Week 2: 08/21/17 – 08/25/17

What a great first week (technically 3 days) at Kennedy! As expected, there were a few tears, but the smiles and laughs outweighed the few. I appreciate everyone’s help and extra care during arrival. Thank you to ALL staff for going the extra mile to help get our year off to an amazing start. Let’s keep that up this week, as well!

As we prepare for our first full week with the students, I hope you will take a few quiet moments to put aside lesson planning, forget about administrative tasks and consider our purpose (as a school, and as individual educators). When we walk in on Monday morning, please remember that you are a difference maker! The small gestures you make to welcome students and show an interest in their lives will have an impact. This year, you will have opportunities to build confidence where it hasn’t existed, develop connections that have never been present, and generate hope with your students. Our classrooms are filled with individuals with a variety of needs, and it’s up to US to make sure they thrive! The only way for that to happen is to build a connection with each student. When we truly know them all as individuals, we can understand them as learners.

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, August 21st
1st Day of PreSchool
Bernie’s Book Bank is coming!!! Each student will receive a bag of 6 new or gently used books to take home! The books will be unloaded into the gymnasium – once there, we’ll call classrooms down — and your students can come pick their book bags up (just like last January).
MAP Testing Window Opens
Let’s get our intervention Routines Started Soon!

Tuesday, August 22nd
Bus Evacuation Drill <—K-3 Students will get the opportunity to practice with the new seat belts on our school buses & learn bus safety! More information and a schedule where teachers will be able to sign up for their own slots will come from Stephanie.
Math Team Meetings after school (2:30pm-3:05pm) <–math team leader will share an agenda

Wednesday, August 23rd
Common Plan Time – Team Leaders will share an agenda

Thursday, August 24th
ELA Team Meetings after school (2:30pm-3:05pm) <–ELA team leader will share an agenda

Friday, August 25th
5 by Friday! As a school, let’s all commit to making 5 Positive Connections by Friday of every week! Kennedy postcards can be found in the main office!
ABC Pool Party for Washington/LMS (8-10pm)

(08/26) ABC Pool Party for Kennedy (7-9pm)

Remember, we must make an effort to build relationships with our families, too!
Read this awesome blog post here about how to engage successfully with our families!

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Week 37: 05/22/17 – 05/26/17

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It’s hard to believe we have reached the point in the year where we only have 4 days left! It has been a great year of teaching & learning, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your friendship and support.

In the middle of packing away materials, finishing report cards & last minute projects, there is one part of the year that is so bittersweet….the good-byes! Remember to take time to tell your students what they mean to you this week. Have lunch in the classroom or outside. Ask each student to share their favorite memory. Share your favorite memories with your class. Send a Kennedy Kubbie positive postcard to every student and put it in the mail on the last day of school to wish them a great summer! ENJOY THESE LAST FOUR DAYS! It’s the happiest & saddest time all in one. So, while you’re counting down the last 5 days and trying to cross off those final items from your never-ending to-do list, remember to enjoy your final time together & make your end of the year count! :)

For those of you moving on to new adventures, remember that you’re only as good as your last exit…….and for those of us returning, know that students remember the educators that we are the last week of school…..so let’s make sure they remember the best of what we have to offer. This last week (4 days) is going to FLY by so please commit to making them count. Let’s all feel great about what we’ve accomplished this year! Finish strong and wrap up the year with a beautiful bow…Have a wonderful week and remember to be great for our Kubbies and each other.

“No one has a problem with the first mile of a journey. Even an infant could do fine for a while. But it isn’t the start that matters. It’s the finish line.”

  ― Julien Smith

Here’s our final week at a glance for the 2016-2017 school year:

Monday, May 22nd
2nd Grade Picnic @ North Park
Summative Meetings (Bring your laptop)
8:45am-10:30am (127, 130, 132) Kinder Graduation Practice @ LMS
9:00am (101, 103, 109 & 110) 1st Grade Trip to the Schiller Park Library
10:00am (100, 102, 108) 1st Grade Trip to the Schiller Park Library
11:30am-1:30pm (128, 129, 131, 133) Kinder Graduation Practice @ LMS
8th Grade Graduation @ E. Leyden HS (6:30pm)

Tuesday, May 23rd
Kindergarten Graduations (9:00am and 11:00am) @ LMS
FINAL Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, May 24th
2nd Grade Field Trip to Brunswick Zone @ 9am
1st Grade Picnic @ North Park
Kindergarten Screenings
Summative Meetings (Bring Your Laptop)
3rd Grade Dinosaur Fair (10:30am-11:30am)
Class Building during CPT

Thursday, May 25th
Happy Birthday Monica Sloma :)
PreK Celebrations (8:15-8:45, 9-9:30, 9:45-10:15 and 10:30-11:00am)
Kindergarten Screenings
LAST Day of School ~ All staff report to the bus lane at 2:25pm for our annual tradition of “waving goodbye to our students” …. *Check out our photos/videos from last year here.

*Looking to remove items from your classroom for next year, or better yet — find some great treasures that others are looking to find new homes for? Check out the END OF THE YEAR SURPLUS LIST

Week 36: 05/15/17 – 05/19/17

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend. I saw this post from a blogger named “Farley” & wanted to share:

I have come to realize Mother’s Day is a celebration of
living moms
angel moms
birth moms
adoptive moms
moms with fur kids
step moms
grieving moms
those trying to become moms
and those that care for kids like a mom

Everyone’s path through life leads them on a different journey
as some may be on a mountain… others might be in a valley
but both travelers need LOVE!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone
you may not hold the roadmap to your life but
remember to count your blessings along the way, follow your heart,
and always look for a sliver lining.

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, May 15th
2nd Grade Field Trip to Brookfield Zoo

Tuesday, May 16th
Kindergarten Picnic
DARE Graduation @ 2pm (LMS)

Wednesday, May 17th
1st Grade Field Trip to Stahl Family Theater
3rd Grade Picnic
Board of Education Meeting @ 7pm (LMS)

Thursday, May 18th
1st Grade Field Trip to Brookfield Zoo
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm

Friday, May 19th
Kindergarten Graduation Practice (8:30-10:30 and 11:30am-1:30pm)
3rd Grade “Fly Up Day” – to Washington School @ 9am
1st Grade Picnic

Week 35: 05/08/17 – 05/12/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, May 8th
Melissa out of building @ Admin Academy
Happy Birthday Jen Mauck :)
3rd Grade ZOO Trip

Tuesday, May 9th
Kindergarten ZOO Trip
Pennoyer 1:1 Site Visit (8:30am and 12:45pm)
Marine Biologist visits with 2nd Grade Classrooms

Wednesday, May 10th
1st Grade Dress Rehearsal @ LMS (8:35am)
2nd Grade Goes to LMS for Buddies Activity (8:45am)
1/2 Day SIP <—click for agenda
Support Staff Luncheon @ 11:15am
*Did you sign up to cover a duty? Let’s show our support staff how much we appreciate them!
Retirement Party @ Biaggio’s (4:00pm)

Thursday, May 11th
Last Day of Reading Room
1st Grade Memorial Day Performances @ LMS (9am)
Mentor/Mentee Celebration @ 3:45pm

Friday, May 12th
FIELD DAY @ North Park
PreK Picnic @ Kennedy Park

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Teachers: Do we Appreciate One Another?   <—EdWeek article worth reading

Collaborative Lesson Plan Template – via Teacher Tech

Week 34: 05/01/17 – 05/05/17

Tomorrow marks the start of Teacher Appreciation Week! The entire week is about celebrating ALL OF YOU who influence the lives of our students. I certainly appreciate all the little things you do, but what I appreciate the most is the safe, nurturing learning environments you create for our children. I’m reminded daily of how hard you work to make a difference in your students’ lives and the lives of each other.

Thank you for your unwavering commitment to the children at Kennedy School. I continue to be both inspired and empowered by your dedication and passion! The children are blessed to have the experiences you provide. I hope you enjoy your special week and as we enter into the “home stretch”, please keep your eye on the children and know you have made an incredible impact on their lives.

I hope you know how much I enjoy working with you and how proud I am to be your colleague. Thank you for all that you do here at Kennedy School. You are changing lives!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, May 1st
Teacher Appreciation Week!
Enjoy a Luncheon (courtesy of Dr. Boryszewski & the Board of Education)
PreK/PATS Field Trip to Brookfield Zoo

Tuesday, May 2nd
Breakfast (Courtesy of SPEA)
Volunteer Breakfast 8:45am-9:45am
Kindergarten Young Author Day @ 1:30pm
*Chipotle BOGO Free Teacher Appreciation Deal
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Wednesday, May 3rd
Enjoy a Luncheon (Courtesy of ABC Parent Group)
*Please RSVP for the Retirement Party by today! Envelope/Money is in Melissa’s office
Happy Birthday Michelle Sosa :)

Thursday, May 4th
Room 108 Young Authors Day @ 9:00am
3rd Grade CUBS GAME trip @ 11:00am
Happy Birthday Abby Domingo :)

Friday, May 5th
Rooms 100, 110, 101, 102 Young Authors Day @ 9:00am
Rooms 103 and 109 Young Authors Day @ 10:00am
Happy Birthday Jenny Maier :)

“Just know that, even if nobody said “Thank You,” today, there’s a kid somewhere who loves youwho appreciates you, and who is wondering about something because of something you said in your classroom. Right now there might be a parent who thinks you are the best thing under the sun because you might be the very first person who has understood her child. There’s an administrator who is grateful to have you on staff at your school. At this very moment, there is a student close to graduating high school who found a photo from your classroom that she has saved all these years because you were her favorite. Tonight, a colleague of yours will go home with a smile because something you took the time to say today. One of your students that pretends not to care about his work will be working extra hard tonight, because he wants to show you he can do it.

You’re appreciatedYou matter to more kids than I can count on my fingers and toes, and your message to the world will travel well into the future in the hearts of kids who will grow up with dreams and passions that all started right where you are. In your classroom.

Just in case you forget.”

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*Congratulations to our Team from Kennedy who participated in the Autism Speaks walk today at New Trier HS! Your colleagues raised over $1700! :) Way to go!
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Week 33: 04/24/17 – 04/28/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, April 24th
Technology Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Project Space)

Tuesday, April 25th
Kindergarten Field Trip to Morton Arboretum
Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Wednesday, April 26th
1st Grade Visits 6th Grade Buddies @ LMS
PreK/PATS Spring Feast (2-3pm) in Cafeteria
Administrative Assistant’s Day

Thursday, April 27th
9am – Kennedy Singers Rehearse @ LMS
Room 116 Family Music Showcase @ 1:30pm
Spring Choral Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)
Happy Birthday Becky Lilovich :)

Friday, April 28th
Spring/Summer Birthday Breakfast (in lounge before school)
Spirit Assembly
*Go blue for Autism!

Week 32: 04/17/17 – 04/21/17

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As the ABC Countdown begins this Thursday which counts down the final 26 days of the 2016-2017 school year, remember to look to the end of the year as setting the stage for next year. A strong finish helps build for a successful year to come. To ensure a strong finish and a positive launch to the next school year, keep the following in mind:

*Have high expectations for all. The end of the school year is not only about celebrations. It’s about learning. Focus on what is important and find the balance between keeping learning at the forefront of your classroom and enjoying those “end of the year” celebrations.

*Be well planned. Act with intention and purpose each day. Students thrive on routine and consistency. Just because the weather is getting warmer and field trips are blooming, the last thing you want to do is lose focus. It’s important to ensure that the learning process continues to bloom and that students are engaged!

*Keep a positive and hopeful attitude. This time of the year can be emotional and exhausting for all. Remember to find the good stuff. It’s there if you take time to look for it.

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, April 17th
Welcome Back! I hope you all enjoyed this beautiful weekend!

Tuesday, April 18th
3rd Grade Field Trip to Field Museum

Wednesday, April 19th
1/2 Day – SIP Agenda Coming Soon
Happy Birthday Chris Gonzalez :)
Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00pm
(Congrats to Heather Longo, Alanna Mixter & Britney Jeskey – we will be recommending these stellar educators for tenure)

Thursday, April 20th
ABC Countdown Begins!  – Animal Day
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm
BPAC Meeting @ 4:00pm (Kennedy School

Friday, April 21st
5 Positive Connections by Friday! :)
Bubble Day

I challenge each of you to look at the number of days remaining this school year as the number of days you have to MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

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 Instead of saying you have ____ days left of school until summer break, think of it as:

____ days together to make lasting memories
____days left to share this adventure
____days left for us to grow together

Each and every day our students need us. Remember that you may be the only constant presence in some of your students’ lives. Make a choice each day for your presence to be a positiveconstant factor. It’s a great opportunity that we have to come to school and have an impact on students’ lives from day to day.

Week 31: 04/10/17 – 04/14/17

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Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, April 10th
Note Date Change*Faculty Meeting @ 2:50pm (Presentation Space)

Tuesday, April 11th
STORYBUS visits PreK Students
PATS Field Trip to Trailside Museum
Student Handbook Review Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS Conference Room)
ART SHOW @ 6:00pm (Art Room & Media Center)

Wednesday, April 12th
2nd/3rd Grade TAPS Meeting

Thursday, April 13th
2nd Grade Pen Pals from New Trier HS Visit Kennedy
Baby/Bridal Shower @ 2:30pm (Cafeteria)
Spring Band Concert @ 6:30pm (LMS)

Friday, April 14th
5 Positive Connections by Friday!

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Week 30: 04/03/17 – 04/07/17

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It is my hope that you all had a restful, relaxing Spring Break. As we enter the final 7.5 weeks of school, I realize this can be a challenging time for us, as both students & staff get Spring Fever. We have been working hard for 7 months and we’re getting closer to the end of the school year. Now is when we must do our best work. The cliche of “it’s not how you start, but how you finish” is so true! We must finish strong and carry out our momentum until the end of the school year. Keep in mind, the more you stray from your classroom routine/schedule, the more antsy your students will get. If you keep focused, they will follow your lead.

As we approach the final 7.5 weeks of the school year, it is easy for many teachers to get into that familiar habit of wishing that the year would end. I want to encourage you not to fall into that rut and make the last 7.5 weeks enjoyable and productive for your students.

Each and every day our students need us. Remember that you may be the only constant presence in some of our students’ lives. Make a choice each day for your presence to be a positive, constant factor. It is a great opportunity that we have to come to school and have an impact on students’ lives from day to day. We all became educators because we care about kids. When the students feel that their teachers care about them, when they feel safe in our classes, optimal learning will take place.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, April 3rd
School Resumes

Tuesday, April 4th
Teacher Institute Day (see Kennedy Conference for Agenda)

Wednesday, April 5th
Common Plan Time

Thursday, April 6th
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm

Thursday, April 7th
Happy Birthday Beata Dering :)

(04/08) Happy Birthday Sharon Muntova & Mirta Cruz :)

Week 29: 03/20/17 – 03/24/17

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Spring Break always arrives at the perfect time of the year! As we head into the final five days of school prior to break, I’m hopeful that students & staff will take full advantage of their time away from Kennedy. For some, it will give them time to recover from feeling under the weather, and for others it is time to spend with family & friends. Regardless of how you plan on spending the break, I hope you soak up every single second and come back re-energized for the home stretch!

Have a wonderful and relaxing Spring Break! Safe travels for those of you who are flying or taking a road trip. We look forward to seeing everyone as we welcome the students back on Monday, April 3rd.

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, March 20th
PARCC Testing Resumes for our 3rd Graders….
2nd Grade Rehearsal @ LMS (9:00am)

Tuesday, March 21st
2nd Grade Music Performance @ LMS (9:00am)
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm (Kennedy Project Space)

Wednesday, March 22nd
PreK Field Trip to Field Museum

Thursday, March 23rd
Spirit Assembly @ 9:00am
Kindergarten Information Night @ 6:00pm (Starts in Cafeteria)

Friday, March 24th
Spring Pictures in Gym

03/25 – 04/02 SPRING BREAK
(03/25) Happy Birthday Diane Serio :)