Thursday, May 26, 2016

How to Find Out What's Happening @ Windsor!

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Summer is fast approaching and as families and students are planning their summer adventures, we are busy planning for next school year! One thing we talk a lot about is how we can keep families informed about what is going on at Windsor School. There are a multitude of ways you can stay in the loop with Windsor news, so we thought we'd remind you of the options so you can plan for next year too!

#1: TWITTER! If you haven't heard...Windsor is on Twitter! Our handle is @windsorwildcats and we tweet out many times a day. You can also see tweets from other staff members and other District 25 accounts that are retweeted or liked on our account. Twitter is a great way to peek into what's happening in classrooms as well as big events in our school. Please follow us to share in the exciting things your children are doing during the day.

#2: THIS BLOG! Each week, we take time to address a specific issue or share resources that we think our community would enjoy. You can subscribe to this blog so you receive email updates when new posts are published. We'd also welcome feedback on potential topics for next year, so feel free to share your ideas! [We also post this blog link and the PTA website link, the Windsor PTA Facebook page in our Friday email update each week!]

#3: WINDSORPTA.ORG! Our PTA has the best website in the district! It's dynamic and chock full of great information for families. Windsor staff members even go there to find important dates and other information happening at school! If you haven't bookmarked this site, you should!

#4: WINDSOR WEBSITE! In the fall, District 25's websites will be getting a facelift! Windsor's site, like other schools, will be easier to read and navigate and more friendly for use on smartphones. Stay tuned for more information about our website and web address.

#5: LOCAL NEWS! Did you know that Windsor has been in the news for many events this year? We've been featured in the Tribune Local paper and on a kid-friendly new website called Newsela. We have been proud to share information about our fit desk project (have you seen the colorful ErgoErgo chairs yet?), the events we organized for Autism Awareness month, our wonderful garden tasting event, and most recently the amazing World of Work experience our 5th graders had at local businesses. Keep an eye on the new Windsor website and our Twitter feed for links to stories about Windsor in the news!

We hope you'll take the time to consider what avenue works best for you to stay informed about the amazing things happening at Windsor School. We're so proud of our staff and students and always look forward to sharing with our community!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Thanks So Very Much To All of Our Windsor Volunteers!

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We wanted to send out a heartfelt THANK YOU to all of our parents who volunteered in some capacity this school year.  Whether you worked in classrooms or the LMC, made copies, sorted copies, worked nonstop with the PTA, were on the executive board of the PTA, worked activity or movie nights or both, worked the Sock Hop, planned cultural arts assemblies, worked the Roller Skating Party, the Back to School Social and/or the Fall Harvest, we thank you. You might have volunteered your time by hanging art work, helping with Drop and Go, being a room parent, running a classroom Halloween or Valentine's party, been on the 5th grade committee or organizing so much for all of us for Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week, we thank you!

You might have updated the PTA Facebook page, the Windsor PTA website, the weekly email PTA update, or the outside marquis. Our volunteers also helped with assessments by keeping a close eye on waiting students. Maybe you volunteered as part of ABC25 and helped with the Just Move It Challenge, read scholarship applications, or helped with the Windsor School drawing.  Or maybe, you worked with students directly in Junior Great Books, Coding Club, Writing Club or the Variety Show.  We are sure that we missed some activity, but we tried our best to list them all, and do appreciate your volunteerism even if your role/activity was not on this list!

Did you know that we also have several former staff members and other community members who come in to help in the LMC and classrooms as well during week? We are very grateful for their continued support of Windsor School.

You all demonstrate the true definition of volunteer: a person who freely offers to take part in an enterprise or undertake a task. Whatever the task, you came through with a smile on your faces!  We are so very enthused about our partnership with our volunteers and our PTA.  To borrow from a well known commercial, "Windsor volunteers.... PRICELESS!
The word alone does not really give the emphasis we wish to say to you, but a big Wildcats THANK YOU for all your efforts and partnership this year.  It takes a village and you are a strong part of that village!

Friday, May 13, 2016


As we begin to prepare to welcome our newest Wildcats to Kindergarten in the fall, we always think about the importance of the first year of school for our students. Even for those who have attended pre-school, Kindergarten marks a right of passage and an official welcome to elementary school. It is a responsibility we recognize as educators, to make that first year as impactful as possible. Our Kindergarten Parent Orientation is Wednesday, May 18th at 6:30PM .

Have you ever wondered where the concept of Kindergarten came from? Friedrich Froebel, a German educator, opened the first kindergarten in Blankenburg, Germany, in 1837. Now, a new, somewhat provocative, documentary is being release about the history of Kindergarten and how revisiting the original goals of kindergarten might help direct future educational reform in the U.S. as we try to develop creative, engaged thinkers for the next generation. 

Watch the 4 minute trailer here

Even as we close out the last 15 days of the 2015-16 school year, we can't wait to welcome the new Kindergarten class to Windsor in the fall. We hope to ensure that their year fills them with wonder and excitement for learning and that they may also learn a few of the important things listed by Robert Fulghum in his book, All I Really Need to Know, I Learned in Kindergarten.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May Worthy Wildcats

Congratulations to our May Worthy Wildcats.  They were selected for helping peers to get to the office when they have been injured, teaching a friend how to tie a shoe, showing great responsibility during each day, helping a friend carry her cello and comforted a friend when she was not feeling good. Our students are enjoying doing Random Acts of Kindness for each other. Well done, Windsor Wildcats!
Anna S. 

Emilio F. 

Emma L. 

Katrina C. 
Henry G. 

Kylie C. 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Inspired To Be an Educator


We are so fortunate to work in a community that so appreciates and values our teachers, staff and in fact, our school district.  This week has truly been amazing and we thank you so much for coordinating a terrific Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week.  The notes we received from students were definitely a hit! What they write to us is priceless and we value their thoughts!

We were talking about being educators and all the work we do to ensure our students learn and grow each year. Our staff truly inspires us with their efforts that continually go above and beyond for our students. During that discussion, we reflected upon our past as students and which teachers inspired us to become educators.  

Mrs. Fabrizio: As I think back to my years in school, I was lucky enough to have many wonderful and caring teachers. However, there are a few that stand out to me even now. Mrs. Feldman, in second grade, made each of us feel as we were the only student that mattered.  I remember being in small reading groups with her (yes, reading Dick and Jane books and doing SRA colored cards) and when she asked me a question and gave me positive feedback, I felt so proud as if I could do anything.  I remember being asked to help with bulletin boards and taking attendance.  Every morning she would take the time to stand at our classroom door and greet us. In fact, I remember that vividly.  That behavior, I would later emulate, so that I try as much as possible now to greet our students at Windsor. 

While I think of who has inspired me, I also think of Mrs. Hubbard who was my algebra teacher in high school. She was the first teacher who noticed that math was not my strength. She took the time to work with me individually during class and invited me to get additional help from her at other times of the day.  I was delighted that I was invited to get extra help- as if it was my choice! But, I sure felt important and nurtured!  Additionally, I will never forget that she had quite a sense of humor with us students.  She would make slippers out of newspaper on rainy days and wear them all day in her classroom.  What? Learning could be fun?  Yes!  She made quite an impact on me as I try hard to lead by having fun with our staff and our students, too.  Learning at Windsor is much fun and I hope you all saw that last evening as you visited our classrooms.  You never know what will make a difference in  your life. These two educators made a difference in mine.  I wish that I could tell them, now. 

Ms. HiltzI wasn't a person who always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but in reflecting on the amazing teachers I had growing up, I know that they ultimately inspired me to enter this incredibly fulfilling profession. 

My 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Rauch, was amazing--beautiful, smart, engaging. I will never forget how we got to put on plays in her classroom, take ownership of the room with various jobs (taking care of the hamster--my favorite!), and in my memory, every activity we did was hands-on. I was so sad to go to 3rd grade. Then, I realized that I got to have Mrs. Shriver as my 3rd grade teacher. Mrs. Shriver loved to write and it was in her class that I began to think of myself as a writer--always working to be one of the students chosen to read a creative writing piece out loud. Sometimes we even got to earn a candy bar (Butterfinger, of course!) for the best writing. 

I was so lucky to have back-to-back teachers who were excited about teaching and who loved their students and made us feel important. When I started my first year as a second grade teacher, I found myself trying to channel some of these memories into my own practice. I hope that students left my class thinking of themselves as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists, and, perhaps even more importantly, as someone who was valued and important to their teacher!
 It is very interesting to both of us, that while teaching was not our first career, there was something about our teachers that inspired us to do what we do now with such joy.  It it clear that teaching matters, words matter, and your children matter very much to us!  Thanks for sharing them with Windsor every day!