Students worked on dribbling basketballs during the basketball unit in gym. They also practiced dribbling at different speeds around the gymnasium.

Students designed and colored donuts while in art class. They expressed their creativity through the colors and designs.

Students had free time to design towers out of Styrofoam cups in the library. Some of the kids worked together to build the tallest towers possible while others built longer, shorter towers.

Cub Scouts assist Cpl. Patrick in a flag ceremony for Veterans Day. Although gatherings were limited due to COVID-19, students and staff still found ways to honor the veterans.

Dr. Todd Bess, Director of IASP, grants Miss O’Rourke and Miss Snow with a plaque in honor of the spell bowl team’s first place win. Congratulations to the Bibich Spell Bowl team!

Welcoming New Staff

In addition to the changes brought about by COVID-19, Bibich is also welcoming seven new staff members this year. The new staff members include Miss Martinez, Mrs. Heinecke, Miss Batres, Miss Fechalos, Mrs. Ottenhoff, Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Burke.

“I love the community of Bibich. As being a first year teacher and new to the building, everyone on staff has offered their insight and their help as I start my teaching career,” Ottenhoff, one of the fourth grade teachers, said.

The staff members were attracted to Bibich for various reasons. For Ottenhoff, the deciding factors were the administrators and the goals of the school.

“I decided to work at Bibich [after] my first interview with Mrs. Logan. I knew that I wanted to learn from her. She has such a great personality and so many qualities I admire in an administrator. I respected that Bibich has such high expectations for their students and strive to reach and meet all students at their level to push students to reach their full potential,” Ottenhoff said.

The new staff members are not only adapting to a new school but also new COVID-19 rules. Some of the new teachers teach in-person students while others teach e-learners.

“I am doing e-learning this semester, so there are three things that I love doing with my kiddos. On our first Google Meet, we transition subjects. During that transition we do some type of Go Noodle or exercise, and it is fun seeing the kids participate in that. Once or twice a week we do lunch together. I love listening to the conversations of the students. Lastly, we read for ten minutes a day. This is a time where I tell students to relax and just listen to me read. E-learning is stressful enough, so this is a time for them to take a breath and chill,” Ottenhoff said.

Mrs. Heinecke, one of the Kindergarten teachers, plans to further grow while at Bibich by setting specific goals. She hopes to push her students to be the best they can be.

“I couldn’t wait to get back into a Kindergarten classroom again. I also wondered how different it was going to be since we have so many guidelines due to the pandemic. I want to meet all of my students’ needs. I want them to reach for the stars,” Heinecke said.

Recess Zones

A group of students play outside during recess. The playground is now divided into several zones to promote social distancing.

Practicing their Soccer Skills

A student takes a break during the soccer game. Miss Noel taught the kids how to properly dribble the soccer ball.

Random Acts of Kindness

Encouraging students to be kind to one another is a top priority at Bibich Elementary School. In order to accomplish this goal, the students and staff participate in Random Acts of Kindness, a program which rewards kids for helping others.

“Bibich encourages students to be kind and help one another with our Random Acts of Kindness program. Random Acts of Kindness are when students are caught going the ‘extra mile’ with their kindness towards others (some examples include helping another student tie their shoe, helping a friend sign into a computer, playing with someone who is by themselves at recess, helping a friend pack up at the end of the day or fill out their agendas, etc),” Mrs. Keleman said.

Students can be nominated for a plethora of actions, big or small. This encourages kids to continue the positive behavior in the future.

“A student can be nominated by doing something kind to or for another student without being told. They are nominated by a teacher or staff member when they notice a student doing something extraordinary on their own,” Keleman said.

Once a teacher nominates a student for a random act of kindness the student is placed in a raffle with other recipients. A select few names are drawn every Thursday, and the kids who are selected win a prize along with a shout out in the weekly newsletter.

“Students get really excited to put their name on a Random Acts of Kindness ticket. Students come to the office for a small prize, and their names are placed in the Friday Newsletter,” Keleman said.

Learning in the Library

A student poses with her drawing in the library. Students were required to keep their masks on during specials.

Lake Central School Corporation

8400 Wicker Avenue, St. John IN. 46373

Pathways to Excellence