NEW TO SANDBURG

Welcome to Sandburg!

Last updated: September 7, 2021
In an attempt to help parents of incoming 6th graders (and all new-to-Sandburg students), the PTA has put together this list of resources. If you think we should add or change something on this page, please contact Anna Wick.

CONTENTS

Please note: We do our best to keep this page updated and correct; but in our ever-changing world we might not always have everything right. This information is not a substitute for your own due diligence (and if you see something on this page that needs to be corrected, please contact Anna Wick).


SCHOOL COMMUNICATIONS
  • Emails: emails come from the school weekly and cover information on upcoming events, key dates, links, sign ups, etc. You will automatically get these emails when you have a student enrolled at Sandburg:

    • PTA emails usually come once a week on Wednesdays.

    • Emails from the Principal, Mrs. Fehrenbacher, usually come once a week on Fridays.
       

  • Online: information can be found online in the following locations:

    • Main Sandburg Website: Lots of good general information about Sandburg including contact information, schedules, extracurricular activities, etc.

    • Main PTA Website: Most of the information about upcoming events, key dates, links, sign ups, etc that are included in the emails will also be posted on the main PTA webpage. 

    • Recent Sandburg Daily Announcements can be found on the Sandburg website.
       

  • Facebook: There is a private Facebook page for the families of Sandburg students called “Sandburg Families” where updates get posted. It is also a good place to ask questions if you are wondering about something.

PTA INFORMATION
  • Join the PTA! Joining raises funds for PTA sponsored activities, helps keep you informed, and you will also get access to the Sandburg Directory App which is super helpful because it includes contact information for Sandburg staff, teachers, and parents of most students. (Note: Joining the PTA doesn't mean you are volunteering to do anything; it just means that the PTA has your dues to help fund the many student activities and events that happen throughout the school year.)

  • Volunteer for the PTA - see currently open chair positions, or reach out to the current chair to offer to help on a committee.

  • PTA Meetings - Attend the monthly PTA meetings to hear more about what is going on at Sandburg and give your input and/or have your questions answered. For the 2021-22 School year, half of the meetings will be on zoom and the other half will be in-person.

  • PTA board members are a good resource if you have questions.

  • In addition to the main Sandburg PTA, District 205 also has parent groups for REACH (Gifted), and SERG (Special Education) - see their websites to opt in for their emails and find more information.


SCHOOL LOGISTICS

TRANSPORTATION LOGISTICS
  • Student Drop Off, Pick Up, and walk/bike information

  • Sandburg Bus Schedules (includes Late Start Bus Schedules)

  • The FirstView App can be used to track the location of your student's bus. Your student's PIN code will be emailed to you by the district - this usually happens at the end of August or beginning of September.

  • Early Bus: An early bus will be available for those students who have weekly before school practice for band, orchestra and/or choir. Details and schedule will come from your director.

  • Late Bus (~4:25 pm): 

    • Note that all after school activities do NOT always end in time for your student to take the late bus home. Please make sure you understand the activity's schedule and how late into the evening it goes - this information will be available from the adult running the activity, and will be shared with your child.

    • There is 1 late bus that arrives at Sandburg at 4:20 pm and leaves at 4:30 pm. When your student gets on the bus, they let the driver know which stop they need, and the driver then runs all necessary routes to get the students on the bus that day home.


SCHOOL SUPPLIES, PE UNIFORMS, AND SPIRITWEAR
  • School supply kits are usually available for purchase in the spring for the following school year. 

  • You may also purchase your own school supplies using these lists.

  • The  SpiritWear Store is open a few different times during the year for students to acquire their Sandburg gear.

  • PE Uniforms:

    • Each student needs a PE uniform which can be purchased at Viking Awards in downtown Elmhurst.

    • Write your student's last name in sharpie on the big white bar on the front of the shirt. Please also label the shorts.

    • Students should bring uniforms home over the weekend to be laundered.

    • Students need closed-toed athletic shoes for PE. They are welcome to bring a pair to keep in their PE locker, or they may just wear the same shoes they wear to school (as long as they are closed-toed athletic shoes).


RESIDENCY AND REGISTRATION

Please make sure you have completed all the Infosnap registration forms and requirements needed before the first day of school. District registration information can be found here. In order for students to attend and to retrieve their schedule from Powerschool, all steps in Infosnap registration must be completed. An email is usually sent with your Infosnap code in May, as well as in July for parents who have not yet completed their student registration. Please visit the D205 PushCoin payment system to make school fee payments.


HEALTH DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

All health forms can be found here.

Covid information: Moving Forward Together: Fall 2021 (D205 Covid Plan)

Physical Exams & Immunizations
Physical exams are required for students in 6th grade (and students in any grade who are new to the district).  Please remember to complete the "parent" portion of the physical exam form. By state law, physical exams must be completed and on file with your child(ren)’s school as of October 15th. District 205 is required to exclude students from school as of this date if these documents have not been received. Also, please note that as of Fall 2021, students entering sixth and ninth grades will be required to also provide proof of Tdap vaccination. More details here and here.

Dental Exams
Dental exams are required for students 6th grade (and students in any grade who are new to the district). That form must be on file by May 15 of the current school year. More details can be found here.

Sports Physicals for 6th, 7th and 8th Graders
All students planning on participating in competitive sports (details below) need a current physical on file prior to tryouts.  Current physicals must be less than one year old on the date of tryout. Intramurals do not require a physical for participation. 
**Note: Students planning on participating in cross country should submit proof of a current, completed physical to the health office at the start of the school year, as practice usually begins shortly after school starts.

Forms should be submitted either in-person to the Sandburg Main Office, or emailed to the School Nurse.

All health forms can be found here. Note that if your student is new to the district in any grade, they will also be required to get an eye exam. For more information about health requirements, refer to the Health Services section of the District 205 website.


STUDENT ABSENCES INFORMATION

Sandburg has a 24 hour attendance line number.  The number, 630-617-2337, is located on the Sandburg Webpage. Please consider saving this number on your cell phone for easy access. 

It is important to call the office as early as possible to report a student absence.  When students need to leave school early, send your child with a note to school stating what time the student needs to be picked up.  The student should bring the note to Sandburg's front office and they will create a pass for the student to exit the classroom at the desired pick up time. This minimizes disruption in the classroom. 

If you are planning a vacation, please use this form.

Note: If your student is marked for an unexcused absence from any class, you will get a recorded phone message and an email sometime in the early evening on the same day. You can see which class they were marked absent for in PowerSchool. If you believe that your student was marked absent in error (which happens sometimes), please reach out to the class teacher to resolve the issue.


POWERSCHOOL, SCHEDULES AND GRADE COUNSELORS
  • D205 School calendar - shows attendance dates, holidays, late-start dates, etc. 

  • D205 Emergency Closing information - snow days, etc.

  • Sandburg runs on Quarters and Semesters. Some classes (like Unified Arts classes) run on quarters, and other classes (like Math and English) run on semesters.

  • Sandburg Bell Schedule - includes both regular and late-start bell schedules.

  • PowerSchool is the system that allows parents to see a student’s schedule, attendance, grades and missing assignments. When you register for school, you should get a login for PowerSchool. In grade school, PowerSchool is only used for registration and to see report cards, but in middle school PowerSchool will show your student’s schedule, attendance, current grades, missing assignments, and report cards. Here are a few PowerSchool tips and tricks for middle school:

    • Schedules are usually updated in PowerSchool the week before school starts.

    • Your student's locker # and bus assignment (if eligible) are both found in PowerSchool.

    • Schedule: How to read your schedule presentation

    • Attendance: From the “Grades and Attendance SMS” tab, you can see absences & tardies listed to the right for each class. If you click on the number, you can see what days your student was absent or tardy, and if the absence was excused (E) or unexcused (U).

    • Current Grades & Missing Assignments: From the “Grades and Attendance SMS” tab, click on the grade (or number) listed under the Q1, Q2, etc. column.  From there, you will be able to see the assignments, grades for each assignment, and note if it is missing. Additional information can be found here.

    • Report Cards: Click on the “Report Cards” button over on the left side of the screen to see report cards when they are issued at the end of each semester.

    • There is also a PowerSchool App, but the school does not recommend that we use it as its information is not always accurate. (For example, report cards are only viewable via the website and not the PowerSchool app.)

  • Understanding Grades: Sandburg uses Standards Based Reporting as well as Traditional Grading for its courses. Here is more information:

  • Each grade (6th, 7th & 8th) has its own counselor. Your counselor is a great resource for most Sandburg school related questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your grade counselor with questions or concerns. The grade counselor will stay with your student’s grade all through middle school. Find out who your counselor is and how to contact them from the Sandburg Counseling Department webpage.

  • Parents should be aware of the following opportunities to connect with your child's teachers:

    • Curriculum / Back to School Night - this is a night where you can see the school, walk a short version of your student's schedule, and meet teachers. It usually takes place in the evening at the end of August. Watch for emails from the Principal and the PTA Webpage for the details at the start of the school year. Here are the Teacher Presentations from Curriculum Night for 2021-22.
    • Parent/Teacher Conferences - these usually happen at the end of October, see the current D205 Calendar for specific dates for each year. You sign up for conference times via PowerSchool; watch for emails from the Principal and the PTA Webpage for the details.
    • You can also reach out to teachers at any time throughout the year; contact information can be found in the Sandburg Staff Directory.

Band, Orchestra and Choir Schedule info

Band, Orchestra, and Choir ("BOC") meet during the school day during one of your student's Elective ("E") Blocks. If your student is signed up for both Band and Choir or Orchestra and Choir, they will attend each class every other day.  Usually, the schedule is Mondays & Thursdays for Choir, and Tuesdays and Fridays for Band/Orchestra. The Wednesdays flip back and forth every other week. If there is a four day week, this schedule will probably change, so be on the lookout. This can be confusing, but the music teachers will tell you where to find the schedule.

For students that play instruments, they should bring them to school on days that they have band or orchestra practice. There is also a place to store instruments in the band/orchestra room during the week - students should plan to bring their instruments home on the weekends. Usually, students do not need to bring instruments to school until a week or so into the school year, so you don't need to worry about bringing instruments during the first week of school.

There will be an early practice once a week for Band, Choir and Orchestra that meets from 7:30-8:15 am. An early bus is also provided for students. Before school practices usually start mid-September. Details and schedule will come from your director.

You can find all of the BOC information here, including the contact information for each of the directors. Please contact them directly with questions.


EVENTS, SPORTS AND CLUBS
  • Clubs, Activities & Sports Info for 2021-22

  • The PTA sponsors many different events and activities throughout the school year, including socials, a book fair, science olympiad, and much more. Go here to see all of the info. Upcoming events will also be listed on the main PTA page throughout the year.

  • Sandburg has many extracurricular sports options throughout the year. Note that sports require a physical to be on file (see above).

  • Sandburg has many student Clubs and Organizations. Go here to see the options.

  • Sandburg Drama puts on plays in the fall and spring.

  • Late Bus: There is a late bus at approx 4:25 pm, but please note that all after school activities do NOT always end in time for your student to take the late bus home. Please make sure you understand the activity's schedule and how late into the evening it goes - this information will be available from the adult running the activity, and will be shared with your child. For more information on the late bus, see the Transportation Logistics section above.


PARENT TIPS

Here are a few tips from seasoned Sandburg parents!

  • Buy TWO Gym uniform sets so you can have your child switch out uniforms weekly for washing.
  • My number one tip for incoming 6th grade parents is to not become obsessed with PowerSchool grades. Middle School is a practice ground for High School. Students need to learn accountability for assignments and grades. Middle School allows a safe space to do this. (Harvard will never know their mistakes!) PowerSchool is an amazing student tool, but setting up weekly checks for yourself as a parent can become overwhelming and all consuming. The more academically independent kids are in Middle School the more success students have in High School.  Doesn’t mean to never check - just monitor from a mentally safe distance for your student and yourself.
  • Let your student email teachers first or initiate conversations themselves if there are issues or concerns, and then do parent follow up if needed.

  • It is good to be familiar with PowerSchool, but let your student resolve issues you may find themselves (eg. missing assignment).

  • If you are picking up your child after school, it is sometimes easier to have them meet you out on Huntington Lane or in the Bethel Church parking lot. This helps you avoid a lot of the after school traffic!

  • Cross Country is BIG in 6th grade and tons of kids do it. If your child is on the fence, encourage them to just try it out, as they will probably have a friend doing it already (and they can always quit if they don't like it!)

  • When your student is in both choir and band/orchestra the schedule can get a bit confusing! I would find the daily schedule each month, print it out, and put it in our mud room so that we could easily see if it was a day to bring the instrument or not.

  • Don't stress about school arrival - help but don’t take ownership. After a reasonable period, your student should know how long walking/biking/driving takes. If they are late, there’s PLENTY of grace afforded to our kids. You don't need to help manage it until you get the “gentle but firm Mr Gail call” that goes like this: “Hi Mrs B., Bobby’s fine. Bobby, tell mom why we’re here today." “Hi mom. This is the X time I’ve been late. It won’t happen again.”

  • After school - if your kid’s locker is at the SE corner and they have to retrieve an instrument in the basement, you may not see them until 5-10 minutes after the bell has rung. Don’t panic!

  • School supplies - don’t sweat finding every single item on the list. Actually, if you wanted, for many items you could do just-in-time purchases. Obviously color folders are needed right away to keep papers organized per subject (class) but you don’t need 10 red pens immediately, unless your kid is prone to losing supplies!


SANDBURG GLOSSARY

Just like everywhere else, Sandburg has its own words and abbreviations.  Here are some common ones:

  • BOC = Band, Orchestra & Choir
  • D205 = Elmhurst IL School District 205 (the school district that Sandburg is part of)
  • E Block = Elective Block, which is a block of time at school where the student takes an elective class (like Unified Arts, World Language, BOC and PLTW)
  • Late-Start = There are many Wednesdays throughout the school year when Sandburg runs on a late-start. On late-start days, school starts at 10 am (arrival at 9:45 am). You can see the current late-start days on the D205 School calendar.
  • MAP = Measures of Academic Performance, a standardized test
  • PE = Physical Education
  • PLTW = Project Lead the Way, a STEM elective class focusing on engineering and computer science.
  • PTA = Parent Teacher Association
  • REACH = Gifted Program (is not actually an acronym)
  • SBR = Standards Based Reporting, a grading system
  • SERG = Special Education Resource Group
  • UA = Unified Arts, a year-long rotation of four classes; students choose four of these five options: Art, Creative Technology, Family & Consumer Sciences, Industrial Technology, and Music.

When in doubt, CONTACT a friend! 
Reach out on Facebook, call the school office, email anyone on the PTA Executive Boarda teacher, your grade level counselor and/or Principal Fehrenbacher. Everyone is here to help you and your child succeed in middle school!