Welcome Back to WHS for 2020-21

The "Official" Back to School Letter from Dave Danielski

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Dear WHS Families,

Welcome back to the 2020-21 School Year at Hammerschmidt!

Our school theme for this coming school year:

"Hammerschmidt STRONG!"

The global pandemic we find ourselves in has challenged us all in ways we never have been before. Our WHS Family is STRONG together! As we open this school year remotely, we will need to stay STRONG together! We are an amazing school community who I know will rise to the challenges that stand before us.

In reflection about the way last year ended, and how we will need to start this 20-21 school year, a number of characteristics came to mind. In order to be successful, we will all need to be STRONG. "Hammerschmidt STRONG!" This is defined using the following acronym:

  • S (Self-Confident): Our students are leaders who all bring unique perspectives, talents, and insight to our school community. Helping students to realize their talents and develop self-confidence will help make them Hammerschmidt STRONG!
  • T (Tenacious:) This is a big word, but our WHS students can handle it! Tenacious people never give up and never stop trying. They are people who do whatever is required to accomplish their goal. Helping our students develop tenacity will make them Hammerschmidt STRONG!
  • R (Resilience): Resilient people are aware of situations, their own emotional reactions and the behavior of those around them. By remaining aware, resilient people can maintain control of a situation and think of new ways to tackle problems. Life is full of changes, particularly in the reality in which we live today! Teaching our WHS students to be resilient will help make them Hammerschmidt STRONG!
  • O (Open-Minded): We have been required to thing about things differently as we approach this coming school year. Keeping our minds open to new approaches and "out of the box" solutions has never been more important. Helping our student to stay open-minded will make them Hammerschmidt STRONG!
  • N (Nice): Being nice never goes out of style. Helping our students to remain positive and to demonstrate courtesy and kindness through their words and actions will help them become Hammerschmidt STRONG!
  • G (Grateful): We all have so much to be thankful for. Practicing and modeling gratitude with our students will not only help their overall emotional health, but also encourage leadership through humility. Helping our students to show gratitude will make them Hammerschmidt STRONG!

By "thinking with the end in mind," I reflected about our most recent 5th graders and how they ended their experience at Hammerschmidt. Are they prepared? Are they ready? Are they strong enough? As our 5th grade class leaves us this spring, I want the strength of our WHS students to be obvious. Students who enter GWMS with self-confidence, tenacity, resilience, open-mindedness, and who are nice, and grateful, will be Hammerschmidt STRONG!

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District 44 School Calendar

The D44 school calendar for 2020-2021 has now been updated on our school and district websites. Click on the link below to access printable versions:

2020-2021 D44 School Calendar

Welcome WHS KINDERGARTEN (High School Senior Graduating Class of 2033)

If you are brand new to WHS, and your oldest child is in Kindergarten, please accept our warmest welcome to your family. While it is unfortunate you are joining us under these COVID-19 circumstances, we are committed to providing your student and your family a year full of positive memories, challenges, fun and growth!

Below your find some information specific to our Kdg. program this school year.

Kindergarten Information:

The 2020-21 Kindergarten program will be a half-day for all students. Students will be assigned to an AM or a PM session each lasting two and a half hours.

  • AM Kdg. will be from 8:30- 11:00 a.m.
  • PM Kdg. will be from 12:00- 2:30 p.m.

This design will allow for small class sizes and the opportunity for teachers to connect, get to know, and support your students at a strong level.

Your child's teacher assignment along with the AM or PM designation will be accessible on Wednesday, 8/19 in Skyward.

Staffing Update for 2020-2021

Each new school year provides us an opportunity to extend our well-wishes and welcomes to some outgoing and incoming staff members. The staff changes for 2020-21 are outlined below.

Amanda Schroeder

Please join me is wishing our former Grade 1 teacher, Ms. Schroeder , the best of luck as she transitions to Pleasant Lane School to serve as their building's Literacy Support Specialist.

Kristen Rosemeyer- First Grade Teacher

We welcome Ms. Rosemeyer to the Grade 1 teaching team! She has spent the last year working here at Hammerschmidt supporting fourth grade students.

Lisa Flaishaker- Grade 3 Teacher

Having been a veteran member of our Grade 5 team, Lisa Flaishaker will be transitioning to teach Grade 3. This opportunity was created by the retirement of Cathi Giancana.

Carole Loane- Grade 5 Teacher

Hammerschmidt welcomes Ms. Loane to the Grade 5 Team. She is veteran D44 staff member who transitions to us from Glen Westlake Middle School.

Rett Richards- Evening Custodian

Mr. Rett Richards comes to us from Glenn Westlake Middle School. Please join me in welcoming Rett to our Hammerschmidt Team! He fills our part-time evening custodial position here at Hammerschmidt by splitting his time with Pleasant Lane School.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

Wednesday 8/19-

  • Teacher/ Class Assignments will be accessible by logging into Skyward (More information is shared below).
  • Instructions will be provided on how to sign up for a "Parent- Student- Teacher Connection Conference". These informal sessions will take place on Mon. 8/24- Wed. 8/26.

Friday 8/21-

Our former WHS students will have an opportunity to virtually connect with last year's teacher. This will be an informal opportunity for students to bring some closure and well-wishes to one another as we start the 2020-21 year remotely (A document with all the teachers' meeting links will be emailed out to you in advance).

Monday 8/24- Friday 8/28- Return to Learn Week for Families Begins!

  • Homeroom teachers will email families with instructions and activities for the week on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m.
  • Parent- Student- Teacher Connection conferences will take place Monday- Wednesday. The purpose of these sessions are to get to know one another, answer any specific questions you may have, explain the tools and processes for remote learning, and to communicate any family specific needs to promote success for your child.
  • Grade level specific Art, Music, and PE lessons will be available to join virtually.

Monday, 8/31

  • Full remote leaning begins with formal attendance, assignments, and grades.

Teacher Assignments

I know there is great anticipation for students and families to see which teacher your children have been placed with.

On Wednesday, August 19th, an email will be sent to WHS families notifying you when class placement assignments will be accessible in Skyward. Directions on exactly how to do this will also be provided.

Missed Device Pick Up? No Worries!

An allotment of D44 devices is being delivered to WHS. If you need a device and were unable to make the pick up dates, you can come by the Hammerschmidt Office to get one. Please call ahead to let us know when you plan to arrive.

Below you will find a link with some digit resources that were passed out with the student devices.

D44 Family Technology Resource Guide

Communicating With WHS Families DIGITALLY

Now more than ever it is critical that we establish strong and consistent communication channels with our families. Here is everything our families need to know in terms of how we as a district and your child’s teacher will be communicating with you throughout this year. Our goal is to ensure our families understand what tools we are using and the exact purpose of those tools.
(Not into reading and prefer to just watch a quick 3 minute video? We get it. Just click on the video below:)
2020 Communication Overview for Families

Communicating “Need To Know” Information

When communicating primary information with you, meaning it directly impacts the educational experience or growth of your child, we will do so using e-mail. We also will utilize e-mail when needing to engage in dialogue with our families. The idea is that if you are not able to engage with us in any other way (i.e. on social media or over apps), you will still receive necessary information about your child. Examples include:

  • Addressing behavioral or academic performance issues

  • Sharing information about an incident that occurred in the classroom

  • District-level decisions that will have an impact on our school environments

  • All emergency/crisis-related communications

Communicating “Good to Know” Information

When communicating with you about secondary information, meaning information that we know our families appreciate receiving but is not as much of a high priority, we will do using the following tools: Seesaw, Google Sites or Google Classroom. Please know that your child’s teacher will communicate with you directly which one of these platforms they will be using, as it can vary by grade level. You can also find a “how to” guide and tutorials for all of these tools on our remote learning website. Examples of when we would use these tools include:

  • Providing snapshots into our classrooms

  • Reminders about upcoming events or assignments

  • Sharing a portfolio of your child’s work in class

Engaging on Social Media

If you are also interested in following us or engaging with us on social media, every school in the district as a Facebook and Twitter page set-up. We also have a Facebook and Twitter established for the district level, as well as YouTube Channel. We encourage you to follow our school and district accounts, as none of our teachers/staff will be utilizing social media to share content. Instead, they will be leveraging the tools listed in the previous section. Parents should also be aware that this school year, we have opened up YouTube access so our teachers can share videos with our students related to their teaching and instruction. It is important that just with any other social media channel, you carefully monitor your child’s use of YouTube, as filtering restrictions will not be in place in order for our teachers to share videos that are educational in nature.

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Needing Your Permission

We understand that families have different levels of comfort with the ways in which their child’s images are shared. If you would prefer that your child’s image NOT BE USED in any form, including in our school yearbook, on SeeSaw, Google Sites, etc.,please sign and return the first page of this form to your school secretary. If you would prefer images of your children NOT BE USED JUST ON SOCIAL MEDIA (Twitter, Facebook and YouTube), then sign and return the second page of this form to your school secretary. You do not need to do anything with either form if you are ok with images of your child being shared.

In Case You Missed It:

Below you will find two items that have been sent out in the last couple weeks. First, you will find the FAQ document that D44 put out. Secondly, you will find the video of the "WHS Family Meeting with the Principal" from 8/6. In case you missed it or want to review these items, they are linked below:

WHS Family Meeting w Principal 2020 08 06 at 17 04 GMT 7
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Have you completed your student's 2020-2021school year registration yet?

Sign in today to verify and update any phone numbers, health concerns or emergency contacts.

Click on the link below to get the most recent news from District 44:

Lombard District 44 Update