North Notes: December 13, 2021

Important Dates

Monday, December 13

  • Theme Day: Mele Kalikimaka Monday (wear Hawaiian shirts)
  • MAP Testing | Make-ups

Tuesday, December 14

  • Theme Day: Candy Cane Tuesday (wear red, green or stripes)
  • MAP Testing | Make-ups
  • ISEL Testing
  • Board of Education Meeting @ Sycamore Middle School | 7:00 PM

Wednesday, December 15

  • Theme Day: Winter Wonderland (wear white)
  • MAP Testing | Make-ups
  • ISEL Testing 
  • Full Band Rehearsal | 3:30 PM In The Music Room
  • Jazz Strings Holiday String Performance in Hallways at Dismissal | 3:25 PM
  • Full Band Rehearsal | 3:30 PM

Thursday, December 16

  • Theme Day:Thawing Thursday (holiday sweaters, scarves, and socks)
  • Late Start | Doors Open at 9:15 AM, School Begins at 9:30 AM
  • MAP Testing | Make-ups
  • Choir Concert @ Sycamore High School Auditorium | 7:15 PM

Friday, December 17

  • Theme Day: Twas the Night Before Winter Break (wear PJ’s)
  • Early Dismissal | School Ends at 1:30 PM

Monday, December 20-Friday, December 31

  • Winter Break | No School, Offices Closed

Full Calendar

School Year Reminders

  • Morning drop-off on Monday-Wednesday and Friday is 8:30 AM.  Supervision is not available before that time. Please try to send your student to school between 8:30 - 8:45 AM.
  • Each Thursday our school will have a late start. School begins at 9:30 AM, with drop-off beginning at 9:15 AM. Please send your student to school between 9:15 AM - 9:30 AM, as there is not outside supervision before that time.
  • All students should bring a water bottle. Our drinking fountains are turned off, but our bottle fillers remain on.
  • All students should wear a clean, well-fitted mask that covers their nose, mouth and chin, snug around the cheeks with no gaps. All masks should be multiple layers made up of two or more washable, breathable fabric. Spare masks in a backpack or left at school are important as masks may tear, get wet, or need to be replaced throughout the day.
  • If your child is feeling sick or if you have a person exhibiting COVID symptoms in your home, please do not send your child to school.   Call us for details on your next steps. 
  • Students arriving or departing school on a bike should remember to get off and walk it once on school grounds. This helps keep our other friends and guests safe as they walk to school or wait for their students for the evening.

Market Day

Market Day is back!  We are so excited to be offering this service to our families again — with direct mail order service and profits for our school!  December specials can be found here. To register your own account click here for information. Our PTO appreciates the support.

Register for Market Day

View December Specials

Thank You, Mrs. Horan!

On behalf of North School and the Sycamore Community Schools, we would like to extend our gratitude, as Mrs. Horan bids us farewell Friday afternoon to begin her retirement. She has been a wonderful part of the lives of so many and will be deeply missed. We look forward to hearing about her camping adventures and seeing pictures of trips with her family. Our families, students, and staff wish you the best of luck on this next adventure. Wherever you are, we know you will always be a North Star! Shine Bright!

A Word From Mr. Lucca

Happy Holidays, families! Over the past few weeks we have been in our basketball unit where we have been learning the skills of dribbling, passing, and shooting. We have talked about each one of these skills in depth, along with different basketball violations. We will start our volleyball unit in the New Year. Some of the skills we will be working on include serving (underhand/overhand), setting, and bumping. 

I have been inquiring, as well as, trying to develop some sort of Fitness Club that students can do outside of school. I will be sending out more information in January that includes all the logistics. I am excited to be offering this opportunity and fitness incentive.

Vocabulary Words

Curl-up, push-up, sit and reach, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, heart rate, pulse, dribbling, passing, shooting, elbow

PE Character Word of the Month

Humble: having or showing modesty towards oneself.

A Word From Mrs. Mertens

Hello Music Families!  We spent November digging into some of our new skills in a variety of ways. Here is what each grade level worked on during the month of November and December.

Kindergarten: Kindergarteners have been singing, moving, and playing focusing on the concepts of fast vs. slow and loud vs. soft.  Songs and activities that focused on these concepts are some of our favorite game songs; “The Old Grey Cat,” and Grizzly Bear. They are continuing to  learn to play the classroom instruments properly and we have added guiro, egg shakers,  woodblock, sand blocks, and glockenspiel to our list of instruments.

First Grade: First Grade students are continuing to read quarter note, eighth notes, and our new note, quarter note rest.  If you need a moment of quiet during this busy time of year you can always assign your child to practice 100 quarter notes rest. Rhythm Village has had a growth spurt with all of the new houses to read. And the song “Bow Wow Wow” has had both a dance and xylophone accompaniment added to it. We have even tried our first rhythm improvisation.  

Second Grade: Second Grade students have been continuing to learn a variety of Locomotor and Non-Locomotor movements. They have also begun to review 1st grade pitch concepts to prepare for added Re and Do in the new year.  A highlight of this has been learning to play the melody for “Davy, Davy Dumpling”  on our Orff instruments. We have really enjoyed this challenge and hope to polish this and share it with you soon.

Third Grade: Third Grade has been working the pattern called “syncopation”. We have learned a few more songs that include this rhythm and are identifying it when introduced in a new piece of music.  We have also begun the process to sing songs that make harmony.  “Shake the Papaya Down” is a partner song and we have tried singing the 2-parts at the same time but it needs some more polish before we share it.  We have also started some folk dancing with “Alabama Gal.”

Fourth Grade: Fourth Grade students have continued to build skills on the recorder.  They have added the new note D to their skills. They will add B and G in the new year and will have songs they can practice at home.  We also have started to learn how to read and play sixteenth notes. We will be working on a number of songs that use them in the new year.

The 4th and 5th graders have also been learning the American classic “Fifty- Nifty United States.” This song is Lin-Maneul Miranda’s favorite song he learned in elementary school and I have enjoyed hearing stories about the parents who also have been singing that song at home.

Fifth Grade: Fifth Grade students have been continuing to review playing the recorder and can now practice extra songs at home and make videos of them to submit on SeeSaw to earn the colored bands that go on the bottom of their recorder.  We are now learning the rhythm patterns associated with the meter of 6/8. They are learning a 3-layered drum piece in that meter based off of the nursery rhyme “Jack Be Nimble”. We are reviewing the vocabulary associated with meter and learning to be independent players of the various ostinato parts. 

The 4th and 5th graders have also been learning the American classic “Fifty- Nifty United States.” This song is Lin-Maneul Miranda’s favorite song he learned in elementary school and I have enjoyed hearing stories about the parents who also have been singing that song at home.

Math Games

Games are a great way to promote learning while having fun and engaging the entire family. The Math Specialists suggest the followingboard games and Eureka card games as an excellent way to reinforce math skills from home. Through games you can connect family fun and learning. The Math Specialists look forward to sharing more ideas to promote ways and incorporate math at home. Enjoy!

View Board Games

View Eureka Card Games

Early Learning Resources

Check out this new early learning resource to support families: a series of short videos aligned with the Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS) measures, featuring real families sharing ways to support their 3-5 year olds as they develop social-emotional, math and literacy skills. These videos also align to Basics DeKalb County, our local birth-age 3 initiative.

View Video in English

Ver video en español

1st Place Spirit Wear Now Available

If you would like to purchase some North School spirit wear, check out our new online shop. With the ease of an online shop, we require no order deadlines and no minimums! All orders are shipped directly to home and proceeds of every sale come back to support our school.

Purchase Spirit Wear

Daily Self-Certification

Please call the school office if your student is feeling ill, and be prepared to answer a few questions that will help us quickly and efficiently evaluate your child so that we can provide you information based on the latest recommended guidelines. It is imperative that if your student is experiencing ANY of the following symptoms, your student should stay home from school and any extracurricular activities outside the home.

  • Temperature of 100.4 (or greater) degrees fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle and body aches;
  • Moderate to severe headache;
  • Sore throat;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea; or
  • Any other COVID-19 symptoms identified by the CDC or IDPH.

We know that things may look a little different this year and we are committed to keeping you informed on the changes that are taking place. Here is an overview of what your student can expect if they come to the Health Office with any of the symptoms listed above:

  • The student will be brought to the health office where the nurse or their designee will quickly evaluate the student’s condition. 
  • If it is determined that they are experiencing any COVID like symptoms the student will be escorted to a designated and supervised isolation area. 
  • The school Nurse will notify the parent/guardian and walk them through the process of what is required for the student to return to school. 
  • Sick students should be safely transported home by parent or guardian as soon as possible.
  • Siblings/household members of the symptomatic student may also be sent home.
  • Students will be expected to remain home from school and any extracurricular activities until cleared to return by the school nurse.

District Travel Guidelines

At this time, students will not need to be excluded after traveling (domestic or international). Individuals who have traveled should closely monitor symptoms for 14 days after arriving home. If symptoms develop, that individual should stay home and notify their school. It is recommended that those who travel internationally should test 3-5 days after returning.   


The Final Say — A Word From Mr. Franks

As we prepare for this last week before break, many are hustling and bustling preparing for the weeks ahead. Looking for a few gift ideas, especially ones that don’t cost a lot of money? This holiday season give your child and family the gift of time. Have an at home movie night. Take a nature walk at a local preserve. Visit the local library. Enjoy a meal together as a family. Try a family game night and play a favorite board game. 

The most important things in life are family and friends; this holiday season make an effort to spend quality time with both. As parents, you are extremely important to your children. Invest in yourself and your time with them. Remember, bigger is not necessarily better. The time you spend with them does not have to be at a theme park or fancy resort! Reading a book, playing catch, making a model, decorating cookies, or telling stories together are just as impactful.  This is the time to provide your child with the memories he/she will never forget. The holiday season is all about giving, and the quality time you spend together can be better than anything wrapped up in a bow under the tree! 

Please remember that students should continue to read, write and practice their math facts over winter vacation! Reading and writing can be about topics they enjoy and share with parents and siblings alike.

Thank you for all you do to support our staff, your children, and the community of Sycamore. From our North family to yours, have a tremendous holiday season.

Take care, stay well, and shine bright!

Mr. Franks