The Crosby Chronicle

Principal's Quarterly Newsletter - Winter 2020

Greetings from Principal Ferguson!

Happy New Year Crosby Families!

I hope this newsletter finds you all doing well and enjoying our winter weather so far. It has been a busy first semester at Crosby, and I am really enjoying my first year as a Principal. I have been learning new things about our students and staff every day! The best part of my day is greeting students as they come into the building in the morning. I am very proud of these young scholars as they come to school ready to give their best effort in all they do. We have such amazing "Crosby Kids!" Thank you all for your support and encouragement from home. It truly makes a positive difference for our students when the home and school work together to have a partnership in the educational experience of each child.

Enjoy our newsletter, and celebrate all the wonderful opportunities our students have been experiencing during their school day!

Have a wonderful week!

Mrs. Ferguson


January 20 - NO SCHOOL - Martin Luther King Day (Non-Attendance Day)

January 21-22 - Mobile Dentist

January 23 - Kindergarten Registration - 4-8 pm

January 24 - 100th Day of School

January 28 - Kindergarten Registration - 4-8 pm

February 12 - Half Day Staff Development Day - Dismissal @ 12:45 pm

February 13 - NO SCHOOL - Parent-Teacher Conferences 12-8 pm

February 13 - BOOK FAIR @ Crosby 12-8 pm

February 14 - NO SCHOOL - (Non-Attendance Day)

February 17 - NO SCHOOL - President's Day - (Non-Attendance Day)

March 2 - Casimir Pulaski Day - (Attendance Day)

March 11 - Half Day Staff Development Day - Dismissal @ 12:45 pm

March 13 - END of 3rd Quarter

March 20 - 3rd Quarter Report Cards Go Home

March 20 - Early Release Staff & Students - Dismissal @ 1:30 pm

March 23- March 27 - NO SCHOOL - Spring Break (Non-Attendance Days)

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Students of the Month-By Mrs. Kathleen Ferguson

Congratulations to the following students for being selected as "Student of the Month" by their teachers! These students have been recognized with a Certificate of Award, a "Student of the Month" wrist band, a pencil, and a FREE kids "Scoopie" meal at Culvers.

Criteria for selecting the Students of the Month

  • Demonstrates responsibility

  • Acts in a respectful manner towards peers and staff

  • Makes good choices and demonstrates safe behavior

  • Puts forth consistent effort

  • Shows good attendance or improvement in attendance

  • Displays excellent character through compassion, honesty, trustworthiness, optimism, and responsibility

  • Demonstrates positive behavior and self-control

  • Has a positive attitude toward others and towards learning

  • Models good citizenship

  • Demonstrates leadership and integrity


Kindergarten - Aria Coffer, Brooke Ramberg

First - Tinley Nulle, Logan Olbrich

Second - Ava Gonzaque, Karina Ramirez

Third - Abelardo Garcia Hernandez, Heidi Morataya Castaneda


Kindergarten - Alexander Lopez Sanchez, Ximena Castaneda Cruz

First - Haddie Zemon, Yovani Hernandez

Second - Kimberly Nova, Rasshel Mercado

Third - Lachlan Crone, Jake Bartel


Kindergarten - Cristian Vasquez, Wendy Fuentes

First - Benjamin Dominguez Mejia, Jayla Ramon Granados

Second - Marisol Duran, Oliver Nolan

Third - Anthony Salcedo, Max Webb

Crosby Kids & Rockin' Readers

Our students are working hard each month to earn Crosby Kid and Rockin' Reader Tickets. These tickets are then put into the classroom jar until the monthly drawing. When Mrs. Ferguson comes to the classroom to draw tickets, the students are very excited to have the chance to pick books from the book baskets.

Students can earn the Crosby Kid Tickets by showing responsible, respectful, and safe behaviors throughout the school building. Students earn Rockin' Reader Tickets by demonstrating good reading behaviors and doing what good readers do each day. Congratulations to all of our students who have been selected so far this school year! Mrs. Ferguson has been happy to award over 400 books to students in the first semester of school. Keep up the great work Crosby Kids and Rockin' Readers!

First Semester Celebration

At the end of the first semester, Crosby staff and students earned a "Minute to Win It" Assembly on the last day of school before break. Students were engaged in relays and games as they cheered each other on and put forth excellent teamwork. Thank you to Mr. Beesley and the team for organizing this fun celebration!

Crosby Pajama Day!

Our students and staff earned a school Pajama Day on the last day before winter break. Students were excited, and comfortable while wearing their pajamas to school. Staff members were pretty happy too!

Crosby December Food Drive

A special "THANK YOU" to all of the Crosby staff, students, and families for their generous donations of food in December. Our staff member, Mrs. Robistow, organized our first food drive for this school year. Students and staff brought in canned goods and dry goods each day and placed them under the Christmas tree in our school lobby. Our food drive ran for three weeks, and at that time, we collected 1,018 pounds of food. Crosby Staff helped to load up the food and deliver it to the Harvard Community Food Pantry before the winter break. Thank you, Mrs. Robistow, for organizing the drive, and to everyone who donated food items. It is so important to give back to the community, and our students felt very happy to give and help others in need.

Scholastic Book Fair at Crosby Elementary

We will be having our Annual Book Fair on Parent-Teacher Conference Day. This will be on February 13, 2020, from 12:00p.m -8:00 pm. We are trying something new as we transition to a cashless book fair. We are asking for payment to be made by either check or credit/debit card. We will accept cash if necessary but would prefer cashless to make purchasing more efficient and to save time. Also, the Book Fair will be set up in the Kindergarten Discovery Center this year and it will only be held on one day due to scheduling and time constraints. Thank you for your help and cooperation in making this event a success.

"Crosby Kids" Are Getting Artsy! By Ms. Alaiyha Bryant and Ms. Adriana Vongkorad

Kindergarten art students are exploring a variety of media and creating winter-themed art projects in various center rotations.

First-grade students are getting messy in art class with clay! They are creating their own fantastical clay pizzas inspired by contemporary artists.

Second-grade artists are exploring food from different cultures and creating food around the world with torn paper collage menus.

Third-grade artists finished up their amazing Alebrije plastered sculptures and are about to wow us with their printmaking skills by creating their own stickers!

"Crosby Kids" Are Making Music! By Mr. Spencer Kibbler

In Kindergarten Music, students have finished their “Goin’ to the Farm” unit. They have explored different animal movements and sounds. The next section of lessons is based around counting, so we are working on songs like “1, 2, Buckle My Shoe” and “Roll Over”.

In 1st Grade Music, we have been working with homeroom teachers to integrate the ReadyGen curriculum into our lessons. We have explored Chinese music, instruments, and dance. We also used our new Orff instruments to perform songs about bats, cats, and squirrels for our animal unit.

In 2nd Grade Music, the students performed their Veterans Day concert. The students did a fantastic job and the veterans were very appreciative. The next unit we started was about creating stories based on music with no words. The students had to listen to various pieces of music, create a location and characters, and identify what was happening in each section.

In 3rd Grade Music, the students worked very hard on the music for their concert, “Snow or Sun?” Surprisingly, the vast majority of students said that they prefer the snow to the sun! For the concert we had students work to be a part of a small choir and an Orff ensemble to accompany the singers.

The spring semester is “concert season” in music, so you may all look forward to the rest of the grade level concerts. Second Grade concert will be on March 17th, First Grade concert will be on April 7th, and the Kindergarten concert will be on May 5th. Hope to see you all there!

"Crosby Kids" Are on the Move By Mr. Kyle Motz

It is a great time of year in physical education! Students had a great time playing all of our fall sports and activities. Students took part in a basketball and volleyball camp sponsored by the PTO and had a lot of fun. With winter sports getting started, classes get the opportunity to participate in team sports such as floor hockey, indoor soccer, and basketball. The students will also be participating in more individual activities such as bowling and dance. Our students get to practice with a carpet bowling alley and full 10 pins. Students learn to set them up, and they work together as a fully functioning lane as if they were actually at the bowling alley. The students will continue to learn and participate in team-building games and activities with their classmates.

Along with participating in these sports, we will also offer an after school floor hockey camp. The camp will take place during the 3rd quarter. It is sponsored by the Crosby PTO and is available for all students. Also, coming up, the PE department will be participating in Jump Rope for Heart. Information packets will be going home soon. Our PTO sponsored Winter Dance will be on January 24th. Please look for information coming home soon. Just a reminder to please make sure your child either brings or has proper footwear at school for a physical education class. The students and PE staff are excited about the winter season of sports, activities, and games. They get to learn and participate in so many wonderful activities, and we look forward to a great 3rd quarter!

Library News By Ms. Belena Garza

We have been learning about how we use resources and find books in the library. Our students are becoming experts in navigating our library and knowing what we have to offer. We are beginning to study the different genres, or types of books, that we have within our library. It is our goal that students will see the many types of books they can read, and how the books will satisfy many different interests they have. There will be information coming home regarding a reading program the students can participate in to receive free hockey tickets. Also, please don’t forget to have your students send their books back every week.

Technology News By Ms. Larin Filip

This quarter we have a lot of exciting and enriching lessons happening during technology time. Check out each grade level below!

Third Grade Students have completed “Wild and Wacky Animal Projects” using Google Docs and online research sites. They are now starting a unit on stop-motion animation and will be participating in the ‘red ball challenge’, showing continuous animation from computer to computer.

Second Grade Students have been participating in Typing Club, an online typing education program! Many students have become much faster at finding keys and using 2 hands while typing. The program's top typists earn prizes each week they are at the top of the leaderboard.

First Grade Students are also participating in a typing unit, learning about typing using BBC Dance Mat. This program has silly songs and characters that help our first graders with letter recognition and basic keyboarding.

Kindergarten Students have become pros while using Chromebooks! They have learned to sign in, and navigate to pre-selected websites that are appropriate for new computer users. Also, our kindergarten students are learning technology vocabulary.

Counselor Corner By Mrs. Kortni Spaulding

Counseling Corner

Hello and Happy New Year! The holiday season is a popular time for students to get new games and electronics. While these items can be very fun and entertaining, they also lead to a host of safety concerns. Video games, websites, and apps open your child up to conversations with strangers, inappropriate content, and cyberbullying. Because of the advances in technology, social media, and gaming, this is the first generation of children and parents to face these risks; As adults, we are still learning how to navigate it.

A recent study by the American Association of Pediatrics found that children whose parents monitor their media use get more sleep, demonstrate prosocial behavior, perform better in school, and exhibit less aggression. Monitoring a child’s media use is critical for keeping them safe.

Because I have the pleasure of speaking to so many students each week, I get the opportunity to hear about which games, apps, and websites are popular among K-3 students. Below you’ll find a list of their most commonly used media; please click the links for more information and step-by-step guides to ensure that your child has a safe and fun experience online.

Common Sense Media: A Parent’s Ultimate Guide to Parental Controls





Would you like to learn more about the issues, safeguards, and how to talk about cyber safety with your child? Check out CISA, NetSmartz, Protecting Kids Online, and Good Digital Parenting.

Wishing you a great second semester!

Kortni Spaulding

School Counselor

Character Education Corner By Mrs. Alli Altmann

Happy New Year, Crosby Families!!

Crosby Kids are spreading kindness throughout our school and community--and inspiring each other to spread kindness throughout the world! During the week of January 27-31st, our students will be participating in "The Great Kindness Challenge," which is an international campaign to spread acts of kindness throughout our world. We will also be providing an opportunity for students to participate in "Kind Coins for Mexico" which is a unifying service project to help build a school and friendship center in Tijuana, Mexico. If you are interested in learning more about the "The Great Kindness Challenge," you may enjoy visiting the website at

During Character Ed, our students have been learning how to use communication and conflict resolution skills as a means to promote peace and wellness. Our students have also discussed bullying prevention -- healthy communication skills are an important component in the prevention of bullying situations. We have also been discussing the power of gratitude. Thinking about things we are thankful for 1) Helps us be able to focus on the positive things going on in our lives, which 2) Helps our brains be ready for learning and making healthy decisions.

Ask your Kindergarten and First Grade Students about "A Bug and a Wish!"

After reading the book, A Bug and a Wish by Karen Scheurer, our kindergarten and first graders discussed ways to talk about frustrating feelings healthily. For example: "It bugs me when you grab the book from my hand. I wish you would ask me if you would like to borrow it."

Ask Your 2nd and 3rd Graders about "Conflict Resolution Skills!"

Our 2nd and 3rd Graders created "Conflict Resolution Skill" books and then used their books in various classroom skits/role play scenarios. Some of the conflict resolution skills that students have been using include: 1) Take a Deep Breath; 2) Take Turns; 3) Compromise; 4) Talk It Out; 5) Take a Break; and 6) "Rock, Paper, Scissors."

Crosby Kids are spreading kindness throughout our school, Harvard community, AND the world! It is a privilege to be able to learn alongside all of our amazing Crosby students!

Crosby's New Parent Community Liaison By Ms. Vania DeAlmeida

Dear Crosby Elementary School Families,

My name is Vania DeAlmeida, and I will be working with you as your Parent Community Liaison. As the Parent Community Liaison, my role is to provide support and information about programs, services, and district activities that are available to the students and their families. Also, my goal is to foster an ongoing partnership between the home and the school.
I have been working as an educator for more than 20 years. I am from Brazil, and my native language is Portuguese, but I am fluent in Spanish as well. I have two teenage daughters, and we live in Harvard.

I look forward to working with you, as a team, to help guide your child toward academic success. I will continue to notify you about the variety of programming that the district offers, along with other family and community functions that we would love to have you attend.
If there is anything I can do to assist your family or to make your transition into our district and community any easier, please feel free to contact me at (815) 943-6125 Ext. 2581, or email me at

Kindergarten News By Mrs. JoAnn Bomkamp

In Kindergarten, we are very busy learning, and growing socially and academically. In Literacy, we are focusing on the ReadyGen module- the weather. In this module, the students will build their literacy and science skills through exposure to authentic non-fiction textbooks and observations. The students will learn about the tools used by meteorologists, predict the weather, and learn how weather affects humans and animals.

In our small guided reading groups, we continue to work on essential foundational skills. These groups are homogeneously grouped to provide direct instruction at each child’s reading level. We are well on our way to becoming fluent readers by identifying letters and sounds, blending and segmenting to decode CVC words, and reading high-frequency sight words.

In Math, we use both our large and small motor abilities to understand a variety of math concepts. One of our favorite activities is singing and exercising to 100 with our buddy,

Mr. Jack Hartmann. The students also engage in math boxes or math stations to explore the Common Core Math Standards. Currently, we are focusing on counting/identifying numbers 1-20, counting to 100, teen numbers, and addition/subtraction. The students use age-appropriate tools and resources such as play-doh, geoboards, ten frames, and puzzles to discover, learn, and grow!

First Grade News By Ms. Kim Differding

First graders have been very busy during the 2nd quarter. In literacy, we read several stories that relate to our Ready Gen themes: Connecting to Our World and Making Choices. We continued to discuss character, setting, sequencing, and story events with the stories we read. In writing, we worked on beginning sentences with an uppercase letter, the spacing between words, and correct punctuation. We have also been working on adding detail to our writing using adjectives. In Social Studies, our focus was on family units. Our Second Step lessons focused on empathy and emotion management. In Science, we investigated parts of animals and animal survival. In Math, we learned how to add and subtract within 10, number sense to 60, and place value. Students worked diligently on fact fluency, fact families, and figuring out whether to add or subtract with story problems. We practiced identifying, naming, and writing numbers to 60. Place value concepts that were introduced this quarter were writing numbers in standard form, representing numbers with place value blocks, making exchanges, and comparing numbers.

Second Grade News By Mrs. Beth Schmidt

2nd Grade News

In our dual language program, the students have been reading Tia Isa quiere un carro. Students learned about needs and wants and why it is important to save for things they want. Students had a writing project after the story where they actually planned a trip and included details. Our mono students read several stories over the course of the 2nd quarter. The stories were all based on the theme of making important decisions, including money decisions. Students were involved in writing about characters that made good and poor decisions and writing their opinions about topics.

Our 2nd graders spent the 2nd quarter in Units 3 and 4 in our Everyday Math series, where they learned and practiced addition and subtraction fact strategies. (ie, doubles, helper facts, using number lines, fact families, using +1 and +0) We also began our WIN (What I Need) time this past quarter. Teachers analyzed student scores to determine we needed to focus on math skip counting by 5s and 10s within 1000. Students were divided into smaller ability groups and worked with teachers approximately 30 minutes per day on this skill.

Finally, these 2nd graders also had the privilege of singing for our local veterans at an assembly in November. We were honored to sing and present artwork and thank you letters as the veterans were served a wonderful breakfast provided by Crosby School.

Third Grade News By Mrs. Melissa Beetstra

Third Grade News:

Third grade has been doing lots of exciting things! For the first time this year, 3rd grade did a Celebrations Around the World Unit as an entire grade level. Students traveled from classroom to classroom over 3 days, visiting three different countries every day, for a total of 9 countries. They were enthusiastic while comparing similarities and differences that they found between the countries and doing the exciting activities that each country held. Not to mention the sheer excitement in seeing real-life photos of places that they now dream of visiting one day! Learning about cultures around the world helps broaden our children's understanding and acceptance of all different people and their ideas and ways of doing things. This, in turn, will help widen their knowledge of people's differences and make working together in this world so much easier for our children in the future.

We continue working hard at building our student's foundational skills in math during our WIN time. This is a 30 min block of time every day where teachers use data to drive instruction in specific skills of math and give each child time to work on the skills they need as an individual to be successful in learning. So far this year we have worked on telling time, addition, and most recent subtraction in this model. We will continue to topics such as multiplication and division in the following quarter.

In math class, we continued to work hard on multiplication and division in math and are moving on to use that multiplication in the measuring Area and then will continue to fractions. For reading both English and Spanish language arts classes will begin an informational text unit on Weather! In this unit, students will be able to distinguish different points of view and create their own opinions in discussion and writing tasks. They will be able to analyze key details and how the character's actions transmit experience. In writing, students will be asked to make a shift from the Narrative Story writing that they had been doing and do some opinion writing, which will be an exciting change of pace for them!

Third grade also continues to work hard on our Avid skill-building. Helping the students learn vital organizational skills in both their physical materials and note-taking organization will allow them to continue building their knowledge base and retention of knowledge, in the most efficient way, to maximize learning now and in the future.