The Western Weekly

Issue 17: December 23rd, 2018

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Happy Holidays from Western Avenue!

It was quite a week for the children of Western Avenue! We held our annual Spelling Bee on Monday morning, and our end-of-month December PBIS Celebration on Wednesday afternoon. STEAM Night was held Wednesday evening, and we ended our week with the 4th/5th graders giving a beautiful performance at district office and our local senior citizen's home. What a busy week of events!

The children had a fantastic time at our Sing-Along and Holiday Parties before we dismissed for Winter Break. We couldn't have asked for a better closing week to the 2018 school year! A HUGE thank you to all who helped in planning these events for our children, especially Mrs. Pasqua, Mr. Hood, Mrs. Kubas, Ms. Boyd, Mrs. Seidel, Mrs. Klein, Mrs. Maday, and Mrs. Piekosz. Thank you to our P.T.O. for all of your support and for making STEAM Night possible! And a special thank you to all of our room parents and volunteers who helped coordinate Holiday Parties for the children. We know that it is not easy to party plan for a classroom of little ones. You went above and beyond, and that is what makes Western Avenue such a special place. Happy Holidays, Western Avenue! We will see you all back in the New Year!

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Black History Month: Order Online, Last Call for Tee-Shirts!

We have an amazing group of parents who are working on our school-wide activities for Black History Month. In honor of Black History Month, there will be a tee-shirt with our school's theme, "Lift Every Voice." Order forms did go home as hard copies, and there is still time to order your shirt online!

Please visit to order your tee-shirt for Black History Month. The deadline has been extended, and orders will be accepted online until January 8th, 2019.

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MLK Day of Service: Western's Literacy Project Plus Western's Brownie Troop Project at Homewood Science Center!

Our 3rd grade Brownie Troop will sponsor a Crayon & Marker Recycling Project as part of MLK Day of Service on January 21st from 2:00-3:30 pm at the Homewood Science Center. Old crayons & markers (any brand) can always be sent with children to school for recycling bins we have in each classroom. However, you may also drop off your old crayons and markers at Homewood Science Center during the MLK event! Volunteers during the project will help sort the donations and peel crayons, and the Brownies welcome anyone ages 4 and above. Markers will be recycled through Crayola's ColorCycle Program. Crayons will be recycled through SCARCE's Tools for Schools and Super Crayons project. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Karen Cheung at

Western Avenue will be partnering with HF High School's National Honor Society (NHS), and our local middle school junior chapters of NHS to host a Book Drive/Book Share/Literacy Awareness Event on MLK Day. A vibrant committee of high school students, Mrs. Bachus, and Mrs. Ermshler have been meeting to plan the important work for this day, and we are SO excited!

Western Avenue's Library will be open on MLK Day for all families in the area to come and participate in this event. This is not your typical book drive! We want to message the importance of building a LOVE for reading. We also wish to raise awareness about access to books. Therefore, in addition to being a drop-off site for new and gently used books, we are also asking that families stay and perhaps write a personalized note in one of their books that they are giving away to the next reader who will receive the book. There will also be high school and middle school volunteers who are available to read any book to a little one on this day of service.

The committee has also organized to share important information about a non-profit organization, Pangea Education Development, stationed in Uganda. This organization was co-founded by former Western Avenue teacher, Mr. Andrew Bauer. To learn more about Pangea and its work in raising literacy awareness through publishing projects and mobile libraries, please visit for more details!

Girls on the Run!

Registration for the 2019 Girls on the Run Season opens January 1, 2019.

You can register by visiting or via the bilingual (English and Spanish) call center at (312) 224-8385 open Monday - Friday 9 am -5 pm.

*Online registrations must be submitted via a laptop or desktop computer. Cell phones or tablets are not compatible.

This season Western Avenue is only capable of allowing 45 girls to participate. First come, first serve- no exceptions.

See the pink parent letter that was sent home to all girls in grades 3-5 for more information.

Please contact Jana Budz at with any questions.

Student Council Wows!

Western Avenue's Student Council did an excellent job this month organizing their first-ever service projects for giving back to the community during the holiday season. The children in grades 2-5 brainstormed their ideas, created flyers and posters, spread the word to their classmates, and collected over eight over-sized bins of toys and winter clothing for those in need. Dr. D could not fit everything in her car, but our Facilities Trucks came to the rescue! Donations were dropped off at the Jones Center in Chicago Heights on Friday. Thank you to all of the Western Avenue families who contributed to our drive. The next Student Council Meeting will be held when the children return from break. Go Wolves!
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5Essentials Parent Participation Needed

Flossmoor School District 161 will join the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in the seventh statewide survey of school climate and learning conditions. The survey provides a unique opportunity for students, teachers and parents to have a voice in improving their schools.

The Illinois 5Essentials Survey provides a comprehensive picture of a school’s organizational culture in an individualized report measuring five “essentials” critical for school success:

  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environment
  • Ambitious Instruction

We encourage all District 161 teachers, parents, and students to make their voices heard to impact positive change. You can find the link to the parent site at

Please contact the Main Office with any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Traffic Flow at Arrival and Dismissal

Parents, we understand that everyone is rushing to get their days started in the morning. However, we need to do a better job driving safely in the drop-off and pick-up lines. We have three staff members directing traffic at the front lot, two staff members posted at door I (primary playground), and multiple people posted at the playgrounds and blacktop area between the playgrounds. We also have one person stationed in the North parking lot. Please remember that there is a traffic flow. Students must be dropped off in the designated car lines. Please do not drop off your children on any other street or sidewalk other than the designated lines. Please do not wait in line to make sure your child walks to the door because that stops the flow for other parents behind you. And please be very mindful when you are pulling away from the car line. There should only be one priority for morning drop off and afternoon pick up--and that priority is the safety of all our kids at Western Avenue. If we all work together, we can ensure the safety of all students. Thank you!

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful week!