Friday Focus

December 3, 2021

In this Issue:

  • A Message from Marcie
  • A Word about Smartwatches
  • Learning Commons Corner
  • Operation Snowflake
  • Winter Weather Information
  • Text/Email/Robocall Test Next Week
  • Optional Vaccine Disclosure for Students Ages 5+

Don't miss the PTO Spotlight!

  • Restaurant Days-Chipotle 12/6
  • Feeling generous? Shop for a family in need by 12/6!
  • Gratitude Generation - Sign up to Volunteer on Dec 11th
  • Winter Enrichment Sign up
  • Marla's Lunch - winter ordering to begin mid-December
  • Fun Lunch Volunteering - NEW dates available
  • Winter Gear Drive - Bring items now until winter break
  • Cute pictures? Send to the Yearbook!

A Message from Marcie

Hello, South Park!

I hope that everyone was able to take some time over the Thanksgiving holiday to relax and recharge, enjoying time with friends and loved ones. The countdown to Winter Break has begun, but lots of learning will still take place in the days leading up to the much-anticipated two-week break.

Thank you to all of the families who have contributed to Operation Snowflake, the gift-giving campaign that supports some South Park families as well as other families in need living in Deerfield. More information on how you can still participate can be found below.

A reminder that we SHIELD tested yesterday, December 2nd, and results may not come in until the early hours of Saturday. Please continue to be diligent as you head into the weekend in the event that your child tests positive.

Have a wonderful weekend!


A Word about Smartwatches

I respect the decision that many parents have made to give their elementary-age children a smartwatch. In fact, my own 3rd-grade daughter has one, too. Several teachers have mentioned that the use of watches has become a distraction during the school day, so I want to remind our families about our usage policy from the District 109 student handbook regarding PDAs (personal digital assistants such as smartwatches). It states:

Unless otherwise banned under this policy or by the Building Principal, all electronic devices must be kept out-of-sight during the regular school day unless:

  1. the supervising teacher grants permission;
  2. use of the device is provided in a student's individual education plan (IEP)
  3. it is used during the student's lunch period, or
  4. it is needed in an emergency that threatens the safety of students, staff, and other individuals.

We ask that you respect the expectations of the district and refrain from texting your child during the learning portion of the school day. Students should also be reminded that they should not be communicating using their watch outside of lunch. Thank you for your cooperation.

Learning Commons Corner

South Park’s Library Squad is a group of 4th and 5th grade students who work hard to make fun things possible in the South Park Learning Commons. This year they have done a number of special projects including hosting stories and games at the Book Fair, creating book displays, and advertising many of the unique features of our Learning Commons. This week, they helped set up a Stick Together collage, where students work collaboratively to construct a picture out of colored stickers. No one knows yet what the picture will be, but students across all grade levels are having fun filling in the pieces!

Operation Snowflake

We are still collecting gifts for Operation Snowflake, our gift-giving campaign. There is still time to help!

If you prefer to not shop for a gift but would still like to participate, feel free to send a gift card (Target, Amazon, etc.).

A few reminders:

  • Click the button below to see the list of requested holiday gifts using SignUp Genius. (This list will continue to grow so please check back frequently to see what else is needed/wanted).
  • Select the gift(s) that you would like to purchase.
  • Each gift has a unique code to ensure that this is an anonymous process (e.g. Mittens A, Gingerbread C).
  • Drop off your purchased items to South Park during the week between 8:00-4:00 through Thursday, December 9th (the date has been extended).
  • Please make sure you label the gift with the name and number that corresponds to the SignUp Genius! (Mittens A)
  • Please do not wrap gifts.
  • If you need to make alternate arrangements for gift drop-off, please contact Dr. Faust (

Our goal is to come together as a community to make everyone’s holiday a little brighter this year! Thank you for your support.



A reminder that this week, the district sent out updated information regarding winter weather and our plans for this year. If we can predict that a lot of snow will fall, students/staff/families will be given a heads up for a potential e-learning day. Click below to read more on the district website.


As part of winter weather preparations and making sure we have the right contact info on file for you, the district will be sending out test message next Wednesday at noon. If you haven't checked in a while, take 3 minutes and login to Family Access below to ensure we have the right email and phone number on file for you. If you have any questions, email


Many families have recently chosen to have their 5-11-year-old students vaccinated.

As a reminder, your child is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after receiving their second dose.

You can complete an optional form in Family Access to let DPS 109 know that your child is vaccinated. This is the same form that was made available to students ages 12 and older earlier this year. Please click below to log into Family Access.

Why are we asking for this information?

A major benefit of completing the form is that if your child is deemed to be a close contact to a positive case, either in school or outside of it, our contact tracing team will quickly be able to potentially rule out quarantine for those that have voluntarily disclosed their child’s vaccination status or minimize the number of additional tests required to participate in the test to stay program.

Again, filling out this form is entirely optional. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to and we will put you in touch with the appropriate department.

Important Dates

December 20-31 - No School - Winter Break

January 3 - School Resumes

January 10-28 - MAP Winter Testing Window

January 17 - No School - Martin Luther King's Birthday


This opt-out will be for testing on Thursday, December 9th.

Fill out this Google Form prior to 7 AM on THURSDAY, 12/9.

*Please note that if you have consented but want to opt out of a week, you must fill out the form every week.