Heavilin Elementary

May 2023 Newsletter

For Your Calendar


8-12 BOGO Book Fair

9 6pm PTO Meeting

10 1:15pm Incoming Kindergarten Play Date

12 Spirit Wear Day

17 5th Farewell Picnic

24 Field Day

25 PRIDE Day

25 Half Day - Noon Dismissal

25 Kite Day @ Sunset Hill

26 Summer Begins!


14 Back-to-School Night

16 First Day of School

24 Parent Orientation (Adult Only)

Planning Ahead for 2023-24

Monday, August 14: Back-to-School Night. We will send more information out this summer. Back-to-school night will be an evening when your children will meet their assigned teacher and see their new classroom before the school year begins.

Wednesday, August 16: The 2023-24 school year starts.

Thursday, August 24: Parent Orientation Night. This is an adult-only evening in which teachers meet with parents to review what the school year holds.

Below is the 2023-24 VCS Calendar.

Planning for Success

Please use the 2023-24 school calendar above to plan your family vacations and other planned absences. We had an increase in students missing school in 2022-23 for vacations. At all grade levels, absences make it difficult for students to make up the missed instruction. We want students to have every opportunity to do their best at school!
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Spell Bowl 2023-24

If you have a child who will be in 4th or 5th grade next year, they are eligible to try out for our Spell Bowl Team. The 2023-24 Spell Bowl Word List comes out on May 15. Try outs will be in August. If your child would like to study the words over the summer, that list will be available. Please have your child see Mr. Ostafinski or Mrs. Coil for a copy of the list the last two weeks of school. They will be visiting 3rd and 4th grade classrooms to promote spell bowl and will have the lists then, too.

Kindergarten Play Date

Calling all new 2023-24 Kindergarten Families! Heavilin is hosting a playdate for you and your new kindergartener. We are eager to meet all of you and get to know your sweet children. I’m sure you have some questions for us, and would like to get to know each other as well.

We are happy to invite you to bring your new kindergartener to a playdate at our school on Wednesday, May 10 at 1:15pm . Our teachers will lead outdoor games and play activities for the kids, and our staff will spend some time with parents. When you arrive at Heavilin, please pull in to the back parking lot and enter Door L. Our playdate should last about 45-60 minutes. No need to RSVP. Please plan to join us if you can!

Last Call - Lost and Found

If your child has lost something at school, please remind them to check the lost and found.

All lost and found items left at school after May 25 will be donated to charity.

Library News

All library books will be due Friday, May 12. Invoices for lost books will come out on Friday, May 19. All books that are lost will need to be paid for by Tuesday, May 23, 2023. Please contact Mrs. Gring in the library with any questions.
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Field Day

Heavilin Field Day is scheduled for Wednesday, May 24, rain or shine. Please have students wear sunscreen, proper shoes, and a hat. Miss Kraus has been planning for months to make sure all of our students have a great day and make special memories with their classmates.

Please check out the PTO Updates section of the newsletter for information on a special presentation and an opportunity to sign-up to volunteer at field day.


End-of-year (EOY) NWEA assessment results are now posted in your child's skyward account. Login to Skyward and view NWEA results under portfolio. This is the same place you can view report cards, IREAD, and ILEARN results at the end of the year.
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From Our PTO

We are on the final stretch! What an amazing year this has been. And we’re not done! The PTO has some great things happening to close out the school year and a lot of information to share about May, but first:

Thank you all for making Staff Appreciation Week so special this year! Many families donated items and pizzas throughout the week and a special thanks to Nutrition Lounge, Jimmy Johns, Panera and Starbucks for their donations. And with your help in our fundraising efforts, the PTO was able to purchase meals this year for the staff all week long. Our staff is grateful for this week of celebration!

Here’s what we have going for the month of May:

Tuesday, May 9th – ICE CREAM SOCIAL! Last Heavilin PTO Meeting of the school year – 6 p.m. – Cafeteria. Please bring the whole family to celebrate another awesome year as we say thank you! We will have a few items of business and then we will celebrate with an ice cream social honoring our beloved custodian, Tom Sparacino, who will be retiring this summer. All are welcome, including kiddos. Please join us as we say thanks for all you’ve helped us accomplish this year and thanks to Mr. Sparo for all he’s done for Heavilin!

May 8-12th – Scholastic Buy 1 Get 1 book fair. The PTO will be bringing in Scholastic to get your kiddos ready for Summer Reading. Book Fair Homepage (scholastic.com). E wallet information was sent home with students. If you need any further information, please email us.

Every item in this book-fair will be on sale and offered as Buy 1 item and Get 1 item FREE! (This is offered as a service to families and the PTO will not be raising funds from this book fair).

We are looking for volunteers during the book fair, please see the sign up genius below: Parent Volunteers: Scholastic BOGO Book Fair 2023 (signupgenius.com)

Wednesday, May 17 - 5th Grade Farewell - 10:15a.m.-1:45p.m. - Fairgrounds Park

Our Heavilin 5th Grade Farewell Celebration is quickly approaching! Here are a few things to help us celebrate the hard work of our students!

1. Submit a Baby, Kindergarten & Current Picture

Share the cuteness! Please submit a baby picture, Kindergarten picture of your 5th grader and a current picture to be shown on the Heavilin monitors. Submit pictures (along with the student’s name) to Jennifer Easthope at jm.easthope@gmail.com.

2. Farewell Celebration Details:

We need your help in making May 17th from 10:15-1:45 at Fairgrounds Park extra special for our kids! We’d love for you to join us! All parents must have a background check on file and be signed up in one of the volunteer spots below. Thanks for helping and we’ll see you on May 17th!

Sign Up Genius Link: Parents of Heavilin Students: 5th Grade Parents: 5th Grade Farewell (signupgenius.com)

A special thanks to Marco Trevino and Donya Kolosiwsky with Listing Leaders for donating the 5th Grade Farewell class T-shirts this year. And to Family Express for donating the pizzas!

Wednesday, May 24th – Field Day

We’d LOVE your help in making this day fun and exciting for our kids! Please see BOTH sign ups to choose a time slot to volunteer for our outdoor field day and also a rainy day indoor version.

Indoor Field Day sign up:

Station assignments INDOOR: Heavilin field day INDOOR ROTATION (signupgenius.com)

Outdoor Field Day sign up:

Station assignments: Heavilin field day (signupgenius.com)

Field Day Assembly with feature Jim “Basketball” Jones who delivers inspirational, engaging and highly interactive assemblies on GRIT, Growth Mindset and more. Find more info on Jim at: https://www.JimBasketballJones.com

Thursday, May 25th – Kite Day at Sunset Hill Farm- 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

We are inviting all of our Heavilin families to Kite Day to kick off summer! The event will be held at Sunset Hill Farm on May 25, 2023 from 1:30-4:30. Parking will be at the South lot and the PTO has rented the Amphitheatre and surrounding area. We will have a D.J., bubble machine and food trucks (Chunky’s Tacos and Fat Guys Fries). Families are invited to bring blankets or chairs and have a picnic in the park, fly a kite, walk the trails, etc. The PTO will be sending home a kite with each student on the last day of school. Please join us if you are able and enjoy an afternoon in the park to “Fly” into Summer!

Heavilin Summer Bookopoly: Thanks to our Valparaiso Walmart for providing a $1000 grant to continue with Summer Bookopoly. Our boards will be released to students the week of May 15th. All current students will receive a little gift from the PTO too!

As part of the program, each current Heavilin child (except for outgoing fifth graders) will be provided a game board with some cool incentives for accomplishing fun summer activities and reading. We have partnered with a number of local businesses that include Bao’s Pastry Shop, Ben’s Pretzels, Rocket Fizz, Gabis Arboretum, Stardust Bowl, Valpo Velvet, Firehouse subs and Twisted Sugar.

Then when the completed board is brought back to ‘Back to School night’, students will receive an incentive package from Island Nutrition, Zao Island, 49er Drive In, 7 Eleven, and a South Bends Cubs child’s ticket for the August 26th game!

Spirit Wear Drive: Heads up! Save that gently used Spirit Wear and donate it to the PTO at the end of this school year! During May, the PTO will again be collecting gently used Heavilin or Valpo Spirit Wear. If you are a parent of a fifth grader and/or looking to clean out your child’s Heavilin wardrobe as the year draws to a close, please keep the PTO in mind as we would love to take those gently used Heavilin shirts off your hands! Please just send into the office in care of the Spirt Wear Drive!


As we round out this year, on behalf of the entire PTO, I want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the parental and staff support we have received this year and last. This is the end of my two-year term as President of the Heavilin PTO and I have truly enjoyed meeting so many of you and heading this organization full of vibrant parents, families and staff willing to lend a hand in making this school community so special!

I want to say welcome to the Heavilin PTO Board for 2023-2024, who is slated to be:

President: Dana Brad

Co-VP of Events: Melissa Robinson, Dana Deloian

VP of Fundraising: Dana Funk

Treasurer: Kate Gong

Secretary: Ulrike Hord

E-Secretary: Danielle Battista

Co- Parent Reps: Tracy Matt, Laura Rukas

Teacher Rep: Melissa Thompson

Immediate Past President: Tara Worthley

A special thanks to going board members Sarah Dunn, Janelle Evans and Samantha Titoff for all their contributions these past years to the PTO and school!

ENJOY the remainder of the school year and the summer vacation!

Tara Worthley, PTO President


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