Weekly Update: August 30, 2021

Important Events

August 30 - September 10, 2021

  • MAP Testing (Grades 1 - 5)

September 1, 2021

  • 4th Grade Orchestra Sign-ups @ Sycamore Middle School | 4:00 - 7:00 PM
  • Spartan Food Pantry at District Warehouse | 4:30 - 6:00 PM

September 2, 2021

  • Late Start Thursday
  • Building opens at 9:15 AM
  • School begins at 9:30 AM

September 6, 2021

  • Labor Day - No School!

View Full Calendar


In this Issue: 


Message from Mrs. Crawford

It’s been great to see our SE Spartans back in the building, attending specials, and focusing on relationships.   A couple of reminders about school this year:

  • Water bottles are still required as the drinking fountains are turned off.
    • OSCAR will return for families for both AM and PM support.
    • Visit the OSCAR website for more information or to register for OSCAR.
    • OSCAR is available starting at 7:00 AM each morning
  • Math Specialists and WIN Time
    • Each elementary school has hired a Math Specialist and we will be implementing a WIN (What I Need) block each day. This will further support student learning at all levels. We are very excited to add this customized learning time for students.
  • Masking and Social Distancing 
    • All students and staff will be masked while indoors at school.
    • No masks will be required while outside at recess or other outdoor activities.
    • We will maintain social distancing of three feet to the greatest extent possible.
    • During lunch students will be spaced six feet apart.
    • All students have received a lanyard to attach their mask to during the school day. 

 MAP Testing Begins Next Week

During the weeks of August 30 - September 10, your child will take a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a computer or tablet. We give students MAP Growth tests to determine their instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in reading, fluency (Kdg. - 3rd Grade) and mathematics. 

MAP Growth tests are unique in that they adapt to your child’s level of learning. If your child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. This results in a detailed picture of what your child knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below their grade level.

Since MAP Growth tests provide immediate and accurate information about your child’s learning, it’s easy for teachers to identify students with similar scores that are generally ready for instruction in similar skills and topics, and then plan instruction accordingly. 

MAP Growth reports also provide typical growth data for students who are in the same grade, subject, and have the same starting performance level. Each school year, students in grades Kindergarten through 5th grade take the tests in the fall (no Kindergarten testing in the fall), winter, and spring. Following each testing period, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth, which you can review with your child’s teacher for more insight. 

We are truly excited to focus on your child’s individual growth and achievement. For more information about the MAP Growth test, visit: MAP Family Toolkit


Southeast School Battle of the Books

Be a part of the Southeast School Battle of the Books team!  Southeast School is looking for any interested students in 3rd-5th grade who enjoy reading and want to show off their knowledge. 

The Battle of the Books program is sponsored by the Sycamore Public Library and puts students in head-to-head battles against the other elementary schools in Sycamore by answering questions about 20 books.  The books are a mix of fiction and non-fiction chapter books, graphic novels, and longer picture books.  Most of the titles are on the Illinois Bluestem Award 2022 nomination list.  Here is the list of books for the 2021-2022 school year

The team will meet on Tuesday mornings, beginning September 14th, from 8:00-8:30 and have “battles” once a month on Monday evenings from October through April.  Books are available at the Sycamore Public Library in addition to the Southeast School Library.  While we want every team member to participate in the battles, those students who read the most will compete the most in our battles.

Please email Mrs. Kolzow by Friday, September 3, 2021, if your child is interested or would like more information about our Battle of the Books team.  If you already contacted us to let us know of your interest last spring, please expect to receive more information at the end of this week.  


Arrival and Dismissal Procedures:

Thanks to all of you for helping us to keep our students safe during pick up and drop off. The crosswalk is keeping families safe as they cross the driveway to the building and drivers are being very alert during this time. Please make sure that you are NOT getting out of your vehicle during this time if you are in the arrival/dismissal driveway. We have staff outside who can assist your child(ren) with getting out of the car to go into the building. We also ask that all children get out of the car on the curbside (closest to the building) of the driveway. If either of these requests cannot be met, please park your car in one of the parking areas and have your child get out of the car in the parked area. Thanks again for your assistance with this procedure.


4th Grade Recorder

In 4th grade, learning to play the recorder has been an integral part of the elementary music curriculum. We have always requested that students have a recorder for use at their home so they can do their homework while the students used a school recorder during music class. This year out of an abundance of caution, all students will need to bring their recorder to and from music class. If your family owns a recorder that is not being used by a 5th grade child it is completely fine to use that. They can be washed in hot soapy water and air dried. If they are Yamaha recorders, previously purchased through the school district, they are washed through the dishwasher.

If you are in need of a recorder, they are available for purchase through the school district for $5 through the online store. All students who have purchased a recorder through the WebStore will receive them from their music teacher on the first day they begin recorder. We are hoping to begin recorder mid to late September and will send home the exact dates as we get closer.  Thank you if you have already purchased your recorder through the web store!

Purchase Now


5th Grade Recorder


We will be playing recorder again this year during the 5th grade music special. All 5th grade students will need to bring their home recorder to class beginning the week of October 4th. We will begin with a review of recorder basics and then each child will be working on recorder music at their individual level and will each be setting goals for their progress. If you purchased a recorder last year, that recorder will still work for this year's music class.  

If you did not participate in music last year, you may use an older sibling’s recorder (they can be washed in hot soapy water and air dried. If they are Yamaha recorders, previously purchased through the WebStore, they are washed through the dishwasher.)

If you are still in need of a recorder, they are available for purchase through the school district for $5 through the online store.  All students will need a recorder for their class starting October 4th.

Purchase Now


Checkbook Fundraiser to Start!

On Thursday, September 2, 2021, all students will be bringing home information on our Checkbook Fundraiser. They will have an informational sheet, an order form and a prize sheet that shows what they can earn for selling the SE Checkbooks. Each checkbook contains 31 gift checks from community businesses. The checkbooks will sell for $30.00 each and the gift checks are valid for 1 year. Please consider supporting Southeast Elementary by participating in this fundraiser. 


5th Grade Band Sign Up

It's that time of the year!  The Sycamore Fifth Grade Band Sign-up will be held at North Grove Elementary School on Wednesday, September 8 (6:30-8:30 p.m.) and Thursday, September 9 (6:30-7:30 p.m.).  Parents of fifth graders can come either one of those nights at any point to register their child, purchase lesson books and other accessories, and rent/buy an instrument as needed.  Representatives from Ellman's Music in Naperville will be on hand, and teachers will be on hand to help answer questions.   If you have any questions, please e-mail either Ken GoodmanScott Mertens, or Bella Crawl.  


Take Root

Take Root Tailgate and Celebrate will be held on September 11, 2021 from 6:00 - 11:00 PM. 

Learn More


Spartan Food Pantry Open Wednesday!

The Spartan Food Pantry is excited to welcome guests to shop every other week on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, September 1, 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 4:30PM-6:00PM.  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 spartanfoodpantry@syc427.orgfor more information.