WIS Weekly

November 15, 2021

A Message From Mr. Longacre

WIS Families,

As principal of WIS, I want to assure you that safety and security remain top priorities for all Westchester students. Whether it be in the hallways, on the playground, or in the classroom, teachers and staff at Westchester are concerned for the well-being of all students, both during and beyond the school day. To that end, I would like to address an emerging concern that the faculty and I share-- that is, how students are using technology. It has been brought to our attention that some students are utilizing their personal devices and school-issued iPads to access websites, download videos, or record audio/visual material that is inappropriate for our age level.

Because school and home share a vested interest in nurturing healthy, emotional growth, I would like to share with you an app that helps families manage online activity. The app is called Securly and it is already used by thousands of schools, including Westchester, to limit access and help students make better decisions regarding appropriate content. Securly provides a way to see online activity in real-time. Parents and guardians can check recent searches, visited websites, and videos which have been watched by their children. Device time can also be monitored so that each student’s online/offline schedule matches the family’s goals. Securly even sends notifications to parents when material related to bullying or self-harm has been viewed. What’s more, Securly can be utilized and managed using your existing smartphone.

If you are interested in learning about Securly and how it can support your digital parenting, please go to https://www.securly.com/home-parent to find out more about the app’s features.


Mr. Longacre

This Week at WIS

5th Grade

Language Arts

Last Week:

  • Hello, Universe continues to draw us in. Lola's stories gave us several clues that we did not know would be foreshadowing events. Will Lola's stories hurt or help Virgil as he is in the well? Through this week's discussions, it is clear that this novel has more than one point of view.
  • IRA: Grit and Perseverance played important roles in both Nim and the War Effort and Ira's Shakespeare Dream. Find out from your child how the main characters displayed grit and perseverance.

This Week:

  • Hello, Universe continues. We have found so much figurative language. Ask your child to share some with you. Who is bitten by a snake? Will Virgil ever get out of the well? How do the characters make a text-to-text connection within a story?
  • IRA is Ada's Violin. Grit and perseverance can take place in some very odd places. Including a garbage dump! Ask how garbage can be the best resource and receive national attention later in the week.


  • Last week we started our journey into the fascinating world of dividing decimals!
  • This week we will arrive at our dividing decimals quiz destination with a quiz on Friday.

Social Studies

  • Social Studies - Mrs. Benson from the Porter County Soil & Water Conservation District will be visiting this week. The chapter 3 test is on Thursday, November 18th.

  • Natalie Miller - A conclusion I can draw from the four lessons in chapter three is that starting colonies is important to a lot of countries. Also, people searched for unreal things like the Northwest passage.
  • Mack Kozinski - In chapter 3 we mostly learned about fur trading by the Dutch and English and French. They traded beaver fur and set up several trading posts to earn more money.


  • In science, students began the first steps of the Engineering Design Process. The students had to imagine, plan, and create a prototype for a space rover or space probe. This week, students will complete the communication step to the process by presenting their space bot to the class.

6th Grade

  • Sixth grade students will begin working with algebraic expressions. They will explore the commutative, associative, and distributive properties of addition and multiplication.

Language Arts

  • This week students will complete their book study with their third and final book with focus on inspiration and creativity. Students have been learning how to have constructive conversation with peers about the books that they are reading.

  • In Amplify, students will continue to learn about yellow fever and the research that took place to find a solution to this virus. Students will continue to practice their RACE strategy in their responses to questions.

Social Studies

  • This week, students will finish learning about the physical features and landforms of Europe. Students will be able to label and identify geographic features on a physical map such as waterways, mountains, peninsulas, and elevation. Later in the week, they will be assessed on Western Europe's countries and capitals. Next week, students will be assessed on Eastern Europe. With Thanksgiving approaching, we will read an article about Thanksgiving from a Native American point of view. We will focus on different authors' points of view and author's purpose.


  • This week in science, we are working on finishing the unit on ecology. On Thursday and Friday, we will be "block scheduling" for science and social studies. Students will have either double science or double social studies on Thursday and Friday in order to have time to fully complete a density lab. We will be beginning our space unit next week.

Related Arts


  • This week in art, we are learning about the Pop Art movement, in which artists made artwork based on everyday objects. The 5th-grade classes are celebrating artist Claes Oldenburg by creating 3-D, themed cupcakes out of clay. The 6th-grade classes will be focusing on Wayne Thiebaud, which will include a "Cupcake War"- working with their table members to draw a cupcake with a pop culture theme.


  • This week in music class we are composing our Jingle Projects (like a commercial jingle). Students will write their own song and perform it using the piano on their Garageband app. Don't forget to bring your headphones for this exciting project!


  • This week in PE, students will be working on their Frisbee skills. They will play a variety of lead- up games and finish the week with Ultimate Frisbee.

Veterans Day Video

WIS Veteran's Day 2021

Food Drive

The WIS Food Drive will be running November 10th thru 19th. Students and staff are asked to bring non-perishable items in support of the Westchester Food Pantry. They are also accepting paper products. Top 5th and 6th grade classes will be awarded a prize for most items collected.

WIS Holiday for Kids

If your WIS student is in need this holiday season, we would like to help. Please fill out a form for each WIS student. This form is not a guarantee that you will receive all items. Our program is based on donations; thank you for understanding.


Package pick up will be Tuesday, December 14th and Wednesday, December 15th from 7:30am-2:30pm.
Please wear a mask when you come to pick up your package.

If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Schmiegel: dschmiegel@duneland.k12.in.us

Inclement Weather Information - School Closing/Delay Procedures

As we approach the winter season, please review the procedures for school closings and/or delays that may occur due to inclement weather. The decision to close school and engage in an eLearning day or alter the school day is done after collaborating with multiple district personnel, local, state departments and agencies, including: law enforcement, national weather service, highway/street departments, and transportation. In addition, other Porter County school districts are consulted due to partnerships that impact special education and career-technical education students.

Decisions about school delays due to inclement weather will be made as early as possible. In some instances, a school cancellation may follow a two-hour delay. In the event of a two-hour delay followed by a cancellation, we will do our best to make the decision to cancel school before 9:00 a.m. Delay or cancellation information will be delivered through the Skylert notification system. These notifications are based on the contact information provided in the General category within your Skylert notification system. Please review and update (if necessary) your contact information to receive these notifications. School closing/delay information will also be posted on the DSC website (www.duneland.k12.in.us) and sent to the following media outlets:

  • Radio: WAKE 1500 AM; Indiana 105.5 FM; WEFM 95.9 FM; WDSO 88.3 FM; WGN Radio 720;

WBBM Newsradio 780

The following options will be considered during weather emergencies:

Option 1: Start of the school day will be delayed 2-hours. Delayed start times are:

Elementary - 10:00 a.m.

Intermediate - 10:15 a.m.

Middle School - 9:50 a.m.

High School - 9:40 a.m.

Option 2: Students will not report to school; students will participate in inclement weather eLearning day

Option 3: Schools will dismiss early

Skyward Family Access Quick Guide

Need some help in navigating your Skyward Parent Portal? Here is a Quick Guide with helpful videos attached to guide parents in familiarizing and utilizing Skyward.

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Nurse Tina's Note

Dear Parent/Guardians,

Starting soon, Health Services at WIS will be conducting Vision and Hearing screenings. All 5th grade students and new incoming 6th grade students, according to Indiana Law are required to have their vision checked. Hearing testing will only be performed on 5th and 6th grade students that are new to Duneland School Corporation.

We are asking that if your student wears glasses that they have them on their person daily so that there will be no delay in getting their testing completed. If you have any questions, please contact WIS School Nurse, Tina Sosby, R.N. at 219-983-3710 or via email at




Due to ongoing effects of the COVID Pandemic, many industries are suffering from labor shortages which is causing disruptions and shortages in the food chain. At present, Duneland School's Child Nutrition Department is experiencing unprecedented food order shortages causing many last minute changes to the breakfast and lunch menus. In an effort to communicate these changes to families in a timely manner, we ask that you please check this website daily for any changes to the menu.

Thank you for your patience as we work through these setbacks!

Visit the DSC Child Nutrition page for links to the menus for the Week of Nov. 15-19

Covid-19 Information

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NorthShore Clinic

Consent paperwork needs to be completed prior to an office visit. The paperwork is attached and can be completed prior to the visit to save time. If you choose this option, the consent paperwork needs to be on file beforehand. If returning paperwork via email, please send to: Shawn Kroft, skroft@northshorehealth.org.

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Help us Nominate WIS Teachers of Excellence today!

Attention parents! Help recognize Teachers of Excellence by nominating a Westchester staff member today. Kenneth J. Allen Law Group is supporting Northwest Indiana teachers who go above and beyond for their students by honoring their outstanding contributions to education. To learn more about the educators who are Teachers of Excellence, or if you know of someone who should be recognized as a Teacher of Excellence, please nominate her or him by clicking here.

Parent Observer Account

Parents are encouraged to set up their Canvas observer accounts to monitor their students' progress.

Parents can click this link to view how to set up their Parent Observer Account

Link to the Canvas Log In

Job Opportunities in Duneland

The Duneland School Corporation is seeking candidates for the following positions:


Child Nutrition associates provide nutrition services to students and staff. Benefit-eligible positions available. Apply online at Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Transportation positions (Bus Drivers, Sub Bus Drivers) require eligible persons to operate all school vehicles or (Sub Bus Aides) to assist in the transportation of all special students needing additional attention. These positions are highly responsible roles in transporting and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Transportation personnel interact with individuals both inside and outside of the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Duneland School Corporation Custodians are required to clean and sanitize all corporation facilities. This position has a highly responsible role in providing custodial services and dealing with students and staff on a regular basis. Custodians interact with individuals both inside and outside the corporation and therefore, must have the ability to present a professional and organized image at all times. Custodians may be required to work in other Duneland School Corporation facilities. Benefit-eligible positions available. Click to apply online


Seeking substitute teachers for all grade levels. To apply for a substitute teaching position, please apply in person at the Duneland Administration Center, 601 W Morgan Ave. in Chesterton to complete an application.