Jefferson Jotter

October 2019

Letter from Principal

Dear Jefferson Parents,

It is hard to believe that September is already coming to a close. With the summer like temperatures these past few weeks one wouldn't know that it is already fall!

Over the past five weeks, the children have done a marvelous job of learning the school routines, gaining more independence with their arrival and departure tasks, navigating through the hallways, verbally sharing their ideas, and engaging in problem solving. In just one month we have already seen personal growth in all of the children! We look forward to documenting and sharing your child’s growth with you throughout the school year.

One of our primary goals for all of the children is to develop self-help and independence skills so that they can feel a sense of pride in accomplishing new tasks and are well prepared for kindergarten and first grade. For example, rather than emptying a child’s backpack or zipping/unzipping fasteners we have the children do it even though it would be faster if one of the adults did it. Additionally, we encourage a child to use his/her words to ask for help rather than automatically helping them when we can see they need something. There is nothing better than the look on a child’s face when he/she does something that was difficult for them in the past, thought they couldn’t do something, or that their older sibling can already do!

As parents, you too are encouraged to foster your child’s self-help and independence skills at home. For example, you could give your child safety scissors to cut open a snack bag rather than opening it yourself, encourage your child to tell you why they are upset even if you saw what might have upset them, and giving them small household tasks to assist with meal preparation, setup, or cleanup. At school you can also work on independence by having your child carry his/her backpack rather than you carrying it for them and after a welcome hug, have them walk to the car rather than carrying them. Independence is a great gift we can give our children and one that will benefit them throughout their life!

Thank you for all that you do to provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for your child and for working in collaboration with the Jefferson team to make the 2019-20 school year a great success for your child and all children at Jefferson School! We hope to see a large contingent of Jefferson families at the upcoming Halloween Hustle! See below for more details.


Lisa Halverson


Upcoming Events

Monday, October 7 - Yoga - PK afternoon classes

Monday, October 14 - No School - Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 15 - Preschool Screenings by Appointment

Wednesday, October 16 - Birth to Three Screenings by Appointment

Friday, October 18 - PK Field Trip - morning and afternoon classes

Monday, October 21 - Yoga - PK afternoon classes

Wednesday, October 23 - D64 Parent University - 7:00 p.m. - Carpenter School

Saturday, October 26 - ELF 5K Halloween Hustle - Hodges Park

Monday, October 28 - Dog Therapy - PK afternoon classes

Wednesday, October 30 - Library Lady - PK morning and afternoon classes

Thursday October 31 - Halloween

Thursday, November 7 - PK Parent - Teacher Conferences - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.

Thursday, November 21 - PK Parent - Teacher Conferences - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.

Inspire every child to discover, learn, achieve, and care

Jefferson School Information

Thank You for Keeping Our Kids Safe

I appreciate everyone's commitment to ensuring our students' safety by complying with our drop off and pick up procedures. When we switched to having two entry doors for our preschoolers, I wasn't certain how that would impact the traffic flow on Greendale Ave. Surprisingly, we've found that the switch improved the congestion issues. Your continued practices of parking in angled parking spaces, pulling up as far as you can, using the back parking lot, and parking off of Greendale Avenue is much appreciated!

Safety Drills

Our students experienced the first fire drill earlier this month. In the next few weeks we'll continue to practice how to respond in the event of a fire by having more fire drills. One of the drills will be observed by the Niles Fire Chief. Additionally, we'll have a lockdown drill next week, that will be observed by the Niles Police Department School Resource Officer.

Developmental Screenings

On a monthly basis the Early Childhood Diagnostic Team conducts screenings of children ages three to five. Additionally, twice a year they conduct developmental screenings of children birth through three. The screenings are conducted by a team, consisting of an occupational therapist, speech language pathologist, psychologist, and social worker. The areas assessed include motor, communication, play skills, pre-academic and thinking skills.

The next Preschool Screenings is scheduled for Tuesday, October 15. Additionally, a screening for children birth through age three is scheduled for Wednesday, October 16. If you have concerns about your child's development in any of these areas please call 847-318-5360 to schedule an appointment for the screening.

ELF Halloween Hustle

ELF, the Park Ridge Elementary Learning Foundation, will host its third annual Halloween Hustle 5k Run and Walk in Hodges Park at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26. This family-friendly fun run will help ELF raise money to fund innovative grants that are awarded to District 64 schools.

While the race won’t be timed, it includes an inter-school competition component. Runners can align themselves with a specific school when they register; the school with the highest participation percentage will win the highly coveted ELF Trophy to proudly display for an entire year. So be sure to affiliate yourself with your school of choice.

Because it is a Halloween-related event, runners are encouraged to wear costumes for the event. There’s something for everyone – The event is stroller-friendly for those too little to run. The littlest runners will have a loop around Hodges Park allowing kids from 1-5 to race against each other and pick up a medal for their efforts. There will also be a modified 3K route for those who aren’t quite up to a 5K distance yet.

ELF needs parents, teachers and families to come and cheer on the runners and to help with the "day of" event logistics. If you’re interested in volunteering, sign up here. For sponsorship opportunities, click here. Registration is available now on the Halloween Hustle website.

Jefferson School Spirit Wear

Thank you for placing your orders for the Jefferson School t-shirts. Once the t-shirts arrive we will be sending them home with your child. The proceeds from the t-shirt sale will be used to enhance the Jefferson School courtyard so that we can provide more learning opportunities for our students!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

A critical aspect of early childhood education is to help children develop their social and emotional skills. As three, four, and five year olds, children need to learn how to identify and express their feelings, develop their friendship and play skills, and learn problem solving skills. With the start of a school year, the focus has been on the learn-to-learn skills of listening, attending, and following directions. In the preschool classrooms the teacher and social worker assume responsibility for Social and Emotional Learning activities that are delivered in whole and small groups. In the Extended Day Kindergarten (EDK) program the teachers use the classroom meeting structure to work on Social and Emotional Learning. Additionally, preschool and EDK teachers support their students' social and emotional development throughout the day as children experience strong feelings and/or are faced with problem solving situations.

Celebrating Our Students' Learning

From time to time, pictures may be posted to social media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) of children engaged in learning activities or special events at Jefferson School. In order to protect the child's privacy, children's names aren't used. If you don't want your child's picture to be used, please contact Ms. Halverson.

Health Office Update

Autumn days predictably bring cooler weather, changing colors and of course, cold and flu season. Since influenza viruses vary from year to year, it may be difficult to predict the flu season's beginning and peak. Flu activity in the U.S. peaks between December and February, but can begin as early as October and continue to occur as late as May.

Current recommendations state that everyone 6 months of age and older, especially those at high risk, receives influenza vaccination annually. To prepare your family for the 2019-20 Influenza Season, please visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for basic flu facts, prevention tips, and treatment information by clicking here.

Box Tops for Education

Jefferson School uses Box Tops for Education as a fundraising source for special projects, so please consider sending in the Box Tops from your favorite products. Each box top collected is worth ten cents!

No School

Monday, October 14 is a non-attendance day for students and staff in recognition of Columbus Day. Please mark your calendars!

See What’s Going on in Our Community!

From the library to the park district, our communities of Park Ridge-Niles have lots to offer. For information on all the latest happenings, be sure to check the Community Info & Events webpage.

Preschool Information

KidsStuff Coupon Books Will Be Coming Soon!

In a few weeks, your child will bring home a plastic bag with a Kids Stuff Coupon Book to popular clothing, food, toy, and department stores. The cost of the coupon book is $25 and Jefferson will receive $12.50 per book sold, which is a great deal for us! If you order 5 coupon books you will get the 6th book free. If you want to purchase the book all you need to do is send in a check for the amount of books needed or you can order online. If you don't want to purchase the book, just send the coupon book back to school. Proceeds from the coupon book sale will be used to provide special activities for our students. Thank you in advance for supporting Jefferson School by participating in this fundraising project!

Parent Group

It was great seeing so many parents at the first parent group of the 2019-20 school year! The next parent group will be presented by our "motor team" and will focus on developing your child's play skills. The group will be held on Monday, October 21 starting at 9:00 a.m. Childcare is available. We hope to see you there!

Child's Absence

If your child will be absent from school, please remember to call the attendance line, as an email to the teacher isn't sufficient. To reach the attendance line call 847-318-5360 and press 1. You need not listen to all of the prompts, but can go directly to the attendance line by pressing 1. If your child rides the school bus you will also need to call Lakeview Bus Service (847-647-6965) so they don't unnecessarily stop to pick up your child.

Safety During PE and Gross Motor Time

Every day the students engage in gross motor play, either in PE class, on the playground, or gym. When the children are running, climbing, and/or engaging in various movement activities it can be dangerous when wearing sandals, flip flops, or Crocs. To ensure your child's safety, please send your child to school on T, W, and F in athletic shoes or send a pair to be left at school. Your child will have the opportunity to change into athletic/gym shoes before going to PE. Additionally, girls who wear flowing dresses and/or skirts on PE days find it hard to actively participate and/or are not safe because of the dress/skirt getting caught in the equipment. Please help your child be safe by sending them to school on PE days in clothing that will keep them safe!

Preschool Fun!

Extended Day Kindergarten (EDK) Information

Curriculum Night

It was great seeing so many parents out for the EDK Curriculum Night earlier this month! I hope you learned more about how your child's day is structured and the type of learning they will be engaged in this year. As the teachers indicated, please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions and/or concerns.


If your kindergarten child will be absent, you need to call Jefferson School to report the absence (847-318-4212) in addition to notifying their home school. If your child attends Beyond the Bell, you will also need to contact the Park District.

Extended Day Kindergarten

Additional District Announcements/Information