Hawk Highlight: October 25, 2021

Important Events

  • Monday, October 25 - Thursday, October 28 | Red Ribbon Week
    • Monday — Wild Hair Day
    • Tuesday — Camping Day
    • Wednesday — Jersey Day
    • Thursday — Costume Day
  • Monday, October 25 | EarlyAct Meeting 3:30-4:15 PM
  • Monday, October 25 | Battle of the Books Competition 5:45 PM at SMS
  • Tuesday, October 26 | Board of Education Meeting 7:00 PM 
  • Wednesday, October 27 | Sycamore Food Pantry 4:30-6:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 28 | Fall Parties and Pumpkin Festival Shuttle
  • Thursday, October 28 | Costume Parade Outside at NG 2:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 28 | Yearbook Entry Due
  • Friday, October 29 | No School
  • Monday, November 1 | No School
  • Tuesday, November 2 | Election Day: Students Vote on Yearbook Cover
  • Friday, November 5 | End of Trimester 1
  • Friday, November 5 | Running with the Hawks Money Due
  • Friday, November 5 | Veterans Day Entry Due

View Full Calendar

Running with the Hawks (RWTH) Prizes

It was great to see so many of our North Grove families at Running of the Hawks last week. Now that the run is completed the students should start turning in their money collected. The funds collected from RWTH go directly to our PTO and they help support our school activities and teacher requests. Please click here to make an online donation. All donations are due by Friday, November 5.

Make an Online Donation

Individual Prizes

Individual Prizes are awarded for the highest dollar amount collected per individual in their grade.  The top five (5) students collecting the highest amount (per grade) will be treated to lunch and Epic Air Trampoline Park for a day of fun!

Team Prizes

One team prize will be awarded to the team with the highest dollar amount collected per grade. Each participating team member (per grade) will be treated to a full lunch party with Mr. Janisch! (Menu: Pizza, Veggie Sticks, Fruit Cup, and Drink) 

Everyone Can Be A Winner!

Pick your Prize!  Which bucket(s) will you put your ticket(s) in? This year's prize buckets are: Lego Set, Camera, Hoverboard, Art Set, Fire Tablet, Smart Watch, Principal for the Day

  • Pledge $1-50
    • Earn a mini pop it and 1 raffle ticket
  • Pledge $51-100 
    • Earn a mini pop it and 3 raffle tickets
  • Pledge $101-150
    • Earn a mini pop it, 5 raffle tickets, and a NG cinch bag
  • Pledge $151-200
    • Earn a mini pop it, 7 raffle tickets, and a NG cinch bag
  • Pledge $201+
    • Earn a mini pop it, 7 raffle tickets (+2 for every additional $50), and a NG cinch bag

Classroom Goals

Incentives for individual classroom participation: 

  • 75% Classroom Participation – Extra Recess
  • 85% Classroom Participation – Game Day with Mr. Janisch

School Goals

If the entire school reaches our participation goal of 240 students, which will be posted in the cafeteria, we will be rewarded with the following:

  • Crazy Dress Week!!! — Sponsored by EarlyAct
  • Mr. Janisch in the Dunk Tank on Field Day!!!

Yearbook Cover Contest

It is time to be creative! The 2021-2022 yearbook cover contest is now open. All North Grove students are invited to submit a design for this year’s yearbook. All entries must be submitted by Thursday, October 28, 2021.


  • All entries should be submitted on the back of this flyer.
  • North Grove Elementary 2021-2022 must appear on the cover.
  • The cover should be an original, hand-drawn creation.
  • Be creative! 

Print Submission Flyer

Fun Fall Activities at NG | Thursday, October 28

On Thursday, October 28 we will have several fun fall activities taking place at North Grove. We will have our classroom fall parties, and all students will take a bus to the courthouse to see the pumpkins on display at the Pumpkin Festival. 

On Thursday the 28th we will also have our costume parade at 2:30 PM. We will host this event outside so everyone can attend. If the weather does not permit us to host our parade outside, then we will have an indoor parade for students only. Please plan on joining us for the outdoor parade at 2:30 PM. All parents can gather at the front of the building for the parade. All students will walk on the sidewalk at the front of the building during the parade.

View Parade Map and Viewing Areas

Veterans Day

We have a tradition of honoring Veterans Day each year as a school district with events where we welcome veterans from our community to attend. This year we will continue our tradition in new ways which allow us to recognize and honor our veterans in keeping with the current health and safety guidelines. 

In lieu of inviting veterans into our building, we would like to honor them as individuals by creating a brief video featuring the photos of local veterans. This will become one part of our overall plan for Veterans Day this year. The video will be set to music and will be shared with our students.This is our way of welcoming our veterans 'into' the buildings this year. We will also be sending home decorated pages, North Grove Salutes our Veterans, to be hung in your windows or given to a veteran as our thank you.

We invite you to honor a family member by submitting a photo for this video.

Photo submission details:

  • Email address for photos and/or videos: ekerlin@syc427.org
  • Please include the name of the person pictured, the military branch in which they served, which student they are connected to at North Grove.
  • Please submit photos by Friday, November 5th

In addition, if you would like to send in a short video where you introduce yourself and share a memory from your time of service we would like to offer our students a chance to hear your stories.

Be on the lookout for our Veterans Day Assembly video to come home to share with your veterans!

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us. 

North Grove Veterans Day Committee

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. 


  • 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 here at school. 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, November 8 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.

Music Update

Hello Music Families!  Let me introduce myself. I am Mrs. Mertens and I have been teaching the last 18 years at North Elementary School and have taught at North Grove since the building opened. I teach all of the general music classes and choirs at both buildings and I teach flute lessons at North and Full Band at North Grove.

All of the students in Sycamore have one 40-minute music class each week. All classes make music in a variety of ways. Here is what each grade level has been working on during class so far this year:


Kindergarteners have been singing, moving, and playing in class this year.  Some of their favorite songs have been “Open, Shut Them”, “The Little Bunny”, and “Here Sits A Monkey.” They have also enjoyed playing “Please Your Majesty”, learning about all of our different voices. Every week, they walk, skip, jump, stomp, and tiptoe to the steady beat played by the piano. They are starting some movement activities that demonstrate loud and soft sounds like “Fairies and Giants”and “Grizzly Bear”.  They also learn to play the classroom instruments properly by playing an instrument every week. So far this year, they have played drums, triangles, maracas, egg shakers, frame drums, guiros, and tambourines.

First Grade

First Grade students have been trying to make up some of the lost ground with last year's music not being in person with singing lots of songs.  They have been playing many small percussion instruments including drums, triangles, maracas, wood blocks, frame drums, guiros, and tambourines.  They have added these instruments to songs, and to add sound effects to a story.  They also have at least one movement activity each class to practice our gross motor beat and rhythms skills. Often, they move to the piano, but they have started to do some scripted movements to songs as well. “Highway #1” is a favorite.  Finally, they are learning to read, identify, and play their first rhythms: quarter note and eighth notes.  We often take trips to rhythm village and Sneaky Snake has visited us as well, to help us practice.

Second Grade

Second Grade students have been working on playing the beat with some of the larger instruments, such as the barred percussion instruments. They also have been practicing the rhythms they learned in first grade, and have added the two-beat half note to the group.  Besides reading and playing these rhythms, they have also begun composing rhythmic pieces.  Recently, they took the song “Who’s That...” and arranged a new version, collaborating with a partner and then performing it for the class.  They have a favorite new singing game called “Let Us Chase the Squirrel.” They have been doing a variety of movement activities as well, and are currently working on new movement vocabulary.

Third Grade

Third Grade has been working on playing accompaniments to songs we are singing called “drones”. Drones are musical patterns that center on the notes Do and Sol.  We have reviewed the simple and broken drone, and are beginning to work on the challenging crossover drone. These are played on our Orff instruments. In addition to singing and movement, third graders have been reviewing the rhythms they learned in the earlier grade levels and have added a new pattern called “syncopation”.  We have enjoyed playing percussion to the pattern in both of the songs “Lil’ Liza Jane” and “Weevily Wheat.”

Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade students began the year reviewing some of the third grade concepts, including canons and drones. They have begun the recorder and are working on building a good foundation with nice tone, correct hand position, and articulating with their tongue.  They have just begun reading songs on the staff, and are playing their first songs using C and A in the song “Extra! Extra!”. 4th Grade students were given the opportunity to join Orchestra or Choir. If your child is still interested in joining either of the groups, please feel free to contact me at kmertens@syc427.org

Fifth Grade

Fifth Grade students began the year reviewing how to play the barred instruments.  We worked on moving, singing, and playing the canon “Ding, Dong” on the xylophones, glockenspiels, and metallophones. We have also started the recorder.  For some students, we are reviewing the foundational skills that they began in 4th grade and then adding extensions to the class activity to provide a challenge for them. Other students are just beginning to read and play the notes B, A, and G.  We have started our first song to read as a class, “Hop Old Squirrel”, which has a challenging game added to it.  The sounds are continuing to improve, and we are getting more comfortable with covering the holes correctly and using soft air. 5th Grade students were given the opportunity to join Band, Orchestra, or Choir. If your child is still interested in joining one of these groups, please feel free to contact me at kmertens@syc427.org

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!

The Spartan Food Pantry is excited to welcome guests to shop every other week on Wednesdays. On Wednesday, October 27 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 spartanfoodpantry@syc427.org 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.