TOPe Focus Header
October 2012 
In This Issue
Students Learn Fire Safety
WNHS Mock Presidential Election
Thank you, WFAA!
From Farm to Table
District Music Faculty to Perform
WHS Students Achieve Excellence
6th Annual Employee Health Fair a Success
Jorie Karafa is National Merit Commended Student
Legislative Changes Lead to New Evaluation Process

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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.

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 


Looking Ahead


No School (Veterans' Day)

Monday, Nov. 12


One Hour Late Start

Wednesday, Nov. 14


Early Dismissal

Wednesday, Nov. 21


No School 

 (Thanksgiving Break)

Thursday, Nov. 22


No School 

(Thanksgiving Break)

Friday, Nov. 23


Go to the Calendar or Upcoming Events sections of the district website for a detailed listing of all events by school, month, day or type.








D200 Logo on Gray 

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













Northwood Middle School students observed National Fire Prevention Week and learned about fire hazards, safety, prevention and the correct 
and safe use of fire extinguishers.


Northwood 6th Grade Students Learn About Fire Extinguisher Safety

What kind of fire extinguisher do you use on a grease fire?  An electrical fire?  A wood fire?  During a presentation about fire safety at Northwood Middle School, sixth grade students learned that there are different types of fire extinguishers for different types of fires.  An extinguisher filled with pressurized water can be used on a wood fire, but cannot be used on an electrical or grease fire. 


Students also discussed the importance of having a plan to get out of the house in case of a large fire, and that it isn't a good idea to try to be a hero. 


After the presentation, students went outside and learned how to use the extinguisher filled with pressurized water.  They "shot" the water at plastic cups in order to see how powerful the stream was.  Science teachers Katie Spaldon and Marcy Buchanan also demonstrated how to use the ABC extinguisher filled with Sodium Bicarbonate powder, Irritant Powder, and Talc. 



WNHS Holds Mock Presidential Election 

In an effort to learn about the election process including campaigning and public opinion, Mickey Olhava's political science class at Woodstock North High School has been working on a project related to the upcoming presidential election.


Students campaigned for two weeks by hanging posters, creating commercials and interacting with social media. Prior to

WNHS political science students cast their ballots as they learn about the election process.
the election the political science students conducted a poll on political affiliation and candidate choice at the school. Part of the goal of the campaign project was to see if their campaign efforts ultimately changed public opinion. The culminating activity was a mock election that took place on October 11 with the assistance of the League of Women Voters.  Members of the League trained students to act as election judges and brought an actual ballot box for students to use after they voted. 


All students in the school had the opportunity to vote and the results are as follows:


Jill Stein (Green) 48 votes - 7.5%

Mitt Romney (Republican) 224 votes - 35%

Barack Obama (Democrat) 244 votes - 38%

Gary Johnson (Libertarian) 109 votes - 17%

14 write-in votes - 2.5 %



Thank you to the Woodstock Fine Arts Association


The Woodstock Fine Arts Association invited Novel Ideas Improvisational Troupe to perform for a second time at its Fall Children's Program.  The Troupe's performance was based on classic children's nursery rhymes and fables.  A crowd pleaser was the tale of The Tortoise and the Hare that included a guest student performer randomly chosen from the audience. 


A generous contribution from the Woodstock Fine Arts Association to pay for transportation enabled District 200 elementary schools to attend the performance.  District 200 is grateful for the donation!   


From Farm to Table


District 200 second grade students have a new appreciation for fruits and vegetables and how they get to our kitchens.  A unique and creative learning unit called "Farm to Table" combines science, nutrition, health and careers, among other areas of the curriculum.  


Second graders from Dean Street were able to walk to a recent

Farmers Market on the Woodstock Square and see first-hand

Dean Street 2nd grade students visit with a local farmer on the Woodstock Square.

how fresh produce arrives from the farm.  Students visited with farmers and learned about the planting, harvesting and transportation of the fruits and vegetables they see in their homes every day.  Second graders from all six elementary schools were able to enjoy a presentation by Chef Simon Pedersen of McHenry County College.  Chef Simon, who also teaches in the district's Culinary Arts program, demonstrated to the students how tomatoes, onions and peppers are used to create fresh salsa. 

Chef Simon talks to students about the fresh salsa they're sampling.

The students learned about the profession of chef, had an opportunity to sample fresh salsa prepared from produce grown in the Woodstock North High School garden, and to try on the role of "food critic" as they discussed their chips and salsa snack.  Chef Simon also gave the students a recipe for ketchup so they could try out being "chefs" at home and make a homemade, healthy version of a second grade favorite!


Students will continue to study plants throughout the year and will be involved in planting some of their own vegetables, either in containers now, or outside in the spring.  By the end of the year they will be able to reflect on the gardening, preparation and cooking experiences of the Farm to Table unit, and hopefully will have developed a better understanding of what it takes to keep both their food and themselves healthy. 


District Music Faculty to Present 4th Annual Concert 

District 200 has a long history of producing outstanding music.  Over the years a large number of D200 student musicians, both choral and band, have earned all-state honors from the Illinois Music Educators Association. IMEA District 7, in which D200 students compete, is comprised of schools in most of McHenry County, all of Lake County, and also some parts of Cook and DuPage Counties.  It is generally considered to be the most competitive of the nine districts in Illinois.  In addition to individual student achievement, the district's choral and band programs have earned top honors in the IHSA Music Organizational Contests. 


On Sunday, October 28th at 4:00 p.m. the community will have the opportunity to enjoy performances by the "behind the scenes" talented individuals who share the credit for the outstanding success of these programs - the district music faculty.  Music and theater faculty members will perform a wide variety of pieces, both choral and instrumental, in the Woodstock High School Auditorium.  Among the featured performers are Paul Rausch, choral director at Woodstock High School; Greg Eriksen, band director at Creekside Middle School; WNHS choral director Megan Kim, and fifth grade band director Debbie Schweihs.  A wide variety of other performances, both vocal and instrumental, will also be included.  Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors ($4 and $2 if purchased in advance).  In addition to the music, a raffle will be held for a number of exciting prizes, including Chicago Bears tickets and tickets to a performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.  All proceeds benefit The LAM Foundation, a 501c3 organization dedicated to funding research into a treatment and cure for the rare disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).  Please arrive early to purchase tickets and enter the raffle.  For advance tickets, contact Kathy at 815-245-8616 or Kate at 815-337-7730.  



WHS Students Achieve Excellence

Each year, all juniors in the state of Illinois take the Prairie State Achievement Exam (PSAE) that measures achievement in reading, mathematics, and science.  Woodstock High School principal Corey Tafoya honored students who exceeded state standards in all areas on the PSAE with the 2012 Principal's Award of Excellence. 

WHS Prinicpal's Award recipients pictured above are, front row, left to right: John Gogolewski, Gabriel Klinefelter, Jorie Karafa, Grant Stec and Joshua Taylor.  Back row, left to right: Jack Uidl, Phillip Krueger,
Wyatt Meyer and Brian Hess. 

District Health and Wellness Fair in its 6th Year

District 200 believes our employees need to maintain a healthy life balance in order to give their best to our students every day.  On October 16, over 170 District 200 employees attended the 6th annual health fair at Woodstock North High School. 

District Vision and Hearing Technician
Jan Vetere tests WNHS Guidance
Director John Kohl's hearing.


Representatives from 25 local agencies and businesses provided employees with the opportunity to have a blood pressure screening, receive a free vision and hearing check, get a spine and posture check, and learn about fitness classes and healthy eating.  In addition to visiting with vendors, eighty-five employees received a flu shot for a nominal fee. 



WHS Senior Earns National Merit Commended Student Honor

WHS senior Jorie Karafa

Woodstock High School senior Jorie Karafa has been named a Commended Student in the prestigious 2013 National Merit Scholarship Program.  She is one of only 34,000 students in the nation who earned this honor by scoring in the top 5% of the 1.5 million seniors who took the Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT) which qualified them for that status. In September, the students received a Letter of Commendation and congratulatory message from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for their outstanding accomplishment. Although they are not eligible to continue in the scholarship competition, Commended Students may become candidates for Special Scholarships provided by corporations and businesses.



Legislative Changes Require Districts to Update Evaluation Process
In 2010, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation requiring all school districts in Illinois to change how teachers' and principals' performance is measured.  Districts are required to design and implement performance evaluation systems that assess teachers' and principals' professional skills as well as incorporate measures of student growth.

On September 1, 2012, Woodstock School District 200 began using a performance evaluation system for school administrators and teachers that includes the following four performance rating categories: Excellent, Proficient, Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory. This system provides clear descriptions of excellence in professional practice so everyone understands what great teaching means. A primary focus of the new evaluation system is to add objectivity to a practice that previously was largely subjective.

Over the course of the last 18 months, a district evaluation committee comprised of equal representatives of district teachers and administrators worked together to ensure that the process created by the district for teachers' performance evaluations is in compliance with state mandated guidelines.  It was necessary to update forms, create pre- and post-observation components and develop a comprehensive process for employees who fall into the "needs improvement" category.  

School administrator evaluations include a description of the principal's duties and responsibilities and the standards to which the principal or assistant principal is expected to perform. In addition, a student component is currently in place for administrators.

Starting in the 2016-2017 school year, the legislation also calls for student achievement to become a significant factor in every teacher's evaluation.  Districts across the state will use both state mandated assessments and local assessments to determine student growth.  



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


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