Clarendon Hills Middle School

Eagle E-News

Weekly Update

Just a heads up....

From Principal Griffin Sonntag and Assistanat Principal Joni Sherman:

We had a spirited week at CHMS this week, as students showed their school spirit each day.  It was great to see so many students and staff members participating!  We all enjoyed the student vs. staff basketball game on Thursday as well.  Go Eagles!
District Calendar Changes
Hopefully you’ve already marked your calendar to note that we will have school on Tuesday, February 18.  This day was originally scheduled to be a teacher institute day.  The institute day will be made up in June.  At this point, we know that it is very likely that school will be in session on Monday, May 16th and Monday, June 2nd.  We also know that it is very likely that students will have half-day attendance on Thursday June 5 and Friday, June 6.  It is also possible that 8th Grade Graduation could be moved to June 5.  We are working very hard to finalize the graduation date and will send out an email once it is decided.
Registration Packets / MAP Reports
Registration packets for current 6th and 7th grade students came home on Friday.  Winter MAP scores were included in the packet, so please look for this if you haven’t already done so.  MAP scores were sent home separately for 8th grade students on Friday.
We have ISAT testing coming up during the week of March 3rd.  Testing will run from Tuesday, March 4th to Friday, March 8th.  Students will take two tests each morning with an shortened schedule for the remainder of the day. Please make every effort to have your child at school on time each morning unless he/she is ill.  Students who need to miss testing will be pulled from encore classes during the second week of March for make-up testing.
SELAS Week was originally scheduled for the end of January.  Due to the split schedule with HMS, we postponed SELAS week until the week of March 17th.  The week will conclude with a service-learning project that students will do at school in advisories.


School and PTO Registration for 2014/2015 School Year
Registration packets were sent home with your child last Friday and are due back no later than February 28th.  Proof of residency will be completed through last years tax bill and current utility bills.   The PTO materials/signup were also included.


PTO Executive Board Nominees needed for 2014/2015 School Year
In addition to committee chairs and volunteers, the PTO is looking for volunteers interested in participating on the Executive Board for the 2014/2015 School Year.  The general duties of each officer are listed on the attachment.  Interested individuals should be consensus minded and flexible with the time that they are willing to dedicate to the School/PTO.  If you are interested in a position, please email Susan Charlier ( or Iria Irlanda Jennings (, Co-Presidents for the 2014/2015 school year.  All interested parties will be evaluated by a Nominating Committee and a final slate will be proposed at the April 16, 2014 PTO meeting.  Thank you for your interest!


Last Chance to Join the Fun - CHMS Night at the Bulls Game
This Friday, February 21st the CHMS boys and girls 8th grade basketball teams have been given an exciting opportunity to play on the United Center Court just before the Bulls take on the Denver Nuggets at 7 pm.  Join the fun by purchasing your ticket through school for $60.  If you are interested please complete the form on the PTO website ( under the school news section and submit with your check to Mary Marsilio in the office asap.  Questions can be directed to Griffin Sonntag at 630-861-4804.


Final MANNA Gift Card Order Turn In Date this Friday, February 21st
Don’t miss the last chance to earn money toward your 8th graders Washington DC trip.  If you eat food, drive a car that uses gas or shop at any one of hundreds of local retailers you can earn money that will go directly toward your child’s trip.  So far more than 30 students have participated earning over $3,000 toward their trips!!!  Card pickup date is Wed., March 5th.  Contact Suzanne Austin, with any questions.  It’s not too late to save some $$$ on their spring trip.


Feb PTO Meeting Follow-Up
If you missed last week's PTO meeting, at the bottom of tis newsletter are Teen Parenting Tips and book suggestions from our featured speaker, Linda Renzi, a licensed, clinical social worker.  Linda facilitates monthly discussion groups on parenting during the teen years.  Several parents mentioned interest in starting a monthly discussion group.  If you are interested please email Kim Anderson at and we will try and arrange a CHMS group.


Eagle Cafe Quarterly Lunches Starting Soon
The Eagle Cafe will offer fun, quarterly lunches for students and staff from local restaurants such as Jimmy Johns and Home Run Inn.  The 3rd quarter lunch will be held on Friday, February 28th and 4th quarter lunch will be on Friday, May 23rd.  Order forms will be sent home this week with your child, as well as be available on the PTO Website.  Orders for both lunches are due Monday, February 24th.  Quest Food Service will still be in operation that day.  Questions can be directed to Tanya Andoniadis at


Gym Floor Fundraising Reminder
If you did not receive the letter from Griffin Sonntag about the exciting progress we are making with the Gym Floor Fundraiser, please look for it on the website under School News.  Don’t miss out on a chance to include your family’s name as a lasting legacy in the CHMS Gym.  If we are going to meet our goal of installing this summer we need your donation now.  Go to and click on the Paypal button to make your donation.  Thanks!


Heroin Community Speaker Event
 For those that missed the drug talk at the October PTO meeting, our speaker Bob Berlin, DuPage County Deputy States Attorney, has made us aware of another great opportunity to educate yourself about what’s going on with the massive heroin epidemic.  Former NBA player Chris Herren will be speaking on Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00 pm at Glenbard North High School.  The event is open to the public and sounds like it will be an amazing night.   See the flyer at for details.

 Operation Snowflake 
Reminder that registration for the Operation Snowflake event is due by Friday, February 28th.   The event is at Hinsdale Central High School on Friday, March 14th from 3-8 pm.  See the PTO website for additional details.


SAVE THE DATE for CHMS Pizza Wars and Open Mic Night!!
 CHMS will be hosting the first ever Pizza Wars/Open Mic night on Friday, May 2nd from 6-9 pm.  Find out which local pizzeria has the best pizza while you enjoy some of CHMS’ local talent.  It’s a family event and we look forward to including our feeder school families too.  Details to follow, but mark the calendar that dinner that night is covered! 


Teen Parenting Tips, from PTO Meeting Speaker Linda Renzi, MA, LCPC

  1. “Your role is to prepare your child for their path NOT prepare the path for your child”
    • When you find yourself smoothing the way for your teen, remember this is NOT your job. Lawnmower parents do not prepare their teens.
    • Your role is to equip your teen.
    • Look for opportunities to allow them to practice becoming independent. Rather than rescue them from challenges so their life is easier, allow them to respond to challenges so they will have direct experience knowing they can handle life
    • Middle school is a great time to practice this. Allow your teen to manage their homework, time, and emotions in order to develop their own strengths. Allowing them to struggle and even fail now will help prepare them for bigger challenges down the road.
  2. “Genuine security comes from having direct experience taking care of oneself and creating one’s own happiness”
    • Look for opportunities to allow your teen to develop their sense of security.
    • When we do too much for our teens, they miss the opportunity to truly know they can take care of themselves
    • When we hover or coddle or try to fix problems for them we communicate to our teens that they need us and that we believe they are not able to handle life on their own. We create anxious and insecure teenagers.
    • Instead communicate confidence - “You’ve got this!”
  3. “Say less, listen more”
    • Most of the time our teens know where we stand. They have learned the family values by now. Lecturing is not helpful. They hear “blah, blah, blah……”
    • Part of their growth is to explore their own values and discover their own voice. They have heard your voice their whole life. This is their time to discover their own.
    • When teen rudeness shows up saying less and walking away is often the most helpful.
  4. Be curious
    • Bringing genuine curiosity to your teens experience helps them to remember to check in with themselves and learn more about who they are and what their experience is.
    • We gain insight and understanding about what might be helpful if we can be curious with our teen
    • Ask them “how can I be helpful” rather than jumping in and offering our own solutions. Bring them into the process.
  5. Be Calm
    • Don’t just do something, stand there!
    • < >< >Take a breath
    • Observe your experience and the situation
    • < >Resist the urge to join in on the roller coaster of teen hormones and emotions. Instead become the voice of calm confidence.
  6. Build connections
    • Take time to pause and tune into your teen’s signals and decide how to help meet their needs. Example – the dreaded after school question – How was your day? This is meeting the parents need to know not the teens need to be after a long day at school.
    • Show respect to your teen by not trying to control their thoughts or feelings. Wise parents accept that kids have negative emotions and don’t try to fix or change them.
    • Have fun together!
  7. Adjust your expectations
    • Remember your teen is doing the best they can given their age and stage.
    • The teen brain is under construction. Emotional regulation is a work in progress. Their brains are not fully developed until their mid twenties. If you expect them to behave like adults, you will set yourself up for disappointment and your teen up for failure.
    • Consider your teen’s temperament as you formulate expectations.
  8. Remember who they are
    • Remember who they are underneath all the “teen stuff” that shows up.
    • Offer a reminder to them of whom they are when they forget.
    • They need you to love them for who they actually are not who you might want them to be.
    • Remember who they were and what you loved about them when they were little. Those lovable qualities will show up again, they have just gone underground for a while.
  9. Be aware of the fears that hijack our best parenting instincts
    • Often we are not aware that it is fear that is motivating some of our parenting choices.
    • Meet fear with facts.
    • We sometimes use our fear and worry to justify our hovering. This is just a story we are telling ourselves.
    • You are teaching your kids how to value themselves by modeling taking care of yourself.
    • By giving yourself more of what you need you give yourself the best chance to be your best self more of the time.
    • You are teaching your kids how to treat you.


Teen Parenting Resources
 "The Blessings of a B Minus” by Wendy Mogel
"The Available Parent” by John Duffy
 "Wise Minded Parenting” by Laura S. Kastner
 "Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain” by Daniel Siegel
 "The Whole-Brain Child” by Daniel Siegel
 "Building Resilience in Children and Teens” by Kenneth Ginsburg



CHMS Upcoming Events

Stem Open House at NIU
Feb. 17th

D181 Dept. of Learning-Interpreting MAP Results
Feb. 20th, 6:30-8;30, Elm School

CHMS 8th Grade Basketball at United Center
Friday, Feb. 21st

Dr. Tanya Moon-Follow-up on Learning for All Plan, D181 Board Meeting
Monday, Feb. 24th, 7pm. Elm School

5th Grade Parent Night
Wednesday, April 30th

Eco-Club Recycling Fair
Saturday, May 3rd


Eagle's Nest School Store

The New CHMS Eagle’s Nest School Store opened in December and was such a hit, we’re adding another day! Starting in February, the Eagle’s Nest will be open Wednesdays and Fridays during lunch. The Nest sells spirit wear, school supplies and snacks. This is one of the few ways to volunteer at CHMS and interact with the kids! Thank you so much for your help and support!

To sign up, go to:

(Please see Eagle’s Nest tab to view images and prices of spirit wear.)

Store hours: 11:00-1:15

Any questions please contact Susan Charlier at

Next PTO General Meeting

Wednesday, March 12th – Internet Safety – Jeff Bean of Act on Bullying(Speaker fee generously paid for by Clarendon Hills Police Dept.)


Dr. Renee Schuster - Resigns

Dear District 181 Families,

My last day as Superintendent of District 181 will be June 30, 2014. Deciding whether to leave District 181 at the end of this school year has been heavy on my heart, but I have family needs to address that require my time and care.
We have wonderful students, staff, and families and a supportive community that values education and our neighborhood schools. Through our collective efforts, our students are growing in excellence, becoming responsible contributing citizens, and developing their talents and interests.
We still have much to do this school year, and I look forward to continuing the work of leading our great school district through June 30. The Board will begin the process for filling the Superintendent position. Please stay tuned for opportunities to contribute to that process.
Dr. Renée Schuster
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