Madison Memos

The Madison School Newsletter / August 28, 2015

Madison Parents,

This has been an exciting and action-packed beginning to the 2015-2016 school year. The work toward opening the school year off right began long ago, of course. Our custodial team did a marvelous job cleaning the building, our District 200 Department of Technology has provided us with some great new learning tools and the 10 members of the Madison Instructional Team met this summer to review the school’s reading and math data and write our SIP (School Improvement Plan).

This year, each District 200 school will have goals in math, reading, SEL (Social Emotional Learning), and include elements from the District 200 FIT (Future of Instruction and Technology) Guide. We could not write our goals without first finding some great celebrations in our student’s math and reading scores. For instance:

· Each and every grade level exceeded our school improvement growth goals in reading and math last school year

· Every grade level boasted a #1 rank in at least one of the few District 200 reading or math target areas

· Many grade levels demonstrated great growth from our mid-year to end of year assessments

· Many students climbed from concerning levels of achievement levels to outstanding achievement levels

In math, the MIT (Madison Instructional Team) decided to focus our school improvement efforts on multiple representations of numbers with an emphasis on conceptual understanding of fractions. We tied an SEL goal and a FIT goal to it as well. The FIT goal states “time is allocated almost daily for learners to collaborate and create in pairs or small groups.”

We also chose to focus on the Illinois SEL goal 32B, which states “use communication and social skills to interact effectively with others.” Both of these goals will be accomplished while we implement daily “Structured Math Talk” into our lessons. Math defines “Math Talk” as an “opportunity for deeper understanding through communication. Individually or in groups, students articulate and defend their ideas and analyze the reasoning of others.”

In reading, the MIT focused our school improvement efforts on understanding, evaluating and analyzing relationships (Cause/Effect, Sequential, Compare/Contrast, etc.) in our reading. We tied a FIT strategy of ensuring that “engaging learning activities are aligned to standards and learning targets required within the course.”

Our Curriculum Nights are on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. We look forward the chance to strengthen our partnerships with each and every parent so that we can all work together to provide the best education possible for your children and our students.

Thank you for all that you do to partner with us,

Tim Callahan

Participate in the Run-A-Thon

Madison’s Run-A-Thon is back and better than ever. On Sept. 16 and 17 (rain date is Sept. 18), Madison’s students and staff will participate in our biggest fundraiser this year. Forms and pledge sheets are being sent home today. Extra forms are in the office and also located here.

One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to Madison PTA. This supports programs such as Multicultural Day, Explore More Day, Cultural Arts, Field Day and many other wonderful programs.

Each participant will receive a Run-A-Thon t-shirt and has a chance of winning exciting prizes including a Garmin, an autographed Chicago Fire poster, Madison spirit wear, 31 lunch tote, movie passes, roller skating passes, dinner at Alfie’s Inn Restaurant, games, gift cards to Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Main Event, and much, much more!

To sponsor Madison students or make a donation to our Run-a-thon, use our online payment option here. Please share this online payment option with out-of-town friends and family.

Get your running shoes ready! If you’d like to volunteer for this event or have any questions, please contact Debbie Gonzalez (, Michele Triscik ( or Sybil Scaccia (

Join Madison PTA for 2015-2016

The PTA is a combined group of dedicated parents, teachers and staff who work to enrich the academic lives of our students. Your membership helps to support the numerous programs and activities that our children experience throughout the school year.

Family membership dues include up to two adults at a flat fee of $15, which includes one copy of the Madison Directory as well as access to our mobile app/digital directory, DirectorySpot.

To sign up online go to:

If you prefer to pay by cash or check, follow the directions above and click on Madison PTA Family Membership Form to print and complete the forms at home. Registration forms are also available in the school office. Submit with payment in an envelope labeled "PTA Membership" to the school office. All checks should be made payable to Madison PTA.

If you have any questions regarding PTA membership, please contact Monica Fahey at or by phone at 630-517-8187. Thank you for joining the PTA and making Madison a great school!

Join Madison PTA Facebook group

Madison PTA invites all Madison parents and staff to join the Madison PTA Wheaton, IL Facebook group. Click here to join.

Trivia night coming soon

Madison’s second annual Trivia Night will be held the evening of Sept. 26 at the American Legion in Carol Stream. This is a fun, adults-only fundraiser that includes a cocktail hour, silent action, and trivia where tables compete as teams. Please watch for more information coming home with your student, including how to reserve your spot. Also, if you would like to donate to the evening, a form will be attached for that purpose. Questions? Contact Stephanie Brown (, Julie Ippolito ( or Melissa Roberts (

Join Battle of the Books today!

Dear 4th and 5th grade students and parents,

Have you signed up for "Battle of the Books" yet? Today is the deadline!

Madison School will again participate in the “Battle of the Books” program sponsored by the Wheaton Public Library. The purpose of this program is to challenge fourth and fifth grade students to read and become familiar with a variety of books, and last year Madison had more participants than any other school!

Madison School will be competing against other Wheaton elementary schools in a trivia bowl format. Each of the eight battles Madison attends consists of four school teams competing against each other. The battles take place at the public library from 4:00-4:30 p.m. during January and February. Students are responsible for their own transportation; though your child’s group leader could help you arrange a ride. Each student battles one or two times.

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As a battle participant, your child would be responsible for reading the 12 or 13 books assigned to them from the Battle of the Books list of 50 books.

Your child will also commit to meet with his/her/ team every week, during lunchtime, beginning in early September. The students bring their lunch to their assigned classroom and eat as we review and discuss the assigned book for that week. We’ll make every effort to allow for some recess time each week. Your child would be required to read one book each week between September and December. Meetings during January and February will consist of mock battles to prepare the group for the library battles, alternating with review sessions with your assigned group.

If this program is something that you think would interest your child, sign the parent consent form or email today, Fri., Aug. 28. Please also indicate if you can volunteer – we need you! The volunteers will determine which day of the week we meet.

Volunteer as a Room Parent

We are still in need of Room Parents for the following classrooms: Summers (p.m.), King, Rebholz, Schroeder, Jewell, Gatlin, and Grace. The role of the Room Parent is a relatively easy one and could even be done by a working parent since it mostly involves communication via email or phone.

The responsibilities of the Room Parent are as follows: serve as the liaison to the parents in his/her class, collect funds for any teacher gifts (birthday, Teacher Appreciation Week), communicate with the Class Party Teams throughout the year to ensure that plans are being assembled.

If you are willing to donate your time this year in one of the classrooms mentioned above, please contact Robyn Beres at

Room Party sign up

Please remember to sign up to help plan a room party during curriculum night. Sheets will be set out for easy sign ups. The three room parties are: Halloween, Winter, and Valentine’s Day. We have great parties due to great volunteers planning!

Smile for Picture Day

Mark your calendars! Picture Day is Thurs., Sept. 3. Every child will have their picture taken for the yearbook and class photo. If you would like to order pictures, order forms should have already come home, check those backpacks! There are extra order forms available in the office. If your child is absent, there will be a picture retake day.

Any questions, please contact Anne Nigrelli ( or Dawnelle Muff (

Order your yearbook

Information for ordering the 2015-2016 Madison School yearbook, Madison Paw Prints, will be forthcoming in next couple weeks. Please be sure to look for a flyer in your child's backpack as well as Madison Memos.

The Yearbook Committee is looking for new members to join this fun, flexible and creative group. You can decide on your level of commitment! Whether it is taking pictures of special school events, creating a page using the provided online tools, helping with group photos, or organizing the annual cover contest, there are many opportunities from which to choose. Please contact Dawn Draus at for more details.

Show your Madison School Spirit!

Be sure to check out Madison's new spirit wear during Curriculum Night. There are lots of new styles and designs. Flyers will come home soon. Orders are due in the last two weeks in September. For more info, contact Abby May or Hollie Bourne (

LLC needs volunteers

Madison’s Library Learning Center (LLC) is in need of your support. Please consider volunteering half days once a week, twice a month or once a month. Volunteers are not only needed to assist in checking in/out books, re-shelving, preparing displays and bulletin boards and assisting students and faculty, volunteering in the LLC also allows you to learn more about your child's school experience and gives you an opportunity to observe classes in action. Interested? Contact Kathryn Medanic at

Vote on the PTA Budget

The PTA has formulated a budget for 2015-16. The budget is available for review by contacting the Treasurer, Jen Pashup-Graham, The PTA will vote on it during our Sept. 17 meeting.

Volunteer for Art Appreciation

We are looking for enthusiastic parents who feel comfortable in the classroom talking with the children about art and engaging them art projects.

Art Appreciation will start in October. This program is run by parent volunteers who come to the classroom once a month to discuss a scheduled piece of art and its corresponding artist. The presentations last approximately 20-30 minutes and primarily consist of a review of the artist’s background, a discussion about the painting and a small craft project. All the materials are housed in folders that are kept in the art cabinet at Madison.

This is a really fun way to volunteer in the classroom. We can accommodate more than one volunteer if your schedule doesn't allow for monthly presentations.

Interested? Contact Louise Kirkman at

Thank you Meet and Treat volunteers

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make the Meet and Treat a success. Thank you Rachel Bailey, Leah Benshoof, Theresa Cutlan, Paul Franch, Jeff Hasbrouck, Holly Jacobsen, Marla Mothershed, Kristin Olson, Misse Roberts, Janine Shimp, and Margit Spires for helping to serve ice cream. Thank you to Jen Doty, Cecilia Horejs, Julie Ippolito, Jaime Kammerzell, and Colleen Turner for loaning the PTA your coolers for the event. Thank you to Jen Doty, Laurie Hines, Julie Ippolito, Jaime Kammerzell, and Colleen Turner for supplying ice. We wish all the students and teachers a great year at Madison.

Market Day discontinued

Market Day has closed its doors. The PTA will no longer offer Market Day. We have received our last check for $135 from the spring sale. Look for Butterbraid offerings in the fall.

Target Thanks-a-Billion!

Thank you to all who participated in Target’s Thanks A Billion! program. By simply going on line and sharing nice things about your child’s teacher, Target made a donation to Madison. We just received a check for $275! Great job! The program is now closed.

Join Cub Scouts

Cub Scout Pack 335 is looking for boys in grades 1-5 who would like to join scouting. Come to our kickoff meeting at Gary Church, 224 N. Main St., on Fri., Sep. 11 at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Jim Fiorato (

Upgrading to a new tablet? Donate your old one to Madison

Madison teachers have found many ways for refurbished iPads/other tablets /handheld devices to complement the curriculum. Simply take your old device into Madison’s office during school hours of 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the staff will make sure it’s put to good use in the classroom. Please let your friends and relatives know too! Donations are tax-deductible.

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Save the dates

Click on the calendar on the Madison section of to view upcoming dates. See below for some highlights:

Aug. 31: Curriculum Night (Grades 3, 4, 5)

Sept. 1: Curriculum Night (Grades K, 1, 2)

Sept. 3: Picture Day

Sept. 7: Labor Day. No school.

Sept. 16 & 17: Run-a-thon (rain date is Sept. 18)

Sept. 17: PTA Meeting at noon

Sept. 25: No school

Sept. 26: Trivia Night

Nov. 12: Multicultural Day

Jan. 23, 2016: Pancake breakfast

View the 2015-2016 school calendar here.