Spirit Days

Aspen’s Student Council has come up with a list of Spirit Days (mostly Fridays) from now until the end of the school year. Here is the list of Spirit Days for the month of November and December: November 9 – Grade level Color Day: K=orange, 1st=white, 2nd=yellow, 3rd=red, 4th=green, 5th=blue – Students are encouraged to wear their grade level color today.
November 16 – Fall Colors Day – students are encouraged to wear red, brown, yellow, orange, etc. today.

November 30 – Sunglasses Day – students are encouraged to wear their sunglasses today.

December 7 – Tie Dye Day – students are encouraged to wear anything that is tie dyed today.

December 14 – Crazy Sock Day – students are encouraged to wear crazy or mismatched socks today.

December 17-20 – Holiday Break Countdown (see below for details)

Monday, 12/17 – Spread Holiday Cheer – wear your favorite holiday colors to school today (red, green, gold, white, blue, silver, etc.)

Tuesday, 12/18 – Do You Want to Build a Snowman – wear white or your favorite snowman shirt or
socks to school today.

Wednesday, 12/19 – Holiday Spirit Day – Wear your favorite holiday shirt, hat, socks, jewelry, etc. to
school today.

Thursday, 12/20 – Long Winter’s Nap – wear pajamas to school today.

Rotary club logo, service above self

Rotary Club delivers dictionaries to 3rd grade classes

A special thank you to the Rotary Club who delivered dictionaries to each and every student in our third grade classes last Tuesday.

Veterans Day

This is just a reminder that SCHOOL IS IN SESSION on Monday, November 12. It is a regular school day. Thank you Veterans, for serving our country!

Cookie dough pick up

Don’t forget that PTO Cookie Dough pick up is on Wednesday, November 14 at Middle School South from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

American Education Week

American Education Week is celebrated each year during the month of November to encourage parents to visit their child’s school and spotlights the importance of family engagement in education. Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, students earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior. Aspen has chosen Thursday, November 15 as our parent visit day. All Aspen parents are invited to join your child’s classroom for a specific time period (see below) to join in on the fun and learning. This is a great opportunity to see your child in action at school! (Due to space limitations, we are unable to accommodate siblings during classroom times)

  • Kindergarten – 1:40 – 2:10
  • 1st grade – They are on a field trip on 11/15, so parents are welcome to come on Friday, 11/16 from 12:45 – 1:15
  • 2nd grade – 9:30 – 10:00
  • 3rd grade – 10:05 – 10:35
  • 4th grade – 12:50 – 1:20
  • 5th grade – 1:30 – 2:00
Family Night

Family Night Has Global Theme

Aspen held its November Family Night sponsored by the Aspen Family Partnership Council on Friday, November 2nd.  The theme of the evening was Games Around the World. This particular family night was organized through cooperation between two committees of the AFPC, our Social Team (which traditionally plans and organizes family events) and the Multilingual Family Alliance (which is a new committee on AFPC).  The hope was to be able to engage families and students with diverse cultural backgrounds and give our students and families the opportunity to experience games
played across the globe.  Upon arriving, families received a booklet with a description of each of the games and the country of origin.  Games played were from a number of countries including Mexico, Israel, India, Slovenia, Untied States, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Malaysia, and Korea.  There was a great turnout for the evening!  Thank you to all of our volunteers who helped to bring games from all over the world to the students at Aspen.
Photo #1: A student is playing “Topfschlagen” (pot-banging), a game from Germany where a child is blindfolded and given a wooden spoon.  A pot is then placed upside down on the floor and the child uses the spoon to try and locate the pot.  Once found, the child removes the blindfold and gets to see what special surprise is hidden under the pot.

Photo #2:
 Students and parent volunteers played Murray (Bricklayer) a game from Poland.  Students are trying to get from one side of the area to the other without getting tased by the Bricklayer.

Photo #3: Families are planning games from Mexico, India, and Israel.  For Mexico, students and parents created Papel Picado with tissue paper and scissors. At the Israel table, students got to learn about and play Dreidel.  The game from India was Carrom, a game similar to billiards, but played using your fingers and paying special attention to the Queen.

Photo #4: The passport of games is used to show how to play each game. But no worries if the directions were difficult to follow.  Each area had many parent and student volunteers to show participants exactly how to play.
Classroom that won a SOAR award

Aspen Students are Soaring

We want to congratulate three classes for winning the Aspen Eagle Award. Classrooms are recognized for consistently demonstrating SOAR behaviors throughout the month of October. October winners include Mrs. Brock’s kindergarten class, Mrs. Saliba’s second grade class and Mrs. Motley’s fourth grade class. Recipients of the Aspen Eagle Award receive a special visit from Regal the Eagle and Mr. Fredricksen. Each class is presented with certificates, a parent letter explaining how the class was picked and they get to keep one of Regal’s eaglets in their classroom for the next month. Congratulations to the classes of Mrs. Brock, Mrs. Saliba and Mrs. Motley for demonstrating SOAR behaviors.

Exciting STEM Work at Aspen

Students in Mrs. Zurek’s third grade classroom were busy today testing their catapults. Each group of students began creating their own catapult designs and then built their creation. After the design and building phases, students tested their catapults for accuracy and power. While testing their creations, students recorded important information and tried to make some design changes to get better results.

Student report card

Illinois Report Card

Dear Parent(s) and Guardian(s),

As you may know, the State of Illinois released its newly updated Illinois School Report Card on October 31, 2018. This report card is aligned with our nation’s federal education law, ESSA. In order to assess each school’s progress toward meeting ESSA goals, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) measures the performance of all students, as well as specific student subgroups, across a variety of academic and school quality indicators. This data is used to generate a school’s composite score. Schools are ranked based on their composite scores, and this comparative ranking is a school’s “official designation” for the school’s report card.

This year, Aspen School earned a Tier 2 designation. This means that our performance, as measured by the Illinois ESSA Plan, has no underperforming student subgroups.

We value each of the measures included in the Illinois ESSA Plan, and will continue to use these scores to ensure the success of all students. We also recognize that this system weights PARCC assessment data more heavily than the other academic indicators. At Aspen School, we use a variety of measures to determine how well we are meeting the academic needs of our students. We also consider each student’s progress in daily learning activities and projects, as well as classroom-based assessment measures to develop a more complete picture of our academic performance. In addition, we strongly value the development of the whole child. Our students’ social and emotional growth, participation in, service-learning efforts, and other positive contributions to our school community are all essential components of our success at Aspen.

During the 2017-2018 school year, 96% of our Kindergarten through 5th grade students met their individualized goal setting targets in reading, math and/or personal goals. We increased the overall percentage of students meeting or exceeding standards as measured by PARCC and decreased the achievement gap in most areas. Students had the opportunity to participate in Student Council, Aspen Broadcasting, and our lunch helper program. We implemented the Second Step Social Emotional Learning program and had over 30 students participate as Aspen ACE Team members where they could show leadership as trained peer mediators, morning hallway greeters, or school beautification team members. All students participated in our Aspen’s All-Star reading initiative program, which encouraged students to read in a variety of different ways and display acts of kindness at home and at school. Aspen recognized twenty 5th grade students who received the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and fourteen 5th graders who received the Presidential Award for Academic Achievement. Staff and parents worked together to provide students the opportunity to participate in the Girls on the Run Program, where running is used to inspire and motivate girls, encourage lifelong health and fitness, and build

confidence through the accomplishment of competing in a 5K run. Our band and orchestra programs continued to showcase the talents of 4th and 5th grade students and our annual Art Fair showcased the work happening in art classes throughout the year. Our Aspen Family Partnership Council continued to offer family events focused on building community through activities like our Annual Back to School Family Dance, Bingo Night, and special presentations as well as working together with staff to provide another Family University.

This year, we are most excited to continue our work focused on helping 100% of our students reach their individualized learning targets in reading, math and/or personal goals. At Aspen, we believe in SOARing above the line (Safe, On-Task, Act Responsible, and show Respect) and will continue to explicitly teach Social Emotional Skills to our students through our Second Step Program. Many of our classrooms are co-taught with special education teachers and/or English Language teachers so ALL students at Aspen are fully included with their same-age peers. To this end, we are excited to be participants in the Nora project which aims to promote connections between students and their peers with disabilities. We have also welcomed a new committee to the Aspen Family Partnership Council focused on making sure all of our families, regardless of native language, feel they are connected to and can communicate successfully with the school. 2018-2019 will mark the first year that the Multilingual Family Alliance joined AFPC. We also welcome the new Aspen Chorus, providing students another opportunity to participate in the fine arts and look forward to our students participating in our Read for the Win reading incentive program.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You are also welcome to visit our district website at http://www.hawthorn73.org/hawthorn-information/essa for additional information and resources to support your understanding of the Illinois ESSA Plan. We are looking forward to a successful year of growth and learning for all students at Aspen.

Bill Fredricksen

Halloween Haunted House

Halloween Fun

We had a wonderful Halloween celebration on Wednesday. Staff and students dressed up and paraded around the building before enjoying class parties. Thank you PTO room parents for all your work in preparing wonderful parties and activities for all of our students