Eagle Parent Updates

October 15, 2021

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Supporting Differentiation Through Small Group Instruction

Dear Dawes Families,

Autumn is a great time of year. As the trees drop their leaves, we are reminded of the cycle of rebirth and how nature’s cycles are mirrored in our lives. The fallen leaves remind us of the need to let go of what’s not required in one’s life any longer, and of the need to remember that everything is impermanent. We are also reminded that time does not stand still and therefore we must continue to make every moment with our Eagles count! Educators have spent time gathering baseline data so that we can begin the important work of accelerating learning for all of our students! At Dawes, we remain focused on meeting the needs of students with varying abilities, attitudes, learning styles, perceptual modes, multiple intelligences, diverse languages and multicultural backgrounds. One of the ways that we do this is by implementing small group instruction. At the heart of small group instruction is differentiation because it gives us the opportunity to work with students at their zone of proximal development. Educators are able to scaffold mastery of a standard, it is also the way to accelerate, extend and enrich learning. Small group instruction can also take many forms and can include a variety of tasks to appeal to different perceptual modes. This also allows the educator to provide in the moment feedback and keep track of progress so that they can plan for next steps. We look forward to keeping this important and powerful practice alive at Dawes!

In partnership,

Marlene Aponte (she/her/hers)


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Last Hispanic Heritage Month Events @ Dawes

Tomorrow, October 16th - Our Hispanic Heritage Month Movie On the Lawn!

Time: 7:00PM

Location: Grassy Area Near Annex Building

Please join us for a special screening to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. We are going to present Vivo!, a music loving kinkajou embarks on the journey of a lifetime to fulfill his destiny and deliver a love song for an old friend. Bring your picnic blankets, chairs and masks for a special evening of love and laughter.

*please follow our social media pages on Instagram or Facebook for any important changes due to inclement weather

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Fall After School Programs @ Dawes

District 65 and Dawes will continue to partner with the following organizations to provide after school enrichment to our Eagles! Please review the information for each program below and reach out the program's lead coordinator if you have any questions.

Right At School (RAS)

Right At School programs keep students active, engaged, and healthy every day. We play group sports and fitness games - and take it outside as much as possible! Students who have homework have dedicated quiet time to focus on that, with support from our talented educators. Our enrichment curriculum follows fun themes that cross a variety of subjects, sure to interest every learner.

Fall Programming Schedule: November 1 - December 3

Link to Fall Courses & Application Form: https://rightatschool-dawes-elementary.jumbula.com/#/electives-fall-2021

Deadline to Apply: October 29

Contact Person: Amber Woodson

Phone: (224) 343-5328

Email: amber.woodson@rightatschool.com

Youth & Opportunity United (Y.O.U.)

Y.O.U. is a youth development agency providing services and leadership to meet the

emerging needs of young people and families in the Evanston/Skokie communities. It is our goal that all young people acquire the skills, self-confidence, and opportunity to participate fully, freely, and responsibly in their communities. Y.O.U. offers a holistic set of services – from after school enrichment and mentoring to clinical counseling and crisis intervention – to ensure that out-of-school time is safe, healthy, and fun.

Fall Programming Schedule: October 4 - December 21

Link to Application Form: https://forms.gle/vexS33LctyG2LjYe9

Contact Person: Simone Hampton

Phone: (847) 801-0329

Email: shampton@youthopportunity.org

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Don't Forget to Sign Up for Conferences

Parent teacher conferences are next week! If you have not scheduled time to meet with your child's teacher, please do so at your earliest convenience.

As a reminder, all parent teacher conferences will be virtual this year. Additionally, third through fifth grade students will be leading their parent teacher conferences. Please make sure you bring your child to conferences so that they can be part of this important discussion.

Parent Teacher Conference Date(s) and Time(s)

  • Tuesday, October 19th, 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, October 20th, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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District 65 Erin's Law Mandate

As a district, Erin’s Law lessons are mandated for students K-12. YWCA is partnering with D65 to help deliver lessons again. The district provided a parent info session on October 11th (for K-4) and October 12th (for 5-8). If you missed the sessions, we have provided them below along with additional information and resources. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our social workers, Ms. Frydman at frydmane@district65.net or Ms. Hansen at hansene@district65.net for more details.

Recording of Presentation:


K-4 Presentation:


5-8 Presentation:


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COVID-19 SHIELD Testing Progress

Last week we launched COVID-19 SHIELD Testing at Dawes! The thought of students collecting saliva may not be appealing, however our kiddos and staff demonstrated incredible stamina during the process!

As suspected with anything new, we experienced some bumps and we are learning a lot! Below are some initial findings and updates from the process to help parents understand where we are with launching SHIELD testing. As always, we ask for grace and understanding while we work to resolve challenges:

  • Students have a great deal of difficulty producing saliva and as a result, need much more time than expected
  • Staffing from SHIELD remains a challenge and this impacted scheduling
  • Students are never forced into testing and if they are unable to produce saliva after an extended period of time, they are released back to class
  • All students will be tested unless parents have completed an Opt Out Form
  • There must be sufficient saliva in the test tube to receive a test result
  • It is recommended that students drink plenty of water prior to testing to produce more saliva
  • No news is good news - we only receive notification of a positive test result and parents are informed as well
  • SHIELD testing was cancelled this week due to limited staffing and equipment and to ensure students have the opportunity to eat breakfast and lunch

While we have been preparing for this moment all year, we recognize that the start to this partnership has not been what we hoped for. Please know that these concerns have been shared with SHIELD testing and we will continue to forge ahead with continued optimism for better testing next week!

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Dawes School Nurse Update

Please note that our school nurse, Melissa Siavelis, will be leaving Dawes. Her last day with us will be today. Kindly join me in expressing heartfelt gratitude for her support over the last couple of years, especially throughout the pandemic.

Our students' and staff's health and wellness remains a top priority at Dawes. As such, I have worked closely with Dr. DeCristofaro and Ms. Judd to ensure we are properly staffed to support medical needs at our school. In the interim, we have been provided an experienced nurse while we hire a permanent nurse for our school. Please join me in giving Ms. Kelli Wieser a warm welcome! Ms. Wieser comes to Dawes with 31 years of experience as a pediatric nurse! She is currently being onboarded by our Health Director, Ms. Judd and by Ms. Siavelis, our former school nurse.

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Holiday Practices & Celebrations At Dawes

We are entering a special time for families and children share their excitement and talk about special family holiday traditions and celebrations. It is a good time to share our practices when it comes to holidays. District 65 as well as Dawes are committed to creating inclusive and equitable learning environments, and shifting away from commercial and religious holiday celebrations is part of that process.

To that end, Dawes no longer celebrates Halloween. While we know that Halloween can be a fun and exciting time for many, we also know that this is not a holiday that is celebrated by all members of our school community. We also recognized that historically there has also been the burden created of having a costume and we believe that this can create exclusive conditions that work against the community that we are building within Dawes. We serve such a diverse population with different cultural and religious beliefs around holidays and we see holidays to be family-based and it should be celebrated according to the traditions and beliefs of each family.

Having said this, we do have LOTS of ways in which we plan for celebrations and family friendly events at our school that are inclusive and allow for meaningful learning experiences. Our PTA has also coordinated events where families can participate in fall festivities with other families. We hope you will join them for these fun-filled events!

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Curriculum Night Leadership Presentation

Thank you once again to all of the families that were able to join us for our annual curriculum night! Some parents have reached out to request the school leadership presentation. You may access it below: