Elementary News and Views – August/September


August/September 2014

Dear Parent and Guardians,

Welcome to another year of school at Johnson Creek Elementary! For those parents whose children will be coming to JC Elementary for the first time, as well as for those parents with returning students, staff is ready for an awesome school year. On Wednesday, August 27th, from 5:30-7 PM we will be having an Open House where you can bring your child in to meet their teacher and drop off supplies. Class lists will be posted at that time. Kids often get nervous before the first day of school, especially if it is a new school. You can put them at ease by talking with them openly about what they can expect. Also, listen to their concerns. Let them know you take their concerns to heart. Speak positively to them about school and your experiences.

The first day of school is Tuesday, September 2nd.

School hours are from 7:45-3:10 with school beginning promptly at 7:45. Students can arrive at 7:30 AM and report to the playground. Teacher supervision starts at 7:35. Please do not drop off your child earlier than 7:30 as we have no supervision available until then. At 7:45, all students will report to the gym and teachers will pick up their student there. We will start our day again with POPS or a Healthy Start at 7:45. Students taking breakfast will be allowed to be in the breakfast line at 7:35.

Dropping off or picking up your children, you need to pull into the parking lot and follow the circular path. Staff will direct you and assist with students exiting cars. Please follow the path and stay in your vehicle. There is limited parking in the lot and spaces are reserved for staff. Parents can park on Milwaukee Street in designated areas and walk children to the door. Please do not cut across the parking lot, but follow the pathway along the High School gym for safety.

As we look at getting back to school it is important to remember several things. Start now by getting your child into the habit of going to bed early. This will make the first week of school more bearable. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that elementary age children get 10-11 hours of sleep per night. You may also want to consider getting organized for school. Have a place set aside for homework each night. We ask that your child read (or if a pre-reader, be read to) 20 minutes per night. Also, have all necessary supplies: paper, pencils, crayons, etc. located in an easy to find space. This consistency will help your child become more organized and work better in a routine. Another good idea is to set backpacks in the same place every night after homework, preferably next to the door you exit in the mornings. Along with established bedtimes, setting out clothing for the next day,can be a tremendous time saver. This eliminates the “I don’t know what to wear” issue at 7AM. Creating a family calendar where all major projects as well as sports and activities can be tracked is also helpful.

I feel as if we were in a time machine together because the months seem to fly by at rapid speed. I hope everyone had some fun over the summer months. The school building will be ready to receive your child, and I, personally, look forward to having the building humming along and alive with student voices and teachers teaching all the wondrous and important learning they impart to JC students. Everyone at JC Elementary is committed to the best possible learning environment because we truly believe we are preparing students for life.

I look forward to seeing many parents and students at the Open House on August 27th.

As always, thank you for sending me your children every day. They are precious! Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you or your child.


Kris Blakeley
Elementary Principal/Director of Pupil Services


Wednesday, August 6 All-school registration 3:00 -7:00PM in the Elementary Building

Wednesday, August 27 Open House 5:30 – 7PM
5:30-7PM Ice Cream Social sponsored by Friends of Our School
    to support field trips and playground needs.

Tuesday, September 2 First Day of School 7:45 AM

Thursday, September 18 Picture Day for all Elementary Students

Sunday, September 21- Run for the Fields event starting at the Community Center at 9 AM

Wednesday, September 24 Early Release Day. No afternoon EC or 4K.
Students dismissed at 11:30. No lunch served.

             SCHOOL DAY HOURS
School will be starting at 7:45 AM and runs to 3:10PM in the Elementary and 3:15PM for the Middle and High School. Morning 4K will run from 7:45-11:10. PM 4K and Early Childhood will run from noon to 3:10. Remember, no Friday 4K and Early Childhood. Fridays are for community outreach activities. Please set your clocks so all students are on time. Reminder: all students should walk around the building to the playground area where teachers will be supervising starting at 7:35. Please try not to drop off students before 7:30 AM as staff is not present to supervise. THANKS!
Our building theme for the 2014-15 school year is “Books Alive at JC Elementary”. Our academic focus will be on reading with our building goal to improve our reading scores in all grades as measured by our assessments. We will be having many activities to bring the excitement and importance of reading to all children. Some activities we have planned for this year include author visits and writing workshops with the authors; skyping with authors; music and art experiences related to stories and some grades will be taking field trips to see plays on stories.

We continue to emphasize our character traits of: Being Kind, Safe, Responsible and Respectful as part of our building focus also. We will continue to do our POPS program to recognize positive behaviors in students. We will have weekly assemblies where students will be recognized for exemplifying our rules, as well as quarterly awards for each class representative. Friends of School sponsors the POPS cart where students who earn POPS slips can shop for quarterly prizes.

Friends of Our School is having an ICe Cream Social during the Open House on Wednesday, August 27th from 5:30-7 PM in the Elementary gym. Ice cream will be $2.50 with proceeds going towards elementary activities for the coming school year. Please stop in with you family to share fun times of your summer and re-connect with neighbors and friends. You will also be helping to support elementary activities such as our POPS cart, assemblies, field trips and playground toys.

PICTURE DAY                                                                                         
Picture Day for Johnson Creek Elementary is Thursday, September 18th
starting at 8:30 AM. Packets will be sent home the first week of school.


This year, Johnson Creek Elementary will again be implementing a  program to develop positive social and behavior skills across the whole building. We’re calling it BLUE JAY PRIDE. Staff ,who are leading this, have divided the whole school population into teams which are headed by staff. Each team consists of students from different grades and classes. These teams will meet monthly to do community building activities as a component of our POPS program.
After years of “fix-it” programs focused on reducing student violence, conflict, drug and alcohol use, absenteeism, poor achievement, etc., educators and parents now agree, creating a positive school or classroom environment is the most effective way to improve behavior and learning. Our staff feels this process is the way to do it.
Students achieve because they:
  • feel included and appreciated by peers and teachers
  • are respected for their different abilities, cultures, gender, interests and dreams
  • are actively involved in their own learning, and
  • have positive expectations from others that they will succeed.
The clear purpose of the BLUE JAY BUDDIES is to assure the healthy development of every child so that each one has the knowledge, skills and resiliency to be successful in a rapidly changing world.
Students learn a set of collaborative skills so they can work well together in long-term groups. The focus is on how to:
  • help each other work on tasks
  • set goals and solve problems
  • monitor and assess progress and
  • celebrate achievements.
We are very excited about this activity. We will keep you informed about upcoming activities that teams are doing. In September, we got to know all the members of our teams. Next month, we will be creating a team poster to display in the school.

Blue Jay Pride is our building character goals structure. Staff and students will work on creating a positive building climate. Using our four characters, we staff have identified key behaviors we are teaching and encouraging all students to use. For example, in the hallways we have behavior expectations of how to walk and act when moving from room -to-room or locations; in the cafeteria, we have expectations on noise levels, sitting and movement in lines, etc. Last spring, videos were made on good behaviors. This year we will create more videos and activities to encourage positive behaviors from all.



Great Escape is a Wisconsin State Licensed before and after school program available on site at your child’s elementary school. This program provides an opportunity for your child to socialize with other kids their age and participate in a variety of activities in a safe environment. Trained, professional and caring staff provide homework help, a healthy snack and a fun place for your child to start and end the day. Limited spaces are available.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. until start of school. End of school day until 6:00 p.m.
Program runs only on full days of school.
Location: Johnson Creek Elementary School
Great Escape Enrollment:
Please complete the following forms and return them to the YMCA at Pabst Farms or to the Watertown Area YMCA.
For information about registration for the current school year or about registration fees, call the Y at 262-567-9622  or connect on the link below:

One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child’s attendance record may be the biggest factor influencing her academic success.

Benefits of daily attendance:

By attending class regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and take quizzes and tests on time.

There are other benefits as well:
Achievement: Students who attend school regularly are more likely to pass reading and math assessments than students who don’t attend school regularly.

Opportunity: For older students, being in school every day gives them a chance to learn more about college and scholarship opportunities, and to take the important exams they need to build a successful academic record.

Exposure to the English language: Regular school attendance can also help students who are learning English by giving them the chance to master the skills and information they need more quickly and accurately even in other subjects!

Being part of the school community: Just by being present at school, your child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community, learning valuable social skills, and developing a broader world view.

The importance of Education: Your commitment to school attendance will also send a message to your child that education is a priority for your family, going to school every day is a critical part of educational success, and that it’s important to take your responsibilities seriously including going to school.

What you can do:
As a parent or guardian, it is possible to plan ahead in order to limit your child’s absences, make school attendance a priority, and help your child from falling behind if it is necessary to miss a day of school.You can do this in the following ways:

Help your child get to school on time every day.Babysitting, problems with a car or late bus, and the weather are not permissible reasons to miss school. Frequently coming to school late may also be noted on your child’s permanent record, and will make it difficult for your child to stay caught up with the first lessons of each morning. Teach your child how to set and use an alarm clock, and keep the television turned off in the morning.

Follow the school’s guidelines and attendance policy, and report excused absences immediately. At the beginning of the school year, review the school’s rules and make sure you understand whom you need to call if your child is going to be absent.

Check homework. Check each night to see that your child understands and completes the day’s homework assignments.

Take an active role. Stay involved with your child’s daily experiences at school by asking how the school day went, and then listening carefully to what your child shares with you both the successes and struggles. Make it a point to meet your child’s teacher and friends.

Locate potential sources of anxiety.If your child frequently appears upset or reluctant to go to school and cannot tell you why, schedule an appointment with his or her teacher or school counselor to talk about possible sources of the anxiety.

Keep updated on school events and announcements. Read the school documents that your child brings home and take note of important announcements and dates, such as back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences.

Try to limit the amount of time that your child misses school due to medical appointments or illness. If possible, avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments during the school day.  Allow your child to stay home only in the case of contagious or severe illnesses.

Students who miss days, weeks, or months of school at a time will have a difficult time passing their courses and catching up to their peers. For older students, prolonged absences may make it very difficult to graduate from high school.

Schedule family events with your child’s school schedule in mind.  Plan holiday celebrations or family trips during weekends or school vacations.  In the case of family emergencies or unexpected trips, talk to your child’s teacher as far in advance as possible and set up a way that your child can work ahead or bring important homework on the trip.

Plan ahead. Encourage your child to prepare for the next school day by laying out clothes the night before and helping to fix lunches.

Promote good health.  Make sure that your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and has opportunities to exercise every day through a sports team or playtime outside.

Create a restful environment. Finally,make sure that your child can relax before bedtime by doing something quiet like reading rather than do something stimulating, like watching television. Ensure that your child gets enough quality sleep.  Ideal amounts range from 8 to 12 hours. Getting enough sleep will help him/her get up on time, be refreshed in the morning, and feel ready for a full day of learning ahead!

By making your child’s school attendance a priority, you will be taking an important step in supporting your child’s school success, and setting a good example. Remember every day counts!
•Starting in kindergarten,too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
•Missing 10 percent(or about 18 days)can make it harder to learn to read.
•Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
•Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
•Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
School success goes hand in hand with good attendance!

Our district has trained staff to use Love and Logic in dealing with behavioral issues with students. Staff has received trained on this practice. In upcoming newsletters, I will be sending articles from the Love and Logic Institute for your use. Below is a brief description of this:

What Is Love and Logic All About?
The Love and Logic Institute is dedicated to making parenting and teaching fun and rewarding, instead of stressful and chaotic. We provide practical tools and techniques that help adults achieve respectful, healthy relationships with their children. All of our work is based on a psychologically sound parenting and teaching philosophy called Love and Logic.
What Is Love and Logic?
Children learn the best lessons when they’re given a task and allowed to make their own choices (and fail) when the cost of failure is still small. Children’s failures must be coupled with love and empathy from their parents and teachers.
This practical and straightforward philosophy is backed with 30 years of experience. Parents can apply it immediately to a wide range of situations instead of struggling with difficult counseling procedures.
Who’s Behind It?

Jim Fay – founder and former school principal – view biography
Foster W. Cline, M.D. – founder and psychiatrist – view biography
Charles Fay, Ph.D. – president and school psychologist – view biography
Why Does It Work?
  • Uses humor, hope, and empathy to build up the adult/child relationship
  • Emphasizes respect and dignity for both children and adults
  • Provides real limits in a loving way
  • Teaches consequences and healthy decision-making
“After studying this parenting program, ‘Becoming a Love and Logic Parent,’ I rave about the fact that it has helped me and other parents I know develop usable, practical skills, as opposed to just learning another theory about what I should be doing.”
– Peter Burnett, parent, Portland, Ore.
“My teachers and I could see the advantages to the school of putting parents’ back in control.’ My job as a school administrator is much less stressful now thanks to Love and Logic.”
– Judy Griswold, principal, Aurora, Colo.
How Do I Get Started?
To learn more about Love and Logic in action, attend a conference, or simply receive more details, call 800-338-4065. Once you’ve employed Love and Logic, you’ll see positive results right away, whether you’re the parent of a toddler or a teenager, care for one child or teach a classroom full of children!
A Partial List of Available Resources

Run for the Fields 2014

Proceeds will benefit new athletic facilities in the Johnson Creek School District.

When:  Sunday, September 21, 2014

Johnson Creek Community Center
417 Union Street
Johnson Creek, WI

5K Run/Walk (all ages) – 9:00 am
1K Youth Run/Walk (11 yrs. and under) – 10:00 am
All races are chip timed.

Age Groups:
5K: 15 and under, 16-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61+
1K: 5 yrs. and under, 6-8 yrs., 9-11 yrs.

A long sleeve performance t-shirt is guaranteed for all participants who are registered by September 7, 2014.
1st, 2nd & 3rd place medals will be awarded by set age groups for the 5K Run and the 1K Youth Run.

Online registration on www.imathlete.com

Early Registration: Register by September 7th
5K Run/Walk – $35, 1K Youth Run – $25
After September 7th, prices increase by $5

Registrations received prior to September 7th are guaranteed a t-shirt on race day.

Course Information:
Course Map – available online

For Questions and Volunteer or Sponsorship Opportunities, contact…
Diana Thomas ddhthomas@gmail.com
Samantha Garvey slgarv68@gmail.com

Follow us:
Facebook…. Run for the Fields

Friends of Our School

Who are we?

Friends of Our School is a group of parents, teachers, and community members who provide service and support to teachers and administrators for the benefit of the children of Johnson Creek Elementary School. We are similar to a PTA or PTO.

What do we do?

Ice Cream Social during Open House on Wednesday, August 27th, from 5:30-7 PM in the Elementary Gym. Proceeds raised will go towards elementary activities.

Please sign up to be part of our group, volunteer to work events or donate to our cause. We will have tables with information and sign-up at Registration and Open House.


The week of September 22nd is our annual Homecoming Week. During this week there are many  activities done by high school students to celebrate. In the elementary, we participate in the annual School Board Food Drive to raise food donations for our local Food Pantry. Each classroom participates with the highest amount raised by classrooms receiving a Pizza Party sponsored by the School Board. Runner-up classes also receive prizes. Elementary students also participate in the Homecoming Parade and other contests sponsored by the Senior class.We will be sending out more information on these in a few weeks.

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