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News You Can Use 10.25.2019


At Open House this year I  referenced some bits of data from our student engagement survey taken last year. Student voices illuminate for the staff at Braeside what the experience of the learner is from the student lens in each classroom. In the coming weeks students (Grades 3-8) and parents will be invited to participate in these surveys once more. We have new families, new areas to grow, and new successes. WE NEED TO HEAR YOUR VOICE. Have multiple kids? Do it as many times to represent each one uniquely. Have differing views than your partner? Do it on your own and hound them to do it too! 


I am a pretty competitive human. I compartmentalize a lot of it within the workplace because it can be unhealthy for kids (sorry to those that lose to my nasty knock-out games and wicked wrist action in badminton). However on this front, I am hoping for nearly full participation from parents to ensure that your voice is heard and considered as we review our growth throughout the year. I can then also gloat at principal meetings about YOU and YOUR participation.




Joseph Hailpern

Braeside School Principal




Red Ribbon Week is a nationally recognized week in support of teaching kids to make healthy choices. What in middle and high school focuses on sex and drugs, at our dear little elementary school we focus on making healthy choices. We pair this with a spirit type week and the schedule of events coordinated by our students in WE School is below. Add these notes to your home calendars so that your student remembers to participate if they choose. Check our Twitter/Facebook feed to see the door decorating contest that is currently underway throughout the school.

Monday, 10/28:

  • “WE shine bright!”
  • Wear (Neon/tie dye) clothing


Tuesday, 10/29

  • “My future is bright!” 
  • Wear something that inspires you for your future 


Wednesday, 10/30:

  • “I vote to make healthy choices!” 
  • Wear (Red, white, and or blue day)
  • Thank you to the Eisenberg Foundation for donating red shirts in honor of making healthy choices. All students will receive a shirt this day!


Thursday, 10/31:

  • “Braeside future leaders of the world!” 
  • Wear (BR spirit day) clothing


Friday, 11/1:

  • “I dream of making healthy choices.” 
  • Pajama Day



Our previously scheduled parent learning event for November 13 has to be rescheduled due to a Mr. Hailpern conflict that has arisen. Watch out for more details of upcoming parent learning events that will be tied to an evening PTO meeting as well.



Collection for the Used Book Fair has begun! While the ever-popular event itself isn't until spring, we've heard from many of you that you're ready to start donating. We have placed blue crates in the school's vestibule and invite you to begin dropping off your gently used books at your convenience. All age and reading levels will be accepted; while we know everyone has tons of little kid books, please don't forget to also look around for those at a 3-5 grade level as well. We're looking forward to another successful sale in just a few short months!



Second and Third Grades - Wednesday, December 11  6:30 P.M.

Kindergarten and First Grades - Wednesday, March 11, 2019   6:30 P.M.

Fourth and Fifth Grades - Wednesday, May 20, 2020   6:30 p.M.



Celebrating Halloween is a favorite tradition at Braeside School. Our annual all school parade will begin immediately following the lunch hour on Thursday, October 31st at 1:00 p.m. Students who leave during the lunch hour need to be dropped back off at school no later than 12:40 p.m. (normal post lunch time). Parents and friends are invited to view the parade outside. The parade begins with students lined outside their classrooms waiting for the parade leaders (kindergarten) to make their way down. Kinders pass by and each grade level hops on the parade at the end, eventually leaving the building outside the door across from Room 102 (southside of school along Pierce Road). This begins the parade around the front loop by our front entrance and continues around the school along Pierce, to the corner of Braeside Road and back along the blacktop to the rear recess door for re-entry.


Students may go home at 11:50 a.m. to change into their costumes if parents have sent a note to that effect.  Students are expected to return promptly at 12:40 p.m. For those students who choose to remain at school, ample time will be allowed following lunch, to change into costumes. Big kids help out and teachers are on hand to support students. Students will not be released before 11:50 a.m.


Students should not wear their costumes to school in the morning.


Students will parade outside, weather permitting.  In case of inclement weather, our parade will be held in the hallways and a parent loop will be permitted in the gymnasium.


Students will return to their classrooms for afternoon activities.  Only room parents who have previously arranged coming to help out with afternoon activities will be permitted to visit the classroom along with two reps for the yearbook. We have a bouncer list, so make sure that if you have coordinated with your classroom teacher that THEY have notified Kathi Pickens.


REMINDER:  Students’ costumes should be safely designed and age appropriate to allow for adequate vision, mobility and warmth. Masks CANNOT be worn within the school. Exceptions may be made for the parade loop only.  NO TOY WEAPONS of any type will be allowed at school.We are encouraging safe and responsible behavior during this time of year, both at school and in the community. Thanks for your cooperation!


ADULT DISCLAIMER: The parade is really cute and we want you to be there if you can be. Please assume a bit of chaos outside with many cars and few parking spaces. Beware of driveways and our neighbors and leave yourself ample time to arrive for the 1:00 event. It lasts a mere 10-15 minutes most and we cannot repeat the event just because you arrive late. 




In previous newsletters over the years I have shared some guidance and thoughts on cross dressing and the impact it can have on school climate, culture, and student safety. For those new to our school, please know I expressly asked that our elementary school boys NOT dress as girls or female characters for Halloween. This small request is one that will continue this year. My reason is this: when boys dress as girls they generally add features that mock the female body and when girls dress as boys (think football player or Harry Potter) they do not. Wearing cheerleader outfits and more encourage students to add breasts or other features which inevitably lead to mocking or body shaming of the female body in some manner and more.


To add on the warnings, beware of the group costume! Many fun costumes are great when paired with others. Even the teaching staff groups together for a theme each year. However, group costumes at school and that evening typically mean great group fun paired with disappointment to the person left out (purposefully or not).


I am sure you can imagine how hard it would be to show up to school dressed as something only to find your classmates organized around a theme. Inclusion or individuality are easy choices to make. Please take a moment to think about the other children in class who you may not be aware of - who spend hours each day stressing out about being included.



The Multiple Indicators of Student Success are a great way to see how Braeside and NSSD112 are doing across a range of data points. The Illinois Report Card has a ton of information about the health of schools in Illinois. The new data points that will be included in the ISBE Report Card can be very interesting for me as an education buff, but you as taxpayers and clients might be equally intrigued. The information here for Braeside is from 2018, but after Halloween the information will be updated to include last year data too.



We have recently held ALiCE training for staff, an information session for parents and are now preparing for ALiCE drills with students. Please keep in mind that for all students in grade 1-5, these drills are NOT NEW. However the type of drill and expected execution will be different. As such, teachers are currently preparing for introducing our ALiCE drills to students the week of November 11. Our first drill will take place on November 19 at 10:00 a.m. with the supervision and support of our school resource officer from Highland Park Police Department. Individual classroom teachers will notify you about their scheduled introduction to students the week of November 11. We are sharing with you the dates so that you know in advance about these drills and the possibility of questions coming home.


PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCE SIGN UP IS LIVE (over 240 appointments made already!)

Our school is using PTCFast to make signups as convenient as possible this year. Please enter the following web address into your browser window:

Please follow the steps to sign up for a conference for your child(ren) on November 25-26.

Step 1 - Sign up at PTC Fast

Step 2 - Check your email and click the access link

Step 3 - Select a single conference time slot and prepare for a terrific conversation. (have multiples?, follow steps for seeing multiple teachers on the same day)