Mustang Minute

August 28, 2020

“Describing her first day back in grade school after a long absence, a teacher said, It was like trying to hold 35 corks underwater at the same time.” – Mark Twain

No School, September 7- Labor Day

No School, September 8- Remote Learning Planning Day

Effective August 28th, PushCoin credit card fees will increase from 2.90% + $.025 per credit card transaction to 2.95% + $.26 per credit card transaction. There is no change to the eCheck funding option, which remains free to parents and the district.


  • First Week Overview (NEW)
  • Specials Starting Next Week (NEW)
  • IRLA Assessment Day (NEW)
  • D.E.A.M. (NEW)
  • iPads/Battery Life (NEW)
  • Remote Learning Expectations for Parents and Students (Review)
  • Teacher Absence
  • Yearbook Update
  • School Supplies
  • MBAC
  • Face Masks
  • Paraprofessional Openings at D24
  • EPIC News (Updated)
  • Virtual Backpack (Updated)

First Week Overview

In general, our first week of school in remote learning was successful. We did encounter a few bumps in the road, but we were able to problem-solve those. Each day got a little easier for both students and teachers and it will only get better as we move along.

Please make sure your child(ren) has a set place to do their schoolwork each day. This needs to be free of any distractions. If a student needs to get up for any reason, keep their device in their location. We often saw students taking their devices around the home on many occasions, which can be a distraction during instructional time.

If you have multiple students in the home, spread them out as feedback from multiple devices in a room can cause echoing in Zoom sessions.

As we mentioned last week, connecting with students is our top priority the first few weeks. Our team of teachers were able to start developing those relationships and we will continue to grow to form their to make their connections stronger.

Specials will start next week. Specials activities will be pushed out in SeeSaw (K-2) and in Schoology (3-5). Remember that Specials is asynchronous, with students working independently on those activities each afternoon. If any students/parents have any questions, Special teachers will have office hours available each day from 2:30-3:00. Those hours will also be pushed out in SeeSaw/Schoology.

In our schedule, core academic time is every morning. The afternoon is designed to be more independent for the child. As you see in our schedule (below) we have a designated time called SMORE #2 (Student Math Or Reading Extension). This time is for teachers to work with small groups of students that need additional support in those subject areas. This is not for all students, but only the students that need extra support. If your child is not meeting with their teacher during this time, this would be the time students can work on any homework that is given or their 30min of independent reading that we are asking all students to do at home each day. Students can also choose to do their Specials activities during this time.

If students are working with a teacher during SMORE #2, then they will not be able to work on their Specials activities until after that session.

This also goes with Accelerated Math students in grades 3rd-5th. Those classes will be synchronous from 1:30-2:15 with their assigned math teacher. They can either do their Special's activities after or before math class.

Again, the afternoon is a bit more flexible for students and many can set their own times to complete activities.

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Specials Starting Next Week

Specials are starting this week and are scheduled daily from 2:15-3:00. If you have time earlier or later in your day, that is fine as well. On Fridays you will have the opportunity to pick from a You Choose Menu. Specials courses are located in SeeSaw for grades K-2 and in Schoology for grades 3-5. Here is the schedule of which days you should complete each Special:

Monday - Music

Tuesday - Day 1 PE

Wednesday - Art

Thursday - Day 2 PE

Friday - You Choose Menu

Have fun and stay healthy!

Mr. Gorr, Mrs. Hauser, Ms. Hoetzer and Mrs. Michel

Friday, September 4- IRLA Assessment Day

Our students come into a new school year at varying levels in regards to their reading skills. It is important for our teachers to gauge where each of their students are at so that we can continue to help them grow in their reading development. Our teachers use the Independent Level Reading Assessment to identify student's levels. This process is individualized and requires one-on-one time with the teacher.

Next Friday, September 4 will be an IRLA Assessment Day. Our teachers will be spending the day assessing each student on their reading skills. On average, it takes 20-30 minutes to assess one child. To help accommodate teachers doing this, next Friday will be an asynchronous day for students. Teachers will push out learning activities and videos for the day for students to work on. Your child's teacher will schedule a time with your child to join them in Zoom.

Students will still have their morning meeting as usual and will still need to go into their Zoom session for the first 20 minutes. After that, they will be sent off to do their activities on their own.


In an effort to help students and their families find ways to be active and move throughout the day we are providing a movement calendar we are calling DEAM (Drop Everything and Move). These calendars provide daily exercise activities for students. There are two calendar options; the long list-type calendar is suitable for students in K-5, the other more traditional calendar format is suitable for students in grade 3-5. You may print this calendar, write it on a separate piece of paper or pick one up in the front vestibule at school with other school materials. At the end of each month students can turn in their completed calendar for a chance to win a raffle prize. The prizes will be announced in the PE lessons students will do during their Specials time each week.

Have fun and stay healthy!!!

Mrs. Michel and Ms. Hoetzer

Choose one of the calendars below to use to track yoru exercises.

iPads/ Battery Life

We discovered this week that the battery on some iPads have been draining quickly due to Zoom meetings. We are asking for students to have their devices fully charged and have them plugged into their charges during all Zoom meetings. This will assure the battery will last the morning hours.

Teacher Absent Day

We are currently in the process of recruiting and training substitute teachers for remote learning. Until we can get this established, we will not have substitute teachers available. For now, if there is a teacher absence during remote learning, teachers will be making activities for students to do independently for the day (asynchronously). Students will still have a morning meeting with one of our staff members via Zoom. At the meeting, we will still take attendance, and then review the day's activities before students are released to their activities for the day.

Parent Expectations for Remote Learning

  1. Establish a daily routine and provide an appropriate space to support student learning.
  2. For families that are teaming up with students in the same class, students should be separated into different rooms during live in-instruction due to microphone feedback.
  3. Review assigned work, discuss expectations with your child and communicate with teachers.
  4. Set limits on technology use for games, social media, etc.
  5. Emphasize the importance of learning and education
  6. Expect your child to read at least 30 minutes everyday
  7. Ensure that children are eating healthy each day including fruits, vegetables and protein in their diets.
  8. Daily attendance is required and parents are expected to follow our normal procedures for reporting attendance. Call the office before 9:00AM if your child cannot participate in the learning activities for the day. The teacher will be doing attendance each morning and reporting any absent students to the office.
  9. It is important that students get an appropriate amount of sleep each night. The following guidelines should be considered: Ages 3-5 (11-13 hours of sleep), Ages 5-10 (10-11 hours of sleep), Ages 11 up (9 to 10 hours of sleep).
  10. Children should be exercising at least an hour each day most of which should be moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Please be sure to contact Mrs. Michel or Ms. Hoetzer if you need ideas.
  11. Health, wellness and social-emotional needs must be a priority for all children during this time. We encourage parents to contact the office if you need the assistance of the Social Worker.
  12. Be sure to follow best practice hygiene including brushing teeth twice a day, bath and change clothes daily, wash hands regularly and follow CDC preventative measures recommendations.

Yearbook Update from Lifetouch

Dear Families,

Yearbooks are a tradition for schools throughout the US and Canada. At Lifetouch, we are humbled to be a part of providing that tradition. We know how important yearbooks are - especially in times like these.

We want to take a moment to acknowledge this year’s delayed yearbook delivery is not what you, as our customers expect, nor deserve, from Lifetouch.

We want you to be aware that our primary yearbook production facilities are located in some of the states that are being hardest hit by the pandemic. We have prioritized the safety of our employees; and we are following all state and local health guidelines to create a safe working environment. Social distancing requirements mean that there are fewer people available to work at any given time. These changes have impacted our production schedule in meaningful ways.

We realize this has created a lot of frustration since we are currently unable to provide an estimated delivery time frame for your school’s yearbook. Please know our teams are doing everything possible to get your yearbook to you. Shipping is monitored daily. As soon as your yearbook ships, your school will receive tracking information so they can arrange to distribute the yearbooks to the students and families in a manner that is best suited for everyone’s safety.

As we navigate COVID-19, our intent is to provide you with a yearbook that your student will treasure for a lifetime. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate this unprecedented time together.



School Supplies

Please click below to view updates on supply lists for each grade level.

Mr. Gorr has been working on adjusting his music curriculum for the school year this summer not that all specials will be asynchronous this year. He would like to have all 2nd-5th grade students to have a recorder to use for remote learning activities that he will share out. Recorders are a woodwind musical instrument in the flute family. He will be having students utilize these to help reinforce the skill of pitch and rhythm. He is only asking for one per family so siblings could share if needed.

Families can find recorders online in many places and can choose either plastic or wooden ones (wooden is more expensive). Here are a few sites that we found that have low-cost recorders:

West Music


Mr. Gorr will not need these right away, but please have them by the end of September. He will then share our lessons in October for students to start using the recorders remotely for music class.

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MBAC Registration

Once we return to in-person learning, MBAC will once again provide before and after school care for students. If you are interested in using this for your child, please complete the registration paperwork (see below) and submit it to Mr. Jimichael Slaby at

Face Masks

As we continue to plan our return with students in the fall, we know that the use of masks will be essential to our learning environment. We are sure your child has already experienced wearing a mask at times over the last few months. Now the challenge will be wearing it for longer periods of time.

There are many companies that are selling masks, but which one is right for you? It really is like choosing a pair of shoes. You want them to be comfortable and still serve the purpose. The CDC recommends face make following these guidelines:

  1. Face masks should fit snugly and comfortably
  2. They must be secured with ties or ear loops
  3. They should comprise multiple fabric layers
  4. You should be able to breathe without restriction while wearing the face mask
  5. You should be able to wash the face masks without causing damage or losing the face mask’s shape

We do suggest families start looking for options for their child and to have them get use to wearing it for longer periods of time. Try wearing the mask around the house in relaxed environments: watching TV, playing a family game, etc.

Paraprofessional Postions Openings

School year position, but benefits are 100% paid for the full year. 100% paid insurance includes medical, dental, vision, long-term disability, and $50,000 life. Enrolled in Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF); vested after 10 years. Paid time off includes sick and personal leave. Starting salary is $12.07 unless applicant is experienced.


Primary Function: To provide support to one or more students with disabilities, enabling them to receive greater benefit from the district’s instructional program.

Organizational Relationships: The Special Education Paraprofessional receives guidance from the classroom teacher and reports to the Administration.

Performance Responsibilities:
  1. Under the supervision of the teacher, work with student or students to reinforce concepts initially introduced by the teacher.
  2. Assist student(s) in organizing tasks, schedules, materials or assignments.
  3. Establish a positive and supportive relationship with the student(s), which encourages independent functioning rather than dependency.
  4. Assist the teacher in devising special strategies for reinforcing the skills of individual students based on their needs, interests, or abilities.
  5. Help students operate and care for equipment or instructional materials assigned by the teacher.
  6. Distribute and collect workbooks, papers, and other materials for instruction,
  7. Guide independent study, enrichment work, and remedial work set up and assigned by the teacher.
  8. Assist with the supervision of student(s), including during emergency drills, assemblies, play periods, lunchtime, trips to the office, nurse, Media Center or field trips.
  9. Check notebooks, correct papers, and supervise testing and make-up work, as assigned by the teacher.
  10. Help student(s) with their clothing, dressing skills as needed.
  11. Assist with lunch, snack, and clean-up routines
  12. Assist with wash-up and toilet routines.
  13. Help student transition from one room to another.
  14. Alert the teacher to any problem or special information about the assigned student(s).
  15. Maintain the same high level of ethical behavior and confidentiality of information about students as is expected of fully licensed teachers.
  16. Participate in inservice training programs, as assigned.
  17. Support established classroom and behavior management procedures.
  18. Perform other duties that may be assigned by supervisor.

Terms of Employment: Must have or obtain a paraprofessional license as issued by the State of Illinois.
180 work days salary and work year established by the Board of Education.


Amazon Smile: Do you use Amazon? Consider making your orders through Amazon Smile –Millburn EPIC will get a percentage of every order done in our name. See the attached below for the easy instructions.

Box Tops: Don’t forget about your Box Tops! If you would like to submit any Box Tops that you have, please email us at: We will be happy to pick them up from your porch or mailbox. Any Box Tops submitted over the summer will be saved for the 2020-2021 school year and your child will get credit for their new classroom. Don’t forget to scan your grocery receipt to earn digital Box Tops for Millburn!

Jimano’s $$: Are you ordering dinner from Jimano’s? Look on your pizza box for the ‘Piece of Education’ logo and save that tab - Jimano’s will donate back to Millburn for each one of those saved! Turn these into the school with your Box Tops. Have a lot and want to give them now? Contact us at

Coca-Cola Give: Coca-Cola Give is a new destination for donating to your school. Each bottle of Coca-Cola products has a code on the inside of the bottle cap. (Not just soda – Dasani water, Powerade, Honest, etc).

2 Ways to give us the codes:

Enter the codes online Click Donate to your Local School. Enter Millburn Middle School or Millburn Elementary School (please make sure it is for the Illinois school NOT the New Jersey one). Join or sign in when you have an account.


Send us the caps: contact us at We will sent up a pick up time and we will do the work for you.

Board Elections: We are going holding elections in the fall. Open positions will be: Vice President, Secretary, Community Fundraising Director, MMS Activity Director and MES Activity Director. If you are interested in a position and would like to reach out to us please contact us at

For more information visit our website at

Questions or concerns contact us at

Virtual Backpack

Parent Resources