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January 8, 2018
Bell School Blink
A Message from Ms. Miller

Dear Bell Families, 

At this time last year, I had been interim principal for just a few weeks and was eager to begin making the principalship my own at Bell. Now, a year later, I feel that same level of eagerness and motivation as we continue to move full steam ahead. Bell is an exciting and dynamic place, and the ideas that keep flowing throughout the building generate even more enthusiasm on my part. While the budget continues to be a challenge, we have made great strides in areas such as technology and professional learning. We continue to see wonderful student work being generated in our new STEAM lab, and we recently added new Chromebooks in our sixth grade classrooms to ensure that all middle school students have one to one technology access. We have prioritized professional learning to allow for more planning time, peer collaboration, and attendance at workshops and conferences, allowing our staff to take their own learning in new directions. It is exciting to see teachers trying new things in their classrooms on a regular basis. 

This time of the year always brings reflection, and as I look back on the past year, I am filled with gratitude. I am grateful for all of the support that students, staff and Bell families have provided to me both professionally and personally during this time of transition. I am grateful for the challenges that the job brings as those challenges cause me to grow and develop as both an administrator and a person, which is something I truly value. Most of all, I am very grateful for the relationships that I have developed and/or strengthened as I have transitioned into this new role. It is the people who make an organization, and I have never felt that more in my 12 years at Bell than I feel it now. 

Another goal that I have is to continue to strengthen our parent-school relationship through improved communication and new initiatives. As we move forward with some of our ideas, we would love parent feedback in order to make sure we are on the right track. We will be sending out a very brief parent survey within the next week or two, and I encourage everyone to take a moment to fill it out and share your thoughts. This information will be very helpful to us as we create new plans to increase parent engagement and collaboration. We will share more information about these new initiatives as they roll out, and we thank you for being part of the Bell School community. 

Sincerely, Katie Miller


Traffic Ambassadors for Week of Jan 8

School crossing 2This week, we are requesting volunteers from Rooms 214 and 314B to help with traffic safety. If you are able to volunteer any morning this week, please report to the security desk at 7:45 a.m. for a safety vest and minor instructions.

Parents, thank you for your help in keeping our kids safe!

See the full schedule here for the rest of the school year.

Progress Reports

Please be aware that progress reports will be going home today via backpack mail. Also, PARCC reports from last year are also going home today for 4th - 8th graders.

Spelling Bee Grades 5-8

spelling bee

The Spelling Bee for Grades 5 through 8 will be held in the auditorium on Friday, January 12 at 1:15 p.m. Parents are welcome to attend.

Talent Show January 19

Mark your calendars to come out and see Bell students at their finest! The Talent Show is Friday, January 19 in Bell's auditorium. The doors open at 6:00 p.m. with the show starting at 6:30 p.m. The show is free and all friends and family are welcome!

Family Wellness Night at Bell

Our second quarter family night at Bell is Family Wellness Night on Thursday, January 25 from 6 - 8 p.m. We will have activities for families related to mind, body and spirit. Look for more details in the Blink soon!

Judges Needed for STEM Expo

If any parents have pursued medicine, mathematics, engineering, education or any of the sciences in your professional lives and are willing to judge the exposition of STEM research on behalf of Bell School on the morning of Friday, January 26 at Truman College, please contact Mark Klein at for further details. Thank you!

Bands For Bell is Coming

Bands for Bell update
The Avondale Ramblers have been thrilling music lovers with their unique brand of Celtic folk rock since their stage debut on St. Patrick’s Day 2007. They continue to refine their blend of genres through an emerald colored lens and are currently working on a full length release scheduled for early 2018. Dublin native, Hugh Daly (lead vocals), is the parent of a 7th grader at Bell. Performing live at Bands for Bell on January 26, 2018 at Martyrs’!

After School Programming Options

We wanted you to be aware of five 21st Century Kids classes that are offered at Bell after school that are a great compliment to our STEAM lab and may be of interest to your child.
  • Chess Challengers provides opportunity for children in grades K - 3 to improve their critical thinking and problem solving skills while learning to play chess. All children take home a mini chess set! Meets on Wednesdays.
  • Drone Academy 2 is for students in K - 6 to design, build, modify and fly mini drones made with LEGO bricks while learning principals of aeronautics, weight and balance and flight safety. This class meets Thursdays.
  • IntelliBots is designed for students in grades K - 6 where they learn to build, program, learn about and play with M.A.X. a programmable robot with artificial intelligence. Meets Tuesdays.
  • Master Builder Academy is for new and continuing students in K - 5 teaches kids how to improve their LEGO building skills using a sequence of engaging challenge levels from LEGO Master Builders.Take home a special multi-model LEGO MBA set! This class meets on Mondays.
  • Video Game Builders for new and continuing students in grades K - 6 combines the physical world with the virtual world to empower children to create their own video games! Meets on Fridays.
All classes meet after school until 4:35 p.m. at Bell, ending the week of March 5. You can register for child for any of these classes among other options by going to Right At School. Or for more information, click on the links above or visit 21st Century Kids

Host a Party to Benefit Bell

It is that time of year again, and the Wish List Party committee needs you! Don't miss out on your chance to host a fun theme party or experience, meet new people, and raise money for Bell School all at the same time. Spots at your event will be sold at the Bell School Wish List Party on February 23, 2018. 

Examples of events include a ping pong tournament at Spin, a bowling party, a wine tasting event, a dinner with a private chef, scavenger hunt, cooking class, or a cocktail party. Parties can include kids or be adults only. The possibilities are practically endless! 

Hosts of the parties will be responsible for all costs related to the event and all proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Friends of Bell. Multiple families may host an event to defer costs. Please plan to host your event some time between March 2018 and January 2019, and we will work with you to schedule a date that works for all. 

If you would like to volunteer to host a party or have questions, please contact Sabrina Spitznagle at Thanks!
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Event Highlights

  • Progress Report Distribution
    January 8
  • Strategic Planning Meeting
    January 10
  • Friends of Bell Meeting
    January 10
  • Budget Meeting
    January 11
  • Spelling Bee
    January 12
  • Parent Forum
    January 12
  • Parent Engagement Group
    January 12
  • MLK Day - No School
    January 15

Click below to access the 

The 2017-2018 CPS Calendar is available here.

The next Friends of Bell meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 10 at 7 p.m. in Ms. Miller's office. All parents and guardians of Bell students are members of Friends of Bell and welcome to attend. Discussion items include fundraising events, volunteer opportunities, and collaboration with other Friends of groups in the neighborhood.

To learn more about FOB, click here

The next regular monthly Bell School LSC meeting will be on Thursday, January 18 at 7 p.m. in the school library. 
Approved LSC minutes and summary documents can be found here

The next Parent Forum meeting will be held on Friday, January 12 at 8:30 a.m. in Bell's auditorium. This meeting is open to all parents who are interested in chatting with the administrative team about school wide events and issues.

Click here to see the last meeting's minutes.

The next Strategic Planing Committee (SPC) meeting will be held on January 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Bell. For more information, click here.

Volunteer Opportunities
There are so many areas at Bell to volunteer your time to help in big and small ways. 

*Art room help, email Ms. Pearlmutter at

*Unity committee, email Carrie Kempler at

*Artsonia help, email Sally Roach at

Check out all opportunities to get involved at Bell here.

Box Tops Needed!

Box Top 3
Please be mindful when you see Box Tops for Education coupons on your everyday consumer products. These are helpful bright pink coupons that Bell School collects. As you accumulate them, they may be dropped off in the main office at school.

AmazonSmileWhen you are doing your online shopping, don't forget about AmazonSmile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Friends of Bell is registered on their site! Shop and help Bell at the same time!

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Tel: (773) 534-5150
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