Caruso Connect - January 7th


Caruso Families!

We hope that you and your family had a wonderful winter break. As we approach the end of Second Quarter please ensure that you are checking in with your student about their current progress in classes. With just a week to go, there is some time to turn in any missing assignments.

We are prepared to resume extracurricular activities starting on Monday. After consulting other schools in our conference, athletic teams will be allowed to practice, but any games or matches will be rescheduled or canceled. Coaches will be communicating revised practice schedules soon; thank you very much for your patience and flexibility as we get back up and running. Please note: All participants in any before or after school activities must have a signed consent form and be signed up for SHIELD testing in order to take part. If you are unsure if your student needs to test, please reach out to us. Please see below to find the link to the consent form.

In this week's edition of the Caruso Connect, please read on to see who our Blue Jays of the Week are, information specific for 5th and 8th grade families, and about our upcoming Spirit Days!

Thank you for your continued support.

- Get vaccinated.

- Get boosted.

- Wear a mask.

- Stay safe.

Have a GREAT weekend!

Tim, Caitlin, and Heidy

Tim Brodeur - Principal -

Caitlin Lucci - Associate Principal -

Heidy LaFleur - Interim Coordinator of Student Support -

Upcoming Events

1/11 - MAP testing

1/13 - MAP testing

1/14 - Rewards Day/End of Q2

1/17 - No School MLK Day

1/18 - Q 3 Starts

1/20 - 5th Grade Middle School World Language Night 6:30 PM

1/24 - PTO Meeting 6:30 PM

Blue Jays of the Week

*If you would like to nominate a staff member for this you may do so HERE!

Information for Families

MAP Testing: Jan 11 and 13

Please note that next Tuesday and Thursday we will be holding MAP testing in the morning. We will have a modified schedule (see below) so please be aware for any appointments, lunch orders, etc.

Note: if your student will not be in the building on the 11th and/or 13th, we will work to coordinate a make-up session when they return. MAP testing will NOT be proctored virtually.

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Rewards Day: Friday, January 14

We are excited to host Quarter 2 Rewards Day on Friday, January 14. As communicated at the beginning of the quarter, students who have demonstrated positive behavior and completed all assignments will be invited to participate in the Rewards Day celebration. Students who do not meet these requirements will not be able to participate in the planned Rewards Day activity and will have an alternative activity. To accommodate this event on Friday, we have a modified schedule (see below) - please make note of the changes for appointments, lunch, etc.
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PTO Meeting

Please join us for our next PTO meeting on Zoom Monday, January 24th at 7:00 PM! All are welcome.

Illinois Youth Survey Parent Notification Letter: 8th Grade Only

During ExSEL on February 9th all 8th grade students will be taking the Illinois Youth Survey. Please see the link below for more information. If you would like to opt your student out, please complete the form and send to Mr. Brodeur by February 7th.

Middle School World Language Night Zoom (Save the Date)

Thursday, 1/20/22 at 6:30pm: The Caruso and Shepard World Language Teams are coming together to share information about our wonderful language programming for our incoming Bluejays and Spartans. Drop into the Zoom session to hear from the teachers and learn about our curriculum highlights in Mandarin, Hebrew, French and Spanish.

A Zoom Link and Q&A Document will be shared prior to the meeting

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Many families have recently chosen to have their 5-11 year old student 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, filing 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.

CMS Clubs and Activities


We are prepared to resume extracurricular activities starting on Monday. After consulting other schools in our conference, athletic teams will be allowed to practice, but any games or matches will be rescheduled or canceled. All participants must have a signed consent form and be signed up for SHIELD testing in order to take part. Please click below to find the consent form.

Wednesday and Friday Spirit Days

All students and staff are encouraged to join us for Wednesday and Friday Spirit Days!

Every Wednesday is Caruso Day! Wear your Caruso Wear!

1/14 - Tie-Dye

1/21 Fun in the Sun

1/28 - Crazy Hats

Heath and Wellness Reminders

SHIELD Results

Due to increased testing volume across Illinois, DPS109 now receives SHIELD results within 48 hours. This slower turnaround time impacts our ability to contact families prior to the next school day with results. We ask for your continued partnership in keeping students healthy and in school. Please complete Daily Health Certifications, and make sure your contact information is current in Family Access to help your nurses/staff efficiently make notifications and contact trace.

Reminder for School Volunteers

A quick reminder, that all volunteers or individuals spending prolonged time in one of our buildings are required to be vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID test.

If you are coming to our building to volunteer, please remember these things:

-Wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status

-Bring a photo ID to check in at the front office

-Bring your proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test (not self-administered) from within the last week

-Complete a Covid self-certification prior to coming to school

Thank you for your cooperation and please contact Eric Steckling ( if you have any questions.

What is Test To Stay?

This year, fewer students are needing to be quarantined if they are a close contact to a COVID-19 case, thanks to the Lake County Health Department's "Test To Stay" protocol. Click here to read more from the district about it.

SHIELD Testing

Students will begin SHIELD testing at 8:30 AM. Please ensure that students do not have food, gum, or drinks an hour prior to testing. Students will be called out of class for SHIELD testing according to the schedule below. Please communicate with your student if you would like them to test or not. We make reminder calls for all students for testing, and if students have your consent they can test even if they do not have a QR code/lanyard yet. (We are working with district office to ensure everyone has one soon!)

8th Grade 8:30-8:50 from Encore 1

6th Grade 8:50-9:10 from Core 1

7th Grade 9:20-9:40 from Core 2

Below are the SHIELD testing dates:

CARUSO - 8:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Wednesday, January 12

Wednesday, January 19

Wednesday, January 26

Wednesday, February 2

Wednesday, February 9

Wednesday, February 16

Thursday, February 24

Wednesday, March 2

Wednesday, March 9

Wednesday, March 16

Wednesday, March 30

Wednesday, April 6

Wednesday, April 13

Wednesday, April 20

Wednesday, April 27

Wednesday, May 4

Wednesday, May 11

Wednesday, May 18

Wednesday, May 25

Wednesday, June 1

Testing is not mandatory. By consenting to the testing, your child’s name is put on a roster and the expectation is that they will be testing weekly unless a parent/guardian notifies us otherwise.


Log in to Skyward/Family Access and it should appear as a green box next to your child’s name. Contact Kristen Neu ( with any Family Access questions.


Fill out this Google Form prior to 7 AM on the day that our school tests: Wednesday

COVID Information


DPS 109 will be offering testing for symptomatic students Monday through Friday afternoons during the school year. The BinaxNOW test will be administered outside of the District Office in the beige testing building (please look for sign on door). Testing is free of charge to families. Click here to read more about testing.


It’s always a tough situation when this happens in the morning! Be sure to read this section in our COVID information hub, especially if you have multiple children enrolled in DPS 109. Our school exclusion guidance comes from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

8th Grade Transition to DHS

DHS Registration Dates for the Class of 2026

High School Registration Video will be released on January 7, 2022. Families will have the opportunity to learn about course offerings and the online registration process.

High School Preview Night (formerly 8th Grade Curriculum Night) is Wednesday, January 12, starting at 6:30 pm. This in-person event is for both students and parents/guardians.

Online Course Requests Open on Tuesday, January 11. If families have questions or concerns regarding course placement, they can contact the DHS academic department chair.

Course Requests close on Tuesday, January 25. Families must submit their final course requests by 3:30 pm.

Special Education Articulation Meetings are scheduled Mid-January – Early February. DHS Special Education staff meet with 8th-grade families to review plans for incoming freshmen with Individualized Education Plans.

Counseling Collaboration Meetings will start in January. During collaboration meetings, members of the DHS Counseling Department meet with middle school principals and staff to exchange information on 8th graders who are not receiving special education services. Students with 504 plans will be discussed at this meeting. In preparation for the meeting, we will share an outline of topics. All collaboration meetings will be held virtually.

Calendar of Events:

January 11, 2022: Course Registration Opens for Course Requests

January 12, 2022: High School Preview Night for Students & Parents/Guardians
6:30 pm- 8:30 pm (In-Person)

January 25, 2022: Course Requests Completed by 3:30 pm

February 10, 2022: Course Verification Opens after 8:00 am

February 14, 2022: Course Verification Closes at 3:30 pm

April 11, 2022: Extra-Curricular Night

May 2, 2022: Health Forms Due to DHS Health Services Office

Mid-August, 2022: Schedules posted on Infinite Campus

August 15, 2022: Warrior Welcome for Students & Parents/Guardians (6:30 pm- 8:00 pm)

August 17, 2022: First day of student attendance

Who to Contact?

Please see the helpful list below who to contact at CMS for your needs. You may also visit the DPS 109 Website to learn more.
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