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Weekly Update: April 19, 2022

Important Dates

Tuesday, April 19th

  • Doors open at 8:30 AM, school starts at 8:45 AM 
  • Shield Testing Container Due
  • Band lessons (percussion/trumpet/trombone)
  • Choir 7:50 AM
  • Lunch
    • Choice A: Savory Salisbury
    • B: Cheesy Beef Nachos
  • After School Band Practice 3:30-4:15 PM
  • Girls on the Run Begins

Wednesday, April 20th

  • Doors open at 8:30 AM, school starts at 8:45 AM 

  • Return Library Books 
  • Orchestra lessons (violin/viola)
  • Band lessons (clarinet/percussion) 
  • Lunch
    • Choice A: Pizza Dippers
    • Choice B: Crispy Chicken Sandwich
  • K-Kids West School Outside Clean up

Thursday, April 21st

  • Late Start Thursday — Doors open at 9:15 AM, school starts at 9:30 AM
  • Lunch
    • Choice A: Cheeseburger
    • Choice B: Crispy Chicken Nuggets
  • Girls on the Run Practice after school

Friday, April 22nd 

  • Doors open at 8:30 AM, school starts at 8:45 AM 

  • Library Check-out 
  • Lunch
    • Choice A: BBQ Pork Rib Sandwich
    • Choice B: Cheese Pizza
  • Have a Great Weekend!

View Full Calendar

Spartans Read Together

We had Og the Frog and Humphrey visit West Elementary School last week!

Upcoming Chapters to Read

  • 4/19 — Chapter 9 & 10  
  • 4/20 — Chapter 11 & 12
  • 4/21 — Chapter 13 & 14
  • 4/22 — Chapter 15 & 16
  • 4/25 — Chapter 17 & 18
  • 4/26 — Chapter 19 & 20
  • 4/27 — Chapter 21 

View Chapter Read Alouds

WSO Officers

If any parent is interested in being a part of our amazing WSO group as co- president or secretary, we have these opportunities for next year. If interested please contact me and let me know. Our WSO is awesome and does so many great things for our West School. 

WSO Announcement and West School Read-a-thon

The WSO is excited to sponsor the West School Read-a-Thon! This year, we’ve decided to have it coincide with Spartans Read Together, so be sure to count the minutes you’re reading along in your Reading Log! We’ll be reading and collecting donations from April 11th through May 1st. There will be fun events throughout the Read-a-thon and prizes, too!

The WSO uses 100% of your donations to benefit the teachers, staff and students at West. Donations can be made online.

Donate Online

We are so thankful for our WSO and all that they do to help support our students and staff here at West!

Field Day: Volunteers Needed

This year's field day is scheduled for Monday, May 23, 2022. 

  • Grades 3-5 activities will be from 10:00-11:40 AM
  • Grades K-2 activities will be from 12:40-2:20 PM

If you could volunteer your time either for a half day or full day we would greatly appreciate it. We will be sending home volunteer sheets next week. If you are available and willing to help out we would be very grateful.

Music Booster Announcement

The Sycamore Music Boosters will be holding officer elections soon, and the following positions will be voted upon:  President, Secretary, Fundraising Chair. We are posting a call for volunteers to run for these positions. If you are interested, please look at the job descriptions below.

To put your name on the ballot, please contact us at These elections will happen at the May Music Booster Meeting.

The Sycamore Music Boosters meet every 3rd Thursday of the month from August through May. Join this great parent support organization! For additional information please view the official boosters website

Visit the Website


  • Presides at all meetings of the member and of the Board
  • Conducts the affairs of the organization with the direction and consent of the Board
  • Appoints committee members, coordinators, and committee chairpersons as needed to carry out the projects and activities of the organization
  • Represents the Music Boosters in matters with the Sycamore School Board and the public


  • Records and keeps the minutes of all meetings, providing copies of the minutes to the members of the Board
  • Fundraising Chair
  • Communicates with local/area businesses to develop fundraising opportunities
  • Organizes and manages fundraisers for the Music Boosters
  • Communicates with Publicity Chair to advertise fundraiser
  • Works with the Music Department Chair to notify the faculty about fundraising activities so that information can be passed to students and parents

Choir Announcement

Choir families! 

The elementary choir concert is coming up soon — Monday, May 2, 2022! Please drop off your student at the high school auditorium at 5:50 PM so that we will have time to run through and rehearse the songs with all the elementary choirs and our pianist Mr. Mertens. After we rehearse, the students will have time for a bathroom/water break. The concert will then start at 7:00 PM and should end around 7:45 PM.

During the time between the 5:50 PM drop off and the 7 PM start, you are welcome to go out and then come back or wait inside the high school. 

Students can wear their choir shirt with nice pants/skirt; or a solid dark shirt with nice pants/skirt.

Music Announcement — 4th and 5th Grade Families

Attention 4th and 5th grade families: 

Starting the week of Monday, April 18, 2022, students will need to bring their recorders back to music class. We took some time off to focus on rhythm, meter, and singing pitches. Now it is time to start putting everything all together for the end of the year. If your student is in need of a recorder, please let me know so that I can make arrangements. The best way to contact me is by email: 

~Miss Isabella Crawl

Kane County Cougars Reading Challenge

West Elementary School will be participating in the Cougars Reading Club, a reading incentive program sponsored by the Kane County Cougars baseball team. This runs from Monday, March 21, 2022 through Monday, May 16, 2022. Your student will have the opportunity to improve their reading skills while earning a ticket to a Cougar’s game, a drawstring bag, hot dog, and drink to enjoy during the game.

The Game Plan and Parent Verification Forms were sent home with your student. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact 

Reading Specialists Mrs. Rubeck ( or Mrs. Ward (

Online Registration

Online registration for returning families for the 2022-2023 school year is now available via the Campus Portal. The Online Registration application is a simple process that should take between 10 and 15 minutes. If you experience any difficulties with any portion of the process, please email or call the District’s Registrar at (815) 899-8100. If you do not have access to a computer or internet, you can complete the online registration application by visiting the District’s Administration Center during normal business hours.

Top Five Tips for Encouraging Math Learning at Home

  1. Notice math everywhere. Support your student in finding opportunities to notice and use math outside of the classroom everyday. (e.g., playing games, cooking and baking, estimating how much your groceries will cost when you get to the checkout...etc.) 
  2. Be positive. Everyone can learn mathematics with perseverance. Avoid ever saying things like, “I was never good at math, so it’s ok if you aren’t good at math either.” There is no such thing as a math gene. The idea that only a select few are skillful at math is both a myth and an excuse. Doing math just takes perseverance and a positive attitude, but everyone can enjoy success with mathematics. Model that perseverance and success at home. 
  3. Avoid taking over. If your child is working on math homework, encourage your child to share their thinking and promote the idea that there are many ways to arrive at the solution to a problem. You want the math thinking to come from your child. As you support your child, work to avoid being too quick to take over. Your student may not understand your thinking. Keep the pencil in your child’s hand.
  4. Ask questions that encourage understanding. One good strategy is to ask, “Tell me what the problem is, and can you help me understand how you are solving it?” These types of questions can buy a bit of time for you to get your thoughts together as a parent, and also place yourself and your child on a level playing field.
  5. Set high expectations. Children need to learn to persevere, and to adjust thinking and strategies if their first attempt at a solution is unsuccessful. Encourage your child to keep on trying. If your child gets frustrated, take a break and come back to it. You want to support GRIT and a Growth Mindset. Always look for opportunities to highlight the ways you as an adult never give up and how it’s ok to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are a great way to better understand the misconceptions in your child’s understanding. 

For those of you looking to learn more, check out A Family’s Guide: Fostering Your Child’s Success in School Mathematics.

View the Guide


Kindergarten Registration

Sycamore School District has started online registration for next year.  Along with that, the district is now registering kindergarten students for the 2022-2023 school year.  If you have a child or know others in the community with a child who turns five years old on or before the 1st of September, please call the district office at (815) 899-8100 to register for kindergarten.

Kindergarten Round-Up | Save the Date

On Thursday, April 28, West Elementary School will host Kindergarten Roundup for the 2022-2023 school year. This will be a time for incoming Kindergarten families to come meet the current Kindergarten teachers and other support staff. Students will be asked to complete a few short tasks while in the building. The results of these tasks help us create our class lists. Your student will leave that night with a Kindergarten Readiness Kit donated by DeKalb Co. Foundation.

Elementary SHIELD Testing

Please remind your students that these will be collected every Tuesday. Thank you for your help and understanding with this process.

Drop Off and Pick Up Reminders 

  • If you are going to pick your student up from school, please notify the office before 2:00 PM
  • Please do not park in the U-shaped parking lot for drop off or pick up.

Early Learning Resources

Check out this new early learning resource to support families: a series of short videos aligned with the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) measures, featuring real families sharing ways to support their 3-5 year olds as they develop social-emotional, math and literacy skills. These videos also align to Basics DeKalb County, our local birth-age 3 initiative.

View Videos in English

Ver videos en español

Spartan Food Pantry Open Wednesday, April 27!

The Spartan Food Pantry is excited to welcome guests to shop every other week on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, April 27 patrons can collect food at the District Warehouse on 520 N. Maple Street, Sycamore. Pantry patrons are in-person shopping!  Please bring a mask. The pantry hours are 4:30-6:00 PM. The Pantry is open to any family that has a student attending a Sycamore School.  

The pantry offers frozen foods, fresh produce, cereal, canned goods, snacks, treats, and much more. Sycamore School District families can come to the pantry every time it is open. Park in the lot next to the warehouse, come on in the front door, and a volunteer will guide you from there.

Community members can now volunteer at the pantry! If you or your organization want to help out, please email for more information. 

April Core Value: Responsibility

Responsibility means you do the things you are supposed to do and accept the results of your actions.

  • A responsibility: something you are expected to do.
  • Being responsible: doing the things you are supposed to do.
  • Accepting responsibility: taking the praise or the blame for something you have done.

Questions To Review With Students

  • What is responsibility? 
    • Being accountable for what you do, for your actions and behavior. 
    • Doing the right thing at the right time, so others can trust and depend on you.
    • Taking care of your property, yourself, and others. 
    • To know what your job is and to do it to the best of your ability. 
    • When you choose to make a poor decision, you admit to it, apologize for it, and then take steps to change it.
  • What are you responsible for?
    • My own actions
    • My time
    • My possessions
    • Chores
    • My family
    • Pets
    • Homework
    • My community
    • The Earth
  • What are ways you can show responsibility?
    • Complete your homework and chores on time without being reminded.
    • Follow through on your commitments, even when you don't feel like it.
    • Accept responsibility for your mistakes and learn from them. Don't make excuses or blame others.
    • Take care of your things and those of other people. Return items you borrow.
    • Find out what needs to be done and do it.
    • Make wise choices, such as choosing to eat healthy foods and wearing a helmet.
    • Always do your very best. Others are counting on you!

Book Suggestions

  • Grades K-­2
    • Berenstain Bears Trouble at School, Jan Berenstain
    • Five Little Monkeys with Nothing to Do, Eileen Christelow
    • The Ant and the Grasshopper, Amy Lowry Poole
    • Annie Shows Off, Shelagh Canning
    • Clean Your Room, Harvey Moon! Pat Cummings
    • Pigsty, Mark Teague
    • Arthur's Pet Business, Marc Brown
    • Mrs. Katz and Tush, Patricia Polacco
    • Tops and Bottoms, Janet Stevens
    • The Little Red Hen, Paul Galdone
    • The Worst Day of My Life Ever! By Julia Cook
    • If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover
  • Grades 3-­5
    • A Day's Work, Eve Bunting
    • Betsy Who Cried Wolf, Gail Carson
    • Crow Boy, Taro Tashima
    • Horton Hatches the Egg, Dr. Seuss
    • The Paper Boy, Dav Pilkey
    • Your Job is Easy, Carl Sommer
    • Kate Shelley: Bound For a Legend, Robert D. San So
    • The Boy of the Three Year Nap, Dianne Snyder
    • Why Do Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears? Verna Aardema
    • I Just Want to Do It My Way! By Julia Cook
    • Being Responsible by Cassie Mayer


Upcoming Dates

  • April 25th — Battle of the Books End of Season Party 3:30-4:15
  • April 26th — 2nd Grade Field Trip
  • April 26th — Board of Education Meeting
  • April 27th — K-Kids Meeting
  • April 27th — FFA Petting Zoo
  • April 28th — Kindergarten Giddy-Up for incoming Kindergarten students
  • May 2nd — Choir Concert at the high school @ 7:00 PM
  • May 4th — 5th Graders tour to the middle school
  • May 9th-13th — Spring Book Fair
  • May 9th — WSO Meeting @ 7:00 PM
  • May 13th — West Fest — 6:30-8:00 PM — no Food will be served/ provided 
  • May 23rd — Field Day