Season of Giving

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At CICS Jackson, we PRIDE ourselves on giving back to the families and community of Rockford. This year, we participated in a food drive sponsored by the Salvation Army to provide for families in need this holiday season. We also have a “Giving Tree” that staff members have adorned with hats and gloves to ensure that kids stay warm this winter. Happy holidays from CICS Jackson!


Happy Holidays!


MyON Winter Reading Extravaganza

Dear Parents,

CICS Jackson is providing you unlimited access to 5,000 digital books that you can access with a unique login and password during the winter break. The digital books include valuable reading supports— professionally narrated audio, highlighting, and an online dictionary. If your student doesn’t have login information, contact your teacher!

We encourage you to share in the excitement of myON with your child and let them lead you through the program. myON has over 5,000 books that cover all age groups, with fiction and nonfiction titles ranging from monsters and sports to biographies and health topics.

myon-winter-reading-banner

To further encourage you to share your reading experience over the holidays, you and your child could win a $100 VISA gift card by creating a 1-2 minute video that shows how much they love myON AND WHY! (Remember the video is a partner project. You and your child create the video together! Your child should be the main character & director and you are the producer (you send it to msaric@myON.com)

Here are the important dates:

  • Winter Reading Extravaganza starts December 19 and ends January 9.
  • Top 3 schools that read the most books* during the Winter Extravaganza will receive $500
  • All videos need to be submitted by January 18. We will post links to these videos on our Twitter account (@myONreader), Facebook page myONFANCLUB) and our blog myONinaMinute.

Good Luck and Happy Reading!
The myON Team

PS. Don’t miss some fun activities from our publishing partner Warner Bros.! Visit our website at www.thefutureinreading.myon.com/2015winterreading!


Slime Time!



CICS Jackson 4th and 5th graders made slime during an in-house chemistry field trip last week!


Hour of Code Pictures


Hour of Code


Social-Emotional Learning Component Crucial to Student Success

Students at CICS Jackson are building positive relationships with our school Social Worker, Ms. Tirah Brown. Each week, Ms. Brown spends time with one middle school team to discuss which social skills students must possess in order to function as contributing members of the middle school community. Our students are currently exploring accountability and empathy. The main objective of these weekly discussions is to unify all five middle school teams, helping every student see how he or she is part of a living, breathing family of young adult learners. CICS Jackson has a shared vision for this school year- to design a character education course that takes place each Wednesday. We have acknowledge that we, as a school community, would benefit from guidance in developing problem solving, organization, stress management, social skills, and feelings related to our personal identities. While the scheduling may be difficult, we recognize that social-emotional learning skills are integral to academic acceleration.


Thanksgiving myON® Reader Contest

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Could your child be the top myON® reader over Thanksgiving break? Every student at CICS Jackson is eligible to participate in the “Thankful for myON Readers Contest,” where the top reader (most minutes read) from each grade level will be entered in a quarterly raffle for a Kindle Fire HD. All your child has to do is log on and start reading between Wednesday, November 26 and Monday, December 1. As a bonus, each student that reads 20 minutes each day over the break (20 minutes x 5 days= 100 minutes) will receive a special prize from his or her classroom teacher! Look for a flyer with more information about the contest in your child’s take-home folder. We are grateful to our PTO for proudly sponsoring this event!


CICS Jackson Science Fair

CICS Jackson will host its inaugural science fair on Wednesday, December 3, 2014 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. in the school gym. Parents are invited to view the vast array of science projects and hear presentations from each grade level’s winning students. We are very excited to see how students used the inquiry process to test out their hypotheses!


Teacher of the Week: Ms. Heidemann

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This week, we highlight Ms. Heidemann!

What college did you attend?
I attended NIU for my undergraduate degree in Hospitality Administration and University of Phoenix for my Masters degree in Elementary Education.

How long have you been in education?
I have working in education for almost one full year. I worked in hospitality administration prior to finishing my masters in education for 4 years as a catering manager, food and beverage manager and marketing representative for a restaurant.

What do you love most about CICS Jackson?
I love that CICS Jackson really stresses the importance of differentiated instruction. In order for all students to succeed in their education, they need to be met at their current levels of learning.

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
My favorite thing to do on the weekend is hang out my husband, visit family and friends and spend lots of time with my adorably energetic dog named Lily.

Where would your dream vacation be and what would you do?
My dream vacation would be to visit Italy. I love everything about their warm, inviting culture (and their food, of course)!

Who is someone you look up to?
I look up to my mom. She is a teacher in town as well and gives me inspiration daily to be a better teacher and person in general. She has an amazing level of patience and belief in all of her students. She has a way of finding every student’s strengths and taking them to a level where they can shine!


Teacher of the Week: Ms. Davoran

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In our third installment of “CICS Jackson Teacher of the Week,” we get to know Ms. Davoran!

What college did you attend?
Miami University in Oxford, OH

How long have you been in education?
Only a couple years! I’m so grateful to the veteran teachers who continually share their experience and expertise with me.

What do you love most about CICS Jackson?
The commonality of priorities and goals among CICS Jackson staff – to do everything in our power to help our students maximize their potential and achieve success!

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
Travel to visit family members and friends (and catch up on sleep)!

What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
I listen to just about every genre of music (anything from rap to alternative to classical), but lately, have been listening to lots of Frank Sinatra.

Who is someone you look up to?
Bob Marley. Sometimes when I’m having a tough day, I will listen to or think of some of Bob Marley’s song lyrics, such as, “Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing is gonna be alright.” It helps me put things back into perspective and remember that optimism is everything!


Scary Good Halloween Singing!

CICS Jackson students are excited about Halloween and even more excited to sing for you!


Spooky Reading Night

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CICS Jackson will hold its annual “Spooky Reading Night” celebration on Tuesday, October 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Students are encouraged to wear costumes and come to enjoy reading activities in spooky classrooms! Refreshments will be served and treat bags will be handed out to all students in attendance. Come join the fun, if you dare…


Teacher of the Week: Mr. Saichek

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We are pleased to present the second installment of “CICS Jackson Teacher of the Week.” We think it will help you get to know our teachers on a more personal level through a short series of questions.

This week we celebrate 1st grade teacher, Mr. Saichek!

What college did you attend?
I earned my Associate of Arts degree at Rock Valley College, my Bachelor of Social Sciences at Ashford University (on-line), and my Master of Arts inTeaching from Rockford University.

How long have you been in education?
This is my first year as a classroom teacher at the primary level, but prior to this I taught GED classes and worked as a paraprofessional, a reading tutor, and a coordinator for after-school programs. All together I probably have roughly 7 or 8 years of experience in the field of education. Most of my experience is at the middle school level, so it is an exciting challenge to be working with first graders.

What do you love most about CICS Jackson?
It is a very supportive environment. People are always willing to lend a hand or offer advice.
What are your favorite weekend activities?

What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend?
I love to write raps and spoken word poetry. Usually on the weekends you can find me practicing my raps and poems, recording music, or doing live shows and performances. When I am relaxing I love to watch episodes of “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Legend of Korra.”

What kind of music have you been listening to lately?
I love Hip Hop music! I try to keep up with all the latest music from the genre. A recent artist that I really like is Kendrick Lamar. I also listen to a lot of music by local artists on the Rockford scene.

What is your favorite book?
Without a doubt, my favorite book is The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I learned so much from that book, and it gave me a completely different perspective on American history. It also sparked an interest in Islam, and led me to pursue more information about that religion. My favorite part of the book is when he describes teaching himself to read and write in prison. I think there is so much power in that passage. Overall, I think Malcolm X is one of the most empowering figures in American history, and there is a lot to learn from his story.


Teacher of the Week: Ms. Heredia

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This week, we introduce a new weekly feature called “CICS Jackson Teacher of the Week.” We think it will help you get to know our teachers on a more personal level through a short series of questions.

Our first installment this year features kindergarten teacher Ms. Heredia!

What college did you attend?
I attended Western Illinois University. Go, Leathernecks!

How long have you been in education?
This is my 6th year as a classroom teacher. I taught second grade for two years in Lake in the Hills, IL, 1st grade at a private bilingual school in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, and this is my third year teaching at CICS Jackson.

What do you love most about CICS Jackson?
The thing I love the most about Jackson is the community that we have built. I love that I have built great relationships with students from all other grade levels, and other teachers have done the same with my students.

What are your favorite weekend activities?
On the weekends I like to spend time with my family and friends. I like to go to the movies, go shopping, and play with my two adorable dogs- Izzy and Rylie.

What are your favorite sports teams?
I am a huge sports fan! It’s all about Chicago teams for me- I love the Bears, Cubs, and Blackhawks. My favorite sports to play are volleyball, softball, and tennis.

Where would your dream vacation be and what would you do?
If I could go anywhere in the world on a dream vacation, I would go to Cape Town, South Africa! Cape Town is known as the great white shark capital of the world, and cage diving with great whites is something that I have always wanted to do!