District 31 Notes for June 8
Updated: July 2, 2012 4:14PM
Field’s GPS for
As the school year comes to a close, Field Middle School students and staff have been highlighting the successful first year of its “GPS for Success” program with special assemblies, classroom discussions and student challenges.
“The staff at Field is committed to equipping each student with their own GPS — the ‘GPS for Success’ that is — that focuses on how each student can demonstrate growth, pride and service at Field,” said Erin Murphy, Field principal, explaining that the program was developed as part of Field’s Safe and Civil School initiative. “In addition to academics throughout the year, staff and students have been spending time looking at how growth, pride and service can be applied in the lives of our students. Our goal has been to have each student develop his or her own GPS for Success. Since mid-May, special year-end activities have given us an opportunity to reflect on all that’s been learned throughout the year.”
During the week of May 14, the focus was on Growth — Responsibility and Decision Making. A special assembly featured the return of Field alumni from the Class of 2011 including Rachel Spector, Nishanth Askokan and Georgia Kotsinis who provided advice to help current students be aware of what they can do now and traits they can develop to successfully prepare for high school. Following the assembly, students received a challenge assignment to fill out a Field paw print form with advice for other middle school students. These forms are posted outside the school office.
During the week of May 21, the focus was on Pride — Respect for Yourself and Others. Parents Susan Harrison and Phil Hollenberg spoke about the pride they felt for District 31 and their community that moved them to get involved in spearheading the citizen effort to pass the referendum in District 31. Following the assembly, students were challenged to honor someone who made a difference by filling out the Field paw print form. For each Field paw print form turned in, students received a flag to place in front of the school to represent the honoree. The smaller flags represented civilians and the larger flags represented veterans. The five full size standing flags representing each branch of the military were placed as a Memorial Day tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the service of our country.
During the week of May 28, the focus was on Service Learning. At a special assembly, representatives of each grade highlighted the major service learning efforts of each grade including the 6th grade’s recycling and 5K programs, the 7th grade’s senior intergenerational programs and the 8th grade’s global projects such as their involvement in the “Feed My Starving Children” food packaging effort. Following the assembly, the student challenge was to fill out a Field paw print form honoring an individual for their service. These forms are posted in the hallways.
As a culminating project, each advisory created a design on a ceiling tile depicting what GPS for Success means for their class. These decorative ceiling tiles will be installed in Field’s hallways to continue to inspire Field students in the coming school years.
“All of these activities have been a great way to end the school year,” commented Ms. Murphy. “Special recognition goes to our creative staff members who coordinated the ‘GPS for Success’ program through their work on the BIF (Behavior Improvement at Field) Committee including Gina Clinton, Sandi Newman, Mary Beth Hulting, Mike Wasielewski, Mike Sackley and Case Carvell.”
Winkelman fourth graders in Jan Bergman’s music classes enjoyed a great introduction to band at the end of the school year when Mike Miller, District 31’s band conductor and instrumental music teacher, visited their classes bringing a “p-bone” (plastic trombone) for each student to practice playing.
“New plastic trombones have recently been developed and the music company our district works with lent us a set of these for free to use as a recruitment tool,” Miller explained. “Each student in a class had a plastic, full-size trombone to play that is light and easy to hold, but makes the same sounds as a real trombone. In a brief lesson, the fourth graders were taught to play a short song on the trombone as a way to generate interest in starting real trombones for the 5th grade band next year,” he said. “It was fun to see the kids’ enthusiasm about playing a musical instrument,” added Miller. “I heard many comment, ‘Wow, I want to play trombone.’”
“This was a wonderful hands-on experience for our students,” commented Bergman. “The p-bones were a hit for all fourth graders!”
Volunteers needed to help plan
The District 31 Education Foundation is seeking a group of volunteers to help during the summer with the planning of its upcoming 5K Family Fun Run/Walk at Techny Prairie Park and Field in Northbrook on Sept. 30. For more information, email Lisa Oblonsky at email@example.com or Debbie Silver at firstname.lastname@example.org.