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Headlines for the week of March 15, 2021:

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PTO: Stuff to Do This Week!


As we prepare for the return to full-day learning and in-person music classes, please send your child’s music kit with them to school on Friday, March 19 (1st - 5th grade, full-day in-person students only). The music kits will be kept at school and will be used for in-person music classes.  Kindergarten and full remote students will continue to keep their kit at home.

For complete details (kit contents, replacement parts, etc.), please CLICK HERE.

Did you know that your gently worn sneakers could help Elm School PTO?

Can you collect a few pairs of sneakers to help us out?  A collection box is set up at Elm  - drop off in the office any time during school hours or send to school with your student(s). The more you send or drop off - the better!  

It’s hard to believe that an estimated 600 million pair of shoes go into America’s landfills every year! 100% of these shoes can be recycled and the majority of these shoes can still be reused. That’s why we have decided to start a sneaker drive fundraiser with GotSneakers. The sneakers that we collect through the GotSneakers program will help us raise much needed funds AND will keep sneakers out of landfills. Talk about a win-win!


The Principal's Page

Safety Reminders:

  • The car lines are for drop-off only. No parking or parents exiting cars in the car line. We need to keep this line of traffic moving.

  • Please do not pass cars in the car line unless directed by a staff member to do so.

  • Reversing in car lines is also not allowed. Please do not back-up for any reason. 

  • As you exit the primary car line, please note that left hand turns from the parking lot are prohibited.

  • Entry into the primary car line is on 60th Street, east-bound traffic. Cars cannot turn into the primary car line when heading west-bound on 60th Street.

  • No U-turns at the Elm entrance or anywhere on 60th Street in front of the school. 

  • All parents and students must use the crosswalk at all times. We cannot cross through lines of cars to get to vehicles parked on the street.

Bike Reminders:

Most years the PTO offers an in-person Bike Rodeo during the month of August to provide an opportunity for our third graders (and new 4th or 5th graders) to learn the rules of the road and get their bikes registered with the local police department. This year, we held a virtual Bike Rodeo for safety reasons. 

As the weather has been getting warmer, we do anticipate that many students will want to ride their bikes to school. As a reminder, only students in grades 3,4, and 5 are permitted to ride their bikes to school. Students in grades K-2 should not ride their bikes to school. 

Art Materials:

We’re so excited to create in-person with your children! With in-person learning approaching, please make sure to bring your art kit back to school for art class by Monday, April 5th! If you have misplaced or lost any item, and are able to replace it you can use this Amazon link or find it at any local store. 

Each kit contained:

  • 1 watercolor set

  • 1 oil pastel set in a ziploc sandwich size bag

  • 1 black fine point Sharpie

  • 1- 20 page Stapled Sketchbook Packet (This is a packet of blank copy paper stapled together like a book...a sketchbook)

  • 1 ruler (4th & 5th Art Kit Only)

  • 1 large plastic bag or envelope to hold all the supplies


Surveillance Testing:

Please use the link below if you wish to sign your child up for voluntary COVID-19 surveillance testing. Testing is available to all D181 in-person students but is not required; however, the more individuals who participate, the more effective it is as a preventative measure. 

Detailed information on surveillance testing was shared in the Weekly Update on Friday, March 5, in the Information Booklet, which can be accessed here:

Please note the following new information on the distribution of Testing Kits & Testing Dates:

  • Both Elementary and Middle School Students who sign up will receive 6 weeks’ worth of testing kits at school on Thursday, March 18.

  • Elementary School Students will be asked to bring their first sample to school on Friday, March 19, and every Friday following until the end of the school year. Special arrangements will be made for spring break and non-student attendance days that fall on Fridays.

  • Middle School Students will be asked to bring their first sample to school on Monday, March 22, and every Monday following until the end of the school year. Special arrangements will be made for spring break and non-student attendance days that fall on Mondays.

  • Students Starting In-Person April 5: For students who are starting in-person April 5, your school will have your testing kits ready for pickup prior to April 5 on the dates indicated above or your student can pick the envelope up when they return to in-person school on April 5.

  • Families will have a second opportunity to sign up their students for testing the first week of April. We will share a reminder and details prior to that date. 

To complete the form, please sign in to your Skyward account and click on the “Forms” tab. The form is listed as “Surveillance Testing Sign-Up” under each child’s name. Please complete a form for each student in your family that you wish to participate. You do not need to complete a form if you do not wish for your child to participate.

Please Click Here to Login to Skyward and Sign Up

The deadline to complete this sign-up form is by 11:59 p.m. Sunday, March 14

Elm School Climate Survey Opens Monday:

We're excited to share that our 2020-21 climate survey will be open to all parents starting Monday, March 15. On March 15, you'll receive an email from the District with a link to the survey and reminders to complete it until the survey closes on Friday, March 26. The annual climate survey is not only a requirement for all school districts in the state, it's an opportunity for you to share how we're performing as a school with audiences near and far.

  • Remote Learning Question Changes: You'll see that some of the questions in this year's survey have been altered to capture school climate within our Remote Learning environments. We determined this was an important addition to the survey since all of our students were remote at the end of the 2019-20 school year and all of our students experienced some remote learning in the 2020-21 school year.

  • How are results shared? Results of the survey are published in the state report card and often reported on by local media. Internally, we will post the results on the D181 website and share a report with the Board of Education and our school community.

  • Who takes the survey? All D181 families (K-8), all D181 staff (K-8) and D181 students (4-8) take the survey. If you would like to view a sample student survey or request that your student opts-out of the survey, please let me know.

  • Are my results anonymous? Yes, all of your responses are completely anonymous. No one from the school will ever see your answers, and no identifying information (such as name, child’s name or survey ID) will be recorded.

  • Why should I take the survey? Participation from all of our families is crucial to ensure that we get a valuable snapshot of D181's school climate. Our parent participation goal is at least 40%. Please complete the survey for your student's school when you receive your email on Monday, March 15!

Thank you in advance for sharing your input about our school! The survey will be sent by email on March 15.



4th graders across the District are immersed in opera! During the month of March, they will learn about the genre of opera, including voice types, scripts, choirs, sets, props, and costumes. To create an authentic learning experience, students have the opportunity to be a part of an opera themselves - Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel, adapted by Opera for the Young. Opera for the Young produced a virtual opera experience this year to fit with our students’ remote learning. During their music lessons, students will learn 6 short songs that are part of the opera. Then, for hybrid learners, on March 18, 22, and 24, students will watch the final performance of Opera for the Young’s Hansel and Gretel and perform along from home during their normal music time. For full remote learners, the production will be shown on March 18, 23, and 26 during their normal music time. 

Students have the opportunity to create their own costumes for their performance. This is optional, but they are a lot of fun to make, and they can be created out of items you may already have at home. There are three costume possibilities (students can create one or all three if they’d like to have costume changes during the show!). Below are links to information and tutorial videos about how to create each type of costume. Make sure to have costumes complete by March 18.





If you have any questions, please contact Erin Kozakis at


Sara Olson
Elm School Principal 

March 14 - Last Day to sign up for Surveillance Testing
March 18 - Surveillance Testing Kits Distributed
March 19 - Return Music Kits to School

 Save the Dates!

March 26 - Elm School Climate Survey Ends today
March 26 - Last day for Cover Art Submissions (see Flyer below)
March 29 through April 2, NO SCHOOL, Spring Break 


Elm School and District News

Elm Minecraft Hour of Code: 
Want to learn how to code? Take a journey through Minecraft with code.

Hosted by Jennifer Susina with the Hinsdale Library via Zoom.  Sign up your 2nd - 5th grade student(s) for a Virtual Minecraft Hour of Code for Elm Students on the following dates: March 23, April 8th or April 22. 

Each session is the same and will be from 5-6 pm, so only sign up for one (1).  Zoom link will be sent to the registered participants. This is first come-first served and you must register on the Sign Up Genius HERE! 

Check out this informational video

Do you want to re-watch the YUCK Show and/or do more experiments?  Watch it HERE!  And check out the flyer below with details on what to see and at what time in the video if you want to pick and choose or jump around.


Volunteer Opportunities

None at this time.

Sign-Ups for Activities

Girls Softball:  Interested in your daughter playing softball this Spring? Clarendon Hills has a program open to girls in D181 (this is not a PTO sponsored activity) and they are keeping registration open until March 19. Questions about the program? Contact Elm School parent, Steve Contreras (see his number and more info on the flyer below). Register at

Virtual Chess Club:  Check Out the flyer below for Virtual Chess Club
PTO Website
PTO Website
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