Hickory Point Principal Newsletter- Second Step Update and Conferences

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Hickory Point Principal Newsletter- Second Step Update and Conferences


Mrs. Gerster's Class

Empathy Lessons in Second Step

The Second Step Program is the district that adopted a social-emotional curriculum to support social competence and reduce social-emotional difficulties. Social-emotional skills are important to a child’s health and development. This program teaches children skills in three core areas: empathy, emotion management, and social problem-solving. These core social skills contribute to a children’s success in school and later in life, their success in the workplace.  This newsletter will focus on the first core competency of empathy. 

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This core competency lays the foundation for all of the subsequent Second Step lessons. Children work to increase their ability to identify their feelings and understand their feelings. In turn, they begin to develop their capacity to understand others’ feelings and learn ways to respond with sensitivity and compassion.  The key vocabulary in this unit is: same, different, why, and because. 

These lessons help children learn how to identify and name their feelings through modeling, scenarios, situations, practice, and reinforcement. They practice showing care and concern. The Take-Home Letters allow the families to also practice the skill of the lesson.  Second Step is a research-based resource that promotes the social skill development of our primary learners. We hope you will find the Take Home Letters a valuable tool to support your child’s social skill learning. 


It is hard to believe that we will be actively engaged in Parent/Teacher Conferences next week. Conferences will be held on February 8 and 9. We believe that communication between the school and home is an invaluable tool in a child’s education and extremely important in facilitating a successful outcome.

Hickory Point staff works diligently to prepare for conferences. As you know, there have been many different variables we faced this year. We ask for your patience and partnership with our teachers. Conference time is all about your child.  Here are some suggestions for topics for discussion:

  • What are my child’s strengths? What areas are goals for improvement?

  • Please share your newly gained observations about your child as a learner at home.

  • What are the curricular or content skills or concepts over the next few months?

  • How is my child doing socially and emotionally? How is he/she getting along with peers and adults? How is your child handling frustration? 

  • How can we work together to support my child?

I hope that this experience proves to be valuable for both you and your child. 

This is the perfect opportunity for you to gain a different perspective on a day in the life of your student. We are looking forward to seeing you at the Conferences.

Academic Support

Dear Parents,

I would like to inform you of an academic initiative. Hickory Point has scheduled a supplemental, thirty-minute academic intervention period built into the school day. This time allows teachers to offer additional instruction to students based on their reading, math, or social skill levels. Entry into the groups is based on Curriculum-Based Measurements (CBM)  and teacher input. During the intervention period, a Hickory Point staff member will instruct your child. As with all flexible instruction groups, students may move from one group to another depending upon periodic, teacher-administered assessments of their academic skills. Typically, student progress is assessed weekly and reviewed every six weeks. If a student does not require this extra academic support, the student's needs will continue to be met by the classroom teacher. 

If you have any questions please contact your child’s teacher or us.

Dental Reminder

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

Children need good oral health to speak with confidence, express themselves, and be healthy, and ready to learn. Poor oral health has been related to lower school performance, poor social relationships, and less success later in life (Illinois Department of Public Health).

Illinois law (Child Health Examination Code, 77 Ill. Adm. Code 665) states all children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private, or parochial school shall have a dental examination. The examination must have taken place within 18 months before May 15 of the school year (between November 15, 2021 - May 15, 2023). A licensed dentist must complete the examination, and date the Proof of School Dental Examination Form.  If you are unable to provide a completed Proof of School Dental Examination Form, please submit a Dental Examination Waiver Form.  

If you have not submitted proof of a dental examination for your Kindergartener and/or your second grader for the 2022 - 2023 school year, please either send a copy of the form with your student(s) to the school or email the form to hphealthforms@nb27.org. Form(s) are due no later than Monday, May 15, 2023.

Please contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.

Melanie Zimmerman, BSN, RN, PEL-CSN

Hickory Point School Nurse

847-498-3830 x 3303


Lost and Found

Please check the Lost and Found when you are at HP for Conferences! 

Important Dates

Mon,  Feb. 6, 7  Book Fair Preview with Parents

Wed., Feb.8      Conferences 5 pm -8 pm 

                          Book Fair 5 pm-8 pm

Thurs. Feb. 9    School is not in session

                          Conferences 1 pm-4 pm

                          Conferences 5 pm -8 pm

                          Book Fair is open

Fri. Feb. 10      Football Spirit Day

Tues. Feb. 14  Valentine’s Day Parties

For your children,

Dr. Maureen Deely Mrs. Lauren Weingarten

Principal                 Assistant Principal