Dunlap Grade School Celebrates Our Veterans

Dunlap Grade School celebrated Veteran’s Day on Thursday, November 10th and supported the Peoria Honor Flight through a school-wide fundraiser. The fifth grade Service and Leadership Club initiated the event that raised funds to support veterans on the honor flight. During PE classes, students heard from veterans across multiple branches of our military. Veterans included parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of our students. As part of the day, the fifth graders established a Veteran’s Lounge filled with snacks, treats and refreshments for the veterans. Students created posters, cards, and letters supporting our Veterans and thanking them for their service. We appreciate all our Veterans!







Submitted by: Mandy Ellis
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

DGS Royal Playscape and Outdoor Science Learning Lab

After being inspired by the beautiful Outdoor Nature Explore Classroom at Northminster Learning Center, Mrs. Ellis wanted to bring elements of a nature based play area at Dunlap Grade School. We’ve started phase one of our project by adding the Royal River Bed Playscape. This area allows students to jump, crawl, and hop from stump to stump through a stream of wooden stumps. The project started out with a donation of time from our wonderful Village Maintenance staff and included a weekend of work time by Mrs. Ellis and her evening custodian.






Additions to the playscape include three nature explore tables that will allow students to create, investigate and observe materials in their natural world.

The fifth graders also built and are using a microinverebrate manor to observe the world of insects and plant life around them. They carefully monitor the variables that sustain life and make scientific hypotheses about the impact the environment has on the species in the manor. This is correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards and provides meaningful opportunities for observation, investigation, and writing.


Our third graders wrote a grant and planted a beautiful native plant butterfly garden. Our 2nd grade classes use it annually to release their butterflies. It is a gorgeous addition to the play scape that continually changes throughout the season.


Tires were placed around a mature tree in the play scape. Seemingly unimportant at first glance, they serve as “Little World” play areas for our younger students. Our children that prefer quiet or independent play activities can use the materials in the tires to immerse themselves in imaginative play. Each tire is filled with different materials and supplies for children to play with: trucks, dinosaurs, insects, shells, and people.


Finally, we installed a Free Little Library in the front of the school this summer. We are adding a second library to the rear of the building to provide students the opportunity to read during their independent play time. Benches and seating areas are embedded around the area for students to access.


These materials do not replace the typical playground equipment that our students also have access to, rather they supplement it and provide students additional outlets for play and exploration.


Submitted by: Mandy Ellis
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

HGES Participates in the Greater Peoria Honor Flight Fundraiser

On Thursday, November 3rd, HGES students had the opportunity to shoot baskets with some local veterans and current military heroes while participating in the Greater Peoria Honor Flight’s fundraiser, Nets for Vets. The Greater Peoria Honor Flight sends our veterans to Washington, D.C., cost free, for a day of honor. This organization runs solely on fundraisers and donations. It costs roughly $80,000 for one flight. Flights occur in May, June, and September. Last year the Nets for Vets fundraiser had 20 local schools participating and raised $70,000.

The fundraiser has been a huge success and the support by the HGES staff and community has been amazing. Third grade teacher, Sarah Middendorf says, “This is a fundraiser and way to connect with our community in way that most schools don’t—so I LOVE that HGES can stand out and contribute to a worthy cause. The Honor Flight is something that truly touches my heart and I love seeing our kids involved.”
Principal Jeremy Etnyre brought in items and memorabilia of his grandfather’s from WWII. The students were captivated by the pictures, uniform, and items from the 1940s. “It was truly a pleasure to share my grandfather’s World War II items. I was amazed by the interest level of the students. He would have been proud to know he was a part of this special day.”

Being close to Veterans Day, the kids now have a tie to what the day is about and why it is so important to celebrate. This generation of students will be the last to meet and honor our WWII veterans. HGES had 20 current military and veterans attend the event. Students asked questions, scrimmaged, and shot hoops with the heroes. Most importantly they were thankful for their service.
With the help of the HGES community, we will help send our heroes of WWII, Vietnam, and the Korean Conflict to Washington, D.C.



















YouTube video about the Honor Flight:

Link to Greater Peoria Honor Flight Website: http://www.greaterpeoriahonorflight.org/Submitted by: Katie Norbutas
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

Hickory Grove Elementary School Ranking

We are excited to share the news that HGES was recognized by School Digger as one of the top elementary schools in Illinois. HGES was ranked #111 out of 2,078 schools. This distinction places HGES in the top 5% of all elementary schools in the state. The rankings were based on the recently released 2015-2016 PARCC scores. Congratulations to the students, teachers, and parents on this special recognition!


Submitted by: Jeremy Etnyre
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

New App Enables Students to Find Lunch Buddies

A new App called Sit with Us has been created by a California teenager to enable students to find others to sit with at lunch. Students at DHS recently tried out this app and highly recommend it. A student ambassador signs up if they would like to invite others to their lunch table. Others can view the invites and join if they like. This app even provides directions to get to the right lunch table! Another feature of this app is that it lets you describe your shared interests with others. This app is free!



Submitted by: Kris Mason
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

Dunlap Grade Teachers Learn from Each Other as Parents Learn from Students

2016 Conferences were conducted on October 21st and 22nd. Students used this time to showcase their learning and progress with their families in a student-led format. Just as parents were learning about their children, teachers also participated in a twitter challenge to learn from each other. They posted comments, reflections, resources, and pictures to share with each other and the greater community about the benefits and successes of student-led conferences. Check it out at #dgsconnects on twitter!







Submitted by: Mandy Ellis
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

Children’s Author Visits Hickory Grove Elementary School

Kate Klise visited Hickory Grove Elementary School on Friday, October 7. She has published more than twenty award-winning books, including Regarding the Fountain and Dying to Meet You. Kate’s work includes stories for the very young to novels about adolescence. Her unconventional format creates fun and fast-past reads that can draw in even the most reluctant readers. The students and staff enjoyed learning about her secrets to becoming a successful writer.







Submitted by: Jeremy Etnyre
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

DMS Girls’ Cross Country – State Champions

The DMS Cross Country season culminated on Saturday, October 15 at the IESA State Cross Country meet held at Maxwell Park in Normal, Illinois. The field was comprised of the top runners in the state.
Both DMS Girls and Boys competed with the boys team finishing in tenth out of twenty-nine competing Class 2A teams.
DMS Girls’ team came home as State Champions! They were lead by Campbell Peterson in second place and Macy Priess in thirteenth place. Both runners earned All State Honors.

Dunlap Middle congratulates our teams on an outstanding season!


Submitted by: Holly Creel
Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent

National School Bus Safety Week

This week we celebrate National School Bus Safety Week, and we thank our transportation employees for everything they do. They transport our most precious cargo – our students. Driving a bus is not an easy job but our dedicated staff works hard to ensure that all of our students arrive at home and school safely each and every day. If you see a transportation employee this week, please take a moment to thank them for everything they do!


Dr. Lisa Parker, Superintendent