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Hawk Highlight: December 13, 2021

Important Events

  • Monday, December 13 | EarlyAct Meeting 3:30-4:15 PM
  • Tuesday, December 14 | Board of Education Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, December 16 | BOLD and BIG BOLD Awards
  • Thursday, December 16 | Choir Concert at SHS 7:00 PM
  • Friday, December 17 | Early Dismissal at 1:30 PM
  • Friday, December 17 | Winter Parties
  • Monday, December 20-Friday, December 31 | Winter Break
  • Wednesday, December 22 | Sycamore Food Pantry 4:00-6:30 PM
  • Monday, January 3 | School Resumes
  • Wednesday, January 5 | Sycamore Food Pantry 4:00-6:30 PM

View Full Calendar

Early Release and Winter Break

Just a friendly reminder that we have an early dismissal on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 1:30 PM. Also, please note that we will return to school after winter break on Monday, January 3, 2022.

Computer Science Education Week

In celebration of Computer Science Education Week, December 6th-10th, we have joined in on the largest education event in history: The Hour of Code. During Computer Science Education Week and the weeks after this, our students will be amongst over 2 million worldwide spending time learning the basics of computer programming (code) to solve puzzles, create animation, and build games. 

Coding (or computer programming), is the process of providing instructions to a computer so it performs a specific task. 

Kids can easily learn to code using a visual block language, that seems more like a game than strategy  and knowledge building. Whatever field your students choose to go into as adults, their ability to succeed will increasingly hinge on understanding how technology works and their ability to problem solve.

Students have been assigned a course through in their Tech & Problem Solving Google Classroom, under Engineering, that they can login to and progress at their own rate. We will take time throughout the school year to practice these skills, but if your student would like to they can login at home through their Google Classroom with their student ID and password. If your student does not know this information, their ID can be found in Infinite Campus and their password is their grade level followed by their two digit birthday date. For example, if they are in 4th grade born on the 4th of September their password would be 404. 

For more information about Hour of Code, please visit their website.

As always, please feel free to email me any questions you have about our Technology Special time here at North Grove, I would be happy to help.


Liz Kerlin

Vaccination Commonly Asked Questions

I have had several families reach out about vaccination questions as our students are now eligible to receive the COVID 19 vaccine. I wanted to provide the answer to some commonly asked questions.

  • Is the school running a vaccination clinic?
    • Not at this time. Please reach out to your primary care provider or a local pharmacy. 
  • If my student is fully vaccinated will they have to be excluded from school if deemed a close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID 19?
    • No, a fully vaccinated student who is symptom free doesn't have to be excluded if exposed to a positive individual.
  • If my student is fully vaccinated can I turn in their COVID 19 vaccination information? 
    • Yes, we will enter this into the students health information like all other vaccinations.

Reading Logs

North Grove completed a research review as a staff a few years ago. During that time we determined that moving forward we would limit the amount of homework given to students and we would focus on the completion of nightly reading. This independent reading is an essential part of our educational process. We don’t utilize any consequences for students who don’t complete this weekly, however we do use incentives to encourage student participation. Please think about your family participation process in this weekly reading.

  • Is your child(ren) reading daily after school?
  • Do you complete the reading log?
  • Do you discuss the process of practice and how it helps you improve a skill?

Attached is a weekly reading log for your review. You should be receiving these weekly from your classroom teacher.

K-1 Reading Log

2-3 Reading Log

4-5 Reading Log

Thank you for your support!

We Need Your Help!

The school district is currently facing many challenges like every organization right now. We have shortages with staffing and supplies. Please read two areas that we are looking for support and consider if you can assist with one of these two needs.

  • Lunch Supervisor Position — We need someone who would be willing to work daily from 10:40 AM to 2:00 PM. The general job responsibilities are to monitor the students while they eat and assist with the student needs during this time. If this is a position that you might be interested in please contact me.
  • Subs — We need both certified subs and non-certified subs. There is a pathway for anyone to get a substitute licensure through the Regional Office of Education. Again, if you are not comfortable with leading a classroom that is okay and we could use non-certified subs daily. We are short subs daily which is requiring staff to cover several areas each day. If this is something that you think you could help with please contact me for next steps.

Contact Information: or (815) 899-8126

Math Games

Games are a great way to promote learning while having fun and engaging the entire family. The Math Specialists suggest the followingboard games and Eureka card games as an excellent way to reinforce math skills from home. Through games you can connect family fun and learning. The Math Specialists look forward to sharing more ideas to promote ways and incorporate math at home. Enjoy!

View Board Games

View Eureka Card Games

Young Authors

The district Young Author competition is a great way to encourage your child to become an author of their own story. Simply have your child write and illustrate their own book. If your child is interested in this event please have them complete their project by Friday, January 21. The top three stories from each class will be selected as classroom finalists. A building committee will then select the top two finalists per grade level as building finalists. Finally, a district committee will judge the stories and select the district winners.

The judging criteria includes originality, presentation, use of story elements and illustrations.

Classroom winners and building finalists will be presented with certificates. All Young Author participants will receive a ribbon and a pen for their participation. The district winners will receive an award at a spring Board of Education Meeting.  

Volunteers and Visitors at Sycamore Elementary Schools

In an effort to maintain the safest learning environment possible for our students and staff we will be limiting the number of visitors and volunteers to the building at this time. As part of this commitment, we will be requiring all visitors who enter the building past the office during the school day to be vaccinated. We will also only be allowing volunteers at school activities who are vaccinated. If you are asked to be a volunteer or a visitor at our building please know that you will have to submit proof of your vaccination status to the office prior to entering the building or volunteering at the event.

Cold Weather

Cool weather is here! As temperatures continue to drop be sure your children are dressed appropriately for the weather. When the temperature is 60° or below, all students are expected to wear a jacket. When the temperature is below 40° students should wear winter coats, hats and gloves. If students wish to play in the snow they must have on boots and snow pants.

Also, please note that students will go outside for recess unless the temperature and/or wind chill is below zero.  If you need assistance with any winter gear, please contact the office.


  • Late start on every Thursday
    • Start Time: 9:30 AM
    • Students can be dropped off starting at 9:15 AM
  • Dismissal: 3:30 PM
  • If you have a COVID symptom in your household, please do not send any of your students to school. Simply call the office in the morning and we will give you your options for your children to return to school.
    • Remember that we have the ability to rapid test students or family members here at school in most situations.Please know that we are happy to provide that service to your family when needed. 
  • Masking 
    • Please make sure your child has a well fitted mask that covers their mouth and nose throughout the day.
  • Birthday Treats
    • Birthdays are sweet, but we are asking that parents not send in birthday treats for the class at this time.

School Year Calendar

Important PTO Event Dates

Please consider becoming active on our North Grove PTO this year. Attached you will find a list of important dates for our PTO events. Please take a moment to enter these dates into your calendars. PTO/School Events.

Additionally, please join us for our next PTO meeting which is Monday, January 10 at 8:00 PM. We will meet in the cafeteria at North Grove and all are welcome!

PTO/School Events

Daily Self Certification

Please call the school office if your student is feeling ill, and be prepared to answer a few questions that will help us quickly and efficiently evaluate your child so that we can provide you information based on the latest recommended guidelines. It is imperative that if your student is experiencing ANY of the following symptoms, your student should stay home from school and any extracurricular activities outside the home.

  • Temperature of 100.4 (or greater) degrees fahrenheit/38 degrees Celsius;
  • Cough;
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing;
  • Chills;
  • Fatigue;
  • Muscle and body aches;
  • Moderate to severe headache;
  • Sore throat;
  • New loss of taste or smell;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea; or
  • Any other COVID-19 symptoms identified by the CDC or IDPH.

We know that things may look a little different this year and we are committed to keeping you informed on the changes that are taking place. Here is an overview of what your student can expect if they come to the Health Office with any of the symptoms listed above:

  • The student will be brought to the health office where the nurse or their designee will quickly evaluate the student’s condition. 
  • If it is determined that they are experiencing any COVID like symptoms the student will be escorted to a designated and supervised isolation area. 
  • The school Nurse will notify the parent/guardian and walk them through the process of what is required for the student to return to school. 
  • Sick students should be safely transported home by parent or guardian as soon as possible.
  • Siblings/household members of the symptomatic student may also be sent home.
  • Students will be expected to remain home from school and any extracurricular activities until cleared to return by the school nurse.

Box Tops Update

Good news! No more clipping Box Tops to participate in the Box Top Program. All you need to do is download the all new Box Tops app, shop as you normally would, and then scan your store receipts to find participating products. The app will automatically credit the earnings to North Grove online. Twice a year, North Grove’s PTO will receive a check and use that money to help our school. 

Spirit Wear

If you want to purchase some North Grove spirit wear please check out our new online shop. Please use the link below to check out all of our new products. Delivery usually takes about a week.

Spirit Wear Shop

Spartan Food Pantry Open Wednesday, December 8!

The Spartan Food Pantry is excited to welcome guests to shop every other week on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, December 8 patrons can collect food at the District Warehouse on 520 N. Maple Street, Sycamore. Pantry patrons are in-person shopping! Please bring a mask. The pantry hours are 4:30-6:00 PM. The Pantry is open to any family that has a student attending a Sycamore School.  

The pantry offers frozen foods, fresh produce, cereal, canned goods, snacks, treats, and much more. Sycamore School District families can come to the pantry every time it is open. Park in the lot next to the warehouse, come on in the front door, and a volunteer will guide you from there.

Community members can now volunteer at the pantry! If you or your organization want to help out, please email for more information. 

Twitter and Facebook

Follow North Grove on Twitter for updates, videos and pictures of events taking place at school. Search NorthGrove1 on Twitter to find us. You can also find our North Grove PTO page on Facebook by friending North Grove PTO.