safe and healthy environment in our classrooms for all of our students. The following are basic guidelines that must be followed when sending edible food items to the school for distribution to the classroom. Be aware that there are multiple allergies in our school other than nut allergies that could impact your snack choice. It would be best if you called the school prior to bringing in any snacks and reviewing with the school nurse so we can work as a team to ensure the class will be safe with the snack you choose.

  • All food must be made and /or manufactured in the United States or Canada.

  • All food must be peanut nut/tree nut free and manufactured on a dedicated peanut/tree nut-free line.

  • Homemade food items are NOT allowed.

  • No treat bags unless you choose to fill bags with NON-FOOD items.

  • You may refer to the website to find appropriate snacks that may be acceptable for your child’s classroom.

  • All food /snacks and treats going to the classroom for any celebration ( i.e. birthdays and holidays) must be checked by the School Nurse before going to the classroom AND be individually wrapped AND in their original packaging.

For class parties, food items must be brought in at least 24 hours in advance to ensure adequate time to check all items before going to the classroom.

Physical and Immunization Information

The State of Illinois requires that all students MUST have an Illinois physical exam with up-to-date immunizations on file. Please see below and work with the office to complete these requirements as soon as possible.


  • Physical exam on an Illinois form within one year prior to the first day of school with updated immunizations. Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.

  • Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form completed and turned in by October 15, 2022.

  • Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.

2nd Grade:

  • Dental Exam on an Illinois Dental Exam form turned in by May 15, 2023.

6th Grade:

  • Physical Exam (Sports Physical form not acceptable) must be on the State of Illinois Certificate of Child Health Exam form and done within one year prior to the first day of school with up-to-date immunizations.

  • Must be turned in by October 15, 2022, to avoid EXCLUSION from school.

  • Dental exam on an Illinois Dental Exam Form Must be turned in by May 15, 2023.

New students enrolling in an Illinois School for the first time-Required regardless of grade level:

  • Physical Exam with up-to-date immunizations on an Illinois form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).

  • Vision Exam by an Eye Dr. on an Illinois Eye exam form (due within 30 days of enrollment to district).

New Messaging System

This is a reminder if you haven't done so already, to please opt into our new text messaging system by messaging "Start" to (855) 654-2632. The old system will be ending soon and if you have not opted-in then you will no longer receive important text messages.

TeacherEase Automatic Notifications

Please use the button below to access directions to set up/change notifications within your TeacherEase account. As we transition to our new messaging system it will be important for families to have this information to control their own TeacherEase accounts.

e-Learning Plan

We are in the process of completing all of the requirements to have an e-Learning Plan for the 2022-2023 school year. An e-Learning Plan can only be used for emergency days which are typically weather-related. Based on the school code they cannot be used for any emergency shuts downs due to COVID or other related emergencies.

Attached you will see our proposed e-Learning Plan that has been sent to the Regional Office of Education for their approval. We will be sending out more information within the next month or so to ensure we are prepared if an emergency day is needed. Over the past few years, we have decided to cancel school when necessary as early as possible to make sure everyone is as prepared as possible. We plan to continue this practice moving forward.


Taft is proud to have the “Stop It” program up and running for the 2021-2022 school year. Stop it is an online program that students can use to report bullying or any unsafe behavior while remaining anonymous. These reports come through to the Superintendent, Principal, and Social Worker via text so we can address the situation right away. This provides the student with an opportunity to share their concerns if they feel they cannot speak immediately to an adult.

We continue to teach our students to advocate for themselves in situations where they feel they can speak to a situation on their own. The students are reminded there are different approaches to stop bullying or unsafe situations outside of reporting things anonymously. Students are encouraged to share concerns with friends, staff, and family to learn to advocate for themselves. However, we understand that there are some situations where students may feel safer reporting discreetly.

If you have any questions regarding the Stop It program, please contact Mr. Davini or Mr. Calabrese.

STOPit Student Launch Video

School Calendar

9/18/22 - Girls Basketball Tryouts - 3:15 PM

9/20/22 - Girls Basketball Tryouts - 3:15 PM

9/21/22 - School Improvement Day - 11:30 AM Dismissal

9/22/22 - Bilingual Advisory Committee Meeting - 3:15 PM

9/22/22 - 3th - 6th Grade Basketball Registration - 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM - School Lobby

9/22/22 - Board of Education Meeting - 6:10 PM Budget Hearing - 6:15 PM Closed Session - 6:45 PM Regular Meeting

9/27/22 - Principal Coffee - 8:45 PM - School Library

9/27/22 - Principal Coffee - 2:30 PM - School Library

10/5/22 - Girls Basketball Game vs. Mongee - 4:15 PM

10/7/22 - Fall Picture Day

10/10/22 - No School