TOPe Focus Header
February 2015
In This Issue
FIRST LEGO League Teams Qualify for State Competition
WNHS Mathletes Win Invitational
Westwood's Debbie Barnhill in the Staff Spotlight
ASBO Honors D200 with 13th Meritorious Budget Award
Teachers Enjoy Discussing Book with its Author
Therapy Dog is a Beloved Visitor at Clay Academy
Middle School Students Research Future Career Options
Polar Plungers Raise Funds for Special Olympics

Quick Links

Virtual Backpack

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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. 


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Looking Ahead

Board of Education Mtg
7:00 p.m. at Clay PDC
Tuesday, Feb. 24

Half Day Attendance
Tuesday, March 17

Board of Education Mtg
7:00 p.m. at Clay PDC
Tuesday, March 17

Spring Break
March 23 - 27

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

Learn More About Our Schools



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


Board of Education


Camille Goodwin,



Paul J. Meyer,

Vice President


Russ Goerlitz,



Bob Birchfield

Carl W. Gilmore


Bill Nattress 


David Shinherr

Stars Spiral  



Dr. Mike  Moan 


D200 Logo on Gray

Firefighters from the Woodstock Fire/Rescue District were among the many volunteers who shared their love of reading with our students during the District's 24th annual Love to Read Week.
FIRST LEGO League Teams Go to State

During the 2014-15 FIRST LEGO League season, the challenge that teams explored was, "What is the future of learning?"  Teams from around the world explored and redesigned how we gather knowledge and the skills that are needed to be successful in the 21st century.


District 200 was, again, well represented at competitions throughout the year.  Four Challenge Corp teams from

Northwood Robotics team members 
demonstrate for the Board of Education.

Northwood Middle School did well enough at the Regional Tournament to advance to the State Robotic Competition held on January 17 at Elgin Community College.  They competed against 63 other teams from the Northern Championship.  At the State Competition, students presented and were judged on their research project, technical understanding of design construction and programming, robot performance skills, and core values on this season's challenge.  Three of the four teams matched or out-performed their regional qualifier score for robot performance, and all of them improved in the areas of research presentation and core values.


Congratulations to the State Qualifying teams and their coaches Gigi Carlson and Brandon Frisbie.


Fibonacci Fanatics

Emma Bremer
Jackson Granat
Kyla Grismer
Jonathan McGregor
Eleazar Miranda 
Aiden Riley
Abbey Schaber
Jack Smith
Jason Thurow 
Global Gurus
Matt Blalock
Jeremy Bukowski
Zach Bukowski
Jackson Emmons
Luke Freeman
Donovan Garcia
Caden Quick
Will Seabert
Northwood Nemos
Sophia Alanis
Luke Duenas
Grace Graff
Daniel McCoy
Elijah McCoy
Ethan Miranda
Ethan Ritter
Matthew Schmidt
Clay Truman
Wait, What?
Jacob Brucker
Keegan Given
Andy Johnson
Charlie Neff
Carter Miller
Kevin Pacheco
Jared Ritter

Math Team Takes First at Invitational

On January 15, 2015 the Woodstock North math team competed at Rockford University for the NIATM Math Invitational Competition, and took First Place Overall in Division A1. Schools competing included Belvidere, Belvidere North, Boylan, Byron, Harlem, Hononegah, Rochelle, Stillman Valley, Winnebago, Woodstock High School and Woodstock North.  Overall there were about 350 students at the competition.


Individual Awards were earned by the following Thunder mathletes:

AlgebraHannah Wilson, Freshman - 3rd Place
GeometryWill Taylor, Sophomore - 2nd Place
Algebra IIDanielle Chamberlain, Junior - 4th Place

Specific Team Awards were earned by the following:

3rd Place - Riley Basaran, Ben Moreno,
Shane Lenczewski, Ryan Hanson and
Alex Nacague
Freshman-Sophomore 8 Person Team2nd Place - Maddie Boyce, Delaney Guy, Dylan Martinez, Hannah Wilson, Jack McCoy, Alec Molve, Sofia Noonan and
Will Taylor
Algebra I Team1st Place - Maddie Boyce, Delaney Guy, Dylan Martinez, Alex Nacague,
Hazel Ringpis and Hannah Wilson
Geometry Team1st Place - Andrew Dort, Ryan Hanson,
Jack McCoy, Alec Molve, Sophia Noonan, Josh Powell and Will Taylor
Junior-Senior 8 Person Team2nd Place - Ben Bosowski,
Trent Liebmann, Anneliese McGregor,
Bella Biwer, Danielle Chamberlain,
Kasia Mucha, Allison Nordvall and
Katya Taylor
With 31 participants on the math team, Woodstock North scored the highest total points of 326 to earn a First Place Overall Team Trophy for Division A schools at the NIATM Competition.  Woodstock North started 7 years ago with 4 students on the team, and has grown to 37 students under the direction of Ms. Carol Koltz and Mr. Bernard Schmit.
Congratulations, WNHS Mathletes!

Staff Spotlight on Westwood's 
Debbie Barnhill

In her 16 years working in food service at Westwood Elementary School, Debbie Barnhill has seen changes in what students eat, how they eat it and how much they eat - and the changes have been for the better.

Back then, meals were prepared at school and the portions students received were often high in carbs, fat and calories.   Now the schools order healthier options from vendors. Food service personnel offer items, and students choose what they want to eat.  Debbie has seen children's eating habits get better.  After they try something healthy at school, students often ask their parents to buy it for home.  She has seen an increase in consumption of fruit, vegetables, and snacks such as hummus.


All schools in District 200 participate in a program sponsored by the Midwest Dairy Council and the NFL called Fuel up to Play 60.  This program encourages students to exercise for 60 minutes per day and eat healthy foods.  Student ambassadors complete a pledge on line and keep track of their activity and food intake.  The ambassadors have written morning announcements, decorated bulletin boards and created an exercise video teachers and students can use in the classroom.


Debbie and her ambassadors submitted the activities they

Westwood Food Services Manager Debbie Barnhill and the school's Fuel Up to Play 60 Ambassadors have helped to inspire healthy behaviors in students.

completed and were rewarded with a trip to Halas Hall to meet several members of the Chicago Bears.  Based on ideas they learned while at Halas Hall, the group developed an all school Turkey Trot.  Students and teachers competed in challenges such as a hula hoop contest, scooter races, bean bag balance and the crab walk. Debbie wants to make sure that all students are learning the importance of healthy eating and staying active. 

Debbie has been instrumental in bringing Midwest Dairy Council members to school to promote the benefits of dairy products.  Second grade students learned about dairy farming and are going to get the opportunity to name a calf in the spring.  To celebrate milk mustache day, Westwood students made mustaches that represented their favorite milk flavor, whether it was regular or lactose free.  Debbie took their photos and placed them around the cafeteria.

Food Services Director Sue Malley recognizes Debbie's never-ending energy and her contributions to Westwood, "On a daily basis, Debbie goes above and beyond to create fun and innovative ways for her students to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle."


District 200 Receives 13th Consecutive Meritorious Budget Award

Each year The Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) recognizes school districts for excellence in

D200 CFO Risa Hanson is congratulated by Superintendent Mike Moan and Board of Education President Camille Goodwin.

budget presentations.  Once again District 200 is the recipient of the Meritorious Award.  Chief Financial Officer Risa Hanson and her staff have achieved this significant accomplishment every year since 2002. Only school districts that have met or exceeded the program's stringent requirements, which include understandable and clear budget guidelines, cutting-edge budget practices, short- and long-term goals, sound fiscal management practices, and professional growth for the school district's budget staff, receive this honor.


Teachers Visit with Local Author
When several members of the Dean Street and Prairiewood staffs recommended reading The Butterfly Sister to their fellow book club members, they were not aware that the author, Amy Gail Hansen, had a connection to Woodstock. Dean Street teacher Jane Wise told her friends of the connection.  Several years ago Jane's husband, who is a teacher at Woodstock North High School, brought the book home from a book signing with the author and announced that she had been his student at Woodstock High School in the late 90's.

Amy moved to Woodstock with her family in the 80's and graduated from Woodstock High School in 1996.  Amy did her student teaching at Woodstock High School and taught in the English Department for two years prior to devoting her time to writing and raising a family.


During a recent meeting of the book club that included an appearance by Amy, the teachers asked her about her writing style, whether she will write more books and about her choice to reference Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf and Perkins Gilman in her book. 

Teachers from Dean Street and Prairiewood discuss their book club's selection with its author, WHS alumna Amy Gail Hansen.

The opening of The Butterfly Sister was inspired by an event that happened to Amy while she was at the airport checking her luggage.  She looked down and noticed that the identification tag on her suitcase had another girl's name and address on it.  It took Amy several minutes to remember that she lent the piece of luggage to a girl in college 5 years before.  She tucked away that mystery in her head, knowing that she would someday use it in a book.  She wrote the opening of The Butterfly Sister with pen and paper while on vacation in Wisconsin and thinks that, because it was handwritten, it has a diary type feeling. 


The Butterfly Sister took Amy 5 years from the start of writing until publishing.  She said that, even though the book has some flashbacks, she wrote it in order.  Going back and forth between past and present posed some challenges, but the linear writing served her well at the time.


Members of the Dean Street and Prairiewood book club are looking forward to reading more works by Amy Gail Hansen.


Special Visitor Joins Clay Academy Students for Love to Read Week
Every week for the last four years, Thorp and his owner Becky Monroe have visited with students at Clay Academy.  Thorp will sit with students while they read, or just sit on a blanket and listen to them talk. Thorp is a licensed therapy dog who was rescued from a puppy mill by Monroe in 2008.

On the last day of Love to Read Week, Becky brought a book to

Clay Academy students (and therapy dog Thorp)
listen as Becky Monroe reads from her new book.

read to the students that she wrote about her experiences with Thorp.  It outlines what puppy mills do, how she helps rescue animals, and animal protection legislation that she helped to get passed. The students in Mary Stewart's class surprised Becky and Thorp with a publishing party, complete with cake, to help celebrate her book being published.


Thorp has a special relationship with students at Clay Academy.  He is always happy to be there, recognizes students he has seen before and provides a sense of calm for students who may have had a challenging day.


Annual Assignment Encourages Students to Explore Career Possibilities

Eighth grade students at Northwood Middle School have been working on their annual career projects.


The project begins with students completing an inventory that helps them find areas of study where their interests lie.  Students also use a career cruising website that provides information about careers in those areas of study.  If a student's interest is in health care, the website shows that there are other careers besides a doctor or nurse that fit into that category.


Another component of their research is to find colleges or trade

As part of his research, one Northwood student interviewed Dr. Joseph Emmons.

schools that offer courses that will help them attain their career goals.  Students send letters to two schools and ask for information about majors or programs of study. In addition, they find out fun facts about the schools such as school colors, the

mascot or interesting things about the town where the college is located. Often students not only receive letters back but also specialty items like t-shirts, key chains or water bottles. 


The third part of the research is to find and interview someone who has the career in which they're interested.  This year one student conducted a Skype interview with a NASA employee, others met with an architect, while another learned about journalism from a reporter at The Woodstock Independent

ll this research culminates in March when students make 8-12 minute presentations of their findings to a panel of judges.



Polar Plunge Faithful Brave Temps for a Great Cause! 
Once again, a large group of District 200 Special Education staff, joined by friends and family, braved the cold to participate in the annual Polar Plunge, to support Special Olympics.  Participants must raise at least $75 in donations from friends, family and co-workers in exchange for jumping into the icy waters in the middle of winter. The D200 group set a goal of $3000 this year.  To date, they not only met their goal, but almost doubled it, raising $5390! Congratulations, Polar Plungers - you are, as the Special Olympics website states, truly "Below Zero Heroes!"
D200 Polar Plungers greet the crowd prior to 
jumping into the icy water.

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


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