Friday, February 27, 2015

February Worthy Wildcats

Here are the February Worthy Wildcats!  They were selected by the Windsor Caught Being Good Commitee of students and run by Mrs. Cooke. They were nominated for being hard workers, whole body listeners, setting a good example for their peers, helping their friends, and expressing compassion.  Congratulations to these wonderful role models!

Anthony D. 

Cameron K.

Devyn B. 

Emma S. 

Natalia S. 
Ella B. 
This has been an very busy FULL week of school. Students were practicing for PARCC, schedules were being finished and we are ready to start testing on Tuesday with our 3rd graders. With the weather being so bitter cold for part of the week, our students needed many reminders to follow school rules when we finally went outside on Wednesday!  Please help us by reminding your children about our winter recess rules. We don't allow snowball throwing (or ice), children need to be careful and stay away from any ice, we share all the snow and we need to remember about the word KINDNESS to each other.  We are all getting a little ok, very tired of this cold weather and snow, but only 3 weeks to go before spring break. So, there is a light at the end of this cold and snowy tunnel!

We continue to appreciate your patience with the morning drop and go. Please follow the line, pull up as much as you can and then let your child out. Please remember to have them dress appropriately even in the morning.

While our conference days have been cancelled, if you have concerns about your child's progress, please call or email your child's teacher. Next week is a really busy week again. On Tuesday, Officer Veenstra will speak with parents about internet safety. Please join us at 6:45pm. On Wednesday, it's time for the PTA Cultural Arts Fair at Thomas Middle School. Several of our families will be sharing information. Thanks in advance for your participation and attendance.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Japan Exchange Program and Other Items

It's been just about a week since I returned from an extraordinary experience in Japan. Through the exchange that we have with the Damine Elementary School and Shitara Junior High School, I was able to visit multiple schools- both elementary and junior high in this mountainous area of Japan.
The visits were delightful- we were served tea or coffee at each school while we dialogued about the differences and similarities between the schools in Japan and the United States. I met some wonderful students, renewed acquaintances with students and faculty who had visited here from Damine from this past Fall or previous exchanges and saw Kabuki presented by the people who live in Shitara. The cultural experience was really beyond words. The food seemed to be prepared in a very healthy way and I ate some things that I would never touch here!

The students, staff and parents who I met were polite, kind and made me feel so at home. I stayed in a home for three nights where two of the three daughters had visited Arlington Heights- South Middle School. The youngest, now a junior high student will be here this spring and I look forward to reconnecting with her. We met the Mayor of Shitara and saw a bamboo forest. It is interesting how so many people of Japan wear masks to fight infection. I wonder if that will ever catch on here. Children and adults wear them both outside and in school. We also got a bit of sight seeing in and saw several temples and shrines. This is the Golden Temple and it was one of my favorites.  I would highly encourage you to think about sending your junior high children to Japan as part of the exchange. They will love it! Or, consider volunteering to host a visitor next time they come to Arlington Heights!

Keep your fingers crossed that next week is a full week of school. We really miss the students when we are out due to cold and snow. Of course, it impacts our instruction and student learning. We are working on warm thoughts for an early spring!  One more giant thank you to our Drop and Go Crew of volunteer parents in the morning! Your help is so appreciated every day but especially on the snowy and very cold mornings!  We try to get out there when there are no morning meetings for us at school, but since those seem to take up many mornings, we are very fortunate for your help!

Friday, February 13, 2015

100 Days Have Flown By!

Did you know that this week we passed our 100th day of school for this academic year? Our kindergarteners, and some first and second graders celebrated this day with math, reading, and art activities that all revolved around the number 100. Some even testing out a digital "aging booth" to see what they would look like in 100 years! Please enjoy the attached video showing how students celebrated being 100 days smarter!

100 Days Video

(At the time of this post, we have 71 more days to go this year! It's exciting to think about all of the amazing things we will accomplish in that time!)

Friday, February 6, 2015

Science and Engineering Fair, The Book Fair and Other Items

What a great night last evening. The Science/Engineering Fair was really fantastic. The 60 students who participated did a phenomenal job of using the scientific method to prove or disprove their hypotheses. There was a great deal of variety among the projects and I loved how the students were able to explain what they did for their experiment. Some worked independently and others worked collaboratively with a friend or sibling. Each of the students received a medal and a certificate of participation. Nicely done. Thanks to the PTA for sponsoring the event.

I am fortunate to be traveling to Japan as part of our exchange with the Damine School in Shitara, Japan this coming week. I will be sending pictures that hopefully Ms. Hiltz can post and will be learning about the culture and the school system in Shitara and other locations near there. I am looking forward to comparing and contrasting schools in the U.S. (and Arlington Heights) and the schools that we visit. We will be meeting the Mayor of Shitara and meeting with Board of Education members. I am looking forward to staying in one of the home of students who have in fact visited here during one of the exchanges. It should be very interesting to discover the customs, and try some different foods.  Have a great week and should you need anything, Ms. Hiltz will be here!