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Principal's Newsletter

  • May 2016

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 5/9/2016

     

     Dear Beebe Parents/Guardians,

     

    Proud. It’s the best word I can think of to describe my feelings as the school year heads into May: my last month of the school year as Beebe’s Principal. I am proud to have spent eight years of my career serving, first, as assistant principal and then the past five years as principal. It’s a great school community because the people make it so.

     

    I am proud of the teachers, assistants, specialists, and staff that number almost one hundred at Beebe. They spend countless hours each week preparing for each and every student as if they are our own children. The effort and care they take to make each day special for students is incredible. I have had a front row seat watching their amazing talents these past five years and I know they’ll continue on to greatness as the cohesive team they already are.

     

    I am proud of our parents and guardians who do all they can to partner with us to support students. It comes in the form of homework help, volunteering in the LRC, making dinner for staff during Parent/Teacher Conferences, or any number of ways that make a difference. The support our staff receives by our Home & School and parents as a whole is simply incredible. I see the impact it makes each and every day. This, too, will carry on as part of the fabric that makes Beebe the school it is.

     

    I am proud of our students who learn each day. The smiles on their faces to start the day have warmed my heart and then help me feel a sense of accomplishment as they leave with an even bigger smile at the day’s end. They’ve been my motivation each morning I’ve walked through the front doors. It is for them we’ve increased volunteerism through programs like Watch D.O.G.S. It is for them we’ve added after-school activities such as Math Club and Chess Club. And it is for them that we’ve designed our School Improvement Plan to focus on meeting the needs of each and every student. I’m confident these efforts will continue and students will benefit more and more.

     

    I am proud of all I’ve learned as Beebe’s Principal. Teachers and staff have taught me the importance of team. A leader is only as good as the people willing to be led. They are the heart and soul of Beebe. I’ve also learned an important lesson from our parents and guardians. Together, they have shown me how a caring community can make a good school great. And our students have taught me something every day. I’ve learned how selfless work as an educator is always paid back exponentially through smiles, hugs, and new learning.

     

    The last day of the school year is always bittersweet for me. This year will be even more so. However, I will always cherish my time at Beebe and am proud of what we’ve accomplished together these past five years. I wish you and your family a safe, enjoyable summer.

     

    All for learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • April 2016

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 4/11/2016

     

    Principal News

     

    Dear Beebe Parent/Guardian,

     

    Each school year, at about this time, I write to invite you to provide input on your student’s class assignment for the following year. While we stay focused on the current school year we must also begin making plans for next school year.  This includes ordering materials, prioritizing summer improvements to our facility, hiring staff as needed and much, much more. This is also the time of the year (April and May) that our teachers begin the process of class groupings for next year. Here is a quick snapshot of our process from start to finish:

     

    • Teachers work as a grade-level team to group students by considering academics (reading/writing level, math level) and peer relationships
    • Recommended class groups are sent to me. Grade-level teams DO NOT recommend a teacher for any students (i.e. 2nd Grade does not recommend the 3rd Grade teacher for a student or group of students)
    • These recommended groups are reviewed and changes are made based on additional information I may have from previous school years and/or parent input. Mrs. O’Neil and I work together to review class lists several times before they are finalized in mid-August.

     

    As mentioned above, parent input is considered when determining classroom placements each school year. Each year, we receive approximately twenty letters per grade level. The letters are read carefully and taken into consideration as class assignments are determined. If you are interested in providing input for your student’s classroom placement next school year, please do so in writing by following these steps:

     

    • Include your student’s full name and grade-level for 2016-2017
    • Describe your perspective on your student’s learning style (how they learn best)
    • Describe teacher characteristics that are best for your student (teaching style)
    • Do not mention a specific teacher (your input will not be considered if a specific teacher is requested)
    • Include any other information that you want considered in the decision about classroom placement
    • Include your signature as parent/guardian

     

    You can email me your input at cfreundt@naperville203.org (please put “Classroom Placement Input” in your subject line) or drop off your written input to the main office by sealing your letter in an envelope marked “Classroom Placement Input” to my attention. Written input on classroom placement for 2016-2017 must be received no later than Friday, May 13, 2016.

     

    While I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity it is completely optional. For those parents with dual-language students I realize that input on classroom placement is somewhat fruitless. Instead, I encourage you to provide me with written feedback about your student’s experience this school year. It helps as we continue to make adjustments to the program.

     

    Yours truly,

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • March 2016

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 3/10/2016

    Principal News

     

     

     

    Beebe Families,

     

    On Tuesday, February 16th I was honored to be named Beebe's principal for the 2016-2017 school year.  Although many of you know me based upon my last five years of working closely with Mr. Freundt, I thought I would take some time to share a little bit more about my professional journey to this principalship.  I am a proud product of District 203, having been a student in the District from fourth grade through high school.  Following graduation, I attended Butler University in pursuit of a degree in teaching.  I also learned a great deal while away as a Division 1 athlete.  By 1996 I had earned a double major, double minor, as well as earning Division I All-America Honors for soccer. Having first-hand understanding of the excellence District 203 offers its students, returning to Naperville was an ideal option for me after graduation.  I have now spent more than 20 years with the District.  I have taught students from Kindergarten through fourth grade.  Early in my teaching career, I was encouraged by my building's principal to pursue a degree in administration.  I felt greatly inspired that he would encourage such a pursuit, and could see in my work, the essential attributes needed to be a building administrator.  While continuing to teach primary grades, I began studies in Administration at North Central College.  Shortly after earning my Master’s Degree, I moved from the classroom into administration.  During my tenure as an administrator I have served three different elementary buildings before making my way to Beebe. 

     

    One aspect of my career that I enjoy in particular would be the time I spend in the classroom actively supporting staff and speaking with students about their learning experience.  I have had the benefit of experience in a variety of professional capacities and as a parent to two elementary aged children.  Equipped with these perspectives I feel that I have a strong understanding of the developmental stages of elementary aged students, and can effectively work with students  to problem solve and work toward their full potential.  It is essential to a successful learning environment that students feel connected to and supported by staff, comfortable taking risks, and open to learning and growing.  It is this type of environment I strive to model for staff on a daily basis.  I truly believe that my passion and student-first philosophy will provide an educational experience where each learner will flourish.  I hope that each and every one of you will be proud to be associated with Beebe Elementary.

    Although my role will not officially change until July 1st, it is extremely important for Mr. Freundt and me to slowly begin a transition process in order to ensure that the quality of education your student has been receiving persists.  Please know that I take pride in building solid working relationships and believe that is the foundation that must be laid before any significant progress can take place.  If there is anything I can ever do for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. 

     

    All the best!

    Christine O’Neil

    coneil@naperville203.org

    Comments (-1)
  • February 2016

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 2/8/2016

    When I was growing up, summertime was a fairly unstructured period of time that consisted of riding bikes, playing ball in the park, and countless visits to the local ice cream shop (which had a great pinball machine that easily ate through my weekly allowance). Once a week, my mom would take us to the local library where my sisters and I checked out armfuls of books to enjoy each night once darkness scooted us indoors for the night. Times have changed since those days and there are so many options that compete for our time-whether we are adults or kids!

     

    Having time for kids to be kids is REALLY important. I know this may seem a little early to think about, but as you plan ahead to the coming summer be sure you allow for your student to enjoy time without schedule. Let them play with friends, go to the park, play ball in the backyard, or whatever it is that lets them be a kid. This used to be something that was the norm. However, now days you have to plan ahead to make sure it happens (seems kind of silly to plan for unplanned time, huh?). Yet, I know many parents also realize the negative impact that summer can have if their children don’t maintain some time to read, practice math, etc. While I encourage you to still find the right balance for your child and family, I also want you to know about summer school opportunities offered in District 203.

     

    If you haven’t noticed, summer school has changed vastly in the past few years. Summer school is no longer for “students who are behind”. In fact, there are some great options to engage your student in new learning. Interested to know more? Go to http://www.naperville203.org/summerschool and notice that classes will be held at Beebe this summer! Registration opened January 11th.

     

    Want some teacher input on summer learning, be sure to attend Parent/Teacher Conferences on Thursday, February 25th or Friday, February 26th. This will be an opportunity to discuss your student’s learning progress through two-thirds of the school year, set goals for the final three months of the year and possibly consider summer learning opportunities. Please be sure to watch for the Talk203 emails that come from district office and from Beebe for dates and directions about online signup for these conferences.

     

    As always, stay connected by liking Beebe Elementary and Beebe Home & School on Facebook, following me on Twitter @beebeprincipal, and checking our school website periodically at www.naperville203.org/beebe.

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt

    Principal

    Comments (-1)
  • December 2015

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 12/18/2015

    Dear Bobcat Parents/Guardians,

     

    As I am writing this article for the Bugle, it is sixty degrees and sunny! Unfortunately, I’m reminded of the saying, “All good things must come to an end!” While I’m hoping that quote just won’t apply this year, it is more likely that by the time you are reading this in December our warmer temperatures will be a distant memory. So, with mixed emotions (Do we really need to talk about winter???) I feel the need to alert you of our school closing procedures should there be an extremely cold day or a significant snow event that requires us to close school for safety reasons.

     

    The decision to close school is a significant one and is made by our Superintendent, Mr. Bridges, in collaboration with his administrative cabinet. Yes, the rumor that Mr. Freundt makes this decision is just that…a rumor! Mr. Bridges must take into account the current weather, the forecasted weather, road conditions, wind chill, etc. There are actually three options within the plan when considering the closing of school:

     

    Option #1-School Remains Open

    Keeping school open, despite inclement weather early in the morning, is what we typically do. This would be based on a forecast that shows improving weather as the day goes on as well as relatively safe road conditions at school arrival times.

    Option #2-School is Closed

    This would be based on unsafe weather and road conditions. When school is closed, a school day is added to the end of the school year to make this day up. A maximum of five “Emergency Days” are listed on the District’s 2015-2016 Calendar which currently shows May 25th as the last day of school but June 2nd as the latest possible last day of school if school is closed that many times. For this reason, we strongly encourage families to avoid planning vacations until after June 2nd due to the tentative nature of the schedule.

     

    Option #3-School is Open with a “Late Start Schedule”

    This option would be used if unsafe weather and road conditions existed early in the morning but conditions were expected to be much approved by 8:00am or so.  At the elementary level, school would begin two hours later than normal (10:15am) with a 10:00am drop-off time. Therefore, bus routes would also run two hours later than normal in the morning. Dismissal, at the end of the school day, would remain at 2:30pm.

     

    The best way parents can stay informed of school closings is by ensuring your contact information is accurate in Infinite Campus. This will allow you to receive emails and phone calls with Beebe and District 203 news and updates throughout the school year. Please contact our school office (630-420-6332) if you are unsure how to check your current contact information. Should schools be closed, this information will also appear on the district website www.naperville203.org by 5:45am. The district office also notifies the Emergency Closing Center which broadcasts on many of the local television and radio newscasts.

     

    As always, you can also stay updated by liking Beebe Elementary on Facebook and following me on Twitter @beebeprincipal.

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

     

    Comments (-1)
  • November 2015

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 11/2/2015

     

    Principal News

     


    Bobcat Parents & Guardians,

     

    As we head into the cold weather months (I hate to even recognize it’s here), I’d like to use this Bugle article to remind you of some safety related items. First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your student is dressed for the weather each day. At times, it can be cold in the morning and then warm up throughout the day or even the opposite! Layers of clothing allow your student to adjust what they are wearing throughout the day. And with doors opening and closing throughout the day as students go out and come in from recess the inside of our school can also have temperature swings. When it gets cold, we do send students outside for recess unless the conditions are dangerous. Students remain indoors if the pavement is icy, the temperature (with wind chill) is below zero, and/or precipitation is wet or icy. Students typically need warm coats, hats, gloves/mittens, and boots through the winter months. When snow is on the ground, they also need snow pants to have permission to play out in the snow.

     

    This brings me to drop-off and pick-up. When using our lane on 11th Avenue, please be sure you are aware of the following rules and responsibilities:

     

    • Slow down and allow extra time during inclement weather conditions
    • Stay in your vehicle at all times
    • No cell phone use in any school zone
    • Students enter/exit curbside of vehicle only
    • Do not U-turn in nearby driveways
    • Move forward when possible

     

    The arrival of 550 students in busses and cars at approximately the same time can be done safely in everyone pitches in to ensure safe conditions.

     

    Finally, you may not be aware of District 203’s procedures for concussion management. While we don’t allow contact sports or have athletic events outside of physical education and recess at Beebe, head bumps do occur from time to time. Our Health Office takes every precaution possible to respond to students who may incur injury or illness while at school. We don’t diagnose at school, but our Health Office plays a key role in supporting students who may require medical attention. On the following page is the protocol for concussion management in D203:

     

    Concussion Management in District 203

    Concussion Management


    Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions about our procedures for cold weather, student drop-off/pick-up, or concussion management. As always, please keep in touch by following our school and Home & School on

    Facebook (Beebe Elementary and Beebe Home & School), following me on Twitter @beebeprincipal, and reading our Talk203 messages sent via email throughout the school year.

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

     

    Comments (-1)
  • October 2015

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 10/5/2015 3:05:00 PM

    Principal News

     

    Dear Bobcat Parents,

     

    We’re well into the school year now and those beginning-of-the-school-year routines are in place (or should be). In fact, October brings an opportunity for parents to receive feedback about their student’s learning progress this year during Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 8th and October 9th. This is when you can hear about how your student has adjusted to the routines of the classroom as well as their progress towards academic and behavioral standards. Keep in mind that learning is a process and it’s easy to lose sight of all the work that a child must take on to learn a new skill or concept. Sometimes, learning comes quickly and other times it can take much longer…even up to a whole school year or more! This takes me to the topic of homework.

     

    Did you cringe when you just read that last sentence? I’ll bet some reading this did! Homework brings on many different emotions depending on the subject, difficulty level, learner, and so many other factors. As a parent of two school-age children I’ve seen the full range of emotions during homework time. It can be downright ugly. But, there’s the thing…it doesn’t have to be. At Beebe, we believe homework is practice. This means that students should be able to do it on their own because it’s something they’ve already learned to a secure enough level that it’s just to keep their skills sharp.

     

    Beebe teachers work really hard to provide daily instruction that is appropriate for each student’s level of readiness. However, it doesn’t always go as planned. Based on assessment information, classroom instruction could miss the mark by aiming too high or too low for a particular student. Since they are right there with them in the classroom, the teacher can make a quick adjustment without the student even knowing it most of the time. Homework is obviously a different situation since the teacher is not right there with the student. Although the intent may be to provide a student with homework that is “just right” it can also miss the mark if the teacher felt they were ready for something that they may not quite yet be.

     

    This is why it’s critical that you set up routines for homework at home to allow your student to be successful. Here are some tips:

     

    • Have a dedicated space for homework that is free from as many distractions as possible. Be sure a set of school supplies are in this space so your student doesn’t have to hunt for them wasting valuable time.
    • Talk with your student to be sure they understand what they are supposed to accomplish. If they don’t this is the first sign the homework may not be the right fit for them.
    • Stay close while they get started but don’t hover over them. Demonstrate that you have confidence in them as a learner but that you’re close if they need you.
    • If your student has a question, have them share their learning with you. You might say, “Tell me what you remember from the lesson in class today.” Remember, this is their homework…not yours!
    • If your student is not able to do the homework on their own (they need a lot of reteaching or guidance from you) don’t let them struggle through it. Attach a note to the homework or email the teacher to let him/her know they weren’t ready for this practice.
    • Use your best judgment on the amount of time your student spends doing homework. They should read 30 minutes per school day at home (this can include reading with you or being read to for younger students) and occasionally some math, science or social studies practice. Outside of daily reading, practice should not take more than 10-20 minutes for younger students or 20-30 minutes for older students. Research does not show academic gains due to increased homework for elementary-age students.

     

    As always, contact your student’s teacher if you have questions or concerns related to homework. Practice is an important part of the learning process and when done correctly it can be a boost for your student’s confidence. Thank you so much for the continued support and partnership!

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

     

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • September 2015

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 9/15/2015 9:15:00 PM

    Dear Beebe Parents/Guardians,

     

    Welcome to the 2015-2016 school year! It has been a memorable start to the school year as we celebrate so many wonderful things going on around our proud school. Did you hear that Beebe is celebrating its 60th Birthday? It’s true. Beebe has been a fixture in the neighborhood here since September of 1955. When students started on August 19th (which by the way is a lot earlier than school used to start back in 1955), they were greeted with 60 wrapped gifts on the walls around Beebe. In the first week of school, these gifts were unwrapped by students to unveil current Beebe students! It’s a really nice way to celebrate our current students while we also recognize the proud history of 60 years.

     

    I hope you were able to join us for Parent Orientation on September 3rd and found the information meaningful as you partner with us to make this a successful year for your student at Beebe. I provided an overview for parents about grading practices since this is the most common way we communicate learning progress to parents. If you attended, you heard that grading students actually started over a couple hundred years ago in our country and the way we grade students today pretty much hasn’t changed since WWI over one hundred years ago! While the needs of students have changed many things in education have followed suit such as curriculum, technology, teacher preparation, and more. Yet, we’re embarrassed to admit our grading practices have not. So it’s time we get with current times and make an important commitment to you as a Beebe parent/guardian: We will provide you with progress updates that are specific to the learning goals our instruction targets. So, what does this mean?

     

    Traditionally, parents would receive daily work and eventually a report card with grades such as A, B, C or S, N, I. As we discussed at Parent Orientation, grades like this can depend greatly on the classroom your student is enrolled in (embarrassing to admit, but true nonetheless) and does not inform you of strengths or areas needing attention with any level of specificity. Like you, teachers aren’t to blame as they have always done what they knew was best. We’ve discovered a much better approach that answers the most common questions parents ask their student’s teacher at Parent/Teacher Conferences: (1) How is my student doing? (2) What should I focus on to help my student at home? By providing you with learning progress towards specific learning goals, we believe you will be much more informed of your student’s growth along the way.

     

    I will need your help with this (there’s always a catch isn’t there?). Providing you with this type of feedback about your student’s learning will take time. Time for our teachers, time for our students and time for you to learn how this all works. Please be patient with our teachers as they, themselves, are learning as we go. I’ve given them permission to answer questions you might have with, “I don’t know yet, but I’ll find out ASAP!” I feel this is a great mindset to have as a learner and one we want to model for our students. There is always a beginning to new learning…and learners young and old need support and time for their learning. We’ll also be providing you with education so you can be informed along the way and feedback opportunities so we can monitor how we’re doing.

    Admittedly, this is a very exciting transition from my perspective! Our students deserve to know where they are in their learning, where they need to go, and what they need to do to get there. Parents and guardians deserve to know how their student is doing towards specific learning goals. Our teachers deserve to have the time, support, and patience they require to provide students with the support they need when they need it. I’m looking forward to a year of celebration and hope you’ll join me in making this the best possible school experience for our students and families.

     

    Please stay connected and celebrate with us throughout the school year by reading the Talk203 emails, liking Beebe Elementary on Facebook, and following me on Twitter @beebeprincipal.

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

     

     

    Comments (-1)
  • August 2015 Back to School Letter

    Posted by Donna Stevens at 8/24/2015 11:00:00 AM

    Beebe families,

     

    It is with great excitement that I welcome you to the 2015-2016 school year. We have been busy preparing, organizing, and planning for our 548 students to join us this week. Here are a few important notes as you ready for the new school year:

     

    ·         First day…Wednesday is the first day of school for grades 1-5. Kindergarteners begin on Thursday. Many parents drop off their student this first couple of days to get pictures and celebrate the start of the school year. Please be mindful of street signs if you are parking around Beebe. Some parking will be available in the parking lot but otherwise you’ll need to locate a spot on a nearby street. Please do not park in the drop-off lane on 11th, in front of neighbor’s driveways, or in commercial lots such as Ace Hardware. Expect a slower process with so many extra family members around.

     

    ·         Visitors…At Beebe, we take pride in having many wonderful volunteers who support our efforts to provide exemplary education to our students. Hundreds of parents, guardians, grandparents, and other community members are welcomed into our school throughout the year to engage with our students and staff in meaningful ways. We also maintain safety as our number one priority for our students and staff. This summer, additional security measures have been made for all visitors to Beebe. For the safety of our students, staff, and scheduled volunteers we require all visitors to enter through Door#1 during the school day. Procedures include:

    o   Ring the bell at the front door. You will be asked to state your name and reason for visiting.

    o   Once allowed into the school, all visitors will be required to provide proper identification to gain access beyond the front office or sign a student out during the school day. Identification is scanned against local and federal databases to ensure visitors are safe to enter. Approved IDs include: state driver’s license, state issued ID’s, military ID cards, Green Mexican Consulate cards, passport ID’s (not booklets), and Resident Alien ID cards.

    o   A visitor badge is provided for each approved visitor which includes a photo, full name, and specific location for visit.

    o   Visitors are to check out at the main office upon leaving the school through Door #1.

    o   School administrators reserve the right to deny any visitor access to the school without proper identification, appropriate reason for visit, or any other reason that is deemed unsafe for the school.

     

    ·         Summer Reading…returning students are reminded to bring in their summer reading chart by this Friday. With a  goal of 500,000 reading minutes, students chose to tape me to the wall during lunchtime and read a story. Only reading charts that are turned in with student’s first and last name clearly written can be included in the tally. Summer reading charts can still be printed from our school website if needed: www.naperville203.org/beebe

     

    Coming soon:

     

    8/30-Back to School Picnic (4:00-6:00pm Beebe Playground)

    9/3-Parent Orientation (6:00pm)

    9/7-Labor Day (No School)

    9/18-Home & School Meeting (1pm)-All parents welcome!

     

    Be sure to like Beebe Elementary as well as Beebe Home & School on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @beebeprincipal for news, highlights, and other exciting happenings throughout the school year!

     

     

    Always learning,

     

    Chuck Freundt, Principal

    Beebe Elementary

    Comments (-1)

Strategic Blueprint

  • District 203’s FOCUS 2020 Strategic Blueprint

    Posted by Superintendent Dan Bridges at 6/27/2014
    FOCUS 2020 is the strategic plan for comprehensive improvement between 2014 and 2020, designed in response to community feedback, best practice, and a vision for the future. Ultimately, this blueprint will advance the fulfillment of the district’s mission.
     
    FOCUS 2020’s foundation is the Future Focus Community Engagement process that occurred over the course of a year where hundreds of members from across the community provided feedback to the district leadership regarding areas such as facilities, finances, measuring student success, and programs of study. Learn more about Future Focus by clicking on the specific “Quick Link” to the left of this text.
     
    The Blueprint includes four “Strategic Focus” areas, namely to:
    1. Design and implement effective practices that promote learning experiences for all.
    2. Foster a high-performance culture focused on student learning.
    3. Steward resources effectively to promote student learning.
    4. Effective communication and community relations.
    Each Strategic Focus then establishes “Commitments.” These commitments are what the district leadership pledges to accomplish within a distinct timeframe. Each commitment then includes a detailed “Action Plan” which will be accessible by the public upon final draft.
     
    District administrators provided an update on Blueprint Commitments to the Board of Education at the July 27, 2015 meeting.  To watch that presentation, please click here
     
    Click here for a summary version of the 4 areas of focus of the Strategic Blueprint.
    Click here for a Spanish summary version of the 4 areas of focus of the Strategic Blueprint.
    Comments (-1)

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