Welcome Letter



Welcome to Room 127


Dear Families,

I hope you have enjoyed your summer and have been excited about the upcoming year as I have!  It will be a year of new experiences for us all and I expect that we will learn a great deal from one another.  I look forward to working with all of you in the coming year-let’s make this an amazing one!
In order for your child to be successful, you should be an active participant in your child’s education.  I need you to be my partner to ensure that your child is motivated to learn and to achieve his/her very best.
This week you will receive a tremendous amount of information, and I know it can be overwhelming.  However, please read each document carefully.  It’s important to know my expectations of you and your child.  Also, please complete and return all forms by the due date.

Your child should arrive to school every day with the following items:
Home Folder (Homework packets due every Monday)
Book bag
Reading Log (due the last Friday of the month)

School Fee:  A $75.00 school fee has been assessed for every student to cover instructional supplies and parent handbooks.  The fee is due by Monday, October 1st.  Acceptable forms of payments are cash or money order. You are also able to pay by credit card using this link: https://magic.collectorsolutions.com/magic-ui/Login/cps-23751-south-loop-elementary 

Parent Volunteers:  There will be opportunities to volunteer during the school year.  If you are interested, please complete a volunteer application.  This  must be approved before volunteering. The application can be found on this link: https://cpsparentu.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=319488&type=d. The Board’s Volunteer Policy can be found at: https://policy.cps.edu/download.aspx?ID=272.  

Field trip chaperones will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.  I will notify you of upcoming field trips as soon as possible.  

Schedule:   The school day begins at 8:30AM.  Students will be marked tardy if they arrive after 8:35AM. South Loop School offers a free breakfast to all students.  No application or enrollment is required.  Breakfast will be served in the  lunchroom from 7:45AM – 8:25AM. The school day ends at 3:30 PM.  Students will be dismissed from the classroom door, located on the Federal St. side.

Lunch: 10:30AM– 10:55AM  Recess:10:55AM -11:15AM

Food/Snack Policy: South Loop is a gum, candy, and nut-free school.  Please adhere to the food policy if your child brings a lunch (including field trips). Students will have the opportunity to have an afternoon snack.  Listed below are the approved items that can be sent. This is necessary due to the fact the classroom isn’t a conducive environment for eating, and it provides minimal disruption of the mandated instructional minutes.  
          String cheese        Organic Fruit Snacks      Carrots
          Sliced apples         Goldfish                    Mini Water Bottles
          Popcorn               Celery                      Sliced Cucumbers
Grapes              Cereal/ Protein Bars      (Check the label to make sure it’s peanut free)
 Any food outside of the aforementioned items will be returned home. Please do not send ranch dressing or any types of nut spread, Gatorade or juice boxes. Also, students need to be able to open all items independently. Please bear in mind that students that participate in the after-school program will have a full meal at 3:30PM.

Specials: The students will have library, health, music, art, and physical education.  The schedule will be on the classroom website once it has been finalized. Here is a tentative schedule:
Monday: Music 
Tuesday: P.E.
Wednesday: Media Literature (No Bullying Day – Students may wear purple)
Thursday: P.E.
Friday:  Art (South Loop Spirit Day – Students can wear SL shirts)

**Students must be dressed in P.E. attire (including gym shoes) for P.E. & Health classes.**

Attendance:  In the event of an absence, please send an e-mail or a note upon your child’s return to school with the date(s) and reason for the absence.  Please refer to the parent handbook for the five reasons that are excused.  If you know that your child will have an early dismissal, please let me know via a note or e-mail.  This will allow me to have your child ready for dismissal at that time.

Expectations:  Your child will be expected to work independently, with a partner, in small groups, and at a variety of centers in our classroom.  Also, children are expected to complete homework throughout the week and return it in the home folder on the due date.  

 Leader in Me:  A leadership culture actively engages students in their own learning; even the youngest students set goals and track progress. All students become active participants in the direction of the school and many of the decisions that are made. The 7 Habits are the foundation of the leadership culture.
Habit 1-Be Proactive
Habit 2-Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3-Put First Things First
Habit 4-Think Win-Win
Habit 5-Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood
Habit 6-Synergize
Habit 7-Sharpen the Saw

As we review each habit, information will be sent on how to incorporate it at home.  At the end of each month, two students will be selected as Leaders of the Month.  They will earn a day out of uniform and lunch (provided by parents) at The Golden Table. 
Home Folders: Each child should have a red plastic folder. This will serve as their home folder, and will be the only folder that travels to and from school each day.  The left side of the folder will be designated for items that should remain at home. The right side of the folder will be for items that should be returned to school. Home folders should be checked and cleaned on a daily basis.

Homework: Packets are given on a weekly basis.  Packets will be sent home on Mondays. Unless otherwise noted, homework will be due the following Monday.    Incomplete homework assignments will receive credit for the work that is finished.  In the event of an absence, students will be allowed to make-up homework assignments.  However, it must be submitted within a certain timeframe.  The timeframe will be determined based upon the length of the absence.  Should it not be turned in on time, a zero will be given.

Homework is worth 10%. The other weights are as follows:

Projects will be assigned throughout the year.  The weight will be based on whether it’s a home or classroom project.  Per Chicago Public Schools, the grading policy is as follows:  
59% and below-F

Behavior:  The second grade team will follow the Responsive Classroom Approach of the 3 R’s (Reinforce, Remind, and Redirect).  In this approach, teachers find positive ways to reinforce and encourage positive behavior. Teachers will remind students of expected behaviors by giving prompts.  Teachers will then use redirect language to steer a student to a more positive behavior.  
At times, these techniques may not work. If this is the case for your student, he/she will have a private discussion with the teacher about ways to correct his/her behavior. Very rarely, does negative behavior continue at this point, but parents will be notified by email if all options have been used and your child is having difficulty staying on task and following the class rules.  If needed a conference will be held with the student, teacher, administrator(s), and parents to discuss and create an individual behavior plan if the classroom rules continue to be broken.  Please remember that we (Parents and teachers) are partners in education, so we will work as a team to create a positive learning environment for your son or daughter.
I begin the year by reading, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? to begin the discussion on what it means to be a positive member of our classroom.  Most South Loop students are familiar with this book.  It encourages positive interactions amongst students, teachers, caregivers, etc.  You can order this book from Amazon if you would like a copy. I can also loan it out for one night if needed. 

Conferences:  I am available between 8:00-8:25AM before school and after school by appointment for conferences.  You may contact me at mgrimes1@cps.edu or call the school at 773.534.8690 to leave a message.  Generally, I check e-mail at 8AM and after 7PM. Please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

Classroom Website:  Our classroom website is a quick and easy way for you to remain abreast of what's happening in our classroom and school.  You can visit the page to learn about class news, homework assignments, resources, and much more.  The address is: htpps://room127.educatorpages.com.

Also, please take a look at the following social media sites: our school website- southloop.net, Instagram@slooplions and Twitter@sloopschool and Facebook. The link for the Student Code of Conduct is https://cps.edu/Pages/StudentCodeofConduct.aspx.

Uniforms:    Each child should arrive to school wearing navy blue pants, shorts, or skirts, and a white collared shirt.  The temperature can be unpredictable in our classroom.  So, I highly recommend bringing a solid white or solid navy sweater that can remain in the classroom.  You can check the school’s website to order gym uniforms. There is not time allocated in the schedule for students to change clothes.  They must also wear gym shoes in order to participate in gym activities for their safety and the maintenance of our facilities.  Please be sure to label ALL items of clothing with your child’s name and room number.  This includes lunch bags and book bags.

Birthdays:  In lieu of treats, students may bring their favorite book(s) to donate to the classroom library.  The child will have the opportunity to read or have their book read to the class.  I also ask that you only send invitations to birthday parties to be distributed at school when every student in the class will be invited to the event so no one feels left out.  I will NOT distribute invitations unless everyone is invited.  If you are not able to invite all students, please use an alternative method such as E-vite to send invitations.

Lunch Forms and Lunch Money:  Each child will receive a lunch form application. Even if your child will bring lunch to school, please complete the name portion, write N/A, and sign it.  The forms generate federal funds for the school. Hot lunch will be available each day.  Lunch is free to all students.  The menus for breakfast and lunch can be located on the CPS website.

I appreciate your cooperation and your involvement.  I look forward to seeing everyone at the Open House, Wednesday, September 19th 6:15PM to 7:00PM. Please sign the last page and return no later than Friday, September 7th.


Mrs. Pierce

"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb