A message from Principal Sokolowskiand Assistant principal Mckenna Barredaun mensaje de la directora Sokolowskiy la directora asistente mckenna barreda
October 8, 2017
Traducción al español a continuación.
January 7, 2018
“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”
- Deepak Chopra
Each day this week, I was greeted by stillness as I made my way up the walkway. The
winter cold and the absence of sounds created a space for me to reflect. Although I
welcomed the peacefulness, I often found myself looking toward the door, thinking
about Monday morning when the World of Dewey comes alive again. I thought about
the teachings of Deepak Chopra and found the above quote which really resonates with
me. When those doors open on Monday, I will be greeted by children, and the stillness
that speaks inside me will be wrapped in joy. Thank you for a great ending to 2017 and
cheers to the beginning of the New Year!
Our All School Holiday Sing (Thank you, Ms. Johnson!) was a great way to celebrate
before winter break, and I realize some of you were disappointed that parents were not
invited. Traditionally, this event has only been for students and teachers, mainly
because of space and occupancy. Looking ahead, there will be some changes made in
event planning and scheduling so we can optimize time and space and consider parent
involvement. Community involvement is at the forefront of our thinking with any
changes that will take place.
We welcome back Mrs. Colbert (K) and Mrs. Mattox (Art)! We would also like to
thank Mrs. Nordeen and Ms. Walsh for teaching during their leaves and for making the
transitions seamless for the students. We were fortunate to have two highly dedicated
teachers eager to step in.
Thank you for your generous donations to the PTA. We are ordering books for
classrooms with a $5,000 donation from PTA.
● We jump right into January by revisiting the Dewey DOs with students. We
encourage you to discuss how our PBIS COOL TOOLS apply at home as well
as at school.
● January assessments: ACCESS test for K-5 students who are English language
learners; Developmental Reading Assessments (DRA) and the Illinois Snapshot
of Early Literacy (ISEL) testing takes place for K-3 students.
● The 5th grade students will be taking the lead for our Dewey Day of Service on
Monday, January 15th. As we did last year, we will be teaming up with
Lincolnwood Elementary to put together Basic Survival Kits for the homeless
that we will deliver to Connections for the Homeless, an Evanston-based
not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide housing, employment,
and supportive services to move individuals and families out of the shadow of
homelessness. A list of items for suggested donations was sent home with
students before winter break. Please drop off your items at Dewey by this
Friday, January 12th or bring them with you to the Day of Service on Monday,
January 15th. The event will take place at Lincolnwood Elementary (2600
Colfax Street) from 9:00-11:00 am. Please plan on joining us for all or part of
● PTA Before and After-School activities begin on Monday, January 8th. Please
contact the PTA for more information.
● Friday is our first Dewey Spirit Day of 2018. It will also be a Bookery Day.
● There will be no school on Monday, January 15th in honor of Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. Day.
● Our January early release day will be on Wednesday, January 17th. Students
will be dismissed at 12:05 pm.
As I mentioned in my December newsletter, I am providing an update regarding our
progress toward our goals and objectives for this school year. A summary follows...
During the latter part of the summer, our School Improvement Team (SIT) met with us
to analyze data and information about our school from student assessments, teacher
surveys, PBIS and 5 Essential Survey reports and School Climate reviews. Through this
analysis, we identified some important trends in the data, factors we believed
contributed to those trends, and strategies to address them.
Some of our Key Insights included:
● the need to take more time (through collaboration) to analyze data, reflect on
student progress, and create supports plans
● strengthening supports we already provide for students
● the need to provide more time for collaboration to share strategies
● aligning new curriculum with the TWI curriculum
● using Courageous Conversations to build community among staff and
implementing the School Climate Team’s action plan to strengthen all
● improving our use of Restorative Justice practices
● working with district-level support coaches to maximize efficiency with
Our next step was to set goals to increase student achievement and to increase teacher
collaboration and collective responsibility.
I would like to share some of the important Action Steps that we have taken:
● All staff is participating in Equity professional development led by Corrie
Wallace, our district consultant.
Committees are committed to making changes to raise awareness, increase
connections, and be more inclusive. One example is the Culture Committee
who is sharing ideas to find ways to celebrate all cultures.
● We have created the space and time for more collaboration with specialists,
district coaches, and colleagues to discuss data and instructional strategies.
● A team of teachers is guiding the staff in strengthening Restorative Practices
(i.e. sharing circles).
● The PBIS committee continues to create COOL TOOLS to reinforce the
intrinsic value of “doing the right thing.”
Dewey teachers are dedicated to keeping Dewey great!
Looking forward to seeing everyone back at Dewey on Monday!
Traducción al español a continuación.
October 8, 2017
Dear Dewey families,
October is the month when all things seem to fall into place. We are looking forward to the
activities and events for October ---- School Pictures, Fall Fiesta, Parent/Teacher Conferences,
Coffee with me! ;), and the October 31st parade! We are hoping to see many of you throughout
I would like to share what’s been happening at Dewey and what you can expect as we continue
to discuss ways to build community. But first, I’d like to share an email I received that should
remind all of us about what’s really important to our children:
An important life lesson specific to Dewey from one of our first grade students:
(Mother) “I was explaining that it is important to have enough money in life. He (first grader)
thought about it and then he said, "Mommy, some things you can't buy with money. Some
things you can only earn with Tiger Tickets." -------- If only ...;)
Hmmmm...that made me really think about the following quote.
"There isn't a way things should be. There's just what happens, and what we do."
—Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky
Welcome our newest Dewey Tiger
Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Colbert and her husband Bill joyfully welcomed their son Crosby
James Colbert on September 18, 2017. Mom and baby are doing well and send big hugs to the
(Pictures by Dewey parent Julie Rogers of This Little Piggy Photography)
PBIS News and Safety Notes
In addition to sharing COOL TOOLS in the PTA Blast, I am going to share them weekly
through email. We encourage you to discuss them with your children and talk about ways they
also apply at home. Our COOL TOOLS will include vocabulary words (in bold) to teach and an
explanation for following the Dewey DOs. We are always pairing our COOL TOOLS with our
Dewey DOs (Be respectful, Be safe, Be caring, Be here, Be ready).
This week’s COOL TOOL is Being Respectful During Passing Periods.
What would we see if you were being respectful during passing periods?
• Talking at a low volume
• Leaving space between you and the other students
• Holding the door for one another
Dewey Elementary School
1551 Wesley Avenue
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Every Child, Every Day,
Whatever It Takes
Evanston/Skokie SD 65
• When “crossing the threshold” coming in from recess, lowering our voices
Bicycles and Skateboards
Thank you for talking to your children about bicycle and skateboard safety. It has made a
difference! Please share our appreciation with your children!
It was brought to my attention that children who play in the field after school are hiding behind
bushes in the southeast corner of the field. I just want to bring that to your attention. Our school
grounds crew is also going to cut back some of the bushes for more visibility.
Parking on Grove Street
Parking on Grove Street behind Dewey is by permit only from 8 am-6 pm. Cars without parking
permits run the risk of being ticketed. Recently, though, it has come to my attention that cars
(without parking permits) are parked perpendicularly to the curb or in front of the hydrant, and
are blocking the alley. If there is an emergency, emergency vehicles may not be able to access
the alley or the hydrant. Some of the Dewey teachers who have permits look to park here
during the mornings, but cannot because people are parking illegally. We are requesting that
you find a place where you can legally park to walk your children to school and to leave spaces
for cars with parking permits.
Parent/ Teacher Conferences
Parent / Teacher Conferences will be held the week of October 16th. Please sign up for
conferences with your children’s teacher if you haven’t already done so. These conferences are
part of our school/family communication, and are an excellent way to stay connected to your
children’s learning. If you would like to make an appointment with Mrs. McKenna-Barreda or
me during conference times, please email Ms. Bozza (email@example.com) and she’ll place
them on our calendars. This is an opportune time to share thoughts, ideas, or any other
Also, at the last PTA meeting, I shared information about our assessments throughout the year.
During parent/teacher conferences, you can expect to receive the following test results: fall
MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) - grades 2-5; PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of
Readiness for College and Careers) - grades 3-5; DRA (Developmental Reading Assessments) -
grades 1-3; and ISEL (Illinois Snapshots of Early Literacy) - grades K-2.
Coffee with the Principal...
...will be held on Thursday, October 26th at 8:00 am. The topics will be SEEL (Social
Emotional Equity Learning) and Restorative Practices. Please join us if you can!
AND, OF COURSE, GO CUBS!
September 16, 2017Dear Dewey families,
I was finally able to meet more of you last night at the Dewey picnic --- what a great way to get
more acquainted! It seemed so perfect ------- the weather, the music, the food, and the sheer joy
that children bring! “The stars were aligned” for me because that afternoon I also earned my
Tiger Tickets by celebrating the buy-in for the “additional recess with the Principals.” The rest
of the year should be a breeze! ;)
I just want to share a few safety reminders with you this week:
• Children are riding skateboards and bicycles after school in areas where there are many
people. Please ask your children to walk their skateboards and bikes to the sidewalk,
and/or to wait until all buses leave before they ride them.
• Many children have been arriving to school very early. Please note that we have no
teacher supervision until 8:50 am.
• Dismissal for students is 3:35 pm. If your schedule has you running behind
consistently, please contact me.
Thank you for your support in thinking about the safety of all children.
16 de septiembre de 2017
Queridas familias de Dewey,
Por fin, conocí a muchos de ustedes durante el picnic familiar anoche---¡que buena manera de
conocer a todos! Era un día precioso------¡el clima, la música, la comida y la pura alegría que
nos traen los niños! Tenía mucha suerte ayer porque durante la tarde gané mis Boletos de Tigre
con mi celebración de “recreo adicional con las directoras.” ¡El resto del año debe ser pan
Esta semana quisiera compartir unos recordatorios sobre la seguridad:
• Los niños andan en patineta y montan en bicicleta después de las clases en áreas donde
hay mucha gente. Por favor pídanles a sus hijos que caminen con sus patinetas y
bicicletas a la acera y/o esperen hasta que salgan los autobuses para usarlas.
• Muchos niños han estado llegando a la escuela muy temprano. Noten que no hay
supervisión para los niños hasta las 8:50 am.
• Los niños salen de las clases a las 3:35 pm. Si usted siempre tiene que llegar tarde a
causa de su horario, por favor contácteme.
Gracias por su apoyo en pensar en la seguridad de todos los niños.
Con profundo agradecimiento,