The Rams Report

The Pulse of Yorkville Elementary School

A BIG Yorkville Welcome!

The staff at Yorkville Elementary School is delighted to welcome students and families to the 2017-2018 school year. We are excited about the upcoming year and look forward to continuous learning and growth for all. We are thrilled to add four new staff members to our teaching and learning team.

Mr. Scott Nelson is our 7th grade English/Language Arts teacher. Mr. Nelson was born and raised in Milwaukee. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater and earned a Master's Degree from Walden University. Mr. Nelson is thrilled to be part of a school built on community.

Mrs. Andrea Giganti is our 7th and 8th grade Spanish teacher. Mrs. Giganti is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. While in Argentina, Mrs. Giganti studied at the University of Buenos Aires. Mrs. Giganti is excited about joining the Yorkville family and enjoys the idea of being part of a school community where children become young adults.

Mr. Jason Scott joins our team as a Special Education teacher and will be working with junior high students. Mr. Scott was raised in Jacksonville, Illinois and attended Illinois College where he earned degrees in Sociology and Physical Education. In addition, Mr. Scott received a Master's Degree in Special Education from George Williams College/Aurora University. Mr. Scott is excited to have the opportunity to teach in such a highly regarded school as Yorkville.

Mrs. Laurel Leitzke, a Yorkville alumnus, has returned to serve as an instructional aide. Mrs. Leitzke received an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education from Gateway Technical College. She also holds a Certificate in Expressive Disabilities. Mrs. Leitzke is thrilled to join the Yorkville team and come back to her roots!

Building a Positive Learning Community

By now you may have heard your child talk about his/her classroom PBIS goal, a behavior matrix or Ram Grams. While this may sound like a foreign language, each of these refers to a component of PBIS and has become part of our daily routine. The PBIS model has been successfully implemented in thousands of schools in over 40 states resulting in dramatic reductions in disciplinary interventions and increases in academic achievement. The staff at Yorkville Elementary is proud to join in this movement and implement the PBIS framework.

So what exactly is PBIS? Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework for teaching and supporting positive behaviors and meeting the needs of ALL students. This school-wide approach focuses on building a safe and positive environment where all students can learn. The foundation of PBIS at Yorkville Elementary School encompasses three building wide expectations:

  • Be Respectful

  • Be Responsible

  • Be Safe

In addition to our behavior expectations, PBIS has four other components:

  • The behavior matrix is a detailed description of expected behaviors in each setting of the school. The matrix will be posted in classrooms and common areas.

  • Expected behaviors outlined in the matrix will be taught and reinforced throughout the school year. Teachers will help students learn what the expectations “look” and “sound” like in every setting. With continued practice, this will become a regular part of our instructional program.

  • Think Sheets will be used to record and address inappropriate behaviors. These sheets encourage students to reflect on behaviors and will allow staff to use infractions as teachable moments.

  • The acknowledgement of positive behaviors increases the likelihood that new, desired behaviors will continue, elevates new behavior to being more desirable than old behaviors, decreases the need for negative consequences, builds connections and helps to create a positive environment. Ram Grams will be used to acknowledge positive student behaviors and contributions. As part of the acknowledgement system, Ram Grams can be redeemed in our school PBIS store, as raffle entries and as part of school-wide events.

Over the last couple of weeks, the PBIS framework has helped to create an exciting environment that focuses on character development, positive social interactions and student learning. In fact, the entire student body assembled to celebrate the PBIS kick-off! The photos below are from our school-wide celebration!

Color-a-thon Update

Last year's Color-a-thon was a huge success! The students at Yorkville Elementary School are reaping the benefits. The money that was raised was used to purchase iPad minis for primary classrooms, educational apps, a mobile classroom Chromebook cart for students in grades 3 - 5, and a rock climbing wall. The wall has been on back-order since our order was placed. However, it is scheduled to arrive next month. In addition, funds have also been used to pay for a school-wide performance (The Matt Willhelm Show) and to offset the cost of outdoor education for our junior high students.

The students and staff are excited about the purchases and additions to our current programs. We are so very thankful for the support and generosity of our community. Thank you!

PTO Update

*Our annual Ram Family Fun Fest is quickly approaching The event will be held on Saturday September 30th from 12:00 - 4:00. It takes many volunteers to make the day a success! If you are interested in becoming a Fun Fest Volunteer, please use the link found below to sign up! Thank you, in advance, for your time and your support!

* All Family Fun Fest basket raffle items (4K-5th grade) or a $5 donation (Junior High) should be turned in to your child's teacher by September 26th. Thank you for your generosity!

* If you want to save $5, buy your wristband for the Ram Family Fun Fest now! If you missed the flyer that came home, visit the PTO website for the form. Just fill it out and send it back to school with your payment before September 28th.

* If you wish to donate baked goods for the Ram Family Fun Fest bake sale and didn't get your name on the sign up at Open House, please email Nicole Friesema to sign up. Her email address is:

* There are school year calendar magnets in the office from PTO. Please stop in and pick one up.

*PTO purchased a subscription to the website Tumblebooks. Please visit the site and log in. By doing so, you will have access to hundreds of great books! You can read the books online on your computer or you can download the app and read them. Our school's log in information can be found below:
username: yorkville

password: books

*The PTO is sponsoring a spirit wear sale. To access the school store, please use the following link - All orders must be placed by October 1st.

*The next PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, September 21st at 6:30 in the Yorkville library. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

Please mark your calendars...

Cross Country - September 20th @ 4:00 (at Union Grove)

Boys' & Girls' Softball - September 21st @ 4:00 & 5:30 (at Bristol)

PTO Meeting - September 21st @ 6:30 (Yorkville Library)

Boys' & Girls' Softball - September 26th @ 4:00 & 5:30 (at Yorkville)

Cross Country - September 27th @ 4:00 (at Bristol)

No School/Teacher In-service - September 29th

Ram Family Fun Fest - September 30th from 12:00 - 4:00

Cross Country - October 4th @ 4:00 (at Union Grove)

Parent/Teacher Conferences Grades 4 - 8 - October 12th from 4:30 - 8:00

Girls' Basketball - October 19th @ 4:00 & 5:00 (at Yorkville)

Girls' Basketball - October 23rd @ 4:00 & 5:00 (at Yorkville)

Girls' Basketball - October 24th @ 4:00 & 5:00 (at Yorkville)

No School - October 27th

Halloween Costume Parade - October 31st @ 2:30 (Large Gym)