TOPe Focus Header
May 2013 
In This Issue
PRIDE Awards Announced
Rausch Receives Yale Music Educator Award
A Zoo to You Visits Early Learning Center
Cinderella With a Twist
Cool It in the Sun
John Underwood Shares Message of Healthy Living
Business and Career Partnership Breakfast Held in D200
Young Authors to Represent District at Illinois State
Students Participate in Triathalon
Clay Academy Students Turn Trash into Cash
EKG Screening Available for High School Students
Young Athletes Learn and Compete
Kindergartners Get First Lesson in Performing
Free Online Tool Enhances Book Search
Science in Action at Northwood

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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

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Dean Street 

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Mary Endres

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Elementary School



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Board of Education


Paul J. Meyer



Russ Goerlitz

Camille Goodwin



Bob Birchfield


Carl Gilmore


Dr. Kathy Lechner


David Shinherr

Stars Spiral  



Ellyn Wrzeski 


Looking Ahead

WNHS Graduation

Saturday, May 18, 

7:00 p.m.


WHS Graduation

Sunday, May 19, 

2:00 p.m.


Creekside 8th Grade Promotion at WHS

Tuesday, May 21, 

7:00 p.m.


Northwood 8th Grade Promotion at WNHS

 Tuesday, May 21, 

7:00 p.m.


Last Day of School

Wednesday, May 22

(Please click here for a schedule of specific dismissal times.)


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.










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





Learning about drums and other percussion instruments
was just one of the sessions offered to Westwood Elementary students at this year's Wide World of Wonder.

PRIDE Awards Announced


Twenty District 200 seniors were the recipients of this year's Board of Education PRIDE Awards.  The seven awards, which
stand for Positive Recognition In District 200 Education, were established during the 1989-90 school year by the District 200 Board of Education to honor outstanding graduating seniors.  The PRIDE Awards aim to recognize achievement in the areas that the Board believes are truly valued by the District 200 community - scholarship, personal achievement, vocational excellence, fine arts, athletics, school service and community service.


Nominations are sought from parents, staff and the community.  This year 173 total nominations were received for 103 different
students. Fourteen separate committees (one for each award at each high school) comprised of board members, staff representatives and community members met to review the students' applications and recommendations.  From those discussions, winners were chosen in each category.  Winners' names were submitted to the full Board for approval and announcement of the winners took place at the WHS and WNHS Senior Awards Assemblies in May.


Congratulations to all the 2013 Board of Education PRIDE Award recipients:


Athletics:  Kerstin Wolf and Jordan Turner (WHS); Kaitlin Chamberlain and Shane Zieman (WNHS)


Community Service:  Arlinda Fasliu (WHS); Hannah Konopinski (WNHS)


Fine Arts

     Music:  Daniel Rausch (WHS); Madison Fant (WNHS)    

     Theatre: Brian Hess (WHS);  Josiah Killam (WNHS)

     Visual Arts: Henry Gantner (WHS); Marie Damien (WNHS)


Personal Achievement: Josh Tillman (WHS);
Viviana Rivera (WNHS)


Scholarship: Grant Stec (WHS); Martin Chakkalamuri (WNHS)


School Service: Arlinda Fasliu (WHS); 

Rebecca Einspahr (WNHS)


Vocational: Andrew Clark (WHS); Selena Guerra (WNHS)



Paul Rausch Receives Music Educator Award
Superintendent Wrzeski congratulates WHS Choral Director Paul Rausch, honored by the Board of Education for his selection as a 2013 Yale Distinguished Music Educator. 
Woodstock High School Choral Director and Fine Arts Chair Paul Rausch is one of 50 people from across the nation to receive the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.  Over 300 people from forty-five states were nominated for this prestigious award. Th
e diverse Distinguished Music Educators come from thirty different states; teach both vocal and instrumental music across myriad genres; and work at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels in urban, rural, and suburban school districts.


Award recipients attend the Symposium on Music in Schools, held every two years at the Yale School of Music as part of its Music in Schools Initiative. The honors will be conferred at the Symposium's Awards Dinner on Saturday, June 8. 


A Zoo to You Brings the Farm to Verda Dierzen


Students at Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center were visited by A Zoo to You during the week of May 6-10.  A Zoo to You is a hands-on farm animal experience for children aimed at providing students with the opportunity to see, pet and feed farm animals such as goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, rabbits, llamas, a calf, and a donkey. 


Although McHenry County is viewed as an agricultural area,

A Verda Dierzen kindergarten 
student gets acquainted with 
the Zoo to You donkey.

many of our students have not had experiences related to the richness of farm life, including mingling with the animals that are raised in this part of the country.   


Students begin to learn about animals prior to their arrival at school.  In addition, the McHenry County Farm Bureau set up displays that show students what else animals are used for whether it's food, clothing or as pets.    


This program was made possible through funding from the Illinois Pre-school Grant, a grant from the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom and the District 200 Education Foundation.  



Cinderella with a Twist

Creekside Middle School students from Target (autism) and Life

Cinderella and her Prince Charming join their court in a royal chicken dance!

Skills classes worked hard to prepare a production of Cinderella with a Twist for family, friends and staff members.  Students from the Best Buddies program acted as position coaches and stage hands.


Although this is an annual event, this is the first year that Target and Life Skills students performed together on such a large scale production.  Creekside teacher Joan Thomas commented, " It was great fun for these kids to do something fun together. They have gotten to know one another a little better, learned to work as a team and watch out for each other. It was a good bonding experience for everyone involved."



Students Cool It in the Sun at Field Days

As part of District 200's ongoing efforts to promote the health and wellness of our students, we are continuing our sun safety program called "Cool It in the Sun" that will take place in conjunction with field days. Our partnership with Gavers

Prairiewood Elementary students show off their hula hoop skills during the school's Field Day.

Community Cancer Foundation and the Woodstock Recreation Department illustrates the importance the district places on sun safety. 


Each school will show a special sun safety DVD during the physical education class prior to field day activities.  The  program slogan "Slip, Slop, and Slap" is designed to help students remember the three steps for sun safety - "Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and slap on a hat".  

Please make sure your child is prepared for field days by following the "Slip, Slop, Slap" slogan.  



John Underwood Brings Message of Healthy Living to Students and Parents


John Underwood, noted physiologist who trains Olympic athletes and Navy Seal teams, is bringing his message to Woodstock high schools on August 15, 16 and 17. 

Underwood's program called Life of an Athlete supports student decisions to live and play alcohol and drug free. It works because it is based on a simple provable truth - getting drunk erases 14 days of physical training. If parents want their child to pull in an athletic scholarship, or if young scholar-athletes want to experience peak performance, alcohol use will steal those dreams.

All District 200 students and their families are welcome to attend any of these sessions.  However, if your student (grade 6-12) is planning to participate in an extracurricular activity or sport any time during the year, attendance by a student and parent/guardian is required.  Additional information, including times and locations, will be posted on school and district websites, and updates will be sent throughout the summer.


District 200 Business and Career Partnership Project Breakfast 


On May 7, business leaders from Woodstock and surrounding communities joined District 200 administrators and teachers at a breakfast aimed at discussing college and career readiness initiatives for students.  District staff members presented information about programs such as Graphic Design, Industrial Tech, Business and Basic Nursing Assistant Certification.  In addition, WHS principal Corey Tafoya talked about the growth of high school students taking AP courses and exams, which translate to college credit.  Feedback about the event was positive, and many participants volunteered to attend future meetings in an effort to keep lines of communication open between the District and the business community. 


Young Authors to Attend State Conference


For more than 20 years the Illinois Language & Literacy Council and the Illinois Reading Council have sponsored the Young Authors program to support classroom teachers in their efforts to improve students' writing and reading skills.  District 200 has been an active participant in that program from its inception.  

Seven D200 students will proudly represent the district at the State Young Authors Conference at Illinois State University.

This year students from every elementary school and the early learning center participated, writing an original story and providing their own illustrations.  From all of the entries, the Literacy Committee selects an author from each school to represent District 200 at the Statewide Young Authors Conference which will be held on May 18 at Illinois State University.  This year's representatives to the State Young Authors Conference are: 


Sean Fiorina - Kindergarten, Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center

The Santa Surprise


Jack Granat - Grade 4, Westwood Elementary School    

The Adventures Behind My Bedroom Wall


Michael Morse - Grade 4, Olson Elementary School

The Hero of Legoland


Christopher Perez - Grade 1, Mary Endres Elementary School

Los Lobos


Jared Ritter - Grade 5, Greenwood Elementary School

The 7 Wonders Book One: The Beginning


James Roush - Grade 3, Dean Street Elementary School

102 and Still Going


Amber Stell - Grade 5, Prairiewood Elementary School

Alejandro the Dragon

WNHS Students Participate in Triathlon


Three Woodstock North High School students participated in their first triathlon on April 28 at the University of Wisconsin -

WNHS students Matt Jensen, Megan Legge, and Aaron Royer, shown here with Coach JC Wise, participated in their first triathlon at the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater.
Whitewater.  Students trained over the course of two months by swimming, running and cycling.  While most of the training was done on their own, they were able to swim at the Woodstock North pool two mornings per week and use time during their zero hour strength training class to train. The students were happy with their times and all plan to participate in the Woodstock triathlon in August. 


Clay Academy Students Turn Trash into Cash

Over the course of four weeks last fall, students from Clay Academy participated in the Keep America Beautiful Recycle Bowl Competition.  More than 1,500 schools from across the nation competed to see who could recycle the most material during that time period. 

A Clay Academy student colors a picture of a recycling truck during the Keep America Beautiful award ceremony.


Clay students were allowed to only recycle items used in school

such as paper, plastic and cans.  Collection data was reported to Keep America Beautiful for verification.  When all the items were collected, they amounted to 585 pounds of recycled material, which is equal to ten pounds of plastic, paper and other materials per Clay student. 


Because of their efforts, Clay Academy won first prize in Illinois. A check in the amount of $1,000 was awarded to the students and staff from sponsor Nestle Waters on May 10. The funds will go to build an indoor greenhouse used to grow fresh vegetables. 


EKG Screening Available for Students at High Schools 


Every year tragic stories of seemingly healthy young adults dying from hidden heart conditions capture our attention. Many potentially life-threatening hidden heart conditions are detectable through a simple EKG and, once detected can be treated. An electrocardiogram (or EKG) can detect markers of certain serious heart conditions, undetectable by a stethoscope.  

Centegra Health System and District 200 will be offering EKG testing to all high school students for a $5 fee during physical education classes on the following dates:

Woodstock High North High School:  August 19th and 20th

Woodstock High School:  August 21st and 22nd

While Centegra's Cardiac Screening test will be conducted at your child's school, it will be performed by the Centegra Wellness Department and reviewed by an on-site physician. Your child with have clinical professionals performing the EKG and, in the case of any abnormalities, an Echocardiogram (Ultrasound) will also be performed. Testing will be clinically managed by Centegra with the cooperative efforts of the schools and parents.  Testing will be conducted in private booths set up in designated areas at both high schools and every effort is made to respect privacy and modesty. 

Information about the testing will be sent home in registration packets.  If you would like to have your child tested, please complete the forms and send a check for $5 made payable to District 200 back to your child's school by July 1. 

For more information, contact Lisa Tate, Health Services Coordinator at (815) 206-3014.


Young Athletes Learn Sports Skills

Young Athletes is an innovative sports program for children ages

2-7 with disabilities, and their peers of any age. This program was designed to introduce students to the world of sports while they have fun and learn some basic skills. The program focuses on activities that help children to improve physically, cognitively, and socially. The program also raises an awareness of Special Olympics in our district and surrounding areas.

Students at Prairiewood Elementary School, Dean Street

Young Athletes at Prairiewood Elementary School celebrate their 
sports accomplishments.

Elementary School and Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center participated in the culminating events which let them showcase their talents in the areas of foundational skills, walking/running, balance, striking, kicking, jumping, catching, throwing, and an obstacle course. Students, along with peer partners, all received t-shirts as well as participation ribbons and certificates.


Verda Dierzen Kindergarten Students Get First Lesson in Performing

It is no small task getting more than 400 Kindergarten students ready to sing and dance on stage.  Even though the performances were in late April, music teacher Chris Rausch and physical education teacher Jackie Anderson begin teaching the songs and dances to students after winter break. 

The theme of this year's performance was "When I Grow Up," featuring songs about possible professions the students could

The kindergarten students at Verda Dierzen 
perform a song and dance routine during 
their Fine Arts program.

have in the future such as,  "When I'm A Firefighter," "Peanut Butter and Jelly" (chef), "Old MacDonald," (farmer), "The Lady with the Alligator Purse" (doctor), and "The Green Grass Grew All Around," (conservationist).  All the songs involved hand motions and movements, and most featured individual students either speaking or singing solo parts.

The two teachers work separately with the students until the week of the show.  During the program week, both gym and music classes are held in the gym giving the students the opportunity to get familiar with the space and the decorations. Part of their learning also included rules about talking, properly using the risers and program etiquette.

Parents and siblings, staff members and District administrators were on hand at each of two performances to watch the students perform their songs and dances.  


Free Online Tool Helps Students Find Books for Summer Reading


Studies show that students who continue to learn during the summer break are better prepared for school in the fall.  Governor Pat Quinn, Secretary of State Jesse White and State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch today are encouraging all students across Illinois to access a free online tool designed to promote summer reading and keep students' brains active before school resumes in the fall.


"By reading during summer months, students can build a strong bridge from one school year to the next," Governor Quinn said. "This free online tool is a great way for children to spend time with their parents while sharpening reading skills and preparing for the year ahead."


The online "Find a Book" utility at provides a way for parents and children to quickly and easily search books that match a child's reading level and interests as well as locate a local library carrying each title.


The "Find a Book" utility at uses a student's reading score, reported as a LexileŽ measure, from state standardized tests, including the ISAT, to provide a Lexile range and corresponding list of texts within that range.


Users of the "Find a Book" search tool can also find appropriate books without a Lexile measure through a search using the child's grade level and comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined.


"Reading builds knowledge and is crucial to students' long-term success," State Superintendent Koch said. "Good reading habits begin at home. Parents can help their children develop strong reading skills by using the 'Find a Book' site to find age-appropriate materials that will keep their students engaged and excited about learning."


"Find a Book" also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures. More information on Spanish Lexile measures is available at 


STEM and Next Generation Science Standards in Action at Northwood Middle School

At Northwood Middle School, 6th grade students designed and tested blades for use with a student windmill from the McHenry County Farm Bureau. This hands-on, STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) approach came as a result of students teaming together to choose and lead the
Northwood 6th grade science 
team members proudly display 
their windmill project.
demonstration of their final science learning for the year. In this self-directed team, students chose to build a windmill.  In order to have professional assistance, students contacted and met with Larry Reinhard of the Summer Agriculture Institute, and experimented with designing blades for achieving the greatest power output. Students will present their model and findings to peers in science classes on the final days of school. This student-directed, problem-solving approach mirrors an upcoming shift in science learning and curriculum under the Next Generation Science Standards recently adopted in Illinois.


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


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