TOPe Focus Header
August 2012 
In This Issue
Best Buddies program earns national recognition
Fit for the Future walk is September 9th
Concussion screening available to student athletes
WHS hosts visitors from Spain
Students "Choose Respect"
Dean Street enjoys new LRC
D200 represented at international student conference
Good ride, good food, good time!
Virtual backpack logo

Don't Forget to check the Virtual Backpack

 Remember to check the Virtual Backpack on the district's website for informational flyers on 

a wide variety of programs and events 

for D200 families.

 Kids of all ages are invited to put their imaginations in gear! 

The City of Woodstock's



is a part of this year's Fit for the Future event!


 Kids can explore vehicles of all shapes and sizes including a firetruck, ambulance, dump truck, school bus and more. 


Learn More About Our Schools

 Verda Dierzen


Dean Street 

Elementary School



Elementary School


Mary Endres

Elementary School



Elementary School



Elementary School



Elementary School



Middle School



Middle School



High School


Woodstock North 

High School


Clay Academy

Quick Links


Board of Education


Paul J. Meyer



Sue Palmore

Vice President


Camille Goodwin



Bob Birchfield


Russ Goerlitz


Dr. Kathy Lechner


Marcy Piekos

Stars Spiral  



Ellyn Wrzeski 



Thunder Tots 2 
Thunder Tots Preschool
 is now enrolling  

3-5 year olds!


Thunder Tots is part of the Woodstock North High School child care curriculum.  Preschoolers are taught by high school students under

 the supervision of a certified teacher.  


Kids start on Sept. 25

Space is limited


For information contact Jennifer Rooney at WNHS 815-334-2414


School Supplies
Thank you to the many individuals and community organizations who donated school supplies for students in need. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

























D200 Logo on Gray 

Use the QR reader on your smartphone for quick access to the district website.


Tom Ross 2
  Principal Tom Ross welcomes Westwood students back to school 
on a rainy first day of school August 16th. 

Best Buddies program earns national recognition 

The Creekside Middle School Best Buddies program has earned the national "Outstanding Chapter of the Year" award.  Teachers and students from Creekside traveled to Bloomington, Indiana for a four-day conference in July where they attended workshops focusing on leadership development, community service and civic responsibility.  Student representative Brecken Overly received the prestigious award from Anthony Shriver, Founder and Chairman of Best Buddies International. Other student participants from Creekside Middle School were Georgia Wicker, Ashley Peake and Cori Patterson. Also in attendance was Amber Learman, president of Woodstock North High School Best Buddies. Students were accompanied to Bloomington by Creekside Middle School staff volunteers Kat Mitchell and Julie Stone. The program is also supported by staff members Joan Thomas and Julia Patterson.


Best Buddies programs are sponsored at the college, high school and middle school levels pairing students with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with peers who do not have those disabilities. Through these relationships, students with disabilities become more fully integrated into the culture and social activities of their school and all participants are able to cross the invisible line that too often separates those with disabilities from those without.


Creekside Middle School launched its Best Buddies program when the school opened in 2007. Since then the program has grown to 79 students that meet each month at a scheduled event and on a weekly basis one-to-one with their buddy/partner.



Second annual Fit for the Future walk set for September 9

The second annual Fit for the Future walk will take place on Sunday, September 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at EmricsonFit for Future 2012 logo  Park. Proceeds from the event will fund a variety of fitness programs, equipment and activities that encourage healthy, active lifestyles for all District 200 students. Each building is raising funds for specific school projects that can be found on the District 200 web site under Fit For the Future. 


The highlight of the day will be a performance by the Jesse White Tumblers. Jesse White, founder and coach, created the team in 1959 to provide a recreational, athletic, educational and cultural enrichment experience for the team members. 


The walk and all fitness-related activities will be headquartered at Woodstock Water Works within Emricson Park. Pre-walk activities will begin at 11:00 a.m., with student performances beginning at 11:30. The Tumblers will perform at 12:30 p.m. The walk will begin at 1:30 after a warm up conducted by the District 200 middle school dance teams.   Raffle tickets may be purchased for a chance to win an Xbox Kinect as well as prizes from The Running Depot, Young Masters Martial Arts, Swanky Spa, Pump It Up and Layton Athletics. In addition, community vendors will have items for sale.


Parents are reminded that all elementary students must be accompanied by an adult.


Donations may be made electronically by visiting the District 200 homepage and clicking on the e-pay logo. Preferences for a specific school or project may be indicated using the drop down menu on the donation form. Donations are tax deductible.  


This event is made possible through the generous contributions of our major sponsor Gavers Community Cancer Foundation as well as participating sponsors Centegra, The Running Depot, Noon Rotary, American Community Bank, OMNI Grade Crossing Systems, Wells Manufacturing, Accelerated Rehabilitation Center, Chiro One, Woodstock Dolphins, Dove Chocolate Discoveries, Jafra Cosmetics, Layton Athletics, Pump It Up, Rebars & Steel Co. and Swanky Spa.


For more information about the walk, visit the Fit for the Future link on the district website at or call (815) 338-8200. 



Concussion screening available to student athletes

An estimated 136,000 concussions occur per academic year in high schools across the nation. The effects of repetitive concussions and the potential for catastrophic injury have made concussion an injury of significant concern for young athletes.


Woodstock District 200 is committed to ensuring the safety of all our student athletes while they participate in school sports. For this reason, we have partnered with Centegra Health Systems and Accelerated Rehabilitation Centers to pilot a program that provides baseline concussion screening for student athletes at both Woodstock and Woodstock North High Schools.


Screening of football players began at both high schools on August 7. Subsequent screenings for other high school athletes will be completed as soon as possible.


The screening encompasses two components. The first component is called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and is a computerized baseline cognitive test that provides our athletic trainers and local physicians with information relative to verbal and visual memory, attention span, brain processing speed and reaction time.  


The second component, called Biodex Balance Testing,provides objective data regarding motor control and aids in determining which sensory systems create the instability.


While District 200 already has a comprehensive concussion protocol in place, we feel that this screening provides athletic trainers and physicians with additional information to objectively identify and manage concussion injuries, which aids in return to play decisions.



Woodstock High School hosts students from Spain

Spain and US FlagsEven before 13 students from Jesus Maria Catholic School in Madrid arrive at O'Hare Airport on August 31 to begin their 3-week exchange program at WHS, Spanish teachers Linda Radke and Gabby Mikos have been preparing for their visit. "We create a calendar for students, find host families, organize activities and field trips, and correspond with the teacher that will accompany them," said Ms. Mikos.


The exchange program is through the Center for Cultural Interchange (CCI) based in Chicago. CCI finds high schools in Spain that would like to partner with high schools in the United States to give their students academic enrichment and cultural immersion opportunities. Students coming to Woodstock live with host families that provide them with the opportunity to learn about American culture and speak English in a home setting.


Earlier this year Radke and Mikos took nine WHS students to Madrid to attend classes and have the experience of living with host families. The teachers said that one of the best experiences for them was watching students who had never visited a foreign country get off the plane in Madrid and marvel at everything they saw. Next March, another group of students from WHS will travel to Madrid as part of the program.


Students benefit from being totally immersed in the culture whether it's in Woodstock or in Madrid. Living with a host family helps them develop their language skills and provides them with a broad understanding of the culture. Students often discuss the similarities and differences between the two countries and cultures. While in Spain WHS students had to get used to eating both lunch and dinner later than they do at home. Often dinner is not served until 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. In addition, students rode public transportation to school.


In September, students visiting Woodstock will travel by train to downtown Chicago where they will visit museums, the Shedd Aquarium and attend a White Sox game. One of the highlights of their stay will be participating in traditional events and activities during Homecoming week.


During their short stay in Spain, students developed close relationships with host families and other students have created lifelong connections. Radke and Mikos both said that there were tears shed as the WHS students said goodbye to their host families and new friends. 



Students encourage all to "Choose Respect"

District 200 has partnered with Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock and Turning Point, a domestic violence agency with a mission to confront violence against women and children in McHenry County, to implement the grant-funded "Choose Respect" program. The Illinois Violence Prevention Authority (IVPA) created the Choose Respect Illinois Grant Program to help promote healthy relationships among teens, engage youth leaders in violence prevention efforts, and prevent teen dating violence. According to the IVPA, "The Program promotes broad community efforts to help youth ages 11-14 form healthy relationships to prevent dating abuse before it starts. This national effort is designed to motivate youth to challenge harmful beliefs about dating abuse and take steps to form respectful relationships."


Fifteen D200 high school students are currently involved in the program and are working to fight bullying and unhealthy relationships in the community.  Last year the group presented information to approximately 2000 students and 200 adults.  The group meets on Sundays throughout the year and also attends biannual trainings provided by the IVPA.  On August 7th, Woodstock students attended training in Bloomington, Illinois learning about "World Café," a model for facilitating conversation and learning in a comfortable "café-style" environment. 


The group's plans for the new school year include encouraging elementary, middle school and high school students in District 200 to join their efforts in making D200 a kinder and safer place.  Drug-Free Grant Project Coordinator Laura Crain, who oversees the student group said, 'We are very excited to have all of our schools and staff investing in our main message, 'Choose Respect. Give it.  Live it.'  Each school, bus, and administrative building will have posters and banners that carry this constant reminder to show respect to others and expect respect from others throughout the day!"


Any D200 high school student interested in Choose Respect can apply by picking up an application in the attendance office of their school.  Applications are due by September 14th.  Parents or community members interested in the program should contact Crain at or 815-337-6570.



Dean Street enjoys new and improved LRC


In the library at Dean Street Elementary School, students select books to take home, read silently and ask the library media specialist to help them find their favorite chapter books. The difference between this year and prior years is that all this activity is taking place in a new quiet cool space.


The area previously known as the library did not have walls but, instead, had free standing bookcases that acted as walls. The lighting and ventilation were poor and students were distracted by other classes walking through the halls outside the bookcases.


District 200 was able to use health life safety funds to build walls and replace aging electrical and ventilation systems that date back to 1969. Health life safety funds can only be used for State approved projects that provide updates to things like heating and air conditioning, lighting, and fire rated walls.


The newly created library provides a rich learning environment for students with a reading nook, circulation desk and smart board projector. In addition, it cuts down on the noise that often disturbed neighboring classrooms. The skylights supply natural lighting that is softer than artificial light and enhances the quiet atmosphere.


Dean Street principal Vicki Larson said that the addition of a smart board in the library has been a great tool for students to use when preparing the morning announcements. "Students are taped and the media cast is uploaded so teachers can play it at a time that is convenient for their classes."


The project was completed during the summer and opened for student use on August 27.

Dean LRC Rita K and student
Dean Street Library Media Specialist Rita Kaminski helps a student 
choose a book appropriate for his reading level. 



D200 students proudly represent Woodstock at international competition

  Corn Stalkers crop 

The Northwood Middle School robotic team the "Corn Stalkers" headed to Germany in June and competed against 67 teams from 37 countries in the global robotics program.  Teams competed in four categories, robot performance, a research presentation, a teamwork demonstration and tech design within the theme, "Food Factor: Keeping Food Safe."


For their project Northwood's team researched a way to fight a carcinogenic fungus that thrives on corn in drought-stricken areas.  After their presentation, the judge from South Africa stood up and said he knew farmers who could benefit from their powdered spice solution. "That was very powerful for the students," said Gigi Carlson, the Corn Stalkers Coach.  "They felt that this was the reason they were supposed to make the trip."


Earlier in the year when the Corn Stalkers' name was not drawn from the lottery of Illinois schools eligible to attend, the students thought their competing for the year was complete.  However, a slot became available in March and students had only a few weeks to raise the necessary funds to attend the competition.  The $20,000 price tag seemed a daunting task for the students and their coaches.  But over the course of several weeks, the generosity of the community made their dream a reality.


Carlson said that participants learned many valuable lessons from the people they met from around the globe.  She said, "Students didn't have the weight of politics looming over them, but were able to function with kindness and the will to help each other out."  


The team from Malaysia took home top honors but the Corn Stalkers feel that the friendships they made and the experiences they had made them winners as well.



Good ride, good food, good time! 

Bike Ride to Union Aug 2012
August 29th was a beautiful day for the annual staff bike ride to Union. A number of D200 staff members made the ride from Westwood Elementary School to Union and enjoyed dinner at Checkers Restaurant.  Watch for future information on the Spring Trek to the Bake House in Hebron!



227 W. Judd St. | WOODSTOCK | IL | 60098 | 815-338-8200 


e-Focus is published online every month by Woodstock Community Unit School District 200. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Please contact the editor by
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