Rockland Review & RAP - 12-6-2019
A Note from Mr. Knapp

Dear Rockland School Families,

It is certainly hard to imagine that we are less than 2 weeks from Winter Break!  It was so much fun seeing families here last night at the Talent Show and I commend all of the students for a job well done at the show!  

With cold weather here it is important to make families aware of the procedures that we have in place at Rockland School.  Here are some general reminders for all Rockland families:

  • Students will go outdoors for recess if the temperature is above 10 degrees with a wind chill above zero.  If it falls below either of those we will make the announcement for indoor recess for all students and have activities for them in inside.

  • Students are reminded to wear their “five points” if they wish to play in the field/snow.  The five points include: hat, gloves, coat, boots, and snow pants. If they do not have all five they will be limited to the blacktop only. (Remember if they wear boots they should have other shoes with them to wear; we have lots of students calling daily because they forgot them).

  • Please remember that school starts promptly at 8:15 a.m.  Students arriving after that time are considered tardy.  Children may arrive on the playground as early as 7:45 a.m.  Please do everything possible to get your children to school on time so that their day may begin and the routines for learning can be established from the very beginning of the day.  Being tardy is hard on students and the teacher and we’d like everyone hereon time to start their day right. 

  • With winter approaching please also keep in mind that there will be more traffic in the parking lot for pick-up and drop-off times so please plan accordingly

With this being the final Rockland Review for the calendar year, I want to wish your family a great upcoming break!  From all of us here at Rockland School, I hope you and your family enjoy the time with family and friends. Have a happy holiday season as we begin to look ahead to 2020!

Jeff Knapp
Rockland School

News from 3rd Grade

This past month 3rd graders have been using drawings, math models, and equations to solve elapsed time problems. We have enjoyed learning how to read and create different types of graphs. Besides collecting and analyzing data, we continue to become more proficient at multiplication and division facts and problem solving. 

In reading and language arts, 3rd graders have enjoyed reading and writing about a variety of themes, characters, and topics. Did you know that sometimes friendships occur between the most unlikely characters? They do! We discovered the theme of friendship while reading Amos and Boris as we concluded Unit 2, “Look and Listen” in Journeys. In Unit 3, we look forward to the theme, “Lessons Learned,” and will dive into point of view, and friendly debate as we think critically about what motivates characters, and author’s purpose. We will also become more proficient at close reading and compare/contrast of characters and text written about similar topics. 

We’ve been working on our Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) with our new Second Step Program and The Nora Project. While identifying skills and strategies to be strong listeners, we have also enhanced our ability to be responsible students.  The Nora Project has helped us gain a better understanding of empathy and how to “walk in someone else’s shoes.” We are eager to be meeting our Nora friends soon! 

Finally, we kicked off a favorite 3rd grade unit, Ancestry and Immigration with our annual Grandparents’ Lunch. It was a huge success as we had over 75 grandparents sharing their stories of ancestry and what school was like for them long ago.  We even had a few Rockland alumni! Making ancestor dolls with parents during American Education Week was indeed a highlight as we made connections to our family histories. We concluded the month reading a modern day immigration story called Molly’s Pilgrim, and realized there are still immigrants coming to America today for the same reasons as the pilgrims long ago.  This month we will explore reasons why immigrants leave their homeland, their journey, and challenges faced once arriving in America. 

We look forward to sharing our own ancestry stories through a digital book. Parents and friends will be able to view these projects at our Ancestor Open House on, Dec. 18th, from 8:30-9:30.

A Note from Mrs. Vertanen

Greetings Rockland Family and Friends,

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is upon us! What a joyous time to gather with family, celebrate traditions, and give thanks for all we have.  For some of our students who learn differently, however, the holidays can be overwhelming and a source of stress and anxiety. Identifying and thinking through these challenges is not only a way to avoid or minimize related behavioral problems but also helps kids develop self-awareness- a key component of social-emotional learning.  Check out this free holiday behavior planning worksheet to facilitate the problem solving discussion between you and your child. 

Given the stress the holidays can often elicit, I thought it would be timely to provide a short tutorial from our SEL curriculum about belly breathing.  Belly breathing slows the pulse and heart rate and promotes a feeling of calm, but it’s critical that the technique be taught correctly. Air is drawn into the bottom of the lungs slowly and quietly. On the in-breath, the diaphragm moves down and the belly is pushed out. On the out-breath, the diaphragm moves up and the belly moves in. Breathing in through the nose helps keep the breathing slow and quiet.

Teaching Tips

  1. Have students put their hands on their stomach, just above the belly button.

  2. Next have them focus attention on their breathing as they take a slow, controlled breath through the nose, deep into the lower part of the lungs. They should feel their stomachs moving out as they do this.

  3. Then have them breathe out slowly through the mouth. They should feel their stomachs moving in as they breathe out.

  4. Model this process for students and have them practice with you.

Lastly, the Rockland Mitten Tree will be ready to go in the coming days.  If you find yourself in the giving spirit please consider taking a tag from the tree and returning the wrapped gift to Rockland no later than 12/18.  Please contact Michelle Vertanen ( or 847-362-3134 with any questions.

Wishing you all a happy holiday and a joyous 2020!
Michelle Vertanen

Nurse's Notes

We are participating in the Illinois Department of Public Health Influenza-like illness surveillance program again this year.  If your child is ill PLEASE call the Attendance Line 847-932-0099 to report the absence and include symptoms such as fever, sore throat, cough.

Hearing & Vision screening is ongoing as mandated by the State of Illinois.  Vision screening is not a substitute for a complete eye and vision examination by an eye doctor.  Your child is not required to undergo the vision screening if an optometrist or an ophthalmologist has completed and signed a report form indicating that an exam has been given within 12 months and is on file at school.

District 70 Shines with Kindness


We do hope the families at Rockland had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We are currently celebrating the Pillar of Citizenship.  One of our devoted veterans, Dr. Metzger, came into school one afternoon and talked with our Student Council.  He answered many questions and later that week all the students were able to view the video. He also helped lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance.  We are very grateful to Dr. Metzger for his military service and his devotion to the students of Rockland School.  

During November the students have been challenged to be good citizens.  We were challenged to pick up trash without being asked in the school and on the playground.  We were challenged to show acts of kindness by volunteering within the community. This week we have been challenged to show responsibility and safety while online.  We are constantly reminded to show the Rockland way in our classrooms, the hallways, the lunchroom and the playground.  

Parents, thank you for all you do to encourage kind choices and showing the Rockland way!

Thank you for Shining with Kindness!  
2019-2020 Character Counts! Rockland School Committee
Mrs. List, Mrs. Stonehocker, Mrs. Murphy, Mrs. Wickboldt, 
Mrs. Sundh, Mrs. Lesniewicz, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Williams,

Rockland Food Drive-Hosted by the Rockland Student Council

December 2nd - December 13th

CANNED meats, corn beef hash, stews,* tuna, salmon, sardines, chili, spaghetti O’s, ravioli,
beefaroni, sloppy joe mix, soups, baked beans, pork & beans, kidney beans
SAUCES: *spaghetti sauce, gravy and sauce mixes
DRY GOODS: rice, beans, macaroni & cheese, Rice a Roni, Pasta Roni, Tuna Helper, Chicken
Helper, Hamburger Helper, crackers, cookies, snack food, spices
CONDIMENTS: ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, barbeque sauce, salad dressing, spices
MILK: powdered, evaporated and condensed only
BAKING SUPPLIES: sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, chocolate chips,
nuts, raisins
*PAPER PRODUCTS: toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, tissues
 PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS: shampoos & conditioners, toothpaste, mouthwash, bath soap,
deodorant, feminine products, diapers, wipes


RFA News: Playground Update

Current Playground Donations:

Current total: $70,663.09

This total includes a new $10,000 donation from the Mick Coleman and Karyn Tse Family.

A big thank you to all of our Rockland families who have helped us get so close to our goal. We are almost to the finish line!

With special thanks to:
D. Chris Osborne and Family
Mick Coleman and Karen Tse Family
Chicago Paper Testing Laboratory

Current fundraisers:

Last Call for Buy a Brick
Buy a brick and engrave your legacy on the Rockland playground for $100. Order forms are due December 9. Here’s a link to the order form in case you need another one:

RFA News: Social Mixers

Thank you for all who attended the 4th grade mom mixer. It was a time well spent connecting and catching up. – Laura DeBartolo

Dates for the 1st and 3rd grade mixers will happen in the new year! Look for future dates soon.

RFA News: Girls on the Run

Calling all 3-5th grade girls. We are hoping to start a Girls on the Run program here at Rockland and would love for you to join us. We will be starting after spring break on Mondays right after school from 3-4:30pm. Here is the link to register your daughter: Registration opens January 31, 2020. Financial assistance is available for all. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Dena Ferdinand at Any moms who are interested in job sharing a second coaching position, please let Dena know. 

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