TOPe Focus Header
October 2015
In This Issue
Board Approves Strategic Plan; Superintendent to Conduct Community Forums
Parent-Teacher Conferences are October 7 & 8
Early Childhood Program Recognized for Excellence
Technology Update: Canvas
Education Foundation Awards Impact Grants
Openings Available in WHS Preschool Program
Prairiewood Students Help Beautify Campus
Care4 Breast Cancer 5K is October 18
Dean Street Students Are Inspired to "Make Their Mark"
Fall Theater Productions Open Soon

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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Click here to visit D200 Facebook.

Looking Ahead 

Half Day Attendance
Wednesday, Oct. 7
Parent-Teacher Conferences
4:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 7

No School
Thursday, Oct. 8
Parent-Teacher Conferences
9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8
No School
Friday, Oct. 9
No School
(Columbus Day) 
Monday, Oct. 12

Board of Education Mtg
7:00 p.m. at Clay PDC
Tuesday, Oct. 13

One Hour Late Start
Wednesday, Oct. 21

 Half Day Attendance
Tuesday, Oct. 27
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.

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,



Carl W. Gilmore,

Vice President


Russ Goerlitz,



Paul J. Meyer


Jerry Miceli


Bill Nattress 


David Shinherr

Stars Spiral  



Dr. Mike  Moan 


The D200 Board of Education has approved the 2015-16 Budget. It is available for viewing on the District's website at:

D200 Logo on Gray

Prairiewood 5th grade students worked with
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County to plant
oak seedlings on the Prairiewood/Creekside campus.

Board Approves New Strategic Plan
School districts across the country often operate under the direction of a Strategic Plan which is a carefully designed road map for decision-making and resource allocation over
an extended period of time.  Woodstock Community Unit School District has followed the paths set by Strategic Plans
for at least the past 15 years.  One of the goals the current Board of Education set for Dr. Moan upon his appointment last year as the new Superintendent of Schools was to create a new District 200 Strategic Plan for the next five year time period (2015-2020). 

Over the course of the past summer, close to 50 parents, community members, students, administrators and staff members came together for three full-day work sessions to craft a new District 200 Strategic Plan.  As a result of their efforts and in-depth discussions, Dr. Moan presented the Board of Education with the final draft of the 2015-2020 Strategic Plan on Tuesday, September 8th.  The significant difference in the newly created plan is the emphasis on "Key Indicators of Success" which have very specific measures to aid the Board of Education in determining the district's annual progress in achieving the five overall goals that are included in the plan.  The five global areas targeted for improvement over the next five years include:
  • Student Growth and Achievement
  • Family / Community Engagement
  • The Learning Environment
  • Exemplary Employees
  • Essential Resources
Even though the plan has been drafted and approved by the Board of Education, the real work of implementing the Strategic Plan begins immediately.  Staff and Administration will be identifying specific action steps that will enable the district to move forward in attaining the Key Indicators of Success that are outlined under each of the five target areas cited above.  Annual reports will be provided to the Board of Education in order for them to monitor the district's progress in each of the five areas. 

Superintendent to Conduct Community Forums

Superintendent Mike Moan will hold two community forums at the end of the month to discuss the new Strategic Plan.  These sessions are open to anyone who would like to learn more about the process involved in developing the new plan, the components of the plan and how it will be used to guide the District's decision-making and resource allocation over the next five years.  Dr. Moan will present an informational overview and then open the session for questions and discussion.

Forums will be held as follows:
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 - 7:00 p.m. - WNHS Auditorium
  • Thursday, Oct. 29 - 7:00 p.m. - WHS Auditorium
To learn more about the specific components of the District 200 Strategic Plan (2015-2020) please visit: or contact the Superintendent's Office at 815-337-5406.

Parents Urged to Share Opinions in Survey at Parent-Teacher Conferences
District 200's Parent-Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, October 7th from 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursday, October 8th from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. at all schools.  Elementary schools have contacted parents with information about how to secure a time slot.  At the Middle and High School level, parents may sign up for conferences using the online Pick-A-Time system.  Links to the system appear on the schools' website homepages.  If you have any questions or concerns about conferences, please contact your child's school.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are an excellent opportunity to learn about the specific curriculum expectations for your child(ren) and their progress thus far during the school year.  All parents are encouraged to attend their child(ren)'s conference(s) and learn more about the many exciting new initiatives that are being implemented in District 200 this year on behalf of our students.

As part of this year's Parent Conferences, District 200 is conducting a PARENT SURVEY, which is designed to provide feedback to the staff and administration on how effectively our district is performing in a variety of areas which include:
  • Student Achievement
  • Communication / Participation
  • Program Quality
  • Programs and Services
  • Learning Environment
All district schools will have computers available for parents to complete the PARENT SURVEY online, as well as paper copies for those who wish to complete it in this manner. The Parent Survey is also available on the District 200 website at or you may click here for a direct link to the survey.  Parents are strongly encouraged to complete a survey for each level of student(s) they have in District 200, e.g., Elementary, Middle School or High School.

Once completed, survey data will be compiled and analyzed in order to target specific areas for improvement over the next five year period.  The Parent Survey is one component of the newly designed District 200 Strategic Plan that was approved by the Board of Education earlier in September.  The Strategic Plan will be the driving force behind the district's decision-making, programming and resource allocation during the next five years.

The district looks forward to your attendance at Parent Conferences and the results of the Parent Survey.  Thank you for taking the time to participate!

Early Childhood Program Recognized for Excellence
District 200 is very proud to announce that Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center has been honored for meeting the eligibility requirements for the ExceleRate Illinois Gold Circle of Quality, which recognizes early learning programs in Illinois that meet or go beyond the highest quality goals for early childhood education.  Gold Circle programs have met the highest quality standards in three areas of educational programming: 1) learning environment and teaching quality; 2) administrative standards; and 3) staff training and education. 

ExceleRate Illinois is a statewide quality rating and improvement system that establishes standards for helping infants, toddlers and preschool age children develop intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. Evidence is obtained through monitoring visits conducted through National Louis University's contract with the Illinois State Board of Education. Achieving this designation demonstrates the school's commitment to providing quality early childhood education to children in District 200.

Congratulations to the Pre-K staff and administration for this significant recognition of their efforts on behalf of the youngest children attending D200.
For more information about ExceleRate Illinois visit 

Verda Dierzen Principal Tricia Bogott and members of the
Pre-K team accepted the Board's congratulations at the
September 8 Board of Education meeting.

Technology Update: Canvas
In last month's e-Focus, a number of important technology initiatives were previewed.  This month, we are going to focus specifically on the District 200 learning management system (LMS).  An LMS is a digital environment that can be used to develop students' 21st Century Learning Skills. Using the software, students can communicate, collaborate, think critically, and demonstrate their creativity across all subject areas.  Students will be in a position to demonstrate their learning in ways not previously possible.  
In the Spring of 2015, District 200 purchased access to the Canvas Learning Management System.  Canvas is so important to us because it will be the structure that organizes the students' digital resources and it will be the gateway for classroom learning experiences.  In addition to its use as a learning platform, it is also an effective communication tool. Beginning this October, we will begin offering parents access to their child's Canvas platform.  By completing a simple sign-up procedure, parents will have access to their child's classroom information, including announcements, important calendar dates, and assignment information.  We expect that parents will become an even larger part of the home-to-school bond as they are able to access more information about their child's academic experiences.     

As our use of the platform becomes more sophisticated, so too will the extent that we can personalize learning experiences for our children.  We will be able to develop and manage multiple learning pathways that students can explore as they work to reach their educational and personal potential.  The software is simply another tool that our exceptional teachers will use to meet the needs of their students.  As a district, we are excited about the contributions that Canvas will make to our students' learning experiences and our overall educational environment.

Education Foundation Awards Grants
The District 200 Education Foundation has awarded more than $24,000 in 2015-16 grants to D200 teachers for projects designed to enhance learning at all grade levels. The grants were announced at a reception on Wednesday, September 30th at Woodstock North High School.  The funds will support a total of 57 projects for amounts ranging from approximately $100 to $1,000. Eleven District 200 schools will benefit from the grant funding. This is the 22nd consecutive year that the Education Foundation has provided funds to District 200 teachers for innovative educational activities that aren't covered by the District 200 budget. The District 200 Education Foundation is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to achieving their motto, "making things happen that ordinarily would not." The Foundation has awarded approximately $475,000 to projects that support excellence in District 200.

Education Foundation Chairman Erich Thurow announced this year's Impact Grants at the Foundation's September 30th reception.
Among the projects being funded this year is a Star Lab inflatable planetarium that will allow middle school science students to view planets, stars and constellations.  Grants at the Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center include a cooking program, and "Giving Back," which focuses on giving back to the community.  At the high school level, Foundation funds will support such diverse projects as hydroponic vegetable farming, and travel to the State Math Competition. In addition, grant funds will provide for a number of reading and writing programs at all levels that encourage student creativity and support the classroom curriculum. 

Each year, one grant application is chosen to be honored as the Ellyn Wrzeski Impact Grant.  This award is given in honor of retired former Superintendent Ellyn Wrzeski, in recognition of her many years of service to District 200.  The grant exemplifies the innovation, originality and passion for education that Ellyn brought to our district. This year's Ellyn Wrzeski Impact Grant is the Sensory Garden at Creekside Middle School. Teachers/grant writers Jennifer Moskowitz and Stephanie Tate describe it as follows: "The creation of a Sensory Garden at Creekside Middle School will not only teach the students about different plants and introduce them to a variety of plants, but it will also be a great calming area for students and staff.  It will be a place that encourages the use of the five senses and invites students and staff to explore nature in a different way." 

A complete list of the funded projects is available in the program from the September 30th grant awards reception, which can be viewed on the Foundation's website at:

Openings Available in WHS Preschool Program
Openings are still available in the preschool program at Woodstock High School.  The Early Childhood Education class, taught through the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, is responsible for the program. There are approximately 15 students in the class who will plan and evaluate lessons, supervise and instruct students, and maintain the classroom and supplies all while studying techniques and philosophies of early
A preschool student at WHS works on his motor skills while having fun with an art project.
childhood education. Mrs. Robinette serves as the director and facilitates the students' delivery of the program.  Students teach on committees or teams and take turns presenting play and learning activities in the areas of small and large motor skills including art, listening and communication, social skill development, music and science.  Children are served a small snack during each class.  The goal of the preschool program for the children is to develop and practice the socialization, readiness, and behavior skills needed for the transition to kindergarten.  This is accomplished through a child-centered approach and makes use of the play and learning activities to facilitate the child's growth. 
The preschool program includes approximately 50 classes throughout the year excluding holidays, teacher institutes, and high school testing days. Parents are asked to make a full-year commitment to insure the best opportunities for learning by the high school students.  High school students evaluate the child's progress at the end of each semester and this information is sent home to the parents.  The class will also have two presentations for parents and relatives: one just before winter break and the other at the last class of the year.  The $120.00 fee for the program helps to cover the cost of consumable supplies such as art materials, snacks, and paper products.

To be eligible for the class, children must be residents of District 200 and must be in the process of becoming potty-trained.  Parents must provide transportation for their child and pay the yearly fee.  For further information on the WHS program, please contact Mrs. Robinette at school at 815-206-4315.  

A similar program, the Thunder Tots, is available at Woodstock North High School. For Thunder Tots information, please contact Mrs. Jennifer Rooney at 815-334-2100.  

Prairiewood Students Join Project Quercus
Every year that he's been at Prairiewood Elementary School, teacher John Girard has involved his students in learning about the environment and working to better their own.  They have worked diligently to clean up pieces of black landscaping fabric that were left in the ground surrounding the Prairiewood/Creekside campus following construction of the schools in 2007. They have worked to clear invasive plant species and restore the natural prairie plants native to the area, and they helped construct a prairie trail. This year, Girard and his 5th grade class worked with The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, and its Project Quercus, to plant oak seedlings on the campus. (Quercus is a Latin word meaning oaks.)

The Land Conservancy helps increase the number of trees
Students worked in teams to dig, plant,
mulch, water and cage the seedlings.
that grow from each year's acorns through the Acorn Roundup.  People from across McHenry County gather these future oaks each fall and bring them to the Conservancy office.  From there, the acorns are delivered to Glacier Oaks Nursery in Harvard, where they are generously propagated and raised into young oaks that are used for future Project Quercus plantings.  Conservancy staff members Dave Zeiger and Sarah Michehl showed the students the correct way to dig, plant, mulch and water the new trees, and helped them construct wire cages to protect the seedlings from wildlife.

Thanks to Mr. Girard and his students, the Prairiewood/ Creekside campus may someday have beautiful oak trees towering around the schools.

Annual 5K to Fight Cancer is October 18
The Family Health Partnership Clinic will hold their annual Care4 Breast Cancer 5K Run/Walk at Woodstock North High School on Sunday, October 18th.  Funds help uninsured people who are in need of breast cancer screening, education, and preventative care.  In keeping with tradition, the District 200 high schools have formed teams (Woodstock North Thunder and WHS Blue Streaksand both teams welcome anyone who would like to join this "friendly rivalry" to help raise funds.
Athletic teams from both high schools have also joined in helping to raise awareness by sponsoring special events at games.
  • Volleyball Block Outs 10/1 @ WHS and 10/13 @ WNHS 
    Spectators are encouraged to wear a color that represents the cancer they want to BLOCK OUT.
  • Football Pink Outs 10/9 @ WHS and 10/16 @ WNHS
    A pink ribbon corn hole set will be auctioned off at each of these games, with all proceeds going to the FHPC's breast cancer fund.
In a special tribute this year, the Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center and Olson Elementary School have teamed up to honor Mr. Scott Brown.  Mr. Brown was the husband of VDELC Teacher Facilitator (and former Olson school social worker) Christy Brown.  Scott passed away earlier this year after a long and courageous fight against cancer.  To honor Scott's memory, the team, "D200 Teachers Unite in the Fight," will wear team shirts with the team name on the front and Scott's initial on the back.

Dot Day Inspires Dean Street Students
Dean Street Elementary School celebrated International Dot Day on September 15th. Dot Day is a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration, inspired by the book The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities to be being brave enough to "make her mark." What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing. 
The all-school art project, featuring artwork from students and staff, inspires everyone at Dean Street to "Make  Your Mark!"

Dean Street students were asked to write how they are going to "make their mark" in their school, community, at home, or in the world. They then wrote about it and illustrated a picture to go along with their writing. Then, all of their projects were displayed in an all-school collaborative art display. Teachers also worked to "connect the dots" of other subjects, such as math, reading, writing, art, and music to create a cross-curricular learning experience. 

The entire school participated, and also wore dot clothing - it was a "dot-tastic" week!  What started as a story in the pages of a book is transforming teaching and learning. Students and teachers at Dean Street are discovering the power and potential of creativity and collaboration in all they do. Dean Street also took to Twitter to share their Dot Day celebration, and author Peter H. Reynolds himself "favorited" the Tweet!

Fall Theater Productions Opening Soon 
The Theater Departments at both Woodstock and Woodstock North High School have new productions opening soon. 

Woodstock High School will present Helium by Julian Wiles, and The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams. Helium is the moving and uplifting story of a brilliant, humorous, and creative chemistry teacher who braves the trials of frailty and aging, all the while keeping her imagination, charm, and dignity intact. 


The Glass Menagerie is Tennessee Williams' classic tale of Amanda Wingfield, a faded, tragic remnant of Southern gentility, living in poverty in a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son, Tom, and her daughter, Laura. Amanda strives to give meaning and direction to her life and the lives of her children, though her methods are ineffective and irritating.


At Woodstock North High School, the Theater Department will present the comedy You Can't Take it With You by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart.


You Can't Take it With You is a comedy in which Alice Sycamore has to introduce the family of her fianc´┐Ż, Tony Kirby, to her own family. The Kirbys are a wealthy, stuffy family of great self- importance, while the Sycamores are a collection of good-hearted lunatics. When the two families come together, lifestyle and philosophy collide head-on! 


Oct. 87:00 p.m.WHS Auditorium

Oct. 102 & 7:00 p.m.WHS Auditorium

Oct 177:00 p.m.WHS Auditorium

The Glass Menagerie
Oct. 167:00 p.m.WHS Casalino Black Box Theater

Oct. 172:00 p.m.WHS Casalino Black Box Theater

Oct. 227:00 p.m.WHS Casalino Black Box Theater

Oct. 242 & 7:00 p.m.WHS Casalino Black Box Theater

You Can't Take it With You
Nov. 137:00 p.m.WNHS Auditorium

Nov. 14
7:00 p.m.
WNHS Auditorium

Nov. 20
7:00 p.m.
WNHS Auditorium

Nov. 212 & 7:00 p.m.
WNHS Auditorium

For ticket information, please see the following:

WHS - Call 815.338.4370 or visit:


WNHS - Call 815.334.2127 or visit:



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
phone at (815) 337-5147 or by email at [email protected].