Principal's Newsletter

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Shabonee Newsletter 10-22-21

Thank you for your support at parent-teacher conferences. We were delighted to have conversations that support our students’ success. Through our collaboration with families, children come to school happy and achieve a great experience at school. Please feel free to follow up with any of our staff throughout the academic year.  

STEM Recess

PTA Book Fair 

The children enjoyed making purchases at the PTA-sponsored Book Fair on Wednesday and Friday. There was a great deal of interesting reading material for the kids to choose from at the event. The money raised at this activity goes right back to the students. The proceeds over the last two years from the fair was used to purchase STEM kits for three of our indoor recess locations. We’ve been fortunate to have fantastic weather so far this year and only recently were able to put them to use for the very first time. The pictures included in this week’s post highlight the kids and some of the things that were created. They were a HUGE joy for the children. 

Halloween Activities on Friday, October 29 (New information about the parade on Friday) 

Children will be allowed to wear their costumes to school all day, so please help us have fun while focusing on learning by following the guidelines below. For our school celebration, the costumes and themes need to be appropriate for children in a school setting. Please keep it simple. While we want to have fun on this special day, our priority is learning. The success of this day is contingent upon parental cooperation, and we rely on your support. It’s expected that children will wear masks and maintain the same practices we follow on other school days. 

Parade: We will hold our annual Halloween parade inside the school starting at 10:30 AM and stream the activity for parents to view on Youtube. Information about the parade will be included on our website for parents to watch the event. The parade will NOT take place outside. 

 Consider the following when planning your child's costume for school:

  • Yes, masks meeting the requirements for school during the pandemic are still required! 
  • Costumes must abide by our school dress code. 
  • Costumes should not limit vision or interfere with instruction and learning.  
  • Choose a costume that your child can take on and off (for bathroom purposes, lunch, Physical Education, etc.) on their own without help.
  • Limit the amount of make-up, hair spray, etc. that the children will have to wear all day. Children will NOT be allowed to "touch-up" during school, so please save these extras for home. 
  • Weapons of any kind (real or fake) are not allowed in school.
  • Costumes promoting violent themes are not allowed in school.
  • Rollerblades or skates are not permitted.
  • Food should not be part of the costume or classroom celebration. 
  • Group costumes should not be worn at school as they promote the exclusion of other students. This is a request that we genuinely need parental cooperation and support to maintain this fun day for our children. 

Changes in Weather

The weather at this time of year can be very inconsistent. As the days get cooler please help your child dress appropriately for the school day, as well as for going outdoors for recess. Layers work well to adjust to more extreme fluctuations in the temperature. As a suggestion, children may keep a sweater or sweatshirt in their locker to use as needed. It’s also good practice to label clothing so it can be returned if lost. Items that are not labeled are placed in our lost and found area for children to claim. If your child is missing an item, please remind them to check the lost and found collection. We often have at least three large bags of unclaimed items donated each winter and summer from the lost and found. 

PBIS (Minors/Majors and Next Goal)

Minors/Majors

District 27 schools use Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) as the foundation for building a strong and supportive environment where children can learn and grow. The PBIS system provides consistent expectations for all of the various locations in the school (for example: classroom, bathroom, lunchroom, library, playground, and gymnasium). During opening days, every location is included to teach the expectation in a fun and interactive manner and reinforced throughout the school year. As children develop, mistakes are made from time to time. Nobody is perfect, especially young children with developing behaviors and emotions. The building PBIS Universal team is a group of dedicated staff working together to support any area(s) of concern and address concerns that are indicated in the data collected through the use of minors and majors. 

Small incidents are typically documented using a minor form with support from the teacher or staff member working with the child. The minor is not a punishment but rather an opportunity for reflection to learn from the mistake. Communication is conveyed home to build collaboration with families to minimize and discourage repetitive behaviors. Minors are NOT part of a child’s permanent record and are intended to help the PBIS Universal Team look for patterns to focus on building-wide goals for improvement that target growing behavioral concerns. For example, “disruption” may be an area of focus. If classroom disruptions become a theme, the team will develop a whole school incentive that helps children understand their actions and support the learning environment. This heightened awareness helps to reduce concerns in a fun and positive manner to benefit all children. 

Major referrals are more significant concerns that require support from additional staff such as the principal, assistant principal, social worker, or other support staff. A similar process like the minor is followed, and contact is made home. Majors typically include a consequence related to the concern so that the child can reflect and learn from the mistake. When mistakes are repeated, additional corrective action may be taken to help support the child further. An example of a major could be theft. A major signifies that the action was strong enough to warrant intervention that requires immediate corrective action for that child. Again, it’s important that parents are informed and work with the staff to help the child have a happy and productive educational experience. The ultimate goal is to promote and sustain a positive learning experience for all children. 

November PBIS Goal

Students recently completed the “Charging Challenge” goal to teach, encourage, and remind them to develop routines and habits for keeping their Chromebook devices charged for the next school day. 

The next goal is being developed by the staff PBIS Universal Team and will focus on helping students build capacity for learning to sustain energy and increase focus and attention. The intent is to help children improve their stamina and maximize learning throughout the school day. More information will be shared as the details are finalized. We hope to create an activity that is fun and engaging for the kids.