Mr. Sheldon's Weekly Newsletter

Celebrations, Updates, & Reminders to Promote Communication

Principal Parent Newsletter 1-7-22

Educator Spotlight: Intermediate Music Department

This week I would like to highlight our music teachers, Ms. Souza, Ms. Andrews, Mr. Roth, and Ms. Little. They have worked tirelessly recently on recording the 4th grade concerts to share with families who cannot attend due to COVID restrictions. If you haven't already watched them, please make sure you do! This is a significant investment in time, not only preparing the students for success, but also navigating the art of video production to ensure that our families can see the artists that they are. Of course, all of our Music teachers are doing more than just their role as music teachers at our school when you also consider things like choir, musicals, SAIG groups, interventions, internal coverage, and more!

Reminders for Returning to School

Don't forget that there is no school for students on Monday, January 10th as it is a Teacher Institute day. School resumes with regularly scheduled hours on Tuesday, January 11th. Please make sure students come back to school with a fully charged computer, if they took it home prior to break! Finally, students need to have appropriate clothes, coats, and accessories for the weather. Please be sure to remind them that, although it might be okay outside of school, throwing snowballs is not allowed at school :-)

PBIS Challenges

On Tuesday, December 21st, our Fall PBIS Challenge winners got to ride to school in style! As you can see from the included pictures, one winner from each grade level got a chauffeured ride with Wiley and Principal Sheldon to school in a stretched, white limousine! These students remained infraction free for the challenge period. Our current Winter PBIS Challenge to remain referral free runs until January 21st! There will be three winners chosen to receive a golden ticket to be Principal for a Day! A full day of on site educational leadership activities is in the works for these lucky winners!

COVID Mitigations

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the recent uptick in COVID positivity that we are seeing locally and nationally. I understand and appreciate the anxiety that some of you may be feeling and have even reached out to share. I want to assure you that health and safety are my top priority.


As you may recall, I have a two year-old who is too young to be vaccinated and my wife is about to give birth (due date Feb 8th) to our second child very soon. Not just as a principal, but as a parent myself, I am exceedingly focused on making sure we take every possible precaution to avoid the spread of COVID. To that end, please ensure that your students are diligent in minding the 3Ws (Washing Hands, Watching their Distance, and Wearing a Mask). Please continue to make sure that students are wearing masks that fit and that they are worn with fidelity. We will be SHIELD testing as usual on Tuesday, January 11th. I promise that we will continue do everything we can to make our environment safe for learning during this difficult time. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns that you have about this or any other issue.

Principal Parent Newsletter 12-17-21

Educator Spotlight: Intermediate PE Department

We are so grateful for our Physical Education Department. These teachers- Jason Ahonen, Chris Dovichi, Roger Lass, Melissa Marcus, Elise Raquel, Heather Weideman, Wayne Howard, and Ken Burgess-are true exemplars of collaboration, creativity, and flexibility. This team works together on a daily basis sharing the gym space as they co-teach multiple classes at the same time. Beyond that, they work diligently to ensure that they use all of the space they can- inside and out of our building to keep students active, safe, and learning. This team also has to contend with many events that disrupt their teaching environment. From band concerts to the Holiday Shop and more, there are many times throughout the year when we crowd them out of their classrooms to take advantage of the size of the gym spaces. Finally, as many of you know, our PE teachers work together at entry and dismissal, primarily staffing the car line, but also outside for the buses too. As the weather has turned colder, darker, and wetter, their commitment is truly on display from morning till night. We are grateful for such fantastic team to support our students health and wellness.

Holiday Shop Success

We recently hosted the PTA Holiday Shop which was a rousing success. Based on the information shared at the most recent PTA meeting, the vast majority of the revenue this year came from Intermediate students and parents. We sincerely appreciate your generosity. Speaking of generosity, we also appreciate all of the volunteers who helped make this event such a success. Our PE team did a fantastic job ensuring that every student had a chance to shop. Students loved this event and I am sure you will be enjoying the items from this event in your home soon, if you aren't already!

Fourth Grade Music Concerts

The Music Teachers, Ann Souza, Andrea Little, Eileen Andrews, and Ron Roth worked hard to create a music concert video for each 4th Grade homeroom class. The teachers are so proud of the fantastic musicianship displayed by the students and are so excited to share the completed videos. If you are a parent of a 4th Grader, you will receive an email from your child's music teacher between Monday and Wednesday this week with a link to your child's video. The videos will also be posted in the students' music course in Schoology. Please take time to watch these amazing concerts with family and friends over Winter Break. Happy Holidays and Feliz Año Nuevo!

PICTURES FOR SENIORS

Thank you to Heather Rakosnik for Artwork for Seniors. Over 300 pictures were created for our seniors in the community and will hand them out to local senior centers. The Lake County Queens will pass them out at the Gurnee Memory Care home. We sincerely appreciate Ms. Rakosnik going the extra mile to deliver these items to these local facilities.

Food Drive

Thank you to everyone who has donated food, funds, and fun (toys) to our charity drives the past few weeks. Our main office was filled with books, food, and toys for tots over the last couple of weeks and was a testament to the kindness of our community.

Extracurriculuar Corner: Crochet, Musical, and more

Crochet: Please check out the following links for more opportunities to participate in our Crochet extracurricular activity. We appreciate Ms. Moore for continuing to offer this activity thorughout the school year thus far. Crochet Crafters Google Form & Flyer.


Musical: This past Friday, the cast of our musical, "Into the Woods, Jr." was announced. We had 140 students audition for 40 parts. It was a very competitive process. We are proud of those that have been selected, but want to reassure those who were not that there are many more exciting opportunities to perform in the near future.


Looking ahead!: Stay tuned to our school communications for more information about the next session of Choir and also our spring play auditions!

Short Week, Short Day, Winter Parties, and Well Wishes

Please remember that this coming week is shorter with students attending only Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Furthermore, Wednesday is a shortened day with dismissal at 2:45 pm. Finally, Wednesday, December 22nd is the day our teachers will host their winter parties. Recall that these events are craft-based and do not include any food items for health and safety reasons.


I sincerely hope that everyone has a wonderful, relaxing, and safe holiday season. We ask you to continue to exercise caution with respect to COVID. The last three weeks have shown both the highs and lows of our progress with the pandemic at school. The past two weeks have seen some our lowest totals since the start of the year. However, the week after Thanksgiving, we saw the highest SHIELD testing total of the year. This was no doubt due, in part, to the increased travel and socializing of the break. I ask you to keep that in mind over the next two weeks which may include similar levels, if not higher, of travel and close quarters socializing. Please continue to encourage your students to wash their hands, wear masks, and watch their distance. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 12-3-21

Educator Spotlight: Heather Rakosnik

Ms. Rakosnik has been an incredible team member these past few weeks. From organizing a community service project with notes/artwork for senior citizens, tutoring remote students, and even stepping into classrooms on the fly, she has found ways both big and small to help our school community the last few weeks. Thank you Heather for all that you do!

4th & 5th Grade Musical Auditions: Into the Woods, Jr.

We are so blessed and lucky to have a such a creative and talented staff, including Andrea Little and April Cooksey, who are bringing you this year's 4th & 5th grade musical: Into the Woods, Jr.! Please see the included information packet regarding auditions which are scheduled December 13th-15th. In order to audition, students will need to have a completed permission slip which is part of the packet or it can be completed by following this link. Paper copies will be available to students in-person at school, too. Please be sure to review all of the information included in this packet to make sure you are informed about the commitment and expectations this activity involves. We know that this will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the arts and showcase ours students' talents.

Into the Woods Musical Audition Packet.pdf

Holiday Helpers Donation Week

The week of December 6 - December 10, 2021 Woodland Intermediate students are invited to dress up each day to celebrate helping others and winter holidays. We will also be collecting donations for our district-wide food drive. You can see all of the details of this week's events by clicking here. Your donation will go toward purchasing food and other needed items for Woodland families. Please use this link to donate. If you would like to receive a food package or would like to nominate a family who may need additional support this winter, Please use this form.

Winter PBIS Challenge

We raffled off limo rides to our three winners of the Fall Challenge. Additionally, students are wearing their golden tassels with pride. Now we have a new challenge! The winter PBIS challenge, which will run from this past week through to the end of 2nd Quarter (January 21st). Students are referral-free, majors or minors this time, will be eligible for a new raffle prize. This time the prize is being Principal for A Day!!! We will again have three winners and everyone who qualifies will get another tassel entitling them to more roar cash at the Roarazon Store. You can see my new video announcement about this new challenge below.
Golden Ticket

Holiday Shop

The PTA is beyond thrilled to announce the return of the annual HOLIDAY SHOP! All students are welcome to attend the Holiday Shop on Friday December 10th 6:00pm-8:00pm and/or Saturday December 11th 9:00am - 1:00pm. This the PTA Holiday Shop event will be held at Woodland Intermediate School in the East Gym. ALSO, all Intermediate students will have a chance to shop during their P.E. classes on 12/9 and 12/10! Not able to attend? No problem, there is an online option as well! Click here for more details.

Winter Map Testing

In the coming days and weeks prior to Winter break, students will be taking their next round of MAP tests, as well as some other progress monitoring assessments. Please see the included letter with more details and information about these assessments. These new data points will not only help us gauge the pace of our students’ academic growth, but also give us new information to help guide future instruction.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 11-19-21

Educator Spotlight: Emily Dorgan and January Muetz

This past week on Wednesday, November 17th, our band teachers, Ms. Emily Dorgan and January Muetz conducted our first in-person band concert with a live audience in two years! This beautiful, socially-distanced event showcased our students who, despite having only just begun to learn their instruments, demonstrated their hard work, perseverance, and teamwork. This event required not weeks of practice and preparation, but also ingenuity by our band teachers. This fall they utilized outdoor practices to ensure that safety remained our number one priority! We sincerely appreciate all their extra time, effort, and patience in preparing our students for success.

PBIS Fall Challenge Conclusion!

As your students may have told you, our Fall PBIS Challenge has officially come to an end. All students that ended the period of time from OCtober 18th through November 19th without a major referral will receive a golden tassel to signify their achievement. Furthermore, those individuals will be entered into a lottery for a limo ride to school. We will be double checking our records on Monday, November 22nd and distributing tassel’s and holding the lottery on Tuesday, November 23rd with the winners announced at the end of the day. There will be one winner for each grade level.

Woodland District 50 COVID Vaccine Clinic

Woodland D50 is excited to bring optional vaccination clinics to our younger students now that the COVID19 Vaccine has been approved for 5-11 year olds. This is welcome news for many of our families who have been waiting for this added layer of protection for your child(ren). This is also good news for our school community as it will continue to enhance overall safety in our schools as more of our population is vaccinated.


The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) optional vaccination clinics will be held at Woodland Elementary on the following dates. Two doses are necessary for this vaccine and they are given three weeks apart. Please schedule an appointment for the 1st and 2nd dose using the links below. The vaccine is free.



Please note:


A parent or legal guardian must be present to give consent for a child to receive this vaccine. We ask that only one adult attend if possible to limit the number of people, and to help with social distancing.


There are many options for getting the vaccine through local pharmacies and other health partners, so you do not need to wait for this clinic. We are only providing this opportunity because we want to make scheduling this important safety measure as easy as possible for our learning community. If you have questions about the vaccine, please consult with your child’s pediatrician.


Resources:

Centers for Disease Control (CDC): COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens

American Academy of Pediatrics: The Science Behind COVID-19 Parent FAQs

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH): Vaccination Information for Young People FAQs

Annual Holiday Food Drive

Woodland D50 is once again calling on staff and families to help support the Annual Holiday Food Drive. Last year we served more than 150 families and distributed more than 200 coats through Operation Warm.


The annual food drive is the district’s way of bringing our community together and providing additional support to Woodland families during the holiday season. With your help we hope to collect food and raise money to assemble food packages and other needed items for our families.


There are several ways to participate!

  • Food Donations: Bring in your donations to school, or drop off your donations at the district office. Follow this guide to see what is needed: English / Spanish
    Accepting Donations Now through Dec. 10!

  • Financial Donations: Your donation will go toward purchasing food and other needed items for Woodland families. Please use this link to donate.

  • Receive a Food Package: Woodland families are invited to self-register if they wish to receive a food basket, or you can nominate a deserving family who may need support. Register Here.

  • Book with an Educator, Dec. 6: Woodland staff members will read their favorite books virtually in support of the annual food drive! Join us for a relaxing night in your pajamas and cozy up for a good book. You can listen to a story from any of our volunteers, from all of the buildings. Learn more: English and Spanish


Thank you in advance for supporting the Annual Holiday Food Drive. When we all come together to lift each other up, we are demonstrating what it means to be part of #LifeintheW!

Lunch Cool Tool: Use the time to eat, Stay in your seat, Keep your area Neat!

As a school that supports the philosophy of Positive Behavior Intervention Systems, we believe that students are not innately good or bad kids. Rather, they make good or bad choices based on how well the expectations have been expressed and taught. Additionally, students will consistently make good choices when they are properly incentivized. To that end, you have seen us do videos about the bathroom expectations and our hallway expectations. We want every student to “stay in their seat, use the time to eat, and leave the area neat.” Not only will this ensure that students get adequate time to eat, but it will also help them to take responsibility as a member of the community for their immediate environment in the lunchroom. We provide two meals a day to almost 1200 students so we need our cafeteria systems to be strong and follow with fidelity.

Additional Space for 4/5 Grade Volleyball Intramurals: Mornings 8:15-9:00am

To increase access to our very popular Volleyball Intramural program, we are adding a morning session from 8:15-9:00 am. If you are interested, please fill out this form 4/5 Grade Volleyball AM Interest Form. Paper copies will be available on Monday, 11/22. You only need to complete either the online or paper form, not both. Forms must be submitted by Dec. 1 9:00AM. There will be 48 additional spots for students. Preference will be given to those students who were not chosen in previous lotteries for volleyball, but had signed up. However, we ask everyone who is interested (including those who were previously not chosen) to fill out this form due to the different timing of these sessions which will be December 6, 7, 9, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21 at 8:15-9:00 AM in the West Gym.

Change in Winter Party Date

We are making a change to our internal calendar and moving our Winter Class Party from December 17th to December 22nd. Given that it is a shorter day, holding the party on this day is less disruptive to student learning. Furthermore, the day before a long break is the perfect time to celebrate!

SHIELD testing for Thanksgiving Week

Given the shortened daily schedule, we will not be conducting a full round of SHIELD testing this week. Rather, only students who need to test due to observed symptoms or our “Test to Stay” protocol will be tested on Tuesday, November 23rd.


We hope that everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving Break by continuing to observe the 3W's-washing hands, wearing masks, and watching your distance-to help keep COVID from spreading during the holiday season.

Thanksgiving Week Tech Support

As the Thanksgiving Break approaches, we wanted to let you know of a a temporary change of support due to staffing on Tuesday, November 23rd. As you may know, when a student has a broken computer and/or forgets it at home, the Wildcat Rescue Center (our name for the tech’s department’s office in our Libary Resource Center) will issue the student a loaner computer for the day while they work on the computer. However there will be no loaners given out on Tuesday the 23rd. Monday the 22nd is the last day for daily loaners. We will still be open to trouble-shooting any Chromebook issues on both days for students to ensure they have technology to use while at school.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 11-12-21

Educator Spotlight: Pam Valkenaar

Pam Valkenaar is one of our math specialists at Intermediate; however, this doesn't even begin to describe her contributions to our school community. This year she is on of our Internal/External team leaders in the district too. That means that she brings her creative energies and enthusiasm to bear upon events that bring together our school community both inside and outside of the four walls of our school building. This was on full display this week with the events related to Veterans Day on Thursday, November 11th. Pam put together a detailed, choreographed plan for a beautiful ceremony outside in the garden behind our school. However, the weather did not cooperate! Pam was not deterred and rose to the occasion by quickly reorganizing things to make the best of a difficult situation. As a result, we had a wonderful, live-streamed event featuring our students talents as writers, speakers, and singers. Pam would be the first to recognize all the other people who had a hand in executing the events this week inlcuding Andrea Little, Ron Roth, Natalie Housch, Jen Baker, Kelly Shiffer, and Jen Lubkeman, among others. Nevertheless, I am sure that all of them would agree with me that Pam's organization, can-do attitude, and perseverance deserve special recognition for the events this week.

Veterans Day Ceremony

As mentioned above, we held an indoors Veterans Day ceremony due to the rain on Thursday. The students and staff did an amazing job on such short notice. We were thrilled to have to have more than 50 veterans and family members join us via livestream. However, to ensure that everyone has a chance to view the event, please enjoy the video posted below.
Intermediate Veterans Day Honor Ceremony

Conferences & Report Cards

As you may know already, report cards are available via Skyward and conferences are just around the corner on November 21st and 22nd. For those that need technical assistance with accessing report cards via skyward, please consult these directions for Skyward Access. Additionally, click on the included images below to see the specific location to click on for access to students' grades and additional clarifying directions for reading the report.


For conferences, we know that the time is relatively short for conversations with teachers. We ask that, to make the most of this time, only those individuals who will be taking part in the conferences attend. Also, please be respectful of other parents & guardians by being on-time to start and end these conferences. Communication is a process, not an event. If more time is needed, a follow-up conversation with the teacher can be arranged at a later date.

Cafeteria Procedures Video Coming Soon...

As you may have heard already, we reorganized our cafeteria and MPR spaces to better maintain fidelity to our 6 feet distancing between students. There is one leg that is taped that is placed in the middle of the dot to ensure 6 foot spacing. We will be working with students to ensure fidelity to expectations relative to their behavior, noise levels, and cleanliness next week in detail. One of the steps will be ensuring that after a student finishes their meal, they check that the taped leg is in the center of the dot for the next lunch period. I have included pictures to illustrate this idea. This is one of the ways that we continue to safeguard our students health- all the desks face in the same direction and are 6 feet apart.

Annual Holiday Food Drive

Woodland D50 is once again calling on staff and families to help support the Annual Holiday Food Drive. Last year we served more than 150 families and distributed more than 200 coats through Operation Warm.


The annual food drive is the district’s way of bringing our community together and providing additional support to Woodland families during the holiday season. With your help we hope to collect food and raise money to assemble food packages and other needed items for our families.


There are several ways to participate!

  • Food Donations: Bring in your donations to school, or drop off your donations at the district office. Accepting Donations Now through Dec. 10! Follow this guide to see what is needed: English / Spanish

  • Financial Donations: Your donation will go toward purchasing food and other needed items for Woodland families. Please use this link to donate.

  • Receive a Food Package: Woodland families are invited to self-register if they wish to receive a food basket, or you can nominate a deserving family who may need support. Register Here.


Thank you in advance for supporting the Annual Holiday Food Drive. When we all come together to lift each other up, we are demonstrating what it means to be part of #LifeintheW!


Questions: Please contact Yuliana Yucus at yyucus@dist50.net or (847) 596-5635.

PTA Updates

Signature Chocolate Fundraiser Pick Up - The pickup event for the Signature Chocolate Fundraiser Orders and Prizes will be on Friday 11/12 6-8pm and Saturday 11/13 8am-12pm at the Middle School. For more info, click here.


Spirit Wear - Final Days to get your Spirit Wear, the online shop must close on 11/14. https://woodlandwildcats.itemorder.com/ November PTA Meeting - Thursday 11/18 at 9:30 via Zoom. Register here to attend.


Good Night, Sleep Tight - Our very popular FREE family event will be returning via Zoom on Friday 11/19 at 6:30pm. Registration is required. For more info and registration link, click here.

Principal Parent NEwsletter Update 11-5-21

Educator Spotlight: Tina Jurkacek

Tina Jurkacek is one of our social workers at Woodland Intermediate. She does a fantasic job looking after the emotional welfare of our students and also supports students with behavior plans. Furthermore, she is an invaluable resource and colleague for teachers who need support with the Second Step Curriculum and strategies to use to help build coping skills in our students. Finally, she has been and continues to be incredibly generous with her time after school. Not only did she sponsor cross country this fall, but now she is also sponsoring volleyball during our intramurals program. Thank you Ms. Jurkacek for all that you do!

Intramurals: 4th Grade Volleyball

Speaking of Volleyball and Intramurals, we are excited to share with your our 4th Grade Volleyball Interest Form. This link is open and will be accepting entries until Friday, November 12th at 9am. We will also make paper copies available on Monday. We will hold a lottery to determine who is selected if we have more interest than we can accommodate. For more information, please check out this Volleyball flyer.

Feedback on our Drills

As you know from my prior newsletter and note home this past week, on Friday, November 5th, we conducted two safety drills. First, we conducted our lockdown drill with the Gurnee Police Department. I am happy to report that this went smoothly and we received high marks and specific praise for our communication, compliance, and conduct during this incredibly important drill. Second, we conducted a severe weather/tornado drill. We focused on the protocol and body position for this drill so as to avoid crowding in the hallways during this era of social distancing. Our students and staff conducted themselves admirably and this drill was also successful in enhancing our overall safety and preparedness. As the year continues, we will revisit these drills and more to ensure that we are prepared for any and all contingencies to greatest extent possible.


I sincerely encourage you to speak with your students about safety in school during an emergency and to debrief these drills, especially the lockdown drill. In this instance, we conducted a "soft" lockdown which would be utilized to guard against either an external threat or an internal emergency. The internal emergency is the contingency that many forget when thinking about such a drill. For example, if someone suffered a heart attack in the hallway, we would go into a soft lockdown. This would help to ensure that students are safe and school could continue while emergency personnel would be able to get through the hallways quickly and safely. While the worst events often make the news, these drills are not just for those moments which are fortunately very rare statistically speaking.

Technology Check-In & Out

Please make sure students bring any and all technology they have been using for school every day for the next two weeks. Our technology department is conducting an inventory of all items, including those distributed during the pandemic remote learning period. Some of those devices were issued and kept by students to make the transition from and to in-person learning as seamless as possible. This week all 4th and 5th graders will be having their devices and power cords checked by the technology department. Any that are broken, damaged, or need to be updated, will be exchanged for items in good working order.

Salute to Service Week! November 8-12

As you know, this Thursday is Veterans Day. We appreciate those who have served and are serving in America's Armed Forces. To that end, we have established a week-long "Salute to Service" to celebrate their contributions to our community. Please read this flyer about the week's events. We sincerely appreciate the incredible preparations that have made for our Salute to Service Week by our internal/external team leaders, Pam Valkenaar and Jennifer Baker.

Donations for Conference Dinners

In an effort to express our appreciation to our hard-working staff, the Intermediate School will be hosting two dinners for staff members that coincide with the nights of Parent Teacher Conferences. One will be held in November and the other will follow in March. We are requesting your support for these dinners.


This year, we are asking for donations to pay for the dinners. We will be providing a catered main course for the entire Intermediate staff, supported by your donated salads and desserts. If you choose to send a donation, we ask that you send cash or check made out to Woodland Intermediate School. Please send the donation in an envelope marked, Staff Conference Dinner, no later than Friday, November 12th. We will collect money one time only for both events. In order to plan appropriately, if you wish to make a dish or dessert, please bring it to school on the day you selected below.


Thank you in advance, for making these dinners very special for our well-deserving, dedicated staff. Again, please return your donation and/or completed form no later than Friday, November 12th. If you have any questions, you may call Michelle Mallari @ (847) 596-5909.


Please also see the included flyer for more details

In the coming weeks, stay tuned for about the.....

Canned Food Drive! The district is planning a district-wide effort with collections at each school. More details to come!


PTA Holiday Shop at Intermediate! Dates have been set- December 8th-10th. More information will be coming soon!

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 10-29-21

Educator Spotlight: Denice Cocom & Amy Werner

To follow on from showcasing Mrs. Kaiser last Friday, I wanted to highlight two engaging, thoughtful, and timely projects from two other teachers. See the pictures below!


Denice Cocom been teaching our students about the beautiful ofrenda for Día de los muertos/the Day of the Dead that Denice Cocom has been working on with our students. The students have been learning about the symbolism and traditions while adding to the ofrenda. Some of our students celebrate with their families and others don’t, but all are having the opportunity to learn in a meaningful way about this tradition. Students are also bringing photos and other things from home if they and their families so choose, so it’s been a nice way to connect with families and affirm respect and understanding for this tradition that many of our families celebrate.


Amy Werner taught character traits and analyzed characters in "Pedro's Journal", their latest Language Arts story. She extended learning by having students do an activity about a character in their independent reading books. Students had to turn a pumpkin into a book character last week. They had 10 days to complete this project and their creativity is astounding. This activity supports the Common Core standard RL.5.3 Compare and contrast two or characters, settings, or events in a story, drawing on specific details from the text

Reminders: Halloween Safety & Conferences

If you plan to celebrate Halloween, here are some helpful health and safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics. We hope that you and your family are able to enjoy festivities safely. We know that this is often a very social time for our students. We appreciate your attention to masking, hand washing, and social distancing this weekend. Although COVID cases are on the decline in our state, we want to make sure it stays that way.


Make sure you have connected with your student's teachers for conference times on either November 22nd or 23rd. Additionally, in the near future, to help support what is a very long day for our teachers, we will be reaching out for donations for a nice dinner on Monday, November 22nd. We appreciate any amount that you are willing to contribute towards this gesture of appreciation for our teaching staff.

Bathroom Expectations Quick, Quiet, & Clean New Video!!!

Quick, Quiet, & Clean
As you know, we are a PBIS school. As such, we believe all behavior is the result of student choices that children make. One important factor that influences a student's ability to make a good choice or the right choice is clear expectations. Clear expectations are essential to let students know, in detail what a good choice looks like. To that end, I have enlisted a few students, nominated by their teacher for their outstanding behavior, to help me with my latest video, "Quick, Quiet, & Clean" or motto for what a trip to the restroom should be. To be clear, we are not talking about anyone's private business during a restroom break. Rather, the expecations are about the amount of time outside of class (Quick), not socializing during this break (Quiet), and leaving the restroom the way we found it (Clean). Please take a few minutes to watch to help reinforce these expectations for our students when they are at school and need to use the restroom.

IMPORTANT PTA INFORMATION

The PTA has a lot going on in the month ahead. Please take a look at their newsletter and also their brand new online spirit wear store! One part I would like to highlight is at the bottom of the newsletter; however, it puts Intermediate at the top of the district! This might be a little boastful, but I am so grateful for your generosity with the Scholastic Book Fair. I just have to excerpt those details here (admittedly, I did do the bolding and underlining 😁):


"This year’s fall book fairs were successful. Primary

and Elementary book fairs were online. Primary

earned $155 in Scholastic Dollars, Elementary

East earned $221 in Scholastic Dollars and

Elementary West earned $302 in Scholastic

Dollars. The Intermediate book fair was in person

and had total sales of $18,990, earning $4,300

in profi t and $416 in scholastic Dollars."

Safety in Focus: Tornado & Lock Down Drill Friday, November 5th

Friday is a half day which means we do not have lunch nor recess. Furthermore, we have to have an abbreviated schedule throughout the day for all subjects. Since this day's learning is already disrupted, we are going to use this half day to focus on safety as well.


As you know, schools are legally required to conduct a variety of safety drills throughout the year to increase preparedness for any type of emergency. For example, we have already conducted one fire drill this year. On Friday, we are going to conduct two drills during the day. One of the drills is a Tornado Drill. For this drill students get away from windows, kneel down facing the wall, and cover their heads. This is safest position in the event of severe weather, such as a tornado. We plan to conduct this drill at 11:30 am.


The other drill that we will be doing is a Lock Down Drill at 10 am on Friday November 5th with the assistance of the Gurnee Police. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, such a drill is a necessary and legally required precaution. We recognize that this drill stands out from the our other drills in many ways and we want to assure you that we are cognizant of the social emotional needs of students. Please read this letter about information related to opting out of this drill, if you so choose in favor a different safety presentation.


I want to specify how this "soft" lock down drill will run because it varies across the United States. Over the loud speaker we will announce the lock down drill. Students, teachers, and staff will be asked to enter the nearest class, if they are not already in one, and ensure doors are locked. Due to COVID and the lesser demands of a soft lock down, students will not be hiding from view. Rather, the expectation is that school continues; however, there will be a short time where we do not want students to be in the hallways. After a couple of minutes (to allow administrators and the police to walk the building to see how things are going), we will call the "all clear" and the drill will end.


I want to be clear that we anticipate only ONE police officer in the building during this drill. Also, there are NO simulations of an active shooter or any other type of threat. This is also NOT a situation where the police are practicing their response within our building.


We recognize that regardless of how such a drill is structured, even the thought of such an event in our school is difficult to comprehend. I urge you to talk with your children in your own way about this drill to ensure they are prepared. I am including this link with some additional resources you might find helpful to reference when having such a conversation. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 10-22-21

Fall Fest Parties

This past Friday, October 22, our students engaged in a seasonally themed craft during a Fall Fest party in their homeroom. Additionally, some students and staff dressed up in costumes. I want to sincerely thank all of our families who abided by our costume guidelines. I am not aware of a single issue relative to costumes being either disruptive nor inappropriate. Rather, students were decked out in creative, school-appropriate costumes that brought smiles to everyone's faces throughout the day. I have added some photos to our newsletter to give you an peek at Fall Fest Festivities!

Clubs and Intramurals

We have added a Clubs/Intramurals page to our external, public-facing website. We will continue to update and add to this page to provide parents and students with all of the information we have on these opportunities. We continue to look for new and different opportunities for students before and after school to engage in positive social interactions and engaging experiences. We are looking forward to two new activities that will be available for sign-up soon: Volleyball & Crochet! To increase the equity of sign-ups, we will have a two-step process. First, anyone will be able to indicate their interest on either a paper form or a google form. Then once we have all of the names of everyone who is interested, if there are people than spaces, we will have a lottery to determine who is able to participate. This will help make sure that, regardless of scheduling or internet access, everyone has the same chance of being enrolled in the activity. Sign-up forms for both activities will be coming home in the next few days.

Awesome STEM Activity from Ms. Kaiser's Class

Students in Ms. Kaiser's class dissected squids! This activity is part of our Plant and Animal Structure Unit in science. The students previously read about squid and their internal and external structures. During dissection, the kids had diagrams to assist them in identifying external and internal structures. Mr. Rejczyk and and one of his students also joined Ms. Kaiser's class for the activity. This STEM activity was aligned with the common core standard: LS1.A: Structure and Function: Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. (4-LS1-1). Many other classes and grades will be doing similar dissections in the coming days and weeks! This is just one of the great hands-on learning activities that makes learning engaging and fun at Woodland Itermediate.

Red Ribbon Week! Don't Forget!!!

During the week of October 25-29, Woodland Intermediate will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week with a spirit week focused on Healthy Lifestyle choices! Spirit Week fliers will be sent home with students next week. We will also have our first Intermediate Family Fundraiser night- mark those calendars and come on out to Red Robin for dinner on Wednesday October 27th 5- 9 pm. They will donate 20% of sales to our Intermediate PBIS Fund!

Veterans' Day Reminder

November is a time to honor our Veterans and active duty military personnel. Here at Intermediate we will celebrate these hometown heroes the week of November 8-12, 2021. Students and families will be invited to participate in a variety of ways. One of these is our 'Hallway of Heroes'. We are inviting our Woodland Intermediate families to send in a picture (5x7 or smaller) of a Veteran that is special to your student and/or family, on the 'Hallway of Heroes' flier that will be sent home next week. If you have more than one Veteran you would like to share, feel free to send in more. Start looking for those photos now! Students can share the picture with their teacher and then we will post these pictures in the main entranceway at Intermediate as a way for us to honor the bravery of all of our heroes. NOTE: You may not receive these pictures back, so please send in a COPY. If you do not have a printer, please have your student complete the Hallway of Heroes form, then email the picture to pvalkenaar@dist50.net. More information regarding our other Veterans Day events will be forthcoming as the date approaches.

Hot Lunch, Cold Weather, & Truck or Treat!

Starting this week, students will have a hot lunch option available every day. Additionally, we want to encourage you to send students with clothing items that will help them stay warm as the weather changes this fall. We will try to be outside for recess and PE whenever possible, including days when students would need sweaters, jackets, and coats, due to the additional safety this environment provides relative to COVID.


WSRA Trunk or Treat - The PTA will be participating in the WSRA Trunk or Treat event on Sunday 10/24. There will be two separate sessions: 1:00-2:00pm or 2:30-3:30pm. There is a small $2 fee per trick or treater and registration is required to attend. See link for more info. https://woodland50pta.memberhub.com/sends/2fd0e4fb-8fd4-41b0-aad1-3b8ca3bca98e/view/

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 10-15-21

PBIS Incentives

This past week the vast majority of our students received a freeze pop because they successfully went the prior week without an office referral (being talked to by an administrator about a poor behavioral choice).


This coming month, we have updated the challenge and the prizes! Please take a look at the video below to find out more details regarding our FALL PBIS Challenge running from Monday, October 18th through Friday, November 19th. Once again, we are challenging our students to make the best choices, but the potential prizes (did someone say Limo Ride?!) have definitely created a buzz with our students already. Fortunately, we were able to get Tom Cruise to shoot the video for us- check it out!

PBIS Fall Incentive

PTA Updates and Reminders

Signature Chocolate Fundraiser - Order Forms were due back at school on Friday 10/15. Online sales will stay open through 10/18. If you forgot to bring your order form to school we can accept them on Monday 10/18. Thanks for your support!


WSRA Trunk or Treat - The PTA will be participating in the WSRA Trunk or Treat event on Sunday 10/24. There will be two separate sessions: 1:00-2:00pm or 2:30-3:30pm. There is a small $2 fee per trick or treater and registration is required to attend. See link for more info. https://woodland50pta.memberhub.com/sends/2fd0e4fb-8fd4-41b0-aad1-3b8ca3bca98e/view/

Fall Fest Reminders

Students will be participating in grade-level specific crafts as part of the Fall Fest parties this Friday, October 22nd. Each teacher will be facilitating their own parties at some point during their day when all students are able to participate.


Please recall that while students are able to where costumes that day, we have strict guidelines relative to what is permissible at school.


  • Costumes must be worn over regular school clothes, in case the costume needs to be removed.

  • Costumes must be worn to school. Teachers and staff will not be able to assist students with their costumes.

  • No costume masks will be allowed as we need to ensure students are wearing appropriate face coverings over their mouth and nose at all times.

  • No weapons, real or look-a-like, are ever allowed in school. Costumes are no exceptions. This includes items that are presumably easily identifiable as look alike, including colorful squirt guns. Nor will students be able to use costume accessories in inappropriate ways. For example, magic wands will be confiscated if they are used to poke, prod, or hit other students.

  • No blood, gore, or simulated injuries are allowed.

  • If a costume becomes disruptive to the educational environment such that instruction is interrupted, we will ask that students change out of their costume, even if it meets all of the guidelines above.

  • Students will be asked to remove any part of or all of their costume in order to ensure compliance with all of the guidelines listed.

  • Face paint and dyed hair is permissible provided it complies with all of the guidelines stated above. Students will not be permitted to go to the bathroom to either put on nor touch up any face paint nor hair dye during the day.


We understand that dressing up for many is part of the fun of the season. However, at school, we need to not only guard against the pandemic, but also take into account trauma-informed practices. For many of our students, depictions of violence are all too reminiscent of difficult moments in their lives. Additionally, in this era of shootings such as the one in Arlington, Texas recently, we must be forever vigilant that schools are never a place where any form of violence is acceptable. We believe these guidelines are in keeping with those ideals. Furthermore, students will have a further opportunity to dress up at home with your own family’s guidelines on Sunday, October 31st, if you so choose.

Red Ribbon Week!

During the week of October 25-29, Woodland Intermediate will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week with a spirit week focused on Healthy Lifestyle choices! Spirit Week fliers will be sent home with students next week. We will also have our first Intermediate Family Fundraiser night- mark those calendars and come on out to Red Robin for dinner on Wednesday October 27th 5- 9 pm. They will donate 20% of sales to our Intermediate PBIS Fund!

Veterans' Day

November is a time to honor our Veterans and active duty military personnel. Here at Intermediate we will celebrate these hometown heroes the week of November 8-12, 2021. Students and families will be invited to participate in a variety of ways. One of these is our 'Hallway of Heroes'. We are inviting our Woodland Intermediate families to send in a picture (5x7 or smaller) of a Veteran that is special to your student and/or family, on the 'Hallway of Heroes' flier that will be sent home next week. If you have more than one Veteran you would like to share, feel free to send in more. Start looking for those photos now! Students can share the picture with their teacher and then we will post these pictures in the main entranceway at Intermediate as a way for us to honor the bravery of all of our heroes. NOTE: You may not receive these pictures back, so please send in a COPY. If you do not have a printer, please have your student complete the Hallway of Heroes form, then email the picture to pvalkenaar@dist50.net. More information regarding our other Veterans Day events will be forthcoming as the date approaches.

Intramurals Updates

Our intramurals/clubs programming, including Choir, Arts & Crafts, and Cross Country were quickly oversubscribed when we opened registration. We will continue to recruit sponsors to help expand not only the number of spots in these activities, but also increase our offerings overall.


Earlier this week we provided additional information and directions for the pick-up and drop-off routines for Intramurals and clubs. I am including this information again here so that we can have the safest routine as possible. We appreciate that there may be some delay as students and parents learn this new routine; however, we want to make sure that everyone is safe during these moments of traffic in front of the school.


Choir begins on October 20th this week. Due to the overwhelming interest in this activity (we had 50 sign-ups in less than 45 minutes), we are including a Choir Interest Form. Please fill out this form if you are interested in choir and were not able to sign-up. Our Choir sponsors, Ann Souza and Ron Roth will reach out to these families with future choir opportunities, including additional sessions and openings.

Adapted PE Peer Buddy Program

The Dual 5th grade lunch and recess schedule coordinates with our Adapted P.E. time. On a rotation schedule, 5th grade students from the Dual 5th classrooms will be invited to join our Adapted P.E. class as Peer Buddies during their recess period 12:40 - 1:10. The Peer buddies will join our students with disabilities in our P.E. class. The peer buddies will be partnered with a student in our Adapted P.E. class and assist with participation in all class activities. The 5th grade peer buddy will be provided information about the Peer Buddy Adapted P.E. class. We will discuss responsibilities, expectations of behavior, and provide guidance to the peer buddies assisting our students. We hope to promote friendships, in our fun and active P.E. class for all who participate. If you have any questions please feel free to call or email Mrs. Weidemann or Mrs. Banks. Please see this included flier for more information and how to sign-up.


Unfortunately, due to student scheduling, this program is only available to 5th grade Dual students at this time. We will look for opportunities in the future for more students to be able to participate in this program

Principal PArent Newsletter Update 10-8-21

More Intramural Opportunities on the way!

Last week, we opened up intramurals on Monday for a craft opportunity and cross country. I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised that in a matter a few a hours both were at capacity. I also appreciate parents' feedback that we could improve the equity of our process by announcing when sign-ups will commence so that everyone has the same opportunity to plan ahead and sign-up.


To that end, I am happy to announce that our Intermediate Choir will have sign-ups open on Tuesday, October 12th at 6 pm. We will send out a google form link via email to all families. Choir will be available in a Fall and Spring Session. To ensure equity, if the we will work to ensure the maximum number of people are able to participate over the course of the year. In other words, if there are too many people to accommodate everyone in the fall, then we will only allow people who were not in the Fall session to be in the Spring session.


Choir will be from 8:15-9:00 am in the Multi-Purpose Room at Intermediate. It will be held on Wednesday Mornings. It will be held on the following Wednesdays, prior to Winter Break: Wednesdays 10/20, 10/27, 11/3, 11/10, 11/17, 12/1, 12/8, 12/15


The final session will be a performance that will be recorded to be shared with the entire school community. Please see the included flyer.https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Gm0xR2k4BB43P1Q1NOs3uupqcxPfAJOP/view?usp=sharing

Fall Fest Party October 22nd

As we have previously announced, our students will have homeroom-based Fall Fest Parties on Friday, October 22nd. These parties will not include parent volunteers or food due to the pandemic mitigation strategies in place. Teachers will facilitate the parties and they will be centered around a different craft at each grade-level. We will allow students to dress up on that day, provided they adhere to the following guidelines:


  • Costumes must be worn over regular school clothes, in case the costume needs to be removed.

  • Costumes must be worn to school. Teachers and staff will not be able to assist students with their costumes.

  • No costume masks will be allowed as we need to ensure students are wearing appropriate face coverings over their mouth and nose at all times.

  • No weapons, real or look-a-like, are ever allowed in school. Costumes are no exceptions. This includes items that are presumably easily identifiable as look alike, including colorful squirt guns. Nor will students be able to use costume accessories in inappropriate ways. For example, magic wands will be confiscated if they are used to poke, prod, or hit other students.

  • No blood, gore, or simulated injuries are allowed.

  • If a costume becomes disruptive to the educational environment such that instruction is interrupted, we will ask that students change out of their costume, even if it meets all of the guidelines above.

  • Students will be asked to remove any part of or all of their costume in order to ensure compliance with all of the guidelines listed.


We understand that dressing up for many is part of the fun of the season. However, at school, we need to not only guard against the pandemic, but also take into account trauma-informed practices. For many of our students, depictions of violence are all too reminiscent of difficult moments in their lives. Additionally, in this era of shootings such as the one in Arlington, Texas, we must be forever vigilant that schools are never a place where any form of violence is acceptable. We believe these guidelines are in keeping with those ideals. Furthermore, students will have a further opportunity to dress up at home with your own family’s guidelines on Sunday, October 31st, if you so choose.

The Return of Hot Lunch

Back by popular demand, hot lunch is returning to Intermediate School and Woodland District 50 during the month of October. For more details, please see this link to the October Lunch menu. The first date with hot lunch will be on Wednesday, October 13th.


In order to ensure that the food is served hot, the lunch line procedure is slightly modified. To prepare students for this change, we have created this video (see below). We hope that this will help keep the line transitioning into the cafeteria moving quickly to allow the maximum amount of time for eating.


Students are not required to have the school lunch, but it is available to all free of charge. We do ask that students either bring a lunch from home or eat the lunch at school, not partake in both at the same time.

Return of Hot Lunch

October Incentives- Freeze Pops and more!

As you know, we are a PBIS school, which means that we believe that all behaviors are not only teachable, but are reinforced and sustained with positive praise and incentives. As you may have heard, I challenged all students to go this entire past week without getting a referral (essentially sent to the principal or APs office). Everyone who succeeded will be getting a freeze pop during lunch on Tuesday, October 12th. We understand that virtually 95% or more of the school will succeed in this incentive and that is by design. This first incentive is designed to whet the appetites of students, both figuratively and literally for good behavior. On Tuesday, we will be upping the challenge to the entire rest of the month of October from October 12th through October 31st. We will increase the prize and recognition commensurately with each challenge. We will also be highlighting student success with badges or icons, similar to what students would earn in cub scouts, brownies, or on video games. We want to instill in our students a sense that it is cool to be recognized for all of the right reasons. Stay tuned for more information and thank you for all of your support with our efforts to sustain a positive culture and climate.

Recess Changes

Speaking of a positive culture and climate, we have recognized that recess, due to to its less structured characteristics, has been the primary point in the day for some of the poor choices by our students. In response, we have modified our approach to part of the day to ensure that all students have the support they need to make the best choices at all times. For this past week and through next week, an administrator is tasked at being at every recess to provide oversight and feedback to recess monitors to make sure we are providing active supervision, guidance, and intervention throughout every recess.


Additionally, rather than assigning recess personnel to different zones of the playground, we are connecting them to specific homerooms. As you may know from your students, there are three zones in our play area- the blacktop, the field, and the playground- on each side of the building. Different equipment and games are available in each area. Students are divided into the regular groupings that rotate through those areas throughout the week. Instead of having personnel always be at one area as has been the prior practice, we are attaching them to specific homerooms. This will allow our staff to get to know the students and understand their specific needs as they play. Those recess staff members will follow thier homerooms as they rotate through the play areas throughout the week. This will allow the recess staff a better understanding of who can play well together as well as which students might need to play separately based on the prior days' and weeks' events. Furthermore, it will provide the teacher with a consistent point of communication about how recess went for their students, regardless of where the students were on the playground. This change is going into effect on Tuesday, October 12th


While these changes might be subtle, we have already seen a significant improvement in the quality of recess time for our students just with the increased support, oversight, and accountability provided by these modifications.

Library Grant for a Makerspace!!!

You may have recently seen the Friday Feature from the district on Lydia Campbell, our librarian. She was highlighted for the helping us add Little Libraries, in both English and Spanish, to the front of our building.


Ms. Campbell has not rested on her laurels at all. In fact, just this week we found out that she has successfully won a grant for more than $16,000 to create a Makerspace in our school to benefit our students! We will be working this year to plan, identify resources, and organize a space for this incredible new addition to our school to support STEM Education.


Congratulations Ms. Campbell, Again!!!

Revised Shield Testing Procedure

SHIELD Testing continues to work well for both Intermediate and Woodland School District 50 as we try to mitigate the impact and transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The SHIELD testing procedure has been modified slightly with new materials in order to expedite the lab processing outside of the school. Essentially, the process is the same, but they have reduced the size of the vials and swapped a straw for the funnel to put the saliva in the vial


In order to help students understand these changes, I have created yet, another video! Given that we cannot do assembles, this form of communication has been very helpful. Not only is it succinct and easy to distribute, it also gives students a chance to actual see my face, which given that we are all masked, not to mention that I am new, is very helpful!

Feel free to watch and understand for yourself.

New SHIELD Testing Procedure

Principal Parent NEwsletter Update 10-1-21

PBIS: Referral Free Week incentive & Teaching Expectations

As a PBIS school, we believe that behaviors are taught and reinforced through positive incentives and supports. One element of that you are already familiar with is our roar cash and the Roarazon store. Additionally, we will be offering periodic incentives and status achievements for students who show us that they can make consistently good choices for their behavior. This coming week is just such an event. All students who do not receive a referral- put a more classic way- sent to see an AP or the principal ;-) -will receive a freeze pop popsicle on Tuesday, October 12th. You can see more about this from our video announcement to students below.


Additionally, this past week we reframed our transition expectations to help strengthen and support the culture and climate of the building. We also used videos, including our own students, to help support not only the expectations for students, but also for adults too. Clear, concise, and age-appropriate messaging around expectations helps students to consistently make the best choices for their behavior. In addition to transitions, we will be following this up with other areas of emphasis including bathroom breaks and recess.

Referral Free Friday!
Hallway Transition Expectations

Intramurals will Begin on October 12th

We will be sending a google form tomorrow, Monday, October 4th to all families with the opportunities for the fall. While we are starting with a few options, we hope to expand our offerings to provide the maximum number of outlets for our students' extracurricular energies.

Return of Hot Lunch!!!

Woodland District 50 is happy to announce the return of hot lunch! As you can see from this month's lunch menu, there are several days throughout the month when students will be able to collect a hot lunch. For our school, their procedure will not change for them to pick up a hot lunch. They will remain socially distanced when they pick this lunch up on the table outside of the MPR or Cafeteria and proceed to their assigned seat. As with all lunches this year, these options are free to all students.

PTA Fundraisers!

Thank you to everyone who came to Chuck E. Cheese's this past Friday evening. A good time was had by all, including Mr. Sheldon. These events provide important opportunities to connect as a school community and to raise funds to support our district.


The PTA is very excited about the return of our biggest fundraiser, the fall Chocolate Sale! The sale officially begins on Monday October 4th. We are using a new company this year, Signature Chocolates. They were able to provide us with a wider variety of items and some new ordering options. You can order by using the order form sent home (paid by cash or check payable to Woodland Dist 50 PTA), and you can order online and pay by credit card. Order pick up will be November 12th and 13th. All order forms are due back to school on or before Friday October 15th. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Stephanie Ingram, dist50ptatreasurer@gmail.com.


For more information you can also click here for their MemberHub Page.

Snack Guidance for this Year

We wanted to reach out with guidance relative to snack in the classrooms this year. Time is the determining factor relative to whether or not a classroom has snack and also when they have it. By that I mean that if a class has 2.5 hours or more between the start of the day and lunch or lunch and the end of the day, then that classroom will have snack. For example, if a classroom has 11:00 am lunch, then they have more than 3 hours between the end of lunch and the end of the day. This class would have a snack at some point in the afternoon.They will time their snack during the longer stretch of the day (either before or after lunch). Teachers will utilize the same social distancing protocols for students as in the MPR and cafeteria. Students will not all eat at once, but rather, will eat based on spacing such that there is always 6 feet of distance between any students who are unmasked. Also, students will have 5 minutes for snack to avoid any extended disruptions to learning. Finally, we encourage you to send healthy snacks and also snacks that do not create a mess for students nor staff. For example, items that leave crumbs or dirty fingers create an added impediment to learning.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 9-24-21

Assessments: MAP and IAR

Your students should have brought home a MAP report with their most recent scores. These scores serve as a benchmark for teachers to, not only plan for instruction, but also measure their progress academically. Students will take this assessment multiple times throughout the year. You can learn more about how to read the score reports by consulting this document. Additionally, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about MAP. Finally, if you are looking for family resources in multiple languages, please follow this link.


This week 4th and 5th grade students will be taking the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) for the 2020-21 school year. These are online assessments of Math and English Language Arts. Districts were given the choice to administer this test during the normal window- Spring of 2021-or defer to this Fall. Woodland deferred to this Fall so 4th graders will be taking the 3rd grade assessment and 5th grade will be taking the 4th grade assessment as these were the grade levels they were in last year. If you are interested in more information pertaining to the special circumstances around this assessment for the 2020-21 school year, you can find out more on this Illinois State Board of Education webpage.

Class Parties Fundraising Letter

As you may recall from last week's updates, we will be doing three class parties this year- Fall Fest, Winter Fest, and Valentine's Day. Although we cannot have parents in the building or food, we are hopeful that these events will be a fun opportunity for our students' social emotional education.


We will be funding each homeroom's party equitably this year to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have the same core experience, including a seasonally themed craft. To that end, I am enclosing a fundraising solicitation letter. With a $5 donation for each student, we will be able to ensure a great experience for all of our students.


We are asking that each child bring $5.00 cash or check made out to Woodland District 50 in order to help fund these three events during the school year. Please send your contribution with your child by Friday, October 8th in an envelope marked with your child’s name, teacher’s name, and the words “Party Money”. If you would like to send more, your additional donations will help support those families who may not be able to contribute at this time. For more details, click on this link.

PBIS Points of Emphasis & Support

As you know, our Roarazon store is open and has been very well received by our students. They receive wildcat cash to spend in the store when they meet our expectations for their behavior and interpersonal skills.


In the coming days and weeks, we will be emphasizing our expectations of Being Respectful, Taking Ownership, Being Accepting, and Being Ready in our hallways, during bathroom breaks, and at recess and lunch. We plan to implement new incentives, including weekly celebrations of those students who do not receive an office referral.


We encourage your participation and collaboration with our efforts. Some ideas about how you can support your students, include asking them about their wildcat cash and the Roarazon store. Additionally, please connect with your student's teachers about their classroom-based PBIS systems. Finally, if you become aware of students not meeting expectations, please contact your student's teacher first with those concerns to help address the issue.

Reminder & Clarification of Early Pick-Up Timing

As you know, entry and dismissal are well-choreographed affairs at Intermediate school. With almost 1200 students arriving and departing on more than 40 buses and more than 100 cars, we work hard to maintain everyone's safety. We sincerely those of you who drive your students that adapted so quickly to our new drop-off/pick-up route around the back of the church parking lot.


With respect to dismissal, we would like to clarify and remind you of an expectation from the beginning of the year. As you will recall from the CurbSmart letter distributed in August, we have asked that, so we can thoroughly communicate your child’s mode of transportation to his/her teacher, you communicate any changes in transportation by 2:30 pm each day. This includes carpooling. We request that any changes be made in writing via email to both your child's teacher and the school office (use INTSchoolOffice@dist50.net). To the greatest extent possible, we want to avoid incidences of missing a change due to it being too late in the day to communicate effectively.


Finally, we request that you do not pick up your child early from school any later than 3:25 pm (30 minutes prior to regular dismissal). After 3:25 pm, we need the access roads to be safely reserved for our buses as they arrive to stage for dismissal. After 3:25 pm, we will ask that you wait in the regular car line for regular dismissal pick-up at 3:55 pm.


All of these requests are made in the service of our students' and you safety. Even one accident is too many and we believe that these guidelines will help safeguard everyone's safety and well-being.

Safety Drills

Speaking of safety, we plan to being a series of safety drills in the coming weeks and months, including fire drills. As you may know, these drills are not only a best practice for your students' safety, but also mandated by law. I have found that it is helpful to discuss this practice with your students. While most students are unfazed by these disruptions to the regular school day, some can have difficulty differentiating a drill from the real thing, especially in the younger grades. Here is some helpful research and guidance about how to speak with children of different ages about safety at school and at home. Here is more information from the Illinois State Board of Education regarding required drills.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 9-17-21

PICTURE DAY IS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 24th!

Don't forget that picture day is coming up this Friday, September 24th. Please use the link below to pre-order your portraits:


http://edclarkschoolphoto.hhimagehost.com/2021WoodlandIntFallPictureDay



Picture Ordering will close at 8am on picture day.


if you are having issues with the link copy and paste this into your browser:

https://AccessMyEvent.com/2KF3X0



And yes that's me, Principal Sheldon in 5th Grade, if I am not mistaken.

New Car Pick-Up/Drop Off Traffic Pattern

As you know, our entry and dismissal routines are highly choreographed affairs as we work to bring almost 1200 students into and out of the building quickly and always safely. We have a very productive and collaborative partnership with the church north of the school and they help us use their parking lot to support our bus and car traffic. They are resurfacing their parking lot and also will be having additional events that will overlap with our school day. This, along with observing that sometimes our car line in the morning blocks the buses, has led us to modify the car pick up/drop off route. As you can see in the included picture, the route is now the same for the morning and afternoon and requires cars to go around the back of the church before joining our access road. This will prevent any back ups to Hunt Club Rd and also allows easier access for buses, especially in the morning. We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we start this route on Monday, September 20th.

Illinois Assessment for Readiness (IAR) Testing from September 27-October 1st

As you may be aware, all students in Illinois in grades 3-8 take the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) each spring. Due to the pandemic, this test was waived altogether in the 2019-20 school year. Last year, school districts were given the option to take the 2020-21 test either last spring or to delay it to this fall. Woodland District 50 decided to take last year’s test this fall. We are preparing to give this prior year’s assessment the week of September 27th-October 1st.


Due to the fact that this is last year’s assessment, students will be testing in their grade level from the prior year. For example, our current fifth graders will be taking the fourth grade test because they were in fourth grade during the 2020-21 school year. Our current third graders won’t be taking the test as they were in second grade last year and, therefore, are not eligible for the test.


There are testing sessions in both ELA and Math. Fourth and fifth grade students will participate in three testing sessions for each Math (60 minutes each) and two testing sessions for English Language Arts (ELA) (90 minutes each). The students will take the IAR assessment online using their Chromebook. As such, it is very important that your student comes to school each day with their Chromebook fully charged.


You can assist your student in performing his/her best on these tests by seeing that he/she is well rested, eats breakfast, and is in school on the scheduled dates. In the event of an absence during testing, every attempt will be made to arrange for testing on an alternate make-up date.

Please note that all of our students will be taking the 2021-22 IAR assessment- this year’s test- in the spring of 2022.


Please note that all of our students will be taking the 2021-22 IAR assessment- this year’s test- in the spring of 2022.

SHIELD Testing Update

As many of you know, we began our SHIELD testing this past week. We had almost 800 tests and located 4 asymptomatic individuals who tested positive. We will continue this process each week on Tuesdays for those students who have not opted out. The process was relatively quick and easy for students and staff to do. As we identify and isolate COVID positive individuals, both they and our school community are that much safer. This also helps us to do our part in controlling and slowing the pandemic in our area.


You can change your child's status (opting in or opting out); however, we ask that you email an administrator directly about this change. If you go back through Family Access and change the original opt out letter, this does not change their status automatically. We need to manual change part of the student's profile in Skyward to ensure that, when the teacher checks whether or not the student will take the test, the student's profile accurately reflects their SHIELD status. Please feel free to reach out with questions or concerns regarding this process.

PBIS: ROARazon Store Opens!

As you may have heard from your student, our new online ROARazon store has opened. As part of our PBIS strategies, we use a token economy. Students earn wildcat cash (paper look alike money) by meeting expectations and showing us their ROAR (Being Respectful, Taking Ownership, Being Accepting, Being Ready). They can use this accumulated wildcat cash to make purchases. Some of these incentives are items, but some are also privileges, such as eating lunch with the principal! We are very proud of our PBIS team who created and customized this ROARazon online store from scratch. Students have an opprtunity to make purchases at the end of the week and items are delivered at the beginning of the next week- there is no ROAR Prime, yet ;-).

Class Parties This Year

A favorite tradition in our school community is our class parties, including Fall Fest. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic and our mitigation strategies, we cannot allow parent volunteers or outside food into our building for these events. Nevertheless, we plan to hold these events with the teachers facilitating. They will be centered around a season craft and we welcome parent input and collaboration, but from outside the school. We will be reaching out in the near future to solicit voluntary donations in support of this effort. As has been the case in prior years, we are asking for a $5 donation per student to help support these events. Thank you in advance for your understanding, generosity, and support.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 9-10-21

Curriculum Night: Monday, September 13 for all 5th Grade Families

Our 3rd Dual and 4th Grade Curriculum Night went extremely well. I want to thank families for respecting our requirements and remaining conscious social distancing and masking. We are excited to welcome parents/guardians for our 5th graders this coming Monday. This is a great opportunity for you to meet your teachers and learn about your students’ year ahead. East side homerooms should enter through the east entrance and west side homerooms should enter through the west entrance. You can click on this link for a list of homerooms to know which side yours is on, if you need to do so. Click on the Image with this section to see a detailed schedule. Despite what you may have heard from my initial email on the subject, the dates are as follows:



All 5th Grade on Monday, September 13th from 6:30-8:00 pm



We are asking that parents observe the following district requirements for this event:


Curriculum Night is in-person only (no Zoom option) and masks are required


Only one adult per child (appeals to this policy must be made to the principal only)


No children (students or otherwise) are allowed in the building during the event


Please RSVP using this link


Electronic Copies of All Materials will be available the morning of the event for all parents.

SHIELD Testing Update

As you may recall, the SHIELD testing database failed this past Tuesday, September 7th so we were unable to test at Intermediate, though we were prepared on the school and district end of things. The good news is that testing proceeded without issues at the other district schools once SHIELD fixed their database. We will try again with SHIELD testing this coming Tuesday, September 14th. If you accidentally did not opt out or opted out and want to opt back into SHIELD testing, please email me. If you have previously done so, we have changed our records to reflect that request. Students who have eaten or have drank anything (including water) less than 30 minutes before the test, will not test because the sample will be tainted. We have scheduled around lunch and snack; however, students need to remember to be conscious of the time when they are drinking from their water bottles. Additionally, if a student requests not to test at testing time, we will respect that refusal regardless of their opting in or out status. Please feel free to watch the included videos for more information about how SHIELD will work for students and also how we can manage our expectations as adults regarding the results.
Student SHiELD Testing Video
Intermediate Parent Shield Video

Advanced Academics: CogAT for 3rd Graders This Week

The Advanced Academics Team will initiate the identification process for current 3rd grade students in September. This process includes the collection of multiple data points, including the CogAt assessments, and teacher surveys. Please see this letter for more details



Parent notification of placement letters will be mailed no later than September 27, 2021. Third grade Challenge and Advanced classes will begin on Monday, October 4th. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your child’s Principal or Victoria Kieffer, Ph.D. at vkieffer@dist50.net. For more information about the placement process, CogAT testing, and matrices used for placements, please visit our website at https://www.dist50.net/Page/1689.

Student Engagement Spirit Week

Our school will be celebrating “Student Engagement Week” from September 13- 17, 2021. We want to celebrate and support students here at school and their caregivers that encourage them. The following is a schedule of activities that your child is invited to participate in during school next week. Help us build a culture of working toward goals and achievement with engagement!


You can find the details for each day by following this link!

Coming Soon: Intramurals and Clubs

We are working to finalize our list of offerings for before and after school intramurals and clubs. Our tentative, anticipated start date will be October 11th. Any clubs or activities will take place either before school from 8:15-9:00 am or 4:10-5:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays (most activities will not will meet every). There will be no activities on Fridays. We hope to have a catalogue of choices to you in the next week or two.

Picture Day is September 24th

Please use the link below to pre-order your portraits:

http://edclarkschoolphoto.hhimagehost.com/2021WoodlandIntFallPictureDay


Picture Ordering will close at 8am on picture day.

if you are having issues with the link copy and paste this into your browser:

https://AccessMyEvent.com/2KF3X0


We look forward to seeing you!

E.D. Clark Photography

Library Information

We are excited to be bringing the famous "Little Libraries" to Intermediate! Very soon, you will see one English-language library and one Spanish-Language Libraries outside of the main entrance.


Additionally, please see the most recent edition of the Warrne-Newport Public Library Newsletter. You can access it by following this link. We have a longstanding, collaborative relationship with the library and we appreciate their support.

Suggestion Box Responses

I have included some of the recent suggestions we have received. When a suggestion is very similar to one that has been submitted, we will not respond to it provided that we have responded to the similar suggestion previously. For example, we received a couple of suggestions regarding a virtual option for curriculum night, one of which we responded to last week.


Suggestion: (Received 9/6/21): "My child was told by her teacher that they cannot have snack because only one row of students would be able to eat at a time (due to Covid procedures)and it would take too long. My child has an early lunch, 11am and is not getting home until 4:45ish (sometimes later) due to the buses being tardy. This is a long time for a child to go without a snack. Can you consider adding in a snack time and alternating the rows to take in account the Covid mitigations?"


Response: I am sorry about this situation and this should not be the case. The guidance has been to maintain the 6 feet of distance for unmasked students during snack time. We have explained to teachers that they should rotate through groups of students eating within the room to maintain this distance. For example have every other student in a row eat, then switch after the first group is done and replaces their masks. Given that not all students bring snack, it should not be an issue for distance nor time. Please contact an administrator with more information so we can follow up with this classroom teacher.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 9-3-21

Hello Woodland Families,


I hope this newsletter finds you all well and enjoying this long weekend. It has been an exciting week and we have finally made significant and substantial progress with our entry and dismissal routines and, perhaps most importantly, the busses are a lot closer to being "on time" than they were before. We have a lot going on at Woodland Intermediate; therefore, here are some important updates and reminders so we can stay on the same page.

Curriculum Nights

We are excited to welcome parents/guardians to our in-person curriculum nights. This is a great opportunity for you to meet your teachers and learn about your students’ year ahead. East side homerooms should enter through the east entrance and west side homerooms should enter through the west entrance. You can click on this link for a list of homerooms to know which side yours is on, if you need to do so. Click on the Image with this section to see a detailed schedule. Despite what you may have heard from my initial email on the subject, the dates are as follows:



3rd Grade Dual & All 4th Grade on Thursday, September 9th from 6:30-8:00 pm

All 5th Grade on Monday, September 13th from 6:30-8:00 pm



We are asking that parents observe the following district requirements for this event:


Curriculum Night is in-person only (no Zoom option) and masks are required


Only one adult per child (appeals to this policy must be made to the principal only)


No children (students or otherwise) are allowed in the building during the event


Please RSVP using this link


Electronic Copies of All Materials will be available the morning of the event for all parents.

SHIELD Testing

As a reminder, we anticipate that Woodland's optional SHIELD Testing for students will begin next week. We are very excited to offer this service, as we believe it will help us identify cases early and help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our learning community. This will be especially helpful in identifying positive cases in individuals who are asymptomatic to quickly initiate quarantine and contact tracing procedures.


Please be aware that when we begin SHIELD Testing, we expect to uncover positive cases. If your child tests positive, you will be contacted directly. If you see an increase in notifications sent home in the first few weeks of SHIELD Testing, please don't be alarmed. This doesn't mean that cases are spiking, it just means that we are finding the cases that would have gone undetected until those individuals began to show symptoms.


Students will be tested once a week through a saliva sample, and results will be available within 24-hours. This test will be done at no cost to the families or the school district.


Intermediate School will begin testing for those students who have not opted out on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. I have included a couple of videos for you, including one for the students and one for parents, so you can understand this process and what to expect from it.


For additional information and Frequently Asked Questions, please visit our website.

SHiELD Testing
Intermediate Parent Shield Video

MAP Testing Begins This Week

Dear Woodland Families,

During the week of September 7, 2021, your student will have the opportunity to take a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a Chromebook to determine his/her instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in math and reading.


MAP Growth tests are unique in that they adapt to your student’s level of learning. If your student answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. This results in a detailed picture of what your student knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below their grade level.

The scores from the September assessments will be shared in mid-October with each student’s family. We will also share information that will help you review your student’s scores and what they mean.


Remember, this is just one snapshot of your student’s abilities and we use a variety of other assessments to create a clear baseline of where your student is starting and we will project growth and work together towards those goals.


Advanced Academics Identification:

Please read this letter with information on how MAP is part of the Advanced Academics Identification Process.



How to Help at Home:

  • Please make sure your student is well rested and eats a healthy breakfast.

  • Talk to your student about taking his/her time and reading every question and answer choice carefully.

  • Make sure your student arrives at school on time.

  • Encourage your student to think positively and to try his/her best!


We are truly excited about this opportunity to learn about your student’s growth and development. For more information about the MAP Growth test, visit: NWEA.org/Parent-Toolkit.

Scholastic Book Fair


It’s Book Fair time! We are so grateful to our Woodland PTA for their generous support of this awesome fundraiser for our school. A portion of every purchase is donated back to the school. The Scholastic Book Fair will run from September 7th through September 13th. All students students will be given the opportunity to shop with their homeroom teacher at school.


Acceptable forms of payment from the students are cash, check written to Woodland PTA, or student eWallet (see flyer). We will not accept credit cards from student shoppers.


The fair will also be open to families during Curriculum Nights on Thursday, September 9th for 3rd Dual and 4th grade, and again on Monday, September 13th for 5th grade. Credit cards will be accepted at this time. Volunteers are needed to help make the fair a success. If interested in helping during the week of the fair, please sign up at: https://signup.com/go/MbWLDNu If you don’t have time to visit the Book Fair, visit our online store at: https://www.scholastic.com/bf/woodlandintermediatesch

Suggestion Box Responses

At the end of the newsletter, I have placed a digital suggestion box. This anonymous feedback tool helps us to ensure that we are responding to the needs of our families and also collection new ideas to make our school experience the best that it can be for our students and families. Here are some responses to those suggestions we have already received. We sincerely appreciate all suggestions. Although we may not always be able to incorporate them fully, we feel it is important to validate them with a response, even if it is to explain why we can't do what is requested.


Suggestion (received 8/30/21): "my child shared that they dont get to choose their lunch option (veg or non veg) rather only get what is available. in the morning could students select their preferred option so when they get to lunch, they can get their selected lunch option. could hand sanitizer also be accessible/passed out by lunch supervisors so they can clean their hands before eating. maybe it is there but think kids need to be told where it is."


Response: Students should be offered a vegetarian and a non-vegetarian option for every lunch. If that did not happen for your student, I apologize. Here is a link to the school lunch menus. Because these meals are bagged options and school meals are free this year, they are able to select as they walk into the cafeteria. Additionally, we have installed hand sanitizer dispensers at the entrances and exits of all spaces for eating. We have spoken to our lunch team and reiterated that students should be prompted to sanitize before eating and after in order to be safe and healthy.



Suggestion (received 8/30/21): "The virtual curriculum nights and parent teacher conferences seemed to work well last year. Could you consider doing that again as a district this year? It would be safer for all and allow both parents to attend instead of only 1. Or if it is in person, could you consider having 2 offerings or staggered times so both parents can attend/less traffic/congestion in the parking lots and can park legally?"


Response: We have worked hard to incorporate as many mitigation strategies as possible for our in-person curriculum nights to safeguard everyone's health. We recognize that there are pros and cons to any setup of this event. Due to the number of presentations that some parents need to attend (e.g. advanced math) in addition to their homeroom, any staggering of the event, would effectively create a second curriculum night. Given our collective bargaining agreement, this is not only not possible, but also is understandably a substantial time commitment for our faculty and staff.


Relative to Parent Conferences, more information will be sent out to families closer to that event, including the steps being taken to mitigate COVID transmission and crowding.

Intermediate School Suggestion Box

Please let us know any ideas you have on how we can improve our school community! Please note that if you would like to get a response, then will need to include an email address. For an immediate response, please email an administrator directly.

Principal Parent Newsletter UPDATE 8-27-21

Hello Woodland Families,


Wow! What an awesome first week! We are so excited to have all the students back in-person! Students are excited, having fun, and learning! I am very proud of our staff for adjusting to the new normal of education during a pandemic and working diligently to safeguard our students safety. I appreciate you all for your patience as we navigate the transition back to in-person learning, including getting our bus systems up and running. Here are some updates to keep us all on the same page in the coming days and weeks.

FREE PTA Kona Ice Truck Event: Saturday, August 28th from 10 am to 1 pm

The Woodland District 50 PTA is hosting a playground play date with a Kona Ice truck this Saturday at the Woodland Elementary Playground from 10 am to 1 pm. It is open to all Woodland families and is completely Free! Please see the attached fliers. The PTA will be collecting supplies for Lake County PADS at this event.

Curriculum Night Reminders and Guidance

Our Curriculum Nights are Coming up Soon! Our 3rd Grade Dual & 4th Grade parents can attend from 6:30-8:00 pm on Thursday, September 9th. Our 5th Grade parents can attend on Monday, September 13th from 6:30-8:00 pm. These evening are a great opportunity to meet your student's teachers and learn about their curriculum this year. Due to COVID-19, we are instituting the following policies across the district for these events:




  • This is a parent event only. No students or other children should be in attendance.
  • We are asking every family to only have one person attend, if possible, in order to limit the number of people in a classroom or school.
  • All parents must wear a mask and please stay 6ft apart, as much as possible, from our staff and other parents.
  • If you have any symptoms of Covid-19, please do not attend.





Please reach out with any questions you have ahead of these events.

Transportation Updates

Thank you all for bearing with us as our bus systems improved throughout the week. As of Friday, our car pick-up line has been very efficient and all students were dropped off successfully by 5:08 pm. While there is still room to improve, it is markedly better than Wednesday, when we had some buses dismissing at 5:08 pm from school! We continue to examine all of our systems, at the building and district level, to find ways to maximize efficiency without compromising safety. We have a few updates to our procedures that we would like share to help this process:


  • Car Riders: All car riders will enter and exit through the front door of the school. We want to limit the amount of walking that students have to do when they get out of the car. Additionally, the flow of students has been very manageable for social distancing. Finally, when the weather changes we want to avoid longer walks in the rain or snow and ice for safety and comfort of our students.


  • Pick-Up Barricades: The pick up barricades by the district office may not always be set-up, but please remember for pick-up you should always use the access road adjacent to the church for safety's sake.


  • Drop-Off Using the Line: Please do not park and walk students between cars to the front door unless absolutely necessary. It is much safer to let students exit the car in the drop off line using the passenger-side door, than to walk them across the street and in-between cars that are entering and exiting the drop-off line. We appreciate your help with this matter.

The My Stop APP: Explanation and Directions for Use

Many of you have reported to me that the My Stop App has not worked for you or has been intermittent at best. I reached out to the transportation department for additional information to try and address this issue. I got the following feedback about how to make this app work better for you as your monitor your student's route.


According to our transportation department:

"The app doesn’t work when the buses are off. IDOT and Woodland policy is that buses are to be off when loading and unloading students. When we turn the buses off, the app doesn’t show location of the buses. Once they start their route in the first start location on their route, then the app then tracks the bus for them. If buses have to Detour in a different direction, the app may alert parents that the bus is off route. There is also a 30-second delay. The app does not have a refresh function. The way to refresh the app is to switch back and forth between their students. If they only have one student, then they either must log out and log back in or they can close their phone or go to another app after the screen goes black and open it back up. The app does not allow to have the app open continuously, as it will not update. Drivers have no control or even know where the GPS location device is on their bus."


I hope that this information is helpful in explaining some of the issues you have encountered with this app.

Remind App

In working to keep you all updated, I have been using the Remind App. Today, as I provided real-time updates on our bus updates the number of people registered to use this app with me dramatically increased! Before this after, I had approximately 65 parents who had signed up. However, after 3:45 pm, the number of members of my Remind increased to 200 people!!! This is awesome. However, after 150 people, they locked my ability to send messages to the entire group, unless I upgrade my membership. I am working on doing this. In the meantime, you can still message me 1 to 1 using this app. If you haven't signed up, but would like to, please follow this link: https://www.remind.com/join/7k6a7c

PRINCIPAL PARENT NEWSLETTER UPDATE 8-20-21

Hello Woodland Families,


I apologize my newsletter update is coming out a little later in the day than usual. My daughter was home sick today (no worries, slight fever and she is COVID negative) and mommy had a big presentation at work today. So Daddy Daycare was in full effect-demonstrating once again how impossible working from home is with small children! In any event, I want to thank all of you who came out to Popsicles with Principals on such a hot day! Additionally, we had a very nice zoom meeting last night with about 20 families joining. I sincerely apologize missing the Spanish-Language Popsicles with principals due to my daughters illness, but my administrative team did a fantastic job in my absence- I even tried to zoom in for it, but nap time didn't go long enough!

IMPORTANT NEW FORMS ON FAMILY ACCESS: SELF-CERTIFICATION & SHIELD TESTING

There are two important forms that were recently added to family access:


Self-Certification: If you participated in Hybrid Learning last year, you'll remember that you had to sign a symptom certification card each day to certify that your student was symptom-free. This year we are streamlining the process and we are requiring all students to have a Safe Learning Environment Agreement Form completed in Skyward. This is a ONE-TIME agreement that parents/guardians will sign to acknowledge that they agree not to send their child to school when they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms. Login to Skyward Family Access and complete the form before the first day of school.


Shield Testing: If you are allowing your child to participate in SHIELD testing, no further action is required. If you do NOT want your child to participate in SHIELD testing, you must complete the opt-out form. If you opt-out, you will not be eligible to participate in Test to Stay with SHIELD testing, you will have to quarantine if you are identified as a close contact. For more information on SHIELD Testing, click on this link.

INTERMEDIATE COVID MITIGATION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Many of you have reached out with questions related to how we are mitigating the risk of COVID-19 in our school building. To assist in answering these questions, I have created an FAQ document. While this may not answer all of your questions, my hope is that it will relieve some of your anxiety as it relates to in-person instruction. Within this document I have included pictures to help you visualize a classroom and the cafeteria.


Please continue to reach out with questions and concerns. I will do my best to provide you with most detailed answers that I can.

IMG 7952
IMG 7953

MEET AND GREET WITH TEACHERS/SCHOOL SUPPLY DROP-OFF TUESDAY, AUGUST 24TH 2-4 PM

We hope that you will be able to stop into school on Tuesday, August 24th between 2-4 pm to meet your teachers and drop-off school supplies. Additionally, if you haven't picked up your welcome packet, which includes your lanyard, bus tag, and CurbSmart placard, this will also be available for you. To help ensure proper social distancing we ask that you follow the grade level schedule below as much as is possible. Additionally, as a reminder, anyone inside the school must wear a mask at all times. The teachers are excited to welcome you back into our beautiful school to start off the year on the right foot.



All 3rd Graders 2:00-2:40 pm


All 4th Graders 2:40-3:20 pm


All 5th Graders 3:20-4:00 pm


If you are looking for information on school supplies, you can click on this link for lists by grade level.

DETAILS ON LUNCH SERVICE THIS YEAR

We have received a number of questions about lunch service this year. Therefore, I am including links to the district's webpage for this information, but also the August Breakfast Menu & August Lunch Menu for this year. Students can bring their lunch or received a bagged lunch option provided by the school. There will always be a vegetarian option provided for students who qualify for this. I will also be putting an easier to find link on the Intermediate School Page with this information for future reference. As a reminder, school lunches are provided at no cost this year to all families.

TRANSPORTATION, LANYARDS, AND DROP-OFF/PICK-UP TIMES

If you haven't already, please make sure to check out the transportation section of our school website in the lower left-hand corner. Specifically, you will want to look at the visuals of drop-off and pick-up traffic flow.


In your welcome packets, you will find a lanyard of a specific color (red, green, purple, etc). This lanyard serves two important purposes. First, we hope students will clip their masks to the lanyard so they do not get lost or dirty when they are removed for lunch and recess. Secondly, the color of the lanyard corresponds to the colors marked on the entrances of the building which students will use, as we did last year.


With respect to drop-off times, we ask that student (unless you are dropping off with the Champions program) are not dropped off to school prior to 9:00 am, the start of breakfast and supervision. Students should arrive to school no later than 9:20 am which is the start of academic instruction. For pick-up, we will be calling busses and CurbSmart pick-ups at 3:55 pm, the end of the school day.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 8-13-21

Thank you and Update on Class Rosters

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone who reached out relative to my family emergency. This wasn't how anticipated sharing this with you, but I know the information is out there already so... as some of you may have heard, my wife was involved in a car accident. Thankfully she is completely fine; however, this was initially very scary for us because my wife is expecting our 2nd child, due in early February! Again everything and everyone is fine (well, not the car, but that's what insurance is for!).


I appreciate everyone's patience relative to Skyward Family Access. At this time, everyone should be able to see their correct homeroom teacher. While we could not honor every request that we received, we did our very best to ensure students are placed for success. Your homeroom teacher will be sharing more information in the coming days and weeks about the start of school. This will include a more detailed google document that is a daily schedule that reflects their homeroom's typical day.

5th Grade Beginning Band Information

5th Grade Beginning Band Information

Band is an optional class for any 5th grade student at Woodland. If you are interested in joining us this year for band, please visit our website for up to date information.

https://sites.google.com/dist50.net/woodlandintermediateband/home

Then join us for our required band parent meeting which will be live-streamed on Thursday, August 26th at 6:30PM. (Meeting will be available to view afterwards if you are unable to watch live) Live-stream link will be shared in advance of the meeting and posted on our band website.

Band sign-ups will be open immediately following the parent meeting,

and will end on Friday, Sept. 3rd.


Contact the band directors with any questions.

Mrs. January Muetz- jmuetz@dist50.net

Mrs. Emily Dorgan- edorgan@dist50.net

Transportation Information

With the return to in-person instruction this year, we anticipate the need to refine and clarify our transportation procedures. Given that the number of students attending each day compared to the end of last year, we will be using both parking bays next to the school playgrounds (East and West) for school buses to pick-up and drop-off students. You can still sign up for bus transportation to eliminate any potential wait times. Click on this link to access the transportation department's website.


Additionally, we anticipate an increased number of parents opting to drive their students each day. This increase in traffic necessitates a plan for the safe movement of students, both in terms of social distancing and traffic flow. The included pictures detail the procedure for pick-up and drop off procedures for cars only. You will need your current CurbSmart placard in order to avoid having to park and wait for identification verification (requires a photo ID).


Here is more detailed information on CurbSmart and visuals of the pick-up/drop-off process.


Drop-Off Procedure for Cars Only (AM)


Pick-Up Procedure for Cars (PM)


CurbSmart Information

Facebook Live: Information on COVID & the Start of School

Hopefully, you had a chance to catch the Facebook Live Event yesterday with Dr. Casey and all of the principals. If not, you follow this link to see a recording of the session. Our superintendent shared some of the mitigation strategies and precautions we are taking as a district and each principal gave an overview of the school day in their buildings.


I know many of you are curious as to the particulars of how students' classrooms, the cafeteria, and other spaces will look. First of all, rest assured that we are following all of the latest guidance regarding the mitigation of COVID. Safety has been and continues to be our highest priority as a school. I will continue to provide additional updates regarding this topic with any new or updated information. Also, stay tuned to this newsletter and our social media for pictures of the inside of the building that will help you visualize our social distancing protocols. You can see these in-person if you are able to attend our Meet and Greet with the teachers on August 24th.

Meet the Principal

As I am new to both the district and the school, I very much want to have as many chances to get to know everyone. To that end, I am happy to announce that I have added some opportunities for you to connect with me.



First, as you may recall from our Welcome Back Letter, Popsicles with Principals is on August 19th at 1 pm on the West Playground. However, I know that many parents work or have other commitments during the day. Therefore, I will also be holding an optional Zoom Meet and Greet from 6-7 pm on Thursday, August 19th. Additionally, I want to make sure that everyone is as comfortable as possible conversing with me, including families whose primary language is Spanish. I will be hosting a drop-in Spanish-Language Meet and Greet on Friday, August 20th from 2-3 pm at Intermediate West Playground. While my Spanish isn't perfect, I am excited to speak to our Spanish-only parents too in their first language! Hopefully, you will be able to make one or more of these events, as you are able.



August 19th Popsicles with the Principal 1-3 pm Intermediate West Playground

August 19th Zoom Meet and Greet. (Registration Required-click on link)

August 20th Spanish-Language Meet and Greet 2-3 pm Intermediate West Playground

Help the District with a Welcome Back Video!

We are making a group video to Welcome Everyone Back to School and we need your help. Please add your own video message (it's quick & easy) and you'll be part of a memorable surprise. What does #LifeintheW mean to you? Tell us about a special teacher, your favorite subject or let us know what your are most looking forward to this year. Thank you!


Follow this link for more information about this fun opportunity!

Medicine Drop Off

Our goal is to keep your child healthy and learning in school! We need your assistance to ensure we have the required documentation and medication to respond to your child’s health needs by the first day of school.


Medication Drop Off Days

  • August 18: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
  • August 19: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.


You can find more information by clicking on this link for a letter from our health professionals.

Principal Parent Newsletter Update 8-6-21

Opportunities to Meet & Greet Your New Principal

As I am new to both the district and the school, I very much want to have as many chances to get to know everyone. To that end, I am happy to announce that I have added some opportunities for you to connect with me.


First, as you may recall from our Welcome Back Letter, Popsicles with Principals is on August 19th at 1 pm on the West Playground. However, I know that many parents work or have other commitments during the day. Therefore, I will also be holding an optional Zoom Meet and Greet from 6-7 pm on Thursday, August 19th. Additionally, I want to make sure that everyone is as comfortable as possible conversing with me, including families whose primary language is Spanish. I will be hosting a drop-in Spanish-Language Meet and Greet on Friday, August 20th from 2-3 pm at Intermediate West Playground. While my Spanish isn't perfect, I am excited to speak to our Spanish-only parents too in their first language! Hopefully, you will be able to make one or more of these events, as you are able.



  • August 19th Popsicles with the Principal 1-3 pm Intermediate West Playground
  • August 19th Zoom Meet and Greet. (Registration Required-click on link)
  • August 20th Spanish-Language Meet and Greet 2-3 pm Intermediate West Playground

Meet Our New Assistant Principal, Mrs. Michelle Mallari!

Mrs. Mallari joins Woodland School District 50 after spending 19 years at River Trails School District 26 in Mt. Prospect, IL. She taught both fourth and fifth grades and has 12 years of experience building the MTSS program in her previous district as a reading specialist and intervention specialist. Outside of the classroom, Mrs. Mallari served on school and district level committees, including Curriculum, Problem-Solving, Assessment, and RtI committees. Most recently, she helped develop the District MTSS Guidelines and served on the Diversity and Equity Leadership Team.


Mrs. Mallari earned her BA in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University, MA in Reading Education from Concordia University, and MA in Educational Administration and Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


As a mother of three children, she and her husband spend many evenings and weekends at piano lessons, soccer games, and baseball games. In her free time, Mrs. Mallari volunteers at the public library, the local food pantry, and tries to stay active by going on family bike rides or at the gym.


Assistant Principal Mallari believes that building positive relationships and connections with students, staff, and the community are essential in fostering a respectful and trusting community of learners.

Stay in touch with us in Multiple Ways!!!

Twitter: As you may already know, both the school and I have Twitter handles that we encourage you to follow (@d50intermediate and @IntMrSheldon, respectively). Many other staff members also use Twitter as you will see if you follow either of these accounts. This is a great way for you to see and for us to showcase all of the great things that are happening in our school and district.


Remind: Have you ever wanted to TEXT your principal? Well, now you can!!! I have created a Remind account that will allow you text with me without either of us having to share our phone numbers. You do not even need the app to do this! You can either click on this link or Text the message @7k6a7c to the number 81010. Only I will see your messages and know you are on remind. Parents cannot use remind to connect with other parents.


Website: If you haven't done so recently, please navigate to our school's website. I am working hard to make sure that this is a robust and up-to-date source of information for our stakeholders. Additionally, I have added a suggestion box to solicit your ideas on how we can get better every way on every day. Certainly, you can email me or get in touch in another way, but I want you to have as many productive avenues, including anonymous ones, to reach out as possible.

Family Access, Class Schedules, and Parent Requests

As you may recall, Family Access will open on August 10th. Please note that precise student class schedules will be shared by your child's teacher closer to the start of school (the hour by hour flow of the day). They will reach out with a Google Doc that reflects more specifically how their day will look. The feedback we have received in the past is that the schedules in Family Access were not always the easiest to understand or were too general. We hope this change will address that issue.


Rest assured that we have carefully considered all parent and student feedback with respect to placement in classes that we received both last spring and over the summer. To the greatest extent that is feasible, given the complexity of school schedules, we placed students where we believe they will most successful. I believe that the vast majority of families will be thrilled with their class assignments and classmates. As I know you all understand, I cannot make any promises with respect to any particular request that we previously received. It would be unfair to promise to one family what I cannot guarantee to all. I appreciate your patience and understanding regarding the fact that we have to balance a myriad of factors when creating class lists, including specific requests we have received.

Bus Transportation Still Available! Changes to Pick-Up Procedure Coming....

Please note that you can still get bus transportation for your students for the first day of school! However, any changes to your bus transportation submitted after August 13th will not go into effect until September 13th. You can find out more information about registering for bus service by following this link.


With the anticipated return of in-person instruction, we will be revising our pick-up and drop-off procedures. Buses will be using both the East and West Parking lots given the return of an increased number of students (last year one lot was used for parents' car pick-up and the other for buses). Parents choosing to drop-off or pick-up their students individually via car will do so in front of the school. We are creating detailed procedures and visuals to help everyone to understand the flow of traffic and minimizing wait times for cars. These will be available and distributed in the coming days. There should be no additional wait times for bus riders.

Popsicles with the Principals

Thursday, Aug. 19th 2021 at 1pm

Intermediate West Playground

Come meet your Intermediate School Administrators, including your new principal, Tim Sheldon! All Intermediate families are welcome and encouraged to attend! RSVP encouraged, but not required.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

About Principal Sheldon

Principal Sheldon is joining Woodland Intermediate as principal for the 2021-22 school year. This year will be his 21st as an educator and 9th as an elementary school principal.


As your new principal, one of my highest priorities this year is promoting clear and consistent communication between all stakeholders in our school community. This newsletter is one important channel that we will be using for that purpose.