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March 13, 2020

Words of Inspiration

"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved."

-Helen Keller

A Special Applause to...

We are entering unprecedented territory. While I expect us to return to school a couple of weeks after spring break, no one really knows. Thank you for your flexibility and professionalism during this time. The face to face experiences you create every day will not be replaced during this distance learning time. I know that you will develop the next best thing. I have read several articles from educators who work in online schools. They all talked about how hard it is to build relationships with students and they shared they they never really get to know them. The work you have done during the first three quarters of this school year will make that hurdle one that is easily cleared. You know your students. Please continue to check in with them as you would if school was in session. When you have questions, send them my way. Enjoy the next week off and we will see you soon!

Information for the Staff

Questions about Distance Learning

I am going to do my best to clarify questions. This is uncharted territory. More questions will arise as we go and some answers could potentially change as we learn how to implement this. If you have questions, send them to me and I will get them answered and out to everyone.


Q:Will I have access to the school?

A: No, after Monday at 2:30, no one will have access to the building except for the custodians. Once they complete the deep clean no one will be permitted in the building until further notice.


Q: Can you provide clarification on office hours?

A: Again, this is not something we have had to do before. I think the biggest key to this is communication to the parents. You need to post them on the Off Campus Learning tab in Blackboard. I want to give you flexibility as to when you do them. I feel it is appropriate to be available to students for at least the amount of time you are expected to be at work (communicate this time to parents). If you plan on holding virtual type learning sessions, consider having them the equivalent to the time you would teach students (communicate this time to parents). Again, this could change based on what we experience. I don't think our parents expect us to be perfect, but they do expect to be informed.


Q: Should I develop lessons for new content?

A: No. The content you put out to students should not be new content. As Mrs. Naber shared in her letter to you, "any lesson created for at-home use during a temporary closure should help students REVIEW what they have learned, EXTEND their knowledge, or REINFORCE individual student learning goals." Additionally, you should not be giving students any type of summative assessment. If you want to check for understanding, a formative assessment would be appropriate at this time.


Q: What should I do about report cards?

A: You will have today and the Monday after Spring Break to get them completed and into the system. The district is currently discussing options for distribution.


Google Hangouts

Just a heads up, Google Hangouts is open for students. This should be the easiest way for you to video chat with students (individual or group) in the event that you need face to face time. If you are unfamiliar with this tool, there are several videos out there that can walk you through it. If you need more help, you can reach out to Lisa or Matt and we can walk you through it. Please be aware that it is also open for students. So yes, that means we are opening the flood gates for the potential of a giant group chat.


Shed the Threads - Recycle clothing and other items!

Let's Go, Greene School! We are competing with the other schools to Shed the most Threads and recycle unwanted items. Right now, we are in last place. Let's clean out those closets over Spring Break and help fill the bin! Thanks!


Refrigerator Clean out. The refrigerators will be cleaned out over the Spring Break, so be sure to take home any items you may have in them by 3:30 Friday. Any items left will be thrown away later on Friday. Thanks!


3rd Annual STEAM Showcase

Sycamore Community Schools' STEAM Team is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Sycamore STEAM Showcase on May 9th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at E.H. Greene Intermediate School. The purpose of the event is to spotlight district-wide STEAM learning from preschool through senior year. The STEAM Showcase will consist of PBL projects, booths, student work, and presentations throughout the day.


We are seeking STEAM related projects for your students to showcase on that day! Types of projects to consider presenting would include PBL experiences, cross-curricular projects, science experiments, or multimedia presentations that utilize the design process. This includes all content areas.


We have so many exciting STEAM opportunities going on in our buildings!!! Please fill out this form to express your interest in participating in the STEAM Showcase and tell us a little about your classroom or building project. Projects will be showcased in expo style; poster displays, booths, live demos, and/or opportunities for 10-minute presentations in a common area. As the date approaches, you will receive a Signup Genius invitation to sign up for a specific time and other details.


Please help us create a day of STEAM fun by “showing off” the many exciting STEAM opportunities you are creating for our students!

Big picture

For the Weeks of March 16 and March 23

March 16 - 20 - SPRING BREAK!


March 23 - April 3 - NO SCHOOL


AIR Testing - April - Dates TBD


Are you an early planner? Here is the building calendar. You can view events more than a week at a time.

Announce to Students

Happy Birthday!

Laurie Dobrowolski - March 18

Dawn Thamen - March 23

DJ Izworski - April 12

Miranda Fox - April 14

Tim Graulty - April 17

Misty Harris - April 20

Peggy Denham - April 23

Felicia Ormond - April 30