Explore More Day

Staff and students at Dunlap Grade School participated in the biennial “Explore More Day” on Friday. Explore More day exemplified three of the District’s Strategic Goals:

  • Goal 2:   To obtain a satisfying and productive classroom and school learning environment
  • Goal 3:   To achieve a satisfying and productive classroom and school teaching environment
  • Goal 4:   To ensure a satisfying and productive partnership with families and the community

Click on the Picture to See More Pictures from EXPLORE MORE DAY 2012

Staff, families and community members provided students opportunities to learn skills and concepts that are not typically taught in the general education curriculum. Students selected and then cycled through six different sessions that ranged from scuba diving, archery, and horseback riding, to tumbling, geo-caching, and jewelry or bow making. They were provided opportunities to simulate fire fighter training, dance with an Irish Dancer, choreograph a Hip Hop Dance routine, and decorate cupcakes. Students learned interesting facts about Korean Culture, honed their magic skills, tumbled, played tetherball, learned how to be a cartoon artist, interacted with pets, learned about science, fulfilled their need for speed, wrote in braille, created prints on cards, and generated plaster relief castings. There were smiles and laughter throughout the day of exploration.

First Grade Teacher, Genia Workheiser, was awarded a grant that allowed Children’s Author, Jim Aylesworth, to kickoff the day and speak to groups of students about the power of writing.

Thank you to all the teachers, staff, families, and community members that made this event possible. Look forward to Explore More Day in the 2013-2014 school year!


Administrative Assistant’s Day

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

-Dr. Seuss

As we celebrate Administrative Professional’s Day, it is important to celebrate the contributions that Mrs. Kamin and Mrs. Koehler make to our school. As the face of our school, they are the smiles that greet our students, families and visitors, The voices that answer our phone calls, the tender touches that place  band-aids on  ‘boo-boos,’ and more. They have the innate ability to multi-task and impact students and teachers on a daily basis. We are so fortunate to have Mrs. Kamin and Mrs. Koehler on the DGS team!


Thank you for being YOU!
Mrs. Kamin & Mrs. Koehler!

Book Fair 2012

Thank you to the Dunlap Grade Parent’s Club for hosting another fantastic Book Fair. The fun luau themed week and evening was a success.

As Dr. Seuss said, ” The more that you read, the more things that you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Reading is an integral part of student success and achievement. The book fair not only gives families the opportunities to expand their home libraries, but give back and increase teacher classroom libraries. Thank you to the families that visited or contributed to the book fair, and thus increasing the opportunities for our children to develop as readers. Furthermore, Thank you to the Parent’s Club for hosting the event. Their hard work and dedication to making sure things ran smoothly is appreciated.

Click on the Photo to view more pictures

Now that you have more books at home, you may wonder, What part of reading development can you help with most at home? Scholastic.Com reports that a 1998 study published by the American Psychological Association links reading volume directly with both advancing a student’s reading skills and with that child’s future academic success.

The key to increasing your child’s reading volume is motivation. Choose books that match your child’s interest. Or, explore reading with other media your child loves. Is she a fan of princesses? There is a world of online fairy tales for her to explore. Kids who love superheroes can enjoy easy-reader comic books. Don’t be too picky about what your child reads at this age. Captain Underpants may be more meaningful than Little House on the Prairie — and that’s fine!

Finally, celebrate the fact that you still have a great deal of influence over what your child reads. In a survey commissioned by Scholastic, 81% of kids ages 5-8 say that their mom is a source of information for good books.

Volunteer Reception 2012

DGS Volunteers were treated to a breakfast reception this morning. Students and staff prepared and served our volunteers in an effort to thank them for their countless hours of service and dedication to our school.

Thank you to our wonderful volunteers that make teaching and learning at Dunlap Grade School amazing We appreciate all your hard work.

 “If you want to touch the past, touch a rock.  If you want to touch the present, touch a flower.  If you want to touch the future, touch a life.”  ~Author Unknown

Volunteer Reception 2012 Video and Photos

Poetry Cafe


On April 29, 2011, the second graders at Dunlap Grade School celebrated National Poetry Month with an all day Poetry Café.  Parents and grandparents were invited to join in on the fun by participating in poetry activities with the kids.  The day began with doughnuts and continued with some of the following poetry activities:

Newspaper Poetry: This is where students cut out words/headlines out of newspapers and rearranged them until a poem emerged.

Tanka Poetry: This is a type of Japanese poetry but instead of counting syllables it counts words on the line in this pattern: 2,3,2,3,3.  We wrote these poems about what it would it would feel like to be a kite.  We then decorated kites with our poems written on it and took them outside to see if they would fly.

Performance Poetry: Students (and visitors if they wanted to) were placed into groups and chose a poem to perform for the class.  The groups practiced fluency and created actions to go with their poems.

Concrete Poetry: This type of poem is where the meaning is suggested by the arrangement of words.  Students created a picture using words instead of lines. 

Magnetic Poetry:  The day ended with making our own magnetic poetry by finding words in magazines and attaching them to magnets!

We even had some of our visitors share poems they had written.  The Poetry Café really helped students’ practice authentic writing, develop a purpose for writing and share their writing with a real audience.  It also reinforced our literacy series genre study of poetry.  It was great to see so many families participate and help empower our students to excel in a global society. 

~Stefanie Pitzer and Stacy Lingenfelter~

School Improvement Update

Updated drafts of the DGS School Improvement Plan and Balanced Scorecard have been posted to the DGS web page.  The students and staff have identified two areas for improvement.

Goal #1:  DGS will improve written language skills to 80% of students meeting or exceeding the national benchmark by spring 2011, as measured by the AIMSweb Correct Writing Sequence assessment.

We have made significant progress towards our writing goal.  We began the year with 65% of our students meeting or exceeding this goal on the fall benchmarks.  Results on the winter benchmarks increased to 71%.  We remain confident that with continued focus and targeted support for students, we will reach our goal of 80% by the end of the year. Great job everyone!

Goal #2: DGS will develop a satisfying school learning environment by implementing a school-wide behavior management plan to decrease disruptive behavior, as measured by a reduced number of reported incidences.

We are just starting our work on the conduct goal.  An assembly was held this week to set the expectations for hallway and bathroom behavior.  The rules for the hallways are (walk, no talking, and keep hands and feet to self).  The rules for the bathrooms are (get in and get out, quiet voices, respect school property, and no playing).  The staff will be using a ticket system to address these behaviors during the school day. After collecting baseline data, the Building Leadership Team will set a goal to reduce the number of tickets being issued.      


Mr. Etnyre

Illinois State Board of Education Academic Excellence Award

I am pleased to share the news that Dunlap Grade School recently received the 2010 Illinois State Board of Education Academic Excellence Award. This recognition is reserved for only the highest performing schools in the state. Dunlap Grade School was one of only 459 schools to receive this award. This is our 4th consecutive year being recognized. Congratulations on this outstanding achievement! You can read more about this special recognition and view a complete listing of schools receiving this award at http://www.ilhonorroll.niu.edu/ .

Drama Club!

Drama Club is off to a wonderful start at Dunlap Grade School this year!  Drama Club is a program offered through the Peoria Park District and it teaches kids how to communicate, act, perform and be confident in front of an audience.  Miss Negley is in charge of the program at our school.  This is 3rd year teaching drama and her 5th as a second grade teacher at DGS! 

This is a 20 week program.  This first 10 weeks will be spent practicing dramatic and communication skills.  The second 10 weeks will be spent applying the skills we have learned into auditioning and presenting a play! 

We had over 60 kids who were interested in participating in this program!  Due to the large numbers we were only able to take 36 students from 4th and 5th grade.  Our first meeting was in September and we got to work straight away coming up with what Drama Club should look like for the year.  As a group we came up with the following:

Ground Rules
1. Be Dramatic
2. Participate
3. Be Safe
4. Be Responsible
5. Be Encouraging
6. Treat others the way you would want to be treated by being nice, respectful and understanding

Mission Statement
We, the Drama Stars, will have fun and be dramatic so we can learn how to act, build sets, memorize lines and work on a team.  We will do this by obeying the rules, listening and being energetic!

I was super impressed with what the students were able to come up and how they have all been working hard to meet our mission and follow our rules.  Please check out some pictures from our first few weeks of practice and we hope you can join us for the Spring Performance! (Stay Tuned for details coming at the beginning of 2011!!)

Drama Queens and Drama Kings

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