Weekly Communique

May 14, 2021

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Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte

Gurnee Teacher of the Year Gurnee School District 56

Each spring the Village of Gurnee recognizes area teachers with the Gurnee Teacher of the Year Award. This award, sponsored by the Henderson Family Foundation, provides the much valued recognition of great work and provides monetary award for the teacher. This year Gurnee District 56 is honoring a pair of teachers that, as everyone knows, come as a set, Mr. Len Wojciechowicz and Mr. Erik Sator, Physical Education Teachers at Spaulding School. Students, staff and parents who have been a part of Spaulding School recognize the special experience provided by Len Wojciechowicz and Erik Sator. Pre-K through second grade students are treated to PE classes that are some of the most creative and content supportive experiences found in schools. The collaboration between these two long-time teachers is an exemplar for any teacher, at any grade level, seeking to partner or collaborate with a colleague.

The integration of reading skills and math skills is common place in their physical education lessons and has been described as “masterful” by their principal, Dr. Mauer. Even on days when the gym is set up for special programming (like a week of concerts) the audience chairs are integrated into the physical education lessons and the students are not sitting on them, they are moving around the gym finding word cards attached to the chairs! When D56 first rolled out the one-to-one iPad program to the students in our primary classes at Spaulding School, this team quickly discovered ways to integrate the use of the device as students were soon helping each other by taking a picture of their form and position during tumbling exercises and evaluating their own growth.

Beyond traditional events such as Jump Rope for Heart and Field Day, Mr. Wojciechowicz and Mr. Sator hold a Turkey Trot, Mile Run, Bowling Night, and an event so well attended that it requires the use the gym at Warren Township High School, Dance Night. Dance Night has literally hundreds of students and eventually their parents out on the floor line dancing together and is the highlight of the year for Spaulding students.

In addition to participating on building and district committees, they have shared their ideas and instructional strategies through presentations at statewide conferences for physical education teachers. As colleagues, they are always there to support the staff at Spaulding School in any way possible. With over 55 years of service for the students of District 56, Len Wojciechowicz and Erik Sator are special people and teachers. The district is so proud to have them as members of our team.

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Covid-19 Vaccination for 12-15 years old Information

This week, the FDA provided emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in 12-15 year olds. Any student that is 12 years old or older is now eligible to participate in the vaccination program. The Lake County Health Department has vaccines and appointment times available. All individuals must be registered in Allvax to make an appointment at the Lake County Fairgrounds. They are also taking walk-ins, provided they are in the Allvax system. Please see the link below to register in Allvax. If you need assistance please call the district office for assistance.

Please remember there are two shots required in order to be fully vaccinated and they must be taken at least 3 weeks apart. If you have a child that will turn 12 during the summer they can also begin the vaccination process at that time.


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Tweet of the Week

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Online Registration for Returning Students is OPEN

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The D56 Band Program

The D56 band program, led by directors Steven Boswell, Glenn Eikenberry and Sarah Farster, found some really fun, creative ways to keep band students and their families connected this year while raising funds for the band program. They hosted several live Virtual Trivia Night events using the Kahoot app on the district iPads. At each Trivia Night, families competed from home for prizes, socialized, and laughed -- a lot! Highlights of the 3 family events included a virtual costume parade and a parent instrument challenge (where parents tried their best to play random holiday carols on their children's instruments). Families even learned which Star Wars character Mr. Eikenberry most resembles, got to see Mrs. Farster and her family dressed as the characters from "Wild Kratts" on Halloween, and saw Mr. Boswell do the moonwalk live! Thank you to the amazing families who supported the band program by joining in the fun and donating items for the incredible prize baskets.

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Mrs. Kile and Mrs. Gritz worked with 15 fabulous fifth-grade students - twice a week - online for the drama club. They were all a bit disappointed that they couldn't put together one of their usual big productions, but the kids were willing to try something a little different.

They started a Reader's Theater with the kids to get some theatrical experience (some had this experience all on their own!!). They had so much fun that that took it a bit further. They had them try out for rolls, practice lines, and then they decided maybe they could make this into something to share with others!

They put together a few costumes, recorded their lines on their own using their ipads, and then sent their lines to Mrs. Kile and Mrs.Gritz so that they could splice them and put them in order in iMovie.

Gurnee School District 56 - The Not So Mysterious Disappearance of Cinderella

PTO News

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Information from the CDC

Post-COVID conditions are symptoms that last weeks or months after you’ve had COVID19. If you think you have a post-COVID condition, talk to your healthcare provider about options for treatment. Many patients with these symptoms get better with time. https://bit.ly/2RDvb93.

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CDC now recommends Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 vaccine for use in 12- through 15-year-old adolescents. Providers may begin vaccinating them right away. See full statement from

CDCDirector Dr. Rochelle Walensky: https://bit.ly/3tCXvp3

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