The Central Scoop

November 16, 2018

From the Principal's Desk...

Dear Parents,

This week we celebrated Children's Book Week at Central. We had a week-long celebration of children's books with a variety of activities for all of our students. Highlights from this week included a visit by author Kate Klise, guest readers from the community, STEM challenges, and literature activities. Of course, we also enjoyed an amazing Book Fair, thanks to our PTA volunteers. Our Reading Marathon today with the "Dress as Your Favorite Book Character" theme was a nice culminating event that included guest readers who enjoyed books with children in the Learning Commons. We would like to thank our librarian, Linda Diekman, and her committee of staff and parents for planning the week's events.

Congratulations to both Lauren Wysocke and Kathleen Peth who were awarded D39 Gripp Grants from the Educational Foundation this week!

  • Ms. Peth received a seedling Gripp Grant for "Play Impossible Gameballs." These balls can be instantly connected, through an app, to an iPad and incorporates old school throwing, rolling, catching and volleying skills in an exciting, active, technology "gaming sort of way." The Gameball allows individuals to challenge themselves or others in activities that emphasize eye-hand coordination, agility and creative thinking. Ms. Peth can't wait to get started on this with her students.
  • Mrs. Wysocke, and the other technology teachers in the district, wrote a grant to receive Sphero BOLT robots for each elementary school. With the development of Learning Commons, we have been striving to create engaging and innovative learning experiences for students around the 4C’s - Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Communication. Robotic projects, and Spheros in particular, meet all of these learning criteria. Students collaborate in small groups to think critically and program using coding language to make the Sphero BOLT complete different paths and challenges. Sphero BOLT also offers three different coding “canvases” - Draw, Block, and Text - that move from beginner to advanced coding skills. We are so grateful to the D39 Education Foundation for their support!

Lastly, please remember there is no school next week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. I hope you enjoy a fabulous Thanksgiving with family and friends.


~ Becky

Rebecca Littmann


Central Elementary School

"Engineering Stories" During Book Week!

Author Visit Kate Klise

This week we welcomed Illinois native and author Kate Klise to our school for Book Week. Thanks to the wonderful PTA and Linda Diekman, Ms. Klise talked with all grades and shared her experiences and tips for being a writer. She shared how she started creating books as a young child and how anyone can write a book if he/she knows the secret recipe for storytelling. She discussed her early failures and how having a growth mindset can help with the creative process.

Big picture

The Hour of Code is Coming to Central!

Our school is joining The Hour of Code! During Computer Science Education Week (Dec. 3-7), we will join the more than 100 million students worldwide that have already tried an Hour of Code. The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify "code", to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities. I welcome parents to participate with their 1st-4th grade child during their scheduled tech class the week of December 3-7. (Due to limited space and seating in the tech lab, please leave siblings at home.) Please see the schedule on Mrs. Wysocke's website to join your child's class time and fill out this form to confirm your attendance. We can't wait to see you for the Hour of Code!

New Illinois School Report Card = Last Posting

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has redefined how schools in Illinois are evaluated. Based on our 2017-18 school year assessment data, it is with great pride that I share we have been recognized as an EXEMPLARY school by the state of Illinois! It is quite an honor to be ranked in the top 10% of schools! Using student attendance data, PARCC scores, and numerous other metrics (see a breakdown here), schools across Illinois will receive one of four ratings annually. These include:

  • Exemplary: A school that has no underperforming student demographic groups at or below the “all students” group of the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools, a graduation rate of greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is in the top 10 percent of schools statewide. Schools that receive an Exemplary School designation may apply to serve in the IL-EMPOWER network of partners.
  • Commendable: A school that has no underperforming student demographic groups at or below the “all students” group of the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools, a graduation rate greater than 67 percent, and whose performance is not in the top 10 percent of schools statewide. Schools that receive a Commendable School designation may apply to serve in the IL-EMPOWER network of partners.
  • Underperforming: A school in which one or more student demographic groups is performing at or below the “all students” group of the lowest 5 percent of all Title 1 schools. Schools that receive an Underperforming School designation will receive Targeted Support services through IL-EMPOWER.
  • Lowest Performing: A school that is in the lowest-performing 5 percent of Title I schools in Illinois and any high schools that have a graduation rate of 67 percent or less. Schools that receive a Lowest Performing School designation will receive Comprehensive Support through IL-EMPOWER.

There are numerous reasons Central School has achieved “exemplary” distinction. We all consider Central School to be an extended family for our students. Our teachers work hard to provide a comforting, engaging, inspiring, and differentiated learning environment for your children. As parents, you are a large part of our extended family. You send your children to school who are eager, engaged, and ready to learn each day. As volunteers, you are also dedicated to the school and our efforts to enrich the learning environment. Thank you for your partnership in our work with students, and for making the Central community the warm and inviting environment that it is.

In the coming weeks we’ll begin work to analyze our overall performance on the new Illinois School Report Card. We will celebrate the many successes achieved, and look forward to identifying opportunities to continue to raise the bar!

Student Attendance: Absences and Vacations

Regular, consistent attendance is a prerequisite to successful school life. Children should be absent only in cases of illness or emergency. District 39’s strategic goal of improving positive attendance district-wide began last year and is continuing this year. Positive attendance is defined as being in school for 95% of the time or more, which means missing fewer than 9 days over the course of the school year. Absences due to sporting events, special vacations, etc. should be avoided because they minimize opportunities for instruction. However, if you have an absence planned that can't be avoided, please let us know by calling the nurse on the Attendance Line to report any absences at: 847-512-6150. Please remember that attendance habits begin early and that there is a direct correlation between achievement and attendance. For further information regarding student attendance, please refer to communication from the district office:

School Attendance Information by District 39

PTA Announcements and Reminders...

* The PTA sends out their own newsletter on Sundays - here are just a few highlights

Eat Pizza + Give Pizza for Central

Together with Bake Homemade Pizza, we’re raising dough for Central School!

There are two chances to get your pizza, and also support our school:

1) Now thru December 6, click here to get Bake Homemade Pizza gift cards for you, plus as gifts for friends + family. 15% of each and every sale will go to Central.

2) Only on Thursday, December 6, Order delivery or carry out from Bake Homemade Pizza (Evanston location: 2122 Central Street, 847-424-1400). When ordering, be sure to mention Central Elementary and our school will receive 15% of each and every sale.

Think easy pizza dinner for your family + Give the perfect present … a gift card for fresh pizza. Think babysitters, teachers, friends with a new baby, colleagues, our crossing guards and school staff … who doesn’t love a little pizza.

Gift of Giving Update

As we enter Thanksgiving week and reflect on all that our families have, please consider contributing to Central School’s Gift of Giving program.

For 10 years, Gift of Giving has supported LYDIA Home and Metropolitan Family Services by providing gifts and funds to families in need during the holidays. A range of donation options is available and both organizations deeply appreciate and need our support. Thank you to everyone who has contributed, but we still have a ways to go!

You can sign-up to donate to LYDIA Home and/or Metropolitan Family Services via the SignUpGenius links below or on the PTA website. You can sign-up to donate through Dec. 3 and donations will be collected through Dec. 7.

For more information about the charities, what you can contribute and how it works, please visit the PTA website and click on “Gift of Giving.” Thank you for your consideration!

MFS --


Amazon Smile - Sign-up, It's EASY!

Don’t forget to sign up for Amazon Smile! Your everyday purchases can help benefit our school.

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know and love. Same product, same prices, same service - just a special link to help your shopping benefit our school. Please bookmark the link below to make sure your shopping is always contributing. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases directly to Central School! Just in time for Halloween candy, costume, and fall shopping... Sign up today at

From the Nurse's Office

Call Central School "Attendance Line" For Absences: 847-512-6150

Please call the Attendance Line to report absences even if you let the classroom teacher know, because some teachers don't see the email/voicemail until later in the day. Teachers assume you are calling the office. It's important that the school nurse is directly aware of any absences otherwise, your son/daughter may be considered "missing." The school nurse keeps track of all school absences in the building. For safety reasons, we want to make sure all of our students are accounted for and safe.

New Central Health Office Website!!

Here is your go-to site for all of your health related questions including PE/Recess Notes, Health Requirements, Dental Examinations, Allergy and Asthma, Medications, Snacks in Classrooms, Lice, Influenza...and more!

Community Announcements...

Information on community events can be found here: Community Events
  • Loyola Ramblerettes offer 3rd-8th grade girls the opportunity to learn a Holiday dance and perform at halftime on December 11th.
  • Trevian Girls Softball Association host tryouts for students born 2008 & 2009 on December 2nd 2:00 - 3:00 pm
  • Loyola Ramblerettes host Holiday Dance Session December 11th for 3rd-8th grade girls
  • Wilmette Park District’s Saturday Basketball registration is open for boys & girls grades 4-8.
  • Wilmette Park District is hosting a Holiday Hustle exercise challenge November 26-December 23; register November 19-25. Also the Center Fitness Club schedule and various classes for children ages 3-14 are posted.
  • Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:30-11:30 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.
  • Family Action Network (FAN): Click HERE for information about FAN and upcoming speakers.

Join us on Twitter!

Central School is on Twitter!

  • We have TWO Twitter accounts. Please "follow" us at! Explore Central 39 (with our actual "handle" as @explorecentral). With this account, we mostly share student activities that are completed in the Learning Commons (but other activities are often included as well). We are also providing this Twitter feed on our Central School homepage.
  • There is also a principal page @BeckyLittmann where you can follow a variety of school happenings including all-school events, classroom activities, PTA enrichment, and school goals.

Save the Dates...

11/19-11/23 - No School (Thanksgiving Break)

11/28-11/30 - 4th Grade Outdoor Education Trip

12/17 - Board of Ed Meeting @ 7pm

12/22-1/6 - Winter Break, No School