Tuesday, January 31, 2023

February Newsletter

Important February Dates
1 Global Day of Play
2 Groundhogs Day
3 100th Day of School
8 Fun Lunch - Jersey Mikes
10 Kindergarten's Valentine's Day Concert (9:30-10:00am)
14 Valentines Parties Kindergarten (10:40-11:20) / 1st-5th Grade Parties (2:30-3:20)
16 Matt Wilhelm Bike Assembly - All School (2:20-3:20pm)
17 End of Trimester 2
20 President's Day - No School
22 Fun Lunch - Doughbrother's Pizza
22 Report Cards Go Live 
25 Young Knights Fair / Incoming Kindergarten Registration (8am-12pm)
28 PTN Meeting (6-7pm)

Important March Dates
3 No Student Attendance - Kane County Institute Day for Teacher Development
8 Fun Lunch - Corner Grind
13-17 IAR (Illinois Assessment of Readiness) Testing Window for 3rd - 5th 
20-24 IAR Make-Up Testing Window
21 PTN Meeting (6-7pm)
22 Fun Lunch - Culvers
27-31  No School - Spring Break 

Kaneland Care Closet
The Care Closet has been busy filling orders for families in need and we are running out of quite a few items. A box will be put in the front entryway of the school for items to be collected. You could also purchase from the Care Closet Amazon Wish List, which will send the items to Blackberry Creek where the closet is housed.
Items Needed:
men's and *women's deodorant (especially women's)
*hand soap
*dish soap
*laundry detergent
*Men's and women's body wash
tampons and maxi pads
pasta and sauce
cans of tuna
peanut butter
snacks such as granola bars, Goldfish, etc.
Sizes 1, 2, and 5 diapers

Thank you for any items you can provide!

What is the Kaneland Care Closet 

The care closet is an area of our school to provide relief to students and their families who are experiencing hardships: food insecurity, basic hygiene supplies, lack of weather appropriate clothing such as hats and mittens, etc. 

Who gets to use it? 

This will be a FREE resource provided for our students and their families. 

Will everyone know that we are using the care closet? 

NO! The use of the care closet is confidential and anonymous. Items will be picked up at your discretion at John Stewart Elementary (or Kaneland school of your choosing) in paper bags with initials. 

How does it work? 

Simply scan the QR code you see on this flyer using the camera on your cellular device. You will then fill out a google form addressing the need for specific items. Your items will be available for pick up at the front hallway of John Stewart Elementary School the following day. If you are unable to make it to Stewart, arrangements can be made for pick up at another school. 

Don’t have a cell phone? No problem! This link will take you directly to the google form. https://forms.gle/PZ2N4W3ZJWnBr95m9

Transportation News 
Students can no longer get off at any other stop than their own.  Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, we appreciate your flexibility and understanding.  If your child needs a change in their transportation, please complete the change in transportation form. 2022-23 Alternate Transportation Form 

Kids Heart Challenge
Kids Heart Challenge formally known as Jump rope for Heart will be on is Friday, February 17th. Signing up online to donate is easy and if they/you sign up and don't donate they still get a wristband. Click Here: AHA Kids Heart Challenge Online Information

5 Essentials Survey
We would love to hear from you! On behalf of the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois 5Essentials Survey will be administered online by UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago. The survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes, including improved attendance and larger test score gains. These five indicators that affect and predict school success are:
  • Effective Leaders
  • Collaborative Teachers
  • Involved Families
  • Supportive Environments
Ambitious InstructionThe Illinois 5Essentials Survey for students and teachers will be conducted from Jan. 24, 2023 and closes on March 31, 2023. The Parent Survey Supplement will be conducted during that same timeframe. To take the survey please visit http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/ and select the appropriate survey to begin. Our School needs 20% of our parents to respond and a minimum of 8 responding parents in order to receive a report.

Valentines Day Parties
Valentine's Day Parties will be held on Tuesday, February 14th.

Kindergarten will have their parties from 10:40-11:20 am. First - 5th Grade will have their parties from 2:30-3:20 pm. Two volunteers will be allowed in the classrooms for this party, which have been signed up through the PTN. If you have specific questions, please email stewartptn@gmail.com.

Students may bring in non-candy/food valentines for each student in class. Classroom teachers will share a list of students in their class with you and will let you know if students need to make a valentines day box at home or if one will be provided to them.

Please remember only parents who have signed up to volunteer, in advance, are permitted to attend classroom parties and masks are required. If volunteering, be sure to park in a designated spot, rather than along the parent pickup lane. Additionally, per the elementary handbook, younger siblings are not permitted to attend classroom parties.

Thank you for making this day extra special for our students!

Kindergarten Registraton

Kindergarten 23-24 Kindergarten Registration Flyer and Sign Up Genius for Feb. 25th. If the Sign-Up Genius link doesn't work here, it can be accessed on the registration flyer.

Please call the main office at (630) 365-8170 with any questions you may have.

February Word Wednesday Focus: KINDNESS
The School Improvement Team is excited to continue our WORD WEDNESDAYS!

Every month we will be introducing students to a focus word with weekly announcements to tell them more about that word. For the month of February, our focus will be KINDNESS.

Kindness means being friendly, generous, and considerate to others. We can't wait to see all of the kindness spread around John Stewart. 

10 Acts of Kindness for Kids to Do At Home
  • Smile at others
  • Write letters or draw pictures for family members
  • Help bring in the groceries
  • Do a chore without being asked
  • Give someone a compliment
  • Share a favorite toy with a sibling
  • Call a grandparent
  • Leave a thank you note and a treat for the mailman
  • Open the door for someone
  • Tell a family member why you love them

Kaneland Foundation Trivia Fundraiser 
The race has begun. We've had a couple of registrations come in and they've chosen their favorite school to support for the possible $1,000 general operating grant. But we need more teams! I've had so many people tell me they're going to sign up a team to play...what's stopping you?!

This year's theme is Decades Edition. The 4 question rounds will be broken into the 70's, 80's, 90's and 00's. You're also welcome to dress up or decorate your table in your favorite decade. It's going to be so much fun!

Please, sign up today and join us at the Elburn Lions Club on Saturday, February 18th! www.kanelandfoundation.org

Cell Phones At School
Just a reminder that cell phones are allowed at school, however, there are a few guidelines we ask that students follow.  Phones can be used before or after school hours and on the bus.  During school hours cell phones must be stored in the student's backpack on silent, so they do not cause a distraction.  During unstructured times, students are not allowed to use phones, including lunch, recess (indoor or outdoor), and extra recess.  Staying focused on learning during the school day is our top priority. If you need to get ahold of your student during the school day, please call the front office to reach them at (630) 365-8170.    Section 5 of the Illinois School Code

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Four Schools, One Book 2023

 Today we launched our Four Schools One Book program with TWO assemblies (one with a live readers theater presentation starring our very own KST staff along with a few  fabulous fifth grade helpers). All EC, Kindergarten and some Mid-Valley learners will come home with their own copy of Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes. All 1st through 5th graders and some Mid-Valley learners will be coming home with their very own copy of Sideways Stories from Wayside School

Your families get to keep the book forever so feel free to mark your thinking with Post-its, mark your questions and talk about your favorite parts. Read it with your family, have your family read it to you, take turns reading, whatever you choose, just have FUN!  Be sure to check the calendars

Pete the Cat Information:

Pete the Cat Calendar (EC, Kindergarten and Mid-Valley)

Pete the Cat Parent Letter

Pete the Cat FIRST week reading ideas!

Week 1 Activity

Due at KST by Jan. 20th to be entered in the raffle.

Week 2 Activity

Due at KST by Jan. 27th to be entered in the raffle.

Week 3 Activity

Due at KST by February 3rd to be entered in the raffle.

Sideways Stories from Wayside School Information:

Be sure to check the calendar each night to see which chapters EVERYONE in the entire district will be reading that night. Read the assigned two chapters and be ready for the trivia question the next morning. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

January Newsletter

Happy New Year John Stewart Families!!  We hope that you all had a restful winter break full of family fun and great memories made. We look forward to all of the students returning on Monday, January 9th.

Important January Dates
9 Students Return to School
12 Four Schools, One Book Assembly and Book Reveal
12 PTN Dine Out - Noodles & Company (Geneva Commons)
17 Progress Reports sent home on an as-needed basis
17 District Spelling Bee - Meredith Gym 6pm
16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School
17-18 1st Grade Mutual Ground Presentations
19-20 4th Grade Mutual Ground Presentations
25 Fun Lunch - Paisano's Pasta
31 PTN Mtg 6-7pm

Important February Dates
8 Fun Lunch - Jersey Mikes (date change - sorry)
10 Kindergarten's Valentine's Day Concert 9:30-10:00am
14 Valentines Parties Kindergarten (10:40-11:20) / 1st-5th Grade Parties (2:30-3:20)
20 President's Day - No School
22 Fun Lunch - Doughbrother's Pizza
25 Young Knights Fair / Incoming Kindergarten Registration (8-12)

Word Wednesday
The School Improvement Team at John Stewart is excited to introduce WORD WEDNESDAY! Every month students will be introduced to a focus word with weekly announcements to tell them more about that word. For the month of January, our focus will be ADVOCACY.

On Wednesday, January 11th your child's teacher will show a video on ADVOCACY that was created by two 5th-grade students Hayleigh McCray and William Oswald. To bring the word to life, we will have an interactive board outside of the gym where students will have the opportunity to share how they have advocated for their needs at KST. This board will change each month with the new focus word!

First Grade Winter Serenade
Here is the Youtube video to watch these adorable first graders signing. Enjoy

Parking Lot Reminders
  • NO CELL PHONES in School Zone Area between Anderson Rd. & Ridge St.
  • NO LEFT TURNS into the Parent Parking lot.
  • ALWAYS use your TURN Signal
  • Parents DO NOT get out of your cars if you are in the drop-off line. If you need to assist your child out of the car, please park in a parking spot.
Thank you for keeping our students and staff safe during drop-off and pick-up!!

January Expectation Walks
Within the first two weeks of returning to school, students will be participating in a refresher on the school expectation through expectation walks.  Expectations will be reviewed in the lunchroom, recess, bathroom, hallways, entering, and exiting the building.  We will be following the CHAMPs framework.

Thursday, December 1, 2022

December Newsletter

Important December Dates
1 PTN Night Out - MOD Pizza (St. Charles)
9 1st Grade Holiday Concert 9:30am
9 Movie Night / Food Truck / Stuff Animals Filling Party
12-16 Holiday Shop
14 Fun Lunch - Culvers
15 Evening Holiday Shop 4-7pm  (DATE CHANGE)
20 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)
21 Holiday Party (Kinder 10:40-11:20 / 1st-5th 1:35-2:20)
21 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)
Dec 22 - Jan 8 Winter Break

Important January Dates
9 Students Return to School
12 Four Schools, One Book Assembly and Book Reveal
12 PTN Dine Out - Noodles & Company (Geneva Commons)
16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day - No School
31 PTN Mtg 6-7pm

Grades 1-5 will be participating in their second iReady Diagnostic test the week of 12/5-12/9. Your child's teacher will have more specific testing date information. Please make sure your child gets a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast on testing days! Thank you!

Mark your calendars for Holiday Spirt Days!!!

PTN will be hosting another movie night on Friday, December 9th. There will be a double feature of Prep and Landing and The Grinch (2018). The Pasta Box Food Truck will be present!! There will be kid-friendly options such as buttered noodles and mac n' cheese. If you pre-ordered a festive Furry Friend, you will pick them up that evening. If you are unable to attend movie night, your child will receive it at school on 12/12. We still have a few Furry Friends that could be purchased, click HERE to purchase for $20.

In order to continue to have these movie nights, we need all attendees to abide by the following expectations:
- All students sit with or near their parents/guardians
- No running in the gym, halls, or lunchroom
- Voices are at a whisper or silent during the movie
- Phones and devices are silenced
- Food meals and open pop/soda cans are consumed in the lunchroom
- Everyone is respectful and responsible


Doors, Food Truck, and Concessions will open at 5:00 pm 

Fluff your Plushie 5:00 - 5:30 pm

Prep and Landing Showing at 5:30 - 6:00 pm

Intermission Between Movies 6:00 - 6:15 pm

The Grinch Begins Showing at 6:15 pm

The Food Truck & Concessions Close at 7:00 pm (Food and concessions will be available while supplies last)


We are having Penguin Patch/ Holiday Shoppe during the week of Dec. 12 - 16th during school hours. Click HERE to preview possible gift options (some styles and options may vary). If you would like your child to participate, please send them cash in the envelope that will be sent home with your child on Monday. There will be special evening hours on Thursday, December 15th from 4-7pm. This is a great opportunity for students to shop for their family members!!

I wanted to reshare this list as you begin your holiday shopping, you might be thinking of what you could get for your child's teacher. Here is a list of a Few of Their Favorite Things!

Did you know that we utilize the Second Step Curriculum K-5 for our SEL support? This tool provides a great foundation for our students in supporting their social-emotional needs. Feel free to visit the Second Step website for more information.

We are so excited to introduce our next book for four schools, one book. But before we do that, can you and your family guess who the masked reader is and what book we will all read together.  Visit kst.Kaneland.org   and click on the link found on the banner.   
The new masked readers will be released on these days:
November 30 - Masked Reader #1
December 5 - Masked Reader #2
December 7 - Masked Reader #3
December 12 - Masked Reader #4
December 19 - Masked Reader #5

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mid-November Newsletter

Important November Dates
21 - 25 No School - Thanksgiving Break
29 PTN Meeting 6-7pm KST Library
30 Fun Lunch - Corner Grind

Important December Dates

1 PTN Night Out - MOD Pizza (St. Charles)

9 1st Grade Holiday Concert 9:30am 

9 Movie Night / Food Truck / Stuff Animals

12-16 Holiday Shop

14 Fun Lunch - Culvers

20 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)

21 Holiday Party (Kinder 10:40-11:20 / 1st-5th 1:35-2:20)

21 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)

Dec 22 - Jan 8 Winter Break (Students Return January 9th)

District Information

On November Tuesday 29th, 6:00-7:30 pm, Kaneland will be hosting a District Information Night hosted at Harter Middle School to discuss the following topics: Standards-based grading at the 6-12 level, R.E.V. data, and updates, as well as opportunities to learn about job postings and staffing needs across the district.  More information with a more detailed description of each session will be shared with our families and staff next week.  Kaneland families are encouraged to attend. 

Our Fall Parent-Teacher Conferences have recently concluded with great attendance across the district.  Thank you to our parents for attending and for our teachers sharing important updates on our student progress.  Over the past several years, more and more students are demonstrating their levels of proficiency and understanding of standards through student-led conferences. Students shared with their parents how they are progressing in their learning, how they advocate for their learning, and what is going well in their day-to-day experiences.

IgKnight Conference 2022- On Monday, Nov. 21st our staff and administrators will be engaging in a busy day of professional learning through our annual Kaneland IgKnight Conference. With nearly 50 Kaneland staff members set to present to their colleagues, this is one of our largest, peer-led conferences that we provide. On November 22nd, our staff will work with their grade-span colleagues at their buildings working on building-specific topics relevant to the rest of the year. 

Emergency Snow Day Information 
It is that time of year again to prepare for possible snow days or remote learning emergency days.  The district will call a remote learning emergency day by 8:00pm the night prior to the learning day.  A snow day will be called anytime after 8:00pm the night before to 5:30am on the learning day.  The following are guidelines for the remote learning emergency day when they are called:
-All EC-1st grade will complete lessons in the Blizzard Bag that was sent home the first two weeks of November
-2nd-12th grade students will access Google Meet links using Canvas.  --Students should log onto the class period using the posted Google Meets link at the designated time as regularly scheduled or school shared schedule.  
-Learning activities will be posted on Canvas to support the instruction on Google Meets for all classes on an emergency day on the Canvas learning management system
-Families will not be asked to pick up any materials from the school on these days
-No schools are physically open for family and student academic communication.
-A school may be opened for extra-curricular activities on an individual basis

Student Expectations:
-Students should follow the regular, or posted school day schedule
-Students will need to log onto all class sessions and check for the activities to be completed
-If a student is unable to attend to learning activities due to illness, technology connectivity issues, etc, please call the attendance secretary for your school in order to be counted as an excused absence
-All work is to be completed by the noted due date (some due dates may be the next school day).

John Stewart Information
Thank you to everyone who visited and purchased from the book fair during parent-teacher conferences, it was a huge success!! A portion of your purchases gives money back to our library for us to purchase more books from student feedback and interests. We will be hosting another book fair in the spring during the week of Open House.

Teacher Favorite Things
As the holiday season comes around, you might be thinking of what you could get for your child's teacher.  Here is a list of a Few of Their Favorite Things!

Art to Remember

This semester, our school is participating in a unique fundraising program with Art to Remember that gives you the opportunity to purchase keepsake items with your child's artwork on them. The best part is that every keepsake order supports our school. Just head to ArtToRemember.com and search for your child’s name, enter their online order code, or upload artwork from home and start shopping!

Staff Book Club - Restorative Justice

What is Restorative Justice and Why Do We Do It?

  • A way to understand the root behavior to address and teach alternative behaviors. Brings awareness to the student of the harm they caused others from their actions. 

  • Last year’s feedback from staff and students asked for more professional development on restorative practices and a desire for more positive peer relationships. 

  • The School-Improvement (SIP) Team at KST reviewed the fall REV (Respect, Equality, Value) survey data, collected earlier this year from students, staff, and families, where we identified three areas for growth. 

  1. Our school uses a restorative justice approach to discipline.
  2. Students have a choice over what, when, where, how, and with whom they learn.
  3. Students are solving real-world problems in their communities. 

The book study is just one way we will be addressing these identified areas.  Our team will be working on infusing student voice into our action plan as we begin to address this feedback.  Please keep a look out for future information about these topics throughout the school year. 


CELEBRATIONS: We are happy to share REV Identified Areas of Strength within John Stewart. 

Student's Top Responses:

Knowing how to access mental health support at school

Our school climate is positive, warm, and welcoming  

Students feel safe 

Students have at least one adult that cares about them & supports them


Staff Top Responses: 

Families feel welcomed and valued

Social-emotional needs of students are supported in our school  

Students are regularly asked for feedback


Family's Top Responses: 

My school is committed to an excellent education for each student

Families feel welcomed and valued.

Our school climate can be described as warm, welcoming, & inclusive. 

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving Break!!
We are so very thankful for the wonderful families, students, and staff at KST!
~ Mrs. Aversa and Mrs. Tucker ~

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

November Stewart Newsletter

Important November Dates

2 Parent/Teacher Conferences Dinner 4pm-8pm

3 Parent/Teacher Conference 10am-8pm

4 No School - No Student or Staff Attendance

8 No School - Election Day - No Student or Staff Attendance

9 Fun Lunch - Doughbrother's Pizza

9 PTN Night Out - Chipotle 
21 - 25 No School - Thanksgiving Break
29 PTN Meeting 6-7pm KST Library
30 Fun Lunch - Corner Grind

Important December Dates

1 PTN Night Out - MOD Pizza (St. Charles) 

9 Movie Night / Food Truck / Stuff Animals

12-16 Holiday Shop

14 Fun Lunch - Culvers

20 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)

21 Holiday Party (Kinder 10:40-11:20 / 1st-5th 1:35-2:20)

21 One-Hour Early Dismissal (2:25/2:30)

Dec 22 - Jan 8 Winter Break (Students Return January 9th)

A Few Weather-Related Reminders
This a friendly reminder, especially as the weather is beginning to change. Parents are expected to drop their children off in the west parking lot. If your child needs help getting out of the car, please make sure to park in a spot.  When it starts snowing and they have their snow bag, it might take them a little longer to exit the vehicle. This allows us to make sure we keep all students safe and the flow of traffic moving.  
When it snows, please send their snow bag. Their snow bag, usually a reusable bag of some sort, should contain, snow boots, snow pants, gloves, and a hat.  Please make sure to LABEL all items and the bag.  Students will continue to go outside for recess as long as the real feel temperature is above 5 degrees.

Teacher Favorite Things
As the holiday season comes around, you might be thinking of what you could get for your child's teacher.  Here is a list of a Few of Their Favorite Things!

Veterans Day Celebration 
On Friday, November 11th, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School will be holding a Veterans Day celebration.

Legion members and veterans will be honored with a morning breakfast which will take place at 8:10 a.m. in the teacher’s lounge. Our flag-raising ceremony will immediately follow in front of the school at 8:50.  We are inviting local veterans to join us for both the breakfast and morning flag ceremony. We are hoping to have many veterans and Legion members in attendance.  These annual events help teach our students about the importance of good citizenship. Please email Mary Kunstman, KST music teacher, at 10274@kaneland.org with any additional questions.  If you are a veteran and are able to join us for breakfast, please complete this form - Veterans Day Breakfast RSVP

If you have a family member who is in the military, we would love to honor them at school on our Veterans bulletin board.  A Veterans Day picture template will be sent home with your student but I have also attached a copy here. The pictures are due back to Mrs. Kunstman As Soon As Possible. Thank you! 

Employment Opportunities 
Have you ever wanted to be a Knight?  Kaneland is looking to fill several critical areas within the District.  These positions are perfect for those looking for a way to give back to their community, work with a great team of fellow Knights, align their work schedule with the school schedule, and support our students.  We have immediate openings for:
  • Food Service - HMS & KHS
  • Head Cook - HMS
  • School Psychologist - KHS
  • Speech/Language Pathologist - KHS
  • Part-Time Security - KHS
  • Part-Time Early Childhood Paraprofessional - KBK
  • Lunch Monitors - HMS & KHS
  • 1:1 Nurse for Transportation - District
  • Substitute Teachers, Paraprofessionals, Bus Drivers, Food Service, Nurses, and Bus Aides
If you are at all interested or able to support the Kaneland Community, please contact Dr. Adkins at 630-365-4113 or via email at 75522@kaneland.org for information on qualifications, pay rates, benefits, and how to apply.  You will find that Kaneland schools are rewarding, engaging, and exciting places to work.  We are glad to help you join the team!