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April 2011  
Ticket system at graduation designed with parents in mind
Service project helps students help others
WYSE Competition held at Lake Land College
Water lesson compliments Earth Day
Riddle round-up
Mattoon CUSD #2
1701 Charleston Avenue
Mattoon IL 61938
Tel: 217-238-8850
Web: www.mattoon.k12.il.us
Email: Newsletter@mcusd2.com
Ticket system at graduation designed with parents in mind

After announcing that a new ticket system was implemented for graduation, Mattoon High School Principal Michele Sinclair said several parents have contacted her thanking her for the changes.

Sinclair, a parent herself, knows the importance of watching your children accept their diplomas. For many Mattoon parents, the former ticketless system prevented parents from having an opportunity to be inside the gymnasium to witness one of their child's biggest achievements.

"In the past, parents who may not have been able to get to the school to reserve a seat early in the evening were moved to the overflow gym, because the main gym would already be filled with those people who reserved a multitude of seats," said Sinclair. "As a parent, I understand the disappointment of those parents who were not able to sit in the main gym."

The new graduation policy allows families six tickets to attend MHS's graduation. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. May 27. Graduation is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

"A ticket guarantees admission into the main gymnasium, but does not guarantee a particular seat," said Sinclair.
Upon arrival to graduation, guests will be asked to submit their ticket in exchange for a wristband. Guests must secure the wristband on their wrist to be admitted into the main gymnasium. Guests who do not have tickets will be asked to sit in the north (overflow) gym. Seating for up to 500 people is available in the overflow gym. Tickets which are lost or stolen will be reissued; however, guests who arrive with the lost/stolen tickets will NOT be admitted into the main gymnasium. Instead, they will be asked to sit in the overflow gym.

During the January school board meeting, Sinclair provided the following data on the number of seats available in the main gym.

  • A bleacher "seat" is 15 inches wide
  • The Class of 2011 has approximately 250 graduates
  • Bleacher seats: 560 plus 1540 equals 2100 seats
  • 2100 divided 1.5 seats/person equals 1400 seats
  • 1400 seats plus 360 chairs on floor equals 1760 seats
  • 1760 divided by 250 graduates equals 7.04 tickets per graduate

At that meeting, Sinclair recommended six tickets per graduate to allow for removal of floor chairs for wheelchairs. This will vary from year-to-year depending upon the number of graduates.

The school board accepted Sinclair's recommendation to implement at ticket system.

Of course, there are those who are unhappy with the changes, particularly extended families. However, Sinclair felt it was more important to consider the needs of parents first when looking at how many tickets to distribute. Students needing extra tickets need to communicate with other students because there are students, who will not need all six tickets. She suggested Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, texting and calling. Students could also communicate face-to-face before and after school and during lunch hour about their need for tickets.

"This generation knows how to communicate and has many tools at their fingertips to make their wishes known," said Sinclair.

Some questions have arisen since the changes were announced, specifically about seating for those who do not have tickets and special seating for those who have disabilities or who are elderly and cannot climb bleachers. Those who do not have tickets will be seated in the overflow gym. It is air-conditioned. Attendees will be able to view graduation live projected onto 2 large screens. The bleacher capacity in the overflow gym is 500 seats. If the bleachers fill up, additional chairs can be added.

"If you have a family member, friend, or relative with a disability, reserved seating is available by calling me at MHS at 238-7801. Parents of graduating seniors were sent home forms to complete," Sinclair said. "A maximum of two seats will be reserved - one for the individual needing the reserved seating and one for a family member or friend to sit with them."

Sinclair needs to know whether the individual is in a wheelchair or simply needs a reserved seat on the floor in order to know whether to leave a chair or make room for the wheelchair.

"Also, you need to indicate whether the guest will have a ticket for the main gym or if they will be sitting in the overflow gym," said Sinclair.Handicapped parking is available behind the high school on the night of graduation.

"Again, if you have a need for reserved parking, please complete and return the form or call me at MHS," said Sinclair. "Either you or your graduate will need to obtain a reserved parking pass in order to access the parking behind the school. These may be obtained in the main office. All other parking will be available on a first-come, first-served basis."

School officials are also discouraging people from coming to the stage to take pictures of their graduate because it impedes the vision of the audience.

"When a family or friend is taking picture of their graduate, they sometimes block the view of the audience and they miss seeing their child receiving their diploma," said Sinclair.

Pictures of graduates receiving their diplomas and individual photos of them in their caps and gowns will be available through Gaines Photography at www.gainesphoto.com 48 hours after the event and for 60 days thereafter. 

To view the letter the graduation letter to parents, CLICK HERE.

Service project helps students help others

By Lydia Druin
Mattoon Middle School student

Mrs. Colombo's sixth grade advisory class at Mattoon Middle School is working on a booklet about Mattoon. The booklet is geared toward sixth through eighth grade students, particularly new students who are not from Mattoon.

The booklet contains a history of Mattoon, important contacts, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page, a list of restaurants, entertainment, shopping, salons, parks, sports, arts, and weather. Students started the project in mid-February and began typing in mid-March.

"If I moved into a new area, I would like to have a book like this one," said Lillian Plummer, sixth grader, managing editor of the project.

Through a survey, students selected their favorite restaurants, and an article was written about each one. There is also a complete listing of restaurants.

Some of the entertainment featured in the book include: Isaak's Family Fun, Mattoon Bowl, and Silver Star Skating Center.

Mattoon offers a variety of sports including baseball, softball, basketball, football, and soccer.

"I feel satisfied because the book can help the people that don't know Mattoon very well," said Plummer.

For Spanish-speaking students attending Mattoon schools, we have also incorporated a Spanish version of the booklet.

Colin Ernst, head typist of the project, said, "It tells people about Mattoon. It's not like people are out there randomly trying to find stuff."

Not only are new students learning new things about Mattoon, those who worked on the project are also learning new things that they themselves might have not known about.

"I learned that there are more restaurants than the ones I just went to," Plummer said.

Lydia Druin, sixth grader and executive editor of the project, said the booklet has encouraged conversation among the students.

"We started this book as a class looking for fun service project ideas, and it has blown up into a full service project our class talks about every day in advisory," said Druin.

Mrs. Colombo is proud of the work her class has done on the booklet.

"The coolest thing I have seen is that the students have really taken charge of the project," Colombo said. "They're working together and getting things done on time. They are doing it all on their own, and everybody is contributing."

WYSE Competition held at Lake Land College

by: Lisa Shumard-Shelton
Media Specialist, Lake Land College

St. Anthony, Teutopolis and Charleston High Schools were victorious in their divisions at the regional competition of the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Academic Challenge held at Lake Land College recently. The event drew 365 students representing 24 high schools.

Winners and point totals of the 300 division were St. Anthony High School (500), first; Cumberland High School (392.3), second; Neoga High School (379.6), third; and Dieterich High School (364.5), fourth.

The winners and point totals of the 700 division were Teutopolis High School (474.9), first; and Sullivan High School (458.6), second.

The winners and point totals for the 1500 division were Charleston High School (500), first; and Mattoon High School (416), second.

For the third year, the college awarded $500 tuition waivers to individuals who excelled in their subject areas. The recipients in the bio-science division were Makenzie Weishaar, St. Anthony High School, and John Lahr, Charleston High School. The recipients of the chemistry division were Jonathan Hawkins, Charleston High School; Michael Kabbes, St. Anthony High School; and Micah Plank, Sullivan High School. The recipients in the computer science division were Wesley Seitz, Okaw Valley High School, and Tyler Ingram, Cumberland High School. The recipients in the engineering graphics division were Andrew Sparrow, Sullivan High School, and John Miller, Sullivan High School. The recipients in the English division were Jonathan Hawkins, Charleston High School, and Renee Breer, Teutopolis High School. The recipients in the math division were Ryan Endsley, Charleston High School, and Anna Mitchell, St. Anthony High School. The recipients in the physics division were Ryan Endsley, Charleston High School, and Marilyn Sudkamp, St. Anthony High School.

Students completed written examinations in seven different areas of study: biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics and physics. Each student participated in two tests, and the highest scores by members of each team determined the composite team score.

"We had a very successful day thanks to all the students, coaches, and those who gave donations or helped with the event," said Brent Todd, director of dual credit at Lake Land College.

Click here for the Team Photo!

Mattoon: front row from left: Abby Harrelson, Hannah Osborn, James Sparks, advisor, Lauren Cox and Rhett Farmer. Second row from left: Dustin Simbro, Lauren Buck, Rex Colgroue, Tory Sandercock and Adam Sowers. Third row from left: Mark Steber, Kaitlyn Bradd, Carlton Dunaway, Paul Calio and Riley Leitch.

Water lesson compliments Earth Day

By Christopher Drummond
Williams second-grader

Did you know there are one million molecules in one drop of water?

Second-graders recently learned about water. We learned there is more water than land on earth and we learned the water is still here from the time of the dinosaurs.

The water cycle includes: evaporation, condensation and precipitation. Evaporation is the water rising up into the sky and making a cloud that is gas. Condensation is where the cloud gets bigger and bigger and the molecules are colder because they are in the cloud. Precipitation is where the molecules become colder and then they get close together and they turn into a liquid. It starts raining if the temperature is above freezing and it starts snowing if the temperature is below freezing.

We also learned a water shed is a land of water such as lakes, ponds, oceans and rivers.

We did a couple of projects with water. We filled a milk cap up until the water made a bubble on the top of it. We also put blocks in aluminum foil boats. We wanted to see how many blocks it would take until the boats sank.
The lesson was part of Earth Day. We learned we must take care of our earth and of our water. We drink our water and we make stuff with it. We need our water to be clean.

Another lesson connected with Earth Day was recycling. We learned we should keep our trash out of the water and help our earth with love and peace and joy.

We wrote about recycling. I wrote recycling is something that you make something out of old stuff.

Riddle round-up

Riddle Elementary School kindergarten students had a rootin-tootin' good time as they performed their very first musical on April 14. The enthusiastic cowboys and cowgirls sang many Western themed songs for their adoring families and friends. Mrs. Jenny Fagaly, music teacher for grades kindergarten-2nd grade, prepared the children for their exciting stage debut. It was a fun and entertaining event for everyone.

Click here for the picture.
Front row: Carrigan Hyland, Landry Hall, Charlie Bookland
Back row: Alexis Smith, Mrs. Fagaly
Graduation Ticket Changes
  • Each graduate receives six tickets (this year)

  • The graduate must sign for the tickets

  • Ushers at entrance #1 collect tickets and distribute wristbands

  • Students would confer with one another for additional tickets; administration would not be involved in ticket returns or redistribution

  • Overflow seating with live video of the ceremony would continue to be provided in the north gym.

MHS Greenhouse plant sale

at the large MHS Agriculture Greenhouse

All types of plants are for sale and under $10.00.

April 30: 10:00am - 1:00pm
May 02: 3:30pm - 4:30 pm
May 03: 3:30pm - 4:30 pm


Important Dates in May-June

May 11: Honor's Night 7:00pm MHS Gym
May 20: Graduation practice & Senior class pictures 12:45pm
May 20: Last day for seniors exempt from taking exams
May 23-May 24: Senior final exams (if not exempt)
May 25: Baccalaureate 7:00pm MHS Gym
May 27: End of 4th Quarter
May 27: Last day of student attendance
(subject to change)
May 31: Teacher Institute - NO SCHOOL
(subject to change)

May 27: High School Graduation 8:00 pm
(doors open at 6:30pm)

NOTES: This calendar contains 187 total days.
There are 4 teacher institute days, 176 student attendance days,
and 7 emergency days to be used if needed from May 20-May 31.
If necessary, there will be NO SCHOOL on Monday, May 30th in
observance of Memorial Day.

Ride the Wave

Saturday, May 7. Register/Start at Lytle Park Pavilion
7:30-9:30 a.m. or go to mabc.proeventreg.com/ridethewave.

10, 20, and 35-mile well-marked courses with rest stop, water, and snacks provided.
$18/Rider $40/Immediate Family (2 Parents & 1-2 children).

Funds raised support athletic programs at MMS and MHS.

For more information contact Kathy Crawford (kathygirl86@yahoo.com)

Click here to download the Registration Form

Sign Up for Emergency Text Notifications and School Closings!

You can sign up to receive Text Alerts from Mattoon CUSD #2 by visiting our webpage.

Standard text messaging rates will apply.

Sign up here...

Important Phone Numbers

Administrative Service Center:
(217) 238-8850

Hawthorne School:
(217) 238-8800

Mattoon Middle School:
(217) 238-5800

Mattoon High School:
(217) 238-7800

Riddle Elementary School:
(217) 238-3800

Williams Elementary School:
(217) 238-2800

Transportation Office:
(217) 238-3270

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