Rockland Review & RAP - 3-22-2019
A Note from Mr. Knapp

Dear Parents,

The week of April 8th our 3rd-5th grade students will begin the statewide IAR (Illinois Assessment of Readiness) assessments.  These state assessments are administered to all students in the spring for grades 3-8 to determine students' academic achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards.  The assessments were created with a focus on the students' ability to apply a broad range of concepts rather than memorizing facts.  In Math, students are asked to reason and apply mathematical principles.  In English Language Arts, (ELA), students are required to read multiple passages and write responses by answering prompts in literary analysis, research and narrative concepts.  Both measure a student's higher level and critical thinking ability.  All District 70 students will be assessed via an online assessment tool in lieu of traditional paper and pencil exams. For more information about these statewide assessments, please click here.   In addition to ELA and Math, 5th grade students will be taking the Illinois Science Assessment on Friday, April 5th in the morning.

Parents can play an important role in getting students ready for testing.  Here are suggestions on how parents can help their children prepare for the assessment:

1. Making sure, if possible, that your child attends school on time each day of testing.

2. Making sure your child gets a good night’s rest the night before testing.

3. Providing breakfast on the mornings of testing.

4. Reminding your child to ask the teacher questions if he or she does not understand the test directions.

5. Upon finishing, going back and reviewing the questions carefully along with checking to make sure all have been answered.

6. Letting your child know that you have confidence in his or her ability to do his or her best.

Thank you once again to all the volunteers and the families that were able to make it out to our Pattycake Breakfast last week!  It was a wonderful day of food, fun, and prizes!

Have a great Spring Break and safe travels to all of the Rockland families,

Jeff Knapp

What's New in 202 and 205

With spring break coming up, we wanted to provide you with some great questions that you can ask your children while they are reading. Attached is a picture of a discussion board, which not only gives you important conversation topics, but can be turned into a game. When your child is able to talk about what they are reading, they are truly comprehending. And what better way to talk about a book then through a game? When your child addresses one of the squares on the board, can “fill in” the space with a game piece or marker. The goal is to “fill in” as many squares on the board as you can. Although break is a time for fun and relaxation, we want students to make reading part of their natural routine.

Have a great spring break, Rockland!
-Mrs. Williams and Miss Blahnik

Game squares
Kindergarten Third Trimester News

Kindergarten has had a wonderful learning year so far!

Through the Character Counts program we have learned about the six pillars of Character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Citizenship, Caring, and Fairness.  We continually identify positive pillar behaviors we notice in the characters in stories and our everyday behaviors.

After Spring Break we begin to dive into our ocean unit.  We will learn about ocean creatures and other plants and animals living in the ocean. While we create our sea creatures we will be introduced to many different art medias, such as bleeding tissue paper, metallic paint, dot paint, and more!

Not only are we learning about fish we also are working on addition and subtraction, writing number stories, patterning, and measurement.

As our year of learning and growing comes to a close we will have the opportunity to visit first grade and experience a first grade classroom atmosphere.  Each class will also be planning an end of the year celebration with our buddy class. We will begin preparing for our end of the year celebration with songs and sharing memories with our families.  We will also participate in Field Day as our last days at Rockland School as a Kindergartner!

This has been a wonderful year of learning and growing to become a member of the Rockland School family.


Mrs. Howell and Mrs. List  

Spotlight on Rockland's Special Education Team

Special Education Teachers/Interventionists – Laura Williams & Kelly Blahnik
Psychologist/Counseling- Michelle Vertanen
Speech Language Pathologists – Kara Graeb & Jane Paglini
Occupational Therapist - Elisa Smith
Reading Specialist/Interventionist - Jaime Wittenberg
Paraeducator – Ruth Nader
School Nurse – Valorie Crusey
Physical Therapist/SEDOL- Laurie Earley

The Special Education Team has numerous roles in our school. Working directly with identified students in Special Education is one small aspect. These Special Educators are directly involved in general education initiatives including: The Phonological Awareness Program for Kids (PAK), Positive Behavior System (PBS), Response to Intervention (RtI), STAR benchmarking, reading diagnostics, Hearing and Vision Screenings, and the Problem Solving Team (PST) process. They also participate in weekly collaboration with general education teachers. Each member of this team assures that all students are being supported appropriately via the numerous programs available.

Special Education initiatives include: identifying student needs, evaluating, completing case study evaluations, Child Review Team (CRT), Response to Intervention (RtI), Section 504, and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Certified Special Education staff also plan and conduct activities to improve skills in the area(s) of need, collaborate and support general education teachers as well as other professionals. Special educators also monitor and document their interventions for each skill area(s) addressed, write reports, complete other documents/paperwork, and support the inclusion of all students.

The Special Education team works with students in a variety of different ways depending on need. This can include individual support, small or large group support, support within the classroom, as well as consultation with classroom teachers to provide support to students through accommodations.

As well as general job duties, each Special Education team member has his/her own roles, as determined by area/qualifications. Mrs. Williams and Miss Blahnik support students in the areas of reading, writing, math, organization and behavior. Mrs. Vertanen, our School Psychologist leads classroom guidance lessons, teaches Social Thinking and supports our student’s social and behavioral needs.  Mrs. Vertanen, is not only a resource to staff, but also completes case study evaluations in the area of intelligence and behavior. Mrs. Paglini is the Phonological Awareness for Kindergarten (PAK) coordinator, and works exclusively with our Kindergartners (throughout the whole district). Mrs. Graeb works with students in all grade levels not only with speech sound acquisition, but also social language skills, expressive and receptive language, stuttering, and voice skills. Our Occupational Therapist, Mrs. Smith, addresses fine motor skills and sensory processing needs. The Reading Specialist/Interventionist, Mrs. Wittenberg, supports the general education curriculum in reading and math. Our amazing Paraeducator, Mrs. Nader, provides invaluable accommodations to students who qualify for more individualized support. Mrs. Crusey provides nursing support not only by providing band-aids and ice packs to students, but also by helping students with medical issues (such as diabetes), and conducts hearing and vision screenings. Our Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL) Itinerants round out the team by providing specialized services to our Rockland students per their Individualized Education Programs including physical therapy.

The Rockland Special Education Team is a valuable resource that works collaboratively within the Rockland community to support the needs of all students.

Rockland Special Education Department Wordle
Character Counts News

We are currently focusing on the pillar of Trustworthiness. 

Our weekly challenges for Trustworthiness are being written by the students in Mrs. Hyde’s class. This week Aidan, Grace, Amy, Trevor, Kevin, and Olivia challenged us to help others who need help.

The Friday we return from Spring Break, April 5th,  will be Pillar Friday for Respect. We will send an email explaining Respect when we return from Spring Break.  

We wish everyone a relaxing Spring Break week.  Safe travels if you are traveling. Have a wonderful time with family and friends.  


Thank you for Shining with Kindness!  

2018-2019 Character Counts! Rockland School Committee
Mrs. List, Mrs. Stonehocker, Mrs. Sundh,
Mrs. Lesniewicz, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Williams,
Ms. Kittleson, Miss Blahnik and Mr. Knapp

Pillars of Character
New Student & Kindergarten Registration

Dear District 70 Parents,

The District is now accepting registration for NEW STUDENTS for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please help us get the word out to friends or neighbors living in Libertyville who might have an incoming Kindergartner at home. Parents of new students can go to the District 70 Website ( to find the announcement and link for New Students.  Starting the registration process as soon as possible helps to ensure that the district can plan for staffing for next year.

Parents of students that currently attend school in District 70 will complete registration for returning students at the end of April. Instructions will be forthcoming about that process in a few weeks. 

Thank you for helping to get the word out!

Pam Imholz, Director of Technology and Cristina DiStefano, Registrar

Junior Achievement (We need parent volunteers!)

Dear Rockland Parents,      

On Friday, April 26th, 2019, from 8:25-11:20 A.M. Rockland School is partnering up with Junior Achievement (JA) to provide corporate and community volunteers to present the basics of business and economics to our students.  The 3 “pillars” of JA programs focus on work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.  It’s a great opportunity to help students connect what they are learning in school with “real world” experiences. 
We have a need for parent volunteers and are hoping that you would consider this opportunity to volunteer either in your child’s classroom, or, in another classroom.  A JA representative will provide training sessions on Tuesday, April 16th from 9a-10a and 5p-6p at Rockland to orient you to the program, the curriculum kits, and classroom management techniques in order to help you be successful and have fun with it!  We request you only attend one of the training sessions. What is required?

  • An interest in sharing with students in a classroom setting.  The curriculum is interactive and engaging with games and activities built in to make it fun!
  • Comfort talking to a group of students.  A classroom teacher will always be present.
  • You do not need to be an expert in economics or finance to teach JA!  The Program Guide Book we supply you with will provide all the information that you need to teach the lesson.

The following Lessons will be taught to each grade level:

Kindergarten: JA Ourselves
JA Ourselves uses storybook characters in read-aloud and hands-on activities to introduce the role people play in an economy. Through engaging, volunteer-led activities, young students learn about individual choices, money, the importance of saving and giving, and the value of work.

1st Grade: JA Our Families
JA Our Families explains how family members' jobs and businesses contribute to the well-being of the family and of the community. The program introduces the concept of needs and wants and explores the ways families plan for and acquire goods and services. Students analyze their own skills to determine ways they can support their families.

2nd Grade: JA Our Community
JA Our Community uses posters and games to offer practical information about businesses and the many jobs those businesses offer in a community. Students explore production methods through a simulation game, and they learn about taxes, decision making, and how money flows in an economy.

3rd Grade: JA Our City
JA Our City introduces students to financial literacy and learning objectives for third–grade social studies, including the characteristics of cities, the importance of economic exchange, and how people and businesses in cities manage their money. Students will apply money-management strategies to personal and business accounts.

4th Grade: JA Our Region
JA Our Region introduces students to entrepreneurship and how entrepreneurs use resources to produce goods and services in a region. Students operate a hypothetical hot dog stand to understand the fundamental tasks performed by a business owner and to track the revenue and expenses of a business.

5th Grade: JA Our Nation
JA Our Nation provides practical information about the need for employees who can meet the demands of the 21st century job market, particularly high-growth, high-demand jobs. By program's end, students will understand the skills, especially in science, technology, engineering, and math that will make their futures brighter.
For more information about JA-Chicago please visit their website or contact the school office. Click here to sign up to volunteer!

Summer School Registration is Open

Click here for more information!

Dine & Share with Rockland School

April 11th: Dos Amigos

May 8th (5-8PM): Cluckers


Thank you to everyone who attended the Pattycake Breakfast!  It as great fun and a successful morning for the Rockland Family Association.

This Rockland tradition couldn’t happen without the help of ALL our wonderful volunteers.  Thank you to all who donated their time, treasure, and talent!


Thank you to everyone who helped at the PADS event on Tuesday!  Your donations and your time are very much appreciated.  There are only two more Rockland Cares events for the year.  Use this link to sign up, and let’s finish the year out by filling these two events!
  • Wednesday April 3, 4:30-6:00 - Bernie's Book Bank
  • Monday April 15, 3:00-4:00 - Bike Path Clean-up

Please include your child's name in the comments, especially if you have multiple children attending.  Also, the Bernie's Book Bank event requires an additional registration.  Please read each event’s comments for further instructions and locations.  If you have any questions, please contact Charmaine Butler or Sybil Chadwick.  Thank you for showing everyone how much Rockland Cares!
RFA News: F.A.V. DAY

Rockland is excited to welcome author, cartoonist, and illustrator Nathan Halefor this year’s Famous Author Visit Day (formerly “Rockland Reading Night”)!  F.A.V. Day will take place during the school day on May 15th, during which all students will have interactions with and instruction from Mr. Hale.

Mr. Nathan Hale is well known for his Hazardous Tales graphic novel series, including the 2020 Bluestem nominee book One Dead Spy.  He also is the author and illustrator of many other science fiction and fantasy books.

If you’d like to order a book signed by Mr. Hale, pre-order forms were sent home this week.


On May 10th, the RFA will host a Teacher Appreciation Luncheon for the staff in the Learning Center.  Volunteers are needed in several capacities!  We would love your support in the following ways: 

1) Sponsor a lunch table (provide the decoration and table setting according to the year's theme, including tablecloth, napkins, and centerpiece)
2) Make a dish to go along with the theme of the luncheon
3) Help set up & decorate the Learning Center
4) Help clean up when the luncheon is complete. 

Sign up here and get more information soon!  


Please mark your calendars for the final RFA meeting of this school year, to be held Tuesday, May 7th at 7:00 pm in the Learning Center.  An agenda will be posted online prior to the meeting.  We hope to see you there!

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