Jefferson Jotter

November 2019

Letter from Principal

Dear Jefferson Parents,

With Halloween being a week away, is it likely that your child is talking incessantly about what they are going to be for Halloween, may be wearing the Halloween costume around the house, and/or are anxiously anticipating the opportunity to get sugary treats when trick-or-treating!

This can be a very exciting time for many children, as they love dressing up and taking on the character of someone else. However, not all children enjoy putting on costumes or seeing adults and children in costumes that cover their faces and/or significantly change their recognizable facial features. As a parent, it is important to take cues from your child about dressing up and not insisting that they dress up if they experience any anxiety or feelings of discomfort. Even if your child doesn't wear a Halloween costume, it is likely they will still enjoy the planned activities.

In addition to the school activities planned for Thursday, your family may also enjoy participating in the D64 Elementary Learning Foundation (ELF) Halloween Hustle this Saturday morning. More information follows in the Jotter. It was fun to see the Jefferson students and families out for this event the past two years and we hope to see even more of you this year! When registering, remember to designate Jefferson School so that your participation can be added to the Jefferson totals.

The Villages of Park Ridge and Niles have designated the hours of 3:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 31 as trick-or-treating hours. Below are some tips for making trick-or-treating safe for your child/family (adapted from Guidance Resources):

  • Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before they are eaten. Check candy wrappers for small holes and torn packaging and throw away any candy or food item that is unwrapped.
  • Feed your children a healthy meal before trick-or-treating to discourage snacking along the way.
  • Try to ration treats in the days/weeks following Halloween.
  • Remove toys and other items from your yard and porch that children could trip over.
  • Keep jack-o-lanterns and burning candles in a safe place, away from children, pets, and curtains.
  • Stay on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
  • Only cross the street at crosswalks and corners and watch traffic!
  • Carry a flashlight with extra batteries after dark

Have a spooky and safe Halloween!


Lisa Halverson


Upcoming Events

Friday, October 24 - Principal Appreciation Day

Saturday, October 26 - ELF 5K Halloween Hustle - 8:00 a.m. - Hodges Park

Monday, October 28 - Dog Therapy - PK afternoon classes

Board of Education Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Franklin School

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

KidsStuff Coupon Books Due

Thursday October 31 - Halloween

Sunday, November 3 - Daylight Savings Time Ends - Turn Clocks Back

Monday, November 4 - No School for Students - Teacher Institute Day

Thursday, November 7 - Usborne Book Fair - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.

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

Monday, November 11 - Dog Therapy - morning classes

Board of Education Meeting - 7:00 p.m. - Lincoln MIddle School

Tuesday, November 12 - Preschool Screenings - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. by Appointment

Friday, November 15 - Board of Education Member Day

Monday, November 18 - Yoga - PK afternoon classes

Wednesday, November 20 - End of First Trimester

Thursday, November 21 - Usborne Book Fair - 4:00 - 7:45 p.m.

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

November 25 - 29 - No School for Students and Staff - Thanksgiving Break

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

Jefferson School Information

Hundreds Will "Hustle" at Annual ELF Benefit

The District 64 Elementary Learning Foundation (ELF) expects a big crowd at its third annual Halloween Hustle on Saturday, Oct. 26. The family-friendly 5k run/walk begins at 8 a.m. at Hodges Park. "Day-of" registration will open at 6:30 a.m. See more details here!

Schools are actively competing to see who will have the highest participation percentage in the event and a friendly rivalry between schools continues to drive registration. The winning school is awarded the coveted ELF trophy for 2019.

Interest in the logo contest was high with about 100 student entries. The winning design came from second-grader Declan Kerrigan of Field School. His design of pumpkins running in the race will be featured on the bibs and t-shirts. Starting and ending in beautiful Hodges Park, the loop will allow for a 5k Run or Walk, as well as a shorter 3k distance. The event is stroller-friendly for those too little to run. There is even a Tiny Tike Trot loop around Hodges Park for participants aged 5 and under! Participants are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes!

The event is the largest fundraiser for ELF and funds raised go directly to teachers and schools to support innovation grants.

Usborne Book Fair

We are excited to be hosting our second annual Usborne Book Fair for our preschool and EDK parents! Usborne Books was recently recognized as being the "Rolls Royce" of children's books because of their focus on only providing top quality children’s books. Once you experience the humor, color, wealth of information and stunning illustrations, it will come as no surprise that they were named 2014 Independent Publisher of the Year.

Parents will have the opportunity to shop at Jefferson School during the preschool Parent - Teacher Conferences Thursday, 11/7 & 11/21 from 4:00-7:45 p.m. Parents of EDK students are also welcome to come to the book fair on these two dates even though EDK isn't holding Parent - Teacher Conferences. By participating in this book fair, Jefferson School will receive 50% back in FREE BOOKS for school/classroom use. If you are unable to attend the book fair, you are welcome to shop online (click here) anytime from now through November 22. All orders through the online shopping site will count towards the school's free book rewards as well.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Both at home and school, some children have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another. At school, teachers assist with transitions by establishing clear routines and procedures. The more a child can predict and participate in the schedule and activities of the day, the less likely it is that challenging behavior will occur and the more likely it is that he/she will eagerly engage in transitions to new people and places. To learn more about how you can support your child at home with effectively navigating transitions between places and/or people click here.

Developmental Screenings

On a monthly basis the Early Childhood Diagnostic Team conducts screenings of children ages three to five. 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, November 12. 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.

Students Honor School Board Members

District 64 invites all members of our community to join us in thanking the members of our Board of Education for their contributions to public education on School Board Members Day officially celebrated across Illinois on Friday, November 15. Lincoln Middle School students will have the honor of presenting certificates of appreciation to our Board at its regular meeting on Monday, November 11.

Our Board includes: Rick Biagi, President; Tom Sotos, Vice President; Carol Sales, Secretary; and members Fred Sanchez, Larry Ryles, Dr. Denise Pearl and Rebecca Little. Contact Board members personally via email through our website or #ThankABoardMember on social media! A roster of former Board members back to 1968 also is available here.

The 2019 statewide theme – Transform Vision into Reality – highlights board members’ critical role in creating lasting education opportunities that reflect the desires of the Park Ridge community. District 64 encourages all local residents to take this once-a-year opportunity to thank these seven community volunteers for their oversight of the education of about 4,600 students supported by the work of more than 600 staff members.

Principal Appreciation Day

District 64 is joining with other schools across Illinois on Friday, Oct. 25 to celebrate Principal Appreciation Day as a part of the nationwide Principal Appreciation Month. We are asking all members of our school communities to thank their principals for their hard work and commitment to educational excellence.

While this honor happens each year at this time, we should remember that our principals earn our respect and appreciation each and every day. These school leaders face many challenges day-in and day-out, yet they continue to set the tone for educational excellence. Their positive attitude inspires our teachers and lifts students to greater success and their work with families and the community helps build successful learning environments for all students. Principals remain a key aspect of the many positive achievements happening daily in District 64.

Please take this time to thank our District 64 principals for their leadership and dedication through social media (#ThankAPrincipal), with a phone call, email or greeting card. View the District 64 staff directory to contact your school’s principal.

Fundraiser to Benefit D64 Families

The Park Ridge Kiwanis Club has again taken up the challenge to provide holiday food baskets to School District 64 families in need. But this year the Club will do it without a fundraising event at a local restaurant.

Instead, the Kiwanis will focus on accepting donations online to help more than 100 families in District 64 that fall below the poverty level. The website link is expected to be ready in early November and be open until early December. The link will be promoted in District 64’s weekly e-News. In the meantime, cash donations will be accepted through the mail at Kiwanis Holiday Food Basket Fundraiser ℅ Frank Kaminiski, 200 S. Vine, Park Ridge, IL 60068.

School Closing Guidelines

District 64's guidelines focus on wind chill and use the National Weather Service distinctions between an advisory and a warning (among other factors) when considering whether schools will be closed. As always, our first priority is the safety of students and staff when making decisions on when schools are closed. Make sure you know about our School Closing Guidelines before the bad weather hits! Here's to a safe winter ahead!

No School

Monday, November 4 is a non-attendance day for students so that teachers can participate in professional development activities. Additionally, Thanksgiving Break is the week of November 25 - 29, so there will be no school for students and staff that week. 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 Fundraiser

The deadline for purchasing the KidsStuff Coupon Books is next Wednesday, October 30! For those of you who have already purchased the coupon books, THANK YOU! If you'd still like to purchase books just send in your check or order online. If you don't want to purchase the coupon books, please return the coupon book in the envelope it came in. Jefferson receives 50% of all coupon books sold! The money raised is used for special projects and activities.

Thank you in advance for supporting Jefferson School by participating in this fundraising project!

Halloween Activities

The students are very excited about Halloween next week! Students will celebrate Halloween by engaging in fun activities in the classroom, visiting the office for "trick or treat", and showing off their costumes to parents and family members as they parade outside just before dismissal. Students are allowed to wear their costume to school, but a costume isn't required. If your child wears a costume it needs to be appropriate for school. In other words, no swords, guns, blood, masks, or makeup. If there are components of your child's costume that aren't appropriate for school, please keep those components special by only allowing them to be worn when trick-or-treating in the neighborhood. If your child brings a costume in a bag, it should be easy to put on and doesn't require application of makeup.

Parent Teacher Conferences

By now you should have received communication from your child's teacher about the dates and times for the fall Parent - Teacher Conferences. Conferences will be held on Thursday, November 7 and 21 from 4:00 - 7:45 p.m. Conferences are scheduled every 15-20 minutes so please be respectful of the other families by arriving to your conference on time and keeping your conversation with the teacher to the scheduled time. If you've been unable to schedule a time with your child's teacher and would like a conference, please email them.

While many of you've had conversations with your child's teacher the past two months, the upcoming Parent Teacher Conference is an opportunity for you to share information about your child as well as to learn how your child is doing at school. Knowing that there is a limited amount of time for the conference here are a few suggestions on how to prepare for the conference so that it meets your needs.

Before the conference:

  • Prepare a list of notes regarding things you think your child's teacher should know. For example, are there any major changes in your family, is there anything worrying your child about school, what things motivate your child, or do you have any concerns about school.
  • Prepare a list of questions. Preparing a list of questions will help you have a focused conversation with your child's teacher and allow you to prioritize the most important things you'd like to discuss with the teacher.

During the conference:

  • Come to the conference on time. Remember that other parents may have conferences scheduled after you.
  • Relax and be yourself. Remember that you and the teacher both want the same thing, the best for your child.
  • Be respectful in your communication so that you work together on your child's behalf.
  • Ask for explanations of anything you don't understand.
  • Ask the most important questions early in the conference in case you run out of time.
  • If you disagree with the teacher, respectfully explain why you disagree. Discussing your differences with the teacher may help you both find a more effective way to help your child.
  • Ask your child's teacher for specific suggestions of ways that you can help your child at home.

After the conference:

  • Talk with your child about the conference.
  • Start implementing the suggestions for home support.
  • Keep in touch with the teacher.

The teachers are eager to share with you how your child has adjusted to school, how they manage the classroom routines and their emotions, how they interact with peers, how they are progressing in their development, and what motivates or interests them here at school. Thank you in advance for working collaboratively with the teachers and staff on behalf of your child!

Parent Group

It was great seeing the preschool parents at this week's parent group. The topic for the next parent group is stress reduction for the holidays and throughout the year. The group will be held on Monday, November 18 starting at 9:00 a.m. Childcare is available. We hope to see you there!

Preschool Fun!

Extended Day Kindergarten (EDK) Information

Expansion of EDK Program

We are excited to welcome more students and two new staff members to our EDK program! Joining the EDK team is Ms. Plantan and Ms. O'Toole. On Monday, we opened up another afternoon section of EDK because of the long waiting list for the program. We are thrilled that D64 families value the program that we offer at Jefferson School and look forward to impacting the lives of some more kindergarten students!


Our EDK students will also celebrate Halloween on Thursday, October 31st by engaging in fun activities in the classroom and visiting other classrooms to see one another's costumes. Our morning students may come to school in their costume or can bring it in a bag, but they need to be able to easily put it on. If the afternoon students wore a costume at their home school, they may keep in on when they come to Jefferson. It is likely that the home school has already sent out information about appropriate costumes, and the same expectations apply at Jefferson. Therefore, students shouldn't bring swords, guns, or masks, and their costumes shouldn't involve makeup, blood, or gory themes.


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