Next year under way

1. First meeting: Thursday Aug 13; 6pm; at school
2. Discuss: changes to membership: ideas
3. Volunteer recruitment ideas (separate from membership)
4. Kindergarten “Connection, Breakfast and Tea”: Wed August 26th
5. Return to school picnic: Thursday Aug 27th; approx 5pm
6. Open House: Thursday Sept 3rd
7. Room Parent Meeting
8. Halloween “fun fair”: Thursday Oct 29th
9. Fall Book Fair
10. Review/update budget
11. PTO Website
12. Worlds Finest Chocolate
13. Outline plan of events/fundraising for year
14. We will have kindergarten t-shirts by this date; we would like to hand out first day of school as part of the connection event!

See you there! Bring your ideas!!

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May 14th South School Minutes

• Attendance: Kim Vincent, Amy Cengel, Julie Freko, Lisa Horner, Amanda Morris, Stephany Salinas
• Principal update: Paarc testing, end of year events, how to best communicate with parents/guardians; would like suggestions
• Teacher appreciation was a success; liked the theme
• Carnation sale made a small profit
• Field Day is June 4th: we have volunteers for kitchen; Food prep at 9:30 am; Julie to get subs from Caputos; Amanda to get rest of food
• Next year planning:
• Halloween Fun Fair
• Return to school picnic: date TBD: membership drive; spirit wear
• Open House: date TBD; membership, spirit wear, room parents
• Lisa/Rachel suggested a kindergarten “boo hoo and tea party” for first day of school
• Discussed improved ways to communicate next year
• Discussed how to improve PTO membership and volunteers
• Discussed ways to get spirit wear items sooner
• Next PTO date set: Thursday Aug 20th 6pm; place TBD

Some new ideas for next year: Rachel has offered to do all the PTO flyers for all events next year as this is her specialty!! She will design the flyer, Maria or Stephany can translate, Mrs Ruiz will copy and Rachel will place in teacher mailboxes! Thank you so much Rachel! I think this will be extremely helpful!
Spirit wear for kindergarten will be ordered this year and was will also place an order for shirts/sweatshirts/long sleeves to have on hand; will still place an order for what people want
Thinking about reducing fee for membership to either nothing or $5 and making sure to separate membership from volunteering; I put some further thought into that; asking the question what does membership really mean and honestly I didn’t have an answer to that question. With research, I came up with maybe membership means voting rights on big topics. I have been at South for 4 years and nothing has come up for vote….something to think about and discuss in August.

Thanks everyone for your commitment this year! You were all awesome and I have a small thank you gift for those who didn’t get theirs yet!!


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Hello South Families

What a busy time of year! Please remember that we DO have school next Friday, May 22. This is to make up for the cold weather days we had this winter. Here are some of the other things going on at South:

Teacher Appreciation Week:

Thanks to all of our wonderful families and our PTO for spoiling us so much with daily treats and a delicious luncheon last week! We are so fortunate to work in such a supportive community. Thank you for all you do!

PARCC Testing:

PARCC testing is in full swing at South. 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders took tests on Wednesday and Thursday and will have one more test on Monday. They are doing a great job!

Parent Survey

Thanks so much to those of you who already completed the parent communication survey I sent out last week. If you haven’t filled it out, please go to It should only take a moment. We truly appreciate your feedback. I will share the results of the survey in my next email communication.

Pay it Forward Day

Thanks to our Student Council and all of our generous students and staff for organizing National Pay it Forward Day activities! We raised over $150 to support the victims of the recent tornado in Fairbanks, Illinois!

Class Picnics:

Can you believe it’s already time for end of the year picnics? Thanks to our room parents for organizing them! Here is the schedule:

Thursday, May 28

First Grade:
Michalak: Friday, May 22 (9:00) Samluk: Tuesday, May 26 (12:00)

Second Grade:
Bradley: Thursday, May 21(11:00) Threlkeld: Tuesday, May 26 (9:00)

Third Grade:
Friday, May 22 (12:30)

Fourth Grade:
Friday, May 29 (12:00)

Fifth Grade:
Monday, June 8 (12:00)

Other Upcoming Dates:

Monday, May 18: Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00 at Forest Elementary School
Thursday, May 21: Band concert @ 7:00 at Algonquin Middle School
Monday, May 25: NO SCHOOL-Memorial Day
Thursday, May 28: 3rd Grade Field Trip
Friday, May 29: Kindergarten Celebrations @ 10:15 and 2:15

Please also continue to check South’s Facebook page for the latest news and pictures of things happening around our school.

Have a great weekend!

Amy Cengel, Principal

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South News 4.28.15

    Hello South Families,

We have so many things going on at South that I just couldn’t wait until Friday to tell you about them!

Parent Survey

Thanks so much to those of you who already completed the parent communication survey I sent out last week. If you haven’t filled it out, please go to It should only take a moment. We truly appreciate your feedback.

Kindergarten Open House:

Calling all parents of NEW kindergarten students! We will be having an Open House this Thursday, April 30 from 6:00-7:00. Come by and meet Mrs. Juskiewicz, see the classroom, and learn more about some of the exciting things that will be happening in kindergarten next year.

Pay it Forward Day

Thursday, April 30 is National Pay it Forward Day. The Student Council has planned a couple of great activities in honor of this day. For one, members will be collecting donations for the victims of the recent tornado in Fairfield, Illinois during lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. No amount is too small! Our goal is to raise $150.

We are also creating a “brick” wall titled, “Building a Better School Brick by Brick” . Any one who sees or does a random act of kindness will get a paper brick and help build our wall in the cafeteria. We are asking students to think of something nice they can do for someone else, and do it!

MAP Testing

All students will be taking their final round of MAP testing starting this week! Please talk to your children about the importance of doing their best, getting a good night’s sleep, and eating a healthy breakfast on testing days. Please see below for the schedule:

AM Kinder – 05/04, 05/07
PM Kinder – 05/04, 05/05
1st – 05/05, 05/06
2nd – 05/05, 05/06
3rd – 04/30, 05/01
4th – 04/30, 05/04
5th – 04/30, 05/01

Parking Again

Please remember that there is NO parking along the side of the building. This area must be clear for busses. It is also becoming a major safety concern. We have seen several students run out to there to get into the car without even looking. Safety always has to be our number one priority so I truly appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. You may park in front of the school, in the lot out front, or on the streets surrounding South School.

Other Upcoming Dates:

Next week is Teacher Appreciation Week!
May 4: BEST Open House at Terrace School from 5:30-6:30
May 6: 6th Grade Parent Orientation at Algonquin Middle School
May 7: District Volunteer Appreciation Reception from 4:30-6:00 at Iroquois
May 8: 4th/5th Grade Band/Orchestra trip to Algonquin
May 14: South Volunteer Reception 5:30-6:15
May 14: PTO meeting immediately following the Volunteer Reception.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Amy Cengel, Principal


A message from SOUTH

A message from SOUTH

Este mensaje repite en español.

Greetings South Families,

Happy Friday! I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather.  Spring is such a wonderful and busy time around South.  Here are just some of the things we’ve got going on:

Parent Feedback

We are always looking for ways to improve here at South.  I am looking for feedback from parents about ways to improve our communication with families.  I will be sending out a survey via email to all parents nextFriday, April 24 so please be on the look out. 

Progress Reports:

Teachers are sending progress reports hometoday if they have academic or behavioral concerns about you child.  If you have questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to our teachers.

MAP Testing:

Spring MAP testing will begin April 30 at South.  These tests are very important as they help us figure out how much progress each child has made in Math and Reading this year.  Teachers use this information to ensure that they are proving each student with just the right amount of support.

PTO Updates:

Thanks to all of you who ordered cookie dough! We raised nearly $1000 to support South school. We will be selling carnations for Mother’s day! Sales will begin the week of April 27 and flowers will be delivered on Friday, May 8.Want to get involved in the PTO? Please join us at our last meeting on Thursday, May 14.

Focus on Learning:

Want to help support literacy at home?  Ask questions about what they are reading and ask them to go back to their books to “prove it”. Try to keep it fun and light!  Here are some questions to get those conversations going: 

What do you predict is going to happen next?Why do you think the author wrote this book?How is this book similar to another book you have read or a movie you saw?If YOU were the main character, what would you have done?

Upcoming Dates:

April 23—5th Grade trip to the Robert Crown CenterApril 24—School IS in session.  This is a cold weather make up day.April 30—Kindergarten Open House for new kindergarten students and parents.May 1—4th and 5th trip to Algonquin for band and orchestra presentationsMay 6—Parent Night at Algonquin for parents on incoming 6th gradersMay 7—District Volunteer Reception from 4:30-6:00 at Iroquois Community SchoolEnd of Year PARCC testing May 14-May 19May 14—South Volunteer Reception (invitations coming soon!)

Have a wonderful weekend,

Amy Cengel, Principal


South School PTO

Are you curious about the South School PTO? Are you curious about PTO-sponsored end of the year events? Or are you curious about next year? Maybe you want to help but are unsure how or what you can do!

Satisfy your curiosity AND enter to win fun prizes!!!

Join us at our next PTO meeting on Thursday April 16th at 6pm at South.

Our PTO is a very low key, hard-working group! We are all just in it to provide the kids at South School with extra activities and events!! During our meetings we discuss upcoming events and make decisions on what events, activities, and fundraisers we want to do during the year!! NO COMMITTMENT necessary!! Just come see what we are all about!! But we do need NEW people!!

If you have any questions please let us know!! As always thank you for your support of South School PTO!

Kim Vincent, PTO President



Maria Montesinos, PTO Vice President (se habla español)


PTO Fun Fair, Thursday April 9

PTO Fun Fair, Thursday April 9

The PTO has been working very hard to put together an incredible Fun Fair for our students and families. There will be lots of fun games and activities for the whole family. Admission is $2 per child. We hope to see you there!

Cookie dough order were due TODAY (3/13). If you forgot to send your money in, please make sure to turn it in by Monday at the very latest.

PARCC testing

Congratulations to all of our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders on completing the PARCC tests! We are so proud of all of them!

Variety Show

South School has talent! Our variety show is this coming Wednesday, March 18. We will have two performances, one at 1:45 and one at 6:30. Tickets are required at the evening performance. Each family who has a child participating in the show will receive 4 tickets. Due to fire safety guidelines, we must adhere to these guidelines.

Arrival and Dismissal

I hate to have to bring this up again, but we are still having lots of traffic issues during arrival and dismissal. Please make sure you are following these rules:

Parking is allowed on Everett and the surrounding side streets.
Cars are not allowed in the staff parking lot OR in the alley on the west side of the building during arrival or dismissal.

There is no Double Parking at any time.
Please do not make U-turns in front of the building


Greetings South Families

PARCC Testing

PARCC testing begins on Monday, March 9 for all 3rd through 5th graders at South. PARCC, which replaces the ISAT is new to all of us. Our teachers have been working very hard to challenge and support your children in all academic areas and PARCC is just one way to help measure their progress. This is not something for them to stress over. We want students to take the test seriously and do their very best, but we also want them to go into testing week feeling confident and calm. You can help support them by:

Making sure they are in school every day and ON TIME that week.
Getting them to bed early so they are well rested and ready to go.
Making sure they eat a good breakfast before school. A reminder that breakfast is served at South every morning from 8:35-8:55.

Arrival and Dismissal

We realize that the snow and cold weather makes dropping off and picking up your child at school a challenge. However, we have to make safety our number one priority and want to remind everyone of our traffic rules:

There is no parking in the staff parking lot OR in the alley on the west side of our building. We must keep this area clear for the busses. We have also seen several kids running out to meet parents at their cars without looking where they are going. This is extremely unsafe.
No U-turns
No Double Parking at any time.
Cross only at Crosswalks.


White Pines Fundraiser

The 5th graders annual trip to White Pines is a wonderful tradition here at South! You can help support that tradition by participating in this great fundraiser! From February 18-March 18 our 4th graders will be selling delicious frozen pastry dough for Butter Braids! These delicious treats come in 9 fabulous flavors including apple, cream cheese, and double chocolate! Order yours today!

PTO Cookie Dough Fundraiser

The cookie dough fundraiser starts today! The oldest child in each family will come home with information and an order form so please check backpacks. This fundraiser runs until March 13 so please put your order in right away! Not only will you get delicious cookie dough, but you will also be supporting South School!

Upcoming Events/Reminders:

2nd Trimester ends today! Report cards will be out on Friday, March 13.
Band and Orchestra students WILL have early morning practice during PARCC testing!
PARCC testing runs from March 9-13
The next PTO meeting is Thursday, March 12 at 6:00. Everyone is welcome!
The South Variety Show is Wednesday, March 18. We will have a performance at 1:45 and a performance at 6:30.
“Smiles in Motion” which offers free dental check ups will be at South on March 25. Consent forms will go home on Monday, March 2.
The FUN FAIR has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 9. Please mark your calendars.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Notes from the last Fun Fair Meeting

Fun Fair is Thursday Feb 19th 5:30-7pm
Set up starts at 4; need help
Admission is $2/child; adults and under 1 free; stamp hands
Fun fair 5:30-7pm: games/activities and prizes; food (pizza, doughnuts, subs, drinks), quiet room, “chocolate walk” and vendors
Clean up help needed
Amanda will email people looking for specific help with organizing fun fair, I am emailing principal and teachers for various items; so far:
Kitchen help: Maria, Rachel, Teresa, Dawn; Quiet room: Julie, maybe Patty? Prizes: Stephany; clean up: Brian
We will need set up, clean up, game people, someone to walk around and sell chocolate, admission people…


A message from South

A message from SOUTH

January 23,2015

(Esta mensaje va a repetir en español)

Greetings South Families,

What a busy and exciting time of year! We’ve got lots of great things going on in the next month. Please mark your calendars for the following activities/events:

Pizza Hut Dine and Share: January 28

Do you love pizza almost as you love our school? Well then visit the Pizza Hut on Lee Street in Des Plaines on Wednesday, January 28. Tell them you are from South School and a portion of money from your order will go directly to South! Tell all of your friends and neighbors! No order is too small! Just don’t forget to tell them that you’re from South.

Carnation Sales: February 2-5

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching! This year students can buy a carnation to send to a friend, sibling, or teacher for just $1! Carnation sales will begin the week of February 2nd and will be delivered on Friday, February 13.

South’s Variety Show: March 18

Calling all dancers, musicians, comedians, and entertainers! The South School Variety Show will be on March 18th at 6:30 PM. Auditions will take place during lunch on Tuesday 2/10 and Wednesday 2/11 for 3rd-5th graders and Thursday, 2/12 for students in Kindergarten through 2nd grade. Don’t miss out!

South’s Fun Fair: February 19

It’s back by popular demand…the South Elementary Fun Fair! This FUN evening of games, activities, music, and snacks is open to ALL South families on Thursday, February 19. The PTO will be looking for quite a few volunteers to help with planning, set up/clean up and to run the activities. If you are interested please let us know! More information to follow.

Focus on Learning:

Your children continue to amaze us every day with their enthusiasm, creativity, and curiosity. It’s really such a pleasure watching them learn and grow. Here are some things you can do to support their academic development at home.

Daily Reading:

One of the BEST ways to improve reading is to read more! All kids should be reading at least 20 minutes every night! Even if they don’t have other homework, please make sure they are doing their daily reading. Forget their book at school? No problem! Students can easily access MyOn, an online reading program at home.

PARCC Resources:

All 3rd-5th graders will be taking a new state assessment this year. The PARCC test is replacing the ISAT. We encourage all parents to check out the parent resource page on the PARCC website:

As always, if you have questions or concern please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Amy Cengel, Principal

Hola Familias de South,

¡Este tiempo es un tiempo muy emocionante y ocupado! El próximo mes sucederán cosas muy emocionantes. Por favor marque en su calendario las siguientes actividades / eventos:

Pizza Hut Cene y Comparta: 28 de enero
¿Te encanta la pizza tanto como nuestra escuela? ¡Muy bien vea a visitar Pizza Hut el miércoles 28 de enero en la calle Lee en Des Plaines Dígales que usted son de la Escuela South y el 15% de su pedido irá directamente a la cuenta de South! ¡Dile a todos tus amigos y vecinos! ¡Ningún pedido es demasiado pequeño! Pero no se olvide de decirles que ustedes son de South, lleven su hoja de color rojo.

Venta de flores: febrero 2 a 5
¡El Día de San Valentín se acerca rápidamente! ¡Este año los estudiantes pueden comprar un clavel para enviar a un amigo, un hermano o un profesor por sólo $ 1! ¡La venta de los claveles comenzarán la primera semana de febrero y se entregarán el viernes 13 de febrero!

El Espectáculo de Variedad de South: 18 de marzo
¡Llamando a todos los bailarines, músicos, comediantes y artistas! El espectáculo de variedades de la Escuela South será el 18 de marzo a las 6:30 PM. Las audiciones se llevarán a cabo durante la hora del almuerzo el martes 10 y miércoles 11 de grado tercero a quinto y el jueves, 12 para los estudiantes de kindergarten hasta segundo grado. ¡No se lo pierda!

Feria de diversión de South:19 de febrero
Está de regreso por demanda popular … la feria de diversión de South! Es una noche de diversión, juegos, actividades, música y aperitivos, está abierto a todas las familias South será el jueves 19 de febrero El PTO esta buscando un buen número de voluntarios para ayudar con la planificación, creación / limpiar y ejecutar las actividades. Si usted está interesado por favor háganoslo saber. Habrá mas información.

Enfocarse en el aprendizaje:
Sus hijos siguen sorprendiéndonos cada día con su entusiasmo, creatividad y curiosidad. Es realmente un placer verlos aprender y crecer. Aquí hay algunas cosas que usted puede hacer para apoyar su desarrollo académico en casa.

Lectura del día:
¡Una de las mejores maneras de mejorar la lectura es leer más! ¡Todos los niños deben leer por lo menos 20 minutos cada noche! Incluso si no tienen otra tarea, por favor asegúrese de que sus hijos están lleyendo diariamente. ¿Olvidaron su libro en la escuela? No hay problema! Los estudiantes tienen acceso al programa Myon, este es un programa de lectura en línea..

Recursos PARCC:
Todos estudiantes de tercero a quinto grado tomarán una nueva evaluación estatal de este año. La prueba PARCC está reemplazando el ISAT. Animamos a todos los padres de revisar la página de recursos para padres en el sitio web PARCC:

Muchas Gracias,

Amy Cengel, Directora