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The Wilmot Word: 10-19-18

This Week at Wilmot
This was such a busy week at Wilmot. Miss Kary from the Deerfield Public Library came to Wilmot this week to visit our third and fourth-grade classes. She kicked off the start of the Bluestem season by having a book talk about many of the 2019 Bluestem nominees. The students were totally engaged while learning about some fabulous books. The Bluestem books are flying off the Wilmot library shelves! We are so fortunate to share such a collaborative relationship with our friends at the Deerfield Public Library. In fifth grade, students continued to learn about decimals and Mrs. Salzer’s class was observed playing a decimal game. It was exciting to watch students lead this activity as they played the game and kept score. Looking to strengthen our relationships with students, today Mrs. Santella and I invited first graders to come play with us in the GMA during inside recess. This will become one of many playdates we will host with Kindy, first and second graders during lunch recess. Those who joined us today played “Dr. Brett Says,” Freeze Dance, and Red Light Green Light. We all had a great time!

Kindness Corner
#wilmotkindnessrocks By far the highlight of our week was DAW (Disability Awareness Week). Thank you to Mrs. O’Machel and the many parent volunteers who organized and ran events all week. DAW is a very special part of Wilmot and reminds us of the importance of acceptance, respect, and love for others regardless of ability. DAW supports our kindness campaign and I am so proud of our students, staff, and community for creating a culture of kindness and inclusion. We kicked off the week with an all-school assembly where Owen Cravens inspired us with his story. Owen is a sophomore at Huntley High School where he competes in both track and cross country and he also competes on a national level in triathlon. Owen has a degenerative eye disease and is legally blind, yet his disability has never kept him from doing the things he loves such as competing. Owen spoke about his disability and his achievements. Owen is inspirational in his sheer grit and perseverance, and his positive attitude in finding ways to do the things he is passionate about. Owen shared with the kids how he bikes, swims, and runs without sight, using tools and guides to assist him. He also talked about how a blind person navigates their community and their school, and how he manages in high school with his vision challenges.

Here is an overview of our amazing Disability Awareness Week: Kindergarten students first identified ways that they are all alike and ways that they are different from each other. Students learned to celebrate differences and then made puppets of people with disabilities. First graders learned about helping tools to support people with disabilities. Students experienced and learned about prosthetic limbs, walkers, wheelchairs, and other tools for mobility and even learned about service dogs. Second graders saw a puppet show called “Kids on the Block.” The puppets in the show all had different disabilities and helped students develop an understanding of children with disabilities. Students learned how they could be a good friend to others. Second graders also had an assembly where Garrett Anderson shared his story of growing up with Down Syndrome. Garrett told students about his success as a powerlifter in the Special Olympics, graduating and earning his associates degree, and about his job working with children at a local daycare. Garrett is a remarkable man with such a positive outlook. Third graders joined in various games and simulations to understand hearing and vision disabilities. On Thursday they had a special visit from Beth Finke who is visually impaired. Beth came to Wilmot with her service dog and helped students understand how she completes tasks such as getting dressed, crossing the street and taking the train with the support of Whitney, her service dog. Fourth graders had an amazing presentation from GLASA (Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association) on adaptive equipment. Students all had an opportunity to experience playing sports in a wheelchair and learned how challenging this could be. Our fifth graders spent the week learning about hidden disabilities. In addition to hearing from a wonderful panel of DHS students with hidden disabilities students also engaged in simulations to understand what it feels like to have various disabilities. Ask your children to tell you what it felt like to make a picture in art without using their hands. After watching videos about disabled artists students had a chance to color with their feet or their mouth. This was a fantastic simulation. Intermediate students used their creativity and problem-solving skills to make adaptive tools and devices in STEAM. Some students “invented” special wheelchairs that operate with voice commands, others created adapted baseball bats and one group even made a house with an elevator that moves in all directions.

Our students gained so much by participating in these activities. Students shared their knowledge on a KWL chart where they left sticky notes identifying that they think they “know”, what they “wonder” about and what they” learned” about people with disabilities. A few examples are shared below.

Parent Conferences (2nd posting)
Parents and guardians may now sign up for parent-teacher conferences. We will hold our annual parent-teacher conferences on Monday, November 19 in the evening and all day on Tuesday, November 20. All elementary schools will have parents sign up for a conference through Family Access. To do this, login to Family Access and follow these simple steps:
At the Homepage, click on Teacher Conferences on the left-hand side of the page.
Choose your child’s name from the drop-down scheduler menu or you can view all of the children attending Wilmot at one time.
Next to each child’s name, choose “All Conferences.”
Select a time to view the teacher’s availability.
Select the time you want for your conference.
Click save
If you need to reschedule, click the View Scheduled Times tab and change the status to Unschedule. Then, reschedule for a time slot that meets your needs.
If you want to see what the conference scheduler looks like, check out this one minute video.

I look forward to seeing all of our parents during conferences.

Destination Imagination
Parents of fourth and fifth-grade students are invited to learn about our Destination Imagination (DI) program during a parent information night. DI is a program where participants work in teams to prepare and present solutions for academic challenges that support creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and communication. Challenges include options that support STEAM and the arts. DI is run primarily through parent volunteers. Mrs. Nikki Tye, the District 109 DI coordinator, will host an information night for parents of fourth and fifth-grade students on Wednesday, October 24, at 6:30 pm in the Wilmot GMA. Returning parents that are familiar with DI do not need to attend (but are always welcome to join us).

Halloween Information (3rd posting)
We will continue with a typical school day on the morning of Halloween and will hold all special events in the afternoon. Our students will participate in the annual Halloween parade (at 1:10) followed by a modernized version of our sing-along and fifth-grade parodies. As a reminder, due to space limitations, only parents/guests of 5th graders may join us for the sing-along and parodies (limited to two guests per student).

Students will change into costumes in the afternoon. To accommodate a busy afternoon we will move lunch up by ten minutes and start lunch at 11:40 am. The success of this day truly depends on parental cooperation and support. We want this to be a fun, inclusive and safe day for everyone.

In order to ensure that all students feel included it is essential that any group costume is open to everyone who wants to join the group. This is one area where we really need parental support to make this a positive experience for everyone. Without the support of parents and staff, we run the risk of creating an environment that is exclusionary and not supportive of a positive school culture and our kindness campaign.

Our daily safety procedures will remain in effect on Halloween. Every volunteer or visitor must sign in at the main office with a driver’s license. I suggest parents arrive 30 minutes in advance of any activity you are joining. You do not need to sign in for the parade as it is outside.

For more information regarding our Halloween procedures, please click here.

Student Council Meeting Dates
November 13
December 11
January 15
February 12
March 12
April 9
May 14
June 4-All Representatives and Alternates

Movie Night is coming. Our annual movie night will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018. New This Year - First and second grade students will watch a movie in the GMA and third, fourth and fifth-grade students will watch a movie in the GYM
Box Top Collection - This is an easy way to raise money for Wilmot! This year our goal is to raise $1,500 for our school – just by clipping Box Tops! Please make sure the expiration date on the Box top is 12/31/18 or later. You can either submit them directly to your teacher or leave them in the Box Tops mailbox at the main entrance of Wilmot. Our first collection will be in mid-October.
GIVE WHERE YOU LIVE - Wilmot School is partnering with Mayor Rosenthal and Deerfield Village Hall to collect items in order to benefit our local Veterans. On November 12th volunteers at the Deerfield Village Hall will assemble care packages for local Veterans.
Wilmot will be collecting NEW SOCKS (socks are not provided at Veterans facilities). There will be a donation box at the front of the school and we will be collecting socks until November 9th.

Important Dates
Monday, October 22 - Board of Education meeting
Monday, October 29 - Picture Retakes - 8:40-10:30 am
Wednesday, October 31 - Halloween Activities
Friday, November 2 - PTO movie night
Friday, November 2 - Trimester 1 ends
Monday, November 12 - Board of Education Meeting
Friday, November 16 - Progress reports are posted in Family Access
Monday, November 19 - Parent conference evening
Tuesday, November 20 Parent conference day