Backpack Express

Good afternoon,

I hope your child has had a wonderful week at Sowams.  This is the first Backpack Express of the school year.  Backpack Express is a weekly email I send out with information pertaining to our school and district.  The information shared includes upcoming events, reminders about school protocols, dates of days of no school, PTO information, and anything else that I feel is necessary for you to know.  I try to keep it short (except this week’s which is longer than normal) and to the point with appropriate links for more information.  Please take a moment each week to read the information.

  • Octoberfest:  Our biggest (and typically only) fundraiser is back!  It will be held on Saturday, October 15, 2022.  This is a fun family and community event.  It takes a lot of people to run this fundraiser and people are still needed to assist with running committees.  If you are interested in chairing/co-chairing an Octoberfest committee, please click here to see what’s available.  Other volunteer opportunities will come up for the day of Octoberfest. Questions can be sent to

  • Back to School PTO Picnic:  Our PTO is sponsoring a back to school picnic on Wednesday, September 7 from 5:30-6:30.  This is an opportunity for you to enjoy a picnic with your family and friends and an opportunity to meet new friends.  More information may be found here.  

  • PTO Meeting:  The first PTO meeting of the school year will be on Monday, September 12 at 7:00pm at Sowams School.  Prior to the meeting at 6:00, there will be a PTO meet and greet.  This is a time to meet the members of the PTO Executive Board along with meeting other members of our Sowams Community.  More information, including the dates of this year’s meetings, may be found here.

  • Volunteer BCI Drop In Session:  Prior to the PTO meeting on September 12, 2022, is an opportunity for volunteers to come to the school to complete the paperwork to have a background check.  A background check is necessary for all volunteers at any schools in Barrington.  The drop-in session is from 6:00-7:00.  There is also another drop-in session at Sowams on September 12 from 9:00am-10:00am.  To have the background check completed, you must bring photo identification and a check for $5.00 made out to BCI.

  • PTO Calendar:  The PTO has created a September calendar for you.  It may be accessed here.

  • PTO Directory:  The PTO is putting together a directory of family contact information.  This will be shared with families so you have access to each other’s contact information.  If you would like your information in the directory, please complete this form.  (If you sent the hard copy back, you do not need to complete the form.)

  • Library Volunteers: Mrs. Greene, the Sowams School Librarian, is seeking interested parents, grandparents, or community members to help in the library throughout the year.  There are opportunities to assist with circulation, shelving, inventory, displays, book repair, book processing, and K class support during their second class. It is ideal for the individual to be available at recurring times throughout the school year and due to district policy, parents are not able to help with their own child’s class. If interested, please email Mrs. Greene at  In order to volunteer, you must be on the approved volunteer list put together by our district’s Volunteer Coordinator.  

  • Sowams Speedway Volunteers: Sowams Speedway, a program at recess for students to run laps of the baseball field, track progress towards milestones, and earn prizes, is in need of some volunteers. Volunteers come to school during recess periods (11:50am - 12:15pm for Kindergarten and Grade 1; 12:20pm - 12:45pm for Grades 2 and 3) and help students keep track of their laps and help the activity run smoothly.  If you are interested in volunteering, either weekly or on occasion, please email and the Sowams Speedway coordinator will reach out to you with more information.  In order to volunteer, you must be on the approved volunteer list put together by our district’s Volunteer Coordinator. 

  • Open House:  Save the Date:  Wednesday, September 28, 2022, is our scheduled Open House.  This adult evening is a time for you to find out what happens in your child’s classroom each day.  Kindergarten and grade 1 parents/guardians are welcome to join us from 6:00pm-7:00pm; parents and guardians of second and third graders, 7:15pm-8:15pm.  More information will be sent out.

  • September No School Dates:

    • Friday, September 2, 2022 (start of Labor Day weekend)

    • Monday, September 5, 2022 (Labor Day)

    • Tuesday, September 13, 2022 (Primary Election Day)

    • Monday, September 26, 2022 (Rosh Hashanah)

Thank you for reading this far.  Again, it’s not typically this long.

Have a wonderful day!


Jim Callahan