Summer School Runs Through July 14

Summer School Runs Through July 14

Read Chicago Tribune/Northbrook Star article about the kids' visit to Covenant Village Second Graders and Seniors Pen Pals Enjoy the Power of Song

The following was overheard at The Bistro at Covenant Village of Northbrook, prior to the Wescott School second grade visit with pen pal senior citizens who live there: "I am excited, and I just can't wait for those kidlets to visit."

Wescott School second graders have special relationships with their senior pen pals neighbors at Covenant Village of Northbrook, whom they visited on June 2. They spend the school year communicating the "old fashioned" way, with paper and pencil; and by the end of the year, they meet, sing and chatter like long-time friends.
Wescott's intergenerational relationships with senior citizens go back over 25 years ago, when retired second grade teacher Sue Smilie initiated the first correspondence.

At the beginning of the 2016 school year, second grade teacher Xenia Stamoudis encouraged the pupils to write letters, then all the other teachers get involved too: Trisha Palzet, Sallie Magruder and Lisa Wolf.

The wonderful collaboration grew to include the special activity that took place on June 2; where the kids performed songs from their grade level shows "The Amazing Dr. Seuss", and "Joe Creek." Both shows were written by music teacher Bill Vaananen. They also sang songs more familiar to the senior population, i.e., "You're a Grand Old Flag", "My Favorite Things", and "Country Road."

After the performance, everyone gathered at small tables to visit, play games and students gave their pen pal seniors handmade greeting cards.

"What a memorable day! We touched many hearts today!❤️" said Ms. Stamoudis.

Read Chicago Tribune/Northbrook Star article about the kids' visit to Covenant Village

Summer Schedule

Friday, July 14 - Last Day of D30 Summer School

Tuesday, August 1 - Registration Deadline

Monday, August 14 - ePackets are posted on Website

Wescott Students Spearhead Collection for Indiana Animal Shelter

Make no bones about it, a group of Wescott School students have a passion for helping animals in need! For over a month, first graders in Sharon Latek's class and their fourth grade reading buddies in Jessica Schutz’s class collected pet goods for the Lake County Indiana Animal Shelter. First, they created posters pleading for donations, which were hung in Wescott’s hallways throughout the school. Then the donations came pouring in, from generous students and staff.  According to Ms. Latek, items collected included dog toys, blankets/beds, towels, trash bags, latex gloves, dog/cat food and treats, and stainless steel bowls.

On June 1, the two classes helped load the items on to a pick-up truck, which was used to transport the products to the Lake County Indiana Animal Shelter. Even Ms. Latek’s pug Noah was on hand to “help.”  He greeted students, and received many pats and hugs, while Principal Chris Brown helped with some of the heavy lifting of 25-pound bags of dog food and one oversized dog bed. Proud staff and students posed for a photo with a large handmade poster that declared, “Kindness Matters.”  It certainly will to the many dogs and cats that will be receiving precious goods from thoughtful people at Wescott School.

Online School Supply Orders Available

Wescott families have the convenience of ordering pre-packaged school supplies directly to your home! While the new school year feels far away, why not cross this off the list now? Our school supply sale can be found at School Tool Box at

Lists are done by grade and you can customize your order (don't need more scissors? Don't order them!). Orders must be placed by July 31 to arrive intime at your home for the start of school. All Wescott students must have recording headphones with a microphone. These are not available through our online school supply sale. Find out more by reading the June 9 edition of the Wescott Word.

Wescott Fourth Graders' Essays Published in Chicago Tribune

"Congratulations to our Wescott colleague, Jane Eilhauer, and her fourth grade class for receiving wonderful coverage in an article written by columnist Rex Huppke in the May 30 edition of the Chicago Tribune," wrote music teacher Bill Vaananen, in an email to staff.

Here's how Jane Eilhauer's students letters became published today in the Chicago Tribune!

Ms. Eilhauer said, "I worked on opinion writing with my students and they wrote quite a few essays. I showed them examples of from the newspaper as models and motivators. One of the essays was written by Rex Huppke of the Chicago Tribune on the subject of Fidgets.

My students wrote opinion essays in response to his piece and they were excellent. I mailed them to Mr. Huppke, and said he would use snippets of their essays in his column. I gave him permission after checking with Principal Brown and the parents."

The result was the article titled,
"Wise 4th-graders weigh in on pros,cons of fidget spinners" at…/ct-fidget-spinners-elementa…

Fourth Graders Learn Coding with Ozobots

One generation's Pac Man is another generation's Ozobot! Recently, fourth graders at Wescott School worked on intricate research projects involving the Ozobot, which is a jawbreaker-size robot that is being used to introduce kids to basic coding. It also teaches skills like deductive reasoning, while helping to expand their imaginations. The Ozobot is programmed to follow black, green, red, or blue paths (or lines) on paper or tablets, that control its movement and speed.

Students in Jane Eilhauer and Sammi Lipkin’s classes have been studying the regions of the U.S., and focused on one area for the project (either a state or a region). They then researched that area using online databases, websites, and their social studies text book. Students learned how to create a bibliography of their sources in EasyBib, according to librarian Margaret Janavicius.

Each group demonstrated their knowledge of the state or region by making products with three different apps (examples include iMovie, ChatterKids, Shadow Puppet, Pic Collage, Google Slides). Students then learned how to upload what they made to their Google Drive.

They studied how to make QR Codes, which linked to the products. Large two-dimensional paper maps were created, with marked paths and paper bridges for their Ozobots to follow, and the kids created QR codes that, when used with iPads, led them to state landmarks and information about their state. They even decorated their Ozobots in theme with their state, i.e., Florida's Ozobot was costumed as an alligator in front of a flag that said, "Welcome to the Everglades.”

Using Ozobots is one way that the district has been introducing the younger students to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programming. The Wescott children were engaged and excited while showing third grade students their projects, as they became totally interactive, with the help of the Ozobot.

Ms. Janavicius said, "It was a lot of work, involving myriad steps, but the kids did a great job!”

Fifth Graders' Performance of "A Night With The King" Ruled!

Wescott School’s fifth grade show “A Night with the King” definitely ruled during performances which took place on May 24 and 25. Student voices were strong, clear and emanated energy, as they celebrated the 60th anniversary of Rock and Roll by singing 24 classic songs by famous musicians from the 1950s and 1960s.

The production was written and directed by music teacher Bill Vaananen, who has spent 36 years at Wescott creating excellent and original grade level shows for thousands of children.  He will retire in 2018, leaving a legacy of unforgettable musical productions in the midst.

According to Mr. Vaananen, "A Night With The King" was the finale of the "Night Trilogy”, which this group of students began performing in third grade:  “A Night in the Museum”, “A Night in the Eighties” and now “A Night With The King.”  

Students sang tunes by artists such as Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, The Supremes, The Four Seasons, Chubby Checker, The Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Shirelles and more!  Some of the songs included “Rock Around the Clock”, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, “It’s My Party”, “The Twist”, “Chapel of Love” and “Tutti Frutti.”

Mr. Vaananen wrote the final song, “Here to Stay,” which summed up the show perfectly; and seemed to be symbolic of the memories that will be stored in many parent and student minds for years to come.

Those staff members who helped Mr. Vaananen coordinate the program included fifth grade teachers Martine Reif, Jennifer Murnick, Tracy Bahn, Sylvia Gochis, Roy Grober, Tia Stevens and Dan Anderson.  Scenery design, painting and construction of the amazing stage backdrop was created by Joan Marsh. Mr. Vaananen said that she spent over 25 hours making it!

After the show, Mr. Vaananen and Principal Chris Brown thanked everyone for helping to make “A Night With The King”, a night (and day) to remember.

View more photos on District 30's Facebook Page!

Summer Reading Requirements for All Students

During the summer, all Maple School students will be asked to share a book that they read during the summer with their English Language Arts class.
The English Language Arts staff said that they feel that it is important for students to read over the summer in order to continue to grow as thinkers and learners.
They reported, "We hope each student will enjoy reading over the summer and look forward to sharing their book with others. Students will find out more about sharing their book from their ELA teacher in the fall. We very much believe in a workshop approach to reading and writing and strongly support student choice whenever possible."
Librarians Amy Kauth, Sue Sparks, and Margaret Janavicius, along with Maple ELA teachers, will provide a list of suggested titles from which students can select their book. However, students may read any book they choose. Other great resources for book selection are the librarians at the Northbrook and Glenview public libraries.
The list suggested by the Maple staff can be found on the Maple LMC school page at
and Mediapprentice Blog at

Students Enjoy Super Sound Class with Superintendent Dr. Wegley

Not everyone in this community knows that before Dr. Brian Wegley was District 30's superintendent, and a high school principal, he was a physics teacher. Actually, he is still a physics teacher; and a group of Wescott School students were the lucky recipients of his tutelage on May 24.

As part of Wescott PTO's March Madness fundraiser, raffle tickets were sold for special items and/or unique parties: A Korean culture fair, blanket making for needy families; and spending an afternoon with Dr. Wegley learning the science of sound.

Dr. Wegley's Breakout EDU class "Super Sound Science" took place after school, with eight winners of one of the March Madness raffles. He engaged the children by discussing statistics of sound and light: Sound travels at 740 miles per hour; and light travels at 186,000 miles per second.

He demonstrated how sound is produced by tapping a tuning fork on a solid object. The pupils observed that sound is caused by vibration, and it needs a medium. Then the kids took turns tapping the tuning fork, watching it vibrate, and producing a humming sound. They learned that air and water conduct sound too.

Dr. Wegley, with help from his wife Kathy, who is also a teacher, provided fun physics-related challenges for the group. They involved strobe lighting, a Slinky, and a Star Wars' video.

Then everyone took part in Breakout EDU, where games are employed and players must work together to solve a series of critical thinking puzzles in order to open a locked box. The kids were excited as they discovered clues, found the keys, and ultimately opened the box!

At the end of the class, Dr. Wegley and Mrs. Wegley gave out t-shirts in Wescott's school colors that said, "We Broke OUT with Dr. Wegley!"

Wescott PTO's One Big Family Picnic Offered Food, Fun and Music!

Wescott School’s PTO warmly welcomed over 300 families to the Fourth Annual One Big Family Picnic, for an evening of fun, food, and music on Friday, May 19. It was held in the building, due to wet weather.

There was a live disc jockey, pizza dinner, desserts and games galore. Kids enjoyed face painting, Bingo, Bozo buckets, dancing, and visiting with friends and teachers throughout the evening.

The Helping Hands Committee hosted tables where families assembled and decorated Care Kits for foster children and families living in temporary housing. They will be delivered by Families Helping Families of Chicagoland this week.

"This event is the PTO’s gift to our Wescott students, families and Wescott staff. The picnic is a small token of our appreciation for all of your support and generosity during the school year,” said PTO Co-Presidents Ilene Weil and Zivit Shapiro.

Dr. Wegley Makes New Friends in Trisha Palzet's Class!

It's not everyday that children have their superintendent acting as substitute teacher for the day, but many District 30 students have that special opportunity during their tenure at Maple, Wescott or Willowbrook School.

On May 12, Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley taught in Trisha Palzet's second grade classroom at Wescott School. By the end of the day, he knew every child's name, and new friendships had been formed.

Dr. Wegley covered the lesson plan that Ms. Palzet had left on her desk. However, by the end of the day, after reading time; everyone was ready to wind down a bit. Fortunately, Dr. Wegley had a few card tricks up his sleeve. He wowed the kids, and they would have kept asking for more tricks, had the last school bell had not rung!

"We have such wonderful children and staff members here. I really enjoy getting back in the classroom!" said Dr. Wegley.

"Here at District 30, we honor childhood like no other place I have seen," he added.

Amazing Race Takes Place in the Wide Open Space

Wescott School's annual Amazing Race took place on May 8. It involved fourth grader teams following clues, which they followed by participating in relay activities in the park. First and second place teams received trophies.

They were designed and set-up by physical education teachers Roy Grober, Daniel Anderson and Christina Fee. Teachers Bill Vaananen, Joel Losoff, Lainie Levin, Talia Block and Tia Stevens assisted; while Principal Chris Brown supervised the event.

PTO Birthday Signs Available!

This month is the last chance to sign up for June, July and August Wescott birthday signs. Individuals that did not order them during this year’s PTO registration and would like a fun way to celebrate a birthday this summer, please use the link below to order.

Registration for the 2017/2018 school year will
cover birthdays from September 1, 2017- August 31, 2018.

Screenagers:  Growing Up in the Digital Age Will Be Shown on June 11

Those individuals who missed the recent screening of Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age, will have the opportunity to see this award-winning documentary that cannot be borrowed, rented or purchased, but is only available through community sponsored screenings.

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church invites District 30 parents and students to view
Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Sunday, June 11 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 1133 Pfingsten Road, Northbrook. It depicts family struggles over social media, video games, academics, internet addiction and how to empower kids to best navigate the digital world. It is for adults and children 10 years old and up.

Please follow this link to RSVP and for more information:

PTO Upper Board Slate Announced

The PTO nominating committee has announced the slate for the open upper board positions for the 2018-2019 school year.

Co-Presidents: Christie Hartbarger and Michelle King

Vice President of Fundraising: Annie Porthan

Vice President of Technology: Shreyas Shah