Memorial Messages

Memorial Elementary School Newsletter - October 2015

Save the Date (s):


13 PTO meeting 3:30 p.m.

22 End of Grade Period 1

23 Fall Break

26-30 Red Ribbon Week

27 Trunk-or-Treat (5:30 - 7:00)

30 Halloween Parties


9-14 - Scholastic Book Fair

10 PTO Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

13 Talent Show at BFMS at 6:00 p.m.

14 Grandparent's Day 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

19 Spell Bowl

25 - 27 Thanksgiving Break - no school

Memorial is Awarded National Blue Ribbon Recognition

On Tuesday, September 27, Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education, announced the 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Memorial was one of ten schools in Indiana to receive the award. This award was given to Memorial for overall academic excellence. The staff and students celebrated when the announcement was made. A special thanks goes to the parents of Memorial students for all the support you give the students and staff. This award is for the entire school community. Stay tuned for more information about our school celebration.

Memorial's New Teachers

Mrs. Gretchen Scott - Mrs. Scott comes to us with 5 years of elementary art teaching experience. She loves this age group and looks forward to helping Memorial students grow in their art abilities this year. The kindness of Memorial students has already made an impression on her this year. Two things Mrs. Scott loves are nature and spending time with her family. Last year, she exercised her own artistic abilities by painting a 3 room ceiling mural at Songbird Prairie Bed and Breakfast, here in Valparaiso. You can look forward to great artwork coming home as projects are completed and the posting of several projects this year to the ArtSonia website. Please email Mrs. Scott at if you have any questions. Mrs. Scott is at Memorial on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. You will find her sharing her art talents while teaching at Parkview Elementary on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Mrs. Julie Dombrowski - Mrs. Dombrowski is teaching kindergarten this year at Memorial. Many of you recognize Mrs. Dombrowski as a Memorial parent, but you may not realize that she taught kindergarten, second grade, and fifth grade in Merrillville before she became a mom. She worked at Central Elementary last year in first grade and in the Title 1 program. Mrs. Dombrowski lives in Valparaiso with her husband, Don, and her children, Charlotte, a 6th grader, and Blake, a 3rd grader. She loves to spend time with her family and watch her kids play sports. She also enjoys reading.

Mrs. Sarah Olson - Mrs. Olson will be at Memorial in the afternoon as one of our Special Education Resource Teachers. She starts her day at Hayes Leonard Elementary. Mrs. Olson has 10 years experience teaching students with special needs in neighboring school districts. She lives in Chesterton with her husband and two daughters. They rescue dogs and enjoy visiting out of town family. Mrs. Olson grew up in Holland, MI and loves living by the beach and being close to Chicago. She is excited to join the staff at Memorial Elementary and looks forward to a great year working with students and families.

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NWEA for Grades 3-5

NWEA MAP tests are new to Valparaiso Community Schools this year. Students in grades 3-5 will be taking the NWEA MAP tests instead of Acuity, which has been given the last few years.

The NWEA MAP tests will be given three times a year, with the first window running from October 1 - October 22. The three test areas are Reading, Math, and Language Arts. The results of these tests will be used to inform instruction and to measure student growth.

There are a couple of things that are unique to the MAP tests. First, the test is a leveling test, this means that each student will take a different set of questions, some will be easy and some will be hard. The test is looking for each child's instructional level. Please let your child know that it is normal for the test to get difficult as they progress through the questions and that they are not expected to get all the questions correct. Also, it is not a timed test. It is developed for most students to complete the test in under 50 minutes, but some may take more time.

A parent report will be sent home at the completion of the test window. If you have any questions, please call the school office.

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We believe in supporting academic and lifelong success by teaching healthy eating. Without the proper fuel, students can quickly run out of steam and lose interest in schoolwork. Our nutritious meals provide students with adequate fuel that can keep them energized and focused all day. Plus, a healthy diet will also support a healthy immune system, which means fewer sick days!

To recognize the National School Lunch Program and the 30 million children it serves every day, Valparaiso Community schools will celebrate National School Lunch Week from October 12-16, 2015. The theme, "School Lunch Snapshot" is all about sharing the best images of our school lunches. National School Lunch Week will emphasize the healthy foods that we offer daily. Students will create a healthy selfie to be posted in the cafeteria. Parents can be part of the fun by posting healthy family selfies to the Valpo Food-Nutrition Facebook page. Also, follow the fun on Twitter via the hashtag #NSLW and follow Food and Nutrition Services @VCS_FoodService.


Because the VCS buses are quite full this year, students will only be allowed to ride their assigned school buses to and from school. Students will not be able to ride any other bus as a guest (i.e. for sports practices, play dates, or sleepovers). In the case of an emergency situation, you may contact the transportation department or the school principal for approval.


  • Please send a note, or email Mrs. Molnar, in the morning with all changes in transportation. When calls are made during the busy school day, there is a chance that the message may get delayed and/or not delivered. If you have an emergency during the day, which merits a change in transportation, the best way to send the message is to Mrs. Molnar's email:
  • Students may not carry medicine with them throughout the school day, this includes Inhalers. Please talk to Mrs. Keenan, the school nurse, about your child's medical needs.
  • If your child is late to school (after the 8:45 bell) please walk them into the office and sign them in.
  • If you need a copy of the School Wellness Policy, please ask in the office. There is a list of acceptable birthday/classroom treats.
  • If you have not completed a Background Check this school year, please do so ASAP. This needs to be done for all visitors and volunteers that are coming to school during the school day.
  • If you need a sign for your car for the Pick-Up Line, please call the office.

PTO News

You can find the Memorial PTO News at:

Nurse Notes

Dear Memorial Families,

We want to be sure we keep Memorial healthy!. Here are some helpful tips.

Please remember, in accordance with the VCS policy , children should be kept at home if they have the following:

  • Temperature of 100 degrees or over
  • Eye infections with discharge
  • Cough associated with fever or continuous unrelieved cough
  • Cold symptoms associated with other signs of illness
  • Communicable diseases (chicken pox, scabies, impetigo, ringworm, head lice - until treated appropriately)
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Undiagnosed skin eruptions or rashes

*We ask students to be on antibiotic treatment for 24 hours or fever free 24 hours without an analgesic (Tylenol, Motrin) before returning to school.

For more information, please contact our School Nurse, Michelle Keenan

Copyright 1999 Dr. William P. Sawyer