The Item Newsletter, Issue #14, March 1, 2015
Teacher Appreciation Week Is Right Around The Corner...March 23 - 27


During Teacher Appreciation Week, the PTO will hold a Teacher Raffle to give all of our wonderful teachers a chance to win some terrific prizes. You can help the PTO build gift baskets to be raffled off on March 27 during a special teachers' lunch. Prizes will include beautiful themed gift baskets assembled with donations from Hubbard Woods families. 


Each grade has been assigned a "theme" to guide you in your donation selection. For example, if you have a child in
Kindergarten, your theme is Entertainment. Donation ideas could include things that provide entertainment like movie passes, restaurant gift certificates, sports opportunities. Or, you might want to think of donating things that help one entertain, like housewares, food and wine, cocktail napkins, candles or games. Use your imagination and think about how you interpret the theme "Entertainment"!

1st Grade: Health & Wellness ideas include yoga mat, hand weights, SpaFinder gift card, healthy treats, teas, fitness books & magazines, gift certificate to a juice bar or healthy restaurant, gift certificate to a gym or personal training session . . .


2nd Grade: Chicago Rocks! ideas include tickets/passes to Chicago Art Institute, Botanic Garden, SkyDeck, local restaurants, sport events, Chicago area guide books, Chicago sports themed items, Vosages chocolates, Garrett's Popcorn . . .


3rd Grade: Home & Garden ideas include decorator magazines/subscription, garden center gift certificates, home improvement store gift certificates, plants, candles, frames, bird feeders, decorative items/gift certificate from Chalet . . .


4th Grade: Food & Wine ideas could include restaurant gift certificates, wine, wine glasses, cork screw, gourmet goodies, cookbooks, kitchen gadgets, serving platters. .
Be creative! Sky's the limit! No item is too big or too small. The baskets were awesome last year and were the talk of the teachers' lounge.


Donated items can be dropped off in the designated box located in the school lobby starting tomorrow, Monday, March 2nd. Questions? Contact Nicole Rivera at Thank you very much for your participation! 
This Week and Next
Please join us for a fun evening filled with math-related games and activities, a perfect event to add to your Screen Break Week agenda! Event will be held from 7-8:15 PM in both the HW gym and the Resource Center. 
Questions? Please contact Neilly Hallermann at
Sunday, March 1- Saturday, March 7
Screen Break Week

Weeks of March 1 and March 8
PARCC Testing for Grades 3 and 4

Friday, March 6 - Kindergarten Conferences
Friday, March 6 - School Spirit Day
Show your school spirit by wearing Hubbard Woods attire  or our school colors, turquoise and white.
News and Notes




The PTO is pleased to present the slate for next year's Executive Board:


President: Jen Hayes
Vice-President: Brooke Helmstetter
Secretary: Brie Root
Treasurer: Julia Werner
Assistant Treasurer: Lori Miralles
Communications Chair: Erin Donaldson
Assistant Communications Chair: Kendal Reis
Ex-Officio: Georgie Geraghty
Congratulations to the nominees! The election of officers will take place in the auditorium on Thursday, March 19 at 2:00pm (prior to Superintendent Trish Kocanda's Entry Plan Meeting). All PTO members are welcome and encouraged to attend.  
If you have any questions regarding the slate, nominating procedures, or the election please contact Heather Pigott (
Last fall Superintendent Trish Kocanda conducted over 65 meetings with staff, students, parents, administration, Board members, and community officials to prepare her mid-year Entry Plan Report (click here to read the Entry Plan Report).
Please join us on Thursday, March 19 at 2 PM in the HW Auditorium as Ms. Kocanda shares those findings and looks for further input from parents in an effort to create a shared vision for the future of our schools. 


Last year, The Grand donated over $10,000 to the Hubbard Woods PTO thanks to the HW parents and students collecting thousands of receipts from The Grand. Please keep up the good work this year!  Students can drop off any 2015 receipts in the "Grand Receipts" box in front of Mrs. Kuzel's desk. Shop locally and support our school!

The Skokie School will host an orientation meeting for current fourth grade students and their parents, Wednesday, April 8th from 6:30 - 8:10 PM. Families will receive an email invitation with more details. Skokie students identified last year's orientation meeting as one of the most helpful components of their orientation activities. Students enjoyed the opportunity to tour the school, meet the staff, and have a conversation with current Skokie students. Please mark your calendar.
MAYFEST IS SUNDAY, MAY 17 from 12 - 4 PM at Hubbard Woods School

Want to get involved?
Contact Kate Kligora at
A ZEN LIBRARIAN - By Todd Burleson
I'm always intrigued by lists. It seems that we can be inundated by 'Best of' lists of all types, especially around this award season. This got me thinking about books that I wish all kids have had the chance to read. I found an outstanding article on that I thought I would share with you. I added my own spin on the article too; click here to read the top 50 (Plus my three) books every kid should read before they are 12. Guess what? It's not too late. Check out the list, and if there are two or three, or a dozen you haven't read, check them out and read them as a family!  

How many of your favorites are on this list?
Thank you to the members of the PTO Nominating Committee who put together such a wonderful Executive Board Slate for 2015-2016: Heather Pigott, Abby Burtelow, Jenny Keller, Sara McClain, Nicole Rivera, Nora Shea, Nidhi Singh, and Amy Swartchild.

A enormous thank you goes to Lori Miralles for her ongoing work to create processes that make putting our school directory together seamless and efficient! The PTO would also like to express our gratitude to Lisa Merlo for her tireless efforts to organize (and nicely display!) the many items that go in and out of the school's Lost and Found. Lastly, thank you to Cheryl O'Brien for coordinating the Kiddos lunch program and for keeping all of us on top of ordering deadlines. We're grateful! 
Looking Ahead
Thursday March 19, 2 PM
Parent Meeting with Superintendent Trish Kocanda
HW Auditorium
Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27 - Teacher Appreciation Week
Monday, March 30 - Friday, April 3, No School, Spring Break
Wednesday, April 8
Skokie School Orientation

Lost & Found
Stop by the Lost and Found to see what you're missing. 
Lunch Box

Lunch ordering is NOW OPEN for March through year end. Place your order by logging onto
The next Pizza Fun Lunch will be served on Friday, March 13.
Remember to send your child to school with a beverage, especially on Pizza Fun Lunch days.
Community Events
Click here for information.

"The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed With Standardized Testing - But You Don't Have To Be "
by NPR reporter Anya Kamentz, Tuesday, March 3 at 7 PM at Evanston Township High School Auditorium. Click here for more information.

"Navigating Diversity and Inclusion with Our Children "
Join Elisabeth Lindsay-Ryan, lauded diversity facilitator, as she leads a two-part interactive workshop on Thursday, March 5 and Wednesday, March 18 from 7-8:30PM at Baker Demonstration School. Click here and see page 13 for more information.

"Strategies For Using Technology At Home" Series
Part 1: Webinar, March 11, 9:30-11 AM, Register here 
Part 2: In-Person Workshop, March 18, 1-2:30 PM, Register here 
Up Next
The deadline to submit content for the next issue of The Item is Monday, March 9. Submissions should be sent to