April 2013 Newsletter

imagesWelcome back!  This is an exciting time because we are beginning to plan for the next school year. We have already received many questions about placement.  Our staff will begin the class building process at the end of April or beginning of May for the 2013-2014 school year.  This is one of our most important tasks to prepare for the upcoming year.  Throughout this process, our goal is to place students in the best possible learning setting for them.  We will try to build classes that are balanced in terms of learning needs and styles, gender, emotional and social development, and academic achievement.

We welcome parent input in this process, as we recognize that parents know their children better than anyone else.  If you would like to offer insight, share your perspective, or express a need on behalf of your child, we invite you to write a letter.  Because it is very difficult to grant requests for specific teachers, we ask that your letter focus on your child’s learning style, significant learning experiences for him/her, and/or the type of teaching style to which your child responds best.  Please do not request a specific teacher. 

We ask that all letters be submitted no later than Friday, April 26th. We will use the information you provide, along with input from teachers, to place your child in a classroom that will best meet his or her needs.

This year, the registration process will continue to be on-line. Starting April 15th, you will receive a letter from INFOSNAP with the login information needed to register your child.  If you do not have computer access, the district office will have computers available for you to register your child. Watch for more information coming soon.

Thank you again for your continued support.  As always, if you have any questions or input, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.  I can be reached at martinj@hawthorn73.org or (847) 990-4800.

All the best,

Jill Martin


Upcoming Events in April …

4/2: School Resumes – YES, this is a TUESDAY!
4/3: PTO Meeting at District Office – 7:00pm
4/8-4/19: Spring MAP Testing
4/12: Spirit Day – Mix match day!
4/19: Ice Cream Friday
4/19: Family Dance – 6:30-8:30pm
4/20: Parent University at District Office – World Languages 6:00pm
4/23: K-2 OPEN HOUSE 7:00pm
4/25: 3-5 OPEN HOUSE 6:30pm
4/25: Principal’s Pride/Soaring Eagles Luncheon
4/26: Birthday Bash – All April Birthdays

Coming Soon

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7:00-7:30 AM Kdg Open House
7:00-7:30 1st  grade– Performance
7:00-7:30: 2nd grade – Open House
7:30-8:00: Full Day/PM Kdg & 1st  grade Open House


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6:30-7:00: 3rd grade Performance
7:00-7:30 3rd, 4th,  & 5th grade Open House
7:30-8:00: 5th grade Performance


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May 8, 2013    6:30-7:30pm


AYP/School Choice Meeting Rescheduled for March 12

The AYP/School Choice Meeting and Round Table Discussion has been rescheduled for Tuesday, March 12 beginning at 7 p.m. at Hawthorn Middle South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills. The meeting was originally scheduled for March 5, but was cancelled due to the winter storm. More information on the issue is posted on the Hawthorn District website.


Hawthorn parents, students and teachers now have the opportunity to provide feedback about our schools to the Illinois State Board of Education through it’s Illinois 5Essentials Survey, which is open from now through March 31, 2013.  The 15-minute (at most) research-based survey is intended to help identify strengths and weaknesses at schools throughout Illinois.  Specifically, the survey looks at five indicators of school effectiveness:  Effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environments and ambitious instruction.

The parent survey really takes only a couple of minutes to complete. Parents are asked to fill out a survey for each school your children attend.  Students in grades 6-8 will also take the survey in February during class time.  Respondent identities and individual responses will be kept completely confidential.  Teachers or administrators will never see individual responses to survey questions, only summary level responses.  Under the Protection of Pupil Rights Act. 20 U.S.C. Section 1232© (1) (A), you have the right to review a copy of the questions asked of your student(s).  All survey questions can be found on the Illinois 5Essentials website (illinois.5-essentials.org).

You may also view the privacy policy at illinois.5-essentials.org/accounts/privacy.

If you do not want your child (grades 6-8) to participate in the survey, please fill out the form below and turn in to your child’s homeroom teacher no later than February 15, 2013.

5Essentials Refusal Letter

Please take the very brief 5Essentials Parent Survey by clicking on the link below:


Again, the state is looking for a survey from you representing each of the schools your student attends.  If you have any questions about the survey, please contact 5Essentials Customer Support at 1-866-440-1874. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey!

March 2013 Newsletter


March always comes “roaring” into Elementary South like a lion because when March comes in, so do the ISAT tests! Tuesday is the first day of ISAT testing. The children and their teachers have worked all year to learn the Common Core Learning Standards and the Hawthorn Comprehensive Curriculum. I feel confident that they are well prepared for state testing. Most importantly, please make sure your child is well rested, at school on time, and encouraged. We will do the rest! We will provide a breakfast each day of testing, new pencils, and even pass out mints to stimulate brain activity.
Testing is not all that is going on around here! Thanks to all who came out last Friday night for FAMILY FUN NIGHT! The jump rope warrior, David Fisher was awesome, the book sales were incredible and we were able to earn lots of free books for our school. It was great fun for all who attended and a special thanks to our family alliance, PTO, and volunteers who made the event such a success!
Thank you again for your continued support. As always, if you have any questions or input, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me. I can be reached at martinj@hawthorn73.org or (847) 990-4800.
Have a wonderful Spring Vacation with family and friends!

Jill Martin

Upcoming Events:

March 5-15: ISAT testing in grades 3, 4, and 5
March 6: PTO meeting at District Office 7:00pm
March 7: ART SHOW @ Aspen Library 6:30pm
March 8: PTO Boys Night Out – 5th Grade boys & their fathers MSN 6:30-8:30pm
March 9: PTO Mother Daughter Tea – Vernon Hills Park District 1:00pm
March 11: Report Cards go home
March 11: Board of Education Meeting at District Office – 7:00
March 12: 5th Grade Band to North Chicago Band Festival
March 15: Ice Cream Friday – Bring $1.00/Hawthorn BLUE AND GOLD SPIRIT DAY
March 17: PTO Variety Show – MSS 11:00, 1:00, 3:00
March 21: Principal Pride/Soaring Eagle Luncheon
March 22: Birthday Bash – March Birthdays
March 23-April 1: Spring Break
April 2: School Resumes!

Information about AYP and how It Impacts Hawthorn’s School Choice – Meeting March 5

Federal and state mandates set forth by the No Child Left Behind legislation require that Hawthorn modify our current school choice programs. In support of that decision-making, parents are encouraged learn more and give input by attending the AYP/School Choice Meeting and Round Table Discussion on Tuesday, March 5 beginning at 7 p.m. at Hawthorn Middle South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.

Hawthorn is currently examining our school choice program and how we place students in our schools. This examination is being done in light of the fact that our choice program as currently configured does not comply with current law, as outlined by No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and our performance toward Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) targets.

January 14, 2013: Superintendent Nick Brown advises the Hawthorn Board of Education about the situation. For more information, please review the presentation entitled Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): An Issue of Federal Mandates as well as view the video of the January 14 board meeting. Information about activities of the board are archived on the Hawthorn School Board webpages: http://www.hawthorn73.org/schoolboard

February 2013: Hawthorn Superintendent Nick Brown convenes the AYP Committee, a group of educators and parents representing each of our schools. The group has been meeting to explore the situation and develop options.

March 5, 2013: The AYP Committee will hold a Parent Information Meeting and Round Table Discussion to explain the AYP issues and how they impact our school choice program. The Round Table Discussion is designed to allow attendees to provide their suggestions and comments to the Committee. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2013 beginning at 7 p.m. at Hawthorn Middle South, 600 N. Aspen Drive, Vernon Hills.

March 2013: The AYP Committee is expected to create an online survey to solicit additional feedback from the community.

March or April 2013: The AYP Committee is expected to present options and recommendations to the Hawthorn Board of Education in an effort to bring our program and processes into compliance with all federal and state mandates.

Letter – February 26, 2013 – AYP and School Choice; Parent Meeting and Round Table Discussion: 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 5 at Middle South, English and Spanish

Brochure – February 27, 2013 – AYP and Its Impact on School Choice in Hawthorn District 73, which is also available in Spanish

Backpack Note – February/March 2013

Backpack Note – February 2013

Changes to ISAT

In light of new Common Core Standards, the performance levels of the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) have been changed. Please read more in the letter that is being sent home to parents on February 8th.

February 2013 Newsletter

Ground Hog Day

Happy Groundhog’s Day to all!  Here’s hoping that Punxsutawney Phil does not see his shadow so we can have an early spring. Ask your child about it on Feb 2nd.

On February 8th, we will be celebrating 100 fabulous days of school!  The school year is flying by and we are very busy learning!

February is filled with fun and excitement at HES!  We look forward to honoring Honest Abe Lincoln’s birthday and Valentine’s Day.  Please remember that we will be celebrating with parties and cards but the whole district will not be allowing candy attached to cards.  Pencils and other non-edible treats are aok!  Room parents will be the only ones allowed to bring food for the parties.  We look forward to a day full of LOVE and KINDNESS on 2/14.

On Monday, 2/18 there is no school for President’s Day and then on Tuesday, 2/19, we start the ever-famous CLIMBING UNIT in P.E.  Come volunteer to spot our children as they climb, ascend, and hang!

On Thursday – 2/28, and Friday 3/1, we will be holding parent teacher conferences.  Don’t forget to schedule a time with your child’s teacher to learn all about your child’s academic growth. There is no school on Friday due to conferences.

And that’s not all – the book fair begins on 2/19-2/22 culminating with a FABULOUS FAMILY FUN NIGHT!  Join us on 2/22 for the THE ROPE WARRIOR, David Fisher, who will amaze us with his tricks and jump roping! On Feb 21st, we will also have a GRAND EVENT where grandparents can bring their grandchildren to the book fair and spoil them with the gift of books!  See more information from our PTO.

Thank you again for your continued support.  As always, if you have any questions or input, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me.  I can be reached at martinj@hawthorn73.org or (847) 990-4800.

Stay warm.  Wishing you all the best,

Jill Martin


Upcoming Events:

2/1: In honor of the Super Bowl – It’s JERSEY DAY!

2/4: Incoming Kdg Tours – 8:00am, 6:30pm

2/8:  PTO Boys Night Out at Middle North at 6:30pm


2/11: Jump Rope for HEART in PE

2/14: Valentine Day Parties AM Kdg 10:15am, PM Kdg, full day and grades 1-5 1:30-2:30pm

2/15: Hawthorn Spirit Day – Wear your BLUE AND GOLD

2/15: ICE CREAM DAY – bring $1.00 

2/18: NO SCHOOL – President’s Day

2/19 – 2/22: Book Fair

2/19 – 2/28: Climbing Unit in PE

2/21: Principal Pride/Soaring Eagle Luncheon

2/21: Grand Event at the book fair from 3:00-5:00

2/22: Birthday Bash – February Birthdays 

2/22: Family Fun Night and Book Fair –6:30-8:00pm

2/28: End of Trimester 2

2/28: Parent Teacher Conferences pm

3/1: NO SCHOOL for students – Parent Teacher Conferences


This letter, from Superintendent Nick Brown, is being sent home with students today.

October Newsletter

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chill is in the air, the pumpkins are in the patch, and it is evident that FALL is here. We have had an exciting start to school as we have worked hard to build our new classroom communities. We have welcomed over 175 new students to Elementary South this year. Although there are many changes, one thing remains constant… Learning for all, working together to do whatever it takes! The classrooms and curriculum are in full swing and it is exciting to see learning in full bloom in the building.

We started our new Bernstein Unit with an introduction to Wassily Kandinsky and his famous abstract compositions. This year’s unit has a focus on DISCOVERY starting with a discovery of what the artist was getting at through his abstract art. We will discover all facets of the curriculum this year and will become scientists as we use our new greenhouses in the “Discovery Center”. First up, third grade will be growing PRAIRIE PLANTS to go along with their unit on the Prairie. As far as character education goes, we always connect our Bernstein Unit and this year we will focus on bullying and the BYSTANDER role as we all DISCOVER what it feels like to “do the right thing” when you see something you know is wrong. We have already talked with all the students about discovering kindness as we kicked off the year with our rules reminder about RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY.

We are so excited to be taking part in a national movement entitled UNITY DAY on October 10th. The whole Hawthorn Elementary South Family will wear ORANGE and “UNITE” to put an end to bullying. We will join the National Bullying Prevention Center and be part of the movement to “MAKE IT ORANGE AND MAKE IT END!” What a wonderful opportunity for families to have a conversation about bullying! Join with us, talk to your children, wear orange and unite and be a champion against bullying!
On Friday night, we had so much fun at BINGO NIGHT. Thanks to our family alliance volunteers who planned a wonderful night of fun for our families. Pizza, Bingo, Prizes – what more could we ask for?

We have had an outpouring of parent support this year! Thank you to all the parents who attended “Back to School Nights”, PTO room parents, art adventure, etc. We appreciate your partnership and support at school. If you have any questions or input, please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me. I can be reached at martinj@hawthorn73.org or (847) 990-4800. Wishing you all a wonderful fall!

All the best,
Jill Martin and Christy Hunter

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Happy Halloween

Halloween will be celebrated at school on Oct 31st.

• If you do not celebrate, we have alternate activities planned in the art room which are NOT Halloween related. Let us know if you would like to do this.

• AM Kdg Parade – 10:15 Party following

• PM Kdg, full day Kdg and grades 1-5 parade – 1:15 Party following

• DO NOT SEND ANY CANDY OR GOODY BAGS! Room parents will provide appropriate treats!

• Grades 1-5 and full day KDG BRING costumes in a bag to change into after lunch.

• 1⁄2 Kdg ONLY wear your costumes to school

Enjoy the festivities!


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Halloween Reminder

When picking out this year’s costume, please remember that we are a school that promotes peace and kindness. Any kind of weapons will not be allowed on school grounds during our celebration. Also, please do not send any candy to school. Our room parents will take care of safe snacks for the parties.
More Halloween info to come! Happy hunting!

Halloween Hustle-Pumpkin Chase

This year we are so excited to promote FITNESS on Halloween! While we may be having yummy treats in the afternoon, in the morning each grade level will participate in a PUMPKIN CHASE. “YES”, they will chase a pumpkin around a course. Walking is an option if needed…

9:00-9:45: 4th and 5th grade run (1.5 miles) 9:45-10:15: Kdg and 1st grade run: (1⁄4 mile) PM KDG are welcome to come join them! 10:15-11:00: 2nd and 3rd grade run: (1 mile)

Contact the school office to volunteer at the fun run!